Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday’s What the Heck!!! Air Travel

Is airport security an illusion or real?  Do you really feel safer since 2001?

I’ve traveled the world extensively before 2001 and post 2001 and have come to the conclusion that the heightened security does not represent improved security. In fact, it has been my experience that the screeners at security are not even properly trained to detect security threats but have instead taken leave of their reasoning. 

A quick search for qualification for airport security guards revealed,  “no experience necessary” “55 and older to apply” “will train” “$18/hr” “summer job” The only qualifications listed is hard working, punctual, and reliable, at one of Canada’s largest airports.  Can anyone one of the over 4,000-security personal be bribed? I sure hope not!  The minimum level of experience we expect from airport security is disturbing. Frightening still is that we put up with it, are we as Canadians too polite to question our government even when our life depends on it?  I think, we are also too afraid to say anything either in line up or on the plane, because believe it or not, flight attendants are trained to yell at you. 

How do they prepare for threats when I’ve read that there is no intelligence and threat analysis done in Canada. But we, Canadians continue to pay for “enhanced security” with each flight we take.


I read in the newspaper awhile back an elderly woman who had a mastectomy was required to have inside her bra checked. The real question is was she a real threat? There must be an efficient way of knowing who is a threat no matter if they are old, young, businessperson or students, etc.    


Furthermore, some of the protocols in place don’t make sense and even if the employees have a brain they aren’t allowed to use it as the example above indicates. Many of the policies are arbitrary, for example containers must be100ml/100g or less but you can bring onto the plane rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, baby formula, baby food, water and juice, which can be over 100 ml.  

First level of security in North America is when we check in.  Right after 9/11 we were asked a series of questions; did you pack your bag, did you leave your bag unattended, are you carrying any dangerous materials?  Immediately after 9/11 it appeared that they were actually looking at you and listening to your answers (I’m sure a terrorist would tell the truth) but nowadays if you are even asked the questions, they are not really listening for your answers but going through the motions. And I don’t blame them because they have not been trained to actually look for nervousness or other sighs of suspicious behaviour.  The key to security is to read peoples’ behavior as they go through the airport before they board their plane.

The second levels of security are going through the metal detection, getting a pat-down, or sometimes a walk through the x-ray machine if you consent. I agree that passengers must be prohibited from taking on board firearms and other hazardous and dangerous materials.  Especially if they are serving alcohol onboard because I’ve seen some crazy drunks and that can be a risk when you are at 37,000 feet above the earth.  Another question maybe should be asked before you board is can you handle alcohol and are you an ass when you drink? 

But, I digress. Now back to metal detector security. Would it not be quicker and safer to have all our contents spilled into the containers so they can actually see the items rather that trying to discern grayish objects on the screen? My keys, computer wires, and headphones sometime lump together making a suspicious looking object, they send it back and look at it again, this can take time as they call their colleagues to look at the screen too as they whisper to one another.  No one can figure what the object is so they ask if they can look into my purse. Sure, I say as I reach for my purse to open it for them.  No, no, you can’t touch it, I’m told. What the hell???  If I can’t touch it, maybe, they shouldn’t either.

The third and final level of security is the physical search if the metal detector goes off.  Damn those underwire bras! Then you are sometimes given a choice to use the x-ray thingy, I don’t care how low the radiation emissions but I’m not doing walking through that thing. If they can’t feel anything in the pat down, which sometimes feels like a full body massage, what’s going to show up under x-ray? Really, just saying?  Would a tampon show up? What would they do then?

Now for the most absurd protocol… your bags can’t fly without you!  In 2004, upon arriving in New Zealand from Melbourne the entire flight (over 300 people) discovered that our bags were not on board. We were not informed until we were actually at luggage pick-up. Hmmm.   Interestingly, we not only flew without our luggage but we entered another country without them making customs a breeze.

Over the recent holiday, my plane sat on the tarmac for over two hours because a passenger was not on the flight but his bags were.  I had a lot of time to ponder this particular policy and concluded that the main reason for delaying the plane and removing his luggage is they think it could possibly contain a bomb, right?  Then, WHY are we kept on the plane while they do the search? Shouldn’t they not determine that all luggage is safe before it actually gets on the plane?  

My final thought.  Has the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA)a Crown corporation created in April 2002 with the responsibility to screen airline passengers at Canadian airports ever consulted the Security Agency in Israel (the ISA)?  In Israel, even with daily threats of terrorism, the process through security takes less than 30 minutes. It is well known that they take care of security without limiting the efficiency of the airport and delaying passengers.

If we in North America are to have any security while air traveling why has our Defense Minister or Prime Minister not mandated CATSA to learn from the ISA after all they use the same planes as we do, or do they? 


Air travel security in Canada is much like when you were given a choice of smoking or non-smoking seat on the plane back in the day.  Yeah, airport security is an illusion at best.  

1 comment:

DUTA said...

You've raised ,of course, the very right questions.

Personally,if I could I would go anywhere by land transport only, not by air transport which scares me.

Unfortunately, going abroad from Israel, where I live, is possible mainly by air.

