Assessing Airport Security

I am not convinced that the additional measures implemented are useful ["What Airport Security Costs You,"].

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I am not convinced that the additional measures implemented are useful [What Airport Security Costs You,]. For example, I find it hard to believe that running one's shoes through an X-ray machine does anything for security. First, it is my understanding that explosives will not be detected by X-rays. Second, how much explosive can be hidden in a shoe? Hardly enough to cause fatal structural damage to an airplane, I would have thought. And if it works, why is the U.S. the only country enforcing such a rule? The U.K. certainly does not, from my experience.

Comment by Eric S. of NY

The increased concern about body scanners is another invasion of individual privacy. The whole system is structured on the basis of fear and suspicion, leading to profiling and stereotyping. Better intelligence analysis is required along with smoother communication between agencies. Treating passengers like a herd of cattle is demeaning and unnecessary. Better training of staff like the system in Israel is required. One incident and the government reacts with draconian measures.

Comment by Martin of Australia 

I don't really believe you can put a cost on security and the lives of air travelers. I think TSA [Transportation Security Administration] should do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of the traveling public. If that means X-ray screening or patting people down, then so be it. You are not forced to take an airplane; This type of travel is a luxury. Drive a car or take a train if you are unwilling to follow the security procedures. I really don't understand how people can talk about invasion of privacy in regards to human life. It's silly.

Comment by Jen of CO 

TSA's attempt to make air travel so inconvenient that terrorists won't use it has clearly failed, but TSA promises to keep trying. Man-handling every potentially airborne U.S. citizen, none of whom has tried to blow up an airplane to date, is a horrible misapplication of the billions spent on airport security. It's foolhardy to expect our government to keep out one terrorist when it can't keep out 12 million illegal immigrants. Profiling based on nationality won't make us safer, but profiling based on religion might. Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslim. It seems a relatively trivial matter to do data-mining among all the government and commercial data bases which already exist on all travelers into or out of the U.S. And as the folks at El Al Airlines can tell you, the key to successful screening is to focus on people and their behaviors, not objects.

Comment by James of NY 

I don't believe that security delays are what cause so many people to drive instead of fly. Personally I believe that what caused people to drive instead was the fact that three planes were hijacked and crashed, killing many people and causing terror. I didn't want to get on a plane after 9/11 either; not because of security delays, but because several planes were used as weapons inside the U.S. I would have no problem going through a full-body scanner and waiting in line. The full-body scanner seems much more efficient at detecting possible threats to me, and I never thought that metal detectors were enough.

Comment by Joe of WA 

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