Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Safety/Security > Checkpoints and Borders Policy Debate
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 13, 13, 8:36 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: ATL & DCA
Programs: Delta FO
Posts: 124
If 9/11 never happened to air travel what would be different?

How does air travel in the United States look today? was discussing this with a friend today...there is so much talk about how easy security used to be, and how much easier the airport experience was.

How would the pre 9-11 airport experience mesh with today's online world? For instance, you still had to show ID at the check-in counter to receive your boarding pass in the pre-9/11 world. what about now with print at home and scan your phone, etc.?

Just curious how today's mobile and digital world would have (hypothetically of course) matched up with pre 9/11 security procedures and airport experiences.
andrewbashuk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 13, 9:44 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: LAX, CLT
Programs: AA EXP, UA Gold
Posts: 822
You would also have to assume there were no other major terrorist-related aviation catastrophes since 9/11...

As a primer, airport security was controlled by the airlines. In a way, I feel we're all probably safer now with the TSA running security. They haven't caught any terrorists because most terrorists realize their odds of success with airline-related incidents is substantially reduced.

Of course, the TSA is also an example of an over-zealous government agency invading many Americans' privacy rights. So, there's that.
flyingmusicianlax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 13, 10:13 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: Qantas WP, LTG , Delta, SPG, Priority Club
Posts: 212
If 9/11 never happened to air travel.....

In Australia, when travelling domestically there is no need to show ID to get through security or onto the plane. So you can book in any name, check in on line, go through security and board without showing any ID.

I don't think the ID check makes much difference. It's the taking off shoes and belts, removing all pocket contents and going through those full body scanners that is a PITA when travelling in the US.
theassassin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 13, 10:22 pm   #4
Moderator: Coupon Connection & S.P.A.M
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Louisville, KY
Programs: AA, QF, DL, SPG, TSA Disparager Diamond (LTDD)
Posts: 54,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingmusicianlax View Post

In a way, I feel we're all probably safer now with the TSA running security. They haven't caught any terrorists because most terrorists realize their odds of success with airline-related incidents is substantially reduced.
I disagree completely with this statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingmusicianlax View Post
Of course, the TSA is also an example of an over-zealous government agency invading many Americans' privacy rights. So, there's that.
I agree completely with this statement.

Airport and airline security should be the responsibility of the airports and airlines. The federal government should have no say in the matter and should be evicted from our nation's airports.
__________________
You cannot uphold American ideology with un-American actions. It's time for Change.
Spiff is online now   Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 13, 10:53 pm   #5
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Programs: DL MMer and plat (until MQDs), Spirit Somebody; CO, UA once gold now dirt. AA & US for magazines.
Posts: 14,937
Let's not forget that there was heightened general concern about terrorist activity even before 9/11. For the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, for example, there was quite a bit of security at the venues and the big fear of every Olympics not to have a repeat of Munich 1972. What they got was a Boston-like bombing by a homegrown right-wing terrorist in a park with less security but still associated with the Olympics.

New year 2000 was tamped down a lot in most places, and even in places celebrating like Times Square they took extra measures, sealed the manholes, etc.

With the private sector running security and it going to the lowest bidder, though, even those concerns don't translate to better procedures. For all the game they talk, airlines hate to spend their OWN money on security and will run to the government for everything from TSA to getting funding for the new cockpit doors. That angle was underreported but is as true today as it was then.

Airport security was really bad before 9/11, and in ATL you had a revolving door of $6-an-hour people treating it like a dead-end job. They needed to professionalize the force, and of course the screenings would be much more thorough. I think the people throwing spitballs at TSA are just counting on reaching a point when most flyers won't be able to remember what it used to be like.

As for the OP's question, I'd also point out that airlines had gotten stricter about things like IDs before 9/11 for their own selfish purposes. It used to be about 30 or so years ago that tickets were sold via classifieds with about the only qualifier (besides destination and dates, natch) being male/female, as the airlines didn't check ID domestically.

It also used to be that you could get boarding passes printed up in advance, sometimes making throwaway ticketing possible (but you'd NEED that and other tricks in places because fortress hubs were stronger and LCCs just getting started). That was do-able up until the mid-1990s.

