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Security (or Not!) At US Airports  
User currently offlineAnsett767 From Australia, joined May 1999, 1021 posts, RR: 2
Posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2021 times:

According to the press we get here, US airports are on such high secutiry now.. bla bla bla...

but you know, I would hate to know what they were lie before Sept.11, and still shudder at them now. The lack of secutiry was appauling - compared to cities like Sydney and Singapore, and even Zurich..... But in Singapore and Sydney they had extra amazing security checks and double checks and so fourth....

In Sydney they even had armed guards patrolling the departure lounges at the international terminal! And to get through security was a issue with the people monitoring the X ray machines being SOOOO attentive and almost asking every 2nd passenger to look into their bags for even the most slightly suspicious article.

So why is it that the US is so laid back still?

Also do any other non US people who have been there, or US people who have used Sydney or ther airport, noticed this?





22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineHardkor From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 236 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2010 times:

I would think that the amount of air traffic in the US is excessive to the point that major delays are a key issue, and even though security is a key issue, there is pressure to allow flights on time. Also the cost would be massive to implement a huge security program at every major US airport. There are just too many. But security, in my opinion, isn't 100% in any country, except maybe with El Al. Important to note that I am not an American citizen, so everything that I said could be wrong, if anyone care to offer any insights to this issue, by all means do so.
Hardkor


User currently offlineAnsett767 From Australia, joined May 1999, 1021 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2002 times:

Well, if this is an issue, dont you think that US airport should tell people to get to the airport 1/2 to 1 hour earlier than before? That way safety isnt compromised?

Granted, security isnt 100% at every airport/ country, but here in Australia we have much higher levels than the U.S. -which is scarey considering the events of Sept.11


User currently offlineFlyboy36y From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3039 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1986 times:

We are already told to come 1.5-Two hours earlier. When I went through LGA and LAS security in January it was very strict. MUCH stricter than at Heathrow.

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29795 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1984 times:

And then there are those of us who feel it isn't the business of the airlines or the government to perform a proctological exam before getting on an aircraft.

I will be driving just about everywhere for the time being.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineDLMCO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1978 times:

I second Flyboy36y; after hearing how strict security was at LHR, I was shocked how it was quite the opposite. I'm not defending the security at US airports, however, it seemed significantly tighter than in the UK.

User currently offlineAnsett767 From Australia, joined May 1999, 1021 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1975 times:

DLMCO,

Fair enough, well if thats how it is, then Heathrow secutiry must be terrible..... if we find the US so bad?

does anyone from Australia agree with me or was it a bad / biased observation?


User currently offlineCrazyboi From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1965 times:

Ansett,

I'm an American living in Sydney and I most definitely agree with you. The last time I was in the US - after Sept. 11 - the security was amazingly lax.

There were a lot MORE agents at the security checkpoints, but that didn't make it any more thorough, just more chaotic. A couple of times I noticed that the baggage screeners weren't even watching their video monitors... a phenomenon that has always baffled me.

I've always found the security procedures to be very good at Sydney (can't speak for any other Aussie airports). Maybe that's because even at the busiest Int'l travel times, the checkpoints are pretty efficient.

Of course, no security measures are 100% effective, but I'm not sure that I would trust US airport security any more now that it's federally controlled. I'll find out in a couple of weeks whether there have been any major improvements in the past few months.


BTW, my most thorough security experience occurred, strangely enough, flying United out of Frankfurt a couple of years ago. Even before check-in, very stern security agents interviewed EVERY passenger for about 4-5 minutes, asking all sorts of personal questions. It was intense. Has anyone had a similar experience out of Germany or elsewhere?



This is the time. And this is the record of the time.
User currently offlineFlyboy36y From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3039 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1957 times:

Well gents,

I have a US domestic flight friday morning. Thank you for scaring the shit out of me.

-Jacob


User currently offlineAnsett767 From Australia, joined May 1999, 1021 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1917 times:

Flyboy36y,

hehe, Sorry buddy - that wasnt my intent.

