We just got back from a trip from Chicago to NYC. On the way out, I commented to my wife that it was curious that there had been so little change in airport security screening over the past 10 years or so. We are still required to take off our shoes and belts, carry liquids in 3 oz jars, etc.
My personal thought has always been that the majority of such screwing with travelers has always been “theater.” But I guess I understand the shoes are because one yahoo tried a shoe bomb. I should be glad they don’t have us remove our underwear. But the rest of the steps? On the way to OHare, they gave me extra attention because I failed to pull a cough drop out of my pants pocket - and I remember once being with my BIL who was almost strip searched over an overlooked antacid tablet. Realistically, what damage could something the size of a cough drop do to an airplane?
Am I being overly cynical in suspecting that the reason we are still doing this is because there is no economic incentive to do so? Enough companies and agencies profit from providing the equipment and staff, such that no one has the incentive to reduce the waste of peoples’ time?
One that really got me was going up the Empire State Building. They didn’t give us any instructions other than to take off our coats. I was sent back a second time because I didn’t empty my pockets and remove my belt, and a 3d time because I didn’t remove my watch. But I DIDN’T have to remove my shoes. Hell - I’m a sheep. I woulda stripped naked if they clearly told me to. But what harm could I possibly do to the Empire State Building with my belt or watch?
And going into a Broadway play my 61-year old wife was singled out for a wanding. My impression was that that was just random. She didn’t have any sort of bag or purse with her. But after the play, as people were spilling out onto the sidewalk, a nut coulda driven right up to the doors with a bomb - or driven into the crowd. Just seemed incongruous to hassle an older lady paying a lot of money to see a show.
On the way home, the screen was sensitive enough that they gave me special attention based on the hardware in my ankle.
I placed this in FQ, desiring a factual discussion, but I understand that it might be better in IMHO or elsewhere.I realize that this is just an aspect of our current society, but I tend to be irritated ad confused by things for which I cannot understand any rational explanation. Thanks for any help.