View Full Version : Continued U.S interfering with foreign airlines

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4th Jan 2004, 22:42
An airline not a million miles from here has just sent out a notice to flight crew along the lines of the following.

"US security now require you to include this in your pre-flight announcement on flights to or from the USA."

"The US State Department demands that passengers are not allowed to congregate in groups around the toilets nor anywhere in the aircraft."

The notice adds that this is binding.

This is an outrageous attack on the sovereignty of a foreign registered aircraft. The jurisdiction of an aircraft in flight has been well established in law in most countries of the world and in general usage by IATA.

What else are they going to try to mandate under the (un)Patriot act? No drinks in first class because the president is teetotal? Lower standards of maintenance to help high cost US carriers?

You know the rest of the world might just turn around and say stuff you. We won't fly to you, you don't fly to us. It will hit us 15% of bottom line but we can live with that. It will however destroy your aviation industry.

4th Jan 2004, 23:02
That's call: PARANOID.

see you

4th Jan 2004, 23:08
Sounds like this rule has been made by someone who's never flown economy.
How do you visit the lav at peak periods? Are we going to have tickets with sequence numbers?

4th Jan 2004, 23:17
"The US State Department demands that passengers are not allowed to congregate in groups around the toilets nor anywhere in the aircraft."
So if you want to use the lav, you call the flight attendant and he/she will give you a number. You then wait to be called in your seat. When it's your turn, you proceed to the lav, use it and then promptly return to your seat, avoiding congregating with other passengers. What could be more simple?:mad:

4th Jan 2004, 23:18
Are we going to have tickets with sequence numbers?

Thats a good one Basil :ok:

Im amazed that they havent accused Al´Qaida of contaminating that cow with BSE

What´s the next rule :confused:

Boss Raptor
4th Jan 2004, 23:47
Funny enough Airway I have been awaiting just that to be said :=

Like when I was stopped by a BAA security guard at a London airport photographing my company's acft. 'FAA rules and they require it'

Pointed out that this was a Russian aircraft under UK DOT, Police and UK CAA jurisdiction...didn't have an answer to that

Although the US may require this statement to be made any enforcement on a non US aircraft/carrier would be totally at the discretion of the non US carrier...and one can see any further escalation and/or bans resulting in a variety of retaliatary actions by other states to US carriers due Chicago Convention, bilaterals etc.

Pathetic :hmm:

4th Jan 2004, 23:49
The land of the "free" is sinking fast ... its up to us not to let them drag us down with them.

4th Jan 2004, 23:51
We flew yesterday to the USA from the UK with a UK carrier, and the poor captain had to run through all this stuff in his introductory PA. It did sound a bit half-baked, as the flight was full, with plenty of children, so the loos were busy, as were the aisles. He explained that it was a request from the US authorities.

As I watched folk come and go to the loo/children and adults stretch their legs, I did wonder how the US authorities felt they would be able to monitor the no-congregating etc rules they have come up with. Are they planning to put a "prefect" on every flight and if they are not pleased with the conduct, the crew get their knuckles rapped? Plus, if the cockpit door is secure, what use is the non-congregating rule......

Oh dear, I'm afraid that this addition to the many necessary security measures smacks of paranoia and, speaking for myself, reduces what little faith I had in the authorities' ability to protect us all.

4th Jan 2004, 23:59
Who's going to stop the congregating? The Sky Marshall? With his special bullets?

The world has gone mad.:ugh:

Boss Raptor
5th Jan 2004, 00:11
'OK anyone who wants a pee put your hand up' ;)

5th Jan 2004, 00:14
I haven't seen this myself but, if true, it is more than a little reminiscent of the laws of totalitarian states such as Nazi Germany. It is paranoia taken to a ludicrous level, and should be resisted by all means possible.

I have no problems with skymarshals, but I won't accept the USA telling me to whom I may talk when on a flight.

5th Jan 2004, 00:18
Next they will be asking people not to congregate at check in!!!!
or when you are trying to disembark the aircraft ( one at time please)

I don`t trust american security anymore, surely the best way is simplicity, not so many rules that are impossible to impose or just plain stupid. I think the safest place nowdays is on the plane
rather than in the terminal or in the city unless they are going to shoot you down from the approach

Golf India Bravo

5th Jan 2004, 00:29
Ok, heres one that will pis:mad: off lots of people....even greenpeace. A flight left the US yesterday and was given clearance to push. Then approaching the runway ATC asked it to hold at the holding point. Ok fair enough says the Pilots, we are a couple of minute ahead of our departure time....10 minutes later, 'tower any news on take-off time'?? Reply, 'note on our computer says you can't go yet'. :confused:

In the end the flight was sitting on the tarmac for 50 minutes just waiting....wonder what for? Hmmm.
For those who are intrested, the 747 sitting on the tarmac for 50mins burn't more fuel than the average car burns in say, a year.

But, what also gets me is how plenty of US carriers passed by. Even one that was going to LHR! Did they get a delay. Hell No!

One very mad Expedite

p.s Wino, have edited the confusion over slots for you. Oh and i've calmed down now.

5th Jan 2004, 00:31
Again, this is a tough one.

On september 11th 5 men got together on 3 different aircraft congregated and then said "This is a hijacking".

I was going to copy the actual regulation/security directive here but it has been deamed sensitive and right at the top of the page it says not to be distrubuted or copied. But the long and the short of it is, the announcement is the least of your problems and if that is all you have been notified of, your company has dropped the ball and deprived you of some very vital information that might save your life.

If you have been notified of the rest then you are simply having a go at America, and why not, everyone else is :rolleyes:


If airspace you were scheduled to fly through suddenly closed, (IE missle shot off of Cape Canaveral) they might hold you on the ground or reroute you to the west of the airspace, assuming you were carrying enough fuel for a Major addition of miles to your leg. If that is what happened, the other flight heading to LHR might have been filed around the airspace in the first place.


PS Edited to remove slot references, Sorry mate... BTW what airport were you coming out of?

5th Jan 2004, 00:38
'Hunt for UK terror cell

Hijack gang 'have British passports'


I believe foreign security services used to call London 'Londonistan' as after Afghanistan it had the second highest number of terrorist organisations operating there. It's not surprising they are singling BA out.

5th Jan 2004, 01:13
Well, if you operate into Taiwan, you are required to make an announcement that drug smuggling is a capital offense. Where is the pseudo-indignation for this PA?

This is all part of international aviation.

You'll get used to it...

5th Jan 2004, 01:23
Anyone flying on US carriers will know that this has been going on for a while already and makes not a jot of difference. Cabin crew still let people stretch their legs and often you get small groups congregating by the loos or the galley areas. The captain makes an announcement pre-flight, but I've yet to see it enforced. The crews just keep a discreet eye on it because as before they presumably don't want throngs of people blocking various areas anyway. I'd be interested if anyone has actually seen this directive enforced.

5th Jan 2004, 01:23
Wino wrote...Again, this is a tough one.
On september 11th 5 men got together on 3 different aircraft congregated and then said "This is a hijacking".Does anyone know exactly what went on in the cabins of those aircraft? Surely the men had planned how they were going to take over the aircraft in advance and consequently didn't need to congregate in a group around the toilet to discuss what they were going to do?

Terrorists intent on hijacking an aircraft will surely just ignore the rule and congregate around the toilet anyway if that's part of their plan.

5th Jan 2004, 01:30
NOW is the time to ensure exact balace of controls and restrictions between USA and UK.

What is good for them must be good for us as we are all good friends.....This works both ways.......Let enforce the same restrictions thast we are putting up with.

Is it not yet time for Europe to work together for our own good, and let the Americans do the same...They have their own idea of an ideal world, so let them have it......trade embargos et al..

Spleen vented......may I go to the toilet now please Captain....

5th Jan 2004, 01:46
Ah well it's simple then. Now the terrorists know that they aren 't allowed to congregate, nothing will happen. What a relief.

Of course if anybody does congregate, they are clearly terrorists and we can expect to see the sky marshal (well- probably not) stepping in.

It's nonsense. If the threat is real enough for such half-assed measures to be of any use, why is the aircraft in the air in the first place.

The answer is that the US authorities, gripped by paranoia, are clutching at straws.

By the way, wino, what you see here is not America-bashing, as you like to percieve it. It is sensible people completely unable to fathom the increasingly frantic nonsense emanating from your government.

You, on the other hand, accuse non-US airlines of deliberately witholding information vital to the safety of the flight, from the flight crew. If you really believed it was so vital, you might consider sharing it as in all probability, the bad guys already know their own plans.

Of course what will result is the new directive being treated with the derision it deserves, particularly by those who are not American and apparently blind to the sheer lunacy of this stuff...

5th Jan 2004, 02:06

On both AA flights a flight attendant picked up an airphone (btw no longer available on most planes) and called ops and stayed on the phone for quite a while (to the end). Among other things we knew the seats the hijackers were in, what they did when they congregated before the attack and who they killed in their initial demonstration of resolve.... Do not dismiss flight attendants lightly, in their own element they are suprisingly observant!

(there were not many people on the airplane to start with)

MOR, it doesn't have to be the airline withholding the info. It can be any of the petty Beaurocrats. And while I do discuss alot of things here, I treat the security of aircraft VERY seriously and would NOT disclose stuff deamed sensative (Aside from the fact that releasing it would involve the possibility of me being prosecuted, and as Danny knows who I am, the name WINO won't protect me for more than 3 secs)

But alot of people here are deliberately spinning things they shouldn't be... They have their own adgenda and it may not be the same as mine which is the safety of my aircraft... Some would rather score points


5th Jan 2004, 02:11
The existence of Sky Marshalls didn't prevent the hi-jacking of 4 US aircraft on 9/11 did it? That was proof enough that they don't work as a deterent. The fact that (to my knowledge) only US and Israeli ac have Sky Marshalls suggest this is just another way for the Administration to keep foreign ac out of US airspace and protect (financially) their floundering airlines, as other nations do not have enough marshalls required to operate into the US.

I echo the sentiment that we should ban ac with Sky Marshalls on board from UK airspace. Full screening and pax profiling is the only way to move security forwards.

5th Jan 2004, 02:15
Whipper snapper,

Prior to 9/11 skymarshals (all 10 of them) were restricted to international flights. That is where the threat was perceived because of all the TWA/PANAM hijackings. Furthermore, if a domestic aircraft had been hijacked, it would not have had the fuel on board to cross the atlantic so it would have had to land somewhere in the USA to get fuel first where its tires would have been shot out. That was felt to be enough of a solution because nobody had the forsite to realize that hijacking the aircraft would be the first step in using them as a weapon.

But since they were looking to use airplanes as weapons and a flight headed to athens would have had MUCH more fuel on board and therefore would have been a better weapon, the evidence is that skymarshals did work. They went for the flights with out them...

Terrorists took advantage of the different levels of security in America. That doesn't exist anymore.

Interestingly if you do actually ban armed guards from your airplanes, think how nice it will be for the US airlines. They will get to carry Tony Blair and his onterage, or Prince Charles or anyone else who brings armed security with them on the plane. Boy that will go over well :E


5th Jan 2004, 02:28
That was felt to be enough of a solution because nobody had the forsite to realize that hijacking the aircraft would be the first step in using them as a weapon.

Quite right! My question is what will hijackers now do on an airplane? Surely the flight crew is not letting them take over control. After 11 Sept cockpit doors have been strenghtened, crew awareness is much higher. If there are three or four hijackers on board and they cannot get to the cockpit right away my guess is that they'll be beat up by the pax.

I think the current demands to foreign carriers are a step backwards and very demanging to the industry. My biggest worry are those SAM 7As ...

5th Jan 2004, 02:29

So the Sept 11th hijackers did "congregate" before the attack - but do you seriously think a rule against "congregation" would have detered them?

5th Jan 2004, 02:42
This remind me of the story about the guy on a cross-country train trip in Scotland who tore up a newspaper and tossed bits out the window every few miles. He was asked what he was doing and he replied that it was to keep the lions from attacking the train. The fact that the train was not attacked by lions proved he was right.

It will be hard to know, but from reports issued by BA etc there was no specific threat, and no terrorists were caught. In fact by publicising it the way they did, the bad guys would have merely delayed their attack, not cancelled it. I have never heard of a single case in the entire history of aviation where a threat to an airplane ever resulted in an attack (bombing, hijacking or whatever). Every attack has been a surprise, with no warning given. And we know that the terrorists are much smarter now; it is hard to see how they will be stopped by all this stupidity. Even the 'best' airline for security (El Al) saw an attempted hijacking last year, with one of the only cases of a real weapon (a pocket knife) being used.

Do we know that the current paranoid hysteria has any effect on preventing or deterring terrorists? Is there in fact any plan to attack airplanes, or are they merely stirring the pot to see the reaction? Or, more likely, is it being done by some govt department in order to cause panic and enable them to expand their control and influence? (making themselves more important and thus entitled to more money). If there is no attack after the paranoia dies down it will allow them to claim they stopped an attack, just like the guy with the newspaper.

Remember they still have not closed the loopholes at the airports; only crew and passengers have to go through security, all others come and go as they please.

Telling foreign cargo airlines that they have to carry air marshalls and have strengthened cockpit doors if they want to fly to the US is pure protectionism, and I wonder how much of all this garbage is meant to be more of the same.

5th Jan 2004, 02:49
My experience with the "no congregating" rule shows that hanging out around the front lav in the cabin door area is the "no-no" and rigorously enforced by the FAs. Reckon ya can figure this out by yourselves. I see plenty of congregating at the rear lavs with nothing more than watchfulness by the cabin crew.

Yes, this is one pax that goes on high alert when someone walks to the forward lav ! Especially when that someone tries to come from the rear cabin .......

5th Jan 2004, 03:04
I wonder if enforcement of the congregation rule will become contingent upon the Department of Homeland Security Alert status?

Green Alert: Unrestricted use of lavatories permitted – congregation tolerated.
Blue: Unrestricted use of lavatories permitted – however congregation prior to urination or defecation strictly prohibited without valid medical reason.
Yellow: Lavatory use regulated by ticket system – congregation not permitted under any circumstances.
Orange: Lavatory use only permitted if booked in two weeks in advance and permission is subject to security vetting. Anyone violating the no-congregation rule will be restrained for the duration of the flight.
Red: All passengers must be catheterized and have US government approved colostomy bags installed prior to departure. Congregators will be shot.

5th Jan 2004, 03:31
Do not dismiss flight attendants lightly, in their own element they are suprisingly observant!

Why thank you Wino....... Too much honour I'm sure.

This rule is just another one in a series of un-enforcable rules handed down by people who do not care about what actually happens in the cabin of a civil airliner. All they are interested in is covering their collective @rses.

We already have the rule that no passenger may be in a galley without an FA present. With the toilet on the 737 located in the front galley, enforcing this rule would mean that service to pax in the front of the ac would be interrupted continuously to the point of it becoming non-existent.

As cabin crew we can pick. Either we serve the pax the food & drink they expect and which management tells us to serve, or we enforce the rule the way management tells us to. We can't do both.
Management knows this. Management also knows that we will in fact serve the food (to avoid getting lynched by the full fare paying pax at the front of the AC) instead of spending the entire flight in the front galley keeping pax company while they wait in line for the toilet.
Putting in an extra FA to make the rule workable, would cost money and is therefore a no-no. But being seen to have made a rule is what counts.
They have put in place a rule, so they are safety conscious and comply with all USA directives. Should anything happen, the blame can be seemlessly transferred to the the stupid stewardesses who do not have enough brains to realise that safety of course always comes before serving food.
Neat, isn't it?

This new impossible-to-enforce rule will not improve airline safety.
But all backsides are decorously covered and that's what counts. :ok:

Mick Stability
5th Jan 2004, 03:32
Perhaps we should forget all about on-board service. Just cuff the customers in their seats whilst the crew pace up and down with Heckler and Kochs locked and loaded.:uhoh:

5th Jan 2004, 03:44
What's rich is to hear all this about Bush protecting US airlines. Not two weeks ago he approved cargo cabotage through PANC between domestic cities!
To call these new regulations idiotic is to insult idiots, but please, God, PLEASE quit fooling yourself into thinking anyone in government is trying to help the US airlines. We haven't had a friend in the White House since Nixon (yes, I said Nixon(!)).

Faire d'income
5th Jan 2004, 04:34
Funny how times have changed.

It's not so long since the US flying public wouldn't get into a feather bed if there was a sniff of a war or threat to security. Is there a case of terror fatigue on the other side of the pond?

The loads on TA don't seem to be affected that much despite all the negative publicity. People appear to feel unthreatened, why? Do the public trust the agencies issuing the warning?

If a flight had a specific terrorist threat why re-route all the pax? Surely the threat is now just moved to another flight.

There seem to be two possibilities:

1: There is reliable intelligence about a very real and imminent threat;

2: This is merely propaganda promulgated to create a more favourable arena for a certain individual;

To be honest I'm not sure which is more sinister.:eek:

Dog's Bone
5th Jan 2004, 04:50
And here's me thinking that the AIRPLANE film was a comedy, when actually
it was being played in all true to life seriousness.

I wonder where the TSAs (Terminally Sick Americans) got that non
congregating bit from? Perhaps they recall pre-oil days when the Kingdom
of Libya was around, and the then King Idris was raking in all the
american money - for himself - for the use of Wheelus Air Force Base. He
was paranoid too and had a similar worry over people gathering in small
groups. Quite rightly, as history shows. Then we have Oman, where the
previous top man also had a hang up about his conspiratorial countrymen
and banned gatherings greater than groups of four in public places, even
though he had well paid British mercenaries for protection.

So what about DVT? The medical profession suggest that passengers get
up and move around. Now if the pax seated near the toilets obey medical
advice, then we can easily see a problem or two or three.

Perhaps the BSE cow was eaten by President Bush. He certainly exhibits
all the right symptoms.


I can't help being stupid. It's the drugs!

Jim Morehead
5th Jan 2004, 04:58
HUCK---or anybody...Is there a thread detailing the decision nor law about cargo cabotage in PANC.? It was being considered,but then I saw nothing more.

On the other issues, I have read 3 pages of comments. I am an American and don't always agree with the government(freedom allows one to do that) and don't always agree with every law and directive that anybody sends out no matter what country. But to live in society, you have to abide by the law or change it. Civilied countries that have freedom have that option. But this is not intended to be a political discussion.

It is intended to try to tell you why things in the US are as they are. Why did no one attack the US since Pearl Harbor? It is a record that 9/11 happened and a lot of the world says,'"So what!" Of course a lot of people (innocent ones) died in 9/11 from lots of countries.

But the US doesn't want Mom and Pop's screen door company flying into the US and crashing into another building. Terrorists don't care. And terrorists may be trying another way to do it with other LAX airlines and there are many of those who don't think they are vulnerable. They also will likely try to crash into Parliment, the Opera House, The Effiel Tower, and other places so that they may establish their presence. I'll bet world attitude will change IF and WHEN this happens.

On the trivial bathroom matter, I think it was intended for First class or whereever the cockpit is. Regardless, mobs and groups of people do constitue a terrorist threat. Even if they didn't, how would you like the last few rows on a 747 or 757 and 50 people were lined up in your face to go to the bathroom???

While some rules appear stupid (and some might be), everybody is going to comply or they won't fly into the US or any country for that matter. If country X only wants arrivals every 2 mintues or no airplane within 20 miles of another, THEY are going to set the rules. NOT YOU nor some opinionated know-it-all on PPRUNE or any forum.

If the US wants air marshalls, then you are going to provide them OR you can go fly somewhere else. They add to the safety and they are not on every flight. Do you see a policeman or undercover agent on every corner or should their be one? The element of surprise is a deterent.

On the issue of the sky marshalls were not on the 4 hijacked American Airlines from American and United, it was luck of the draw.Who knows what the outcome would have been had they been there. Maybe it didn't happen to anybody that you knew nor your country and not your airline. But it did happen in my country and to my former airline and to the Captain who I knew personally. Maybe you can justify all of this to his family. I can't.

So it is easy to sit back and mock things when one has no idea of why or how things go, went, or might go in the future.

On a slightly different subject, can one tell me if there is a thread that discusses the opposition from the BA Pilots union about armed SKY Marshalls or can someone define what the opposition comes from? It is my understanding that they are BRITISH people on BRITISH flights protecting mostly BRITISH citizens. I fail to see the problem. I only saw this opposition issue on TV, so maybe there is more to the story

5th Jan 2004, 05:00
Hi all,

I am very pleased to see that the overwhelming majority of the posts shows sensible and justified reactions from the pros to this madness. Their short history is full of fears and paranoias, they like and enjoy to be on alert against whatever enemies/invaders excite their need to overreact - circle the wagons.
It's about time we react or retaliate instead of abiding to any new nonsense.



5th Jan 2004, 05:09
When will our gun-loving cowboy brethren in the good ol' US of A realise that the rest of the world doesn't like being told what to do by a group of tobacco-chewing turnips !
We don't want armed sky marshals on our aircraft and we certainly don't all run round with Magnums in our flight bags.
If they had been slightly more keen on aviation security a couple of years ago,an awful tragedy may have been averted and we wouldn't now be in this ridiculous situation of being preached to by the latterly converted.

