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Old Dec 10, 12, 11:04 am   #1
 
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Why do Airlines Love a Loser?

Quote:
by Christopher Elliott

One of the more interesting reactions to last week's post arguing that the TSA as we know it is dead came from a publicist for one of the airline trade associations.

In a polite but insistent email, he claimed I'd misunderstood the congressional testimony by one of his executives. The airline industry rep was criticizing government regulations -- not the TSA -- for being expensive, inconsistent and reactive, he said.

It made me wonder: Why would airlines not want to be seen as criticizing the TSA? Everyone else is.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christ...b_2268458.html

Last edited by essxjay; Dec 11, 12 at 8:58 pm.. Reason: trimmed for respect to copyrights; clarify attribution
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Old Dec 10, 12, 1:07 pm   #2
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The question is, how could they NOT be in love with the TSA? Zero cost to them and they hold zero accountability for airline security. It's win-win.
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Old Dec 10, 12, 1:43 pm   #3
 
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Why Do Airlines Love A Failing TSA?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christ..._hp_ref=travel

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Sadly, it's probably because the status quo suits it. Pilots and flight attendants get access to special lines and are spared the most invasive screening -- the humiliating full-body scans and pat-downs.
NOT TRUE, Christopher. At any time, they have the RIGHT to make crewmembers go through the same screening process as passengers do. I've assumed the position in the body scan as per TSA.

Last edited by cblaisd; Dec 10, 12 at 8:55 pm.. Reason: To make clear that the first two sentences are quotes from the linked-to story
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Old Dec 10, 12, 1:52 pm   #4
 
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THe accountability (or more accurately, the liability) piece is more important that being able to charge the passengers extra. It also allows the airlines to deflect resulting customer issues back to the TSA ("not our fault - you have to deal with TSA").

Some might compare it to making a pact with the devil.
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Old Dec 10, 12, 1:55 pm   #5
 
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Originally Posted by tkey75 View Post
The question is, how could they NOT be in love with the TSA? Zero cost to them and they hold zero accountability for airline security. It's win-win.
I've mentioned before that two factors are at play here:

- Cost savings of having a TSA: not having to pay for security plus not having to reimburse passengers for theft.

- Costs of having a TSA: loss of customers who won't fly (or won't fly as much) because of the TSA.

Put simply, which is greater? My guess would be the latter.

I heard one figure a while ago that pre-9/11 security cost about $1B per year total, about 1/8 the cost with the TSA. So DL had to pay, say, a few hundred million a year for pre-TSA security--but how much is being lost due to TSA-avoiding non-flyers?

I'm not a business beancounter, but I could imagine airlines using logic that the TSA is directly observable saved money: no paying for security, and no reimbursing passengers when your own employees steal from checked bags--and as an added bonus, since you get to blame the TSA for theft, you can turn a blind eye to your own employees' theft, saving yourself the fire/search/interview/hire/train costs associated with firing someone.

On the flipside, it might be quite difficult for an airline's beancounters to pinpoint how much revenue they're losing out on from TSA avoiders--and in any case, it could be blamed not on the TSA, but on my favorite phrase: "concerns about 9/11 and terrorism". Heck, they might even believe that restoring airport security to 9/10 could lose even more passengers due to AFSers not flying because "that's the kind of security that let 9/11 happen!"

Of course, if the TSA implemented 100% mandatory shock bracelets and caused air travel to plummet 90%, airlines would need only to go to Congress, explain how Essential to America(TM) aviation is, and they'd be feeding at the public trough to fly empty airplanes around.
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Old Dec 10, 12, 7:28 pm   #6
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Originally Posted by mahohmei View Post
I've mentioned before that two factors are at play here:

- Cost savings of having a TSA: not having to pay for security plus not having to reimburse passengers for theft.

- Costs of having a TSA: loss of customers who won't fly (or won't fly as much) because of the TSA.

Put simply, which is greater? My guess would be the latter.
It's simple economics 101 - if the latter were true, the airlines would be up in arms about the TSA causing them to lose customers. They're not. TSA wins.
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Old Dec 11, 12, 8:28 am   #7
 
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Here are some thoughts as to why they don't complain too loudly--

1. Revenue protection- TSA handles ID checks for them, saving them from having to do the job

2. Reduced/eliminated responsibility for baggage loss/theft ("can't prove it was our fault- TSA had access to your bags too")

3. No responsibility/liability if something bad DOES happen ("not our fault- TSA handles security, not us)

In short, the insertion of TSA into the overall process of air passenger transport gives the airlines a sort of "get-out-of-jail-free-card" to deflect responsibility, that's probably why they don't complain about it too much. If it WAS having an effect on revenue, you better believe they'd be up in arms about it.

An analogy is if a flight has multiple reasons for a delay or cancellation, e.g., mechanical, followed by crew time-out, followed by ATC or weather. The moment ATC or weather enter the chain of events, the airline often disavows all responsibility for accommodating passengers (hotel, food, etc.) as the weather/ATC issue is "not airline controlled", even though the initial problem was an airline-controllable issue. Same logic holds true with TSA in the chain.

