Airline Pilots and Security

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Skid, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That would be fun to watch!
     
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  2. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I had my own interesting time at the PreCheck line last week. I always use a TWIC card as my ID. It's got my picture, a biometric chip, and the stupid thing is ISSUED BY THE TSA ITSELF (it essentially is the same as a SIDA badge but gets you into seaports rather than airports).

    The moron TDC at DCA wouldn't accept it. I wrote to the TSA's webform and asked "what gives?" They say they don't know, but the TDC always has the option of asking for a second ID. However, they referred it to the DCA TSA chief. I figured that would be the last I heard about it. Well, the DCA supe called up (my wife took the call) and apologized and said that indeed TWIC was a valid ID and that the agent in question has been "retrained" on the matter.
     
  3. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Get rid of it. Seriously. It’s not accomplishing anything. Well other than dropping “potential bombs” into the trash can 50’ from the most crowded area of the airport. LOL.

    Airlines should provide their own security. Whatever level they feel their passengers will tolerate. If an airline wants to cater to the crowd that wants a full anal probe, then that’s their speciality. Another can say they will only do the bare minimum of whatever dumbass list some government bureaucracy comes up with that sets some lame ass standard that won’t work anyway. Yet another can put an armed staff member on board in the back or just have all pilots in FFDO. LOL.

    Let the security market figure it out. And toss the price on the ticket, not the entire country.

    But that won’t happen. I know. One act of terrorism gave government and politicians a hard on to spend useless hundreds of billions.

    And as far as our shop goes, they love their IT department. Not sure what kinda asses you have in yours if you don’t like them. Probably the giant company kind who couldn’t possibly even know the names of anybody calling them, and are hired to do one tiny job without any idea how it affects the company or bottom line, if it’s a typical big company IT department. Gotta save on brains and salaries in that big a place, so you hire the cheap ones for the front line.

    You know, the kids @murphey was talking about in another thread who take five years of school to barely pick up the basics. While the industry changes every six months. LOL.

    Honestly I know two airline IT folk who know their stuff. They have ZERO interaction with the internal customer base. They’re too busy jacking around with all of the servers for ticketing and all the changes their development staff makes constantly in an effort to squeeze every penny out of the tickets. One works on the severs the other works on security for them.

    The never ending changes are a fairly normal but standard nightmare for anybody trying to provide a stable computer system. We all deal with it. Every vendor and every developer releasing new software weekly in the brave new world of rental software.

    Execs love the stuff. OpEx vs CapEx. Indirectly you can thank GAAP for the hideous experience you receive as an end user. Not even the CIO is going to win that money argument.

    But yeah. There’s plenty of liked IT departments. You just won’t find them in any company larger than they can remember your name. You’re just caller number 28 today.

    If you get real lucky, some exec on the golf course will hear how much his buddy saved his company outsourcing your helpdesk to India.

    You’ll enjoy calling them. They’ll “do the needful” to your laptop. LOL.
     
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  4. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    P.S. @kayoh190 Let’s not pretend IT demands to touch your giblets and grandma’s giblets and hired people who were telling each other which hot people were coming so they’d be pulled aside for special treatment by two perverts either.

    LOL. Only took the DEN supervisors what, a year to figure that one out?

    But since we’re talking about it...

    There are IT departments who’s companies need to make sure nobody brings a USB stick or a phone in or out. They hire professional ARMED guards at their own company expense who can be FIRED by the COMPANY and are controlled by the company’s management and do NOT charge the taxpayer for it. Just the customers of said highly secure IT environments.

    I’ve met the guy from Boeing who hires the staff with pistols to protect the IT stuff. Amongst other things. Interesting guy.

    Like I said, I’m all for the airlines hiring their own security for their own business risks at whatever level they’d like to do so.
     
  5. Old Crow

    Old Crow Filing Flight Plan

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    One pilot did that in PIT about 6 months after 9-11 TSA confiscated the axe then went through all planes at the gate getting all of them. It took about 6 hours to straighten that mess out.
     
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  6. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Administrator Management Council Member

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    LOL. I love it. But I wonder if that is an urban legend.
     
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  7. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    Exactly! The solution is to eliminate this $8.1 Bln per year theater and let the market figure out the proper trade offs.
     
  8. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    Some old history that it is interesting to consider when thinking about the TSA and airline security.

    1963 carriage of firearms on commercial flights by passengers banned

    1969 Peak of the hijackings in the 60s and early 70s.

    Jan 1973 Metal detector screening mandatory for all flights.
     
