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The perils of airline security

Is it just me and my imagination, or is airline security becoming more irrational every day? For instance, consider the security check before boarding. It is adamant and removes all nail scissors regardless of size, but as soon as you board the aircraft, the steward gives you a glass bottle with a smile and offer you to buy more in the tax-free. A Molotov cocktail kit can be yours for a few bucks. In fact, there are often sharper plastic knives in the air than there are penknives on the ground.

They are also very suspicious about any liquids brought on board, unless you place it in a bottle and say it’s for your little child. For some reason they seem to believe that people with children are incapable of performing bad things. And why bother with liquids in the first place, when there is stuff such as Semtex. It doesn’t show up on X-ray machines and smells of marzipan.

Some airlines remove row 13 out of superstition, but they love to place people next to an emergency exit door where anyone may reach for the open handle while sleepwalking. A very simple exit (no pun intended) for suicide bombers, since they don’t even need a bomb.

This “no brain” attitude extends to passengers as well. I read about an American architect going to a plane at JFK, who had to change t-shirt prior to boarding because it contained Arabic text which supposedly frightened passengers. On another flight going from Spain to England, passengers were requesting the removal of another passenger since he was repeatingly looking at his watch.

After 9/11, a lot of new rules were introduced. The pilots were locked into their flight decks and the hosties have to remember ridiculous passwords to enter.

I understand the very real threat of terrorism, but I believe it would be wise to beat the bad guys by applying smart security instead of enforcing yet another restriction.

On a side notice, here is a demonstration of an Airbus A380 emergency simulation, where 873 people are evacuated in 77 seconds.

The fact that the flight attendants are screaming orders in German might not ease the situation.

1 comment

  • avatar
    Jonas S
    21 Oct, 2007

    The airline security has become ridiculous, but there are three sides to the story. First, prevent the real terrorists from succeeding in their plans, which is very hard to prevent since they are usually pretty smart and do a lot of planning, they adopt to the new security measures and the only way of stopping them is by police intelligence. Secondly, stopping all copycats and lunatics, these people are usually just stupid, insane or not on the same planet as the rest of us. Thirdly, make all the ordinary people feel secure.
    If only the police got a lot of money to find terrorists and no other security measures where introduced after the various terrorist attempts, do you think most people would feel secure? They had to do a lot of things to make an appearance.
    The sad part with the American War of Terror, is that it is fueled by some shady political agendas, coupled with xenophobia, Christian übermench-thinking and finally plain, old paranoia. Logic has nothing to do with it any longer.
    The sad stories about passengers being told to change clothes or removed from the planes because they look arabic is ordinary racism and xenophobia. What’s really outrageous is that the airlines and airport personel play along and allow it.

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