Plus, accommodations have been made for flight crews to have an easier screening process than passengers, so flight crews don't complain to airline management as much, thus airlines don't complain about the screening process as much to the TSA.
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Old Dec 11, 12, 9:07 am   #8
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Originally Posted by NYC96 View Post


NOT TRUE, Christopher. At any time, they have the RIGHT to make crewmembers go through the same screening process as passengers do. I've assumed the position in the body scan as per TSA.
They may have policies, but they have no rights. You do, however and one of those rights is to tell TSA to shove their nudeoscope request where the sun doesn't shine.

However, if it makes you feel safer, go right ahead. Maybe you'll be the person occupying the nudeoscope that permits me to use the WTMD instead.
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Old Dec 11, 12, 12:08 pm   #9
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Originally Posted by NYC96 View Post
At any time, they have the RIGHT to make crewmembers go through the same screening process as passengers do.
Not only are airline employees exempt from the Scope-N-Gropes and TSA Petting Zoos, there are many airports where they bypass the checkpoint entirely. We're now up to 13 instances in the last 5 years where an airline employees have been caught with firearms in the sterile area, including a AA FA just a few weeks ago in ORD.



PSA flight 1771, FedEx 705, and last summer former SkyWest pilot Brian Hedglin stole an empty CRJ2000. He taxied it at high speed into a terminal building, then shot himself in the cabin.

If airline unions were serious about effective security, they would insist everyone entering the sterile area be subjected to the same common sense screening. X-ray of belongings, walk through / hand held metal detector, Explosive Trace Detection / Explosive Trace Portal. Nothing more, nothing less.

Instead, they are only interested in securing more special privileges and security loopholes for their members.
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Old Dec 11, 12, 8:51 pm   #10
 
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Originally Posted by N965VJ View Post
Not only are airline employees exempt from the Scope-N-Gropes and TSA Petting Zoos, there are many airports where they bypass the checkpoint entirely. We're now up to 13 instances in the last 5 years where an airline employees have been caught with firearms in the sterile area, including a AA FA just a few weeks ago in ORD.

.
Exempt???.....You gave up your wings many years ago. Unfortunately, you're NOW out of the loop. Yes, they can ask you to go through the body scanner, they have asked multiple flight attendants. Problem is, SPIFFY, you're required to be on the aircraft at a certain time, so do you forego the body scan or WAIT IN LINE for a touchy feely grope! You pick.
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Old Dec 12, 12, 12:00 am   #11
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Exempt???
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Old Dec 12, 12, 5:40 am   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYC96 View Post
Exempt???.....You gave up your wings many years ago. Unfortunately, you're now out of the loop. Yes, they can ask you to go through the body scanner, they have asked multiple flight attendants. Problem is, Spiffy, you're required to be on the aircraft at a certain time, so do you forego the body scan or wait in line for a touchy feely grope! You pick.
Since there's no credible safeguard in place to prevent image recording, nor any peer-reviewed studies on the safety of the nudeoscopes, I am forced to go with sexual assault. Each assault is reported. Maybe criminal prosecutions will one day occur for such attacks on our persons and our liberty.
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Old Dec 12, 12, 10:10 am   #13
 
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n965vj:

KCM program???.....yeah, since you're so knowledgable, just how many airports does the program involve compared to many how BODY SCANNERS are out there? Huh?
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Old Dec 12, 12, 10:56 am   #14
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Originally Posted by tkey75 View Post
The question is, how could they NOT be in love with the TSA? Zero cost to them and they hold zero accountability for airline security. It's win-win.
Well, it's not a win win. Anything that discourages people from flying is a loss to them. That said, the people who are most up in arms about it don't fly that much and typically are the poor, tea party types who collect SS and Medicare while complaining about the cost of entitlements.

What the airlines do fear is any bombing on an airplane or anything that would cause major fear among their customers. They have enough to worry about without having to delve headlong into arguments with tin foil hat wearers about security.
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Old Dec 12, 12, 1:27 pm   #15
 
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That said, the people who are most up in arms about it don't fly that much and typically are the poor, tea party types who collect SS and Medicare while complaining about the cost of entitlements.
These statements are completely untrue. It's been documented that negative attitudes toward the TSA are correlated with the amount of flying people do. Take me: I'm an anti-TSA blogger, and I'm also a frequent flyer, 4 decades from SS or Medicare, doing very well financially thank you, and the tea party!?!?! Spare me. I am crusading against the TSA because I am a feminist, because no means no, because when men try to create and share nude images of my body I was taught to alert the authorities who would arrest the perverts. I hate the TSA because I believe in the American ideals of innocent until proven guilty and getting a warrant or probable cause before you search someone. Tea party? No. In fact, of all the activists I've been working with on this issue, not one is a big rah-rah tea party type and more are far-left than are far-right. Where are you getting your information?
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