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  9. ARFlyer

    ARFlyer En-Route

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    There was a guy at my last place that ran afoul of KCM which placed him under permanent removal from the program. I heard he always had to take the early hotel shuttle and/or taxi himself due to security delays.

    KCM is run like the flavor month at some locations. I HATED DCA due to the fact their KCM hours are notoriously asinine. I started not even bothering to check and just went straight to the TSA line. I got tired of getting yelled at , like I was an idiot, for walking up to the sign to check.
     
  10. ARFlyer

    ARFlyer En-Route

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    Supposedly another story also said that they did the same thing over pens during the days right after 9/11. I’ve heard it from several different friends that it was brought up during the meetings to reopen the airspace. It most likely is an urban legend but I bet it has some kernel of truth. Just read the NOTAMs from those days and you can see some really bizarre thinking.
     
  11. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Exactly how would thar happen?? Different security gates as folks board? Can yo imagine the mess?

    Plus what about the folks on the ground? Are they not entitled to safe skies above?? They would have no option.

    May have quoted the wrong post, but the principle stays intact.
     
  12. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Sure, we had separate safety gates for decades. Most airlines are separated by terminals. You think that is some insurmountable task? LOL. Are you not old enough to remember this?

    Never seen a company that couldn’t handle a little drywall and paint construction? It’s not like you’re building man traps with biometrics — which my industry manages to accomplish on its own dime all the time. Not to mention the aforementioned armed guards.

    You think the skies are safe now because of TSA. That’s cute. Or that the people on the ground are safe. That’s even funnier. You do know a ramper stole an entire aircraft, right? LOL.

    There’s holes in your “security” the size of a cruise liner, two decades later. Probably bigger.
     
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  13. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Nonsense. Cruise liners need really deep water to go anywhere. Someone would notice if you dug a large enough canal across the airport fence. The holes are no larger than the Sysco trucks which go in and out every day.
     
  14. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    LOL. Yeah. I stand corrected.

    Although there is a cruise liner canal close enough to at least one Florida airport to make departures in light aircraft ill advised when they’re passing.

    Watched a dude depart anyway. He cleared the ship I was on by a hundred or so feet and got his thrill and jollies doing it, but would have been hard pressed if he had a loss of power on takeoff not to hit us.

    Kinda a dumb way to die for a 60 second wait.
     
  15. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    P.S. The cargo carriers have had twenty years or so now. I’m sure they’ve all reached their goal of 100% coverage on cargo scanning / xrays and such now, right? LOL

    I mean why pick on the poor catering folks not making a profit when we could pick on actual aviation businesses that still aren’t secure? Hahahaha.

    “The public needs to feel safe that an airplane won’t fall on their heads...” uh huhhhh. We’ll let the cargo guys know of your concerns and they’ll file them right in File 13.

    Lots of pretty purple trucks and crap brown trucks with automatic transponders to open the highly secured gates. Ain’t nobody checking badges.

    Hell every hotel has a shuttle van big enough to blow half of most terminal buildings off, if loaded McVey style, and an automatic transponder to come on in.

    But let’s search the front door customers for 3 Oz of liquids, shall we? While the back door is blowing in the breeze. LOL LOL LOL.

    But no biggie. It only took one drone to close a major British airport for multiple days.

    And could anyone possibly copy a little green card from the FAA that still doesn’t have a photo ID on it and say they are there to fly the corporate jet from Signature? LOL. Might be fun to see what a G-5 turned loose on a ramp could do, damage wise. Little bumper car action. LOL

    Airport “security” is a joke. Parking lots collecting parking fees have better automated spike strips. Hahaha.
     
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  16. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I never blame the individual IT guy for any problems - I know the issues come from decisions made higher up the chain by middle management weenies that only have a reactionary understanding of the issues you guys face. But that was the reason for throwing stones your way - airline pilots are in a similar situation. Most of us do the very best we can for the passengers within the areas where we have control over the process. But when our airline is hell bent on turning the day into a complete chitshow, we get buried along with everybody else. :)
     
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  17. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    We debated this at length a year or so ago with many ideas brought up and discussed. I believe the conclusion was there may be some possible improvements which could be worth a try.

    Was this truly forgotten? Or a fixed immutable belief?
     
  18. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Your post implies the TSA makes the skies safer. I think that is a total myth and falsehood. The TSA is just drama in action to make people feel better and provided a government workfare program. Security is no better now than ore 9-11. In fact I think it is less effective.
     
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  19. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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  20. denverpilot

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    Understood. The thing is, I’ve never seen a pilot fight management about what the customer experience is.

    I’ve seen lots of IT people fight management for the same reason.