5th Jan 2004, 05:15
As some people have said this (non congregation around toilets) is un-enforceable,
people need to go to the toilets, and queues will happen, even on short-haul, never
mind trans-Atlantic flights.

The first problem with an un-enforceable rule is that it will lead to it not being obeyed.
But worst than that is the fact that when you have rules that can not be obeyed there is
a tendency to start ignoring other rules, and end up ignoring rules and requestes that
may be very serious and make perfect sense.

I have seen this kind of process, not in professional aviation as my only contact with
it is through pprune, but in many other activities. It is Human, people will ignore that
which is un-enforceable, and that process will creep into the "neighbouring" rules.

If enforcing rules that make very good sense is quite difficult, trying to impose rules
that are not practical leads to sloppy implementations and non-compliance.

I know perfectly well that dealing with security issues is not simple, but the results
of sloppy work will be costly (in this case lives and $$$€€€) and this is plain sloppy.

Don't misunderstand this as an affirmation of incompetence onto whoever makes the rules
and works on security, errors are human, but these people should also be receptive to
what is being said from the outside.
Suffering from the "Not invented here" syndrome, simply dismissing whatever comes from
outside the US, is not acceptable when dealing with security and LIVES!


5th Jan 2004, 05:21
I don't want to cause insult, but I think we can all imagine a few countries whos' sky marshalls would present a significant danger themselves.

5th Jan 2004, 06:25
...are close neighbours.

That's a reason to avoid joking about supposed american qualities/shortcoming when evaluating these non-sense regulations.

It seems to me that you can imagine Al Qayda last victory is they have made TSA, FAA, USA official lose all sense of realities, because they are afraid of a no-face ennemy, with no central headquarter, lose organisation.

The reason seems to be found in an unadequate security organisation, an excess of computer and a lack of manned intelligence services.

Just after 9/11 laws were passed in USA which are a danger for democracy....passed because Congress was frightened.

Now, after useless invasion and killings in Iraq, and the following increase of terrorist actions, they are more and more afraid, so they will lose control again and start some other stupid kind of policy.

5th Jan 2004, 06:29
>>When will our gun-loving cowboy brethren in the good ol' US of A realise that the rest of the world doesn't like being told what to do by a group of tobacco-chewing turnips !<<

Why, we Americans will never be accepted by polite society.

When you're Number One it comes with the territory, I suppose...

Torres de Casta
5th Jan 2004, 06:31
This is phenomenal in the truest sense of the word.

It is almost as if all the brow beaten, censored, anti-American labeled, restricted, genuinely concerned, straight talking Ppruners have come out of the closet at one time. What a time to do it!

The beauty of it is, that many are all taking a lead from Danny's posting relating to the idiocy of the situation relating to the current Transatlantic Aviation fiasco. For once, leader and led are in accord, when USA saber rattling is the issue.

When there was two superpowers things were dangerous, now that we have only one we are in greater peril.

With someone like W at the helm, pity help us.

5th Jan 2004, 06:33
Who the f*** wants to go to the good ole usof a anyway ,to be met by the most pig ignorant,bad mannered,gum chewing
ars*****s you have ever met,ie immigration.
i was there recently and the first thing l did was rip off the american flag sticker on the hire car.****### and as for congregating,why not pi** on the cabin floor,particularly if it is an
american airline

El Grifo
5th Jan 2004, 06:37
Eh, Lets not go too far Frangatang.

Sticking to the side of coherency is oft best !! :uhoh:

5th Jan 2004, 06:44
This situation seems to be getting quite out of control.
If I was an airline exec concerned about operating security and operational dependability in these whacko times - I would consider banning all Muslims from air travel on my aircraft. "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." End of problem? Activate lawyers to handle massive complaints. At the bottom line the threats are only from some members of the Islamic religion. Eliminate the possibilities. Fly in a bit more peace? To hell with being PC.

5th Jan 2004, 06:49
Well, Yank bashing is a time honored tradition here on PPRuNe. I couldn't imagine many of these hostile comments tolerated if directed to, say, Israel (which has flown into the UK with sky marshals for many years).

We are so blessed in America that I can see where some would be jealous and insecure.

Sure looks like a lot of single digit posters here suddenly <g>.

LightTwin Driver
5th Jan 2004, 07:00
Blessed with what exactly ?


Sure looks like a lot of single digit posters here suddenly <g>.

And what do you do with your single digit when not using it to type such literary masterpieces Airblubba ?

5th Jan 2004, 07:13

I saw this restrictive action on JetBlue in October. They only seemed concerned with the forward loo though...

I can imagine on longer flights with higher pax loads then there would be quite a rush to get the next loo slot.

Perhaps they will rename as JetBLoo?


El Grifo
5th Jan 2004, 07:27

Whilst I accept that a lot of the postings here constitute nothing more than ugly rhetoric and contribute little to the debate, they are indictive of a creeping unease with the "big brother" attitude which is seeping slowly, but surely from your side of the pond.

The USA has been without a doubt, a great nation.

We are not witnessing its finest hour.

5th Jan 2004, 07:32
Do you think perhaps it might be possible to restrict this thread to a discussion of the merits vs crass stupidity of this particular "congregation" rule and the way it's being enforced?

Does this have to become a general debate about whether the US is "blessed" or "arrogant"?

5th Jan 2004, 07:54
The point is 'Bubba that the several other countries like Israel that have had serious security problems over the years have handled it internally to the airlines their countries. They handled it quietly and effectively.

Very rarely have they run rough-shod over sovereignty issues and swaggered around demanding pointless actions by others.

When a foreign airline is outside of American airspace I would suggest that they continue to operate under the jurisdiction of the country of registration. Anything else is hegemony of the creeping kind.

And if you don't like it and ban us from your airspace then fine, we shall stop buying US Treasuries and you can paper the bathroom with your Reichmark-like dollars. This way trade wars commence.

5th Jan 2004, 08:01
fine, if countries like israel want to put sky marshalls on their own aircraft, that is their OWN decision. Who the hell does W think he is telling other democratic nations what they should be doing. It was pointed out before the elections that he had next to no knowledge of foreign relations and now he's proven it. I don't want to bash on yanks but like it was said earlier if security was a priority before 9/11 then we wouldn't be in the mess we're now in. I remember flying from miami to europe in 99 on a domestic flight linking to an international flight, and my hand luggage wasn't x rayed once. i never walked through a security scanner and i didn't even have to pass customs. As far as i know the USA think i'm still there.

5th Jan 2004, 08:25
Coming back from Atlanta with Delta last week, we had the "non congregating " announcement,from the Captain and he was very definate in asking passengers to only use the toilets in their section of the cabin, and not to leave their section.

He was ignored as he was when he put the seat belt signs on during the flight.

When you have kids they go when they have to go. There was no implementation from the cabin crew and I would swear that the long queues developing in my section were reduced using the bogs elsewhere.

People are not that quick in the bogs.

Funnily the filght was composed of predominately British passengers (judging by the few landing cards handed out) so maybe they were not too bothered.

I was bothered with a brown skinned man who boarded the plane with no hand luggage at all, spent the flight saying prayers and sweating. He was in the row in front of me and I swear if he had moved I would have been on his back in a flash. He scared the shit out of me.

So much so that I seriously considered asking to be let off the plane.

On arrival at Gatwick, he seemed to be having difficulty about what he should do with his blue passport. Last I saw of him was him slipping into the bogs as I went through passport control.

Maybe he was nervous because he was going to claim asylum of something. But hell it was scary.

No more flying by me to the US; the place is definately off limits for the forseeable future.
Mind you the scariest people in the world are the jerks who broadcast on talk radio. People like Rush Limburgh. These guys claim to be conservative but they are out and out fascists. Real wackos.

I will go somewhere safe like South Africa or Afganistan for my next holidays.


5th Jan 2004, 08:54

OK, you clearly have no intention of answering any of the points made regarding this nonsensical policy. You prefer to sit smugly and allude to all this top-secret information that only you possess, that you accuse our government(s) or employers of witholding from us.

Of course there is nothing stopping you from logging on with an anonymous email and PPRuNe username with whatever info is pertinent. I think the reality is more likely to be that there is no such information, or that you are less interested in our safety than your own self-importance. I hope the latter is not true.

Whatever the case, the policy that seems to be emerging in the UK makes the most sense- if there is any credible threat, don't fly. To do anything else is taking liberties with the safety of the travelling public. If there is no credible threat, congregation is irrelevant. If congregation is an issue, then ipso facto there is a threat.

I have to travel to the US later in the month, sadly. Not "sadly" because of the country- I thoroughly enjoy my time there- but because of this nonsense. I tend to wander about as much of the cabin as I can, partly for my own health, partly to relieve the boredom. I will continue to do so unless physically restrained.

It's a pity you can't answer the points made against your governments policy- it would allow us to respect you a little. Only to be expected I suppose.


... number one...

The only way in which the USA is number one is in the number of weapons you possess. In every other way you have no claim to that position. Culturally, ethically, politically and socially, you lag behind other countries.

The current nonsense is making China seem like a better alternative as world leader. Your arrogance may not have allowed you to learn at school that every dynasty has its day, and usually a hegemony fails when it become over-obsessed with it's own greatness. Ask any Roman...

5th Jan 2004, 09:03

Some very puny willies being waved very vigorously here! :rolleyes:

Whilst some of the comments are amusing, especially the indignantly outraged ones, can we please try and leave the debate on the topic of the diktat that we have to announce to to our pax that they mustn't congregate around the loo on flights to the USA. Resorting to generalisations regarding Americans and their government only leads to a flame war. Moderating these threads is becoming a chore which is not good for the rest you... trust me! :E

What we are discussing here is the nonsense and futility of such 'buttock insulating' orders from our cousins on the west side of the Atlantic. We can appreciate where some of their paranoia stems from but we here on this side of the pond have had to deal with aircraft terrorism for a generation and it is becoming increasingly apparent that there is a huge hint of 'arse covering' just in case they have got it all wrong.

I have never seen any intelligence service worth its salt go so public on what they claim to be 'credible evidence' and come up with nothing except decrees and diktats that appear to the rest of us over here as giving in to the terrorists' desire to instill fear deep enough to change the way we go about our daily lives (in this context, aviation). If they really had credible evidence then they would act on it as covertly as possible. The intelligence services know that their jobs are thankless when they succeed and thankless when they don't succeed.

Why all this flailing, overt activity in the full glare of 24 hour media publicity? All the US appear to be doing is giving the terrorists what they want... the world sees a nation almost paralyzed with paranoia and fear.

We know that our next thread will be the new entry regulations coming into force for visitors to the US. Photographing and fingerprinting of every entrant to the US will give some people the 'warm and fuzzy' feeling that something serious is being done. However, considering it is only planned to be implemented at about 30 airports and does not cover the other 95% of locations where visitors can enter the USA, just what is the point?

5th Jan 2004, 09:04

The rule against congregation has more to do with keeping the flight attendants alert and GIVING THEM A TOOL to do something about something that might make them feel uneasy.

Most of the time they will blow it off, but should suddenly a bunch of well tanned fit looking men congregate there and for some reason it makes them feel uneasy, they have the force of law behind them, up to and including a diversion and law enforcement personell coming on board. By having it as a rule, should there be a problem there is actually a chargeable crime which can be used to hold the people in question while the problem is sorted...

I do go out occasionally so I can't always respond quickly.
If I were to post something sensative on the site Danny would be obliged to immediately delete it, so what would be the point? If I Posted it under another name you wouldn't believe it, or else would know it is me. If the Gov't reacted quickly enough there is no way I could hide from them. If you think your 3 letter name protects you here you are deluding yourself. If you think it would be wise to post every little detail of a constanstly evolving response to an ongoing problem you are criminally dangerous to aviation in general, and quite possibly an agent of Al Queda....

However, many people here know who I am and have seen me face to face in and out of uniform...

I am amazed at howmany people have come out of the woodwork to protest with their first or second posts. Not too much credibility there...


5th Jan 2004, 09:11
I am amazed at howmany people have come out of the woodwork to protest with their first or second posts. Not too much credibility there...Once again, trust me when I say this but it is because of the apparent naivety and paucity of coherent thought that has probably gone into the diktat in the first place. :hmm:

5th Jan 2004, 09:17
While I might be willing to agree with that Danny, the numbers from established posters here is far less overwhelming... For all we know it could be one busy little bee....

No one worries too much on a charter flight because it is almost always a sell out. But on an early morning flight or late night flight (Sometimes the most profitable inspite of by far the lightest loads because of heavy business travel and priority parcel services) its possible to get on a widebody with only and handfull of people... Then a group of people congregating in the LAVS has to be looked at a little differently than it would be otherwise.

One would count on the good judgement of the Flight Attendants in raising a stink, but really what's the big deal about making a PA? Why throw away any arrow from your quiver, no matter how small?

I would say that we see most of these memo's closer to the source than you do when it goes through a second government and a whole second FAA/CAA beurocracy and they may be more rational in their original form then in the manner in which they percolate through each successive government... Doesn't mean I agree with all of em by a long shot, but I think much of the problems has to do with things be lost in the translation. Hell that may be the intention, to screw em up by some petty Beaurocrat that had his territory userped...


5th Jan 2004, 09:32
While I might be willing to agree with that Danny, the numbers of established posters here is far less overwhelming... For all we know it could be one busy little bee...Believe me that the IP addresses are checked for the 'source' of multiple posts from newly registered users. In this case, it is probably due to the overwhelming sense of outrage at the apparently ill thought out pronouncements coming from your side of the pond.

We are allies but this doesn't mean that your friends can't think for themselves from much longer experience on how to handle airport and aircraft security.

5th Jan 2004, 09:45
Agree with that, but you are also seeing the consequences of past attrocities.

In the aftermath of Lockerbie and 9/11 as well as other acts of terrorism there was inevitably a congressional hearing on the affair and always there was some low level unconnected warning somewhere that with 20/20 hindsite was real easy to point to and say "WHY WASN"T ANYTHING DONE?" You know, a travel advisory etc that made to gov't employees but not the general public.

So the Hew and cry was atleast tell us about the alerts and let us decide for ourselves. Well now you get to hear about every piddly alert and make your own decisions. On this side of the pond it hasn't seamed to effect travel one iota, this has been going on for a month and daily traffic numbers for AA are WAY up over last year... But on your side of the pond the reaction seams to have been somewhat different...


5th Jan 2004, 10:21
>>I will go somewhere safe like South Africa or Afganistan for my next holidays.<<

And please, take four more with you <g>...

We've had similar hand wringing threads here about locked cockpit doors, whether to support Saddam, and keeping granny off the cockpit jumpseat. In each case the UK eventually came around to the U.S. point of view after all the dire predictions of the end of the world as we know it. We certainly comply with your regs when coming into LHR.

As always, we appreciate your loyal support and enjoy the debate.

5th Jan 2004, 10:35
We are not witnessing [America's] finest hour.

I'm sorry, but I must admit, El Grifo has summed up at least the public face of this. An airline (and its captains) should be free to set up the right security procedures to suit them. We fight pretty hard for PIC authority over here.

El Al passengers eat with steel knives, because El Al has confidence in its preflight screening procedures. Provide the intel, give all the warnings you want, but leave implementation to the carriers.

And I'm sorry but cancelling suspect flights before the pax have boarded is crazy. If you knew a bank was to be robbed, would you just close it that day? Why not set up an ambush?

Perhaps some great justification may one day be made known, but this is one redneck who is scratching his head over all this....

5th Jan 2004, 11:07
Okay, I'm a "one number" I only read mainly. But I will say I have seldom seen so much B***S**t.
Fact is with all this crazy stuff from G.W. not so many people will be travelling to The US

5th Jan 2004, 11:12

You are one of the most well-informed members of this site and I always pay attention to your posts.

But on this subject you might do well to reflect a bit on the cumulative impact this small diktat, as Danny calls it, is having on the rest of the world. Without which the United States would not survive.

That impact is totally negative. To some extent that may have been inevitable because the US has had to move from a totally open to, say, a "less open" society in the space of a few years. Whereas European countries have done so (assisted by Algeria, Ireland Libya etc) more subtly and over a longer period of time.

To give you only a tiny example of the impact, the country I live in, Brazil, has just retaliated by mug-shotting and fingerprinting all arriving Americans. A knee-jerk reaction, yes, but one that's supported, from what I can see, by well over half the population. It's pure, senseless retaliation, nothing else, and nobody knows what's going to be done with the mugshots and fingerprints. But it does go to show something of the sense of outrage people from this country - a traditional US ally as well as, yes, a traditional exporter of illegal immigrants - feel.

So, before you knee-jerk yourself by responding to the anti-Yank postings, take a minute to think. Please. When you do, you might well come to the conclusion that the way the present US govenment are conducting world policy is offensive to most of the country's friends and that there are a lot of more subtle ways to go about screening; what's happening now smells, if not of paranoia, inefficient intelligence and, finally, if not of that, electoral athletics.

5th Jan 2004, 11:32

It isn't difficult to set up an email account that is essentially untraceable- so no, I'm not deluding myself, I know exactly how secure my username is- as well as the others I use here.

You still haven't answered the question. You obviously aren't going to. Good luck with your devotion to the nonsense coming from your government- I'm afraid your justifications to date are both illogical and badly thought out. For example, why not define a law that pax may not remove their seatbelt unless authorised by a cabin crew member? You don't have to use the rule, do you? It can just sit in your quiver. Why not make a rule that pax can't get on the aircraft unless they sign a document promising not to kill anyone? That is about as intelligent as "not congregating around toilets".

Some rules are sensible, well thought out and more to the point, can be applied. This one satisfies none of those criteria. Now why not argue the issue on its merits?

5th Jan 2004, 12:01

That's really funny,,, Lots of people paying money to the record companies from email accounts they thought were untraceable... Danny logs all IPs. As mine is static, I am so rediculously traceable...

Seatbelt law, Ummm On the UK side I think that is already on the books. When we went to crown court against one of my pax from when I was a JMC capt, one of the things he was charged with was disobeying an aircrew or something along those lines, which was constituted by ignoring the fasten seatbelt sign to break into the cockpit. (He was convicted of an "affray" and other crimes in a plea bargain in Nov. 2000).

So got it MOR, We disagree, you don't want to alert the flight attendants and do anything that might focus their attention on a problem and give them a recourse should that alert discover a problem. As I have seen this in action for over month now, I can think of much bigger things to get aggrieved over... Do I think it will win the war on terrorism? Nope, not by a long shot. Can it HURT? Nope. Might it help? Maybe in a narrow capacity, but as it can't hurt and might possibly help, I see no reason to fight it. Most of what we do is for statistical longshots... When was the last time a jet aircraft actually blew an engine at v1? Yet we do balanced field takeoffs.... Really we could get in and out of much shorter runways, what could happen?


5th Jan 2004, 12:19
A loyal lemming to the end, eh.

5th Jan 2004, 12:35
Just been looking at BBC ONLINE. States that US is to photograph and fingerprint all people arriving at USA on visas and that latter this year it will be extended to include all people on Visa Waver as well!

The paranoia's growing.

Note Brazil is retaliating and treating all American likewise.:ok: :ouch:

5th Jan 2004, 12:49
Thought it was NOT on a Visa (presumeably already printed on photod for the visa...)

As to Brazil. I think it is a good thing. In this dangerous day and age the totally free movement of people is probably not a good thing and everyone should be printed and photographed at every border, and the technology is there to handle it in an expeditious and not too inconvienient manner... You can photo and print without really restricting movement, AND possibly catch some people who need catching...

Nah techman, just not worth the fight more than anything else. Like I said much bigger things to get angry about as far as security is concerned including the glacial pace of the ffdo program


Plastic Bug
5th Jan 2004, 12:55
Lest we forget, there used to be two really tall buildings in lower Manhattan.

It is the position of the United States to prevent that sort of event from happening again.

If some of the procedures or policies that the Government of the United States implements to protect the people of the United States bothers you, I say: Go jump in a lake.

Leave it to the citizens of the United States to decide the Constitutionality of these edicts. We will. In the mean time, if it is your desire to fly to the good old U.S.A., I would suggest you play by the new rules.

The bad guys are most certainly not and that is what has probably got all the "experts" in a lather. Does it really hurt you to tell pax not to congregate? Does it really hurt you if a Sky Marshall may be on board?

Appeasement doesn't work. Ask Neville Chamberlain.

A reminder folks: There's a group out there that wants to kill us and see our way of life in the dustbin. Quit bickering about the details and be proactive, or we will play right into their hands.

We must hang together or we will surely hang apart.


5th Jan 2004, 14:14
Got to make one more post (see page-2) on this rediculous thread. Well put - Plastic Bug - , you write far better than I do.

My quals to post - almost 3 million air miles in silver tubes in the past 20 yrs on American Airlines. Documented by my Aadvantage statement!

America is NOT - repeat - NOT - "interferring with foreign airlines !!!!!! We are setting rules about how airlines will operate on American soil. This includes American airlines !!! Airlines are free to choose whether they wish to agree to follow these rules or not!! NO ONE IS FORCING FOREIGN AIRLINES TO DO ANYTHING !!!!!!!!

Why do all the "anti Yank" folks think that we (America) have absolutely no right to set laws of behavior here in the United States?? That is all this is about - nothing else !!!!!!!!

