Mame
 
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 11:25 am
I was watching the news about the would-be bombing on that flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. While the Canadian news had thorough but brief coverage of it, the American news dragged it out, repeated every bit of info many times, and I see that the US government has already reacted (over reacted?). More drug-sniffing dogs, extra air marshalls on the airplanes, more restrictions on what you can take in your luggage, no bathroom breaks during the last hour of flying... and they're now recommending you get to the airport 4 hours (!!!) before your flight.

Considering the bomb materials made it through 2 customs checkpoints, don't you think they're over-reacting a bit? What I mean is, why not beef up the customs checks instead of limiting carry-on items, hiring more air marshalls, preventing you from going to the bathroom, etc? That fellow could have set off that bomb at any time during the flight - had it been earlier, would they have prevented you from going to the bathroom at all?

Good Lord. This just makes me never want to fly to or through the US again.

What do you think would make most sense?
 
dyslexia
 
  4  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 11:33 am
@Mame,
well the thing is Mame, not unlike 9/11, over-reaction is how americans do everything, ever see a 1959 cadillac?
Merry Andrew
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 11:42 am
@Mame,
Wanna know my own conspiracy theory? I think the US government is out to destroy the airline industry. Put 'em all out of business so we can create a gov.-owned and operated super system. Pretty soon nobody's going to want to fly a commercial airline any more anyway. What's the point? Aggravation is all.
TTH
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 11:50 am
@dyslexia,
Laughing Laughing

Mame I agree that they are over reacting. The bathroom restriction is a joke. That isn't going to go over well at all.

What makes more sense to me is to use dogs. Dogs are very capable of sniffing out the materials used in the bombs. So get more dogs, train them and have the dogs walk past passengers waiting to be screened.

I would also like to see the govt. set up a program for people who fly frequently. I would be willing to pay a set fee to get pre-approved through the FBI (complete background check, fingerprints on file, etc.) and then have a document like a passport and a special line at the airport for people who have passed and possess the document.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 11:55 am
@Mame,
perhaps they need to address this sort of thing first

Flight 253 passenger: Sharp-dressed man aided terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab onto plane without passport
By Sheena Harrison | MLive.com
December 26, 2009, 2:22PM

A Michigan man who was aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 says he witnessed Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab trying to board the plane in Amsterdam without a passport.

Kurt Haskell of Newport, Mich., who posted an earlier comment about his experience, talked exclusively with MLive.com and confirmed he was on the flight by sending a picture of his boarding pass. He and his wife, Lori, were returning from a safari in Uganda when they boarded the NWA flight on Friday.

Kurt and Lori Haskell are attorneys with Haskell Law Firm in Taylor. Their expertise includes bankruptcy, family law and estate planning.

While Mutallab was poorly dressed, his friend was dressed in an expensive suit, Haskell said. He says the suited man asked ticket agents whether Mutallab could board without a passport. “The guy said, 'He's from Sudan and we do this all the time.'”

Mutallab is Nigerian. Haskell believes the man may have been trying to garner sympathy for Mutallab's lack of documents by portraying him as a Sudanese refugee.

The ticket agent referred Mutallab and his companion to her manager down the hall, and Haskell didn't see Mutallab again until after he allegedly tried to detonate an explosive on the plane.

Haskell said the flight was mostly unremarkable. That was until he heard a flight attendant say she smelled smoke, just after the pilot announced the plane would land in Detroit in 10 minutes. Haskell got out of his seat to view the brewing commotion.

Haskell, who described Mutallab as a diminutive man who looks like a teenager, said about 30 seconds passed between the first mention of smoke and when Mutallab was subdued by fellow passengers.

“He didn't fight back at all. This wasn't a big skirmish,” Haskell said. “A couple guys jumped on him and hauled him away.”

The ordeal has Haskell and his wife a little shaken. Flight attendants were screaming during the fire and the pilot sounded notably nervous when bringing the plane in for a landing, he said.

“Immediately, the pilot came on and said two words: emergency landing,” Haskell said. “And that was it. The plane sped up instead of slowing down. You could tell he floored it.”

As Mutallab was being led out of the plane in handcuffs, Haskell said he realized that was the same man he saw trying to board the plane in Amsterdam.

Passengers had to wait about 20 minutes before they were allowed to exit the plane. Haskell said he and other passengers waited about six hours to be interviewed by the FBI.

