Sunday, September 19, 2021

How 9/11 is changing air travel: more security, less privacy

Dallas-Ask anyone who is old enough to remember to travel before September 11, 2001, and you are likely to vaguely recall what it was like to fly.

There is a security check, but it is not intrusive. There is no long checkpoint line. Passengers and their families can walk to the boarding gate together and postpone the farewell hug to the last moment. Overall, the airport experience means much less stress.

It all came to an end when the four hijacked planes crashed into the towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a venue in Pennsylvania.

The worst terrorist attacks in the United States have led airports around the world to adopt more and sometimes tense security measures to prevent the recurrence of that terrible day. The catastrophe also contributed to other changes that changed the aviation industry big and small-for consumers, air travel is more stressful than ever.

Two months after the attack, President George W. Bush signed a piece of legislation that established the Transportation Security Administration, a team of federal airport security personnel that replaced the airlines hired to handle security matters. private company. The law requires inspections of all checked baggage, strengthening the cockpit doors, and arranging more federal air police on flights.

There is no other 9/11. Nothing at all. But after that day, flying changed forever.

New threats, privacy issues

This is how it unfolds.

Security measures evolve with new threats, so passengers are required to take off their seat belts and take out some items from the bag for scanning. Obviously things that can be used as weapons, such as the box-opening knives used by the 9/11 hijackers, are banned. At the end of 2001, after the “shoe bomber” Richard Reid tried to shoot down a flight from Paris to Miami, the shoes began to fall off at the security checkpoint.

Each new requirement seems to extend the queue time at the checkpoint, forcing passengers to arrive at the airport early if they want to fly. For many travelers, other rules are more mysterious, such as restrictions on liquids, because the wrong liquid may be used to make bombs.

“This is a bigger trouble than before 9/11-bigger-but we are used to it,” said Ronald Briggs as he and his wife Jenny waited at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport The flight to London last month. North Texas retirees who traveled frequently before the pandemic said they were more worried about COVID-19 than terrorism.

“The idea of ​​taking off your shoes because of an accident on an airplane seems a bit extreme,” Ronald Briggs said. “But PreCheck works very smoothly, and I have learned to use plastic straps, so I didn’t take it. Come down.”

The long queues caused by the post-attack measures gave birth to the “Trusted Traveler Program” of PreCheck and Global Entry, in which people who paid for and provided certain information about themselves passed through checkpoints without having to take off their shoes and jackets or from their Take out the bag from the laptop.

How 9/11 is changing air travel: more security, less privacy
Nation World News Desk
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