Here , you will drive in left-drive vehicals; on the right side of the road, and drinks driving can see your arrest. In the Uk, we Yanks will drive right-drive vehicals; on the left side of the road, and drinks driving may see us in goal (warm beer - God forbid :) ).

Whatever is the damn problem with THAT, I ask????

Or is it that non-Americans are the only people that can set the rules of behavior in the USA?? Smacks of colonialism - that.

Have a Good Day - y'all ....... :cool:

Donkey Duke
5th Jan 2004, 14:25
It is now time for the foreign airlines to "step up to the plate" and provide adequate security. Air marshals are a good first step, but obviously it would be better if the terrorist type people were stopped before boarding the plane. I can't believe there is such a protest by BALPA and others, when British Airways planes have been the ones that have mostly been cancelled. Can they not see that someone may want to use their planes because they know that their position is weak? Take a look at your passengers closely and provide some armed protection onboard if you want to fly to the States and make some big COIN.

5th Jan 2004, 16:22
......or, if BALPA wants to get all in a lather and have a hissy fit, don't comply with the new FAA/TSA requirements when flying to America, and have the US carriers lap up the gravy, by carrying all the pax.

Foreign aircarriers have really NO other choice.

Like it or not.:{

5th Jan 2004, 17:09
So our 'US' friends dont want us to congregate at the loo door. ....I have the obvious answer.
At the time of booking your ticket you are given a time when you will be allowed to go to the loo for a period of three minutes. The Sky Marshall escorts you there, waits and then checks that the loo has been flushed.
I am so surprised that the American government hasn't thought of this..its so simple!!!!!

El Grifo
5th Jan 2004, 17:12
For some reason this posting has popped up hours after posting the original. Not sure why. Didn't know whether deleting it would delete the original, so I have left it !! - - - - - -


Whilst I accept that a lot of the postings here constitute nothing more than ugly rhetoric and contribute little to the debate, they are indictive of a creeping unease with the "big brother" attitude which is seeping slowly, but surely from your side of the pond.

The USA has been without a doubt, a great nation.

We are not witnessing its finest hour.

5th Jan 2004, 17:19
Hey AA SLF ...looks like we Brits have hit a raw nerve with you!

But, there also seems to be a language problem in your latest post. What do the words ''rediculous'', ''interferring'' and ''vehicals'' mean? Also the statement ''drinks driving may see us in goal'' does not make sense.

Very strange...........

Boss Raptor
5th Jan 2004, 17:19
We do have a choice which the US seems to forget ('bout time they remembered) the Russians as example are already fed up with the Visa situation and like Brasil have retaliated requiring similar of US citizens that they themselves impose on the Russians...and we'll wait 18 months to see how many European holidaymakers dont choose to take their family back to the USA in 2005 after grief in 2004.

Not that I believe it would come to it but if a country will be forced to stop running to the USA then clearly the retaliatary action will be bilateral and US carriers would be blocked vice versa...and this would no doubt also trigger a blocking of both parties carriers from each others airspace which as example wouldnt hurt the UK too much but would cause chaos if US carriers are stopped transiting UK airspace...so US carriers wont 'lap up the gravy' and the Chicago Convention would not be supportive of such action by the US (in actual fact it would probably be a contravention)

5th Jan 2004, 18:51
Daniel Fitzpatrick, St Louis Post-Dispatch (23rd February, 1947)


5th Jan 2004, 19:19
Donkey Duke

Dont wanna be personal, but some statements are highly questionable

"It is now time for the foreign airlines to "step up to the plate" and provide adequate security."
It`s not the place to discuss that, but we`ve seen in the recent years, which country obviously has the least security...

"I can't believe there is such a protest by BALPA and others, when British Airways planes have been the ones that have mostly been cancelled."
I`m not british, but what we know about the cancellations from AF to LAX was, that it was en error. A US-called suspect was a 5-year-old child, which was found out later. So the amount of cancelled flight does not necessarily show the danger implied.

"Take a look at your passengers closely and provide some armed protection onboard if you want to fly to the States and make some big COIN."
You might be informed, that some airlines already use armed forces onboard. If guns in an aircraft is the right way has yet to be found out.

Seems like the States strike back in this forum...

After all, measures like this do not increase trust in this business. As the US is the biggest airline market, non-US airlines are dependant on flying into the US. The measures taken do not prevent terrorists from hijacking planes (why they do that is another topic...), and that should be our - us and non-us - highest concern.

Hope that 2004 will turn out to be a good year for aviation

Openfly: Seems to me too... really. And by the way: American english sometimes is really strange... (mine probably too, but I`m not english speaking...)

5th Jan 2004, 19:39
but we`ve seen in the recent years, which country obviously has the least security...

A correct statement!

It was like catching a bus...

5th Jan 2004, 20:39
I don't suppose the US economy will go into recession because I've cancelled a couple of work trips there. But, I'll miss seeing some good friends and the chance for some really good food.

As a couple of posters have said, if we don't like the US enforced rules, we don't have to go there - fine. I won't.

This isn't anti-Americanism, it's about personal comfort and convenience. As a gent of a certain age, I need to go to the lav fairly often (don't laugh - it may happen to you!). Rules that make me feel guilty for standing in a line by the loo door are more than I'm prepared to live with! Travelling to the US is becoming more and more of a pain and I don't want to take hassle just for the sake of it. I'll take my business elsewhere, where security is just as tight, but much less obnoxious.

Joker's Wild
5th Jan 2004, 21:01
Just for a minute, let's assume the U.S. finally manages to p*ss off more airlines (and pax) than they are keeping happy. Pax who might normally being thinking about a trip to "the land of the free" :yuk: suddenly elect to go elsewhere. Seeing load factors plummet on their routes to the States, enough airlines have no choice but to suspend said routes due low loads.

Now imagine this happening on a LARGE scale, something we've never seen before, ever. Is anyone going to sit there and tell me this wouldn't have an adverse impact on the American economy? Of course it would, full stop.

Being from just north of the yank border, it wouldn't hurt my feelings one bit to see the rest of the world (in particular Europe) do whatever it would take to stick the bat so far up the U.S.'s backside that they'd sit up straight even while sleeping.

Until the rest of the globe finally figures out that the White House doesn't give a rat's ass about the rest of us, things are only gonna get worse. I've had it with yanks dictating what the rest of us can and cannot do. They are screwed the day everyone else decides the U.S. is no longer worth doing business with.

End of rant.

5th Jan 2004, 21:09
What is the impact of all this on UK airlines I wonder? in particular BA, the stumbling giant must surely now fall to it's knees. As an aside - whoever decided to depict a BA 747 plunging to the ground with an F16 trying to shoot it down in the Sunday Times should have their heads examined.

I am SLF, I have flown regularly and often throughout the period since 911. I can deal with increased security in an airport, even on the plane, but a combination of aircraft sitting on the ground for prolonged periods at both ends of their journey, delays, increased security and (my own perception) increased risk, this has all gone too far. My US trade partners stopped travelling to see me a long time ago.

If the US authorities can't trust the UK to load a plane without allowing some nut to board (or fly it) then why are we trusted to send our guys to their deaths in the Gulf? I have cancelled 4 scheduled trips to the US in the next 5 months, I have also changed my mind about a planned family vacation to the US. I despair that Osama & Co seem to have won and I'm sorry that UK industry suffers as a result, but there is only so much I and others like me will take before the inconveniences and risks outweigh the benefits. These sure are sad days for the airline industry, what a shame. Less time spent on the effects please, more effort on the cause.

5th Jan 2004, 21:51
Please don't boycott the U.S. I understand your frustration. Many Americans are frustrated also, and plan to deal with this in our 2004 elections. A boycott, in the end, ultimately hurts those individuals who appreciate and benefit from your business in the U.S. and who, in many cases, agree with you. (In a similar principled move, I recently bought French tires for my auto.)

I originally thought the congregation rule had something to do with keeping economy PAX from using the First Class lavatory. What do I think of it? Let the relevant security experts discuss the issue and reach consensus.

By the way, I boarded a flight at Reagan National in Washington yesterday. After pushing off, we had to park on the tarmac for about a half-hour due to Chicago weather delays. To my surprise, the pilot opened the cockpit door to visitors. Yes, just like the good old days. Parents with three-year olds, Japanese teenagers with their cameras, . . . it was great fun. I do not remember seeing pilots and passengers more happy on a flight.

5th Jan 2004, 22:09
I'm not going to boycott, I'm just not going to travel there, for me at least - the two are seperate issues.

I hope you are able to change some things at election time, I believe the USA is a great nation, with a great people. I just hate what seems to have happened to it. I tried to like GWB, I even tried to understand him and his 'administration', indeed on other threads I have attempted to defend them, however I believe it's become a lost cause. I hope and trust you have an open, honest and just election this time.

I'm not sure what to think about your comments Re:the flight from Reagan.

5th Jan 2004, 22:58
Looking past all the rhetoric of 'who's right, who's wrong', etc, I think that OPENFLY might be on to something here....


"At the time of booking your ticket you are given a time when you will be allowed to go to the loo for a period of three minutes. The Sky Marshall escorts you there, waits and then checks that the loo has been flushed.


I like the 3-minute limitation bit. The upside is that the lines would move quicker.

Let's say, maximum 3 minutes, 3-5 minutes by pre-arrangement only, perhaps with escort. Anything over 5 minutes requires an extra premium on the ticket price. Between 3-5 minutes, the bog light turns caution amber, and at the 5 minute mark it turns red for 15 seconds before extinguishing and the door automatically opens.

That should solve the problem of people going in to take a bath, or whatever they do, for extended periods during the last hour of a lengthy flight when many others are waiting in the bog line.

Just a thought.

Flying Bagel
5th Jan 2004, 23:38
The terrorists are winning, because everyone is terrified. Osama is laughing all the way to his grave everytime some nutjob thinks that a colour closer to the shade of red gets posted. All because terrorists are supposedly running about, and everyone should put their lives on hold.

I understand there is a need for security, but more discreet and less 'inane' measures could probably be taken that are most likely more effective. It's like fighting viruses with more and more anti-biotics. Sooner or later, the viruses will adapt, and once you run out of anti-biotics, there's nothing much you can do, is there.

I just hope that, behind the scenes, the U.S. has something up its sleeve in regards to these issues. There are only so many flights you can cancel to thwart hijackers, before there will be no international airlines that fly into the U.S. anymore...

5th Jan 2004, 23:58
Even more nonsense while I was away flying.

America is interfering with foreign airlines, because they are requiring a certain type of behaviour both in a foreign country (ie the point of departure) and international waters (ie the Atlantic) where the US has no jurisdiction or, in fact, any legal power.

Secondly, as far as I know a British-registered aircraft is sovereign territory wherever it goes, and can only be entered with the permission of the captain or owner. Might be wrong on that, but I don't think so.

An official on the news today put it very nicely. He said something like "A security response has to be measured and appropriate. The current measures simply create an atmosphere of fear". That fear could easily result in yet more damage to the industry on both sides of the pond...

6th Jan 2004, 00:17
bizflyer, you write

< As an aside - whoever decided to depict a BA 747 plunging to the ground with an F16 trying to shoot it down in the Sunday Times should have their heads examined.>

I believe the cartoonist got it right in one. It is only a matter of time before one of the chase aircraft do a "Vincennes" and ignoring rules of engagement decides to "Splash the sucker."

If I have a rowdy rugger team or a riotous punk rock band or a group of guys over-celibrating Eid down the back of a 747 I want to handle it the way that my country of registration has established. I do not want some Colonel in NORAD misinterpreting any request for assistance by shooting me and 400 other people out of the sky, "Just in case."

And you know that they would. Look at some of the redneck attitudes in the above postings...

6th Jan 2004, 01:07

The cartoonist maybe did get it right in one, but it doesn't mean I have to like it.

I'm sorry to say I think you are right. I assume your profile is accurate and that you are indeed expressing a real concern as the pilot of a passenger aircraft, this only goes to confirm my thinking in terms of my own future travel plans to the US and in general the way in which the US currently treats foreign airlines and their passengers. I'm slightly taken back by your nervousness in dealing with US authorities, lets face it, if you aren't confident that the commander of the aircraft is not going to arrange his own funeral by reporting a fracas on board or requesting help from the ground then what possible confidence can someone like me have when buying a ticket.

The current security situation and the way the airports and flights are policed WILL end in disaster, some form of error is highly likley when fighter escorts are common place and I'm afraid your reference to the US shoot down of a civilian airliner underlines it very well indeed.

As others have pointed out, there are many Countries that implement just as tight security in a less overt manner and thanks to a slightly less sensationalist approach in the local media are by default safer places to travel to and be in.

The red necks are entitled to their opinions, it's just a shame they express them, especially here.

Donkey Duke
6th Jan 2004, 01:42

You either follow the rules, or you don't fly into the US. You can have different security over in Europe, and that is OK with us. You seem to have been using different types of security with your BA Saudi Arabian flights, but you don't argue about those. If you want to tap into the US market for the upcoming busy summer season, then you will comply. Each country can have their own rules, and that is the way it goes. If the UK wanted five armed gaurds on each inbound flight to London wearing Austin Powers outfits, then I guess we would have to do it too. Cheers!

6th Jan 2004, 02:01
Yet another pprune anti-american slagfest. Yawn.

Regarding the fingerprinting and photographing, it takes all of about 15 seconds. Both index fingers are scanned electronically (no messy ink).

Why is the US doing this? Simply because we've completely lost control of our borders. We have a huge problem with illegal immigration. This step is being taken to try to keep track of who is coming into the US and when they are leaving, and also to try to ensure that the people coming in are who they say the are.

Don't get me wrong, as the grandson of immigrants, I have nothing against immigrants. Legal ones, that is. Illegals, on the other hand...

6th Jan 2004, 02:11
What a load of s.hit. They have gone absolutely nuts.

Now all visa holders regardless of citizenship will be required to give fingerprints and have their photos taken upon entry to US of A, regardless of citizenship.

Now that means all non US flight crews. Such a splendid idea.

Citizens from visa waiver countries without a visa in their passports will not be required to participate.

If not all persons entering or leaving are required to participate it beats the purpose of the system. It is like asking some to have ID's to eneter airside and not requiring it from others. System will just not work. It will not stop illegal immigrants nor will it work against other unwanted elements, these will just circumvent the system and enter elsewhere.

Me thinks it is time other nations follow Brasilian example and extend the courtesy to US citizens and have their fingerprints and photos taken. Perhaps internal pressure will force current "Regime" to rethink their so called security procedures.

Wonderful country turning into a third world type banana republic just makes me sad.


6th Jan 2004, 02:12
This is going to get interesting when ARMED Saudi Air Marshals start arriving in New York..........

I'm also wondering how their national airline is going to keep people from using the Mosque at the back of the cabin.......


6th Jan 2004, 02:36
Congregating: Read CS-DNA's post. Absolutely right.

Fingerprints and photos: It would not have stopped 9/11, in fact I can see this making no improvement in overall security, depite what Tom Ridge claimed this morning on US TV (he said it was being instituted only to improve security). Imagine if the fingerprinting rules had been implemented by the EU and were applied to US citizens; can you picture the outrage? Yet many Americans see no problem with the issue, being convinced it will help to control illegal immigration (even though some in the US govt admit they have no resources to handle the huge amount of data) and are unconcerned with the rights and freedoms of the rest of the world. They feel isolated, and believe everything their leaders tell them. The more the rest of the world tries to point out where they are going wrong, the more stubborn they become. I hope that this does not lead to an implosion.

6th Jan 2004, 02:58
'Fingerprints and photos: It would not have stopped 9/11'.
Actually the existing system if implemented and co-ordinated would have either stopped 9/11 or severely disrupted it, as several of the hijackers were on watchlists.
As SLF I have absolutely no problem with having my finger prints and picture taken. It doesn't put me going off to the US one little bit.
I expect a lot of those Americans who work illegally in Brazil are wondering what they are going to do now though.
You know, I can't help thinking if those BA flights hadn't been grounded and if one had blown up over London we wouldn't be hearing a lot of the anti-US rhetoric. Or maybe we would - criticism of the lack of US intelligence and action.
A case of damned if you do and damned if you don't?

6th Jan 2004, 03:30
Maybe an ATC.FA would help things out...
Not my original text, got it off a mailling list:

"Flight Attendant, 47Alfa with you requesting clearance for toilette 4Bravo"
"47Alfa, Roger, eye contact, please advise estimate time to piss"
"FA, ahh... estimating 10 minutes, I think I can hold 5 minutes more, 47Alfa."
"Copy, please stand-bye"
"37Delta, please confirm vacate toilette 4Bravo."
"Affirm, vacating via-right aisle to seat as cleared"
"49Hotel, you are cleared to piss at 4Bravo, please expedite I have traffic almost overflowing"
"Roger, cleared for 4B, will do it swiftly, no solids foreseen, 49Hotel"
"47Alfa, you cleared to line-up right aisle, facing toilette 4Bravo, maintain visual with traffic passing heading row 37"
"Roger, line-up right aisle facing 4Bravo, I have traffic on sight, seems much relieved, 47Alfa"
"Mayday, mayday, mayday, this is 33Echo with solids turning into liquid, request immediate toilette"
"33Echo, got your mayday, cleared direct toilette 4Bravo, please advise passing row 45 break break 49Hotel, please expedite and confirm status break break 47Alfa, sorry I have to put you on hold, please turn right 1-8-0 degrees and walk to the front of the plane, when reaching the galley turn left and execute a left circuit between galley and wall, beware of traffc on hold 2 rows below"
"FA, 49Hotel has vacated the toilette 4Bravo"
"Roger, 49Hotel cleared for seat and thank you"
"33Echo you are cleared direct to toilette 4Bravo, if you require further assistance please contact regular FAs by ringing the toilette chime. Good luck, sir"
"Roger,... dir.. to....bravo, oh my god"
"33Echo, comm broken, any problem, sir? Please confirm status."
"Well, let's just say the shit already hit my props, and yes, I will need further assistance now, 33Echo" (with a final sigh)


Faire d'income
6th Jan 2004, 03:34
It is maybe symbolic that pax travelling to the US won't be allowed congregate near the lav because that is the ultimate destination of their freedoms, the lav.

These decisions are made by the same people that were responsible for the security if the US on 9/11/2001.

Since then they have amassed a huge data base of info on their own citizens and have put pressure on other governments to retain data on their respective citizens. They can now monitor the comings and goings of every person travelling to/from the US and challenge any person guilty of such terrorist activities as overstaying a student visa over ten years ago. ( This person was jailed overnight and deported despite being in the states legally many times since ).

They now want the unprecedented right to insist on armed guards on board foreign carriers and it is just a short step to insisting on their own guards doing the job or banning foreign carriers . They arrest prisoners/soldiers/military/combatants/greengrocers without trial and repeatedly interrogate without representation or intention to release the detainees.

The media tows the official line like some of the detested former enemies of the States ( Tas ) and the national psyche has never been as united ( World war's aside ) which is astonishing since the focus of this is a man living in a cave on dialysis that can't be found despite fingerprinting everyone under the sun.

They have annexed two countries, one on a personal whim of the leader.

Surely the sane US posters here can a least see a risk that this is running out of control. Where will it end. Security travelling state to state to match international travel? Armed guards at every little league game?

Plastic Bug wrote:

Appeasement doesn't work. Ask Neville Chamberlain.

Indeed Mr. Blair appeasing Mr. Bush isn't working.

I'm begining to think that both Bin Laden and Bush have won. They are both the most powerful men on earth and if that sounds a like nobrainer for Bush understand that he is now far more powerful than any of his predecessors.

6th Jan 2004, 03:47
Fear is indeed a powerful tool.

6th Jan 2004, 03:48
Consider the mentality of the public servant/s in the USA at present. Is he/she trying to prevent another 9/11? obviously. Is he/she trying to ensure that nothing h/s could have done, acted upon or ignored leads to a repeat ? Of course.
Has he/she the real power and clout to implement an effective solution against an industry already concerned about cost ie total and complete isolation of the cockpit from the rest of the aircraft(Seprte entrance, toilet facilities ensuite to cockpit, self service catering for the cockpit crew, (With a third pilot on all flight decks as provision for medical emergencies)and no access to the flight deck from the cabin? No he has not.
Every cash truck in the world has the vunerable end timelocked en route! Until commercial aircraft are the same they will always be subject to hijack. If the would be terrorist knew there was no way he/she could access the cockpit in flight the use of aircraft as surrogate bombs would cease.

Faced with this reality expect more C.Y.A. rules & regulations until the penny finally drops. But do not blame the guys trying to do their jobs.Some of the rules might be inane or stupid or even unworkable but if they raise awareness to a point were a single repeat of any of the 9/11 incidents is avoided then they are worth all the grief.

6th Jan 2004, 04:22
Plastic Bug should have said:
'Appeasement doesn't work. Ask Bill Clinton.'

'The focus of this is a man living in a cave on dialysis '

If only it was that simple. It's a lot bigger than that. It has to do with failed economies, unemployment and populations expanding faster than the economies. The MENA region will see an explosion in the workforce in the next 10 years. It won't see an explosion in the job market. There's going to be an awfull lot of angry young men out there.... Look at KSA......
You're right. It is out of control. There's a lot more of this to come.

