Focus On Airport Security Essays Examples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Airline, Security, Airport, Aviation, Workplace, Human Resource Management, Staff, Flight

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/11/27

The texts in Section A focus on the problems of airport security after the terrorist attack in New York on September 11, 2001. 1. Write a summary of Spread Your Legs and Smile in no more than 150 words.
The constant paranoia over terrorist threats has led to more stringent security at airports in the USA. Not only does one have to arrive several hours early to the airport, but the lines are never ending. The way TSA works is that the passenger has very little liberty nowadays to speak about what is happening. Almost all extra garments, shoes, belts, and hats have to be removed. Computers have to be placed in a separate bin, all foods has to be revealed and even elderly people in wheelchairs go through the same embarrassing body searches. No one disagrees that airport security is necessary but the rules introduced have become farcical. Breast milk and sometimes even medications in liquid form are confiscated. In the rush to protect airports and airplanes, common sense is often forgotten and millions of people are made miserable.
2. Give an outline of the various attitudes to airport security in the texts.
Going to the airport a few hours early and still waiting in long lines is enough to get everyone upset. No matter how patient the traveler is outside the airport, there are times when frustration over airport security develops. While some travelers just bear with the hassles of being probed by TSA agents after many hours of waiting in a line, many others develop an attitude that is often not agreeable with the security staff. The most common attitude that travelers while going through security lines is hostility. After standing in line with baggage and having to remove shoes, hat, coats, and the laptop, most people do get upset. To be asked to reproduce the passport, ticket and a valid ID, the TSA agents show no consideration for children, infants or even the elderly. Frustration with TSA agents is very common because after placing everything on the belt line, one is asked to reproduce a paper which has now gone past the security barrier. While some travelers do show respect for TSA agents, this is not the attitude of the majority. The next common attitude is tolerance as most travelers know that they are not able to change the situation. Any harsh words or aggressive attitude with TSA agents can result in arrest and being prevented from getting on the plane. Some travelers are even sarcastic at the airport security. They know fully well that the security people are not the most intelligent individuals and while often complimenting them, they are sarcastic meaning that they lack common sense. While most travelers do obey the instructions from the airport security staff, very few go out of their way to be helpful. Most travelers just want to get out of the screening area and get on the airplane.
Many travelers also do not want to or like to speak to the airport security. The traveler often feels uncomfortable speaking to these security people because it is assumed that they are just wasting time and are not intelligent. The small talk done by travelers is only done so as to not create any hassles and get out of the screening process as soon as possible. There is also an overall sentiment among travelers that airport staff is not efficient or productive and this is a common reason for the long line up at the screening site. The one common theme among travelers is that airport staff security lack empathy and concern for the traveler. Travelers often feel that the TSA agents are very intrusive in their searches. While pat downs are required, most travelers feel that this is not the case in elderly or disabled people. People who travel with infants and children are also not given any consideration and often vent their frustration by becoming angry at TSA agents. After hours of waiting in a line with an irritable child, who would not get upset? The security staff all act as if they are doing a very important job and protecting the country, but in reality the traveler feels that most of what these people do is a complete waste of time. The traveler is often shocked at the airport security agents for physically checking infants, elderly in wheelchair and confiscating medications and even breast milk. Often there is an attitude of complete shock and bewilderment at the actions of the security staff. In all cases, there is a great sense of relief after having crossed the security screen done by TSA agent. Overall, the feeling is us against them and the public feels like they are treated like criminals. No one disagrees about the need for security but the chief complaint is how it is done.
3. Comment on the following statement: “Frisking the flight crews in front of the passengers is downright foolish. It only makes the passengers feel unsafe.” The traveler often feels that terrorists are usually passengers. For the traveler it would be a shock to discover that a member of the flight crew may be a terrorist. Most travelers have so much faith in the flight crew that it is unthinkable that a member of the flight crew would be a terrorist. Frisking a flight crew member in front of passengers would certainly be a shock to most passengers and make anyone scared about flying. The truth is that everyone who boards the plane is frisked- to allay passenger fears; flight crew frisking is done in a private room. It is just like going a doctor for a checkup and finding out that the doctor himself or herself is also a real patient being examined. This can quickly lead to loss of confidence, trust and faith in the crew. Most passengers would feel very scared if they saw a flight crew frisked as it would mean that their lives are not safe. What passengers should understand is that there are hundreds of other airport staff who also have access to planes like the caterers, mechanics, ramp workers, cleaners, and other utility workers. All these individuals also undergo the same security checks but in special areas so as not to alarm the passenger. IF a passenger were to see all airport staff being frisked, this would quickly lead to zero confidence in flying. Passengers can be assured that since 9/11, everyone connected to the airport goes through thorough screening. Most of the staff and other airport workers are screened in separate areas to avoid chaos, confusion and lack of confidence in the security system.
4. Write a ‘Letter to the Editor’ in 150-200 words in which you discuss your own attitude to security checks and flight safety after September 11.

Dear Editor,

I am a frequent traveler and use the airplane at least twice a month for business purposes. However, the difficulties I have encountered at the airport while undergoing screening for security is the reason why I am writing this letter. I do understand the need for airport security and am all for it. However, the long lines and constant delays are making me get to my destination a real issue. Is there not another way to expedite this screening process? Surely, the TSA agents can be told to arrange a line for travelers who are running late or need to catch a flight ASAP? I am always for more security at the airport but I do think the system needs to be more efficient. Finally, I think there is a real need to educate your staff on use of common sense. The delays often occur because some TSA agent holds up a child or an elderly individual for no apparent reason. I hope you will consider my suggestions as I can assure you the system as it is right now has made life miserable for most Americans.

Works Cited

1. Spread Your Legs and Smile. An article by Shashi Tharoor, Newsweek, October 11, 2004. 2. Attendants question ground security. An article by Blake Morrison, USA TODAY, April 4, 2002. 3. From Fear of Flying: An Israeli Look at U.S Air Safety. An article by Elisa Ben-Rafael, World Press Review , November 2002

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