And does anyone remember the fight over templates and UA trying to make airport security the enforcers of carry-on baggage rules? That kind of cynical thing also went on.

Overall we were headed to more security, though it took 9/11 to get a TSA, DHS and some of the rules like the one about liquids. OTOH, in absence of 9/11 an attack like the shoe bomber or underwear bomber, if successful, would also have had a lot of impact.
__________________
SPIRIT: an acronym that means Sorry Pal, It's Rough In There
RustyC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 13, 11:10 pm   #6
Moderator: Coupon Connection & S.P.A.M
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Louisville, KY
Programs: AA, QF, DL, SPG, TSA Disparager Diamond (LTDD)
Posts: 54,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyC View Post

With the private sector running security and it going to the lowest bidder, though, even those concerns don't translate to better procedures. For all the game they talk, airlines hate to spend their OWN money on security and will run to the government for everything from TSA to getting funding for the new cockpit doors. That angle was underreported but is as true today as it was then.
That should be entirely up to the airlines and the government should not be giving handouts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyC View Post
Airport security was really bad before 9/11
No, it wasn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyC View Post
and in ATL you had a revolving door of $6-an-hour people treating it like a dead-end job.
Now, you have a revolving door of $25-a-hour Workfare people treating it like a lifestyle or a jumping off point to an even less-effort required federal job. Nothing's changed in this respect, other than the cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyC View Post
They needed to professionalize the force, and of course the screenings would be much more thorough.
"You don't professionalize until you Communize"? This agency is anything but professional, other than perhaps as Organized Crime. There is no need for the vast majority of the disgusting, un-American harassment that the TSA forces on the traveling public.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyC View Post
I think the people throwing spitballs at TSA are just counting on reaching a point when most flyers won't be able to remember what it used to be like.
It's rocks, not spitballs, and I'd go back to the Globe/Argenbright private security before the government started ramping up harassment in a heartbeat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyC View Post
As for the OP's question, I'd also point out that airlines had gotten stricter about things like IDs before 9/11 for their own selfish purposes. It used to be about 30 or so years ago that tickets were sold via classifieds with about the only qualifier (besides destination and dates, natch) being male/female, as the airlines didn't check ID domestically.
ID checks should be the airlines' prerogative, if they care to do so. No one should ever have to show ID to a government employee to travel as a passenger in any vehicle. That's unnecessary disgusting government harassment, right up there with "Papers, please Comrade!".

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyC View Post
It also used to be that you could get boarding passes printed up in advance, sometimes making throwaway ticketing possible (but you'd NEED that and other tricks in places because fortress hubs were stronger and LCCs just getting started). That was do-able up until the mid-1990s.
Who cares? That's between the airlines and the passengers. The government should not have any say in the matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyC View Post
And does anyone remember the fight over templates and UA trying to make airport security the enforcers of carry-on baggage rules? That kind of cynical thing also went on.
UA was slapped down, big furry deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyC View Post
Overall we were headed to more security, though it took 9/11 to get a TSA, DHS and some of the rules like the one about liquids. OTOH, in absence of 9/11 an attack like the shoe bomber or underwear bomber, if successful, would also have had a lot of impact.
The liquids idiocy was instituted by some no-talent assclowns who don't even understand basic chemistry. It's sad that many people have swallowed these lies and actually approve of the theft of harmless liquids that an inept government agency actually co-mingles in common bins after confiscation. Or uses these stolen goods themselves.
__________________
You cannot uphold American ideology with un-American actions. It's time for Change.
Spiff is online now   Reply With Quote
Old May 13, 13, 11:38 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: PVG, China
Programs: Platinum Ambassador, SPG Gold, Krisflyer, Accor A-Card Platinum, Hilton Honours, QF Bronze
Posts: 1,979
What is an assclown?
camsean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 13, 12:33 am   #8
Moderator: Coupon Connection & S.P.A.M
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Louisville, KY
Programs: AA, QF, DL, SPG, TSA Disparager Diamond (LTDD)
Posts: 54,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by camsean View Post
What is an assclown?
Watch Office Space.
__________________
You cannot uphold American ideology with un-American actions. It's time for Change.
Spiff is online now   Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 13, 12:40 am   #9
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: In CT,left my heart in Leicester.
Programs: Work in progress.
Posts: 1,237
If 9/11 never happened...I wouldn't be subject to "random" checks each time I fly.
__________________
Learning is finding out what you already know...Teaching is reminding others that they know it as well as you do. We are all learners, doers, and teachers.
jatink129 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 13, 12:44 am   #10
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: LGA - JFK
Programs: UA, AA, DL, B6 & CX, Latitude, VIFP, Crown & Anchor
Posts: 1,765
Had CO not taken over People's Express ops out of its EWR hub then, I can visualize how things would be like today - back in the early 80's, folks joked about flying on the 737's in all Y configuration with one carryon per pax - somehow, everything fit in the overhead bins or in the seatback, and there're more legrooms then. Not happy then with paying for a soda, chips or the snack pack ($2, I think it was) but those shuttles were cheap & popular up & down the northeast corridor, gave Eastern & other legacy carriers a good run and sparked quite a few airfare wars on competitive routes. Everything into the carryons and no 3-1-1 nonsense and oversized liquid allowed inside the cabin. Nowadays, the waiver is good as long as it is purchased airside (but, banned for incoming international flights bound for the US - not even duty-free purchased liquid of any kind.)

