Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Security Silliness

The least favorite part of my workday is at the very beginning, when I am required to subject myself to security screening by the Transportation Security Administration. The checkpoints are usually crowded, power-tripping TSA agents are often barking orders, I feel like a jerk cutting in front of long-suffering passengers, and then there's the process of trying to disassemble and reassemble my luggage ensemble in a timely matter without battering surrounding fellow-sufferers. There are usually no less than five items to send through the X-ray machine: flight kit, overnight bag, lunch bag, bin with laptop computer, bin with hat and overcoat. It's small comfort that they don't make flight crew remove their shoes.

All this inconvenience would be an acceptable part of my job if I felt that it serves some purpose. It does not. It's completely absurd to screen the pilots who will, in less than an hour's time, be seated at the controls of a fuel laden aircraft in flight, with crash axe within easy reach! This was recognized before 9/11 and we were allowed to bypass security. That changed in the wake of 9/11, but not due to any credible threat of terrorist acts by pilots or pilot impostors. Rather, it was believed that seeing flight crews forced to go through security would make the public more accepting of new procedures. This is exactly the sort of useless display that has become the TSA's primary stock in trade, what security expert Bruce Schneier refers to as "security theater."

Recent changes in TSA equipment and procedures have elevated flight crew screening from a mere inconvenience and exercise in stupidity to an outright violation of rights and decency. The TSA recently installed hundred of whole body imaging scanners, both of the Millimeter-Wave (Terahertz) and Backscatter X-ray varieties, in order to better detect non-metallic weapons and explosives. These machines penetrate clothing to create a nude image of the subject. Ostensibly this image is to be viewed in private by a screener of the same sex, and TSA claimed that images cannot be saved; both of these assurances have been shown by events to be false. TSA also asserts that the devices are perfectly safe and cannot cause health problems. Expert opinion is not nearly so settled, particularly regarding backscatter technology, and in any case there have been no independent studies to verify that the TSA's health claims are any more authentic than their privacy claims.

Anticipating these objections, the TSA danced around Fourth Amendment issues by allowing pilots and other travelers to "opt out" of whole-body imaging and subject themselves to secondary screening instead. Simultaneously, the TSA changed their secondary screening procedures to make them infinitely more humiliating and invasive, and thus discourage further opt-outs. I have witnessed this process first-hand at several airports. First, the TSA agent loudly exclaims "Opt out! Opt out!"; this is sometimes parroted by other TSA agents, and has the effect of drawing the attention of other passengers. Then, in full view of those passengers (unless the subject specifically requests a private screening), a TSA agent aggressively pats down the subject's body, including breasts and genitals. The TSA manual states that the breasts and genitals are to be searched using the back of the hand, but I have twice observed TSA agents breaking that rule (at LaGuardia, I even observed an agent take both of a woman's breasts in the palm of her hands and squeeze hard twice - "honk, honk!"). This would be sexual assault if anyone other than the government were doing it. Worse yet, they can and do subject children to the search (again at LGA, I observed a TSA agent groping a crying 3 or 4 year old girl).

It is one thing to pass through a magnetometer and have my belongings X-rayed as a requirement of my job. It is another thing entirely to be forced to choose between a virtual strip-search that adds to the radiation I already get on the job (higher than a nuclear plant worker!) and a government-sponsored molestation. Those are absolutely unacceptable conditions of employment, and it's high time that pilots fight back. Toward that end, both the Allied Pilots Association (American Airlines' union) and the US Airline Pilots Association (USAirways) recently issued recommendations for their pilots to opt out of whole-body imaging, request a private room for secondary screening, require the presence of a supervisor or law enforcement officer during the pat-down, report inappropriate TSA behavior, and call in sick if the process leaves them too shaken to fly safely. That is excellent advice which has the potential to quickly overburden TSA checkpoints. It has already had the effect of reviving a long-stalled program to verify flight crew employment and allow them to bypass security. Sometime soon, I may not have to subject myself to the TSA's goons to go to work.

But what about when I travel out of uniform? What of my wife and parents when they nonrev? What of all our passengers, our customers, our bread and butter? Many of them are required to fly as a condition of their livelihood. Why should they be required to give up their Fourth Amendment rights by dint of setting foot on an airplane? Why have airports become rights-free zones? Because aviation has been targeted by terrorists? Trains and subways have been extensively targeted worldwide, should search and seizure without probable cause be allowed on them as well? New York City itself has been repeatedly targeted by terrorists more than any other city in America; should the Bill of Rights no longer apply on the island of Manhattan?