6th Jan 2004, 06:10
We can't no more follow US Administration's Big Brothers.

If Airmarshall, fingerprints, photos, irischecks or DNA test have to be enforced, it has to be ruled by International Aviation Authorities, because nobody has any more faith in US Administration which lied to the entire world about WMD, and deals with the rest of the world as if it was half human.

We should react to American decisions as did Brazil : reciprocity!

(US imposed visa on French tourists for years...until France announced same rule was to be enforced for American tourists visiting France...so we don't need anymore visa to enjoy freedom fries in front of the most imposing migrant in the world : the crying Statue of Liberty)

6th Jan 2004, 06:32
I am not American but am British, if the Americans want us to have our fingerprints taken well thats fine, what you all must remember are the reasons why. So a lot of you think it will not stop terrorists but it sure will give the low lifes another obsticle to hurdle over.
I think that the UK should adopt a similar approach.
Good on you USA I for one, believe you are doing a good job, I certainly feel safer now than before.

6th Jan 2004, 06:40
I think Broadreach and Cools are posting with a strong hint of the realities at work here. There is no doubt in my mind that the US is struggling mightily to come to terms with the realities of terrorism at home - something many of us Euros grew up with as a fact-of-life - and are rushing headlong making many gross errors in trying to shore up totally open borders. And, as Cools correctly pointed out, many middle/upper-apparatchiks don't want to take the rap for the next inevitable incident, so are firing rather wildly - particularly when it comes to the total lack of diplomacy in dealing with (former) close allies. There seems to be the bland policy of "maybe some of the sh1t we're throwing about will stick in the right places". I'll give you an example of ludicrous dictums: I have to get FBI backround checks done for permission to go to re-current training as a foreign citizen, but meanwhile it's ok to keep driving the real 777 around NY until those checks are complete. Daft. eh? But it shows the near-panic mindset that has gripped some of those in authority. I'm afraid cool heads are not prevailing.

Unfortunately, what's totally lacking in US government circles is deep analysis of why they're in this position as regards foreign policy. I've posted before on this: there is an incredibly black-or-white view of the world in general in GOP politics (Israel good/all Arabs evil, France bad/Blair hero, etc). It's the limited outlook of a Deep-South view of Country, Church, Football, if you like. The result are these broadsides in all directions totally lacking in delicacies. FOX News would make the average foreigner cringe with it's over-simplifications of world events. It is simply not good enough to quote "...you can't reason with these people...we're under attack- you're not". Does that include former allies as well? Because that's the way it's going across to an increasingly sceptical Europe, Asia and now S. America.

While I'm not against the deterrent effect of Marshalls per se, I think the total lack of tact that is being dealt at foreign governments will haunt the US for far longer than Bin Laden and his band of jihadis. Valuable credit is being destroyed that the US could well do with in the future; Colin Powell is one politician who seems to recognise this.

It's absolutely hopeless trying to express this point of view here in the mid-west, at the power-base of Bush politics. Their world is simple in their minds - "...you're with us or against us. You either carry a gun or you're a pu$$y-a$$ liberal, etc...What's wrong with you Euros? Don't you want to defend yourself like a man?"etc.

Sorry to paint it like it is, but I think it's important for Europeans to grip the mind-set of the average Republican voter that thinks GW is right on course. It's now totally at odds with the average European voter, and discord is inevitable. Hence a lot of what you see here on these threads. Bit sad really.:sad:

Donkey Duke
6th Jan 2004, 08:04

I think less visitors to France would hurt them more than it would hurt us. Look what happened after their stance on the US-IRAQ War? They lost Billions. If they want to impose hardships in retaliation for us actually trying to protect ourselves from people that want to hurt us, then fine. France will lose on this one. They need our business.

6th Jan 2004, 08:25
What some people are saying here is that it's fair game if

(a) Country B's flights to Country A, must follow 'A' rules


(b) Country A flights to Country B, will also follow 'A' rules.

i.e. Country A rules apply at all times on inter-country flights.

I've got that right haven't I?

6th Jan 2004, 08:30
If not all persons entering or leaving are required to participate it beats the purpose of the system.Yes, that is a loophole. The system in place now is just a start. It makes it harder for the terrorists -- most of the people that they draw from do not have EU passports.

Is it foolproof? Of course not, but no security system is. When you leave your home, you probably lock the door with a deadbolt. Is that completely secure? Of course not. Does the fact that someone can break the window mean that you should not lock the door?

codpiece face
6th Jan 2004, 08:41
I think the problem is that the US seems to just decide that it is going to implement something, and to hell with the rest of us.

The attitude smacks of we are the superpower and it is up to us what we want to do. Now this is not america bashing i can assure you, I have not met many americans that i have not liked.

I think paranoia is reaching epidemic proportions, and after many trips to the US, for the first time I find myself contemplating not making any future trips.

If security is as good at airports now as it is supposed to be then what are the chances of getting anything on an aircraft that would enable you to do any damage anyway, and if you did your fellow passengers would just not sit back and let it happen.

The US now stands to really alienate the uk, the one country that has stood by your side in thick and thin, the airline community is truly global and one country really cant go it alone.

6th Jan 2004, 08:59
WRONG -- paulo

ALL Carriers INTO the USA must comply with USA regulations, including USA flag carriers. What is wrong with the USA making the rules for life HERE in the USA?

USA flag carriers must comply with USA rules at ALL times. Inter-country or not. USA carriers must also - repeat - ALSO - comply with the rules of the country the USA flag carrier is flying into. What is wrong with that?

The amount of whinging I see on this thread is near impossible to believe. Folks act like Air Marshalls are something new - NOT. Ain't been new for decades now, including on International flts.

Fingerprinting - I was fingerprinted before most of you were even a drip down your Daddy's thigh. Was rountinely fingerprinted for a new drivers license 5 yrs ago. Am fingerprinted several times per month here in my local area when I write a check at a merchant. Oh yes, they also took my picture when I got that new drivers license.

Looks like most of the "foaming-at-the-mouth" crowd firmly believe that THEIR COUNTRY should set the laws for the USA and NOT USA citizens. Very interesting concept of freedom, that is!!!!

So - "foamers-at-the-mouth" , please do set me straight on why your crowd should be the ones to set the Laws in use here in the USA and not the citizens of the USA!

Eagerly awaiting your learned responses.

ps - sure do hope I did not mis-spell too many words this time, as obviously, bad grammer completely destroys the merit of any argument I put forth - since there has been NOT ONE simgle reply directly to my logic!

Have a nice day - Y'all ......... :cool:

6th Jan 2004, 09:18
Just a small anecdotal story - but relevant, I feel.

A childhood friend of mine is getting married this September.

The wedding was set for Boston, invites were issued and some 50 individuals were flying in from various European countries.

As a result of the increased controls at US airports, he today decided to pull the wedding and relocate it to Ireland.

He felt those invited would have been put under too much stress etc, and was also afraid others, like myself, would be put off travelling in the first place due to what's taking place over there.

Now, that's a small, but significant indicator of income lost, and a change in attitudes.

6th Jan 2004, 09:31

ALL Carriers INTO the USA must comply with USA regulations, including USA flag carriers. What is wrong with the USA making the rules for life HERE in the USA?

Nothing. Nobody is objecting to that. What some are objecting to is that your government is attempting to enforce compliance with US regulations in other countries and in international territories, on aircraft that are themselves sovereign territory. You might be able to get away with that in Iraq, but not in Europe.

You may have been fingerprinted/photographed since you were a baby- so what? Most of the rest of the civilised world does not share the paranoia that exists in your country and hey, guess what- we have far less serious crime in our countries. Go figure.

Like almost all the Americans who respond here, you are completely unable to argue the issue on its merits. All you are capable of doing is saying "we are bigger than you, do as we say or else".

If you can't make a coherent argument, save the redneck nonsense. Most of us in Europe find it boorish and offensive.

6th Jan 2004, 10:09
AA SLF: the Europeans were coming to terms with terrorism before you were a drip down your daddy's thigh....that's the point.

Many Europeans are disgusted at the paranoid response Bin Laden is eliciting in the USA. As long as this continues, he's winning. He knew his target well: soccer-mom minivan driver and her hubby and 2.3 kids living in the safety of the US heartland - they thought. Now they're spooked sh1tless. Hence the more and more extreme responses of the security services go un-questioned and mostly un-debated behind the ra-ra of FOX News et al.

It's long been acknowledged that the best way to combat terrorism is to defeat popular support for it; in this respect the US is failing absolutely dismally.Unfortunately, many in the US are less than well-informed via the media as to Middle-East complexities, so there was very little incisive, inquiring public debate.

I'm still very grateful to the people of the US for the chance to live here, and distressed to see the train coming off the rails due to decisions harried under extreme pressure leading to diplomatic disasters that your kids and mine will have to untangle in the future.

6th Jan 2004, 10:13
It would be helpful to this thread if some contributors realised that the US is almost as divided about this issue as about any other. It is not the "US", the Americans you know and love - or hate - that have determined you cannot congregate around the toilets; it is the present, elected, US government - or the part of it concerned with Homeland Security - who have suggested that strongly to airlines. Who've reacted quickly in what they see as their own commercial interests.

So, if you can, put aside the patriotism and the anti-yank rhetoric and try to figure out what's really happening. In the minds of those in the US government who could be as concerned about this election year as they are about real homeland security. Think about how instructions and suggestions filter down through what is essentially a new security beaurocracy and how they are implemented. Think about the impact the resulting ill-feeling has on thousands of people like Bizflier, who described so clearly why he won't be going to the US for a while at least, and the knock-on effect those persons' reactions will have on the millions of tourists, visa-waivered or not, who spend their money in the US.

This is all very likely to come back and bite the US as a country rather than as a goverment, with great venom. We're beginning to see that now and the damage being inflicted is going to take many years to heal.

Tourism and business travel is undoubtedly going to find destinations other than the US. Non-US travel agencies who depend on their local market's appetite for Orlando will, if they have their wits about them, be drumming up alternatives in Patagonia and Iceland. Conventions that would normally have been held in Miami will go to Coatzalcoalcos and Las Palmas. Which in themselves might be a very good thing.

As to the issue of Brazil retaliating by fingerprinting and mugshotting Americans, which some on here have applauded. Retaliation per se is not very productive unless you happen to be bigger than the other party. Not the case with Brazil. If there were a purpose other than simple retaliation, e.g. exchanging intelligence, one might think, well, perhaps that's good. That is definitely not the case and Brazil's economy stands to lose more from a reduction in tourism than the US does, so go figure where this all leads us.

Or, go figure who-all is leading us.

6th Jan 2004, 10:49
FFFlyer... I must have missed something. the only thing changing is that incoming persons who are on a visa will have to have their photo taken and fingerprinted. Those records will be filed. The names and other details will be handled as they are normally, and if a watchlist is used the photos and fingerprints are not relevant. In fact unless a further set of photos and fingerprints are taken when the person leaves the country, to compare with the first lot,what use are they?

6th Jan 2004, 11:27
Sorry if I am repeating, but this thread takes a lot of reading on a night shift!

Their has been countless billions spent on increasing aircraft security around the world since that day. I flew out on hols to the med last year and my travel companions had there toe nail clippers removed as we passed thru security at LGW as this posed a clear and present threat to the security of our flight!

Now, we are to allow some one to walk freely onto a flight carrying a gun?? What a blessing for any self respecting terrorist! The hard work is done for them!

I am not sure where rambo will sit on his/her flight into or out of the US, so I will go thru some senarios -

If the flying gun sits in the flightdeck, then osama and is mates cause a disturbance in the cabin, then a decision has to be made. Now if policy is to sit in the flightdeck, and let the cabin staff handle it, then fine. BUT can you be sure that this will happen. You cause enough disturbances on enough flights, then the law of averages will say that one person will leave the flight deck to intervene. Now you have a live gun entering the cabin. The marshall has the gun, but is now up against people who are prepared to die for their beliefs. Again problably the person with the gun will win, but say its the other way round. BOOM!!

If the marshal is visible in the cabin, then even easier. BOOM!!

Invisible, then cause multiple scraps around the cabin and draw the marshal out. BOOM!!

Their is no deterant in my opinion at all! If 3000 people die due to some people armed with spoons, the just imagine what could happen with a highly skilled pilot in control, with a gun held to the back of his head?!

Rethink the current American foreign policy and remove the belief that their is a cause worth dying for! The anger that you feel from this thread from people living in the west, must be and indication of how much more anger is felt by the people we now live in fear of!

6th Jan 2004, 11:36
Hmm, we're skating on a few issues here, but back to the subject of US-VISIT:

Boofhead raised the point about I94-holders being photographed and 'printed on departure from the US, for comparison. Chatting about this at work today, we wondered if this was on the cards, as it's a big change in border policy. Can anyone enlighten?

Ranger One
6th Jan 2004, 12:05
paulo, you're not making a lot of sense... all flights between country A and country B have to follow the rules in *both* countries.

The problem arises if, for example, country A has rule which, say, requires armed sky marshals, whilst country B has a rule which forbids firearms on civil aircraft under all circumstances. Clearly no flights can legally take place until some agreement is reached - someone has to compromise.

The *direction* of the flights is utterly irrelevant.


Donkey Duke
6th Jan 2004, 12:08

I didn't say "we are bigger than you....etc", I said that we have rules now that need to be enforced if your airlines want to fly into our airspace. It is as simple as that. You can do whatever you want in your country or flying to other countries, but if you want to fly into the US, then you have to follow the rules. I think it would be great if the UK made it mandatory for all airlines flying into London airspace to have 5 air marshalls who all look like Austin Powers. I would definitely try to fly on one of those flights-----It would be Groooovy baby!! Grooovy. If those were the rules to fly into London, then they would have to be followed.

Panama Jack
6th Jan 2004, 12:38

Please remember that your cooperation is essential to comply with the US-VISIT program.

Remember to smile when they take your fingerprints, and to promptly give them the finger when they take your photo. :)

6th Jan 2004, 12:41
>>Remember to smile when they take your fingerprints, and to promptly give them the finger when they take your photo.<<

Yep, try that stunt and see what you get...

Panama Jack
6th Jan 2004, 12:55
Ooops, did I get the sequence out of order Airbubba??? ;)

My comment was intended to be very tongue in cheek. :p

OK children, seriously now, be nice to the nice officer and remember to say "sir."

6th Jan 2004, 13:01
>>My comment was intended to be very tongue in cheek. <<

So was mine.

Go ahead, make my day...

Donkey Duke
6th Jan 2004, 13:33
Airbubba is right. Security is a big issue now in the States. The TSA people would not think that is funny, and you might be getting a sun tan in Guantanimo a week or two later.

6th Jan 2004, 16:39
Reciprocal laws don't mean "hardship" Duke...it means "equality".

The "rest of the world" is bigger than USA.

Went to Musée du Louvre on Sunday, had a chance to come in before10am, could see a few painting fro Cranach, Breughel and others, lucky to find a seat in a cafeteria at noon, and left the place with difficulty, encountering millions of people mainly from abroad : if US citizens stay home, that will be bad for them, but don't worry for Tourism in France, they will find customers from everywhere else as it is the first world destination.

The Ticketor
6th Jan 2004, 17:24
Got about 20 pages on the US-VISIT thing last week at work. There will be an Exit Procedure as well eventually. There wil be self-service kiosks where your fingerprint (and passport to, I think) will be scanned. This will of course be air side (sterile area).

Just ask if you have more questions on this matter.

Boss Raptor
6th Jan 2004, 17:37
Slight aside but relevant with the comment attached 'US will loose trade';

My boss a well known and respected Russian, ex cosmonaut, ex test pilot, advisor to Russian and Moscow Govt. etc. who is also funny enough featured/pictured on a US Airforce Website detailing top world aviators...

We are planning and invited on a business trip to the USA to see a major civil aircraft manufacturer (only is one) for preliminary talks on orders for 5 new aircraft in next 24 months...we have formal letters of invitation etc. etc.

His VISA application is refused no cohesive reason given, and even the fact that the USAF respect and acknowledge him as one of the worlds best aviators makes any odds...

Order is now going to Airbus, he and his political mentors are not very happy, and the USA can stick it :E

6th Jan 2004, 18:05
What stuns me about the arrogance of the US in all this is that we poor Brits are subjected to delays, screening, searches, single file at the toilets on board, fingerprinting and photography and when we step landside at the airport in US, we are arriving in a country where any nutcase can carry a gun - and many do and use them!

Civil Servant
6th Jan 2004, 18:33

The only problem with "equality" is the USA's apparant interpretation of the word, ie everyone plays by our rules or there is no game.

Might does not always equal right as the many differing opinions here seem to say.

There are many in the UK who see the continuing delay of the Washington flight as a political move for BAs reticence to carry Sky Marshalls. This may not be the case but that's how it appears.

El Grifo
6th Jan 2004, 18:39
Airbubba from "Rockytop, Tennesee, USA" says :-

"Go ahead, make my Day"

A quote taken from a movie, which features a rogue cop, with little regard for the rules, running loose in public, with about the biggest piece of hand artillery available in the US today.

Don't you think you are missing the point here and playing into the hands of your detractors a little bit ??

;) :cool: ;)

6th Jan 2004, 19:05
Boss Raptor,

Seeing the result, I think that VISA refusal was the best thing that could have happened to you.


6th Jan 2004, 19:06
OK, can the NRA lobby from the US stop the Hollywood rhetoric about "our way or the highway" and we 'Euro liberal tree huggers' will stop being so cynical and ironic as it is causing too much load on the PPRune server. :uhoh: It is fairly obvious to those of us who are airline pilots and crew who have operated to and from the USA that the cultural divide is huge. We will be doing what is necessary to keep the flights operating as we need our jobs but that doesn't mean that we have to be happy about what is percieved to be diktats eminating from the US who are relative newcomers to what we call aviation security. :rolleyes:

6th Jan 2004, 19:59
To me aircraft security must be established on the ground rather than in the air.

Firstly has anyone truely calculated the chance of an explosive decompression of the aircraft when several bullets pierce the pressurised cabin?

Then how many sky marshals will you need to have on board....The hijackers will simply send a martyr to the cockpit door, they'll get bundled/killed by the sky marshal who has then exposed themselves to the rest of the PAX......and the rest of the hijackers. The hijackers then get the gun and that is really when you think "why the hell did we put guns on aircraft???"

6th Jan 2004, 20:09
Ranger - Your correction is quite right. A reword is in order, i.e.

Country A Aircraft operates in Country B
Country B Aircraft operates in Country A

And your point about A and B working together to find a mutually workable practice is right too.

I think the impression here is that "working together" at the moment is that A tells B, C, D etc to comply.

6th Jan 2004, 23:26

This has been covered, you probably are aware of that but just incase.

Bullet holes are unlikely to cause an explosive decompression, the holes they make are smaller than the ouflow valve, even if there is some ripping of the skin as well. Infact an aircraft is one huge leaky mess that huge volumes of air are pumped into faster than they can run out.

But the bullets used by the skymarshals should be low velocity rounds that will not penetrate the skin of the aircraft. But even if the cabin does depressurize, that is probably a GOOD thing in that scenario as everyone will go to sleep! Furthermore if the cabin is depressurized then any bomb a hijacker might be carrying loses most of its dangerous force (the damage to a pressurized cabin is much much greater when a bomb goes of than to an unpressurized one, hence the very first step of most bomb on board checklists is to bring the aircraft down to its currect cabin altitude, in other words depressurize the cabin without tripping a possible baro detonator sensor)

But last, a puny sky marshal gun won't help them access the cockpit (there are plenty of other far more usefull things in the cabin for breaching the door) so nothing is lost against the ultimate price which is Hijacker gets in cockpit airplane is now a threat to people on the ground and will be treated accordingly.


7th Jan 2004, 00:28
So, a few inflight magazines tucked under your shirt and you are bulletproof.


Joker's Wild
7th Jan 2004, 00:48
Well isn't this interesting, it appears there's not as much instantaneous support for this sick idea the States has as might have been hoped for. Gee what a surprise.

I say again, there's about 300 million of them and a whole lot more of everyone else. Uncle Sam has serious problems the day we all finally figure out all we have to do is rearrange the math a bit and then they're suckin hind t*t.

Pull your heads out of your arses for pete's sake, you're not gonna get your way all the time. Especially not in international airspace. :hmm:

7th Jan 2004, 00:57
Wino I usually respect you posts whether accurate or not but I must have a go at your last.

Yes, you are probably right to say that a standard bullet hole will not cause a catastrophic failure of a pressure hull but there have been few empirical tests to prove this. Yes, the weapons that are sometimes used and those proposed by the US for marshall use are good for breaking flesh but not good at breaking airframes. There are however several countries that use standard police weapons in flight, which is seriously scary.

But please do not try to placate the thread with <But even if the cabin does depressurize, that is probably a GOOD thing in that scenario as everyone will go to sleep!>

Everyone does not go to sleep in a depressurisation (I use the 's' instead of the 'Zee'), as I am sure you know from your experience. Those who are not traumatised into hyperventilation into their masks will be unconscious. This is not sleep. Trained individuals intent on control of the cabin will be able to use their useful conciousness to effect.

As to an explosion of a device into a pressurised or unpressurised hull, there is little difference. Work done in the UK showed that it is the shear of the explosive and not the overpressure that makes the difference. Work it out yourself. How much gas can a kilo of solid make? You re-pressurise very quickly.

