Air Passenger Security

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Over the last decade, anyone travelling by plane will have had almost a different life compared to the decade before that. And not for the better either.

Terrorism is at the heart of the changes that have occurred. Governments around the world have responded by tightening security and, by and large, the public has gone along with whatever has been suggested on the basis that they will welcome almost anything if it makes them feel safer.  It has made flying more of a chore than the enjoyment it once was

In the late 1990’s Thomas Cook did some research about people going on holiday which showed the excitement amongst holidaymakers when they got to an airport. After facing the long check in queues, their enthusiasm rose again as they boarded a plane and that enthusiasm stayed with them until they landed. Today it would be a different story.

But travellers, as interviews with them have shown, will put up with most things. What they will not, nor should they, put up with incompetence on behalf of those who are seeking to protect us. Twice in the last few days President Obama has said that lessons must be learnt and he seems to be suggesting that the security services were at fault calling it a systemic failure. Now, different branches are accusing each other of mistakes.

Yesterday in The Guardian, Christian Wolmar, a much respected writer on transport issues, wrote that there was enough intelligence known about this alleged bomber to stop him well in advance but that the knowledge wasn’t used properly. The existing security arrangements are sufficient. Now all those different bodies that make sense of the gathered knowledge had better get their acts together because the public won’t tolerate these mistakes given the money that has been spent and the inconvenience caused

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