Imagine this flying experience
You arrive at the airport a half hour before your flight. On time.
After walking directly into the hangar, and you check-in by waving a card by a small scanner. The check-in agent verifies your ticket by simply looking at the card -- it has your picture on it. You receive your boarding pass and sit down in the boarding area.
You boot-up your laptop and enjoy some free wi-fi. Then the pilot says "We are ready to board."
Everyone lines up in a calm and orderly fashion, and hands the pilot their boarding passes. He says "Thank you" to each person.
You walk out onto the tarmac, and place your baggage on the truck that will drive the baggage to the plane. The baggage handler nods and smiles.
You walk over to the plane and board. You say "good morning" to the stewardess -- you recognize her; she knows you, too. You take whatever seat is available.
Are we in dreamland? A 1950s vision of the future? Pre-September 11th frequent flyers?
I do this 6 to 12 times a year.
77% of flights
For real. My company has a corporate aviation department, and it is the preferred way to travel between our main locations (it is cheaper than car rentals -- way cheaper than commercial airfare). Many large corporations have private jet fleets.
I know -- I just sounded so bourgeois. Blah. Shoot me now.
But, it's true. In fact -- 77% of flights in the United States are "General Aviation" -- that means NOT commercial flights. And these airplanes are not necessarily small. Some can hold 50 or more people.
Why do I tell you about my "posh" travel means (it's really not -- it's more like a flying shuttle bus)?
All this TSA hub-bub
All this talk of full body scanners and pat-downs -- it only applies to commercial flights. It only covers 23% of flights in the U.S.
So, is the assumption that terrorists will only figure out how to get on commercial flights? Therefore, we only need these extreme security measures on commercial flights, right?
After all -- my company knows its employees and they aren't terrorists! No background checks against terrorist lists, no metal detectors needed. And certainly no pat-downs and body scanners!
Just for the record -- I certainly don't want full body scanners at my company's aviation hangar. Sounds icky for my boss to be able to see my innards. Plus -- I work for an automotive company; I don't think they can afford one. I guess that leaves the pat-down. It does seem kinda silly, though, to be patting down co-workers to board a plane that the company owns, flown by a pilot who is also an employee.
Well, then, maybe it's nothing of concern.
Maybe terrorists really do only fly commercial.
Just something to noodle.
This post is brought to you by Mama Kat's writing prompt in response to "CONTROVERSY! Are the new security measures performed by the TSA really that bad? Take a stance!"