Airport security has existed in along and the current security theater is what it is - on government payroll vs. privatized, and the theft continued with prized items behind/below the departure level. Care to debate intelligence failure and the consequence of NOT sharing among LEA ... yulp

With today's tablet/smartphone & mobile technology, swipe your valid photo ID, instant check-in at the kiosk, beep & NFC for BP & seating assignment beamed for paperless eco-friendly gate check-in, and ding - elite & pax with priorities will be boarded in sequence, no cutting in or DYKWIA encounters with the ground agents - and the plane door is shut, flight closed & ready for push-back to taxi out ...

Yeah, the debate go on - it's just a matter of times that we will be flying just like the People Express days, and, we are - if you really think about it - in the main cabin, anyway - for the sheepies.
Letitride3c is online now   Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 13, 7:19 am   #11
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: DFW
Programs: US PLT, UA PLT, HH Gold, Hyatt PLT
Posts: 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
. No one should ever have to show ID to a government employee to travel as a passenger in any vehicle.
Does this include getting a driver's license? Or a car registration? Or a boating license? Or is this focused solely on the federal government and not the state/local government?

With the way some people drive in major cities, I wouldn't mind a little harsher government regulation honestly.

Now I'll agree with you that the TSA is operating in contradiction to the Bill of Rights and the over regulation and inefficiency of the government is slowly creeping in. During a previous life I was a government employee and witnessed the fraud, waste and abuse that has become a punch line.
SMFlagg is online now   Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 13, 8:37 am   #12
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: NAP/FCO
Programs: LH, EK, A3, TK, GF
Posts: 1,387
I'd dare to think, liquids aside, an air travel experience like it is now.
Forrest Bump is online now   Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 13, 10:00 am   #13
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Programs: UA Silver, AF Silver
Posts: 216
The one positive is there is a lot less tolerance for misbehaving/belligerent/drunk passengers now than there was before 9/11. Particularly on international flights, in Y you often saw things that would get the person restrained and arrested these days. Though I think a lot of people don't do those things because they know that now.
Artpen100 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 13, 10:24 am   #14
Moderator: Coupon Connection & S.P.A.M
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Louisville, KY
Programs: AA, QF, DL, SPG, TSA Disparager Diamond (LTDD)
Posts: 54,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMFlagg View Post
Does this include getting a driver's license? Or a car registration? Or a boating license? Or is this focused solely on the federal government and not the state/local government?

With the way some people drive in major cities, I wouldn't mind a little harsher government regulation honestly.

Now I'll agree with you that the TSA is operating in contradiction to the Bill of Rights and the over regulation and inefficiency of the government is slowly creeping in. During a previous life I was a government employee and witnessed the fraud, waste and abuse that has become a punch line.
Did you read the word "passenger" in my statement? Most air travelers are not operating the airplane.
__________________
You cannot uphold American ideology with un-American actions. It's time for Change.
Spiff is online now   Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 13, 12:39 pm   #15
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Programs: Southwest Rapid Rewards. Tha... that's about it.
Posts: 2,736
Absent 9/11, the entire United States would be a vastly different place. Dozens of laws, two decade-long wars, and thousands of deaths would never have come to pass. An entire industry based on fear a paranoia of terr'ist attacks would not exist. A full paradigm shift of a large part of the federal government from defence and/or criminal investigation to anti-terr'ism and "intelligence" operations would not have occured.

