Airport and Airline Security: Why People are Still Angry

Airport Security after Bin Laden

The death of terrorist Osama bin Laden hasn't meant many changes for the average flyer; we still take off our shoes and allow TSA officers to paw through our bags and take images of our bodies.

We may not like it (and I certainly wasn't fond of the "enhanced patdown" I received in the security line not so long ago), but we do it. I suspect most of us, though, are wondering the same thing: "Isn't there a better way?"

As one recent critic commented on the web:

"If the goal of the TSA is to continually keep the American public in a state of fear, you're doing a great job."

Three Recent Airport Security Incidents

In the spring of 2011, there were three security incidents that made headlines – and made people mad.:

1. Beauty Queen Scan:

A one-time beauty queen posted her own YouTube video raging about a patdown she'd received by security officers at the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport. Susie Castillo made a lot of "indelicate" statements, but we can print this one: "Am I a threat to U.S. security? I was Miss USA, for Pete's sake!"

What can I say, Susie, except that when it comes to airport security, we all look the same to the TSA.

2. Child Patdown:

A six year old girl was given the enhanced patdown treatment, and the airport incident was videotaped by her understandably upset mother. The TSA said they did nothing wrong, but they also say they're exploring other options.

Whether Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's comment that he wouldn't want this to happen to his granddaughter had anything to do with the option exploration is not known.

3. Plane Ejection:

Two U.S. Muslim religious leaders from Memphis were heading to Charlotte for a conference, or were until the pilot reportedly ordered them off. They'd passed through security with no problems, but according to one report, the pilot was allegedly worried they'd make some of the passengers "uncomfortable".

The topic of the conference the men eventually got to? Prejudice against Muslims.

Have any security incidents of your own to tell us about? Please share them on Facebook.

Air Travel Security: The Options

If you are selected to undergo the body scan, you can opt instead for the enhanced patdown. In the meantime, everyone still must follow the basics: remove your shoes, no containers of liquids bigger than a 3.4 ounce bottle, etc. You can see the entire no-no list on the TSA website.

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Rick Seaney
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