Im sure youll have a great flight! - Where you off to?


User currently offlineBlink182 From Azerbaijan, joined Oct 1999, 5480 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1904 times:

I think US security is the worst. The security people are very paranoid if you ask me and have made even flight crews do rediculous things(even after seeing id and proof that they really are airline employees). I think airport security in the US should be left to the police and not some people being paid $6.00 an hour and will not even be with the company in a month. They tend to search the most random people and anybody who is a hint arabian will be searched. They need to let the cops step in and do the work as cops know who to look for and how to restrain people etc. I would feel much more comfortable seeing policemen/women controlling security at US airports.

blink



Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
User currently offlineDelta-flyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2676 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1883 times:

On two trips through CDG since 9/11, I was actually surprised at the relaxed atmosphere in security compared to typical US airports. Even at my home airport, where the security people recognize me, they still go through the same procedure, every time. Out with the laptop computer, off with my shoes, etc. But the nice thing in using JAN as home port is that even during rush hours the security wait is less than 10 minutes. During off-peak hours, it is less than 5 minutes.

Cheers,
Pete


User currently offlineAnsett767 From Australia, joined May 1999, 1021 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1880 times:

Arent US airport secutiry staff obsessed with looking at people's shoes?
(at the expense of other things?)

As Crazyboi says:

"A couple of times I noticed that the baggage screeners weren't even watching their video monitors... a phenomenon that has always baffled me"

this is what baffles me too!


User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6204 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1853 times:

Even before check-in, very stern security agents interviewed EVERY passenger for about 4-5 minutes, asking all sorts of personal questions. It was intense. Has anyone had a similar experience out of Germany or elsewhere?

Crazyboi, What questions were you asked?




Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6204 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 1852 times:

It's because the same idiots are running airport security. I'd personally rather flip burgers, it pays more over here anyway.

I was very disappointed in the security screeners who do the random security checks at Delta's gates at Houston Bush. They are the same ones every day, and they are always goofing around like the most unprofessional group of morons I have ever seen. One time, I saw one of them sleeping behind the gate counter. They pulled every 12-year-old girl traveling with her family aside for "the wand", while people who fit "the profile" walked right on by.



Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineFlyboy36y From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3039 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1837 times:

Ansett, I'm taking AA from JFK-DFW-LBB (Lubbock, Texas). Going one way and road-tripping with some Air Force freinds back to NY.

User currently offlineCrazyboi From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1826 times:

Jhooper,

It was very interesting. At the United check in counter at Frankfurt, they had about 5 or 6 well-dressed, professional, burly American security agents interviewing the passengers. The guy introduced himself, explained that he was with a firm from Los Angeles, and proceeded to question me for several minutes.

He asked where I was from, what I was doing in Germany, when did I plan my trip, what I did back home (work, etc), my age, where and who I was with in Germany, who had brought me to the airport (my German friend, who was standing a few meters away), where my friend lived, what my friend did for work, the contents of my suitcase, exactly where the suitcase had been for the past few days, etc, etc.

The agent didn't go very far with me. I was freshly 18 at the time and it was obvious that I was just visiting my friend and his family in Germany for the holidays. But I observed that other people were really grilled by the agents.

I'm not sure whether this is commonplace at Frankfurt. I've not experienced it elsewhere in Germany or Europe. I wonder whether United had received threats on that particular flight, but it seems unlikely, as the whole interview process was really well administered (didn't seem hasty at all).

This was prior to 9/11. Whatever the reason, I think it was great that United went to such extreme, well-organized security measures.




This is the time. And this is the record of the time.
User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4693 posts, RR: 42
Reply 17, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1821 times:

Concerning the screening before check-in on US flights originating from Germany:

I think this is commong practise with all US Airlines flying from Germany. I've personally seen DL, NW, UA and CO do this while I was working in FRA late last year. At NW (I was passing their check-in zone each morning on my way to office), they even pulled passengers from the waiting line in front of the check-in in order to open and screen the interior of their suitcases (this was done behind the counters)! It kind of amazed me though, how randomly the selection of people was, who got pulled for this search. Quite often, one could see a security agent browsing though Grandma`s and Grampa's undies while at the same time, other (younger, "stronger") people got through check-in without any hassle.