All of this would have affected our daily lives, not just air travel.

DHS wouldn't exist. TSA wouldn't exist. The Patriot Act would never have been passed.

Hijacking would still be in actual terrorists' toolboxes, because we wouldn't have hardened cockpit doors, and passengers would still go with the "do whatever they say and they won't hurt us" response, as opposed to the "OMG THEY'RE GONNA CRASH THE PLANE WE GOTTA KILL 'EM FIRST!!!" mentality that currently pervades.

The travel industry would still have gone into a slump in the early 2000's, but not to the extent that it did after 9/11. Someone, somewhere, would still have come up with the idea of fees - luggage fees, seat fees, pillow fees, etc.

Security would still be handled by the airlines, but at some point each airline would start assessing its own security fee to recoup those costs, similar to the government mandated 9/11 security fee we have today. The difference would be that, for several years, the fee would be wildly variable and completely unpredictable, until some advocacy groups convinced Congress to pass a law capping the fee (after which every airline would charge the maximum).

With security being handled by the airlines, no airline would ever have invested in NoS technology. And without the stink of fear permeating every fibre of the American soul, no rational American would ever have even considered allowing their children, spouses, or themselves to be oggled by a perv in a box, irradiated by BSX, or fondled by security goons.

There would probably have been a shift in rules over the years - nothing remains static for long - but airside would not be limited to ticketed pax only, which means that airside businesses would be doing better, and all of the new terminals, expansions, and remodels that have been constructed since 2001 would have much more extensive airside facilities, catering to not only pax, but see-er-off-ers and pick-er-up-ers as well.

Limited to the old-style WTMD and HHMD, security c/ps would be smaller and quicker. No TDC, no NoS, no ETD, far smaller baggage search tables, no penalty boxes. Since airlines would be paying for it all, and the amount they could recoup would be capped, they'd be interested in efficiency. Instead of carts, we'd see the rail system that's used in other countries for returning plastic bins to the beginning of the line. Instead of exit guards, there would be simple metal turnstiles.

Carry-on x-rays would be done differently; perhaps there would be two operators per line to give higher speed and redundancy, and software similar to the current ATR might be in use as a backup. Inside the tunnel, there would be ETD puffers, giving every carry-on a non-invasive sniff for explosives.

Since checked bags could be locked and secured, pilferage would be far less of a problem.

Photography wouldn't be a dirty word or a suspicious activity in airports. Local LEOs would not hassle anyone with a camera (except when someone snapped a pic of the LEOs themselves).

Ironically, one thing that would be very similar - the private security officers employed by the airlines would still be wearing rent-a-cop uniforms and badges.

And one thing that would be even worse than today - some of those private security guards could be ARMED, since they're essentially private security guards and can be certified as armed guards under the laws of the various states in which they operate. There would be no police powers issues or restrictions; they'd be armed private guards, just like the armed private guards you see in banks, convenience stores, and check-cashing places all over the US.

Protesters, activists, charity workers, religious proselytizers, picnicing families, and panhandlers, along with the inevitable pick-pockets and baggage theives, would still have airside access. Theft at the c/p would still be a problem, as theives could make off with your iPad or other loose items into the airside spaces much quicker and easier, because their shoes and belts would still be on.

But given the propensities for both automation and public area surveilance that we see today, I believe that security cameras would be much better. With the airlines in charge of security rather than the federal government, camera coverage would be much more complete and overlapping, equipment would be more reliable and better maintained, and each airport (at least the big ones) would have its own surveilance office, much like Vegas casinos, for the sole purpose of reducing the airlines' liability in case of a crime or passenger injury. After all, a few hundred thousand for gear, maintenance, and training per year can save millions in lawsuits.

Ah, if only to live in a world devoid of both TSA and DHS. What a world, what a world...
__________________
Flying is a RIGHT, not a privilege. Anyone who says otherwise, just because the right to fly isn't enumerated in the Constitution, is full of beans.
WillCAD is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 8:19 am.




SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.