The standard worn-out answer is, "If you don't like it, you don't have to fly." That's a horrible excuse that can be expanded to cover nearly every trammeling of God-given rights. You don't have to travel by train or subway, or visit or live in New York City, do you? You don't have to use the sidewalk by your house, do you? In that case, should using these purely optional pieces of public property be probable cause for a police officer to detain and strip search you? I'm not saying we shouldn't have security at airports, nor that every right should apply (the 2nd ammd clearly does not, for example). The courts have clearly held that security checks at airports, as previously conducted, are constitutional administrative searches. That said, unelected officials have made a very large leap from minimally invasive passive technologies such as magnetometers and explosive trace sniffers to highly invasive technologies and techniques without a sniff of public debate on the constitutional implications and the poor precedents that might be set. That worries me.

Not everyone is so worried about rights. Some are a lot more worried about terrorism. Some are willing to give up almost any right "so long as it makes us safer from terrorists." It's not a mindset I agree with, but even by this standard there is not much reason to support the new body scanners. Many security experts doubt whether they would've detected the components that the "underwear bomber" of NW253 sewed into his undergarments. They cannot see under the skin, nor in body cavities. Remember that both surgically implanted bombs and bombs inserted into body cavities have already been used in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and presumably any operation sophisticated enough to produce a viable high-explosive device would use one of these methods of gaming the body scanners. In a German test of one of the machines, a subject was able to hide all the components needed to assemble a bomb on his body (not in cavities) and pass through the scanner undetected. The Israelis don't use them for airport security and have no plans to; the head of security at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport called them "expensive and useless." For detecting explosives, sniffer machines are also expensive and maintenance intensive but considerably more useful. More low-tech but still one of the best means of detecting explosives: trained dogs. It just happens that the body imaging companies have far better lobbyists. Chief among them: Michael Chertoff, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security immediately preceding Janet Napolitano.

I'm on the front lines here. If, God forbid, a terrorist should succeed in detonating an explosive on board an airplane in flight, there's a decent chance that somebody I know will die, and I will find myself out of a job in rather quick order. I'm generally in favor of things that decrease the possibility of that happening. I don't think subjecting ourselves, spouses, and children to a virtual strip search or public molestation does anything to help in that regard, and the one thing it does do is make flying a far less pleasant experience. Meanwhile, rampers and other airport workers with much less extensive background checking than pilots are allowed to bypass security entirely. The TSA refuses to considers the one thing the Isrealis have found to be effective: behavior-based profiling, essentially ensuring that each traveler gets some face time to chat with a trained security officer and tailoring further screening according to their behavior.

I think it's high time we put our foot down to the TSA's incompetence and boorishness. To that end, the recommendations put forth by APA and USAPA show the best way forward: use the opt-out process to bring the whole works to a grinding halt. I suggest that everyone who will be flying on November 24th participate in "National Opt-Out Day."


Anonymous said...

I like this post, nice work Sam.


David said...

Spot on. I couldn't agree more.

Wayne Conrad said...

Security screening. For pilots. For the guys who sit at the pointy end, and who make the pointy end go wherever they want it to go. This country has gone stark raving mad.

Let the pilots on the plane! The only thing TSA should be doing with pilots is loaning them a sidearm if they forgot theirs at home.

Anonymous said...

Excellent Post!

it makes me angry how Americans are so easily brainwashed by their government into giving up their rights and freedoms for the false sense of safety. Remember when they did away with the three questions? People went on tv to say they no longer felt safe because they weren't asked anymore whether they packed their own bags? I was honest and told an agent my wife packed my bag, and was asked to change my answer or face additional scrutiny.

As a further sign of security theater, if those bottles of juice and water are SOOOOOOO dangerous, why do the TSO's simply toss them into a bin by the checkpoint?

Colin said...

I am sad about this situation and I feel powerless to affect it. (Yes, I wrote to my representatives. No, I do not think I have a louder voice than Chertoff.)

I carry a bigger blade on my person than they used in the hijackings on 9.11. I have since I first flew after 9.11 because I was flying four times a month and didn't trust the security theater to keep me safe. No scan or pat down has ever found the blade. Several TSA employees have looked right at it and handed it back to me.

Whenever they say it is making us safer, they are lying.