Anyway I am off topic here so back to the point.

Who's aeroplane is it anyway???

7th Jan 2004, 01:22
Went to Musée du Louvre on Sunday, had a chance to come in before10am, could see a few painting fro Cranach, Breughel and others...
You went to the Louvre and saw Bruegel and I went through KSFO airport security and saw Bosch... (not sure, but I think it was the "Last Judgment," center panel. The TSA supervisor lacked the flowing red robes, but everything else was pretty accurate… )

Dave :O

7th Jan 2004, 02:47
I have a question about the 'locked cockpit door' policy:

What is to stop a potential terrorist/hijacker from waiting until one of the flight crew leave the cockpit to go to the lavatory?
To assure you were near the cockpit door you could simply buy a first class ticket.


Max Angle
7th Jan 2004, 02:50
What is to stop a potential terrorist/hijacker from waiting until one of the flight crew leave the cockpit to go to the lavatory? Usually the huge stopping power of a drawn curtain and a 5 foot nothing, female member of cabin crew. That'll stop em' for sure!.

Chronic Snoozer
7th Jan 2004, 03:04
The inconvenience/nonsense of this US policy is irrelevant. It will not stop me, a law abiding citizen from travelling to the US. Who the hell are terrorists to tell me when and where I should be afraid to travel? We can't allow the extremists of this world the satisfaction.

Oh yeah....its a pain the ass but hey, thats life.

7th Jan 2004, 04:43

The damage from a SMALL device (the type likely to get on an aircraft) in negligable of the aircraft is unpressurized. If it is pressurized however the combination of blast and pressurization serves to push the skin away from the stringers and whatnot and destroys the "Ripstop" or failsafe design of a modern pressurized cabin. So the force of the air going out the hole continues the work with no ripstop to stop it...

Surely you have seen the videos of explove demostrations in pressureized and unpressurized cabins and consequently what goes into determining the "Least risk" bomb location on an aircaft (Usually infront of an aft door precisely centered both vertically and horizontally so you get the rip stop of the door frame...

BTW, on that subject on flight 63 (the shoe bomber) before many of the current procedures were in effect, when they took the shoes from Reid, initially they took them to the cockpit, They quickly figured out that wasn't so smart and moved it to the least risk bomb location, but we get a good chuckle about that right now...


7th Jan 2004, 04:48
Max & Macaw -

Your droll joking about what happens at the front of plane from the cabin side is way, way off base. Speaking only of my experiences on American Airlines flts inside the USA, the drill goes like this: an FA will pull a food service cart across the narrow aisle that leads into the galley area. She sets the wheel locks. Then the flt deck crew member exits the FD (well there is more done than just that simple statement - but your going to have to fly to find that bit out, sorry). FD member then does their business and the cart goes back in place for their re-entry to the FD. No curtains are involved.

Is the cart a foolproof safety mechanism - NO - it is not. But it will serve as a very good "slowdown" barrier to ANY fool trying something. Ah yes, you say, now is the time for that "five foot nothing" of an FA to take over. Wrong again - this is the time that people like me will take over, and I am 6 foot 7 inches tall and weigh 270 lbs. Most American professional air travellers long ago adopted a "never again" attitude towards funny stuff in first class. Just to make the point, pax have already killed one person here in the air in a struggle over cockpit door entry attempt. Do YOU want to be next? If so, just try something funny at the front on your next USA domestic flight!!

The pax on USA flights are the biggest, and most determined, anti-terrorists items in the air. We really do not need Marshalls (although I welcome them). What causes me pause is that it seems like folks from other than the USA are not willing to support the Cabin & Flt. Deck crew in defense of the airplane.

Why is that? What culture says the pax will just sit there and let the bad guys take over and fly the pax to their doom? Hard for me to understand that attitude of NOT acting in self defense.

Have a "luvvie" day - Y'all ....... :cool:

7th Jan 2004, 06:13
...av8boy; about using Pollock's inspired decoration for passengers cabin, after the new rule(no queuing fot toilets fans) is enforced , so the consequences shall be less unaesthetic ?

Max Angle
7th Jan 2004, 08:10
AA Slf.

Speaking only of my experiences on American Airlines flts inside the USA, Well speaking only of my experiences in the left-hand seat of a short-haul jet in Europe I can assure you my "droll joking" about what goes on at front of the cabin is about spot on, it's not taken seriously enough. Like the idea of using a trolley to block the entrance to the galley, will pass it on to our people.

7th Jan 2004, 08:47
Max, I'm Suprised that wasn't passed along.

Much of the policies for securing the cabin were developed in the aftermath of flight 63, that was thought up on the fly, and passed to all US carriers as a suggested standard procedure in the resulting debrief and tightening of lockdown procedures that follwed that flight and the brazil assault on the UAL flight deck.... I wonder how much gets passed beyond the border... And then gets discarded because it wasn't "created over here"...

Not all crews follow the cart procedure, but they are supposed to...


dallas dude
7th Jan 2004, 11:59

The "cart block" was only officially authorised in the recent revisions of the blue book after all the hardened doors had been installed. It was not the result of any particular flight (in fact flight service had "counseled" several FA's who had prematurely initiated this procedure against AA's wishes).

Danny et al... this security spat between US and UK (BALPA) is nothing personal. In 1776 having one nation impose on another was cause for revolt!

However, September 11th happened. Just as terrorism in London, and elsewhere in the UK, happened.

Britain's response to this was to install video surveillance on most street corners in Central London. They also removed most street's rubbish bins (because the IRA found out they made handy hiding places for anti-personnel weapons).

If the US government were to mandate like minded video surveillance in the US there'd be hell to pay so I really can understand BALPA's stance.

The reality over here is, most US citizens feel safer knowing, at this time, that there may be an armed guard on board their aircraft. Go figure!

We'll have to put this difference of opinion down to culture.

Growing up in the UK I can see both sides of the coin. We need to put our differences of opinion aside for a moment and recognise who the real enemy is. The threat to our profession is not from within. No professional airline crew in the world wants to be the next tool of the terrorist. If, in the short term, this US security missive prevents such an event, we ALL win.

Let's hope that during the interim that smart minds are busy working on a better solution.

7th Jan 2004, 12:12

Initially in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 when we resumed ops we counceled (atleast in the NY domicile) crews that were going to fly to do the cart block. Then came the katey bars and it was in an RF7700 sec for a while. Then Cabin service felt we were keeping first class pax away from a lav too much and they put a stop to it (and for a while we were explicitly told not to make the announcements to stay away from the forward lav(cockpit door). Then flight stepped back in a changed the blue book to where we are now...

I may be slightly wrong on the sequence, but the policy came and went and came back, and was also advocated on the 63 video.

The real moral of the carts blocking off the lavs story was that the flight attendants should never have been broken out of the flight department command structure and given to marketing. Once AA's organization was broken down in that manner, the flight attendants first concern became marketing and not safety (atleast in management's point of view) The Flight attendants should answer to the same VP of flight that pilots do, Not the VP of cabin service which is a marketing position.

Anyway Now that Jane Allen has gone to UAL and the wicked witch of the west's little trained flying monkey is gone, I hope someone throws a bucket of water on the spinmistress and see if she melts as well. Then we will know AArpy is doing good...


Jim Morehead
7th Jan 2004, 12:15
AASLF thank goodness there are some reasonable responses like your on this thread. I think some of the others are living in a dream world.

Rules, carts, Tasers, and guns and other internal things which I won't discuss may or may not stop terroism. But the terrorists are going to strike next at those places where some of the people are now laughing at efforts put forward to stop or reduce threats. They obviously have not been through was AA and UA have experienced. Maybe their turn is coming and it won't seem like such a joke.

As you say, passengers have killed people who have attempted to get in the cockpit and those who try MAY get killed in the interim with the questions asked later.

You may have followed the UAL 777 case to GRU or EZE where the idiot tried to get into the cockpit during cruise. Unfortunately the crew only used the flat edge of the battle ax on him and got a little blood and the guy is in jail. I personally would have used the blade numerous times, chopped his head off, and written it up in the logbook that the AX needs sharpening and cleaning.

Next issue.......

dallas dude
7th Jan 2004, 12:22


Cheers, dd.

7th Jan 2004, 12:40
Ok stick with me, giving background to enlighten my point of view but will get to the point.

As a Greek citizen living in the US for the past 9 years (to the day tomorrow), I know I am a guest in this country and respect its laws, however stupid I might find them at times, much more than the average US citizen.

Now in these 9 years, I have spent 6.5 of them in Houston (yes the fat city) and the last 2.5 in New York. I have gotten both the southern and the most "European" northern views of people in the US.

I moved to New York 3 weeks before 9/11, saw one of the towers come down in front of me, from the parking lot of our corporate headquarters in Long Island and not TV, and wept for some friends that were lost in that living nightmare.

Yes, I do want to avoid future disasters like this, whether in the US or any other part of the world but I fail to see the reasoning behind some of the paranoia suggested. This "congregate" rule seems to beat everything so far. I fail to see any sense behind this rule.

Wino said at one point that it provides justification into a steward (male or female) seeing something funny and having the plane diverted. So basically you suggest that a group of terrorists have managed to get themselves all in this flight, despite all of the other measures, and having gotten there, they decide to get together to see what they are going to do next because their plan is not clear ???

Or even if they need to clarify something, the steward noticing and alerting the captain will provide for enough time for the flight to be diverted or prevent them from doing something before they accomplish it ???


I see it more likely for someone to misinterpret a few individuals actually waiting for the damn toilet and having a flight disrupted for nothing.

Now eventhough these were discussed in different threads, I have seen that this thread has taken the role of "Security, what can work and what is total a** covering"

In respects to Sky/Air Marshals, although I have utter respect for people specially trained with firearms and their use and what they can accomplish, I do see the reasoning behind some people's objections about keeping any sort of weapon, much more a gun, out of airplanes, where they can be used by terrorists. I guess I am neutral on this one.

In respects to fingerprinting. Like I said, I am a Greek citizen, and although an EU passport carrier, I do require a visa. Although I have no objection in getting fingerprinted, as I too have had to have this done at an early stage in my life, I do not really see it as a serious deterrent as it is being used.

Anyone carrying a visa already has had to get this visa at a US consulate abroad where he can be checked against watchlists. Also anyone carrying a visa has to go through thorough immigration anyways. So what is the point ???

Not to mention that this check is only done after the person has already gotten themselves on the flight and LANDED in the US.

The only thing I can see this resulting to, as any other visa carrying person that has arrived at terminal 1 of JFK at around 16:00 can testify to, is another never-ending line after a minimum 6 hour flight. There will never be enough self-serve kiosks, the process will never be fast enough, especially with the 82 year old non-English speaking grandmother, that has never seen an electronic sensor, in front of you. :hmm:

So add at least another 15 minutes for every lawfully carrying visa-holder on their trip while terrorists on the other hand can easily sail into any small port in the US with a chartered boat from the Bahamas, or even walk across the Mexico - Texas border.

Bubba, Duke and AA SLF. Yes, the US does have the right to regulate things in the US. However every other country has the right to regulate things in their country. As Ranger One has put it, if two countries make two contradictary rules, then all flights from-to these two countries will by law cease. Wouldn't it be better if the two countries (or all countries) got together and agreed on what is reasonable ??? Or should we just abolish flights all together and have people take the ship to get to the US ???

Now going to the economic aspects of these regulations:

Since 9/11 I have seen our COO's company-wide announcement that we are going to be limiting trips to client sites and relying much more into video-conferencing, due to the difficulties introduced into flying, with great sorrow. This did not only cause me sorrow because I would have less chances to spend in my beloved skies, but because I knew that video-conferencing is not nearly as close as the chance to "mingle" with the clients. I have seen two multi-million dollar deals with international clients go to hell just because of this, and the effect this has had to the small-scale economies of our company and our employees just fearing the whole widescale perspectives. :rolleyes:

I myself, chose to drive alone 13 hours to Montreal and back, just 2 weeks ago, instead of taking one-hour flights, and keeping myself once again away from my much loved aviation environment, just because I was afraid of the hassle I would have to go through at the airport. My trip was a result of a stupid combination of US immigration and Greek passport laws, which meant that I would need to go without a passport for 3 months if I tried dealing with it by working with the INS inside the US, or I could just make the first U-turn in Canada and be back here in the US in 5 minutes. Being an electrical engineer and seeing today's DL43 incident, I do not regret having driven. Seeing a trend develop ? Lost revenue for the airlines here ? :sad:

I have chosen to live in the US at this time of my life because I like most things in this country. It is a great nation, but as El Grifo put it, not in its finest hour. The things that have made this a great nation are now being totally overriden.

I feel that people of all nations have lots to learn from the people of other nations while keeping their individuality. Yes, the US might be the superpower right now, but that does not give it the right to try to "regulate" everyone.

The Europeans have been dealing with terrorism for a lot longer and have had the time and experience to find the reasonable boundaries between protecting the public from the insane and protecting personal freedom. Yes, 09/11 might have happened in the US, but everyone is trying to avoid it from happening again ANYWHERE. You cannot paralyse the world economy and international relations by trying to prevent others from abusing them.

Maybe the US should start listening a bit more to some of the experienced people on the block.

Finally as movies seem to have quite an influence on most of my American friends, maybe I should remind them of that 1998 one called "The Siege" (Denzel Washington, Annette Benning, Bruce Willis). Whoever wrote it must have had some foresight as the whole premis was how far can you go before fighting terrorism becomes counterproductive. For obvious reasons, it was never a super-hit in the US.

SLF Rambling ends here.

PS: Does this "law" mean that I will not be able to flirt with the spotted cutie 3 rows ahead on my next cross-the-pond ??? Another drawback to Human Relations !!!!

7th Jan 2004, 15:06
Yes, the Europeans have been dealing with terrorism for a longer time and that is the problem. The terrorists Europeans have had to face are nothing like al-Qaeda. The size, scope, determination to kill as many civilians as possible including using WMD, and complete lack of a middle ground to negotiate are different. You can not bargain with al-Qaeda - this is a war and must be prosecuted as such.

7th Jan 2004, 15:12
No, the problem is that because is suddently happened to them, aswell, the US thinks that they have a unique insight into the problem and how to solve it.

Final 3 Greens
7th Jan 2004, 15:17
46 Driver

It would be better if you commented on areas you understood.

Your assertion is polemic.

7th Jan 2004, 19:57
One's perception of the continuing threat to commercial aviation from terrorism is relative isnt it?Europe dint have a 911,so these measures are seen as paranoid.Talk to the relatives of the crew who had their throats slit on that fateful day,and its seen as a measure long overdue.
I dont think the US takes any satisfaction in "interfering" with the sovereignity of your national airlines,but the directive is only aimed at those airlines entering US airspace.Recent events have all but confirmed that these people want a rerun of 911.The US is not about to let a bunch of left-wing whingeing Euros prevent them taking whatever measures are required to stop another 911.To all those rational people across the pond who understand that Air Marshalls are NOT dangerous,and that they are needed in this day and age,we say thank you for helping us to keep America safe.

The Bartender
7th Jan 2004, 20:39
Firearms never solved anything, and the only ones who does not see this, are mostly americans.. Go figure...

The last thing you want in a airplane is a terrorist with a gun. Now, the terrorist has no way of getting a gun onboard an airplane, due to the pax-screening at the airports, so why on earth would anyone, who's playing with a full deck of cards, want to bring a firearm onboard a plane where it is possible for a terrorist to get hold of it?

Surely, a terrorist with a small knife-like object is easier to subdue than one holding a firearm generously offered to him by US-regulations and a dead air-marshall?

The problem with USA is that they have always lagged behind on airport-security, and now they're going overboard with it to compensate... ...and now it's all just a ugly caotic mess of regulations...

Terrorists were never a unknown threat in Europe, and it still isn't, but europeans have (and have always had) a more relaxed and realistic relationship to terrorism.
USA on the other side went full apeshit at 9/11, and have since then grown to look like a paranoid police-state in the eyes of europeans..

Airport security in Europe has been upgraded over the last few years, but it's still at a more realistic level than in the US...

If the US goverment bans all flights to the US without air-marshalls, Europe (and others) should ban flights carriying air-marshalls...

A armed air-marshall doesn't stop terrorists... It's just a minor obstacle for them, and when they overcome the obstacle they are rewarded with a gun... Now how's that for a sweet reward!?

....and as to the reactions of Brazil: Great!! May all countries follow their example and make it just as hard for americans to get out of the US as it is for others to get in!

Then let's see how big W is... :yuk:

Old Man Rotor
7th Jan 2004, 21:47
Normally either a cop who didn't quite make the grade, or a Security Officer with a promotion [Crew/Passenger Screener in a past life]...or bless their socks, that ex military frustrated cowboy that wants to earn that tantalising $45K......!!!

Great, all these experts are quite frightening.......

Security...is a "new" industry, and of course there are all the "experts" pushing their ill informed ridiculous and self enlightening viewpoints.....

7th Jan 2004, 22:17
In the end, the US authorities don't really care what European airlines/pilots, and indeed other nations/pilots...think, if it has been decided that armed air marshalls will be on flights to the USA, then they will be on, if the respective foreign aircarrier wants to continue serving US destinations.
Simple as that.
Pilots/unions will not have much of a say in the matter, irrespective of what they may pontificate here.
Companies and governments will decide, and if individual pilots don't like the outcome, all the respective foreign government needs to do is say...either abide by the regulations, or your flying license is hereby cancelled.

Which, oddly enough, is what they do now, when flight crew don't follow regulations.

BALPA will decide? Hardly.
BALPA, and its members, as a collective body, have not been able to decide what time of day it is for the last thirty years....and nothing will be accomplished by them now.

Want to keep flying that shiney new jet airliner, to destinations within the USA?

Do as you are told by the company/CAA/government.
Blair is not going to rock the boat.
Don't like it....vote him out of office.

In case anyone didn't notice, aviation/airlines are a regulated enterprise, rules are put in place for the safety of all concerned, changed from time to time as conditions change.

Dangerous times demand tighter security. And if it is determined that armed air marshalls are needed for enhanced security, they will be provided.
Like it or not...and many will certainly not.
Displeased?....leave the industry.

Spuds McKenzie
7th Jan 2004, 22:28


7th Jan 2004, 22:33
I read a similar report earlier and almost laughed out loud - thought better of it though as that's probably subject to a US anti-terror ruling now too.

So, what next then in this farce....

7th Jan 2004, 22:40
'....send pax back to their seats when the line became too long?

Been doing this for a very long time, especially when pax become rather unruly. Flights from Australia come to mind, especially when the beer has run out over Alice Springs, and we still had six hours to go.

It's called....turn on the seat belt sign.
Cabin crew have asked many times for this...nothing new.:rolleyes:

Actually, come to think of it, on one flight all the booze was gone by Alice Springs.
Nearly had a riot in back...:{

7th Jan 2004, 22:41
Maybe they thought of a better idea like gagging and hancuffing all of the passengers - mind you, the airlines would need to provide extra crew assistance for passengers wishing to use the loos! :)

7th Jan 2004, 22:44
looks like it will be advisable to reserve your toilet slot when you buy your ticket but latest when you check in...:\
and for in flight entertainment you can trade slots as long as you stay in your seat and don't queue.


Spuds McKenzie
7th Jan 2004, 22:53
Captain's announcement:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, new regulations imposed by the U.S. government require us to enforce a queue-for-the-loo-ban.

Should you be unable to withhold your delivery, feel free to relieve yourselves into the seat.

Should you feel overcome by the odour of the result, please resort to the air motion bags.

If you wish to use the oxygen masks, please inform our cabin crew.

We wish you a pleasant flight and enjoy your meals, thank you."


Mick Stability
7th Jan 2004, 22:55
>>>...Maybe they thought of a better idea like gagging and hancuffing all of the passengers.... <<<

Bit too close to home for some of the cabin crew:O

7th Jan 2004, 23:14
The current plans and initiatives to curb effects of DVT are going go pear shaped hear then if people are going to be restricted from moving around the cabin, great idea... (not)
Standing up, moving around and limbering up in a toilet queue are great ways to keep the old blood circulation going for all on board.

8th Jan 2004, 01:11
You know, its an interesting thing.

Everyone says that the USA knows nothing about security and that we should listen to Europeans on this matter.

Okay, lets actually examine that shall we? Where did the lockerbie aircraft take off from? Oh yeah, Europe. How about all those TWA aircraft that ended up in Lebanon? Oh yeah Europe. Hmmm, you are right! Virtually all hijackings and attacks happen on aircraft from European airports... They must know more about it...


8th Jan 2004, 01:18
Those would be American airlines in your examples, Wino, wouldn't they? :E

8th Jan 2004, 01:22
Yes it would, and the security airside at the UK is provided by WHO?

I am just wondering if the European security is so good, and American security is so bad, why is it that untill 9/11 the aircraft were grabbed or attacked in Europe. Logic would dictate that it would be easier to grab/board em in the USA...

America has always been the target. Its just that American airplanes are no longer good enough. Now its the American cities that are the target.


8th Jan 2004, 01:37
And the two dead bodies found in gear door wells at JKF last week came from WHERE?

