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.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:
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.
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."