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US Airline Security On Trans-Atlantic Flights  
User currently offlineJet Setter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2787 times:

Just curious why US carriers have such security measures on their Trans Atlantic flights. They always have someone asking security questions to passengers before they are allowed to join the check-in line.

Just wondering why this was, other airlines don't feel the need to do this, and I'm talking about flights from the UK here, I could maybe understand it if you were flying from a troubled area of the world or on an airline with particular security concerns like EL AL.

It's even stranger when you think that my local airport, Manchester, is one of only 5 airports in the world to have 100% security screening of all hold baggage anyway - It's not exactly an airport an airline would have any security concerns about.

Plus if you book a Contiental flight, you may be on a Virgin codsehare, where the security measures won't be taken! At Manchester, they check in side-by-side, the Virgin line is always shorter, even though they have a 747 and Continental has a 777!

Are these extra security measures a hangover from Lockerbie/Gulf War when security wasn't all it could be? Surely there is no need for all this now.

James

24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2566 times:

The reason that US airlines security is so tight is because, there are a lot of people out there who hate the U.S. Just before the TWA 800 accident, the US imposed sanctions against Iran/Libya. In retaliation, Iran stated that they would target U.S. interests and considered the sanctions against their country and act of war. I'm not sure if it was the actual leaders of the country or some other group that said this, but it was in retaliation of the U.S. sanctions. Also, dont forget the U.S.'s "friend" Osama Ben Laudin who would love to kill some Americans. To put it simply, there are a lot of people out there with "reasons" who want to attack U.S. interests. Since it is beyond their power to attack the U.S. itself, then attacking U.S. citizens abroad and U.S. interests comes in handy. Example: The Pan Am flight 103 bombing, the World Trade Center Bombing. And lest we forget, the man who was caught sneaking into the United States just before the New Year with enough explosives to crash a new years eve party in Seattle. In 1996, after the TWA 800 crash, which was said to be caused by a fuel tank explosion, but most people I have talked to think that someone shot it down, possibly terrorists, the Clinton Administration beefed up security measures for ALL flights leaving the U.S. Hope that helps.

User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2547 times:

Also, to respond to you last quote, there is an even greater need for this now. With all of these factions against the U.S., and given that the U.S. has a great ability to defend itself and is located far away from people that want to hurt it, these people make targets out of what is accessible. A packed 747 leaving from or to Frankfurt is more accessible than bombing Washington. Therefore, security measures should increase more and more. This is the reason why there has been a downturn in highjackings and bombings on airliners because security measures have increased. In fact, I feel more secure about flying when I know that everyone I am flying with isn't on a mission to crash the plane. Once, I was on a flight to CDG from ORD, and a passenger was missing, so we couldn't leave until that passenger was accounted for and the baggage was inspected. To tell you the truth, I didn't mind getting there a little late. Better to get there late then not get there at all.

User currently offlineFLY777UAL From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4512 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2547 times:

Can't forget the two recent US Embassy attacks in Africa...

FLY777UAL


User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2537 times:

Also, just before the TWA incident, US barracks in Saudi Arabia were bombed.

User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3465 posts, RR: 47
Reply 5, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 2532 times:

1. It is an FAA requirement imposed upon U.S. airlines that isn ot required of non-U.S. airlines.

2. Most U.S. airlines go above and beyond what the FAA requires of them.

You can draw your own opinions as to why.



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineAvion From Bouvet Island, joined May 1999, 2205 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2519 times:

But why do these people only hate the US? There is no difference between EU and US.

Thanks

Avion


User currently offlineRaddog2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2517 times:

There are plenty of reasons why people hate the US more than the EU. Historically the EU has differed from the US in several critical areas of foreign policy -- particularly in the Middle East/Israel. That's changing as the US is becoming somewhat more reasonable (eg we're no longer actively deposing elected leaders and replacing them with evil dictatorial puppets). But back to the topic at hand...I always thought the security precautions in Europe were European. I always get hassled a lot more when leaving LHR or CDG or whatever for the US than I do when I'm leaving the US for Europe. I figured if they were US regulations, I'd get hassled here too.

User currently offlineAb.400 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2506 times:

Besides safety reasons about the flight itself it may also be interresting to have at least a closer look on anybody who is entering the US. When someone gets onboard the next station for him/her is already an airport on US-ground, if there are any concerns about that person it´s better to keep the problems away. I would like to know where the money comes from to keep US-airlines doing such a costs-causing thing.

User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3465 posts, RR: 47
Reply 9, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 2500 times:

>I would like to know where the money comes from
>to keep US-airlines doing such a costs-causing thing.

From revenue received from your airline ticket.




*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineAb.400 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2494 times:

One more reason to take an european-carrier...  

