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Old 10-08-2001, 08:38 AM   #1
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Security at US airports couldn't be any higher, right?

It's Sunday morning, October the 7th and I'm checking in at the Continental AUS ticket counter. After getting my boarding pass, I walk to the security line, wait briefly for my ID to be checked, and then head towards the actual checkpoint.

I take my phone and such out of my pockets and put them into my bag to speed up the process, put the bag on the x-ray belt and walk through the metal detector without incident.

I'm about to grab my bag before the security guy says, "oh, that has to go through the metal detector," as he points at the RIM 950 that I had accidently left on my belt.

"Why didn't it make the metal detector alarm," I asked?

"It has to go through here," he responds and he points to the x-ray machine, and grabs a little plastic container for me to put my RIM in.

Keep in mind that this RIM is a device with a CPU, memory, a AA battery, an 8-line screen, a radio, a holster with springs/screws/magnet, the works.

"I understand that," I say, "but it should make the metal detector alarm."

I proceed to walk through the metal detector once more (holding the RIM) and manage to get through twice (out and in) without it going off.

"Why isn't this working," I ask, as I wave my RIM through the metal detector a few times.

A security supervisor-looking woman comes by and explains, "It doesn't go off because that needs to go through the x-ray machine."

Everyone in the line is staring in shock at the scene of events and pure incompetence of the security staff.

So, I put my RIM in a little plastic container, pick it up as it comes out of the X-ray machine, and walk past the heavily-armed national guard that are helping to protect our nation's airports.

I headed to the Continental Presidents Club and enjoyed some coffee while I toasted a bagel and spread cream cheese on it with a knife that was in a box of knives next to the toaster.

Quote:
10/13/2001

"We have taken every precaution to make sure that it is safe to fly in America. There are beefed up security at our airports. There is increased presence on the airplanes,'' Bush told reporters after speaking by phone with the mayor of New York and the governor of New York state.
What is going to have to happen before we secure the airports in this nation? Clearly, we'll have to suffer more loss of life before our government gets the picture.

Daniel

(Picture from this trip)
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Old 10-08-2001, 08:38 AM   #2
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Security at US airports couldn't be any higher, right?

It's Sunday morning, October the 7th and I'm checking in at the Continental AUS ticket counter. After getting my boarding pass, I walk to the security line, wait briefly for my ID to be checked, and then head towards the actual checkpoint.

I take my phone and such out of my pockets and put them into my bag to speed up the process, put the bag on the x-ray belt and walk through the metal detector without incident.

I'm about to grab my bag before the security guy says, "oh, that has to go through the metal detector," as he points at the RIM 950 that I had accidently left on my belt.

"Why didn't it make the metal detector alarm," I asked?

"It has to go through here," he responds and he points to the x-ray machine, and grabs a little plastic container for me to put my RIM in.

Keep in mind that this RIM is a device with a CPU, memory, a AA battery, an 8-line screen, a radio, a holster with springs/screws/magnet, the works.

"I understand that," I say, "but it should make the metal detector alarm."

I proceed to walk through the metal detector once more (holding the RIM) and manage to get through twice (out and in) without it going off.

"Why isn't this working," I ask, as I wave my RIM through the metal detector a few times.

A security supervisor-looking woman comes by and explains, "It doesn't go off because that needs to go through the x-ray machine."

Everyone in the line is staring in shock at the scene of events and pure incompetence of the security staff.

So, I put my RIM in a little plastic container, pick it up as it comes out of the X-ray machine, and walk past the heavily-armed national guard that are helping to protect our nation's airports.

I headed to the Continental Presidents Club and enjoyed some coffee while I toasted a bagel and spread cream cheese on it with a knife that was in a box of knives next to the toaster.

Quote:
10/13/2001

"We have taken every precaution to make sure that it is safe to fly in America. There are beefed up security at our airports. There is increased presence on the airplanes,'' Bush told reporters after speaking by phone with the mayor of New York and the governor of New York state.
What is going to have to happen before we secure the airports in this nation? Clearly, we'll have to suffer more loss of life before our government gets the picture.

Daniel

(Picture from this trip)
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Old 10-08-2001, 12:59 PM   #3
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I think it's very debatable what good it would due to make metal detectors sensitive enough to detect things such as a RIM. (There's almost no metal in a RIM, other than the batteries). Past a certain point, you start 'detecting' all sorts of things, like fillings in teeth, zippers and rivets in jeans, watches, etc. Not to mention that if the RIM did contain something useful to terrorists, such as explosives, it would contain no metal at all.

