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Disappointed Oct 1st, 2001 01:12 PM

Why are we so willing to settle for second-rate airport security?
The WTC cleanup is not even complete, and airports are already rolling back the pitiful measures they put in place after WTC. Not a single effective measure has been put in place, but lots of people are having their nail clippers confiscated, requiring them to buy a new set behind security at the gift shop. The outrage over poor airport security led to some sabre rattling, true. But if the current proposals are any guide, it seems that Americans are quite willing to settle for lax airport security, just hoping that they aren't on the next hijacked plane. <BR> <BR>I must admit to being surprised. We have the safest cars in the world. The safest consumer products in the world. Some of the most stringent environmental regulations in the world. Yet when it comes to airport security, we tolerate God-knows-who having access to planes, God-knows-who searching (or not searching) bags, and a patchwork of ineffective measures, even though life and limb is at stake. <BR> <BR>Why?

Flier Oct 1st, 2001 01:24 PM

I agree with your observations, I have been asking the same question. If another company had such 2nd rate service we would all be up in arms (no pun intended). I wonder myself why people are settling and thinking they are so brave for it (according to the posts on this forum). <BR>I, too, ask why?

Jim Rosenberg Oct 1st, 2001 01:50 PM

What are your specific, realistic recommendations that you feel will result in a safe system that people can still use?

Bob Brown Oct 1st, 2001 02:14 PM

I think the question raised in the original post is interesting. The stricter security measures are mostly eye wash. We have the technolgy and the rules and regulations. What we lack is know how and execution. <BR> <BR>The best football team around is going to get whipped if the players don't execute the plays well. We are great on rhetoric but lacking severely in actions. <BR> <BR>The Economist (British business magazine) summed up the situation well. <BR>In the USA, security personnel are poorly trained and poorly paid. The turnover rate among them is 125% a year. <BR>Sophisticated eqipment goes unused or poorly used in many American airports because no one around knows how to use it. <BR> <BR>Security effectiveness in most nations of Western Europe contrasts sharply with that found in the United States. In Belgium, for example, the pay is high enough for security positions to be attractive on a long term basis. Every agent is required to attend continuing education seminars for a prescribed number of hours each year. The turnover rate is 5%. <BR> <BR>Where American airports lack security is not so much at the obvious passenger security gates, but in the many ways that unauthorized persons can gain access to the flight lines and other working areas of an airport. <BR> <BR>Any one trained to penetrate security will find American airports easy pickings. <BR> <BR>In summation, the Economist article said that American airport security was a fool's paradise. <BR> <BR>I concluded from the article that we lack the national urge to demand rigorous security measures. <BR>

Gary Oct 1st, 2001 02:34 PM

Because 100 percent security would create such long lines that it would become inpractical to fly. In our economy and culture time is money. If it becomes such a huge hassle to fly people will drive or take the train (or not go at all) and the economy will dive into a 1930s type depression. <BR> <BR>What is better 25 percent unemployment with a Dow Jones about 1500, or a risk that their may be another hijacking?

Cindy Oct 1st, 2001 02:57 PM

I object to the assumption that security equals long lines. I have been through European airport security more times than I can count. It took no longer to check in and reach the gate than in the U.S. The time was not spent shuffling along in a huge line. The time was spent being questioned and having my bags rifled. <BR> <BR>I think the response that security will be a pain in the neck supposes that we in the U.S. can't do something they do well in Europe. I won't accept that answer.

form Oct 1st, 2001 03:06 PM

"What we lack is know how and execution." <BR> <BR>I suggest that we have all the know how in the world, we simply don't implement it. Why? The bottom line. Profits. Labor dollars. The airlines are a powerful interest group and will continue to protect their finances at the expense of human lives, just as they are doing now. <BR> <BR>Express your dissatisfaction with your wallet. Don't fly. And let your elected representatives know WHY.

Jim Rosenberg Oct 1st, 2001 03:37 PM

I support the idea of aviation security being put in the hands of those who will not be searching for cost-saving measures that translate into bottom line earnings. Simply put, that means putting it in the hands of the government and spreading the cost across the widest possible base. (EVERYONE has a stake in this issue, whether they fly or not -- nobody in the WTC was flying -- and that is why it should not all be loaded onto ticket prices). I have gone through European airports on numerous occasions, too, but I have no idea whether or not it was a more secure situation. There is surely room for improvement, but I'm not ready to throw in with those calling for a boycott, either.

Kathy Oct 1st, 2001 04:39 PM

<BR>While all of you continue to b^tch about our security and government I'm asking travel questions about all the places I've booked recently, booking everything I can get for little money and lower miles. So for those who feel we are not safe or want to boycott or ... whatever, do keep it up for those of us who are traveling and enjoying the savings. And helping the economy. And living our lives while seeing friends and visiting new places.

Antoinette Oct 1st, 2001 06:11 PM

Our first line of defense regarding security is at the x-ray pass through gates yet nothing is being done to properly train and pay these personnel. How right the other poster is who stated that sizzors are conficated only to be purchased before boarding at one of the airport shops near the boarding gates! Hey Washington- Duh!!! We need to e-mail our senators and congress people and let them know that this is NOT all right with the American public. Theprivate security firms have had enough of a honeymoon while raking up tons of dollars for a job poorly done. (Any other industry would be bankrupt by now). Let's follow Eurpoe's example and get the job done right. The first step is to show some respect for the folks who are our first line of defense when it comes to safety. Treat them are professionals and pay them what they are worth. I know my life is worth more than $6 and hour.

Top Oct 2nd, 2001 09:23 AM

Top! <BR> <BR>Has anyone heard what Bush's air security task force recommended in their Oct. 1 report?

Roger Oct 2nd, 2001 10:15 AM

Follow the money. Regarding plane travel, Americans are K-Mart shoppers. The airlines are losing money and top-notch security costs money. If Americans were willing to pay more for fares for obvious increases in security, the security would be improved. But Americans would rather play bin Laden roulette than pay more for air fares. Only an infusion of federal and state resources (aka money) will improved airport security. Ironically, this need for more money for airport security comes at a time when the Federal surplus is dwindling and most states are going to have to meat-cleaver their spending programs to balance their budgets.

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