Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Hey Airlines - Get your act together on Security!

Hey Airlines - Get your act together on Security!

Old Apr 16th, 2002, 08:34 PM
  #1  
RPE
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hey Airlines - Get your act together on Security!

On my Southwest Flight on Saturday, the crack security system choose an elderly man and an 8 year old boy for their random searches.

START DOING YOUR JOBS. Flag people that fit a better profile. Unbelievable. You waste effort on an 8 year old, instead of a putting in a system that provides real value through brainpower and true security professionals.
 
Old Apr 16th, 2002, 08:38 PM
  #2  
xxx
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Yea, that's a great idea. Then if I'm a hijacker and I know that they only stop people who fit the profile as hijackers, I know to dress or pose as an elderly man and then I can get through.
I think it's great that you can't figure out who they will check out. That is the best deterrent to hijacking.
 
Old Apr 16th, 2002, 08:49 PM
  #3  
PRE
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Yes, that 8 year old boy did look suspicious. Guess the bored and distant look on the security guards face was his way of throwing the potential hijackers off.
 
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 03:30 AM
  #4  
gail
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I agree with the several articles that I hve read recently that say the missing piece to our current security everywhere is people watchers. I know this gets into all sorts of civil liberties issues, but I think we should combine our current technical stuff (like computer name bases) plus more intense and more trailed security gate personnel with physical stuff (like locking back doors at airports) with some sort of "people watching" plan. According to some accounts, some of the 9/11 criminals were acting very oddly at several airports. Let's have some way of targeting/profiling - and admit it, everyone who has travelled a lot since 9/11 does their own visual check of their fellow passengers before boarding a flight these days.
 
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 05:17 AM
  #5  
Youre
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
If I wanted to smuggle something dangerous onto a plane, I sure as hell would certainly think of using a child or an old woman as the vehicle to carry it!
Oh, that we could pigeonhole and out every dangerous person as easily as some of you jerks think!
 
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 05:32 AM
  #6  
Owen O'Neill
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Although it does appear to be somewhat random, I have noticed that men in their 20's to 40's seem to get searched more frequently and that seems far from random. I'm only speaking to American and Continental but the pattern seems consistent on those two airlines - others get searched but not as often as what seems to be a target group.
 
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 05:32 AM
  #7  
s
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Women and children are now being used as suicide bombers in the middle east, RPE. While we may want to take a look at certain individuals a little closer, we have to look at everyone.
 
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 06:46 AM
  #8  
RPE
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
S, that's my point. We do have to look at everyone. Right now, many airlines are using computer genrated random selection and NOT real security basd on the decision of a trained professional. The security guy searched the 8 year old purely at random. That's not security. That's a lottery.
 
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 07:05 AM
  #9  
linda
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I was in line in Dallas when I heard them say- "we need another woman." Think that's not a lottery? I got pulled out of line and checked. It's pretty embarrasing when they wave the wand over and over your bra straps which are going to beep! What really pissed me off fellow Americans is this woman could barely speak English well enough to tell me how to hold my arms and got pissed at me when I didn't understand her. Finally I said "I CANT UNDERSTAND YOU" and she spoke slowly and more clearly.Send her to the Mexican border to patrol, OK? You can't even tell whose an American in some of the airports, geeeeez.
 
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 07:59 AM
  #10  
sister
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
How do they pick who gets the second screening prior to embarking the jetway? I thought I saw a screwy system of red light/green light going on.
 
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 08:56 AM
  #11  
Judy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I was traveling alone to my parents house in PA, and was stopped both at the departure and arrival ends of my flight. This Blonde, of Northern European ancestry, middle age baby boomer is just slightly more dangerous than the 80 year old grandmother with a walker....don't forget to check that walker out.
Let us please start using our Common Sense here!!!!
They did not stop some big guy with the pony tail and t-shirt, but did stop me....how ridiculous!
Judy
 
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 10:20 AM
  #12  
Howard
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Gee, Judy, I never realized that big guys with ponytails are dangerous and that Northern European blondes are not. Are governments around the world aware of this? It certainly would help ease the security process at airports.
As for checking out walkers, this may surprise you, but potentially dangerous items and drugs have been smuggled in even more innocent-looking objects.
 
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 11:46 AM
  #13  
Dick
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I just completed a round trip from the East Coast to the West Coast on American Airlines.