There's *plenty* of weapons that could be carried onto an aircraft without any reasonable means of detection short of body searches. Ceramic knives, explosives, chemical or biological agents are a few examples.

God forbid Continental have metal knives in the president's club... someone could hurt themselves! Does anyone really think that anyone will ever again be able to hijack an airliner with something as simple as a knife? Passengers simply won't stand for it now.

Where do we draw the line? There'd be very little threat of terrorism on aircraft if every passenger was put under anesthesia. Or maybe we could simply chain passengers to their seats... not as effective, but cheaper. Oh, and make certain to triple-check all Arabs... everyone knows that they're the only people who commit acts of terrorism. Just ask the British.

Of course, after we secure the airlines, what next? Do we make fertilizer illegal? We better figure out some way to make certain no biological or chemical weapons make it to our shores either.

Seriously, I don't think airport security would have done anything to prevent what happened. Worst case, the terrorists would have had to figure out how to obtain some kind of non-metal weapon, which certainly isn't hard to do (I'm sure Plexiglas would make due, if not a ceramic knife).

Sky marshals are an interesting idea (especially if they helped eliminate sky rage), but even they would prove only so effective. What if there are 5 terrorists on the plane? Or 10? What if they take hostages?

The simple fact is, there's no possible way to eliminate the risk. The question is, how much are you willing to suffer for a given amount of reduction in risk? And before you answer, keep in mind that there will always be other ways to commit terrorism that don't involve aircraft at all. What if the WTC bombing had been done not only with explosives, but also with several vans filled with materials that would burn very hot for a long enough time to effect the collapse of the superstructure?

I feel that our airport security has done an exceptional job of preventing hijacking and terrorism. Aside from Sept. 11th, how many aircraft originating at a US airport have been hijacked? Compare that with other places in the world. Certainly itís tragic that they were able to hijack 4 airliners on the 11th, but as I mentioned, I donít think any amount of airport security would have prevented that (security on the plane is obviously a different matter). I wish people would keep this is mind when begging the government to take away more of our freedom and make air travel more difficult than it already is.

On the bright side, if people have their way Amtrak might actually become profitable.
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Old 10-08-2001, 12:59 PM   #4
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I think it's very debatable what good it would due to make metal detectors sensitive enough to detect things such as a RIM. (There's almost no metal in a RIM, other than the batteries). Past a certain point, you start 'detecting' all sorts of things, like fillings in teeth, zippers and rivets in jeans, watches, etc. Not to mention that if the RIM did contain something useful to terrorists, such as explosives, it would contain no metal at all.

There's *plenty* of weapons that could be carried onto an aircraft without any reasonable means of detection short of body searches. Ceramic knives, explosives, chemical or biological agents are a few examples.

God forbid Continental have metal knives in the president's club... someone could hurt themselves! Does anyone really think that anyone will ever again be able to hijack an airliner with something as simple as a knife? Passengers simply won't stand for it now.

Where do we draw the line? There'd be very little threat of terrorism on aircraft if every passenger was put under anesthesia. Or maybe we could simply chain passengers to their seats... not as effective, but cheaper. Oh, and make certain to triple-check all Arabs... everyone knows that they're the only people who commit acts of terrorism. Just ask the British.

Of course, after we secure the airlines, what next? Do we make fertilizer illegal? We better figure out some way to make certain no biological or chemical weapons make it to our shores either.

Seriously, I don't think airport security would have done anything to prevent what happened. Worst case, the terrorists would have had to figure out how to obtain some kind of non-metal weapon, which certainly isn't hard to do (I'm sure Plexiglas would make due, if not a ceramic knife).

Sky marshals are an interesting idea (especially if they helped eliminate sky rage), but even they would prove only so effective. What if there are 5 terrorists on the plane? Or 10? What if they take hostages?

The simple fact is, there's no possible way to eliminate the risk. The question is, how much are you willing to suffer for a given amount of reduction in risk? And before you answer, keep in mind that there will always be other ways to commit terrorism that don't involve aircraft at all. What if the WTC bombing had been done not only with explosives, but also with several vans filled with materials that would burn very hot for a long enough time to effect the collapse of the superstructure?

I feel that our airport security has done an exceptional job of preventing hijacking and terrorism. Aside from Sept. 11th, how many aircraft originating at a US airport have been hijacked? Compare that with other places in the world. Certainly itís tragic that they were able to hijack 4 airliners on the 11th, but as I mentioned, I donít think any amount of airport security would have prevented that (security on the plane is obviously a different matter). I wish people would keep this is mind when begging the government to take away more of our freedom and make air travel more difficult than it already is.

