In the weeks to come, many of us will take to the airways as we travel for the holidays. Since 9/11 we have seen an increasing amount of invasive and time devouring security tactics thrust upon us, making air travel a most unpleasant experience. Between TSA security and continual add-on pricing foisted upon us by the airlines, flying is something I try to avoid.
Since I live on the west coast and much of my and my wife's family are scattered throughout the United States, we have usually taken our trips via whichever airline has the best Orbitz pricing for what we want to do. Not this year. This Christmas we are going to drive and forget about the hassles of flying. Sure it will take longer and it will mean hotel expenses, but I don't mind a road trip even with the risk of inclement winter weather. And it's easier to change my driving plans than it is to alter flight plans.
I miss those more relaxed days of flying when everyone could go to the gate and you could see people off or meet them as they exited the plane. It was much more pleasant when you didn't have go to the airport two or more hours ahead of the flight in order to get through security.
The most recent violation to our privacy has been the latest news fodder. Potentially dangerous x-ray screening equipment is the most recent addition to airport security. Those who are randomly selected to go through this machine are scanned while some perverted drooling TSA agent studies their naked bodies on a screen. It's supposedly anonymous, but as far as I'm concerned it's plain weird. They say it's all safe, but I don't know if I want to take a chance on finding out.
Of course, one can opt out of this scanning procedure and instead choose the getting-to-know-you intimate feel-up by your friendly TSA agent. This might be fun under certain circumstances, but, please, not at the airport by some surly federal employee. Who might be getting out of this? An outcry is coming from Muslims complaining that this would be against their religion. Let's see---do I see a problem with this?
We pretty well know who the typical terrorists have been in the past. Shouldn't there be more focus on certain more suspicious parties, and less on you and me and our families. There has got to be a better way of approaching security on airlines. The previous bad guys had for the most part already been spotted and under surveillance by our government before they ever got on a plane. Why were they able to fly so easily?
I truly believe that most of the security issues arise before anyone even gets to the airport. Somebody in law enforcement is not doing their job. Sure, some security measures need to be taken at the airport, but maybe not to the extreme level that they have come to. What do you think?
Has airport security become too extreme?
What do you think are the best solutions? Do you have a pretty good idea about who the terrorists are most likely to be these days? Are some profiling measures necessary? Have issues with airport security and the hassles of flying affected your travel habits? Will you be flying this holiday season?