Ignoring the Elephant on the Plane

After the Christmas day terrorist attempt on a plane landing in Detroit, the TSA in America has posted a list of crazy new regulations, including  requiring passengers to stay seated for the hour before landing, and banning the use of blankets and pillows or having personal belongings on a person’s lap for the hour before landing.

I personally think these regulations are both ridiculous and unenforcable – especially for those traveling with children. What is a stewardess going to do, keep a kid from going to the bathroom when he needs to? Rip off a blanket from a sleeping passenger when the clock strikes a certain hour?

The American people have to acknowledge that they will not be safe on airplanes until they allow the security personnel to profile. This way they will be able to focus on the potential threats.

I travel to work every day through a checkpoint. Recently the army took away the soldiers and there is a hired security team working there. Every car is stopped, and the driver is asked to roll down the window. The guard looks at both the driver and the other passengers, and does a quick scan of the car. He or she asks a simple question (where are you coming from? How are you this morning?) and he looks at you when you answer the question. He doesn’t really care where you are coming from or if you are chipper or grumpy this morning – he is getting a general feel from you when you answer. If he thinks something is suspicious, he will ask you to pull over the car to the side. (There is a separate lane for trucks – these are checked more thoroughly).

The bottom line is that these guards are trained to focus on the person in front of them, and they are encouraged to listen to their gut feelings. If something doesn’t feel right, they have the right to take action – even if it is “politically incorrect”.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ilanadavita
    Dec 28, 2009 @ 15:39:28

    Insightful post. I have one question though. What do you mean by “they have the right to take action – even if is is politically incorrect?”

  2. Emily
    Dec 28, 2009 @ 17:19:57

    I can’t even count the number of times my under 5 year old children have been searched at airports. And don’t get me started by the American Airlines gate agent at Heathrow who made me drink disgusting warm milk from a sippy cup (she wouldn’t let me just throw it out, which is what I wanted to do rather than taste it!!). Compare that to the security at Ben Gurion that let me go through with my sleeping child in the stroller–no need to wake him up and take him out and check the stroller when the security people took one look at me and–shockingly–used profiling to determine that I was hardly a threat.

  3. Friar_Yid
    Dec 28, 2009 @ 18:10:37

    On the plus side, the link says that these are temporary measures that will only last until Wednesday. Whether this winds up happening, is of course, another matter.

  4. yogi
    Dec 30, 2009 @ 09:28:36

    Eventually, political correctness will turn out to be responsible for the death of thousands of Americans – isn’t that ironic?

  5. westbankmama
    Dec 30, 2009 @ 17:45:58

    ilanadavita – it means that they can ask a driver to pull over to the side, and ask to see their identification. They can also do a more thourough search of the car.

    Emily – They search your kids???!!! Disgusting.

    Friar- I hope it is only temporary.

    Yogi – you are right!

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