Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Some Thoughts on Airport 'Security'

As a frequent traveler I am not a fan of airport security but it is something I have gotten used to, just like everyone else, over the last decade. The x-ray machines, bag searches, taking the shoes off, the occasional German Shepherd sniffing around--they all add up to an increased sense of security. On Christmas Day, as we all know, a man tried to ignite a bomb while on board a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, proving that all of the billions of dollars invested in technology and security personnel over these last years is just not enough.

We should not be surprised that someone was able to get through airport security with a bomb. Humans are bound to make mistakes. Here are a couple of examples from my own family. My father-in-law was visiting from Argentina this fall. My wife and I took him to the airport so that he could get on his plane back to Argentina. Out of ignorance he walked right by the first security checkpoint without being noticed. The security guard was occupied with another person. Of course we called him back so he could go through the checkpoint but the incident proved how easily mistakes can be made. On a recent trip my niece's bottle of water was taken from her while going through security but they missed the two pairs of scissors in her purse. You get the idea. These types of things must happen every day.

As our government and the airline industry increase security procedures in the coming months and years--including adding x-ray machines that show our private parts in detail--let's hope they use a little common sense. Yes, we all need to be secure, but the travel industry is suffering enough as it is; people certainly don't need yet another reason not to travel. What do you think?

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