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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Bungled Baggage Checks?

This NY Times article is not exactly reassuring for anyone who travels with any airline besides El Al:
Federal airline officials are considering a request by the Israeli national airline, El Al, to screen its own baggage at Newark Liberty International Airport, as it does at four other major American airports, a government spokeswoman said on Thursday.

Since February 2002, when the newly created Transportation Security Administration assumed the responsibility of inspecting luggage, El Al alone has been permitted to conduct a second screening at four airports, including Kennedy, said Ann Davis, an agency spokeswoman. Ms. Davis said El Al requested the extra security measures because Israel is a primary target for terrorists.

Under the agreement, Transportation Security Administration officials check bags, then allow the El Al officials to subject luggage to another screening using equipment and software calibrated to be more sensitive.
Though a spokesperson for the airline claims that the double-screening system is not an indication of a lack of confidence with the regular screening that all other baggage receives, some people disagree with that characterization:
Michael Boyd, a former airline security official, said, "The Israelis know darn well that our bomb detecting equipment doesn't work and that the people in charge of airport security don't know what they're doing."

Lovely.

7 Comments:

Blogger Ezzie said...

Kudos to Boyd for telling the truth. Honestly, though, I don't know how often you fly, but I am able to see numerous ways to bypass security without getting caught, and certainly to sneak things on board.

Once, on the way to Israel from Cleveland via JFK, I and 3 friends were able to get a package from one friend's sister who lived nearby - and didn't have to go back through security on the way back in. Is that not a HUGE problem?!

11:42 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Clarify: She dropped it off at the airport.

11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ezzie, How did you guys do it? Did you rely in any way on the trust you gained as innocent yeshiva bachurim?

12:50 AM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Um, no. I was surprised, really.

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Essie said...

Michael Boyd, a former airline security official, said, "The Israelis know darn well that our bomb detecting equipment doesn't work and that the people in charge of airport security don't know what they're doing."

As if the terrorists didn't already know that, now they definitely do.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

There are obvious holes in every airlines security system-it is not protecting the Pres. However I agree with Essie no reason to add to "As if the terrorists didn't already know that, now they definitely do."

8:15 AM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

Uh, can we outsource all our airport security to El Al? Better than oursourcing our ports to Dubai Ports World!

11:30 AM  

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