CNN has posted up a marvelous round-up of traveler complaints after the first few days of the new airline security regulations. The absurdity of confiscating snow globes and gel in-soles really speaks for itself, but we marveled at this letter from an airline employee.
- I work for an airline and I’ve noticed a lot of people complaining that they are being inconvenienced by the new regulations. This is a problem in my opinion because people are more concerned about convenience than their personal safety. I believe that until the TSA does away with carry-on bags altogether, we will not be any safer. With more bags comes more room for error, more screening time, etc. For decades, people checked in their baggage and carried tiny little cabin bags. Why are we now so dependent on having our huge rolling suitcases with us at all times? I mean, come on people! If it means flying safely, I think you can wait an extra 15 minutes at baggage claim.
First of all, when that extra 15 minutes comes on the end of an existing hour, and when airlines and insurers won’t cover the value of the items we check-in, it goes beyond a mere gripe about convenience. And then the question is: do these regulations make anyone feel safer? Or do they simply make us more afraid? And isn’t that precisely what both terrorists and politicians want in the end, anyway?
I’d take it further, to the point that you can be free or you can be safe, but not both. But why bother? You will never win an argument with conformists to a culture of fear.