User currently offlineFLY777UAL From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4512 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2492 times:

Exactly which costs are you talking about, Ab.400?

FLY777UAL


User currently offlineAb.400 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2484 times:

I brought my girlfriend to FRA couple times for her flights to DTW, when she flew NW there was always a huge area seperated by barriers in front of the check-in counters, every single passenger was led to a desk and was interviewed for about 5 minutes. There are 4 people for the interviews, 2 or 3 people to manage the long row of waiting passengers, I would say those actions take time and money and the airlines wouldn´t do so if there are not very certain reasons for it.

User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2482 times:

Ab 400, you stated that it was more reason to take a European Carrier. But, I would rather ride across the Atlantic on an airline where the security is top priority be it European or not. I think most of the travelling public would agree with me.

User currently offlineAb.400 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2479 times:

That´s right, but it also means that there seem to be some sick-people around who would do alot to hurt the US and it´s citizens by a terror-act. Could happen to any other airline too but US-carriers are more in the target .

User currently offlineFLY777UAL From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4512 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2475 times:

Interesting...

When I've flown out of LHR (probably the most security-conscious airport in Europe), we had the same process, except we were only asked two questions taking a total of 15 seconds.

The costs incurred from the extra screening is minimal. If you figure you have 4 people working two hours at $7.00/hr., then based upon a 400-seat aircraft, the additional cost placed into the departure tax would be a whole 14 cents. Quite worth the money if you ask me...

FLY777UAL


User currently offlineAb.400 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2473 times:

As much I can say about the guys who asked questions at FRA airport, they didn´t seem only to pick up their pencil for 7 bucks/hour.

User currently offlineFLY777UAL From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4512 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2470 times:

Even at $50/hr. I'd still be willing to pay it ($1 extra on my departure tax). 

FLY777UAL


User currently offlineAb.400 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2471 times:

Please don´t get me wrong, safety is the most important factor at all, but this should cost some million dollars per year/around the globe. I was just asking if you think that only the airlines come up to pay the bill.

User currently offlineFLY777UAL From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4512 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2465 times:

Ohh...sorry. I didn't quite understand you there!

Maybe the airports themselves pay for it and levvy it in their departure taxes.

FLY777UAL


User currently offlineAb.400 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2460 times:

Maybe it´s somehow in the airport-taxes. If we think on about that, does anybody think that those actions will go on now for ever or just a reaction to actuall circumstances which may change in future ?

User currently offlineUal747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2454 times:

Security measures will always change with the times. I don't think however, that we will see much of an ease up on security though, at least for the time being. But yes, most security measures will change with what the times dictate.

User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3465 posts, RR: 47
Reply 22, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2449 times:

I wrote:
>From revenue received from your airline ticket.

Others later wrote:

>Maybe the airports themselves pay for it and levvy
>it in their departure taxes.

>Maybe it´s somehow in the airport-taxes.

An airline may not impose its own tax and no airport I know of provides taxpayer paid security to a specific airline or flight. Therefore, the security you see is provided by the airline and is included in the price of your ticket. It is not a tax.

AA does not disclose how much is spent on security measures for obvious reasons, but I do know AA spends 16-20 Million dollars per year on drug interdiction efforts in Latin American division alone. And that is what AA publishes, there may be more. Security is not cheap, but is much cheaper than terrorist act on one flight would be.



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineJet Setter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 2436 times:

Thanks for the interesting replies!
From what I've seen of the US airline security measures, the staff are usually supplied by local security firms under contract as and when required.

Ab400, you made the point also about "knowing" who is on the plane, so if there are any problems, they can be dealt with before arrival in the US. This couldn't be a reason for the security measures for one reason, foreign carriers don't have to do it. To make US carriers take extra pectautions to check who is on their planes would be unfair, as they would be doing the work of the US immigration authorities, and the US passengers would pay for it twice (ticket and taxes!) The airlines would complain like hell if they thought they were doing this!

As for US airlines being more secure, I'd say this was only the case when airport security is lacking. At Manchester, as I said above, there is 100% X-ray screening of all hold baggage, as well as hand baggage - one of only 5 airports in the world where this happens. It just seems bizarre that the US airlines have to spend all that extra money, when they are already paying the airport to provide some of the best security in the world in their passenger charges!

It may only cost 15c, but that's still $15000 per Million passengers on Atlantic flights. The cost may be insignificant on a per-passenger basis, but to the airlines it must hit their bottom line.

Just a strange situation I guess, you never think of the USA having to take security measures usually associated with Middle Eastern airlines

Thanks for your replies everyone
James 


User currently offlineAb.400 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (14 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2427 times:

Well, we agree that this action causes huge costs . Extra cost is something that EVERY Airline wants to avoid as much as possible. So how comes that all US carriers who fly intercontinental join this program. Who is responsible ?

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