Whenever I was flying with CO from DUS, I was going through this very same procedure Crazyboi has described, albeit it never was such a bad "grilling", but more like a relaxed Q&A-game.
This might have changed though - my last Germany-USA flight was before 09/11.



Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineGunFighter 6 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2001, 404 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1809 times:

I think one of the major problems in the US is that airports aren't designed to handle this kind of security. narrow corridors and so on.

I was at PHL last christmass, well it was a disaster we had to line up like prisoners. Sorry but this goes to far.
also the fact of one or two security portals is absurd.



User currently offlineBlink182 From Azerbaijan, joined Oct 1999, 5480 posts, RR: 15
Reply 19, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1778 times:

GunFighter6- I agree about the security portals in the States. In Europe, I have probably never seen less than 3 portals in a row. Usually, it is more than 5 or so.

At AA hubs, they have added a few portals made specifically for AAdvantage members(all ranks) and I am sure that made the lines a little bit shorter.

blink



Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
User currently offlineOsu_av8or From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1769 times:

I'm one of those Americans that doesn't care to give up so many of my personal freedoms to feel "safe" as many of the liberals are. Airline security could be a lot easier. Arm the pilots (with training, and the specific intent of being only for cockpit defense.) And make sure that the metal detectors on the ground will detect SERIOUS weapons. I don't care if you have fingernail clippers on you, what are you honestly going to do with them NOW? We have reached a point where passengers on an airliner will NOT ALLOW someone to hijack an airplane without a serious weapon. It would be one (or a few at most) against many. Furthermore, don't look at me like I'm a terrorist because I'm fascinated with aviation and I like to take pictures. I was patriotic before before September 11th, before it was "the fashionable thing to be."

Jeff


User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6204 posts, RR: 12
Reply 21, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1766 times:

Crazyboi,

I wonder what answers would trigger suspicion. For instance, what if I just told him that I just flew in from the states because I wanted to see what it was like to ride on a 747, and now I'm heading straight back (This is a real possibility). Would I be believed and allowed to travel without hassle?



Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineMSY-MSP From United States of America, joined Jun 2002, 151 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1766 times:

I too have had the security questions from UA at FRA. I was a transit passenger on LH from Tel Aviv. So I got the privilege of doing the screening twice. Turns out the agents who are doing the screenings are EL AL agents. I found out this by looking at the security sticker they put on the boarding card. The questions were the generic questions asked by Israeli security at TLV and any EL AL flight. Where are you from? Why are you traveling? How much did you pay for the flight? How did you pay for the ticket? Who did you see? etc. I know what the agents are looking for so the questions don't get too me. From what I was told by UA is that FRA is scrutinized is the large number of transit passengers, that board their aircraft and may have come from laxer security. That is why UA gates have their own security section, and have for years.

With the US security it is all window dressing. Until the screeners have better machines, better training it won't get better. Better training, means looking at the person, their behavior, their itinerary etc. in other words profiling passengers. Those who raise a true suspicion should get more scrutiny. Also if you want random searching. Do it at the initial screening. It reduces passenger stress, and allows a passenger to respond to the situation where they aren't worrying about getting on the flight. I actually missed a flight because of one of these gate searches. The screeners took too long, and the door closed, and I was denied boarding. The airline said it was slot control, and said you had to be on the plane 5 minutes before, and that included if you were selected for additional screening. They put me on the next flight, but still I missed the flight because of the increased security. (I was at the airport 1.5 hours early and got through security in 10 minutes or less)

There are definite improvements in security but there is still a long way to go. So far it hasn’t improved, but what has been done makes the public think it is better.

Just my two cents worth.


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