Airline terrorism…and so the panic and overreaction begins again…

Ive been watching the news lately on the terrorist arrests in the UK and Pakistan and of course the mayhem on the security clampdown with hand luggage. So what was the threat here? Liquids, gels and other powders (though not baby formula...wonder if that will be chemically tested before its allowed!) could potentially be chemicals with which to construct a bomb. Fair enough. They probably arent so necessary on board anyway and in reality if someone had done a thorough threat analysis they should never have been last time we went through this mayhem.

Is it completely necessary though to ban everything? Isnt that quite an overreaction? Did someone miss the threat here? Im reading this article on BBC news about musicians not being able to take their instruments on board. Just take a look at the comments on it!

Now the last time I checked musical instruments like cellos and violins were made of wood. Surely screening procedures can X-Ray through wood.Whats the threat of a violin being taken on board? Hmm....maybe I could bash it over the head of someone?....or constantly play fiddlesticks to the death of passengers? Now I dont want to trivialise the good work of airport and airline staff but they just arent equipped to stow fragile equipment like musical instruments, cameras, laptops and the like - despite their assurances. I never check in any of my computing equipment when I travel. I just dont trust them to keep it safe from theft or damage plus they seem to be able to scan them easily and confirm it isnt a bomb. Additionally the baggage handlers dont really treat your belongings with any sort of respect despite the carefully placed fragile tags you put on them. Ive personally watched them load a plane and throw the bags several metres in the air on top of each other....

So I guess this means no more extra jumper to keep warm, no noise cancelling headphones, no change of clothes on a long flight and definately no computer. These are all apparently a threat now in the ever increasing overreaction to terrorism.

Can someone please do a decent threat analysis now?


Comments (5)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Im on my way home from TechEd on Saturday morning. As usual I take my server and laptop bag on the flight…

  2. benjamin says:

    I’ll say this much.  I agree with you in regards to the mayhem, which essentially contributes to officials in Airport Security overreacting.  However, I believe the threat of a real life terror incident is very likely.  Whether it comes from Osama Bin Laden, a Copy Cat Ordinance, or an Isolated event, the threats related to something happening is very much inevitable.  I hear the conspiracy theories, and notions to imply lots of different sources to describe why we’re in the position we’re in.  Still, I just think the most important part is safety.  We’ve lost lives, and nobody wants to die.  Also, about the passenger luggage not being cared for.  I can vouch for that, because I’ve seen the way luggage is just thrown on the conveyor belts, and scrambled through like old clothes at times.  It bad.  It makes ya want to travel with absolutely nothing at times, and just buy the temporary stuff you need while you’re visiting someplace else.  The security protocol is a little jumpy.  I agree, but the threat is real.

  3. Dr. Neil Roodyn says:

    Overreation is exactly what it is. I hope it doesn’t have to much impact on many of us travelling to present at TechEd. I have to bring a number of laptops, UMPCs, Tablets, Pocket PCs and phones for my demos and presentations. I am certainly not happy checking them all in to get damaged or ‘lost’.

    It looks like at the moment it is just flights from the UK that have this restriction, so I will not be taking my spending money there for a while. They loose out.

    Flights from the USA have a ban on liquids and gels etc….

    But here is the stupid part (as far as I understand it) if I fly from some other parts of the world to the USA then no such ban exists!

    I also think they need to do something about this for long flights, hydration is something many regular passengers know is important. I always take a full bottle of water on a long flight and often ask for it to be refilled several times in the flight. If we can’t take bottles of water on board I suggest the government (who are enforcing these insane measures – I think to mostly scare us) should supply every passenger with a 1 litre bottle of water when we board the plane.

    Enough ranting….

    see you at TechEd if they let me on the plane 🙂

  4. mkleef says:

    Hey Ben – I dont think anyone disagrees theres a threat – but lets think clearly here. A violin does not constitute a threat provided that its screened internally properly. Same with other electronic devices.

    This idea of using liquids and powders is not new BTW. Its an old threat (from the 80’s I think) that was repeated and we clearly didnt learn then. Hence my statement that a proper risk assessment needs to be done that balances the needs of the passengers with the the very real threats that exist right now.

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