    And we don’t even have a union. LOL. We run a hell of a lot more risk telling management they’re idiots and they’re screwing up their own company, than a unionized pilot group does.

    Juuuuuust sayin’. I think there were four of us who walked into the big bosse’s office without an appointment to tell him a particular decision was going to screw all of us, a few months ago, within an hour of the announcement.

    Ever see a pilot union put out a press release that TSA is horrid and the pilots would like the airline to take on the massive cost and effort to do their own security or lobby against the TSA budget?

    I mean I know, once government is involved, it’s tilting at windmills, but most unionized employee groups still tilt at them once in a while. If nothing else to make it LOOK like they care about the customer experience.

    Teamsters SAYS they want to unload your freight in a timely fashion off the truck, even if we all have stood there waiting for three days for one of them to take a crowbar to the crate we could’ve opened already. LOL.

    (I damn near got tackled by a 350 lb banking IT exec when he saw me touching the crate of gear I shipped to myself. I went on the aluminum people tube, my crate of gear went on the purple cargo tube. We arrived the same day. A Monday. I couldn’t actually work on the stuff in the crate until Thursday morning. Because I forgot the bank was a Teamsters shop. I could’ve stayed home for three more days. LOL.)
     
  21. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I’ll bite. I do believe the TSA makes the skies safer and I’m certain that without it, we’d see more air piracy events and onboard incidents. With the way society is today, we couldn’t afford to go without extensive passenger security.
     
  22. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    Ok, so why are you certain? What data do you think shows that the TSA makes us safer?

    Important to note this subject has been studied in detail. See for example the book “Terror, Security, and Money”. It’s primary conclusion is that if we truly care about people’s safety, there are 100X more effective ways to spend our dollars.
     
  23. Busflyer

    Busflyer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There’s a lot more behind the scenes security screening on the cargo side than you think.
     
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  24. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    Is that referring to airline cargo? I know the same has often been said to try and justify TSA screening of passengers. As far as we know, the TSA has never been able to document a single instance of a successful interception of a terrorist attack which was not also prevented by other mechanisms. Not even to congress in closed sessions with security clearances.
     
  25. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Take passenger security screening away and revert back to pre-911 airport environments and lets see what happens.
     
  26. Busflyer

    Busflyer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yes, airline cargo. Also, it’s hard to prove something didn’t happen. Easy to see the results when something bad does happen.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  27. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    Interesting question to evaluate. I have actually computed whether the rate of incidents of commercial flights leaving US airports and then being deliberated destroyed by non-crew members as an attack was higher or lower before or after the inception of the TSA in November 2001.

    It turns out there is NO statistically significant difference. These are very rare events so it would be quite a few years before one could conclude with any statistical validity that the TSA reduced the rate of such attacks.

    So while this is a sort of common justification one hears from TSA employees for why the TSA is needed (I suspect they must have that in some of their training materials), it is an invalid argument. A form of the post-hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy.

    And even if the TSA procedures reduce the rate of such attacks, it turns out the unintended consequences of such procedures (which likely increase traffic deaths ~500 per year) and their cost, imply the TSA is not an effective way to spend our tax dollars if what we really want to do is improve the safety of the traveling public. See the previously referenced book, "Terror, Security, and Money" which computes this is detail -- some might say excruciating detail.
     
  28. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I applaud your willingness to study the accident / incident statistics, however, with the way society is these days, I simply can’t imagine airports without having some type of passenger security screening. While it may appear that the current system is meaningless to some, it serves as a deterrent. The same principle as having police sitting outside of a convenience store - it deters crime.
     
  29. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    How many airplanes were hi-jacked on September 11th? How many made it to their intended targets? Why/why not? The very *day of* the worst day for commercial aviation in the world, and it was thwarted by a cabin full of passengers who did not allow the terrorists to win. The passengers went down battling, and they overcame the efforts of the jackoffs and ended up in a field in Pennsylvania. Let's not forget that for one single moment. Don't you DARE suggest that all people are complacent and depend on everyone else to make their lives secure, when those passengers gave their LIVES to prevent the loss of others' lives on the ground. We have LEOs all over this country, yet there are still mass casualty shootings on a far too regular basis. If an asshat wants to create havoc and bedlam, they will find a way around every single blockade until you demand so many blockades that you're unable to leave your own pod or have an original thought in your head. Give me liberty, or give me death!
     
  30. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thanks. I agree in the sense that no doubt having the TSA deters some types of incidents. This is also noted by the authors in "Terror, Security, and Money" as the observation that even putting one unarmed security guard in a mall in Minot ND improves safety marginally.