About an hour after landing, Haskell said he saw another man being taken into custody. But a spokeswoman from the FBI in Detroit said Mutallab was the only person taken into custody.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 12:40 pm
@Mame,
In the U.S., airport security is about making people feel secure rather than actually making them safer.
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 02:23 pm
@DrewDad,
would north-americans accept the type of security screening that the israeli airlines use ?
i doubt it very much .
i believe to achieve better security , passengers will have to allow a lot extra time when checking in - but TIME IS MONEY with us . so it's probably a non-starter .
( just image : agreeing to be interviewed at check-in Shocked - none of their business , right ? ) .

has anyone ever gone through el-al security ?

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1138216.html



Quote:
When will someone get the idea that its not body searches which will stop the next crazy but that, to the degree you can stop this lunacy, its skilled knowledge of the person and professional scrutiny?

Ask El Al. Each time it has thwarted a terrorist attack it was a result of intelligence, not body searches.
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 02:29 pm
@hamburgboy,
and the opposing view :

http://jeffreygoldberg.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/12/megan_mcardle_on_the_israeli_w.php

Quote:
Maybe we could do it smarter, like the Israelis do. But the Israelis also armor the holds of their airliners, making it very difficult to blow them up--and impossible to fly at a profit.
.
.
The Israeli system, which features individual interviews with each traveler, also wouldn't work because, cow-like though we are, Americans are not going to stand for the invasive questioning that is the most crucial component of the Israeli system. Also, we'd have to show up at the airport five hours ahead of our flights to be processed at the more overcrowded American airports. I'm having a hard time imagining this happening.


not going to work here , right ?
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 02:47 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Merry Andrew wrote:

Wanna know my own conspiracy theory? I think the US government is out to destroy the airline industry. Put 'em all out of business so we can create a gov.-owned and operated super system. Pretty soon nobody's going to want to fly a commercial airline any more anyway. What's the point? Aggravation is all.

So, as you see it, the government was behind 9/11 in order to gain the authority to put the commercial airline companies out of business?
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 03:09 pm
@Mame,
What a mess. Really, the passenger didn't have to leave his seat to attempt to detonate his bomb. How is keeping people in their seats for the final hour going to make any difference at all, if the can light their shoes, or set off their legs without gitting up, anyway.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 03:50 pm
@hamburgboy,
Someone tested the TSA and was able to sneak through bomb components.

Every single bottle of water was confiscated, though.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 03:54 pm
I think the airline industry is doing a great job of putting themselves out of business all by themselves. I travel a lot. In the last few years I've been to many countries on different continents and I've had to fly through the US for most of the trips. I've just returned from Puerto Rico and for the first time ever, I wasn't searched. Shocked However, the plane tickets cost more for the round trip than the 7 day cruise...
Even though I pre-check in,early for every flight, I've only been seated next to my husband half of the time. I've been stuffed between huge people several times and yet I've had to pay for all my luggage, none of it was remotely close to being over weight. I could have upgraded to first class for less than the baggage fee.
Now you have to pay for old TV shows and bad movies, I noticed nobody paid on any recent flights. You have to pay for blankets and now you won't be able to bring a blanket or a pillow. The food is worse than ever, hard hamburgers and brown lettuce salads, that is if you're not flying from Canada, they won't feed you at all (something about Canadian food being contaminated). The drink cart was brought around a grand total of once, on a five hour flight.
Now you can only bring one carry-on, but they will not cover the expense of broken or lost electronics, so what do I do with my computer and camera equipment? They've lost my bags in previous flights or mislaid them for up to 10 days. Every trip I make I must buy a new suitcase because they've mangled a bag on every trip. I've bought eight suitcase in five years.
Even though I pre-check the flights before I go to the airport, my flights always seemed to be delayed after the mandatory (now 3 hour check-in) The cancellation or delay of flights is rarely explained or even more rarely do they bother to post the info or have helpful not surly helpdesks at airports. Calling the airline is as useless as tits on a bull, you can never get through.
Airports don't have seats where people can lie down in the event of cancellation or long delays just uncomfortable seats with bars to separate the unfortunate. Though thankfully they are bigger than the seats we are crammed into on the plane.
While there is a ton of security to get into the airport, they don't give a **** about the bags once they are off the plane. Anyone can walk away with a bag.
I wish I could afford another mode of transport.


