The Problem: You’ve seen this newspaper headline frequently since 9/11. There is a hole in our security system big enough to drive a tank full of terrorists through. Plainclothes detectives were able to get guns and knives past checkpoints during government tests. People have walked through security points completely unchecked. Now all bags are being “screened” and matched to the passenger. The FAA is testing weapons detection security systems for use in national airports to scan air travelers. Walk-through portals are being developed that can detect traces of explosives by “sniffing” the air around a person. However, metal detectors have been found unplugged and the batteries of a scanner were determined dead after hundreds of travelers had boarded their flights.
The Solution: It does not depend on the government or technology; the solution lies with you, the traveler. Consultations with airlines, pilots, and flight attendants show a shift in attitude from passive to active resistance. We will provide you with the fundamentals of safety, and the strategies for security to help you make smarter time, money and life-saving decisions.
You Learn How To:
- Preplan a hassle-free airport experience.
- Adhere to FAA-instituted guidelines.
- Identify potential security hazards.
- Keep your luggage secure during screenings.
- Communicate with security and flight crew.
- Smarten up and fly right.
- Deal with an air-raged passenger.
- Defend yourself and others in an attack.
- Understand high-tech and low-tech security.
- Enjoy your trip and fly safe.
10 Anti-Terrorist Airline Tips to Fly Safe by Robert Siciliano ©
- FAA Guidelines: Do’s and don’ts regarding safety and security have been implemented and revised since the 9/11 tragedy. What a passenger can and cannot take on a plane is listed on FAA.gov and no exceptions are made. There is no flexibility in these rules. Pay close attention to flight attendant instructions when aboard an aircraft.
- Travel Advisory: Prior to and post 9/11 the State Dept Overseas Advisory Council offers security information country to country, in flight and on the ground. Additionally, checking with that countries American Embassy you’re visiting will tip you off to any potential hazards.
- Screening: Be alert to anyone who is nervous, perspiring, impatient, or argumentative. With the new FAA orders in place, it’s common knowledge this will be a timely process. The 9/11 tragedy was a humbling event that has made all passengers a lot more flexible to the scrutiny of security personnel. Anyone not complying with the new rules to any degree should raise a red flag.
- Baggage: When in the terminal, terminal restroom, lounge, bars or restaurants, keep all bags and luggage zipped, locked and under your supervision at all times. Theft is certainly an issue. However, a more important issue is called “dropping”. Terrorists drop lethal devices such as plastic explosives concealed as books, soda cans, candy bars, magazines or any other article one would purchase at the terminal newsstand. These devices are wired with components from cell phones or beepers that when called from the ground moments after takeoff explode on reception.
- Weapons: Explosives, pepper spray, razor blades, knives and even guns made of metal or plastic can still be smuggled on an airplane. Undetectable in a metal detector, plastic, wood and glass can all be shaped into sharp lethal devices. Items existing on the airplane that could be used as weapons include hot water or coffee, serving carts, bags, blankets, headset cords, shoes, pens, batteries, keys and rolled up magazines using the blunt end to jab.
- Bathrooms: Attention should be paid to anyone who spends excessive time in the restroom. This is a safe haven for a potential hijacker to implement a plan unseen by passengers or crew. Devices smuggled on board can be pieced together to carryout their plan.
- Exit Rows: An area of utmost security concern. Anyone who does not feel they could prevent a disgruntled passenger from opening emergency exits during flight should not sit in these rows.
- Communication: It would be in your best interests not to get to friendly with or discuss matters with other passengers that might make you vulnerable to attack. Hijackers utilize tactics that threaten family and friends on boards to get you to assist them in their deeds.
- Rage: A four-letter word that can down a jetliner if prediction and prevention strategies are not implemented. Rage comes in the form of mentally ill disorders, alcohol abusers and religious extremists.
- Self-Defense: Strength in numbers. We have all learned by example that coming together in physical force we can over power hijackers or air-ragers. If anyone has become aware of a potential threat, it is that person’s responsibility to make passengers and crew aware of the situation. First steps include making the crew aware one on one. However, depending on the volatility of the situation, quickly bringing attention to the cause by rallying passengers could be necessary. Caution should be taken not to unnecessarily alarm crew and passengers so, as not to create a volatile situation where one does not already exist.
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