Bomb Threats, TSA Security Failures Mark Start of Summer Travel – NBC News
With the recent bomb threats and TSA failures to catch… anything, I was asked if I though it would hurt air travel demand. (Short answer: nope.)
Looking back on Southwest fare sale, website meltdown – Arizona Republic
If you tried to book a flight on Southwest this week, you know the airline had a major website problem that rendered it useless for a couple days.
A columnist in Newsweek argued that part of TSA’s problem is the overly broad mandate, and the fact that they are concerned with things that have no real proof of working (such as liquids) instead of focusing on real problems (finding guns and knives). I would agree with that. Mass shootings have been the biggest problem in the current environment, and as evidenced by mall attacks in other countries, it is not necessarily sophistication that is the current plan of attack. Most of the time it is crude, fast, as damaging as possible attacks on targets that are hard to secure and with a team of attackers who really don’t care about their lives.
Glad to know that the tests show what many Americans already know through their own experiences: the TSA doesn’t catch much, including sharp blades. I go through regular security, and I don’t even bother to pull out my liquids any more. Given that (in my experience at least) the TSA either doesn’t catch them and/or doesn’t care at least 80% of the time, it’s not worth the bother, and by the time they finish groping me for the opt-out pat down they will have had plenty of time to run my bag through the X-ray a few more times.
I would also agree with you that perhaps the TSA is too focused on catching water and other harmless things instead of potentially more dangerous items, but really I don’t think that matters….
I tend to agree with Bruce Schneier that two (and ONLY two) things have made air travel safer since 9/11: Armored cockpit doors, and passengers’ willingness to kill or defeat hijackers no matter what the cost. Everything beyond that, including the TSA and air marshals, is mere window dressing that hasn’t made aviation safer, but which has significantly added to the costs and hassle.
Even if the TSA can catch a knife (which it can’t), what is to stop someone from bringing a fragile glass vase into the plane on a carry-on, only to drop/break it and use a shard as a knife? Or to bring a honing stone and hone a metal support piece from a suitcase into a knife or shiv? And let’s not even talk about the potential to threaten/bribe/kidnap the child of the $10/hour rampdog who is actually loading the bags on the plane, and who does not have to pass through security to get to the tarmac….
One of my concerns is, and always has been, the number of passengers who are “granted” TSA Pre-Check when they aren’t Pre-check members. Meaning, they haven’t gone through the TSA pre-check process (i.e. interview, fingerprint, background check etc). They are “randomly” chosen based on some criteria that, knowing the TSA’s incompetence, puts all of us air travelers at risk. Many I know are “randomly” chosen all the time.
I had no idea that the TSA was granting non Pre-check members access to the Pre-check entry. I have gone through the Pre-check application process and feel good that I can save time as it has been determined that I am not a risk. But to think that others may get this privilege without the necessary clearance is upsetting. What is the point if they allow this.