8th Jan 2004, 01:41
Q's for the toilet and then I read in that newscutting

"Qantas officials haven't formulated how to handle the issue"!!

I didn't know they had a sense of humour!!

8th Jan 2004, 01:45
The 2 dead bodies found in the wheel well in JFK came from where? Nigeria.

dallas dude
8th Jan 2004, 01:56

Your examples confirm why the Europeans improved their security measures before we did.

You and I know that until 9/11 we were somewhat isolated from events that other folks have had to live with for many years, OKC notwithstanding.

Ultimately, several "arguments" that we could use to justify the TSA's directives cannot be discussed on this forum. Bit like fighting with one arm tied behind your back. No change there, then!

The pendulum of common sense rarely stops in the middle on the first swing. Eventually however we will find the balance between passenger/crew inconvenience and the best security we can consistently provide.

Others...most AA airplanes have a loo located just feet from the flight deck door. This is the area where passengers are asked not to congregate. It's probably as much for other passengers' peace of mind than just the F/A's.

After UAL 93 it's probably fair to assume that most passengers are prepared to become involved in any potential cabin disturbance. The last thing needed is a vigilante passenger who becomes excited by the [innocent] behaviour of a stranger who has to pee like a racehorse!


Faire d'income
8th Jan 2004, 02:26
Wino the difference is that Europeans do not expect or damand 100% security. It is not acheivable here or in the US. The Bush Admin is claiming to provide 100% security but when it reduces civil liberties and freedoms what is it worth it.

It is interesting to note that over 10,061 people died on US roads in 2001. Where are the draconian laws to stop the carnage.

8th Jan 2004, 04:30
Yes, VIA Europe in case you didn't hear.

8th Jan 2004, 04:31
But, same as technical safety, adding another barrier reduces the bad chances.

We are able to understand it, I hope, around this globe.

The problem is, again, the trend of present US Administration to act unilateraly and consider the rest of the world as obedient followers.
The cherry on the cake (sorry! french expression) is that stupid regulation about toilets use, negation of human needs and therefore impossible to respect. Will be forgotten in weeks time.

Please! Don't fancy I am not aware of terrorism threats: I lost enough friends to understand cristal clear that we must enforce new regulation to protect Civil Air Transport...and people on the ground too.

But this must be done according to the law.
For International Air Transport, the law used to be written by ICAO after talks with the representatives of all nations, consultation of Associations (Airline Pilots, Flight Attendants...), and then introduced in National regulations or not.

It's never clever to pretend solving every problem alone: first you have more chances to mistake, and you can't expect any support from those whose advices were rejected.
I thought this was a common knowledge tought in all schools for management...

So, if Airmarshalls add something positive to security (I do think so...under certain conditions) this new kind of "embarked professional" (call them "police crew member") should be discussed at ICAO...so that everyone concerned could give his advice.

My advice is that terrorist menace imposes a new definition of reponsibilities onboard for Captains and all Crewmembers, with adequate training, so they can integrate this new kind of crew dedicated to "law and order" not to use "antiterrorist personnel" which creates panic in itself.

This personnel needs rules for employment (first one: they are under captain's authority, as everybody is on aircrafts and ships since they sail and fly) work limit (it's obvious so it needs to be said!)....and coordination with other crew and cockpit should be considered essential.

The problem of weapons has to be thoroughly examined and solutions must be found to minimise the impact of their use on aircraft and passengers safety: forget all Al Pacino's movies please, and John Wayne's too .

If Pilots Associations don't demand this international discussion, they will fail in their mission.

If Governments don't agree to it what use are they?

Besides, who is to pay for it, either with money or blood?

8th Jan 2004, 04:35
The loopholes in security are too numerous to list, but the more glaring examples I saw were in cargo, ramp handling, airside security, staff background checks and management integrity/responsibility (or lack of).

As the wiser among us have explained; Security must be multi-layered to have any chance of spotting most of the various methods likely to be used. Also, an effective deterrent does not have to be 100%, just good enough to make the odds of detection too large and the chance of success too small for the terrorists.

However, humans being what they are, we should be more aware of the fact that humans can adapt according to the challange, so unless we constantly change our security methods, procedures and philosophy, it is only a matter of time before all the layers will be circumvented and/or rendered impotent. I am very surprised that the need for dynamic and abstractly changing security is lost on the decision makers.

There is little doubt that unless we cooperate (that means public/airlines/government as well as between nations), the loopholes will always exist and become ever more apparent to the bad guys. So what worries me the most right now is the 'do it or else' attitude from the US and the unshakable conviction that their opinion regarding guns in planes is absolute fact. Despite many reasonable opinions providing realistic scenarios where having a gun on a plane can lead to bad things, it is obvious that some opinion has become set in stone and oblivious to reason.

The fact is that the minute we start putting guns on aircraft, terrorists will start planning on how to exploit the situation to their advantage. While many are just deluded freaks, some are cold, calculating and intelligent enough to come up with an effective plan.

Since 911, I have made the mental decision that if I am a passenger on an aircraft that is being hijacked, I'll fight to the death and encourage my fellow passengers to do the same. Yet the only thing that could stop me from a distance would be a gun, so that becomes my worst case scenario. Any other weapon (excluding a bomb of course) would mean that I'll at least get a chance to gouge some eyes or bite a junk off, hopefully making the task easier for the next 'have-a-go'. If a bomb was used, at least the aircraft would cease to be a missile that could be used on ground targets.

I'm not convinced by the arguement for armed guards. What disturbs me more is that some people are demanding that we accept their perception and threatening punative action if we dare to disagree. Hardly the attitude to have if one is looking for cooperation and support which is what the US will need to effectively tackle the threat of terrorism.

8th Jan 2004, 12:31
Anyone carrying a visa already has had to get this visa at a US consulate abroad where he can be checked against watchlists. Also anyone carrying a visa has to go through thorough immigration anyways. So what is the point ??? The point is to make sure that the fellow that shows up at the port of entry with the visa is, in fact, the same fellow who obtained the visa at the consulate.

Visas and passports are far, far too easy to forge.

Jim Morehead
8th Jan 2004, 12:48
I think ny'all may be beatin' up a little too much on each other about where some plane started, what airline it was, whose handling crew did it and all of that.

The bottom line is that each country is going to set their parameters based on whatever input they seek. It may include the country's labor union or it may not.And it probably WON'T include some other countries' labor union's opininon.

I can't tell Peru not to check for smuggled computer (I have none). I can't tell Korea not to look for weapons inbound. I don't tell Australia not to look for food (sealed or not means nothing). I don't tell Santiago, they don't have to check EVERY crew member that a spot check is probably about right. I don't tell India not to waster their time on checking crew member's inbound. Ad infinitum.

Give it up. This isn't 1903 anymore and the tooth fairy ain't coming. Santa Claus is on a leave of absence until things get better.l

Brown Starfish
8th Jan 2004, 14:30
From the Times today January 08, 2004

BA defends rights to queue for the loo at 20,000ft
By Ben Webster, Transport Correspondent

FLYING across the Atlantic is already stressful enough in the current security climate without having to spend eight hours with your legs crossed.

However, that is what the flying public could face after the United States ordered airlines entering its airspace to ban passengers from queueing for the lavatories.

The directive from the Transport Security Administration (TSA) requires the crew to make announcements every two hours telling passengers that they must not “congregate outside the toilets” or any other location. British Airways, which yesterday was forced to delay Flight 223 to Washington for the fifth consecutive day while the US carried out security checks, dismissed the directive as unworkable.

A BA insider said: “Queueing is a great British tradition. How on earth are we supposed to organise trips to the loo? “Should we make people put their hands up or have a ticket system like at the deli counter at Tesco’s? It would be unworkable to stop passengers forming queues outside toilets. There’s big demand for the loo after meals have been cleared away.”

BA is attempting to avoid a confrontation with the US authorities and its only official comment on the directive was: “We are happy that our current procedures adequately cover the requirements.”

But in reality, the airline has no intention of ordering passengers back to their seats. BA has been unable to obtain an explanation from the TSA of the security benefit of the directive, which was issued on Christmas Eve.

The only lavatories located near the cockpit on transatlantic flights are reserved for first-class passengers, who do not have to queue because there are so few of them.

Simon Evans, chief executive of the Air Transport Users Council, said: “This directive is just absurd. It is a security measure too far, which would only make passengers feel more uncomfortable.

“People in aisle seats might spot an empty loo but, by the time they climb over the people sitting next to them, a queue could have formed.”

The directive applies to all airlines which enter US airspace.

Qantas plans to respond by making pre-flight announcements and instructing cabin crew to monitor passengers during the flight. Warren Bennett, chief executive of the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia, said: “It gives the impression paranoia is taking over and is going to place enormous stress on flight crew to be toilet police.”

The British Department for Transport refused to comment on the directive and the TSA failed to return calls.

Words fail me .....

8th Jan 2004, 14:36
...While the Yanks are training the local wannabbe Atta's themselves... what a joke of a country.

From today's AVWEB:

"TEST DRIVE" A B-737/300 AT CONTINENTAL'S IAH PILOT TRAINING CENTER! The "Airline Training Orientation Program" (ATOP) is a two-day 737/300 familiarization course designed for *any* U.S. pilot, especially those interested in airline careers. Presented exclusively by ATOP Inc., the course features 12 hours' ground school, one hour in the 737/300 FTD, and two hours in the 737/300 full-motion simulator. Earn the optional "High Altitude Endorsement," too! Register for any class by February 1 and get a $40 discount off the $435.00 course fee by mentioning AVweb! For details go online at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/atop

8th Jan 2004, 15:03
Hmmm, as the requirements are reserved for certificated pilots, and aim to foster appreciation in potential airline applicacants career choices...where is the problem?

The USA will absolutely never be understood by those in the UK/Europe, so have decided to go their own way with regard to security of alrline flight operations.

Hardly surprising...and if those outside the USA don't like it, or indeed understand same, then that is their problem.

In short, abide by the security regulations imposed for flights to America...or don't fly to America.

Should be clear to all in the UK/Europe (and elsewhere) who choose to fly here....otherwise, too bad...because it ain't gonna change anytime soon, period.

8th Jan 2004, 16:10
That's not enough 411 !

Why not another preemptive war against these Pain in the A... countries which break the "not queuing for toilets" law?

You may consider it some kind of WMD...Would not you ?

8th Jan 2004, 16:50
...and if those outside the USA don't like it, or indeed understand same, then that is their problem.

In short, abide by the security regulations imposed for flights to America...or don't fly to America

Your arrogance, which epitomises the US attitude to the world, is but one facet we understand all too well.

Final 3 Greens
8th Jan 2004, 17:13
...and if those outside the USA don't like it, or indeed understand same, then that is their problem.
If US citizens and their government, continue to send these sort of messages, there may be a perverse outcome.

The uniting of Europe into a true power block and the US certainly would not like the results of that.

8th Jan 2004, 17:30
"Ha ha ha ha, he he he he he he, ho ho ho ho ho ho, ha ha ha ha ha, he he he...."

That, folks, is the sound of bin Laden and his mates, sitting on the Afghan/Paki border, watching the Western world completely losing the plot........ :(

8th Jan 2004, 17:49

You trying to demonstrate, yet again, your arrogant streak? What are you on about? We are talking about a general security 'arrangement' now! The banning of UK visitors to the US without a visa or biometric ID. And you know what? Tom Ridge has decided that no-one here, and in other EU states, cannot apply before the deadline of 26th October this year. Do you want to tell us what that means? No, don't bother, I'll tell you.

Anyone who has booked to fly to the US on or after 26th October will now not be able to do so unless they have a visa. How the hell are they going to do that? The airlines will have empty seats for weeks and the industry will have what amounts to melt down.

Trouble is that Tom Ridge and a whole lot of people like him have no conception of what is involved in this industry and go right ahead and make a draconian move like this. What is he on? He will have the whole of Europe turn against the US this way.

But let us hope that the he sees sense and changes it. But I wouldn't hold your breath.

It would help 411A if you could cut your understandable altruistic attitude a little and understand what it means to the UK in particular. But I expect you will again adopt your insular approach.

This will help you understand: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3378057.stm

8th Jan 2004, 18:15
To all the tourists who will not wish to travel to the United States now...you will find a very warm welcome in South Africa. A big thankyou to the US government for their actions, from the South African travel industry.

8th Jan 2004, 18:32
These regulations are over the top. For them to be respected they have to be effective and implementable otherwise people will ignore them and, more importantly, others regs that are effective.

Lets be honest, as many people have said that since 9/11:

passengers have killed people who have attempted to get in the cockpit

Passengers now understand the implications of highjack and this has got to be the best deterrent and in my mind why we have not seen another effective attempt since. Passenger action also proved effective, without an air marshal, against the shoe bomber. I also agree with previous posters - I hate to think what willhappen when the terrorists get hold of the Air Marshall's gun.

So back to the point in question, what value does this new directive give on security? None. What value does it do to the "rule makers" - negative - it just shows they are not thinking straight on what will be effective and just arse covering.

We should focus on them and not a US - v rest of the world.

8th Jan 2004, 19:41
This may be a crafty ploy on the part of the US administration to p*ss off the rest of the world so much that the only people on flights to the USA will be American citizens and terrorists.

Civil Servant
8th Jan 2004, 19:51
The attitude of 411A and many other US nationals in this particular instance is typical of a nation that has not fully understood the responsibilities of being the most powerful in the world.

What we should all remember here is that the information to fuel this latest frenzy is being passed by the same organisations that kept a completely innocent grandfather festering in a South African jail for a few weeks while they thought he was an international fraudster and on the FBIs most wanted list.

I for one am TOTALLY satisfied that their info is accurate!!!!


Raw Data
8th Jan 2004, 20:37
Have to say that I agree with 411A on this.

Unless things have changed in the last few months, pretty much any wannabe in the UK or Europe could hire a full-size simulator for sim check preparation etc., without having to prove anything. There are companies who buy spare sim time and use it for "management training", or simply for fun.

Similarly, the US approach to sky marshals, although not agreed with in the UK, is absolutely the prerogative of the US. The UK pilots may not like it, but the UK government does and that is pretty much "all she wrote", to coin an American phrase.

Are the current measures "window dressing"? Yes. Are they highly unlikely to stop a terrorist with any intelligence at all? Again, yes. Are they badly though out? Yes. Are they here to stay? Yes.

So maybe it would be better to find a way forward that satisfies the US need to protect their borders and citizens, and the sensibilities of those nations not wedded to the idea that "might is right".

Face it, this is going to happen. It is a done deal. Time to look ahead a little.

If I was a terrorist, I wouldn't be fooling with aircraft anyway. There are far more effective ways to achieve the destruction of targets in America, that require little or no effort getting around security.

8th Jan 2004, 21:08
The point is to make sure that the fellow that shows up at the port of entry with the visa is, in fact, the same fellow who obtained the visa at the consulate.

Uhhhhh, have you entered the US with a visa lately, at least as a passenger ??? Since 1995 I have on multiple occassions.

Not once was my passport examined for less than 5 minutes by an immigration officer and all of my papers were ALWAYS in order. My appearance was always cared for, there was never an instance where my trip would be considered unusual (student visa entries coinciding with school breaks, work visa entries from major economic hub airports). All questions were answered in a respectful and legible manner. Yet, never did the review of my passport and visa last less than 5 minutes.

Should I mention the barcodes and engraving of the US visas ?

And even an easier question, if passports are so easy to forge, why not them forging a US or any passport that does not require a visa, and no fingerprinting, at all ???

Fingerprinting, especially by electronic sensors, can be fooled as well, and that isn't too hard, certainly takes less commitment than having flying lessons like some of the terrorists of 9/11 had. Of course you could make the requirements very hard and get about 50% of false positives due to smudging of prints or even rather stupid cuts on someone's fingers.

Beware the traveller that has actually burned his fingers by grabbing a hot pot lets say !!!

Off course the terrorists could always just sail into a small port or illegally enter the country any other way, and then just use an internal flight like 9/11.....

Anyways, the "fingerprinting" measure is at least more reasonable than the "congregate" rule which this thread was based on. I have yet to see a reasonable arguement behind that. And yes, terrorists managing to get on the same flight with no problems and then needing to meet before they act, as such providing a warning by the violation of this rule, does seem unreasonable.

As for 411, yes your point is totally understood, comply or stay out. Now this the attitude we want to see in captains making command decisions.

Let's just all wonder what will happen if all of the EU members decide to make the opposite rule a reality ???

Anyone knows where I can buy stock in the corporations owning the airports in Iceland and Norway ? Is Canada an option ???

Or better yet, let us all close all of our borders and see the world economy, with the airline industry first, reach the stone age.... :ugh:

I am probably breaking a new law right now, doubting the new security measures.... :rolleyes:

9th Jan 2004, 00:07
The point has been made already, but bears repeating; what is the benefit to security if the photos and prints are taken AFTER the flight has landed?

Raw Data: I did not understand the legality of the US directing airlines to prohibit smoking for flights to and from the US, takeoff to landing. Especially if the airline is not registered in the US and is flying over international airspace. But they caved, and now the US can direct anything it likes since the precedent has been set. Maybe if a united stand is taken to tell the US it has no such rights, freedom can be regained. But I guess that is too much to hope for. I have been in aviation for over forty years and I have never seen such a concerted effort by regulators to destroy the industry.

Mrs Head is a US housewife, exposed to TV, and she accepts all this crap completely. Won't fly commercial any more, because of the hassles, but thinks I am crazy to object to what is "obviously" thought out by people a lot smarter than me, and is designed to protect the American public. Dunno what makes me more sad, really.

9th Jan 2004, 01:01
......unbelievable...!! I support most of the initiatives the US gov has come out with...but this one defies belief (and common sense). The sky marhal issue is one I endorse, makes sense and there is a defined security benefit. Ordering foreign airline Captains to make an announcement regarding 'loo' conduct would be comical if it weren't so sad....

Message to the TSA: get real.

Making ourselves the laughing stock of world aviation isn't going to do much to help the 'fight against terrorism'.

9th Jan 2004, 01:28
I have a couple of questions for our American Cousins..and for all interested parties.

1. It is illegal to carry a firearm on board an aircraft in the UK. How many US airlines have notified the UK and other countries that they are carrying a Sky Marshal on board, in contravention to the national laws and would they remove the sky marshal if requested to do so by the state of destination?

2. How many American, United, Northwest, or Delta international flights have been cancelled or delayed because of concern about passenger names??

3. Do American Carriers supply the British Department of Transport with a full list of booked passengers prior to departure?

America does not have God-given right or knowledge on airline security, but are now employing bully boy tactics to impose on others. You will pardon us if we seem a little tetchy at this attitude.

Earl Selsdon
9th Jan 2004, 01:31
treat those i..... like they treat the rest of the world and soon you will hear them complaining why nobody likes them i....

9th Jan 2004, 01:43

1. Change the regulations. Gee, what a novel idea.

2. A couple in the last two weeks. No cancellations.

3. Yes, if requested to do so.

America only has requirements for flights to/from America, nowhere else.

Suggest foreign aircarriers get their act together. The provisions to carry an air marshall do not in any way undermine the Captains authority on the flight.
A good start for the UK airlines would be to get some of the well trained SAS chaps in the new air marshall program.
Ah...they are well trained, aren't they?:confused: :E

Donkey Duke
9th Jan 2004, 02:07

Any country can impose any rules, and the other airlines would have to follow. If the UK said that any flight to London would have to have five air marshals that look like Austin Powers, we would have to comply. That would be groooooovy baby! And if they did not, your Gov't could look at us and say, "Beeehave!!"

Final 3 Greens
9th Jan 2004, 02:46
Ah...they are well trained, aren't they?
They seem to get the job done. We could discuss hostages and embassies couldn't we?

9th Jan 2004, 05:41
What is supposed to happen, when a foreign BA or AF or DL or AZ flight escorted by jet fighters get an accidental depressurisation leading to an emergency descent not far from a protected site in USA?

A big chance to reach the ground in more than one piece, don't you think?

Better chose a slow descent negotiated with ATC, NORAD,and every cowboy concerned!

9th Jan 2004, 05:45
Umm JMCman,

Point 1

You should look at your ops manual. You can have armed passengers on your flight as part of a protective detail should you be carrying a passenger that requires protecting, like Tony, the Queen, the pope, Prince Charles etc... Atleast that was what the manual said when it was JMC, and before that Flying Colours, and before that airworld... So it is not EXACTLY illegal to carry a firearm aboard an aicraft. You just have to comply with quite a few procedures...

Of course you have to be notified in writing and know the seat location....

Point 2

Every American and United flight was stopped for 4 days, or have you forgotten that? And there have been intermittent stoppages, but usually because the aircraft starts from US controll WE can look at the pax first, and or quietly put as many skymarshals on the aircraft as the threat is deamed to require...

point 3

Yep if requested...

Wino (Former JMC, Flying Colours, and Airworld Captain on the A320)

PS Grandpa, NO one just does a highdive anymore, Hopefully they coordinate it. If you are in the North Atlantic you have to turn off your track etc... and if you are in the USA you are going to declare an emergency and notify ATC. I have to question the competency of anyone that would just automatically pin that pax to the ceiling. Anything that explosively decompresses the cabin likely will have caused structural damage, Do you really want to come screaming down hill at barber pole with bloody great big holes in the side of the aircraft? taking 5 min to get to 10 thousand or 2 min won't make any difference to the pax long term health, but it might make a HUGE difference to the health of the airframe...