The people who work for the TSA should be ashamed of themselves. Even in this economy, if I was told that I would have to perform the new pat down, I would quit. That's totally offensive and not something you'd let a teacher do to your daughter, so why are you letting some monster with a badge do it?

I won't fly commercial again until it has stopped. And I'll try to let my usual airlines know that regularly.

Colin said...

Oh, and a friend did this: http://securityedition.com which is metal, so they have to take it away from you. The TSA agent has to actually take away your bill of rights. Very nice.

(I have carried five at a time through the scanner without trouble.)

TSA: Thousands Standing Around.

amulbunny's random thoughts said...

Bravo. It's so good to hear it from a pilot.

I too laugh at the thought that possibly explosive bottles of water, pop, and what ever are all tossed into the same grey trash can, that later gets taken by the airport workers, who take the recycling home with them. Wonder how much money they make off of them? And when you ask why these supposedly volatile liquids are combined you get told it's SSI. My foot.

And the bottles of liquor? They are supposed to be put in a sealed hazmat container and taken to a incinerator by a private company. Wanna bet how much actually makes it there? And the liquid soaps, snow globes and swiss army knives? Where do they go?

It's all a huge kabuki theater production that neither makes us safer nor protects us when flying. The "bad guys" have used up their airplane card. It might be in the unscreened cargo in the belly, but it sure won't be in the cabin. Too many people would make sure of that and the perp would probably not make it to landing.

Thanks for sharing your valid opinion!

da bunny

Capt. Schmoe said...

The concept of safety being almost a civil right is fairly new and somewhat novel.

As Americans, we are so used to being "safe" that we often feel incensed when we perceive that we are not.

Until the citizenry are willing to accept the loss of several aircraft per year and the associated loss of life, the TSA isn't going anywhere.

Terrorism is purely a psychological weapon, it's direct economic impact is not the goal, nor is it usually significant.

It's the reaction to a terrorist act that determines it's effectiveness. Once we stop letting the actions of a few zealots dictate how we live, we take that weapon away from them.

I just don't think we can pull that one off.

jinksto said...

Fantastic comments. Thanks for sharing. My nephew, 11, is flying out to spend Thanksgiving with me. He'll be flying through Atlanta so this will be an issue for me. I haven't yet decided to handle that. I may just cancel the flights and drive him the 900 miles.

Anonymous said...

Spot on Sam. I agree with what they do in Israel- profile and use highly trained officers to look for certain kinds of behaviors, not having some GED holding 22 year old looking at images of grandma or children. The TSA is , correct me if I am wrong, somewhere near 67000 employees now. I say fire them all, hire college graduates with a psycology degree or some sort of special traning, and do away with the backscanners and pat downs. It would be just as quick and easy to do some questioning of each person as to pat them down. Oh, and regarding your comment on the way the TSA treats an opt out- it makes me fume. the presume you are hiding something. I feel like the TSA is on a power trip and have lost sight of the goal- to protect CITIZENs from terrorists- and as we have seen most terrorists are not 4 year old girls or 75 year old grandfathers...The ACLU needs to back out for once and stop whining about the injustice of profiling- having our government do that is much more reasonable, logical and effective than molestation. As for pilots having to go through security- I think Miss Janet Napolitano should be subject to the same scanners and pat downs every time she goes to work- otherwise she needs to find another job, since those who fly can take the train or drive...
Hopefully the boycott will work.


Gene said...

Bravo! Bravo! Excellent post. Could not agree more or be more supportive of your stance.

RetroJetGirl said...

So if the images are supposedly viewed by a screener of the same gender as the subject, how does that work? Are there separate machines for male & female passengers? Do they set the gender before the subject passes through, thus sending them to alternative viewing screens?

Doubt it. So yes, I agree to call bullsh!t on that one!

I also 100% agree with how the Israelis do it. They should know better than anyone how to find this stuff.

No matter how sophisicated the machine, a dog will always be better at sniffing something that is capable of being sniffed. I recall reading a figure that stated for one body scanner they can get ten fully trained dogs. Plus, dogs are easily mobile and be moved where required.

The Aussie government actually trains dogs for most of the world's law enforcement agencies; they're regarded as the best for this job.

Hands Off My Nuts, TSA said...

Greetings, Capt. Sam:

Like you, I think the new TSA measures are nuts. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on why the TSA would institute -- and retain-- these security measures despite the public’s outcry. Do you think, for instance, that the Higher-Ups at the TSA actually believe that the body-scanners actually make flying safer? What could/would make the TSA so insistent on retaining these security procedures, despite the bad rep that the agency is getting these days? I know I’m asking you to speculate here, but I’d be interested to know your opinion.

