Unresolved Issue: TSA and Your Traveling Safely
December 27, 2010
(ChattahBox Op/Ed) – As we ramp up to the last week of 2010 and ready ourselves for the great unknown of 2011, there are a few stories that I want to continue to shed light on and as I predicted weeks ago, some of the issues I am going to write about this week should never had gone away, but they have for the most part.
Issue one is the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) and their new rules and procedures that so many people found unacceptable it seemed certain things would change and quickly. Members of Congress were as outraged as the common man or woman and the invasive scanning and amazingly personal pat downs caused such a stir immanent change seemed all but certain.
Nothing had changed at all and as I claimed weeks ago this is exactly what would happen. You and I ladies and gentlemen have allowed this invasion of privacy to go on because once again we allowed our apathy to rule.
Recently a pilot posted a video to the popular video upload site YouTube showing the vast disparity between security for airline employees and the average consumer. The employee walks right through a single door at San Francisco’s airport while the average traveler went through the Full Monty, if you will. I am not suggesting that airline employees should go through the same security lines you and I do every time they enter a secured area but I am suggesting that they should have to from time to time go through exactly what the average consumer of airline services has to go through.
First, it’s not a bad thing to remind airline employees why people may be a bit put off by the process and might explain their attitude. Secondly, I make no assumptions as it comes to airline employees and whether or not they have some automatic pass; I’m not assuming they are all bad or all good, but I am suggesting that if someone wanted to cause great harm at the airport who would have better access and an easier path than an airline employee? I’m just suggesting that we apply the same rules for airline employees for obvious reasons not because I am paranoid but because if we are going to have to live with these invasive security measures then all people should be help accountable, airline employees included, period.
I still believe there is a way to provide security measures at the airport without it being so personal and offensive to so many people and I do believe it is only fair that airline employees be held to the same standard for safeties sake.
We do need assurance that we are traveling as safely as reasonably possibly, and the word reasonably is key. With the rule of travel being so restrictive and the cost of flying getting so expensive, it is no wonder the airlines are suffering a loss of revenue and they don’t help themselves by charging offensive fees for every single service they offer.
What caused such uproar just a few short weeks ago has disappeared as quickly as it appeared. How quickly the outraged went quietly away. And why? Was it a battle that wasn’t winnable? Was it lack of interest? Was it the inability of people to organize enough consumers to clog the system? It could be any and all of these issues, but it is clear that once again the majority of airline customers were forced to accept unacceptable policy and their interest in changing policy waned as soon as it looked like it would take a lot of work, and it would have.
This is not an issue I see the TSA or the 112th Congress dealing with come 2011 so stop complaining about it. Once again as soon as you, the traveler allowed yourselves to be bullied and stonewalled the issue was all but dead, and the powers that be knew that would happen because it’s a sad American pattern all too familiar to those who make policy, no matter how unpopular.
Remember, if you want change you have to be that change. If not this issue, maybe tomorrow’s.
Tony Trupiano is a former national syndicated progressive radio talk show host, author, and a former candidate for Congress. He is also a nationally recognized media trainer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org