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Security Questions Officially Gone - More To Come

Fri Aug 30, 2002 12:44 am

No More Airline Security Questions

W A S H I N G T O N, Aug. 29 — Airline passengers, starting immediately, will no longer be asked the routine security questions about whether they have kept a close eye on their baggage.

Ticket agents have been required for the past 16 years to ask passengers two questions: "Has anyone unknown to you asked you to carry an item on this flight?" and "Have any of the items you are traveling with been out of your immediate control since the time you packed them?"

The questions are being phased out because they create a hassle and have never prevented a bombing or hijacking, said James Loy, head of the Transportation Security Administration.

"Over the years, they have lost whatever original value they contributed and can now be safely eliminated," Loy said Wednesday.

The questions take about 20 seconds to ask and that adds up to a longer wait for someone standing in line behind 20 people, Loy said.

The TSA, which was created after Sept. 11 to oversee aviation security, has already begun to notify the airlines of the decision, Loy said. "They are delighted," he said.

David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association, said passengers would be delighted, too.

"It's about time," Stempler said.

Loy, who took over last month, said last week the agency was considering eliminating the questions as part of a larger review of safety regulations. He announced then that passengers will be allowed to carry drinks in paper or foam cups through metal detectors.

Next on the agenda may be random screening of passengers at airport gates, he said.

"I think passengers would really like that," Stempler said. "We never understood that. You either do it right the first time or fix what you're doing at the security lane."

— The Associated Press

# # #

Hallelujah... the reactionary measures are finally being supplanted with some logic.
An unexamined life isn't worth living.

RE: Security Questions Officially Gone - More To Come

Fri Aug 30, 2002 12:52 am

It's about freaking time. They totally over reacted after the 9/11 deal.
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RE: Security Questions Officially Gone - More To Come

Fri Aug 30, 2002 12:59 am

Makes sense. You're not going to answer YES to those questions are you ... not like I did last week at LHR ... " Are you carrying any sharp objects " ... " yes " .... I'm deaf, I thought the agent asked me something else.

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RE: Security Questions Officially Gone - More To Come

Fri Aug 30, 2002 1:39 am

The biggest joke I thought was when the questions were asked of you on those ONE STOP check-in kiosks, just click yes and go. So useless.
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RE: Security Questions Officially Gone - More To C

Fri Aug 30, 2002 2:41 am

I'm curious - What did you think the agent asked?
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RE: Security Questions Officially Gone - More To C

Fri Aug 30, 2002 9:11 am

The security check at the gate is a real mystery and I'd be curious to know if such searches ever turned anything up. On those (not frequent) occasions I have flown since 9/11, they always snagged the first peeps who tried to board. So much for 'random', huh? Any clever crook could have figured that one out, and it amazed me that there was always some guy who couldn't resist being the first one on (probably flaunting his Elite Plutonium status), dashing to the wicket to hand over his boarding pass, only to get that tap on the shoulder. (And I have to ask, does the LAST person usually get the 'calling' as well?). So three cheers for the notion of doing it right the first time.

I did notice two Sikhs (Hindus, wearing the turban, which is standard dress for their sect) who got pulled out for a 'random' search and a friend of mine, a milk-fed guy from the prairies, who was carrying his two-year old son, got pulled for a 'special' . They gave the kid a thorough going-over as if he had a bomb attached to him. (The rest of the pax were Orange County businessmen, so he and the kid probably stood out).
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RE: Security Questions Officially Gone - More To Come

Fri Aug 30, 2002 10:04 am

I know I have been conditioned to answer those questions to the point that it loses its value and becomes practically a worthless probe. I usually answer them hurriedly anyway. I'm glad they're getting rid of them.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
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RE: Security Questions Officially Gone - More To Come

Fri Aug 30, 2002 10:57 am

I answered "yes" to a FRA screener when asked "has anyone asked that you carry something not belonging to you." Boy, he was shocked. He didn't know what to do. He probably had been so use to hearing "no".

I answered "yes" because a long-time, childhood friend had asked that I bring something home to his father. Of course, I "inspected" it before packing it... much to the bewilderment of my Army friend.

I explained this to the screener, and after a long pause, he cleared me to check-in for the flight home.
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RE: Security Questions Officially Gone - More To Come

Fri Aug 30, 2002 1:06 pm

Isn't this how they caught the woman who went through ATL last week with a loaded semiautomatic pistol?
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.

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