I am not the best airplane traveler. Chris is a trooper to put up with me. I just get cranky. I think I would have been a good match for traveling in the ’60’s minus having to dress up — or maybe I would even opt for dressing up versus the cattle farm process it feels like now.
We just came back from visiting my niece. Security was horrid. They only had one body scanner open, with two lines feeding the one scanner. Approximately twenty TSA employees for the one scanner (with quite a few standing around). It took forever. It was the slowest security line I think I have been in. Not to mention they were pushing all personal belongings through so that all the people were backed up but you no longer could see your stuff. A TSA agent was picking stuff out of bins because the personal items were so backed up. Frustrating because things were not where you left them. By the time we got to our stuff we were completely frustrated. I mean how long do you want to stand barefoot on the nastiest of floors, hoping you do not get the rub down from TSA?
By the time we got our luggage I could not NOT say something. I did and the guy said: “here our supervisor is right here.” I said something to the effect of: “how can you do this every day and night and still have such a backed up process? Folks are missing their flights because they had to wait so long, and you should never force passengers to be separated from their luggage.” His response was “you could stay with your luggage.” I said: “How? They are pushing us through and you would then never make it through security.” As I rolled my eyes and walked away.
It baffles me. Airport security is not rocket science. It is a fairly repetitive process that should be able to work like clockwork. There were a lot of better choices they could have made. All those TSA folks standing around? Open another line. Have TSA actually provide good customer service for those traveling. We do not have any other choice. Save us all some pain, and ensure that folks make their flight. Seems simple to me.
Read Schneier on Security by Bruce Schneier & Ken Maxon.
it is such a scathing report on how we’ve built a security system that is mostly based on show. according to Schneier, these XRay machines were never certified to work as intended but rushed to be installed as show more than anything ( http://www.wired.com/2014/08/study-shows-how-easily-weapons-can-be-smuggled-past-tsas-x-ray-body-scanners/ supports this hypothesis). In fact, the best airport security is a two person team with one being a trained behaviorist and the other being an explosive sniffing dog handler.
but the downside of something happening on a bureaucrat’s watch means “resigning from office” or “no votes for you” so bureaucrats opt for the unproven yet highly visible and very costly solution so they can say “look at, see and marvel at what we did to protect you – not our fault if someone gets through” if a disaster occurs.
what concerns me the most is how easily people are beguiled by this and believe that they are safer yet they are not. one of the greatest risks we take on a daily basis is getting in our cars and driving to work, not getting caught in a terrorist attack. Here’s a list of what will kill you from http://www.medhelp.org/ and check out their opening “You should be more concerned about the fact that your car is a high-speed death pod, statistically speaking, or that bad lifestyle habits, in the long run, can put you at risk for a fatal disease. The truth is, you’re 23 times more likely to die falling off a building than in a skydiving accident, and 40 thousand times more likely to die crossing the street than in a terrorist attack on a commercial airliner.”
imagine if we reallocated the $7B spent on the TSA annually towards heart disease, cancer and stroke research (http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/05/opinions/schneier-tsa-security/) especially since the TSA missed catching 95% of banned items including weapons and bombs smuggled through security ( http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/01/politics/tsa-failed-undercover-airport-screening-tests/index.html).
#1: Heart disease Odds of dying: 1 in 6
#2: Cancer Odds of dying: 1 in 7
#3: Stroke Odds of dying: 1 in 28
#4: All types of land vehicle accidents Odds of dying: 1 in 85
#5: Intentional self harm Odds of dying: 1 in 115
#6: Accidental poisoning and drug overdose Odds of dying: 1 in 139
#7: Falls Odds of dying: 1 in 184
#8: Car accident Odds of dying: 1 in 272
#9: Exposure to narcotics and hallucinogens Odds of dying: 1 in 289
#10: Assault by firearm Odds of dying: 1 in 300
#11: Pedestrian accident Odds of dying: 1 in 623
#12: Motorcycle accident Odds of dying: 1 in 802
#13: Accidental drowning and submersion Odds of dying: 1 in 1,073
#14: Exposure to smoke, fire and flames Odds of dying: 1 in 1,235
#15: Complications of medical and surgical care Odds of dying: 1 in 1,523
#16: ATV or off-road vehicle accident Odds of dying: 1 in 3,579
#17: Bicycle accident Odds of dying: 1 in 4,147
#18: Fall involving bed, chair or other furniture Odds of dying: 1 in 4,238
#19: Choking on food Odds of dying: 1 in 4,404
#20: Contact with machinery Odds of dying: 1 in 5,189
#21: Air and space transport accidents Odds of dying: 1 in 5,862
#22: Firearms discharge Odds of dying: 1 in 5,981
#23: Fall from a building Odds of dying: 1 in 6,115
#24: Exposure to excessive natural heat Odds of dying: 1 in 6,174
#25: Exposure to excessive natural cold Odds of dying: 1 in 7,399