With Regards,

Hands Off My Nuts, TSA

Anonymous said...

Great insight, I couldn't agree more. Good thing they let you keep your shoes on, maybe they would be able to make things easier for everybody else as well.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that I put a link to this blog post on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/nocrewscan

Thank you for posting your perspective. Well said!

Renewed Pilot said...

Excellent post!

I suspect the body scanner and pat-downs will be the issue that pushes the public over the edge regarding the TSA. People have "tolerated" every little change along the way. Now, we are finally seeing some resistance to the more absurd practices.

Fortunately, it looks like it has finally accelerated the implementation of CrewPass.

Love the comment about feeling like a jerk cutting in front of passengers....especially when there are a few crews together! I always try to say a "sorry" or two as I pass through.

Bob said...


I won't rehash what other commenters have said before me, other than to say, great post, and THANK YOU!


Anonymous said...


Great post, and some great comments by some of your readers.

Unfortunately we've undergone a similar change in Canada since 9-11 and employ a lot of the same measures just as ineffectively as the U.S. does. Why the governments of Canada and the U.S. don't learn from other countries like Israel I'll never know. I suspect most of the measures that are in place in countries like Canada and the UK are in place because the U.S. requires it in order for passengers to travel into the U.S.

YYC Dispatcher

Gaz said...

Just to let you know, In the UK the airline industry chiefs are trying to revise (down-grade) our security checks to make them more human friendly.


I must say, I do hate flying into and out of US airports... because of the always polite and helpful TSA.

Great post Sam... long live citizen action.


Sam Weigel said...

It warms my heart to see how libertarian-minded my audience is, on this topic anyways...if there's one issue that should be able to bring left and right together, this is it. This issue has exploded over the last few days, and now the politicians have started to hop on the bandwagon (including, ironically, one of the original authors of the bill that created the TSA). It reminds me of the Milton Friedman clip that Fred posted in a previous comments section: "The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right things!"

Dan, while I certainly am not a card-carrying member of the ACLU, that's primarily because they have traditionally focused on only defending the portions of the Constitution that are palatable to liberals (1st ammd yes, 2nd ammd not so much). On this issue, they are on the right side and are currently suing TSA and DHS over it. Regarding profiling, I believe they are primarily opposed to profiling that is race or religion based. I think any well-thought out profiling system would take into account place of residence, countries recently visited, type of ticket traveling on & method of payment, behavior during screening process, and response to screener questions.

Some European airports have already implemented portions of this for international flights (AMS comes to mind). A few years ago I flew into AMS for a show in The Hague and flew out the very next day. The screeners for the flight out saw that the entry stamp was from the previous day and subjected me to very thorough questioning, including about the Egyptian visa in my passport. One of the screeners who was familiar with the DJ I saw in the Hague even asked me about his setlist!

I'm not opposed to body scans and enhanced patdowns as forms of secondary screening for those who raise red flags in primary screening. I think that using such invasive techniques as a matter of course for all passengers without any degree of differentiation is not only unwarranted but also counterproductive.

HOMN, I wouldn't presume to know TSA/DHS mgmt's motivations. I don't think it's some big conspiracy to strip Americans of their rights, but I think they instinctively know there are worse consequences for their own jobs in a successful terrorist attack than in an outcry about rights. Recall that Napolitano very nearly lost her job over the underwear bomber despite not being in her position for very long (granted, her response was exceptionally mindless in a way that suggested little improvement with experience). Barring any actual incidents, positive or negative, these people's jobs are measured by the public's perception of safety; ergo, prevalent security theater.

From the Canadian & British reader-- I've found Canadian screeners to be friendlier than TSA but even more rigid in mindless requirements. The UK, I've been to or through four times in the last two years and have found them to be pretty good...this last trip to Rome they found some water in my mom's bag and were extremely apologetic as they confiscated it.

Unknown said...

You aren't the only one and well said. http://flyingcolors.onewavemedia.com/blog/?p=1496

Anonymous said...

I am not a fan of the ACLU at all, however I did not realize the were suing tsa-thta is probably the best thing they have ever done. I was refering that they need to back off in terms of saying profiling is unconstitutional.

Sam Weigel said...