9th Jan 2004, 06:03

As far as I can see, although passengers may carry firearms on an aircraft, they must be unloaded, and not in an area to which the passengers have access.


Unless anyone can find different the Air Navigation order applies as follows:

Carriage of weapons and of munitions of war
46.—(1) An aircraft shall not carry any munition of war unless:
(a) such munition of war is carried with the written permission of the Authority and in accordance with any conditions relating thereto; and
(b) the commander of an aircraft is informed in writing by the operator before the flight commences of the type, weight or quantity and location of any such munition of war on board or suspended beneath the aircraft and any conditions of the permission of the Authority.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this article it shall be unlawful for an aircraft to carry any weapon or munition of war in any compartment or apparatus to which passengers have access.

(3) It shall be unlawful for a person to carry or have in his possession or take or cause to be taken on board an aircraft, to suspend or cause to be suspended beneath an aircraft or to deliver or cause to be delivered for carriage thereon any weapon or munition of war unless:
(a) the weapon or munition of war:
(i) is either part of the baggage of a passenger on the aircraft or consigned as cargo to be carried thereby;
(ii) is carried in a part of the aircraft, or in any apparatus attached to the aircraft inaccessible to passengers; and
(iii) in the case of a firearm, is unloaded;
(b) particulars of the weapon or munition of war have been furnished by that passenger or by the consignor to the operator before the flight commences; and
(c) without prejudice to paragraph (1) of this article the operator consents to the carriage of such weapon or munition of war by the aircraft.

(4) Nothing in this article shall apply to any weapon or munition of war taken or carried on board an aircraft registered in a country other than the United Kingdom, if the weapon or munition of war, as the case may be, may under the law of the country in which the aircraft is registered be lawfully taken or carried on board for the purpose of ensuring the safety of the aircraft or of persons on board.

(5) For the purposes of this article a "munition of war" means any weapon, ammunition or article containing an explosive or any noxious liquid, gas or other thing which is designed or made for use in warfare or against persons, including parts, whether components or accessories, for such weapon, ammunition or article.


However, the ANO is a Statuatary Instrument, and can be ammended by the Privvy council (excuse spelling) which does not take an act of parliament, in other words the ANO could be changed in around 5 minutes......

9th Jan 2004, 06:21
I binned my brit regs when I joined AA unfortunately, can someone point me to an easy website with the ANO and a good search function (Help me Flying Lawyer)...;

But are you telling me that Tony has to fly a foreign airline? Look at it from that point of view...

Also, can the company ops manual ever supercede the ANO? Can you have a waiver of the ANO as part of your ops manual? (In the USA it can happen that the FAR's can be waivered in the op specs of the company manual, though usually the opspecs are MORE restrictive)


9th Jan 2004, 06:54

Just search for the words "Air Navigation Order" on google UK.

A good law search engine is http://www.bailii.org/

Cancompany rules over ride the ANO? No.

I did say that as far as I can find, and I am willing to be contradicted that is the legislation that applies. It means unless there is something else that applies there is no way of carring a loaded firearm on an aircraft. However, as I said at the end the ANO is not an act of parliament, its a Stautory instrument, it means its passed by the Privvey Council, as I recall that means that a group of Privvey councilers stand round The Queen and she agrees there and then to enact the instrument. In other words if what I quoted before is correct, then it can be changed in minutes.

You know as well as I do that President Tony flies British, his security arrangements are not something I can comment on, afterall you are a forigen national.

9th Jan 2004, 06:57
Think this may be what you are looking for Wino http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP393.pdf you will need to look at page 54. it is what I remember from my PPL air law. Thankfully being a PPL I should not have to worry about guns and by choice I would not like to be near one if it did concern me.

9th Jan 2004, 07:03
Well then Final 3 Greens,
The SAS guys on board would indeed seem to solve the problem. Surely the US authorities would have no problem with these well trained guys...and as a bonus, provide a good return for your tax pound Sterling.
A win-win situation, it would appear.
Surely BALPA would not object...?:ooh:

9th Jan 2004, 08:49
The only thing worse than reading the FAR's is reading the British equivelent. The only thing worse than that is reading it on a computer screen...

The question appears to be, can a company ops manual "waiver" part of the ANO without having to change thewhole ANO.... I know I saw the clause about security details which would seam to indicate the former. I am gonna PM the ole flying Lawyer and see what he says. Maybe he will jump in here.


Mark McG
9th Jan 2004, 09:25

"The Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 2002 does require that all persons traveling visa free to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program have a biometric chip identifier in their passport by October 26, 2004. Those travelers who use passports issued after October 26, 2004, that do not contain a biometric identifier, will be required to obtain a U.S. visa. That visa will contain biometric information. Those UK travelers who use machine-readable passports lacking a biometric chip but issued before October 26, 2004 will be able to continue to use the Visa Waiver Program until that passport expires. The U.S. Government is aware of the concern among officials of Her Majesty's Government caused by this deadline. UK officials have made clear that they do not anticipate that they will be able to begin issuing passports with biometric chips by that date, raising the possibility that some UK citizens will need to obtain a tourist/business visa for travel to the U.S. We are old friends and long-time allies, and the U.S. Government remains committed to facilitating legitimate travel to the U.S. We will continue to work with Her Majesty's Government in pursuit of a solution to this problem."

This was issued by the US embassy Today. Looks like the Visa and photographing of Pax from the UK will apply to a relatively small number of pax whose passport expires after 26th OCT and who have not been issued with Biometric passport.

I have just shelled out £42 to renew my passport - expires in a few months. How much are the gov going to charge for a biometric passport - £100+?

9th Jan 2004, 11:55
Haivng returned from New Orleans, I must ask ask: Final 3 Greens - what makes you an expert? The question concerning al-Qaeda and its difference from the terrorism experienced by Europeans was one pointedly discussed in my Master's Course. Feel free to enlighten us.

9th Jan 2004, 13:07
While I am jumping in here late, I would like to point out a few things.

We make an announcement in the US to not congregate in the forward lav or galley area. That makes the F/As happy because it keeps their area clear of self loading cargo getting in the way of their service. It also keeps the aisleway clear for us to see out if we need to.

Air Marshalls having their guns taken away is pretty damn remote. Training and operational procedures quite ensure that.

The FFDO progam (armed pilots) has been a big success. There are strict rules and procedures and the background checks alone keep the riff raff out. Weapons are only to be available inside the locked cockpit. That is why the F/As also make one other announcement "The flight Deck door is in the front of the aircraft and no unauthorised personnel are allowed in during flight". That is the only warning that needs to be made, if someone comes through that door without warning they are met with lethal force.
The Air Marshals are very supportive of the FFDO program, from talking to many of them. The training is intensive and is at the same standards as any federal law enforcement personnel. The instructors come from every Spec Ops and law enforcement background possible and much more than weapons training is involved.

We as professional pilots must do all we can to prevent our aircraft from being used as weapons. The whole program of security is an ongoing process. Are there mistakes, even silly ones at times? Of course there are but those pale in comparison to the successes and accomplishments. Give the US some slack. We have been the most open and free society for a long time and we have paid the price for letting individual rights be supreme. We have to find the right balance and we will. It just won't happen as quickly as the EU or even Americans want.

On Track
9th Jan 2004, 14:10
This is really part of a huge issue - so big that I'm not sure how to express my thoughts or even where to start, but here goes...

Ever since 11/9/2001 (or 9/11 as the Americans insist on calling it) the Bush administration has made all the wrong decisions.

The correct response to the terrorist attacks would have been to launch an international criminal investigation with a view to putting the culprits on trial.

If that had been done, there might now be some progress in actually tracking down Osama Bin Laden and whoever else is believed responsible for the events of that date.

Becoming involved in a long-running civil war in Afghanistan and launching an unprovoked attack on Iraq were NOT appropriate responses, even if nobody is shedding any tears for the Taliban or for Saddam Hussein.

Over the last two years, the people in the White House have demonstrated repeatedly - by telling blatant lies and by failing to comply with international law - that they have no integrity and no credibility.

Bush's State of the Union address in 2003 was a classic case.

I watched and heard every word of it with stunned disbelief.

I was even more appalled that Bush got a standing ovation, but maybe that's just traditional.

(Unfortunately the people running Australia are no better, because they have blindly sided with Bush the whole way. And I was disgusted that the lying Bush was later invited to address the Australian parliament.)

This ban on congregating near aircraft toilets and the new procedure of fingerprinting foreigners arriving in America are just the latest proofs that lunatics are running the asylum.

There is no reason for innocent people to be treated as criminals - and no, "security" is not a reason.

So how can common sense be brought to bear?

The onus is now on ordinary American voters to get off their arses and exercise their democratic right in November - and, with any luck, toss the (not democratically elected) Bush administration out of office.

Since the USA is the world's only superpower - and one which frequently and brazenly violates international law - ordinary American citizens have a duty of care to the whole world to get it right.

Of course, I'm trusting that the Democrats will come up with a presidential nominee who has the right stuff.

Too bad for all of us if they don't.

As an "alien", I can do no more than appeal to their common sense.

As an Australian citizen living in John Howard's electorate, I will be doing my best to have that sycophant removed from office when we go to the polls (some time this year), even though his parliamentary seat is considered safe.

In the meantime, I will boycott the USA until the paranoia subsides and sanity returns.

And if the situation does not improve, and I never get to visit the USA again, so be it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that we should not have security.

But every security measure that is taken must be effective, sensible, and commensurate with the threat.

I can't see any sense in taking nail files from little old ladies, making passengers use a plastic knife while still issuing a stainless steel fork, ban people from queuing for the toilet, etc.

It's time to get sensible.

(Edited for punctuation and spelling)

9th Jan 2004, 14:20
Yawn.. Another anti-Bush diatribe. This has all been said so man y times.

9th Jan 2004, 14:22
I wonder how long any self respecting Sky Marshal would want the job sitting in a single class Charter Seat on UK Airlines flying to the US??

On Track
9th Jan 2004, 14:26
And it needs to be said again and again and again until the situation is rectified.

9th Jan 2004, 17:13
The US government directives over alleged security threats have caused massive financial loss to AirFrance and BA.

Interesting that these "intelligence" reports have not been dealt with in a way which causes commercial disadvantage to any US company

9th Jan 2004, 17:46

Thats an easy one, try the older laws!!!!!!

I keep saying this, and I will repeated again...Thats the only part of the ANO that I can find that refers to firearms. There may be something else, there may be agreements between the Goverment and the CAA. However I doubt it. Its 7 years since I worked at LHR as a Policeman, however at that stage the carrying of firearms by British Protection officers on British aircraft was not as you described it. I wont comment further on that.

Again to repeat, if this part of the ANO is what applies, and the Goverment decide to use skymarshals, then its a very simple matter to change, but at the moment it seems that its unlawful to carry armed skymarshals.

El Grifo
9th Jan 2004, 18:13
Juan Francisco Beccera, the tourism minister for The Canary Islands has just announced a huge rise in inquiries by European Companies, relating to Conference and Convention facilities in the Islands. He was proud to announce that over 20 World Class facilities of this type have been completed on the islands in the last 5 years.

The vast majority of the inquiries came from Major Companies who are unwilling to subject their delegates to the time consuming and faintly ridiculous procedures that are coming into force in the USA.

Interestingly enough, most of these conventions would normally have taken place in Florida due to its year round fair climate, so the state that was ultimately responsible for the dubious election of the illustrious Mr Bush, will be the first to suffer.

Poetic justice perchance ??

10th Jan 2004, 01:18
On track,
You must have no sense of history. Are you aware that 9/11 was the SECOND attack on the WTC by Alqueda. that the first one caused 6 deaths and 1000 injuries when they planted a truck bomb in the basement of the WTC? Are you aware that we tried it your way and actually caught those responsible (it wasn't a suicide attack) for the actual attack and that the result of all that was that less than a decade later another 3000 died in the same place? We tried it your way. It didn't work Now we are trying it OUR way...

And no matter how much spin you put on it. Bush was democratically elected. Even that liberal bastion the NYTimes eventually conceded that fact ( a year or two later)


I concede the ANO. HOWEVER, the question that I have (as yet unanswered) is can the operational specifications of an airline, (THE OPS SPECS) modify the ANO on an individual basis. In other words the blanket ban would stay in effect to keep business and private aircraft from carrying guns.

In the USA that sort of thing can happen. While the OPS SPECS are generally MORE restricted than the FARs (our equivelent) there are occasional waivers of various FAR's granted. The most notorious of those was the "Transcon" exemption that lead to the APA's split from ALPA that allowed on certain city pairs some duty time limits to be exceded so that transcon flights (back in the propliner days) could be done with a single crew... But there are all kinds of other exceptions there including certain lower visibility ops... I suspect that it is exactly the same way for UK airlines. That the ANO may say one thing, and it is promptly waivered somewhere in the company ops manual or operational sepcifications...


10th Jan 2004, 02:17
HercBird: First, I certainly agree that the US border control has been out of control. The US government is finally giving that some attention. Is it now where it needs to be? No, of course not. The biggest challenges in this regard are not at the airports but rather at the land crossings. The number of people crossing the borders near Detroit, MI, and San Diego, CA are truly staggering. The fact that we've done a bad job of it in the past does not mean that we shouldn't try to do a better job in the future.

Second, I suspect that you do not fit the profile of the person they are looking for. I suspect (and hope) that people who do fit the profile get more scrutiny.

lizard drinking
10th Jan 2004, 02:22
This will close the thread, if nothing does! (finger poised over Submit Reply button...)
This whole issue of security has become confused with the fear and paranoia apparent in the way the US is fighting “terrorism,” and in the process, offending almost the entire rest of the world. “Do it our way, or the highway”. “If you want to fly to the US, follow our rules or don’t come.” Never mind that it is the passengers who are being put off from flying, and if there are no passengers to be carried, the airlines will not WANT to fly to the US.

The attack of 9/11 was very carefully planned, and a team was assembled that was willing to give up their own lives for the cause of religious fanaticism. It took a lot of time, planning and dedication for the plot to work, and they took advantage of some loopholes in security to do so. They needed flights that took off around the same time, were lightly loaded but had full fuel tanks, and could be coordinated for the attack on the WTC and government buildings. It is doubtful that something like it could be done again, since it worked mainly by the element of surprise. There is a story that the US Administration was warned that terrorists intended to take over passenger airplanes and use them to attack targets on the ground. Since the administration refuses to release documents that would prove or disprove this claim, it suggests it might be true.

Had this information been released prior to 9/11, and pilots made aware of the danger, then no flight deck doors would have been opened, and the terrorists would have been denied access, or at least there would have been time for the flight crews to make a Mayday call, alerting others. At the time, the FAA (and therefore the world’s) policy for hijacking was cooperation. Training films were circulated showing terrorists on the flight deck, negotiating with the ground, the Captain participating, in order to save lives. If there had been any idea in the minds of the pilots that there were people out there as evil and suicidal as those on 9/11, they would never have opened the door, no matter the threat.

“But if ground security was any good, the pilots would not have been faced with this decision, so lets give up our rights and freedoms, let them push us around and treat us like criminals, so at least we will be safe!” Never mind that the 9/11 terrorists did not break any rules, and would not have been stopped at security even if it was perfect. They were in the country legally (some had overstayed, but that is not a cause for concern about terrorism) and their weapons were not banned at that time. Even if they had had guns or knives, they had a good chance of getting them through. The private screeners were detecting about 75 percent of all guns and 60 percent of all knives that were taken through by testers, and even the much-vaunted TSA has improved only a few points. Real life guns and knives would be broken down, made of ceramics and hidden from X-ray, so there would be little chance of detection, but the hijackers did not need guns or knives, they only needed a strong will to succeed. Look at the hijackings that took place last year; none used real weapons, apart from a small pocketknife on one flight (unsuccessful). The items used included chopsticks, asthma inhaler, bottle of gasoline, TV remote control (the only one that was successful) and simply fists. Even the shoes of Richard Reid were probably not going to work, since he could not manage to light the fuse, despite several attempts, and nobody knows if they had enough power to do any damage, since the FBI destroyed them before they could be examined. Note that no nail files, computers, cell phones, keys or scissors were used, then or ever. Simply put, perfect ground security is impossible and the effort should be to make security as effective as it can be without disrupting the traveling process.

It is a small step from assuming everyone is a potential terrorist to treating them as the real thing. It is the easy way, of course, and why would we expect the authorities to do it differently? Don’t forget that their bosses are politicians, who by definition are not working for our interests, but their own. Concentrating on objects rather than people is another dead end. Never mind if a few “weapons” get through, it is the person’s intent that matters, not the thing in his bag. When the attack comes, we need the support and cooperation of the passengers. If we have them cowed and beaten before they even step aboard, we are wasting our best resource. Giving women and kids, people in wheel chairs, old men and women and such a hard time is counter-productive. It is obvious to anyone who has a brain bigger than that of a flea that these people are not a threat, and if the resources are wasted this way, the real terrorist will be able to go through with a smile. Proper security does not need this odious, obtrusive pressure, it needs persons with intelligence, who will stand back and observe, sending the hit team in when it is needed, which will not be very often at all. Use the resources where they will be most effective, and this will usually mean out of sight. Of course the authorities do not want their efforts to be invisible; they could not build up their budgets as easily that way.

Only the front gate of the airport is locked. Those thousands of persons who work at the airport, many of whom have direct access to the airplanes, do not go through a comparable level of security. Of course the terrorists know this, so why would they try to gain access or put weapons aboard by going in the front way? Al Gore was given the full treatment on a flight he took, and his aides said he was “happy” to do his bit; “nobody should be exempt.” He had a good opportunity to point out how stupid it all was; if Al Gore is a threat to security then we have already lost. Send Osama a ticket to Washington and a key to the White House. Let him run the insane asylum. He could do no worse.

Commercial aviation has never been safer; even if the numbers killed in the WTC as well as on the four airplanes brought down on 9/11 are included in the stats for 2001, they cause hardly a blip (Much more than a blip to those affected, of course. I can hardly think of that day even now without breaking down). Much more money and effort has been put into “protecting” us from this threat than it needed, and most of it in the wrong places. The only tangible result has been the imminent destruction of the airlines, serious damage to international relations, and encouragement of the paranoia and fear of the population of the USA. It is perhaps time they gave up their claim to be the “home of the brave and land of the free.”

I doubt the real reason for all the changes to security are in our interests; I cynically believe they are for the good of the administration and the government of the US. We have seen the establishment of the world’s largest department, modeled after the similarly named Homeland Security Department of the Nazis in the late 30’s, and restrictions on aviation that have, several times, led to the imminent demise of airlines and airline travel. We all know many people who refuse to fly any longer, and refuse to fly to the US. The rise of Airbus shows the effect on US businesses, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Have there been any improvements made? Of course, things such as stronger flight deck doors are positive. But even so, they can be circumvented easily, unless the crew is extremely vigilant. Putting a meal cart across the door every time a pilot needs to use the toilet is as stupid as I can imagine. It advertises that the door is going to be opened, and do the pilots have to adjust their bladders to the meal service times? What about the smaller airliners that do not have extra cabin crew? Or even a place to fit a door? Much more thinking needs to go on here, but meanwhile the only safety we will see is due to the fact that now we know what these savages are capable of, and we, the flight crew and passengers, will never let it happen again.

Richard Reid’s shoes would not be detected if he were flying today, since they would not set off an X-ray detector, having no metal. There are still no nitrate detectors in use that would do so. Yet millions of people all over the world have to take off their shoes in order to board an airplane. Stupidity does not cover it well enough. Check in baggage is now X-rayed in the concourse area of many airports, and if the explosives detector shows a ‘hit’ the bag is taken to a table and opened by a TSA operator who is ill-trained to handle bombs, and who uses only rubber gloves as an aid, rummaging around in the bag looking for the explosive device. If there was such a device, this type of handling would be bound to set it off, right there in amongst the thousands of milling passengers. LAX had a Crazy shooting at passengers at the El AL check in counter, and he was stopped not by the TSA, or airport police, but by private airline security. Have we learned from this? Not yet. On arrival at LAX you will see that every person employed there in uniform has a gun on his or her hip (sometimes very ample hip, pardon my lack of PC, but it shows a lack of fitness and readiness to use the gun correctly). But on departure, which is not subject to Customs or Immigration supervision, there are no guns. So let’s imagine that a terrorist is stopped at the metal detector with an Uzi? Is he going to say “Woops” and surrender? No, he is going to whip it out and spray everyone around him, and thanks to the system, there will be hundreds of targets for him. How will the TSA react? Do they have a SWAT team ready to go? Maybe they do, but how does it get into the crowded hall, and how do they take down the terrorist without shooting the innocents around him? Does anyone in authority have any brains?

