Has Airport Security Gone Into Overkill?

I have traveled a lot lately. In fact,  I am writing this blog post from an airport lounge in Dubai.

9/11, underscored the importance of keeping airlines and our skies safe. It's a tough challenge. There have been attempted shoe bombs, underwear bombs and attempts to bring liquids and gels on-board to create explosives. In response, airports have tightened security. Now passengers are familiar with the routine. This is all somewhat inconvenient but a good thing.

I fully support security checks but why are we now seeing secondary security? At some airports, not only do passengers have to go through security but there is another security checkpoint just before entering the lounge and boarding the aircraft. I'm sorry I don't get it. Why is this necessary? Maybe I am missing something. What could passengers have possibly picked up from the time they clear security to the time they arrive at the gate to board the airplane?

The other level of security that seems to be a case of overkill is security checks at transfer points. For example, if the itinerary involves travel to Toronto and transfer in Paris, why are additional checks needed? Once enroute from Egypt I waited with the other passengers for over an hour in a narrow, HOT, and crowded corridor. No water was available. Finally, I consulted with a supervisor who informed me that, with a Canadian passport, passengers could clear immigration, get some fresh air and re-enter on the departure level where the lines were very short. I was fortunate to have that option but it took other passengers over 2 hours to clear this checkpoint.

If security checks were completed twice before boarding the aircraft, what could passengers possibly pick up ON the aircraft that could be a breach of security? Again, if I am missing something, please enlighten me.

All secondary checks are accomplish is to create extremely long lines and annoy passengers. Do the checks once and do them thoroughly! If this means more body searches, so be it. (Cases like the 84 year old grandmother in a wheelchair who was strip searched need to be avoided. She plans to sue the TSA.)

If all these checks were effective that would be one thing. However, take a look at this recent article in USA Today.

Congressional Report Slams TSA as bloated, ineffective

Yes we need to keep airline passengers safe, but let's put some common sense into the process.


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