Is Airport Security
Too Vulnerable?
Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It was a disastrous way to end the week, with a mass exodus of passengers drifting down Century Boulevard on foot.

LAX was closed for 36 hours and was an isolated crime scene for a day.
Paul Hudson, FlyersRights president affirmed “this was a travel nightmare that could have been a total horror show and major massacre.”
The news that TSA agents were shot and one killed by someone targeting the organization was a shock.
Was it an arbitrary attack?  Or was there nothing random about this shooting?
A casual comparison between TSA’s Instagram feed and Friday’s news photos raises the question of a possible cause-and-effect between TSA’s confiscated guns and those weapons becoming icons rather than an effective PR campaign for an organization long nicknamed “security theater”.

TSA chief, John Pistole, has called for a complete airport security overhaul, something

Hudson has long advocated for. Hudson stressed that he “was against taking down armed security at major airports after 9/11 when on he served on the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (1997-2007) and heading the Families of Pan Am 103/Lockerbie.” 

“Especially after the armed attack on El Al at LAX,” he said, “and the confession by KSM mastermind of 9/11 attacks, that Al Qaeda had follow on armed attacks planned against major airports, to kill and hijack aircraft on the ground, then takeoff and crash into nearby targets.”

“This attack reveals anew a glaring vulnerability to terrorists, and considering the recent U.S. attacks on Islamic terrorist leadership in Pakistan, Libya and Somalia, retaliation attacks must be expected.” Hudson said.

There have been other domestic terror attacks against U.S. government personnel, most notably the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building bombing.
Other armed assaults on airports include the Rome, Italy airport by Palestinian terrorists in 1985.
Hudson remarked that additional defensive security measures are needed to stop copy-cat attacks.
TSA claims to have deployed behaviorism to detect nervous persons who may be terrorists, but apparently nothing to stop a brazen armed attack.
Hudson is calling for President Obama to ensure visible armed security is in place at all category X airports using national guard if necessary, as was done after 9/11.
“This is necessary to both deter further attacks and reassure the flying public,” he asserted.
Compounding the mess on Friday were reports of airlines actually charging passengers to switch their flights.  A FlyersRights member wrote in with his e

Like all Americans, we were shocked and angered by the shooting In terminal 3 at LAX.

We were on route to LAX with my 80 year old mother-in-law when we heard the news and turned around before reaching LAX.

Since LAX was on a lockdown, she missed her flight. We called Alaska airlines to re-book for tomorrow and were shocked when they wanted to charge a $100 change fee!
I know this situation was out of anyone’s control but in the spirit of understanding and customer loyalty you’d think they understand and waive the fees to those who missed their flights today.
It took 20 minutes and the threat of legal action to get the airline to back down and waive the change fee.
I wonder how many passengers paid the fee adding to
Alaska Airlines profits while the airline took advantage of
a tragedy.
A frequent flyer 
From Santa Monica 
Time To Burn Those Miles
Buried in Friday’s news was United Airline’s unprecedented announcement of a massivedevaluation of their frequent flyer program.
The airline will soon require a much higher number of frequent-flier miles to book its flights, especially with its Star Alliance partners in business and first-class to international destinations.
UAL spokesperson Rahsaan Johnson told USA Today the change was made “to account for the increased cost of providing transportation.”
Some of the new partner award redemption rates are shocking and it appears to no longer make sense to accumulate miles on its Chase MileagePlus credit card.
“United’s action in drastically devaluing its frequent-flyer miles shows the need for rules that grandfather in benefits and require 6-12 month notice for major program changes.” said Paul Hudson, FlyersRights president.”Airlines sell frequent-flyer miles to credit card companies for cash up front, then the miles build up as a liability on their balance sheet, so they are highly motivated to devalue them with unilateral program changes or by drastically limiting their use.” Hudson remarked.

FlyersRighs has advocated for mandatory disclosure of the usage rate of frequent-flyer miles versus how many expire unused.Unsurprisingly, United was nominated as America’s Worst Airline by The Airline Quality Report earlier this year.

Read More: ETN Global Travel Industry News

TSA Changes After Knife-Ban Reversal Voted by U.S. House Panel 
In another victory for FlyersRights, TSA will now be required to consult with industry groups on decisions like its short-lived move to end the ban on knives aboard airplanes, under a bill the House advanced today.
Representative Richard Hudson(R-NC), chairman of the Transportation Security Subcommittee, said the legislation is a response to the TSA’s attempt earlier this year to remove the ban on bringing small knives onto commercial flights. The agency reversed itself in June after protests by flight attendants, airline executives and TSA employees.
“One day Harvard Business School will teach a seminar on how not to roll out a new rule,” Hudson, a North Carolina Republican, said in an interview. “This will be the textbook example.”
Ideas such as relaxing the knives ban should be discussed with industry groups like airlines, airports and unions before they’re announced, Rep. Hudson said. He said he supported the policy change and criticized the way TSA Administrator John Pistole went about it.
The agency also has a warehouse full of equipment it bought and never used, while companies have put time and money into developing technology TSA asked for before deciding it was no longer interested, he said.
“Everyone I talked to said the process is broken,” Rep. Hudson said. “If you look at the amount of money involved, this is a place we could save significant money for the taxpayer.”
Dreamliner Problems a “Concern”, says Boeing ng> 
Makers of the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing, expressed concern over recurring glitches on the plane while at the same time insisting that it was a machine that has never caused issues with the safety of passengers.

“We are concerned (about the problems with Dreamliner). It’s a machine, we did our best to design it… but something happens.”
“But it is a safe airplane, it has never caused issues with the safety of passengers,” Dinesh Keskar, Senior Vice President (Sales, Asia-Pacific and India) of Boeing, said.
When asked about the incident of a panel in the belly of a Dreamliner aircraft falling off at Bangalore airport, he said, “It never put the lives of passengers or the aircraft at risk as it was just an access panel and not the pressurized one.”
A 8×4 foot panel in the belly of a Dreamliner operated by Air India, which was carrying around 150 passengers, fell off as the plane from Delhi was landing at Bangalore airport on October 12.
Just yesterday, November 4, 2013, a windshield cracked during landing at Melbourne.
The Dreamliner has been facing many problems, starting with battery fires in January, which forced airlines across the world to ground their entire fleet of the aircraft for about four months.
Cartoon of the Week (submitted by Dan Prall)
Kate Hanni, founder of FlyersRights
Paul Hudson, president of FlyersRights
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