On a recent twitter discussion with Gary Arndt and Grant Martin about the tight security measures taken on airports, especially where the Transport Security Administration (TSA) of Homeland Security in US routinely ask travellers to remove shoes. While this may sounds and I would agree is annoying, they have introduced a pre-check service , called TSA Pre, which allows frequent fliers, US citizens that are members of Customs and Border Protection and trusted travellers programs like Global entry, Nexus and SENTRI. The application requires a fee and it involves a full background check. If this is approved, passengers will be identified and special notes will be included on their ticket barcodes which entitles them for an expedited check in and excludes them from removing shoes, laptop from bag, light outer wears and belt.
This measures are not unique to US, pretty much all western world and major airports have drastically increased security in the aftermath of September 11 terrorist attracts on US. Stricter rules mean tighter security and extra preparatory actions to go successfully through security. Things like perfumes or liquids in general have to be less than 75ml in general and fully displayed on a plastic bag. Otherwise it ends in the bin, no matter how expensive. No wonder why most custom officers smell nice nowadays. But, beyond the funny part, we all have somehow suffered going through airports. The most frequent flyers, probably even more than the rest. Do you justify it, and if you don’t how would tackle the issue?
Going back to our twitter chatter with Gary and Martin, I brought up the example of Richard Reid, otherwise known as shoe bomber that successfully managed to get through airport security, even though he was a suspect. He single handily is probably responsible for the introduction of security around shoes in airport, which we all have to go through. Luckily his shoe bomb didn’t explode but only emitted fumes and other passenger restrained him on the aircraft when he became violent to the stewardesses.
The future will bring more advanced technology in our airports, where facial recognition is already active and body scanning is becoming more and more advanced. These methods will border and perhaps cross over the privacy line that a large part of population may consider unacceptable.
If you have an airport security story please do get in touch or add a comment below