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Suspicious bags on 2 Southwest planes

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Just saw this developing story on cnn. I will say that I feel airport security is very lax these days. After having traveled a couple of weeks ago, it felt more like just a formality than a true security procedure. Last Christmas, I emailed the Office of Homeland Security after a Continental employee announced that no ID checks would be performed at gate side at, of all places, Newark Liberty. I never even got a reply.

I would so not be surprised if something terrible happens again. These people are probably flying and looking for loopholes on a regular basis.
post #2 of 13
OMG you have got to be joke - how did they miss these in the first place???

It is no wonder that more people are afraid to fly.
post #3 of 13
wow..that's scary! It makes me wonder if they weren't planted there just to get a rise outta someone.

Regardless, it's scary & obviously someone isn't doing there job!
post #4 of 13
I just saw on CNN this week that undercover agents were able to get weapons aboard planes I believe they said 6 times - from the same airport that 2 of the 9/11 planes took off from! I am glad they are spotchecking, and apparently did these security checks at 15 airports, but they didn't report on any of the other airports.

But I have to wonder....is it really such a good idea to publicly broadcast that the security is lax at certain airports? Isn't that just giving the terrorists a little too much information for them to use in the future? I understand reporting when security has been breached and it caused a problem with the airport/airline, but when they do these checks I think they should advise the airport and quite frankly the public doesn't need to know!
post #5 of 13
I think they were planted to get a rise out of the airport officials and the US Government, to show how lax security has become.

I also agree, that it probably is a BAD idea to give out all of that information in the news.
post #6 of 13
Personally, I'm convinced Al Qaeda got their 9/11 game plan from a Tom Clancy novel, where a berserk guy flies an empty (but fully fueled) 747 into the Capitol building during the State of the Union address..

I think the news has become increasingly irresponsible in their reporting about things like this. They claim they do it to help the public protect itself, but it is all about rating. I especially love reports abt how unsafe nuclear power plants are, or how easy it is to get to water reservoirs. Before cable news outlets, when it was just the big three, I cannot imagine Walter Chronkite reporting anything that might jepardize the country's security. During FDR's presidencies, great pains were taken to not show him in a wheelchair,in part because they didn't want the bad guys to think he was a 'weakling'. There were no doubt many reporters who knew that, but they didn't report it.
post #7 of 13
I often wonder too if the public needs to know all the security details and laxes at airports! One of the things though that REALLY gets to me is how people moan and whinge about having to get to the airports 2 hours early and wait in line for baggage check and hang around etc etc. Dont they know its for their own safety? Personally i'd stay overnight in the airport if it meant i was safer to fly!
Holiday times are the worse...but if something did kick off all these whiny people would be the first to complain. The thing I still find a bit odd and scary is police with guns at the UK airports - we are just not used to guns on show over here and seeing a guy in a padded jacket and what looks to me like machine gun gives me the spooks! I know they have been doing this for years now but .........Anyway I'd rather have them than not I guess.
post #8 of 13
I have an uncle who works at an airport control tower and a good friend who works as security at another airport. They both get irritated and annoyed at 'investigative journalism' that shouts that they uncover everything from the headlines. Not all details about security are told to the public, and when you think about it, the shockingly unknown details of how security in an airport operates are public knowledge anyway.

BUT...after saying that, reports showing reporters and investigators slipping behind into the back entrances and passageways that only airport staff know about are frightening. These are the reports that I take note of and it gets me thinking not of terrorists or pranksters but of a disgruntled airport employee.

I grew up flying and I remember my parents having to produce identification when picking up tickets from the travel agent or at the airport. I even had to produce identification at the age of 17 to pick up my ticket from the airport. And this was before 9/11.

I have to agree with claims that flying is now less safe than ever. I am not comfortable with undercover air marshalls security personnel armed with guns being placed permanently on particular routes and randomly on others. There are many assurances that they are well trained and that it is impossible that the bullets used can pierce through the plane's structure. From studying science for my university degree and from everyday events and historical events, I have learnt that nothing is impossible.
post #9 of 13
I agree that the public does not need to be told about how lax security is. I am not for censorship, but there are just some things that do not need to be made public. Remember the old saying "Loose Lips Sink Ships?" I don't think that has ever been more relevant.
post #10 of 13
This is scary and we can't take any chances
post #11 of 13
Originally posted by krazy kat2
Remember the old saying "Loose Lips Sink Ships?" I don't think that has ever been more relevant.
I was thinking the same thing.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
From what I have subsequently read on this story, it looks like a college student who is trying to prove how lax security is. Believe me, if he knows it, potential terrorists do already. When I flew recently, I noticed that at e-checkin, my friend had to produce ID, but since the tickets were both on his credit card, I had to produce nothing! The boarding pass just came zipping out of the machine! I think the ID check at security amounted to a gaze at best.

How about if the airlines started locking those overhead compartments? You store your stuff, they lock them down, and nobody gets in there until the plane lands.
post #13 of 13
I read the story, in this morning's paper. This kid is a student at a Quaker college, that has a long history of civil disobedience.

I have nothing against peaceful protesting but, this stunt could get people killed. In a country, with as many freedoms as we have, any security systems that involve the public are going to have some holes. Short of patting down and doing a body-cavity search on every traveler, SOME items are going to slip through.

MY local paper printed a story detailing how many items were actually confiscated, in the past year. That number is significantly higher than than the number of items sneaked in, by so called "investigators". The bottom line is, MOST prohibited items are being caught, before they make it onto a plane.
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