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Travel Safety/Security

No matter where you go -- whether across the globe or across your state/province -- you need to keep eyes open & wits about you. We discuss destinations, measures, techniques -- anything that will help you get back home safe & sound!

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Latest Activity: Aug 29

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Comment by Peter Tarlow on November 18, 2011 at 2:51pm

You are experience what we call 'security theater'.  This means that we create a series of obstacles that provide you with the impression that we are doing something when in reality, we are doing nothing (except giving you a hassle).   Peter Tarlow

Comment by Allan Lynch on November 18, 2011 at 1:18pm

I have wondered whether the effectiveness of the security matches the level of inconvenience. 

 

I flew through Newark to Madrid and was allowed through security with a bottle of water. I had completely forgotten it was there and only discovered it when I was on the aircraft. A business associate who is Lebanese, so "looks" Middle Eastern, even though he was born in Canada and an actual practicing Christian, flew Halifax to Toronto, Toronto to Vancouver. Vancouver to LA. LA to Chicago, Chicago to Toronto, Toronto to Halifax. He went through airport security in Halifax, Vancouver, LA and Chicago and no one saw the eight-inch hunting knife in his carry on. (It was in a side pocket he rarely opened and forgotten about it.) The tails are endless.

 

By the way North, the article I read mentioned how 17 known terrorists had travelled 24 times through eight US airports with the highest level of detection programs in place. Christ, the Customs guy in Halifax can tell me when I've last been in the US and where I went, how come 17 terrorists aren't, oh say stopped and arrested?

Comment by Northeast News on November 18, 2011 at 1:00pm

Now Republicans are blasting TSA, and they raise an interesting question. According to CNN, "Ten years after its formation, the Transportation Security Administration got the type of birthday card no one wants to receive -- a blistering report from Republican lawmakers who said the agency is "bloated" and "inefficient" and has done little, if anything, to improve aviation security.

Rep. John Mica, R-Florida, a longtime critic who has fought to privatize TSA screening jobs, said Congress never intended the agency it created in November 2001 to "mushroom" into a workforce of 65,000 employees, "top heavy" with bureaucrats.

"I can tell you, in our wildest dreams ... no one ever envisioned 4,000 administrative personnel in Washington, D.C., making on average ... almost $104,000, and then nearly another 10,000 out in the field," Mica said.

But the most scathing comment came from Rep. Paul Broun, R-Georgia.

"Americans have spent nearly $60 billion funding TSA and they are no safer today than they were before 9/11," Broun said."

Are we, in fact, no safer than we were before 9/11? 

Comment by Peter Tarlow on November 17, 2011 at 3:16pm

Remember that US airport security is reactive in nature rather than pro-active. it is based on the principle that we combat whatever last happened.  On another matter I have just returned from Las Vegas where I was planning our 2012 Tourism Security and safety conference (May 13-16). Information will soon follow, I urge you to attend if this topic interests you.  Peter

Comment by Allan Lynch on November 16, 2011 at 4:50pm

Ed,

 

I prefer to think of the suit as socialist orange - I'm trying to break out of my capitalist box - and keep it 'fer good'. Who knows, someday I might get to appear on Hoggers.

 

I don't fly much in the US. Most of my travel is to and within Europe and the UK. And I find US security much less stringent. Time consuming, yes. And I have always been surprised by how casual I have found JFK and Newark. I expected that after 9/11 they would be the epicenter for tight, tight cntrols. Gawd, the last time I flew from Nova Scotia to Newark I had to have TWO hand searches in Halifax to get on the US-bound plane. That's okay, I'm not dating much ...

Comment by Ed Wetschler on November 16, 2011 at 4:42pm

You've had better luck finding lax security personnel than I have, Allan. If it's not your red suit, then it's my mustache. All the SATW board members, who live near different gateway cities in the U.S. and Canada, were surprised by the airport's nonchalance.

Comment by Allan Lynch on November 16, 2011 at 4:38pm

The world had much better airport security long before the measures the US adopted after 9/11.

 

In the 1960s there were a lot of hijackings of flights from Montreal to Montego Bay with a forced stop in Cuba. It was a bit of a national joke. So we started doing hand checks of carry on bags in 1967/68, somewhere along there. And we divided up airports early in the 1970s. 

 

I still find US airport security more lax than what I experience in other countries. You get a good going over at Customs - even the pre-customs that we do here to fly into the US - but for any flight I've boarded in the US for domestic destinations and flying on to the Caribbean and last year to Madrid from Newark, no photo ID was required. I had it out, but the gate agents didn't look at it, just my boarding card.

Comment by Darryl Musick on November 16, 2011 at 4:30pm

Ok, that makes all the difference...can't figure it out at all. No security gate? Was there security at all...i.e, interviews, etc? I would hope there'd at least be some.

Comment by Ed Wetschler on November 16, 2011 at 4:28pm

I wasn't changing planes, Darryl. I stayed in Auckland for a few days (SATW board of directors meeting) before going back to the airport for the Wellington flight.

Comment by Darryl Musick on November 16, 2011 at 4:21pm

Ed, did you leave the secure zone when you changed planes?

 

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