Travel security gets better but worse

It seems that the travel security policies are getting saner… but with a fatal twist according to this Reuters article.

Apparently it’s now doing to be down to each pilot (I assume the Captain) to decide the security restrictions in flight:

The TSA confirmed Monday that pilots can now decide whether to allow passengers to keep items in their laps or require them to be seated during portions of the flight.

The agency also will let pilots and airlines determine whether in-flight entertainment systems that show a plane’s location should be turned off to avoid a security risk, an agency spokeswoman said.

How’s this going to work out? Whenever there have been restrictions placed on passengers it has always been presented as “The authorities require us to xxx” which means there’s a higher authority involved, and the people in front of you enforcing the rules can’t be blamed, or argued with.

Now we will all know it was the guy at the front of the plane that made us all sit like naughty school children – or not, as the case maybe. All sorts of considerations are going to come into play aside from security, and every single thoughtful passenger is going to be second-guessing the decision of the pilots.

Of course, not only will there be an emotional reaction for each individual flight, but people who travel a lot are quickly going to start to inform their travel choices based on what’s likely to happen between different airlines. If one airline routinely inconveniences you in the name of security and another is more pragmatic, which one is a business traveller likely to choose?

Seems to me that the security breach was way before anyone got on the plane, the restrictions imposed over the past week are of little use but meant the authorities are seen to “be doing something”. And now they’re going to take the whole hot potato and throw it at the flight crew, who will take all the blame either way.

Deeply unimpressive. Perhaps it is time to Fire the TSA.

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