On the bright side, if people have their way Amtrak might actually become profitable.
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Old 10-08-2001, 04:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
On 2001-10-08 11:59, Decibel wrote:
I think it's very debatable what good it would due to make metal detectors sensitive enough to detect things such as a RIM. (There's almost no metal in a RIM, other than the batteries). Past a certain point, you start 'detecting' all sorts of things, like fillings in teeth, zippers and rivets in jeans, watches, etc. Not to mention that if the RIM did contain something useful to terrorists, such as explosives, it would contain no metal at all.
The belt that I was wearing consistently sets the metal detector off at any other airport and, in fact, set off the metal detector at EFD later that day.

I refuse to believe that the RIM doesn't have an ample amount of metal to set of an appropriately configured detector.

Quote:
There's *plenty* of weapons that could be carried onto an aircraft without any reasonable means of detection short of body searches. Ceramic knives, explosives, chemical or biological agents are a few examples.
That doesn't mean that we should not screen for the items that we can eliminate.

Quote:
God forbid Continental have metal knives in the president's club... someone could hurt themselves! Does anyone really think that anyone will ever again be able to hijack an airliner with something as simple as a knife? Passengers simply won't stand for it now.
I don't necessairly agree about the knife policy. However, knives are banned (pocket knifes, cutting knives, etc.) from all security checkpoints now and are not allowed on airplanes or within secure areas. Every flight that I've flown on post-Sep-11 has replaced the metal knife (served with other flatware) with a plastic knife. Additionally, other p-clubs have removed the knives for plastic ones.


Quote:
I feel that our airport security has done an exceptional job of preventing hijacking and terrorism. Aside from Sept. 11th, how many aircraft originating at a US airport have been hijacked? Compare that with other places in the world. Certainly itís tragic that they were able to hijack 4 airliners on the 11th, but as I mentioned, I donít think any amount of airport security would have prevented that (security on the plane is obviously a different matter). I wish people would keep this is mind when begging the government to take away more of our freedom and make air travel more difficult than it already is.
The US is a country with significantly less political and religious unrest than others that face more terrorist danger on a day-to-day basis. Assuming that our security has prevented hijacking is about as logical as assuming that wearing your lucky shoes will keep your plane from crashing. "Other planes have crashed, but I've worn my lucky shoes and my plane has never crashed, so . . ."

Regardless, the current status of security is a far cry from "every precaution" as Bush explains.

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Old 10-08-2001, 04:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
On 2001-10-08 11:59, Decibel wrote:
I think it's very debatable what good it would due to make metal detectors sensitive enough to detect things such as a RIM. (There's almost no metal in a RIM, other than the batteries). Past a certain point, you start 'detecting' all sorts of things, like fillings in teeth, zippers and rivets in jeans, watches, etc. Not to mention that if the RIM did contain something useful to terrorists, such as explosives, it would contain no metal at all.
The belt that I was wearing consistently sets the metal detector off at any other airport and, in fact, set off the metal detector at EFD later that day.

I refuse to believe that the RIM doesn't have an ample amount of metal to set of an appropriately configured detector.

Quote:
There's *plenty* of weapons that could be carried onto an aircraft without any reasonable means of detection short of body searches. Ceramic knives, explosives, chemical or biological agents are a few examples.
That doesn't mean that we should not screen for the items that we can eliminate.

Quote:
God forbid Continental have metal knives in the president's club... someone could hurt themselves! Does anyone really think that anyone will ever again be able to hijack an airliner with something as simple as a knife? Passengers simply won't stand for it now.
I don't necessairly agree about the knife policy. However, knives are banned (pocket knifes, cutting knives, etc.) from all security checkpoints now and are not allowed on airplanes or within secure areas. Every flight that I've flown on post-Sep-11 has replaced the metal knife (served with other flatware) with a plastic knife. Additionally, other p-clubs have removed the knives for plastic ones.


Quote:
I feel that our airport security has done an exceptional job of preventing hijacking and terrorism. Aside from Sept. 11th, how many aircraft originating at a US airport have been hijacked? Compare that with other places in the world. Certainly itís tragic that they were able to hijack 4 airliners on the 11th, but as I mentioned, I donít think any amount of airport security would have prevented that (security on the plane is obviously a different matter). I wish people would keep this is mind when begging the government to take away more of our freedom and make air travel more difficult than it already is.
The US is a country with significantly less political and religious unrest than others that face more terrorist danger on a day-to-day basis. Assuming that our security has prevented hijacking is about as logical as assuming that wearing your lucky shoes will keep your plane from crashing. "Other planes have crashed, but I've worn my lucky shoes and my plane has never crashed, so . . ."