Dan, a LOT of the case law regarding 4th amendment search and seizure is thanks to cases brought by the ACLU. They've also been instrumental in first amendment issues...while the right often focuses their support of cases brought by atheists (to have 10 commandments removed from courthouse walls, for example, or banning nativity scenes from public property), they've also been big supporters of student-led prayer in schools, for example. Obviously many on the right take issue with their support of gun control, abortion rights, etc...but there are plenty of things the ACLU does that everyone should support.

Aviatrix said...

As I understand it, the logic of screening pilots is to protect them from being bribed, blackmailed or tricked into carrying contraband through the checkpoint, and (in the absence of a way to positively identify pilots) to prevent impostors in pilot uniforms from skipping screening. I hadn't heard the "to make passengers submit by example" defence before. If that is the case, it's kinda backfiring, because it seems that working pilots like you are the most vocal objectors to the process.

Anonymous said...

Great post and also good reader comments. I am also subjected to this security theater as a condition of my employment (business traveler). I have sometimes felt slighted by airline crews "cutting" in line. So I do appreciate your perspective and hopefully this insight will help to keep me positive as much as possible.

I like the reader suggestion about the dogs, random, highly visible, dog searches would be much more effective and still put on a good show. As long as we rely on technology and standard procedures, there will always weaknesses to exploit. Of course nothings better then having some common sense.

Sarah said...

Well said Sam, and I totally agree. I'm glad; this kerfluffle may be enough to eliminate TSA and their useless security plays.

"Keep Calm and Carry On"

Paul said...

I am surprised it took 23 posts before someone (Aviatrix) pointed out what is fairly obvious!

If pilots were allowed to skip screening it would create a huge hole in the system. Would-be terrorists would be able to mimic pilots to bypass screening. Alternatively, it would also open up the risk of having real pilots carry through items which could aid in the hijacking of a (presumably different) flight.

Why would any pilot do this? Well, one might consider this if a) they were in a desperate enough situation (money problems, etc.) and b) were led to believe that the items in question were for a purpose other than a terrorist attack. Maybe I've watched too much "24" over the years, but I could also imagine a pilot under duress (e.g. family threatened) consenting to taking something past security which could be used in some nefarious way.

Having said that, it's clear there is much that could be improved in our current airline screening system, but allowing pilots or other employees to bypass security screening could well materially increase the chance of a successful terrorist attack.

AccessVegas.com said...

Like Sam, my business revolves around getting people on airplanes. Vegas would not exist (as we know it) without air travel.

As things stand right now, the terrorists have won. The have cost us (as a country) billions and billions in lost productivity. Not to mention the personal inconvenience.

I flew 5 weeks after 9/11. (Delta ran a reward special for round-trip at 15,000 miles and plenty of seats were available). I flew on the first anniversary of 9/11. As well as the second. Great day to fly... the planes and the airport were pretty much empty.

Are we going to cower and feel safe because the TSA is putting on a show of feeling people up? Where are they getting these TSA agents? From a pool of people pissed off that they failed the cut to be a real police officer?

Drastic action has to be taken to quit inconveniencing the flying public. Air travel is always a risk. As is car travel. As Sam pointed out, so is subway travel. As is walking out your front door. Terrorism is going to kill people every year worldwide. But only a very microscopic fraction of those who choose to travel.

I'd rather travel understanding that risk, and not be accosted and assumed to be a criminal simply because I purchase an airline ticket.

Ted Newkirk
CEO/Managing Editor
Access Vegas

Sam Weigel said...

Paul/Aviatrix: While I don't want to reveal SSI, the forthcoming CrewPass program contains fairly foolproof methods of verifying pilot identity and employment. It's based directly on CASS, which is used to verify jumpseat eligibility. So far as being bribed, blackmailed, or tricked into carrying a weapon or bomb through security, somehow I find that scenario to more likely involve a ramper, caterer, fueler, gate agent, or TSA agent who already gets to bypass security. The Menzies gangbangers in Seattle come to mind. After Alaska fired all their rampers and subcontracted the work to Menzies, something like 20% of them were later let go when their background checks came back. By that time they'd been working on the ramp for weeks, bypassing security, tagging bag pits with grafitti, and getting into one epic gang brawl on the D concourse ramp. I'm not too worried about the pilots.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Sam- there is a certain point where you have to stop the what if scenarios. There are numerous military personell out their with goverment secrets that could be blackmailed, yet we don't force those people to live in a isloated location away from harm. Obviously that is an extreme example when comparing to pilots, however the blackmail thing could apply to anyone. Terrorists could blackmail a train engineer to drive a train and blow it up. As an aspiring airline pilot, I for one do not want to be subject to excess radiaition (high cancer risk in family + radiation at altitude + body scanner=not good)as well as groping everytime I head to work. Unecesary, in my opinion.

