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Posted by on Dec 26, 2009 in Science & Technology | 10 comments

Travel Restrictions On Last Hour of All Flights


How will this go over with air travelers?

New rules imposed by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration also limit on-board activities by customers and crew in U.S. airspace that may adversely impact on-board service. Among other things, during the final hour of flight customers must remain seated, will not be allowed to access carry-on baggage, or have personal belongings or other items on their laps.

LATER, here’s the NYTimes’s story on the new restrictions. James Joyner makes sense when he calls this mind-numbingly stupid:

We’re simply going to make people miserable for no apparent reason. There have been precisely three attempts over the last eight years to commit acts of terrorism aboard commercial aircraft. All of them clownishly inept and easily thwarted by the passengers. How many tens of thousands of flights have been incident free? And, yet, we’re going to make hundreds of thousands of people endure transcontinental flights without reading materials or the ability to use the restroom?

Joyner points to Radley Balko:

In addition to keeping with its usually tradition of making policy on a reactionary basis, this one wouldn’t even have done anything to prevent the attempt over the weekend. The guy was in his seat when he tried to light the explosive device. And the passenger who confronted him got out of his seat to do it.

Also, if the goal was to bring the plane down from the air, why add restrictions for the last hour of the flight?

Seems to me that what this, Flight 93, and the Richard Reid incident have shown us is that the best line of defense against airplane-based terrorism is us. Alert, aware, informed passengers.

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Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • DaMav

    How about we start with the least odious steps first. For example, we could compile a list of potential terrorists. When someone’s father, for example, comes to the US Embassy to warn us that his son is developing frighteningly radical and destructive ideas, we could listen to him. Especially if said father is a well known and respected international banker and not someone who just wandered in off the street.

    Now, when someone on that list books seating on an airplane, we could either refuse boarding or demand that special precautions be taken, like “searching” him to ensure that he is not carrying potentially hazardous items like, say, “explosives” on board the plane.

    In order to organize this, we could establish a Department, maybe name it the “State Department”, and even put someone in charge (Secretary of State has a nice ring to it, no?) and make them responsible, in coordination with others, to do this work.

    That way not only are millions and millions of innocent travelers saved the trouble and inconvenience of having to remain seated while their bladders burst, but — here’s the beautiful part — we could actually “pay” people to do the work of compiling, and checking the list, and ensuring our safety. As hard as it is to land a good job these days, I’ll bet some would even sign up for the job. Especially if it is a government job where nobody appears to give a rap whether you do it properly or not.

    • DdW

      In this time of terror and hate against America, anything that will save lives—including, if necessary,

      having to remain seated while their bladders burst

      (I rather have my bladder busrt that my entire body be exploded) Yes, in addiiton to all the other measures already being taken and recommended by the commenter/,

  • dduck12

    I would like to administer a paper cut (a little itchy one) to this guy for every person that will be inconvenienced (read, pees in his pants) by his act of terror. And, it is terror:

    “act of terrorism, terrorism, terrorist act – the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear”

  • aphrael

    The terrorists have won: they have succeeded in scaring us enough that we’re willing to be forced to sit in our seats and piss our pants out of fear that if such rules aren’t in place, something bad will happen.

    The *right* response to this is to stand up and assert that we will not be frightened. But we can’t seem to bring ourselves to do that.

  • archangel

    have pickup truck, will travel. at least in the 49.

  • spirasol

    Stay scared people, whether you are in a plane or a pickup, a state building or some other easily detonated place. The game is fear, and we are pansies, — Aphrael, you are so correctomundo! That’s how it is………as we militarize everything, bomb everywhere, poking at the fallen bee’s nest, and somewhere somehow everywhere a very large eyeball or ear flap is listening and watching…………..oh if I had only followed through to buy that security stock.

  • jdledell

    This one hour no movement restriction is ridiculous. What is the difference if the plane is bombed one hour away from landing or 2 hours. A bomb will do the job no matter when detonated. The key is proper screening of passengers before they get on the plane. If not done properly, bad things can happen. If done correctly, the one hour rule is irrelevent.

    • dduck12

      That’s what I have been wondering. I would think, a bomb over NYC would work better than Detroit. I don’t understand the one-hour bit. Does anyone?

  • lamia666

    Sorry guys but I find it even more ridiculous that you-READ AMERICANS-are the ones imposing these ridiculous and humiliating rules and then you are the ones complaining!
    Think about this and I speak as a statistician, trust me when I say that the mean time to entry -after deboarding-for an international passenger (aka those without residency-and no we are NOT all terrorists in case you didn’t know) is 90 min to 2 hours. During this time one cannot use the bathroom. After that point one has to pick up luggage and carry it and go through screening. After that one goes through international to domestic security. That means on average 3-4 hours of not using the bathroom. Even as a twenty something healthy individual, this amounts to calculating and purposefully dehydrating oneself by avoiding liquids-which one has to request from the flight attendant anyhow in the post 2006 era. What happens to pregnant women? What happens to women who are on their period? What happens to families with kids? what happens to the elderly who frequently have to use the bathroom? Have the experts at TSA considered these questions? One doesn’t have to have a doctoral degree to think so critically-which I thought was part of the US American system. Apparently I was wrong.

    • dduck12

      As an elderly frequent goer, I thought it was in the constitution: The Right To Pee, shall not be abridged

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