Mame
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 04:41 pm
Ceili, we just returned from Jamaica and while there were problems (delays coming and going; I had preassigned seats which I BOUGHT but Westjet sat someone in Alex's seat anyway and we were close to getting kicked off); the food wasn't bad; the booze cart came down twice but you just have to ring the flight attendant button if you want another one; nobody watched the movie because not only do you have to pay for earphones, you have to pay to watch now. And on our Toronto-Calgary return flight, they changed our gate from C25 to C40, and didn't announce it. We had to go through Customs in Toronto and we had 1 hr 20 minutes... we barely made it to the gate, the baggage was so long in coming and then, of course, we sat at the wrong gate.

When my sister and I came home from Hawaii, her connecting flight in Vancouver was at 10:00 a.m. We got there at 9:00 a.m. or even earlier and when we went to check in, they told her the flight was leaving at 9:20 a.m. - the next flight was 5:00 p.m. They're supposed to email you when they change flights, but she checked in online about 4 hours before and there were no emails.

Q: Why is it you can take 1 lighter on but not 2? What's up with that? You going to do more damage with 2 of them?

We flew Calgary-Toronto-Jamaica - I will NEVER go anywhere anymore where I have to go through the U.S. If it isn't through another Cdn city or direct, forget about it.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 04:53 pm
@Mame,
You know, I'm actually much more nervous about a "flight incident" caused by airlines' funding cutbacks (& the sloppy maintenance which has resulted), than an encounter with a potential terrorist on a plane. I think that's far more likely.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 04:54 pm
@msolga,
I agree, it probably is more likely.

I don't see why they just didn't address the customs area (better training, more consistency, etc) than screw up all the travellers. If those customs officials had caught the stuff, it would have been game over for him.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 04:58 pm
@Mame,
Quote:
I don't see why they just didn't address the customs area (better training, more consistency, etc) than screw up all the travellers. If those customs officials had caught the stuff, it would have been game over for him.


Yes. Proper customs checks are critical, I agree. We've experienced problems with this here (in Oz), too. Seems to be quite a bit of sloppiness in that area!
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 06:31 pm
The basic idea: get in shape and try to get every extra pound off so you don't get laughed at the day after everybody starts flying nude...
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 02:39 pm
The Canadian government has now banned all carry on, save 15 items. But you can only carry one item from the list. So, if you're a mom, you can carry a diaper bag but not your purse, you can carry a lap top but not camera equipment, or vice versa, medicine but not a coat...
You can't carry on a book or a magazine, seriously??? WTF
I've gone through the test model xray machine in Kelowna??? that has yet to be set up in any international airport, why not? Puffer machines that only a few a forced to endure are not the answer, why are there no dogs seen anywhere, until we got off the flights, in the baggage claim areas of domestic flights.
I've been searched because the tiny little circle thing on my bra shoulder straps, under a tight sweater, set off on the hand held scanner and apparently it was cause for a woman to pat me down. I pulled down my sweater and showed my naked shoulder blades but it wasn't enough to convince security I wasn't packing a mysteriously thin security breach...
What good is intelligence if you don't use it??? I think the father was a pretty reliable source but heh, it's the rest of us who are suspect?
Why are grannies made to take off their shoes if you don't question a person on a long haul flight without luggage?
I will be doing my best to boycott flying through the States, I've been there enough, put through the wringer enough. I'll pay more to bypass this stupid humiliation again. Sorry, USA, I'm not alone.
If you can't figure it out, there are plenty more people like me who will give future vacation and business trips a miss, you're missing the BIG picture. Maybe then, when intelligent minds prevail and the tourism industry hits the bricks will somebody get smart and realize, this stupidity is going to hurt more Americans than seeing all us foreigners as potentials terrorists.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 02:49 pm
@Ceili,
That carryon restriction is ridiculous. Why the heck does it matter if you have a camera, a book, and a purse? Do two or three items make you a terrorist? That's just plain stupid. You gotta wonder who's in charge around here, bunch eejits.

What if you're taking your flight bag on the airplane as your luggage - do you get to take your purse, too, or do you have to pack it?

We-Todd-it!!!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 02:56 pm
I suppose grannies can be co-opted, or extreme grudge carriers on their own, and the effort is to not select only a certain profile person for checking. But this part really makes me wonder:

"if you don't question a person on a long haul flight without luggage?" plus paid for the ticket in cash.

and at least check him on the visa-watch list (that's the large list) as well as the shorter lists.
 

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