The pantsbomber, as some are calling him, has succeeded in ramping up security at airports around the world. The increase in security is being called necessary due to the pantsbomber, something reminiscent of the shoe bomber. Now, when flying, everything and everyone is going to end up with secondary checks as well as not being allowed to have anything on your lap, including blankets and books, on the last hour of your flight.
Measures will include increased pat-downs and gate screening, as well as having to stow carry-ons and personal items, including pillows.
So, because of one jackass, I will be subjected to patdowns. That’s just great. As if the TSA hasn’t soured me on flying already, something I used to love to do, now I, and everyone else, will be suspects; guilty until proven innocent.
“They X-rayed the milk I don’t know how many times,” McDonald said. “And then they took the milk out and sampled each and every bottle of the milk. I’ve never seen that before.”
Next, they’ll ban any liquids at all and force you to buy their overpriced drinks on board, which are twice the cost of the overpriced drinks at the airport. Don’t travel with any babies either. They need breast milk. They’re already screening it and sampling it. Next up is a ban on that too.
You will also be prevented from leaving your seat during the last hour of the flight. I guess you’ll just have to wet yourself or puke on yourself and everyone around you. Let’s not even think of what will happen if you have a baby and a diaper change. When you factor in planes being forced into a holding pattern and the time that it takes to get to the gate after landing, you could be stuck in that seat for two hours or more. Good luck to the flight attendants who have to deal with people who can’t sit that long, as well as the small children on that flight.
I can attest right now, that this even would still have occurred even with this new “last hour” rule. If you have explosives in your pants, it won’t be hard to set them off. Not having a blanket or pillow on your lap will just make it easier. Any would-be bomber would also just set off their device when they could get out of their seat and/or have a blanket on their lap. The rule is idiotic and the TSA knows it. These new security measures are simply security theater to comfort the American people.
An official with the TSA told CNN that along with increased security at airports, screening likely will take longer. No details were provided on all the steps being taken.
Now, instead of being to the airport three hours before a flight, you’d better plan on at least five. Better yet, just plan to be there all day. All this incident proves is that it will now be more difficult for normal people to fly.
Americans need to start asking more questions. Why is the TSA able to beef up security? Weren’t they supposed to check all this stuff ahead of time? Is security in Lagos is as lax as it was when I visited Dar es Salaam? If it is, I can see how his explosives were “missed” by screeners.
The most important question that needs to be asked is, why, when Americans are rejecting full body scanners as an invasion of privacy, this incident occurs and the best defense the TSA comes up with is that this could have been prevented if we had full body scanners at all airports. The TSA will continue to claim that sensitive body areas aren’t checked due to respect towards an individual, but the full body scanner can check those sensitive areas without touching anyone. They will promise it will never be abused and everyone will agree that giving up a little privacy so their crotches and boobs aren’t touched is an acceptable alternative.
The end result will be that fewer people will fly because, not only are you going to spend half a day at the airport just trying to get through screening at the plane, then you’ll be forced to spend more money than is reasonable on food and drink items, and be made as uncomfortable as possible once you are on the plane. Every single incident since 9/11 involving air travel has meant a further restriction on individual liberties.
The risk of flying is extremely low, yet Americans continually rally around the 9/11 cry, forcing the sensible amongst us to be inconvenienced over and over again. Despite what a few Americans think, the vast majority of us do not enjoy restriction after restriction being placed upon us when we can actually see the bigger picture.
The new security measures are a knee-jerk reaction to a minor incident. It is meant to save face for the TSA while pushing their agenda. It is not meant to protect Americans any more than before. It will confuse people who already don’t understand the rules and cost taxpayers more money at the airport, not to mention the soon to be increases in ticket prices. Air travel will become more cumbersome and any dignity a person had will be removed once they set foot in the airport.
For those that say the TSA doesn’t operate internationally, I can say the opposite. When I flew out of Amsterdam two years ago, the people asking me questions at the gate were unmistakably American. Everyone there had to walk through a second metal detector and have their items x-rayed a second time before being allowed into the boarding gate area. Once there, we were not allowed to leave. When I flew out of Dublin seven months ago, again before I could enter the boarding area, I went through US Customs and was questioned by an American before I was allowed through.
The passengers on this flight did the right thing. Nothing more should be necessary. If anything, a more thorough security check on paper to learn who exactly is traveling on the plane should be the only thing corrected in this incident. Instead, the TSA will continue to create chaos with confusing and ambiguously enforced rules.
Passengers flying from international locations to U.S. destinations may notice additional security measures in place. These measures are designed to be unpredictable, so passengers should not expect to see the same thing everywhere
Designing security to be different and unpredictible at each airport will only increase animosity towards the TSA and travel in general. You can’t call your aunt in L.A. or your granny in Houston and ask them what to expect when you get to the airport. It’s going to be different everywhere. The end result isn’t going to be the acceptance of new security measures, it will be the complete rejection of air travel. When the airlines are bankrupt and go out of business, then we will no longer have to worry about security theater when we travel.
You may accuse me of ranting a little too much, however, as someone who values privacy and true security, it is difficult not to get angry at the unnecessary restrictions the TSA continually place on passengers. Every incident from 9/11 onwards was a result of a failed use of current security measures. Individual passengers didn’t make a mistake, yet they are the ones subjected to stupid, not thought out plans that protect no one.
I used to love to fly. I find it tiring and aggravating now. I understand that we’ll never return to the time when I could watch a sunrise from the cockpit, but we need to return to more sensible times when rational ideas were implemented. As it stands now, the new rules put into place overnight are only going to further hurt the airline industry. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing if it forces officials to pay more attention to suspicious behavior instead of mother’s milk.