Regardless, the current status of security is a far cry from "every precaution" as Bush explains.

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Old 10-08-2001, 04:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
On 2001-10-08 15:20, dbaker wrote:

The belt that I was wearing consistently sets the metal detector off at any other airport and, in fact, set off the metal detector at EFD later that day.

I refuse to believe that the RIM doesn't have an ample amount of metal to set of an appropriately configured detector.
That depends on how you define 'properly configured'. Certainly, if you make the detector sensitive enough, it will detect not only your rim, but the gold fillings in the person 5 feet behind you. The more false alarms from the detector, the less effective it is and the more delay and frustration it causes. Just because we *can* detect something doesn't mean we should. We could keep basically everything of any danger off of planes if we subjected every passanger to body cavity searches.


Quote:
I don't necessairly agree about the knife policy. However, knives are banned (pocket knifes, cutting knives, etc.) from all security checkpoints now and are not allowed on airplanes or within secure areas. Every flight that I've flown on post-Sep-11 has replaced the metal knife (served with other flatware) with a plastic knife. Additionally, other p-clubs have removed the knives for plastic ones.
Perhapse Continental is trying to be a voice of reason in a storm of insanity. [img]/forums/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

In any case, I'm surprised they havn't followed suit just due to liability issues (imagine if someone pulls something on a plane with a knife they got out of the President's Club lounge).

Quote:
The US is a country with significantly less political and religious unrest than others that face more terrorist danger on a day-to-day basis. Assuming that our security has prevented hijacking is about as logical as assuming that wearing your lucky shoes will keep your plane from crashing. "Other planes have crashed, but I've worn my lucky shoes and my plane has never crashed, so . . ."
I disagree. The US is a very high profile target for every terrorist group in the Middle East. The number of attacks against American citizens on foreign soil proves this out. By association then, US airlines are a prime target. There are numerous cases where airport security has done it's job and kept dangerous people/things off of aircraft, both carry on and checked. Yet there's been no successful attacks, save the 11th.
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Old 10-08-2001, 04:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
On 2001-10-08 15:20, dbaker wrote:

The belt that I was wearing consistently sets the metal detector off at any other airport and, in fact, set off the metal detector at EFD later that day.

I refuse to believe that the RIM doesn't have an ample amount of metal to set of an appropriately configured detector.
That depends on how you define 'properly configured'. Certainly, if you make the detector sensitive enough, it will detect not only your rim, but the gold fillings in the person 5 feet behind you. The more false alarms from the detector, the less effective it is and the more delay and frustration it causes. Just because we *can* detect something doesn't mean we should. We could keep basically everything of any danger off of planes if we subjected every passanger to body cavity searches.


Quote:
I don't necessairly agree about the knife policy. However, knives are banned (pocket knifes, cutting knives, etc.) from all security checkpoints now and are not allowed on airplanes or within secure areas. Every flight that I've flown on post-Sep-11 has replaced the metal knife (served with other flatware) with a plastic knife. Additionally, other p-clubs have removed the knives for plastic ones.
Perhapse Continental is trying to be a voice of reason in a storm of insanity. [img]/forums/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

In any case, I'm surprised they havn't followed suit just due to liability issues (imagine if someone pulls something on a plane with a knife they got out of the President's Club lounge).

Quote:
The US is a country with significantly less political and religious unrest than others that face more terrorist danger on a day-to-day basis. Assuming that our security has prevented hijacking is about as logical as assuming that wearing your lucky shoes will keep your plane from crashing. "Other planes have crashed, but I've worn my lucky shoes and my plane has never crashed, so . . ."
I disagree. The US is a very high profile target for every terrorist group in the Middle East. The number of attacks against American citizens on foreign soil proves this out. By association then, US airlines are a prime target. There are numerous cases where airport security has done it's job and kept dangerous people/things off of aircraft, both carry on and checked. Yet there's been no successful attacks, save the 11th.
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Old 10-11-2001, 12:07 AM   #9
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I think that the key issue here should not be the fact that the RIM went through, but rather the fact that dbaker made such a big scene about it, I was behind him and trust me he did, and no one seemed to care.
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Old 10-11-2001, 12:07 AM   #10
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I think that the key issue here should not be the fact that the RIM went through, but rather the fact that dbaker made such a big scene about it, I was behind him and trust me he did, and no one seemed to care.
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