When I worked for newspapers years ago, we had it drummed into our heads that newspapers should not be reactionary. In other words, we were to go out and find the news, dig for the news, uncover the news, but not write a news story based on something that was already common knowledge. Unless it was an editorial. I see this happening in airline security rules. They more or less wait for a problem then react to it.
With this latest alleged terrorist attempt by a Nigerian man to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight, the Homeland Security, TSA and counter terrorism equipment and personnel are fired up and ready. So now the over compensatory, over reactionary, over the top, new, improved, tighter, stricter, safer airline rules can begin..
So, I guess I’m asking, why now? Terrorism is, was, and probably always will be a threat. It really shouldn’t be “new threat” then “new flying rules for us”. Each time there is a new threat on an airline the TSA comes up with more and more bizarre toothpaste and plastic bag rules. I say bring back the unpopular politically incorrect profiling and take a better look at the “watch list” which this Nigerian guy was on.
Some of the latest airline restrictions following the Christmas day incident now state that passengers cannot leave their seats the last hour of any flight and no personal belongings are to be on your lap. Also, you cannot access your carry on luggage during the final hour of the flight. Note to would be terrorists: Make sure to get what you need out of your carry on before the final hour of the flight . I’m sure they will take grandma’s pillow off her lap or the baby’s teddy bear because a bomb could be lurking there, and of course no electronics etc. but just because this alleged terrorist performed his task within an hour of landing doesn’t mean the next terrorist won’t try something half way through a flight, or soon after take-off. I mean, we all take off our shoes now because of the Richard Reid 2001 shoe/lighter incident and there hasn’t been a shoe incident since. It’s so reactionary it’s scary.
As far as the new rule of remaining in our seats the last hour of the flight, the terrorist did everything from his seat, the hero who potentially saved everyone on that flight was standing up and out of his seat to pounce on the guy-thank God. I think their needs to be a special airline terrorist rule czar. Someone that is not in homeland security or the TSA or Counter Terrorism but just a regular guy/gal. A “regular guy” saved flight 253 and maybe a regular guy can bring a common sense approach to safety in our skies that is far better than flying on a wing and a prayer.