Now we see High Tech passports, restrictions on visas, fingerprinting and photographs (after landing? How does that help?), rules against congregating near the toilets (terrorists are only going to congregate AFTER they take over the airplane. Will they then sit down when the hostess makes the standard announcement?), airplanes “escorted” by F16s (presumably to be shot down if they stray. Tell me again how that makes us safer), huge No-Flying zones around the Pres and others, seemingly in fear of his subjects, that disrupt general aviation to the point that many operators have gone out of business, pilots have lost their jobs, many training establishments have no students (since those students cannot obtain visas), sensitive information is being sent out ahead of flights into the US, demands on foreign airlines to carry armed marshals (we go to so much trouble to keep guns off airplanes then we put some on board? Who thinks of these things?), canceling flights because someone on board has the same name as a terrorist suspect, and so on, ad Nauseum.

Either the authorities come to their senses soon, or the people force them to do so, or we might as well give up now and save ourselves the grief that is to come.

10th Jan 2004, 02:22
Ever since 11/9/2001 (or 9/11 as the Americans insist on calling it) the Bush administration has made all the wrong decisions.First off, that's your opinion and one that is not shared by everyone. Second, many of the folks here are complaining about the arrogance of Americans and the Bush administration, etc. And then you go and say this: or 9/11 as the Americans insist on calling itSure looks like the pot calling the kettle black.

I hate to say it, but the fact that some of those domestic issues are still issues illustrates how America lags behind many other western nations, where most of those controversies were resolved a long time ago.No. What it illustrates is that we are different cultures with different values.

Edited to remove reference to a stupid remark made by someone else which is just one of the reasons this thread and PPRuNe in general has to be moderated. Too many people either making ill-informed and ignorant statements which bear no real relationship to the topic under discussion.

10th Jan 2004, 02:32
As I have said many times before - the next major attack will not use aircraft. That would be the case without us making a single change in procedures, following 9/11.

We had, of course, to make the changes that we have done, but we are now wasting everyone's time.

10th Jan 2004, 02:50
So no congregating at the toilets.

Maybe the sky marshal should marshal the bogs. A bit like the traffic queue. Better still get him to wipe the arses.

A shit idea, needs a shit response.

10th Jan 2004, 04:40
Most of this argument is going round in circles, and won't be resoved here what ever anyone says!

However, I've just returned from my second visit to the States since New Year and I'm shocked at the paranoid rhetoric that is now taking hold of the news TV stations over there. Fox even has a permanent banner on the screen shouting TERROR ALERT -HIGH.

I think the US needs to just calm down a little, step back and take a long hard look at what's going on. Striking fear into the hearts of the population at every opportunity will do nothing to halt terrorism, and everything to screw up the freedoms that you hold dear.

10th Jan 2004, 09:49

I take your point about company rules and all I can say is I doubt it. If you ignore the firearms side of it, it would mean that say NATS could decide to employ someone off the street as an ATCO, or that company rules could decide to ignore the need to have a validation for an aircraft type. They can't do those, so they can't ignore rules on firearms.

The UK Goverment could however change the law, very easily, as indeed they will have to in order to allow non Police officers to carry any form of offensive weapon or firearm. This is something they will have to do as it seems that they are going to use a private security firm not Police officers. I find that much more worrying!

10th Jan 2004, 10:26
Dear Scroggs - the terror alert had been raised to Orange (high) before Christmas. It was lowered back to Yellow (medium) tonight, with the proviso that certion industries (read airlines) will remain at a higher vigilance. It is still a newsworthy item to be at Orange - it has happened only 5 times in 3 years.
By the way, I must say that I have always admired the pithy, witty, concise arguments exhibited on PPrune. That is, until I read this thread. Not our finest hour.

Col. Walter E. Kurtz
10th Jan 2004, 11:13
3 words:

Hypnotised And hysterical.

ps George Orwell wrote the script more than 50 years ago - we're just playing it out.

Ignition Override
10th Jan 2004, 14:01
As for the prohibition of any groups around the lavs, how is this being enforced, or is there any reasonable way to apply it? At first glance at our recent FIFs, it does look like an overreaction on the part of the bureaucrats, especially for people in other countries, but then I remember which country was attacked by Al Qaida on 9/11.

Is this meant to be a permanent regulation?

10th Jan 2004, 18:42
In my time at the airport, I probably went through security at least 10 times a day for over 8 years. I know some security is frustrating and pointless, yet it was there for my security. Had they implemented some measure that I thought was as much a danger as the threat it was designed to negate, then I would use my freedom of speech (paid for in blood) to voice my opinion and put forth a logical argument against it. Having the argument "like it or lump it you ungrateful git, we own your freedom" shoved through my screen everyday by folks who expect us to change our laws to suit your whims, is the reason I won't entertain the idea of going back to the states.

I have every respect for any countries effort to protect themselves, especially when there is a real risk of a repeat of 911. Ask me to help, and I will do what I can. But when you presume to dictate to me and my government on the back of people who died fighting against the idea of being dictated to, you will never have my support or respect.

I made a post some days ago where I stated that we, as the western society, can only effectively fight terrorism and thereby protect our FREEDOM, by cooperation and mutual support. Just think about how to generate that support for our cause rather than alienate everyone with your attitude. There is a higher goal here than just you getting your way.

10th Jan 2004, 18:59

That is one of the most articulate, sensitive and logical posts I have ever seen on this website. You make your point very well and I think you may have missed your vocation. Run for Office. You will get my vote.

10th Jan 2004, 19:07
Next person to mention "the war" (WWII) gets banned. I don't need this kind of petty, infantile argument in this thread. All it leads to is gung ho'ism uf the most peurile kind. Getting fed up of having to edit posts because of it. :*

Same applies to those posters who have a habit of making two separate statements in their posts, one related to the thread and the other, so loosely related but a diversion into areas that are just an invite to a flame war. Your efforts will be in vain because the post will be edited.

Grow up! :hmm:

10th Jan 2004, 19:14
But on the other hand, if the CAA wanted to grant an exemption to one or two airlines without cluttering up the ANO, how would you go about it?

Can you imagine how the ANO would look if they didn't have that power? Every rule would be followed with the post script "Except for Airlines A and B"... I reaize there aren't that many airlines in the UK and few of them have special needs, but over the course of 50 years or so the ANO would become a right mess...

A law can be quite valid and still need an exception...


10th Jan 2004, 22:39
very nice summary!
BTW: Has anybody experienced inbound screening by the TSA (that means stripsearch after landing, when leaving the airport)
Our crews (European carrier) have.

But: America has great self-healing powers, so I am still very optimistic that things will change for the better.

PPRuNe Radar
10th Jan 2004, 22:49

That's exactly how it is done.

At our ATC facility we hold various letters of exemption for various operators. Mostly these are for exemptions from the speed restriction legislation but also for other parts of the ANO such as low flying. The letters have a specific life (one year validity usually) and also detail the conditions which the operator must comply with. Presumably the operator gets a copy as well in case they need to quote it at any 'jobsworths' :)

There is no reason why the CAA, with Government approval, couldn't do the same for the firearms portions. Perhaps they do already.

10th Jan 2004, 23:57
Tony you have hit the crux of it.

The sad thing is that this alienation of allied countries comes just after an apparent positive change in foreign policy strategy by the Bush administration - moving to dialogue with potential adversaries rather than confrontation.

So is the left hand talking to the right?

Interestingly Mara Rudman (ex advisor to the president on security policy) was on the BBC the other day saying that the new aviation measures (being controversial) were probably the result of rules being made by security people in isolation, who will always take the heaviest methods they can find. Whereas if politicians had been consulted they would have been toned down.

Which goes against what many people here believe - idiot politicians doing the meddling. Maybe it's not. Maybe it's the security bodies who are out of control - after all, international relations isn't their agenda, they are simply too far down the foodchain to be the thought leaders on that strategy.

Mara Rudman Bio (http://www.cohengroup.net/team-mr.html)

11th Jan 2004, 05:07
The inference of your post looks like saying power is drifting in USA from elected bodies to hidden bureaucrats, on the pretext of fight against terrorism.
So the colateral victim of 9/11 could be Democracy in USA?

11th Jan 2004, 05:30

I don't see how it can with regard to firearms. The ANO clearly says you can't do it. End of story. Its still legislation and an offence to contrevene it at present.
Yes the regulation can be changed and thats what it would take to make carring a loaded firearm or any other weapon on an aircraft legal.
Of course this is ignoring the Avaiation Security Act which makes carring any weapon of offence with lawful excuse an offence on an airport or in an aircraft.
If UK Sky Marshalls are to be private security Guards then the law would have to be changed to allow them to carry firearms, tazzers or anything else they are planning on carrying.

On Track
11th Jan 2004, 11:12
Lizard Drinking

Excellent post - says it all.

Ignition Override
11th Jan 2004, 12:44
Luckily I edited my previous post before the Chief Pilot found it-just before it was sent to the thread! It referred to a previous time (i.e. dealing with ops from East Anglia etc) when many lives were sacrificed for a common cause, but it might have been misinterpreted. :O

11th Jan 2004, 14:37
The legal position regarding certain individuals, who in the course of their professional duties may have carried a loaded firearm with them in the cabin of a British registered aircraft, has been discussed at some length.

I intend no disrespect when I say that some comments made on this point appear to have come from those whose knowledge of UK law on this topic may perhaps be less than current or complete.

Staying up-to-date with the law is what lawyers do, and that is why HMG, Met Police, BA, BAA, and CAA consult a battery of them - to ensure they stay the right side of the current law. If anyone thinks a blind eye was being turned to UK law by these bodies, then that was never my experience.

It would be folly to go into details, but on those occasions in which I have been involved, the legal position was sound, and the individuals concerned highly trained and very impressive.

With the changes that it appears the future will bring, I hope that my last point will continue to hold true!



11th Jan 2004, 19:33
This debate has not developed very far, there are however some very interresting postings. Earlier I described the Americans as Paranoid, someone else has ferrered to 1984. Danny has got upset about the references to the war. I might gat banned for this post, but please bear with me and see where a hopefully well thought out argument goes. Please excuse the poor spelling!

The Europeans have had terrorism for years and have established ways of dealing with it and living with it. The underlying ethos has always been 'life must go on as normal'. As soon as 1 person changes their behaviour because of the threat of terrorism the terrorist has won. The Americans have had very little experience of terrorism. It is true though that 9/11 was on an unprecidented scale and that the desiree for martydom makes dealing with this type of terrorism different to what Europe is used to, however the requirement of life as normal MUST be upheld.

The American's response to 9/11 was very different to the Europeans. The Europeans seek to identify suspects and remove them from circulation whilst underminning their support. The American's declarred war.

There's a problem here. The first rule of war is 'know your enemy'. Unfortunately in this war it is not clear who the enemy is. Now I will probably get in trouble with Danny. I believe that it is a historical fact that when America was abruptley brought into WWII that because they could not identify who was a real threat that all Japanese were effectively inturned for the duration of the war. Similar things happened in the UK with Germans. This was not to say you are the enemy but rather to say you may be the enemy and therefore we do not trust you.

In this new war, it is not a terrorist threat, it is a war because that is what America made it, no such identification and removal of suspected 'enemy' has been made, with the arguable exception of a few people at camp X-Ray. I suspect that there are several reasons for this eg The best definition of the threat is Mouslum and the PC camp would not tolerate the rounding up of people based on religion. This would also cause massive problems with some allieswho are also mouslum. A better definition would be people who follow a fanatical faction of this religion. I suggest that it is time that removal of potential enemy is carried out.

Now America has declared war, the rest of the world has not. Therefore only America should be removing 'potential enemy', however it is understandable that they do not want 'potential enemy' arriving in America from other countries. The problem is that in their attempt to stop this happening they are treating all their friends and allies as potential enemy. This is where the Paranoia sets in. Friends and allies do not like to be treated as enemies and that is the crux of this problem.

As a suggetion, anyone who has links to the extremists of Islam should not want to travel to America, because they will be treated as enemy. Therefore anyone in this category who tries to travel to America should be stopped (stuff the PC). Likewise anyone who has links to these extremists should be prevented from travelling. By this I mean anyone who attends the South London Mosque, Finsbury Park mosque or any one of the other know hot beds of islamic extremisum. After all would you feel totally happy flying with a known associate of Richard Reid?

How the UK deals with it's percieved terrorism threat in the UK is the UK's business. For us it is still terrorism as we have not declarred war.

Now, lets look at the situation America finds itself in. They are at war and under attack on their own soil. Not somthing they have ever experinced before from an outside force. They are scarred stiff and cannot even identify who their enemy is, the result is that they are hitting out wildly in all directions and to put it bluntly are paranoid. The administration in America is formulating reams of rules and procedures which are poorly thought out so that they look like they are doing somthing when they don't really know what to do. It is therefore the duty of America's friends and allies to assist them, to give advice, to go along with them a bit, BUT and this is the BIG BUT, when they overstep the mark they have to be brought back into line. Treating your friends as enemies is over the mark and the American's do not like being corrected and brought into line. Compare it to disciplining a spoilt but scarred child who is used to getting their own way.

Now for my other tack on this issue. I cann't remember exactly how the argument goes but I am sure I will be corrected. In communist ideology to gain control over a population there are 4 main areas you need to control. These are (I think) religion, travel, employment and access to arms. America as the upholder of freedom belives in the freedoom of these areas. However in their attempt to fight their war they are justifying restrictions on some these. Again this upsets other free thinkers. America needs to remember that the end does not justify the means for them any more than it did for Stalin.

What rilies even more than the restriction is the American's attempt to justify their action with a string of double speak and accusations of thought crimes against anyone who does not follow their line.

Why does our (UK) government not stand up more openly to America and say that fingerprints, iris scans, biometric passports etc are way out of order? That' easy, our government has wanted for ages to reintroduce identity cards and has been restricting our freedoms in some of the aforementioned 4 areas for some time. Introducing and proving the technology for these restrictions on the UK population under the cover of US requirements is very handy for Mr Blair.

11th Jan 2004, 19:48
mgc - your final point may be spot on. Blunket announced that biometric passports were to be the first step in the proposed programme leading to national ID cards. They would allow a biometric database to be built up slowly - albeit covering only those people who apply for passports.

LightTwin Driver
11th Jan 2004, 20:25
cactusbusdrvr said a couple of pages back:

The FFDO progam (armed pilots) has been a big success. There are strict rules and procedures and the background checks alone keep the riff raff out. Weapons are only to be available inside the locked cockpit. That is why the F/As also make one other announcement "The flight Deck door is in the front of the aircraft and no unauthorised personnel are allowed in during flight".
Well that should clear up any confusion,just in case some of your countryfolk thought it may be at the back!

That is the only warning that needs to be made, if someone comes through that door without warning they are met with lethal force.

Is that after you have put down the newspaper and coffee and dug around in the bottom of your flight bag to locate the Magnum,or whatever you trained killers carry !

12th Jan 2004, 00:46
Expert View:
How big is the real terror risk?
By Ragnar Lofstedt
11 January 2004

Terrorists, it seems, have had a busy Christmas. Or maybe the security services have made it appear that this is the case.

In the past two weeks, the headlines have been dominated by issues such as whether to place armed guards on all flights bound to the US, the repeated grounding or delaying of BA flight 223 to Washington based on supposed intelligence, and the Air France cancellation of flights to Los Angeles.

The stakes were upped still further when the Bush administration announced that passengers from countries not in the US visa waiver programme would be electronically finger printed and have their pictures taken.

What is happening?

Are sound risk management practices being implemented?

The authorities seem to imply that we should trust them as this appears to be safer than to let us know what is really going on.

The issue is then: can we trust them? Are the authorities honest and competent enough to be trusted? If we take honesty as a given one can be less sure about their competence.

They admitted, for example, that the Air France cancellations were based on faulty evidence.Indeed, to achieve their anti-terrorist goals, the authorities must earn the public's trust.

It is doubtful whether the passengers on last Sunday's BA 223 flight felt that way toward the 23 US agencies which determined their fate for three hours or more on the Heathrow tarmac.The US siege mentality is starting to backfire.

The rampant anti-Americanism is getting worse by the day.

The fingerprint checks and pictures demanded for visitors will not alleviate this. In passport and security queues, one hears Europeans cursing the Americans for the long lines.

Indeed, what the US authorities must do is to work on rebuilding their bridges with the outside world to win back public trust.

America can do this best by opening its doors wider.

A further issue is the seemingly inability of US authorities and their European counterparts to engage in proper, well-thought-out risk communication.

This leads to a schism between the communicators and their audiences.

One reason may be that the authorities have seen little need to communicate in the past.

This behaviour is no longer acceptable. Passengers need more information than usually provided before they will accept these levels of disruption.

This can only happen if the relevant authorities overhaul their communication departments.

The US Navy embarked on such an activity a few years ago and initial findings show that it has been well received by its personnel.

Finally, some element of efficacy must be included in the security procedure.

Why should the US guidelines be tougher than the European ones? Isn't the UK as exposed to terrorist threat as the US?

The same goes for airport security measures, which still seem to be haphazard depending on which airport one uses.

For example, on a recent trip within Canada, passengers were asked to tolerate a 90-minute security check-in Ottawa as the officers enforced Israeli security standards, yet in Toronto, on the same day, passengers had only a 10 minute wait with security guards who had no idea what Israeli standards meant. Similarly, European security levels vary.

Authorities should consider establishing an international airport security regulator to set uniform standards in all western airports.

Air travel security must be overhauled. But this can only be done with well though-out risk communication and management strategies that will win passengers' trust.

Professor Ragnar Lofstedt is director of the King's Centre for Risk Management at King's College London 11 January 2004 10:48

© 2003 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd

12th Jan 2004, 01:13
Thank you for this post full of logic.

But how can you talk "reason" to people who act only by conditionned reflex?

12th Jan 2004, 01:21
I think that was one well thought out post - even if I disagree with parts of it. First of all, I would not say that Americans are "scared stiff" - a more accurate assessment would be that Americans are "mad as hell" and the gloves are off. We watched the first WTC bombing, the barracks in Saudi, the bombing of the USS Cole, and still did relatively little. Finally, when the terrorists succeeded on a massive scale (as you yourself said the Europeans have not seen), we said enough is enough. Unleash the dogs of war....

The other point which you have picked up on is the rampant political correctness. We know who the enemy is - but due to "political correctness", we are not allowed to profile the enemy but must assume everyone is an equal threat whether that be an 80 year wheelchair bound lady leaving from England or a 25 year old male muslim from the middle east. For this absurdity, you must blame the liberals in the US for whom political correctness is more important than common sense.

12th Jan 2004, 01:24
Grandpa - Only a true friend can do that. Its not easy, it may hurt, but a true friend will try and keep trying until they get through.

12th Jan 2004, 01:24

Lurker here for year or so.

Feel compelled to reply to some of the comments in this and other threads.

Please excuse any lack of etiquette etc.....

As a supplier to the wonderful world of aviation - mostly critical engine compenents you know turbine blades and so on, cannot help but be dismayed by the lack of attention being paid to the overall future of the industry.

Sky marshalls - of course they will happen, no point discussing further. Agree or disagree about levels of training, responsible authorties etc. In real time goverments will impose what they believe to be best practice for their people.

What about the bottom line - convincing Joe public and others like me that aviation is the best available travel option in today's world and it is safe and viable.

Too much attention currently being paid to current worldwide political issues rather than looking to the future.

Current Rolls Royce engine programme (and others) runs at 60% of levels pre 9/11 - I believe this information to be in the public domain.

Let's just get on with the job!

Again hello and hope this is not my last post!

12th Jan 2004, 01:38

I have spent the last four days reading and rereading this very interesting topic.There are some very valid points made regarding America's approach to dealing with terrorism and the aviation industry.Are we infriging upon our allies with our hyped up paranoid security requirments? Perhaps.Do we, America, have good reason/justification to do so?Perhaps.

I will confess that I lack the knowledge and true expertise to offer my opinions about what kind of security measures should be in place either entering my country or leaving.

I also confess that I lack the knowledge and expertise to offer my opinions as to just how my country should deal with terrorism, both at home and abroad.

Having witnessed the tragedy of 9/11, having had a loved one sitting in the left seat on that day and one the ground in Manhatten, being able to give thanks that both survived, gives me a jaded view of the "war on terrorism" and the subsequent new security impliments that have come to be part of my day to day life..both on the job and at home.

Albeit selfish, I want my government to do everything possible to ensure that nothing like that horrid day ever happens again.There is a part of me that says....go get them(terrorists) and iradicate them from the world, using whatever means.There is also a part of me that thinks that war is ugly,that perhaps instead of using "might" we should just use our brains and find another way.

Realistically however, I know that even with the most stringent security screenings, passport checks, fingerprinting,acts of war and whatever else the powers that be can come up with to molify myself and my fellow countrymen.....if they really want to strike, they will find a way.

I believe that the best way to conquer terrorism and the problems of the world is education.Not just from one side of the coin but from all sides.An open mind to learning something new, to seeing a subject from another's point of view is very valuable.

That being said, I thank you all for reading my thoughts.I look forward to reading what else you all have to say in this topic, already I have learned much, saw things from another perspective, which in turn has led me to rethink and reevaluate my own opinions...and that gentlemen is a priceless gift to give to another human being.

With regards, Raine

12th Jan 2004, 02:03

I'm not sure I expect you to agree with it all, but I belive that what I said is how many over here see it. You will have a different perspective and that is fine.

What I see as encouraging is that we basically agree on most of it. Therefore we should be able to stop allie bashing and start building on common ground about how we move this forward with each side being sensitive and responsive to the other sides perspective.