PlasticPilot said...

I want to add a European point of view to this. I used to work on restricted parts of airports and had access to the ramps and the passengers areas.

In the years following 9/11, the rules changed. It is no longer possible to access restricted areas without getting screened.

The pilots were not the only ones to use the bypasses. Airport staff, people working in the shops, cleaners, and the list goes on and on. At some point, an area is secured or not. If you leave anybody enter it without getting screened, the risk exists that this person can bring something not allowed and then use it or pass it along to someone else.

It is true that there is no known case of impostors. But was there cases of aircraft used to destroy buildings after 9/11?

Ok, now fire your answers. I know this comment won't make me popular.

Sam Weigel said...

PlasticPilot-- In Europe perhaps that's the case. In the US there are still plenty of employee groups that bypass security via SIDA. It's essentially everyone *but* flight crews.

I think I covered the imposter angle already. There are security systems in place to prevent it.

Anonymous said...

Excellent and well put. I wish I could have expressed all this so well. Thanks for sticking up for your passengers.

Crusty said...

Excellent Post !

Rebecca said...

Thank you very much for taking the time to write such a thoughtful post and for sticking up for your family (and the passengers).

TheVirginian said...

Thanks for sticking up for the "self-loading cargo". I found a link to your blog on the FlyerTalk frequent flyer website and I'm glad I did.

Anonymous said...

Sam, it looks like you got what you wanted for pilots. They will only be asked for ID. Congratulations. You made excellent points in your article and I hope TSA was aware of them.

zb said...

Nice post. My story does not include air travel, but I still believe it is on-topic, as far as the popularity of counter-productive safety measures is concerned:

The German government is currently issuing terror warnings. To show action, they do things at places like airports and train stations, some of which look good on TV but, in my opinion, are even dangerous. While I think it is a good idea to have an increased number police officers out, I also think it is not a good idea to lock 75% of the doors of the main entrance of a train station, like they do in Munich. It sure looks very impressive to have red and white tape all over the place, but if there really was a bomb or other type of terrorist attack, the least thing you want is a greatly reduced capacity of emergency exits.

Decker said...

Surgically implanted bombs? Are you serious? Don't these people have anything better to do?

Anonymous said...

I question why your concern for yourself, your convenience, and your safety is so much greater than your concern for the flight crew members that accompany you in the back. These people don't have similar access to the cockpit, and so the rationale you use for pilots doesn't apply; I guess they have to continue to be scanned. In the military organization I'm from, Captains are required to be exemplars, not exempt. I guess your organization is different.

DeAnn said...

Eloquently stated. This is a thoughtful piece ... Interesting times. We've recently cancelled plans to visit DC after the first of the year. I can't imagine subjecting my 15 year old daughter, and subsequently her father, to the security professionals. -DeAnn

flightless bird said...

Good to see that someone opted out - although it seems that it isn't an option here in the UK.

"A New Zealander who was held up at Heathrow Airport for a day after refusing to get a body scan is returning home after being put onto another flight."


Also just found an interesting article about a pilot getting sacked for raising concerns about safety.

"Qantas's low-cost subsidiary Jetstar faces a legal challenge under unfair dismissal and freedom-of-association laws after it sacked a pilot who expressed safety concerns about the airline to the Herald."


The opinion piece written by the pilot can be found here:


Blondie said...

Amen, Brutha....

Tim G in MN said...

TSA Terrorize A Disabled 4 Year Old Boy By Removing His Leg Braces, Then Forcing Him To Walk


"The stupidity is breathtaking". says it all.

D.B. said...

AMEN. Fortunately we don't have them yet at DFW, but returning from BOS last week I did the opt out routine (actually not as bad as I feared, but still an illegal unwarranted search, as I informed the TSA loudly and often). So where do I sign up for the class action suit?

I see crew are now exempted, but not us fare-paying GIBs.

Anonymous said...

Actually, you're off the mark a bit in one detail. Prior to 9/11, pilots at your former carrier, QX, were required to submit to screening at PDX. After 9/11, bizarrely, was when we began to bypass screening. Now we are, again, required to submit to screening at PDX.

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