[thechat] US criticised over Muslim checks

Hugh Blair hblair at hotfootmail.com
Thu Oct 3 12:14:01 CDT 2002

> -----Original Message-----
> On Behalf Of Luther, Ron
> Yep - I've had to take belt and shoes off too!  It annoys me a lot.

I actually went out and bought new shoes that didn't have a metal
shank just to speed my passage through airport security. It did
wonders. I now think that all shoes should come with a consumer
tag, "These shoes may get you held up at airport security. Buy
at your own risk."

> {Flying out of Houston last month the a**hole with the wand kept it
> beeping over the left side of my chest.

Yeh, what's with Houston? I had bad experiences last month at both
IAH and HOU. Rude, invasive.

> (1) I disagree.  I think there *is* profiling involved.  In both cases
> I was the first person pulled aside for the second security check.  I
> watched the security folks looking around before they picked me. My
> guess is that they feel they have to start with a white middle aged
> guy in order to avert charges of 'profiling' or 'discrimination'.

Absolutely true. Most gate checks are done by picking out someone
by just looking at the line. American Airlines has something
programmed in their computer system that picks the passengers for
this treatment. I've been 'caught' by AA on all 4 of my last legs
with them. I'd sure like to know what's in their system that points
to me as someone to grab.

> (2) I do take offense ... primarily at the insinuation that travelors
> like myself are expected to believe that these half-assed measures are
> actually improving security.  IMHO it's all "sizzle" and no "steak".

Although gate checks *have* found some banned items, they wouldn't
be needed if the initial security was doing a proper job. I'm now
seeing the new government folks at airport entrances, and so far,
it's a bit better, more professional, more consistent from airport
to airport.

> The question is "why"?  Is it an accounting matter - operating expense
> is easier to impact than balance sheet side security investments?  Is
> it "PR" - a visible show that they are "doing something"?  Is it
> "lobbying" - deliberately annoying their consumers in order to gain
> support for government intervention?

A bit of both. A lot of show, and yet it does do some good. Folks are
still trying to fly with large knives and even guns. Never
underestimate the ability of travelers to be dumb.


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