I thought airport security at both Raleigh-Durham and San Jose, plus a side trip from San Jose to Reno and back, was excellent.

At pre-boarding in San Jose, I was politely asked to step to the screening table. The screeners were polite and professional. I am an average looking US male (probably better looking than most). The screeners seemed a little suprised I was sent over.

Contrary to Linda, I had no problem and was actually glad and proud to be part of the process.

Unless you really stand out, I think all of the pre-boarding screening is purely random.

I felt very safe on all of my flights. I am going to Europe next month, and only hope things are as secure.

Dick
 
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 01:50 PM
  #14  
linda
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
To clarify a point- no I didn't take offense to being checked- in fact, it gave me an incentive to clean my purse before going to airport, LOL. What did offend me was this woman being test with me cause I couldn't understand her English. I'm sure I wasn't the first!BTW, I'm 45, blonde, preppy looking and dressing, married traveling w/preppy hubby,athletic and carried only a small purse!
 
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 01:56 PM
  #15  
Izzy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I'm amused that people are actually silly enough to be giving stats here...good looking, preppy, cute, whatever. The point is that ANYONE (pretty folks, infants, old ladies, people with turbans, etc) should be suspect. We have to look out for bad guys (and girls) as well as people who are easily duped into carrying stuff. My son's diaper bag was THOROUGHLY searched. Kinda icky but smart on the part of the security screeners!
 
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 02:19 PM
  #16  
lisa
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Anyone and I repeat anyone who boards a plane should be fair game to searching. That includes women, children, older adults etc. Now days almost anyone can fit into the terrorist profile.

Let's take a for instance. Suppose that all terrorists happen to be middle eastern looking man. And the security systems search all men fitting this profile. Do you not think the terrorists will figure this out and start using others to carry out their plots? If I were them I would start using children and old people. After all who would suspect them according to you?

RPE you can pick up the newspaper and see how small children are used. Just a few days ago there was the case of the boy who swallowed all those bags of drugs and ended up dead.

I do think that security people should speak better English, but let's face it the job pays crap and the applicants they get aren't going to be the best. Perhaps if it was made a more respectible job with better pay we could get better help. But, in the meantime you get what you pay for.

If it were up to me everyone would be searched.
 
Old Apr 17th, 2002, 02:51 PM
  #17  
RPE
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Lisa,
I reiterate, I don't disagree that everyone is, and should be, fair game to be searched. However, to use pure randomness is not security. That is a lottery.

If as you say, everyone is a potential terrorist, then search everyone in more detail. Personally, I'm fine with that. But the public shouldn't complain when either airfares go up or Federal spending gets paired on another program.

Alternatively, use TRAINED security experts to more effectively select individuals for extra screening. Hire retired detectives and cops. Assessing a person's mannerisms and the gut instinct from a trained professional is EFFECTIVE security.

To use a RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR is NOT security. It is a show that looks like security.

Let me ask yout this, don't you think a terrorist is smart enough to learn the code that an airline puts on its boarding passes indicating that person should be screened. The two guys I had dinner with on Monday certainly figured it out.
 
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 07:15 AM
  #18  
Dick
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
RPE,

The screening process is random to a point only. As I stated earlier, anyone remotely suspicious looking would be screened in addition the the random selection.

The pre-boarding screening had nothing to do with what type of ticket you were holding. The screening took place prior to checking the tickets. They gate attendant would merely ask if you were on this flight. He/she would then ask you to step to the screening area. No big deal.

I also don't understand the language problem you claim exsists. How much English does it take to say "spread your arms out"?

Much ado over nothing.

Dick
 
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 07:51 AM
  #19  
Judy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Possible solution: "Permit to fly" ID like a drivers license..... no one has a inalienable right to fly IMO.
Judy
 
Old Apr 18th, 2002, 07:52 AM
  #20  
rachel
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I don't think the randomess of searches is the biggest issue.

1) I am frightened that when they DO screen people/bags, they MISS stuff, such as guns and knives!

2) I think it is more important to "verbally" screen people - ask questions, look for telltale body language - not an exact science of course, but as was proven Sept. 11, it didn't take any hidden weapons (except box cutters which at the time were OK apparently....) for them to take over the planes! Better questioning and new technologies at the check in counter would be helpful, I think.

Finally, flying is a priviledge, not a right. Like any other business, you are a customer and if you want to use their product you have to go by their rules, or find another way to travel.

 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO