View Full Version : US domestic security. Consumer comment..

21st Nov 2001, 09:47
Having just used staff travel internally in the US thought it might be useful to highlight some experiences.

Firstly, for an industry that is on its knees I managed to get bumped off six flights as they were all full, but that is by the way..

First flight I was given a stand-by ticket. I stood at the gate to be told that flight was full. I asked where to pick up my baggage.. to be told that baggage had gone on to destination and I could pick it up there!!! I commented that this wasn't very secure to be told that baggage security in the US is much tighter than in Europe..Oh well.

In an idle moment while waiting for a flight I was reading a notice, (pre- Sept 11). It stated that any passenger carrying a gun must ensure it is unloaded and must be declared to dispatch. Que??? Were people really flying with guns in their hand luggage before Sept 11?

Search points were chaotic. Staff clearly had no training.

21st Nov 2001, 10:27
........baggage security in the US is much tighter than in Europe?????????
No comments to that.

21st Nov 2001, 21:09
Chatham Dockyard -

Yes, pre 9-11 anyone could fly with handguns and rifles (UNLOADED and DECLARED).

Did it bother me? NO it did not. How about today (post 9-11)? I am OK with Law Enforcement people to still fly with their weapons, but NO LONGER the general public. General public would have to put them through "checked baggage" to satisfy me today.

dAAvid -

[ 21 November 2001: Message edited by: AA SLF ]

21st Nov 2001, 21:46
Guns had to be checked prior to sept 11. The thing is that you couldn't just put it in your checked bag. You had to unload it and declare it and it would be stickered and handled seperately.

Under no circumstances could they be carried on, once a year or so a celebrity would wind up in the dock over it...

If you are denied boarding through a means that wasn't your choice, then your bag may carry on to the destination as well. You cannot make your own choice not to get on the plane and have your bag carry on.

Wrong Stuff
22nd Nov 2001, 01:40
I've just had the dubious pleasure of a return flight Virgin to NY, then US Airways to Tampa and Naples. What a pathetic shambles those US security checks are. All the security staff uptight and self-important but without any clue of what they were doing. Body searched three or four times, but not once would they have found a non-metallic knife strapped to a leg. Anyone who's been through a professional pat-down knows what it feels like. Those were just a sham.

Restrictions on what you could carry were a farce too. One woman at Naples was made to pack her lighter in her checked luggage. When I changed at Tampa you could buy them airside, along with commemorative glasses and baseball bats.

All show and no substance. And everybody knows it!

22nd Nov 2001, 05:30
Wrong Stuff,
Beg to disagree. Uptight, yes, many of the security people are and you might agree they have some reason to be. Self-important, yes, some of them seem to be but then that's the way of officialdom pretty much the world over, isn't it?

I wouldn't call what I saw a few weeks ago (Miami and Boston) a shambles at all unless you count trying to drive to or from Logan <g>. You don't get a huge complex mass of bureaucracy to to switch over from the previous, uncoordinated, laid back non-system to a smooth, seasoned force overnight, particularly in the shadow of furious negotiation over the new security legislation and people don't know who (of if) they'll be working for next week.

If I were to generalize I'd have to say my inspections were average; two friskings, one thorough, one poorly done. Computer switched on twice and swabbed once, all fairly quickly but attentively. Had I been a terrorist I would have had serious doubts as to my chances of getting through.

You know, it's not just the people frisking you. Next time cast your eye around at the people who are watching them - and you.

I've no axe to grind; just a different viewpoint. I think they've done pretty well overall and they'll improve with experience.

22nd Nov 2001, 06:04

I agree with you 100%. Bet you loved Naples, though....

Wrong Stuff
22nd Nov 2001, 12:46
Broadreach - sure you're right about improving in the future although I think it'll be as a result of training rather than just experience.

DownIn3Green - yup loved every minute - what a fantastic place to fly. Had to do a friggin RT oral with some pedantic git though. QDM or QTE - who gives a stuff...

[ 22 November 2001: Message edited by: Wrong Stuff ]