OK, here we go.
First of all, in my opinion, pilots should not be required to pass through metal detectors or have their bags scanned, as they already posess control of the most sought after weapon-the airliner itself. Instead, I think a brief pre-flight "interview" conducted in a polite manner, or some form of identity verification/health check would be preferrable. Pilots do need to go through a security proceedure before taking command-however in my opinion their security proceedure should neccessarily be different from the main passenger proceedure. I have every confidence that the TSA
will develop an advanced pilot screening proceedure before too long.
In either case, either with the current screening or the more sophisticated screening I have proposed, a pilot making an inappropriate remark should not be permitted to fly. You don't know what's in the minds of pilots who do this. What would it take to drive a pilot over the edge? These inappropriate remarks have got to stop! I don't care whether the pilots who make the remarks are from the Republic of France, the United States of America or the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg-no one who makes those remarks should be permitted to fly an aircraft. The pyschological conditions that would cause a person to make such remarks lead to speculation as to other motives, stress related problems or in general, a state of mind in which the pilot would pose a risk.
B747Skipper, corrupt occurances like this have happened before and will happen again in the US aviation industry. It is unfortunate, and I am sure the USA is not the only country to have these problems. I personally am in favor of abolishing the dual-category system and instead viewing each airline as a seperate entity. For instance, you could have a country with two major airlines, one of which is doing well and has a strong maintenance program and is a really capable, competent organization, a model of operating efficiency, and another airline that has a record of deferred maintenance, unhappy staff, a bad financial position, a strong debt load, and has had a large number of accidents and mechanical failures recently. Obviously, it makes sense to let the first airline fly to the USA while denying the privilege to the second. When a foreign airline wishes to start service to the USA, therefore, in my opinion a safety review (paid for by the airline in question in entirety) would have to be performed, followed by additional inspections (also paid for). This is the best way to validate the safety of an airline.
Until such a system is adopted, I am very sympathetic to any airline which could be the victim of corruption, and the unfortunate impression given by the Boeing staff seem to be rather discouraging (although I would not be suprised to hear of Airbus salesmen engaging in similiar pressure tactics, afterall, business is often unfortunately business).