Blog Archive

Labels

#greencold-pressedjuice #healthcare #sisterlylove #healing #love (1) 100 days of gratitude (4) 2008 (1) 2010 review (2) 2012 (1) 2014 letters (1) 2015 (1) 2016 (1) 6th line (1) A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table (1) Acadia University (1) acai bowls (1) accident (1) accidents (1) ACDEN (3) ACFN (7) Addictions (1) Adia (1) Advertising (1) Africa (1) Ajahn Brahm (1) Albert Mercredi (1) Alcoholism (3) Allan Adam (1) alternative care (1) Andrew (9) Andrew Gr.7 (1) andrew's books (1) Angelina (1) anger (1) animals (1) Annie Pootoogook (1) anniversary (5) apology (2) April (1) Arctic (1) artist (1) Arts (1) Asia (1) Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (1) attachment (1) Attawapiskat (1) August 2011 (1) aunt (1) Aunt Marie (1) Auschwitz (1) Australia (3) Autumn (2) Ayurveda (1) Baba (1) Bad to the bone (1) BBF (1) BC (1) Bennet Dam (1) Beverages (1) Bill C-31 (1) Billy (1) Biology (1) birthday (5) birthdays (1) blessing (2) blogging (3) blogs (1) Bob Dylan (1) Bodhi (2) book review (2) Books (3) boys (1) brain (1) breast cancer (1) Brother (1) Buckminster Fuller (1) Buddhism (1) Buddhist (1) Burns (1) Business (1) camera (1) Canada (1) Canadians (1) cancer (1) Captain Schettino (1) captain Sullenberger (1) Cars (1) cat (1) cell phones (1) Challenge (2) change (1) charity (1) Charles Camsell Hospital (1) cheating (1) Chief (2) Children (1) China (1) Chipman House (1) Chocolate (1) choices (1) Christian (1) Christmas (6) Christmas 2015 (1) Christmas music (1) Christmas Mystery (1) classic cars (1) cleaning (1) climate change (1) cold (1) cold season (1) cold virus (1) colonic (1) Coma (1) communication (2) Consumer alert (1) conversations (1) Cook (1) coping (1) core (1) cottage (1) Cough (1) country life (4) CRE2015 conference (1) creative (1) Crisis (1) Daniel Lanois (1) Dawn (1) daydreaming (1) Death (4) deer (1) Dene (2) Dene Sayisi (1) dentist (1) deranger (1) destiny (1) desuline (1) Developed country (1) disc hernaiation (1) disconnected (1) Distracted drivers (1) DIY (1) dogs (1) Dorval (2) dreams (3) drive (1) drunk drivers (1) Dunrobin Ontario (1) earthquake (1) Edmond Metatawabin (1) Edmonton (2) Elderly (1) Elders (1) Election (2) election 2015 (2) electronics (1) Elegy for Mama (1) elope (1) emotions (2) Empire State Building (1) Enabling (1) energy (1) Environment (2) Facebook (4) fall (3) family (33) family tree (2) family vacation (1) farm (1) farmer's market (1) Feb. 12 (1) feel good (1) Fiction (1) Fiji (1) fire (1) Fire 2016 (1) Firewater (1) First Nation (6) First Nations Financial Transparency Act (1) fisher (1) Flora and Fauna (1) fondue (1) Food (4) Food and Related Products (1) for sale (1) Fort Chipewyan (16) Fort McMurray (12) Frank Abbott (1) Fred C Adam (1) freedom of speech (1) Freeze (1) French Toast (1) Freshman (1) Friend (1) friends (5) friendship (4) fun (3) future (1) Games (1) garden (2) Ghetto (1) Ghost (1) gifts (3) ginger tea (1) Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest (1) Goals (2) God (1) gofundme (1) Good bye Mom (1) Governance (1) gratitude (2) green smoothie challenge (1) green smoothies (3) Green tea (1) greens (1) Gretchen (1) Gretchen Morgan (1) Grey Owl (1) guest book (1) hair (1) halloween (1) happiness (7) Harold R Johnson (1) harvest (1) hawaii (4) healing (1) Healing Our Spirit World Wide (1) Health (8) healthy (1) Heart and Soul (1) Hearts (1) heatwave (3) Helen (1) helping (1) Henry's (1) here is what is (1) High School (1) Hilton Hotels (1) Historical fiction (1) Historical novel (1) history (1) holidays (6) Holy Angels (3) Home (2) homeless (1) homeopathic (1) hope (2) Horns (1) Horns: A Novel (1) horror (3) Hot chocolate (1) housework (1) hubby (2) Hummingbird Hill B and B (1) hurt (1) Ila Bussidor (1) impermance (1) Indian Act (1) Indian wedding (1) integrity (1) intention (1) January blues (1) Jerry Seinfeld (1) joe hill (1) Joseph Boyden (1) Joy Bliss Raw (1) juice (4) Karen (1) Kauai (3) Ke e Beach (1) kindeness (1) kindness (2) Kitty Kelly (1) KMS (1) La Loche (1) Lac St. Anne (1) landline phone (1) laugh (1) Laughter (2) Lend Me a Tenor (1) Lent (2) Leonard Cohen (3) lessons (1) letting go (1) life (13) life skills (4) lifestyle (1) Lights (1) line ups (1) Lists (1) Literature (2) living (1) lost dog (1) love (21) Lumahi Beach (1) Lunar ice (1) Mac (1) Macbook air (1) mad as hell (1) Mad Men (1) Magical universe (1) Makua beach (1) mama (12) manners (1) Maple syrup (1) March winter (1) Margo (2) marriage (1) Mary (2) Mary Olive (1) Massage (1) Master Cleanse (1) Matt Lauer (1) Meaning of life (1) media (1) meditation (3) meeting (1) Melbourne (1) members (1) men (1) Mental health (2) miata MX5 (1) Mike and Kay (1) mind (1) Mindful (1) Missing and Murdered women and girls (1) Molly Wizenberg (1) mom (1) moments (2) Moneca (1) Money (2) Montessori method (1) Montreal (2) Moon (1) Mother Earth (1) mothers (1) Music (2) Music Box (1) musician (1) musing (1) my birthday wish (1) MySpace (1) nap (1) NASA (1) National Arts Centre (1) National Youth forum (1) Natural law (1) Nature (4) Neil Young (1) New Year's resolution (4) New Years (2) New York City (1) news (1) newsletter (2) Night Spirits (1) no snow (1) Norman Doige (1) Novel (1) November madness (1) nuheyatie (1) Nuns (1) Nurses (1) NYC (1) Obama (1) Odyssey trip (1) oilsands (3) old days (1) On the Web (1) Onion (1) Onions and Garlic (1) Online Communities (2) Online Writing (1) opinion (1) Oprah (1) Oprah Winfrey (2) Organic food (1) Ottawa (2) Ottawa River (3) Pacific Foods (1) pain (1) painting (1) Paris (1) passion (1) Patric (3) Pay-Per-Click Advertising (1) Peace (2) Peggy Blair (1) People (1) People and Society (2) Personal finance (1) Peru (1) pets (1) picnic (2) pizza (1) planes (1) Play (1) plumber (1) poem (2) poet (2) point claire (2) Poland (1) politics (3) pollution (1) pond (1) Pool (3) Port Alberni (1) power (1) power outage (1) present (2) Princeville (1) Produce (1) Promotion (1) public washroom (1) Publications (1) purpose (2) Quebec City (2) Racism (1) raclette (1) random (1) Range Rover Evoque (1) raw foods (5) Reflection (1) relationships (7) relaxing (2) religion (1) remembrance day (1) repairs (1) Residential School (1) Residential schools (1) resolution (1) responsibility (1) Review (1) Riddell street (1) rituals (1) river (1) River musings (1) Roger (1) Rose (1) Rossi (3) rumi (1) sacrifice (1) sadness (1) sailboats (1) Salad (1) Saturday (1) school (1) schools (1) Scotland (1) Scottish independence (1) Search Engines (1) seasons (1) Second Life (1) Security (2) self care (2) sensual (1) sept 2 (1) September 18th 2014 (1) Services (1) shakespeare (1) Shanghai (1) sheep (1) Shepherds of Good Hope (1) shooting (1) Shopping (3) Sigh (1) silence (1) singer (1) Sisters (4) skiing (1) sleep (1) small town (1) smile (1) Smoothie (1) snake (1) snow (3) Social Media (4) Social network (2) Social network service (1) Social Networking (1) Society and Culture (2) solocree (1) song (1) Sorapot (1) Sorry (1) soul (2) Soul School (1) souls (1) Spa (1) Spirit of Christmas (1) Spreadsheet (1) Spring (2) Status Indian (1) Stieg Larsson (1) Stillness (1) storytelling (1) Street people (1) stress (2) success (1) summer (2) Summer 2012 (3) Summer 2013 (1) summer fun (1) Sunday 160 (7) sunday picture (1) sunny ways (1) sunrise (1) sunset (1) Surgery (1) surprise (1) Tag (1) tansi (1) Tea (4) Technology (1) Teenagers (1) thanks (1) Thanksgiving (1) the real you (1) Theatre (1) Therese Deranger (2) thinking (1) thoughts (1) Time (2) tooth (1) Toronto (1) Toxins (1) tradition (1) traffic (1) transformation (1) trapper (1) travel (1) Treaty No.6 (1) truth (2) turkey (2) turtles (1) tweets (1) twitter (3) UFO (1) University (1) unplugged (1) vacation (1) Valentine's Day (2) values (1) Victoria (1) Vik (1) vistors (1) vote (1) walk (1) Warsaw (1) Water fasting (1) weather (1) Web Design and Development (1) weddings (2) weight (1) William Blake (1) William Ricketts (1) Williams (1) Winnipeg (2) winter (2) Women (1) world series (1) World War II (1) writer (1) year in review (1) Yma Sumac (1) yoga (1) Youth (1) zombies (1)