Airport Security Roundup

Like me, you have probably been schlepping through multiple airports in the past few weeks. I for one am planning to check off five airports on my holiday journey to see family and friends, and devastatingly, one of them is O’Hare.

So to help you deal with the rising dread of those millimeter-wave scanners, long lines and one-too-many bags to carry, we’ve combed the vast tarmac of the Internet to cull the most pertinent, useful and, dare I say, humorous of the jumbo jet’s worth of coverage on airline security.

The Straight News

No Security Changes After Stowaway Incident

Charlotte International Airport has said that it is not going to make any changes to its security protocol, after a teenager somehow snuck onto the tarmac to climb aboard a wheel. No one is quite sure how he got aboard the plane, and TSA has opened an investigation. Factoid: The Federal Aviation Administration has counted 86 stowaways since 1947, only 18 of whom have survived.

Insider ‘Tour’ of Airline Employee Security

If the security at Charlotte’s airport is anything like San Francisco’s, it’s easy to see how someone could sneak onto the tarmac. A San Francisco pilot videoed a behind-the-scenes “tour” to highlight the weak security measures for airport personnel. He posted it on YouTube in an attempt to shame the airport into strengthening its security. TSA, though, was more angry than ashamed: The video appears to have been taken down, and the agency reprimanded the pilot.

Iris-Scanning Coming to Madrid Airport Security
Hoyos Corporation will partner with Herta Security to implement iris-scanning technology in the Barajas Madrid airport, which is the world's 11th-busiest. The program is expected to roll out in early 2011 and will focus on maintaining a secure and stable identity for passengers traveling through the airport. Watch for a Security Products Q&A with Hoyos Chief Development Officer Jeff Carter

when you head back to work Jan. 3.

Airport Security? There’s an App for that.

In a move that has perhaps garnered more good will than anything it’s ever done, TSA released an iPhone App last month that shows flight delays and cancellations and has a searchable database of items, such as batteries or alcohol, permissible on U.S. airlines. It also relies on user-generated wait times to tell you how long the lines are for security entrances at airports across the country. Watch out, though – the time is displayed only in GMT, not local time, which has a lot of reviewers complaining. But, it is free.

Not Directly Related to Security, But Still Worth Reading

Delay Drama Queens’s John Dickerson catalogs – extensively – the personalities you see while waiting for a delayed plane. They include the Outside Flight Ninja, who instantly finds another, albeit more-complicated, method of getting home, to the Zen Master, who is never bothered by anything – and wears comfortable pants. His descriptions are infinitely more fun than waiting for an MIA plane in a crowd of people, luggage and irritation.

Be a Know-It-All

Ever wonder why you have to put your seat upright and return your tray table to a locked position when taking off and landing? So have I. Mental Floss magazine answers a bunch of such burning questions, including identifying the hottest-selling item at the perennially overpriced airport shops, that will leave you more informed, if not more comfortable, on your holiday flight.

Posted on Dec 28, 2010

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