Monday, December 28, 2009

New Airline Restrictions

I'm getting pretty aggravated with all the changes that have taken place over the past few years and the ones that are being proposed for air travel. It would be one thing if all these restrictions prevented a terrorist attack but they don't.

Let's see, you can't bring deodorant and bottle of water on a plane any more because any liquid or gel bigger than 4 oz might be an explosive. Ok, so I have to put all that in my checked baggage which I now have to pay $25 to check. And I of course have the option of buying snacks from any one of the airport restaurants that are waiting for me past the security gate. Never mind that everything is at least 30% more expensive that it would be at your local grocery store. It just seems like a racket to me.

Now they are proposing to limit usage of portable electronic devices on flights. Did I miss the news report where the terrorist set off a bomb with his IPhone, laptop or mp3 player? The other proposal that I've heard is that passengers aren't going to be able to walk around the cabin during the last hour of an international flight. Well that's fine. They can just blow up the plane earlier. Is it me or do these restrictions have nothing to do with the incidents that have happened?

The U.S. Embassy in Nigeria had been notified that this guy was a potential threat and they didn't put them on a watch list or suspend his Visa. So he hopped on a plane and tried to blow it up. Why isn't anyone focusing on what's wrong with our intelligence system instead of enacting more restrictions which wouldn't have prevented this incident?

This guy had the explosives sewn into the waistband of his underwear and a syringe with the igniting chemical taped to his thigh. None of these things were detected with our existing security infrastucture or with any of the ones that have been proposed. Now if this guy would have flown out of Seattle where they have a full body scanner at the check in, he would have been caught. The scanner would have noticed an anomaly on the scan and he would have been taken away for a strip search.

But he didn't fly out of Seattle because he probably made sure that the he flew out of an airport with limited security restrictions. Only a handful of airports have the body scanning technology because it is expensive and because civil liberties groups have protested that it would be an invasion of privacy. First of all, these scanners are not x-ray vision. You do not see a nude image of the person in front of you on the screen. A generic human body shows up with indicators of where any anomalies exist. Second of all, if a TSA gets to look at every one's business all day but catches the next idiot who tries to blow up a plane, I'm okay with that. My life is a lot more important to me than my modesty. I would think the cost of human lives would outweigh the cost of these scanners in the minds of airlines, civil liberties groups and the government.


  1. Maybe I'm just getting old but I could care less if someone saw an outline of me on an x ray or whatever. You've hit the nail on the head!

  2. Seriously, I can't believe people are worrying about silly things like that when we're talking about saving hundreds of lives.