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#1 OFFLINE   PigPen

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 06:16 PM

Larry i would like to hear your opinions on the latest airline terrorism event. Lets keep politics out of this. I know you have worked as a Marshall before & I am guessing you may get asked again. What do you think can be done to make air travel safer in terms of security? If I feel uncomfortable about a fellow passenger in a departure lounge, should I approach the authorities? What sort of behaviours do you think passengers should be on the lookout for?

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#2 OFFLINE   ralphl

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 06:44 PM

Larry i would like to hear your opinions on the latest airline terrorism event. Lets keep politics out of this. I know you have worked as a Marshall before & I am guessing you may get asked again. What do you think can be done to make air travel safer in terms of security? If I feel uncomfortable about a fellow passenger in a departure lounge, should I approach the authorities? What sort of behaviours do you think passengers should be on the lookout for?

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#3 OFFLINE   PigPen

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 06:56 PM

I know that is a touchy subject, but to be quite honest in a departure lounge, I do take a lot closer look these days.

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#4 OFFLINE   FedAgent

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 07:51 PM

Why Paul, I don't know where you got that idea, I spent my entire working life as a city dog catcher. At one time after 9/11, there was talk about no carry on items or bags being allowed on the aircraft, no bags, no computer, no i-pone, nothing in the cabin . A good model of very good security is provided by what is done by the Israeli government and their airlines. Passenger are screened and screened very well, every passenger is almost strip searched and then, prior to the flight, each passenger is matched with his luggage on the tarmac. 0nly then is passenger allowed on the aircraft and the bag checked in. At one time, you had to arrive four to five hours prior to a departure there. The food and beverage service is also heavily screened and monitored. Nobody, from passenger to pilot, to mechanic is exempt from review. Here in this part of the world (USA,Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, etc.) it is no big secret that passengers are more heavily screened than cargo in the belly of the aircraft and that has to change as well.

I am not going to tell you what to look for in your fellow passenger, but if you see something that makes you nervous or concerned, by all means go to the courter and ask for a security specialist. Far better to report it and have it turn out to be nothing than to have an incident at 35,000 feet and say to yourself or your wife "I thought that guy acting funny".

One last thing, the airline should be given the right from the government, all of them, to be allowed to ban passenger from boarding for whatever reason they deem necessary without fear of lawsuits. The airlines spend lots of money on security and intelligence, but most is wasted because the security guy get overruled by an airline executive who is scared of his own shadow.

The problem is that to greatly inconvenience the public can not be tolerated. In a few weeks when this current scare passes and folks start to complain, it will slowly back down, and we will be doing knee jerk reaction to the next incident. So, the real answer to your question is that in reality, nothing worthwhile can be done. At least until such time as the great unwashed demand it.
Larry,<br />Corpus Christi, Tejas<br />2007 Lazy Daze Class C and a 2005 Jeep Wrangler toad<br />04 Dodge 3500, Cummins<br /><br /><strong class='bbc'>Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: 1. Jesus Christ. 2. The American G.I. One died for your soul, the other for your Freedom. </strong><br /><br /><br /><span style='font-family: Arial'><span style='color: #FF0000'>"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit</span></span><br /><span style='color: #FF0000'>violence on those who would do us harm." - </span><span style='color: #000000'>George Orwell</span>

#5 OFFLINE   PigPen

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 10:17 PM

I read somewhere that El Al has profilers working for them and they are quite good at spotting potential terrorists by asking questions of passengers before boarding. I also wonder if the time has come to ban all carry on luggage. One good thing is that passengers no longer seem willing to remain passive in situations like this after flight 93. They take matters into their own hands now.

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#6 OFFLINE   RedneckExpress

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 11:44 PM

When in doubt, if you're worried about traveling, take the train. The coach seats on a train are like the first class seats on a plane. It will take a little longer to get to where you're going, but in some regards it'll be less stressful.

If there was ever a federal project I'd be behind it would be an inniative to allow the railroads to expand their rail capacity as easily and quickly as possible to add more of the currently limited highspeed commuter rail so that train travel becomes more appealing again. With most of the high speed systems being pantagraph electric types, not only will be improve our infrastructure, we can also reduce emissions. An electric train can carry far more passengers, more comfortably on less energy than it takes to get a jumbo jet into the air.

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#7 OFFLINE   larryjj

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 08:47 AM

I have never found much use for carry on luggage other then to add to what you are allowed to carry in the cargo compartment.

#8 OFFLINE   PigPen

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 10:18 AM

You are correct redneck, trains make far more sense for domestic travel if a high speed infrastructure is there. BTW, Transport Canada just banned all carry on luggage on US bound flights. Not sure if its permanent.

The problem is that some explosives can only be detected using full body scanners which are expensive & raise privacy issues. IMO the time has come to say if you want privacy, don't fly. A $50 surcharge on every airline ticket for a year, would probably finance body scanners for every airport out there. I would pay it willingly.

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#9 OFFLINE   ralphl

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 02:49 PM

When in doubt, if you're worried about traveling, take the train. The coach seats on a train are like the first class seats on a plane. It will take a little longer to get to where you're going, but in some regards it'll be less stressful.

