I fully appreciate the implications of this weekend's failed attack on a US airliner. The loss of life, the impact to the air travel industry, the impact to the global economy overall, as well as to national moral would have been momentous. Luckily, a few heroic passengers took action.
With this weekend's events behind us, the TSA faced two objectives:
- Security needed to be tightened to keep people safe.
- Fliers need to know that they can trust airport security.
The TSA's solution was to (a) step up airport security overall, including deploying addition canine units, (b) implement gate-side bag checks and pat-downs, (c) a ban on in-flight communications including in-flight phones and Wifi, (d) all passengers must be in their seats with cleared laps for one hour before landing, and (e) in-flight announcements cannot mention geographic flight heading, location or landmarks.
As a flier, I am not convinced that the above measures do much of anything to improve our security (aside from beefing up airport security overall). Is the last hour of flight really more of a threat than takeoff? Or mid-flight? Are terrorists really too dumb to think of bringing a satellite phone or GPS device on-board and leaving it on the entire flight? Will my reading a book for the hour prior to landing really make me a security threat? Is on-board Wifi (which can't be triangulated to get location) really a threat?
The bottom line here is this:
- We, the passengers, do not believe that these TSA measures will be impactful.
- Overall, we, the passengers, do not feel more safe due to these measures.
- We, the passengers, feel like the TSA is trying to give the appearance of security without making us substantially more secure.
- These inconsequential security measures will decrease the level of trust, respect and faith we have for the TSA overall. This will lead to further delays and frustration from both fliers and TSA employees.
Here's what the TSA should do:
- Explain to us how each of their new security measures will make us safer.
- Honestly tell us that more efficient security is coming and that you are continuously working to improve.
- Give us an outlet to share our ideas and feedback with you, even if it's just a form on your website.
If you are from the TSA, please feel free to email me or comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.
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