I’ve been a travel agent since January 1990. As I approach the dawn of my twenty-second year, I must say, things have changed……from smoking on airplanes to meeting friends at the gate…..and everything else in between.
Those days are gone.
We can wish, want, and cry for the good ol’ days, but it won’t bring them back to life. Not even a spark of it.
You know what? I wouldn’t want them to.
I’ll give you one reason – September 11th.
And that should be the end of my post. But nooooo. With every new unveiling of more security measures comes what? CONTROVERSY.
It started with the shoes, the liquids, and date of birth implementations.
Now, the latest being Advanced Imaging Technology at the airport. Travelers believe this is invasive of their privacy (parts) and harmful due to the incredible imaging the machine provides.
The alternative? Being patted down.
The uproar? Being patted down. The alternative? The imaging machine. The uproar? The subject’s privacy (of body parts being viewed). The alternative? BEING
TOUCHED pat searched (professional and non-invasive). The uproar? The damaging radiation machine (alleged). The alternative? Same gender pat search!
Do you see the dilemma?
For me, I don’t even have to think about this one. Yes, I would go through the machine. No, I don’t think it’s harmful (no more than holding an iPhone to your head while standing in front of a microwave). What I do have a problem with is boundaries. I have a personal space radar and would prefer not to be
touched patted (if say, I had a choice) (by going through an imaging machine). And thank GOODNESS there is a choice now.
My travel career includes a time when passengers were not just afraid, but downright terrified of flying. I would get calls (more than one) after 9/11 of being in the gate area and seeing a man wearing a turban awaiting the same flight. They would insist on being moved to another airplane. A bit much? Of course, it was a major overreaction, but that is what fear does to people.
How do you combat fear? More security measures. More safety. More assurance; enforcement of I.D. checks, baggage scanning, birth dates, boarding passes, x-ray of shoes, laptops, people, and anything else they can think of to make it safer (backscatter machines).
I had my purse checked more than once for a bomb. Was I carrying a bomb? Or bomb materials? No. Did I look like a bomber? I don’t think so. Was I offended? No! Why would I be? I don’t think on 9/11 any one person stood out. No one seemed threatening or suspicious that I know of. But then again, I probably couldn’t pick a terrorist out of a line-up that was trying not to look like a terrorist. I hear a lot of noise about seniors, or handicapped travelers being put through extreme security measures when they are harmless individuals. Listen…threats do not come packaged as threats. Just like drug smugglers don’t carry hash over the border in a ziplock bag (do they?). They are smuggled and hidden, and honestly? If it were my job, I wouldn’t want to be the THAT guy. The one to put 200 passengers in danger. I don’t think you can be too careful and I don’t understand why more people don’t get that.
Can you hand-pick a threat out of crowd? How do you choose? How do you exclude?
Controversy or confidence?
Let’s not be part of the problem. Let’s be part of the solution. Confidence to fly without fear.
Stick to the guidelines that a team of aviation security has designed to define safer travels, or don’t fly. It’s that simple.
I’m not just talking the talk on TSA. I’m walking the walk (x-raying the walk?). I’ll be flying to Chicago this weekend……I’ll probably be going through an imaging machine at DFW airport.
Smile for the camera…
Please know, this is just my stance as a corporate travel agent, and a very laid back person.
I can be as skeptical and fearful as the next person. Maybe, I do trust more than I should. I believe flying is safer today. I believe there is more evil plans by terrorist than ever. I believe EVERYONE is entitled to their views and I absolutely respect that.
P.S. I found a great CBS news article on the radiation of the ATI machine. You can read it on the link below.
TSA Airport Scanners: Radiation Truth & Lies
This post part of Mama’s Losin’ It writer’s workshop. I choose prompt 3.) CONTROVERSY! Are the new security measures performed by the TSA really that bad? Take a stance!