    The big question though -- are the costs worth it? That is what has to be decided to determine if it is good public policy. I think the authors make a good case that if what we want to do is improve the safety of the traveling public that the funds spent on the TSA could be spent perhaps 100X more effectively per life potentially saved. If that is true, 100X, then I think it really is actually wrong to spend taxpayer dollars in that way, leaving aside all other objections.

    I don't believe they even consider the potential costs in other lives lost on the highways. There is a fairly good case to be made that the TSA screening process decreases the use of short haul flights with people driving instead. Since driving is a lot more dangerous than flying commercially, Blalock et al (2009, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00036840601069757?journalCode=raec20) estimate that TSA screening is responsible for an excess of 327 driving deaths per year. If that is true, not only does the TSA ineffectively spend $8.1 Bln per year but the indirect consequences kill people.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  31. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    In vaguely general terms, "deterrents" only keep the non-criminals at bay, meaning that a really stout deadbolt and solid front door won't keep a bad guy from breaking your window to get inside your house. An alarm won't keep your car from getting stolen. A good front door and a nice lockset will keep the people who aren't going to break in from breaking in, and a car alarm will prevent people who are never going to try to steal you car from stealing it. Laws, locks and legislation only keep the honest people honest; otherwise, those things really only serve to define the crimes/criminals. Those things don't 'prevent' anything from happening that a dedicated criminal intent on committing a crime won't do.
     
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  32. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Line Up and Wait

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    Airline security should be put back to the airlines. Let the airlines maintain it. The airlines could even use it in advertising. And they could make it a much more pleasant experience.

    With that being said, of course, we would have a few airlines that would make it worse. But that’s customer service.

    And yes, there would be airlines that don’t want the liability.

    But our current TSA is nothing but a bloated agency costing millions and not really providing anything of value.
     
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  33. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    That is how it used to be back before 1963, when the government made it illegal to carry firearms on the plane and in 1973 mandated metal detectors. For reference, the peak of hijackings in 60s and 70 was in 1969, 3 years before that mandate.

    The case for privatizing airline security is laid out in more detail at http://realairlinesecurity.org.
     
  34. donjohnston

    donjohnston Line Up and Wait

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    I got nabbed by TSA for a mini multi-tool in my backpack. I had lost it two years ago. I can't count how many times I've flown in the last two years. But this time they found it. I told the TSA guy that I thought small blades were okay now. He said that the FAA, TSA were going to change the rule to allow them but the pilots union fought it so that's why you can't bring a small pocket knife onboard now. I have no idea if this is true because it came from a TSA person and I've been misinformed by those people many times.
     
  35. PeterNSteinmetz

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    I believe it was the flight attendants union that opposed it. Never really understood their reasoning. https://www.afacwa.org/noknives

    Good story anecdotally demonstrating the TSAs ineffectiveness. Indeed, they only detect 4% of tests smuggling contraband onto planes.
     
  36. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It only takes one incident to occur for society to understand how crucial passenger screening is.

    Have a peek at the online published list by the TSA of all of the various items they’ve seized from passengers attempting to board a commercial aircraft with. It’s amazing.

    Y’all are welcome to have your opinions, but I feel immensely safer knowing that every Tom, Dick and Harry has been screened before boarding my aircraft.
     
  37. PeterNSteinmetz

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    I have no objection to other people deciding what kind of airlines and screening they want to undergo to board a flight. Entirely up to them so long as I am not forced to go along with their feelings. The TSA forces me to go along with their determination of what is the appropriate tradeoff between security and convenience, rather than what I and the airline think.

    But if we are talking about public policy and spending tax dollars, then I think we have an obligation to ensure that the government is doing what is most rational in terms of trying to ensure safety and spending public dollars. I think the evidence is pretty good the TSA falls down on those points.

    If airline security and the risks are returned to the airlines, I would be perfectly content. I imagine they will do a fairly good job of figuring out the appropriate tradeoff between security and convenience for the majority of their customers. I don't imagine that will include preventing people from carrying on their hair gel bottles or some coffee and having to take off their belts. I suspect it would evolve to a sort of combination of TSA-pre and frequent flyers.
     
  38. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    I remember the conversation, but not the specifics.
     
  39. ktup-flyer

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    Probably about the same as the amount of stuff that gets through, if not less. I know a ton of people that have accidentally gone though security with knives without TSA saying a word.
     
  40. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Kritchlow
    I do believe the TSA makes the skies safer. Not because of how many prohibited items the find or don’t find, but rather I believe it to act as a deterrent.
    Do you really believe that if we did not have a TSA we would go this many years without a major issue?
     
    Ryanb likes this.