If there was ever a federal project I'd be behind it would be an inniative to allow the railroads to expand their rail capacity as easily and quickly as possible to add more of the currently limited highspeed commuter rail so that train travel becomes more appealing again. With most of the high speed systems being pantagraph electric types, not only will be improve our infrastructure, we can also reduce emissions. An electric train can carry far more passengers, more comfortably on less energy than it takes to get a jumbo jet into the air.


Are you suggesting terrorists wouldn't attack a train? Or are you just looking for the convenience of not going through airport security?
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#10 OFFLINE   FedAgent

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 03:33 PM

Ralph is absolutely correct. No matter your mode of travel, terrorist/sabotage is a possibility. Road, bridges, tunnel,dams, train tracks are very vulnerable. The secret to all of this is that if it changes the way we as a civilization travel, work, live, then they have won and we have lost. They can drive us to the poor house fixing this or that with just a little e-mail or attempted strike.
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#11 OFFLINE   PigPen

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 05:59 PM

I have to hand it to homeland security. There really has not been a significant attack in North America in the last 8 years. I have a suspicion they have thwarted far more attempts than we hear about. The problem is it is only a matter of time until they succeed again. I think people tend to get rather lazy about keeping their eyes open. In some ways failed attempts like this plane attack are a good thing. It makes people realize they are only safe until they let their guard down.

Apparently Congress voted down compulsory body scanners a couple of weeks ago due to privacy concerns. Bad timing, I wonder if the vote would have gone the other way, if it had been held this week. I suspect if they polled the public, they would find the majority are willing to live with them. Mind you the biggest threat is on international inbound flights not those originating in the US. I would not be surprised to see the British put them in very quickly.

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#12 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 07:34 PM

On our flight from Maui to Dallas, a guy came up wearing a pilots uniform, and he was "Mid-Eastern" looking. Would have been awful embarrasing to tell security. Several times an announcement was made when we were in the air, and I just knew it was him from the accent. So, I don't think the untrained eye should be reporting everyone they dont like the looks of.
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#13 OFFLINE   RedneckExpress

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 07:45 PM

Are you suggesting terrorists wouldn't attack a train? Or are you just looking for the convenience of not going through airport security?


Considering the fact that there very few hoops one has to hop through to ride Amtrak, vs a plane, I would be willing to wager its considered a lower target priority. I do ride the train, coming from a family that has been a part of the railroad for a long time, I frankly consider them safer.

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#14 OFFLINE   FedAgent

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 08:00 PM

On our flight from Maui to Dallas, a guy came up wearing a pilots uniform, and he was "Mid-Eastern" looking. Would have been awful embarrasing to tell security. Several times an announcement was made when we were in the air, and I just knew it was him from the accent. So, I don't think the untrained eye should be reporting everyone they dont like the looks of.



Stan, with all due respect, most of us would rather be embarrassed than "dead wrong". The eyes and ears of the public are important.
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#15 OFFLINE   blulund

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 09:33 PM

Never have cared much for flying, being cramped up in an oversized aluminum beer can with 200 other folks just isn't my idea of fun. Never been much of a world traveller either, guess if I can't get there in my pickup truck and fifth wheel I don't much want to go there anyways. I'd alot rather be driving down the highway with some good oldies or country station on the radio with my dog sticking his head out the window than rushing off on some plane somewhere worrying if someone wanted to blow it up for the simple reason that it was American. The terrorists aren't going to change the way I live my life, unless they do something that raises the fuel prices so high that I can no longer afford to buy it. I sure feel for people that have to fly for their jobs and such, this will surely inconvenience quite a few folks for the foreseeable future. Just a few thoughts.

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#16 OFFLINE   Snowy Bird

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 06:02 AM

Bob, I'm with you on that one, I would rather drive anywhere than fly.

When I worked for a large air cargo company that specialized in trans border shipments, it was very interesting to obverse the customs officers and their methods.

Was there racial profiling, you bet! You knew if someone's name wasn't Smith, Jones etc. their stuff was going into secondary.

Once I was standing beside a Customs officer and we opened a package, looked inside and I could see the top of a grenade sticking out. Talk about running scared and fast, we got everyone out of the building, the bomb squad came in and checked it out. It turned out to be an old grenade (diffused), that a collector here in Canada wanted as a little ornament to show off. Wow, that little toy cost him big time.... :o


#17 OFFLINE   jimd40

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 01:30 PM

Stan, with all due respect, most of us would rather be embarrassed than "dead wrong". The eyes and ears of the public are important.


Well said Larry...jim

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#18 OFFLINE   Stan

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 05:37 PM

I totally agree with blulund.
I have been a tent camper since my Boy Scout days long, long, ago. Now I need to get up off of the cold ground to get a good nights rest, a truck camper seems to be the best choice. I am here to learn as much as I can.

#19 OFFLINE   fordstar450

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 07:04 PM

If you remember, all the flights on 9/11 were flights originating in the United States and, the best technology is only as good as the individuals manning it.
The former head of EL Al security was on Fox News tonight saying they did not put a lot of faith in technology but rather in profiling.
Several experts agreed the reason 300 people are alive today is because of an inept terrorist and the heroic actions of several passengers and crew.
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#20 OFFLINE   PigPen

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 08:13 PM

As politically incorrect as profiling is, I think in the case of airlines it may not be a bad idea. From what I understand with El Al, it is not so much racial profiling, as observing body language in response to certain questions. I don't think anyone could object to that. Apparently Amsterdam is installing body scanners for use with all US bound flights.

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