why don't we just implement El Al security?

Old Nov 7, 07, 8:00 pm
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why don't we just implement El Al security?

Since costs don't seem to phase TSA too much, I'm wondering why don't we just implement the type of security El Al has? I've read that this would cost somewhere in the realm of $70 billion. This is compared to the $6-8 billion we're spending now.

But if it's all about the security, as some argue, what's money?
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Old Nov 7, 07, 8:10 pm
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That means they would actually have to get something right.
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Old Nov 7, 07, 8:33 pm
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The reason that we do not implement that style of security? Not many would stand for it that's why. People think we have "outrage" towards TSA, and travel security systems now; it would not hold a candle to what would happen.

People complain about checkpoints and the like? Wait till the guy in the dark suit approaches you while standing in line and play's twenty questions with you. You don't measure up, well guess what, even more "attention" will be paid to you. You don't like it, well guess what, the choice your given is to not fly that day.
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Old Nov 7, 07, 8:41 pm
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Originally Posted by bbc1969 View Post
The reason that we do not implement that style of security? Not many would stand for it that's why. People think we have "outrage" towards TSA, and travel security systems now; it would not hold a candle to what would happen.

People complain about checkpoints and the like? Wait till the guy in the dark suit approaches you while standing in line and play's twenty questions with you. You don't measure up, well guess what, even more "attention" will be paid to you. You don't like it, well guess what, the choice your given is to not fly that day.
Agree completely.

"Go pound sand - it's none of your business." is seldom a satisfactory answer to El Al.

I will not be interrogated before a flight in the US.
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Old Nov 7, 07, 8:43 pm
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If I wanted El-Al style security on my domestic flights, I would move to Israel. That is not on my list of things to do anytime.
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Old Nov 8, 07, 10:08 am
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Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
Agree completely.

"Go pound sand - it's none of your business." is seldom a satisfactory answer to El Al.

I will not be interrogated before a flight in the US.
In one of our rare moments here on FlyerTalk, you and I are in complete full agreement.

Checkpoint security is already contentious with the rules that are in place, as you so fondly point out. Taking it several notches above and beyond the current level simply won't work in the US. And I see that as a good thing. I don't think we should have that type of security.
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Old Nov 8, 07, 10:20 am
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It would never work.

The TSA is set up for reactive security.

El Al is set up for proactive security.

El Al knows every detail about every passenger before the passenger gets to the airport. If they are missing anything, then you get the "20 questions".

El Al only flies a tiny amount of passengers compared to the entire USA. There is no way the US government could possibly implement nor manage the huge system that would be required.

And lastly, and most important to the USA, El Al uses politically incorrect "profiling".
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Old Nov 8, 07, 10:51 am
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Originally Posted by Kibison View Post
It would never work.

The TSA is set up for reactive security.

El Al is set up for proactive security.

El Al knows every detail about every passenger before the passenger gets to the airport. If they are missing anything, then you get the "20 questions".

El Al only flies a tiny amount of passengers compared to the entire USA. There is no way the US government could possibly implement nor manage the huge system that would be required.

And lastly, and most important to the USA, El Al uses politically incorrect "profiling".
I think you overlook one very basic point. Even with all the consternation over TSA screening procedures, there are certain passenger rights that still exist that El Al appears to ignore. Your condemnation of "politically incorrect" and subtle disagreement with "profiling" only works as long as you, personally, aren't the one pulled over for additional screening or additional scrutiny. The people who advocate more intrusive security procedures or "proactive security" do so because they believe they will be immune from such additional scrutiny. They think it will apply to someone else who stereotypically falls within a certain category. That is, until they're pulled over. Then it's an outrage, a violation of basic civil liberties...it's profiling!

I like the current model. Yes, it's imperfect. Yes, there are ways it can be improved. However, it doesn't cross any lines (yeah, I know some in here will disagree).

This is why I'm skeptical about the much-ballyhooed SPOT program that TSA is undertaking. While I don't think it necessarily crosses the line; I do think it approaches it much closer than is necessary.

FWIW, I'm probably exceptionally qualified for that program. Not boasting, just stating a fact. I refuse. It is where I draw the line.
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Old Nov 8, 07, 10:54 am
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Originally Posted by magiciansampras View Post
Since costs don't seem to phase TSA too much, I'm wondering why don't we just implement the type of security El Al has? I've read that this would cost somewhere in the realm of $70 billion. This is compared to the $6-8 billion we're spending now.

But if it's all about the security, as some argue, what's money?
Money translates to lives (indirectly). Security saves lives and property. Like with most things, the first amount spent provides the greatest return on investment (basic screening, fences, whatnot). At some point the ROI drops like crazy, and you start taking lives by spending more on aviation security. More people will drive (more deaths), more of people's lives will be wasted waiting in line, more money that could be spent on actual lifesaving things (medical care and research, etc.) is wasted, and so on.

The 9/11 attacks cost $120billion in total damage, (reference). If spending $60 billion/year could prevent an attack of this type every two years, it might be worth it.
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Old Nov 8, 07, 12:02 pm
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Originally Posted by ralfp View Post
Money translates to lives (indirectly). Security saves lives and property. Like with most things, the first amount spent provides the greatest return on investment (basic screening, fences, whatnot). At some point the ROI drops like crazy, and you start taking lives by spending more on aviation security. More people will drive (more deaths), more of people's lives will be wasted waiting in line, more money that could be spent on actual lifesaving things (medical care and research, etc.) is wasted, and so on.

The 9/11 attacks cost $120billion in total damage, (reference). If spending $60 billion/year could prevent an attack of this type every two years, it might be worth it.
I couldn't care less what the cost is. I will not accept interrogation as a prerequisite to fly.

All that is needed:

WTMD
ETP/ETD
x-ray carryon

NOTHING more.
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Old Nov 8, 07, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
I couldn't care less what the cost is. I will not accept interrogation as a prerequisite to fly.

All that is needed:

WTMD
ETP/ETD
x-ray carryon

NOTHING more.
(Why not less?)

The sad reality is that money speaks louder than rights.
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Old Nov 8, 07, 12:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Bart View Post
I think you overlook one very basic point. Even with all the consternation over TSA screening procedures, there are certain passenger rights that still exist that El Al appears to ignore. Your condemnation of "politically incorrect" and subtle disagreement with "profiling" only works as long as you, personally, aren't the one pulled over for additional screening or additional scrutiny. The people who advocate more intrusive security procedures or "proactive security" do so because they believe they will be immune from such additional scrutiny.
Bart, you are wrong. Every Israeli realizes that he can be pulled over for more intensive security yet the heavy majority of us favor this system.

Keep in mind that "profiling" includes many factors -- not just religion or country of residence. If there is anything about you which seems strange to them in the initial questioning it will continue until they are completely satisfied that you are telling the truth.

I was once asked if I served in the Israeli Army Reserves. I told them that I did and that I was an officer. Given my very heavy English accent and my flow of Hebrew grammatical mistakes, this got Security very concerned about me.

I usually get through in less than 5 minutes but was questioned for almost a half hour this time. Still, it was done both professionally and courteously (indeed, I would even say in a very friendly manner) and realizing how precarious our national security situation is, I had no objection and still prefer a system where we look for terrorists, not weapons.

(BTW, there is no need to take off shoes at TLV and you are free to take as much liquid as you want with you.)
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Old Nov 8, 07, 1:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
I couldn't care less what the cost is. I will not accept interrogation as a prerequisite to fly.
Agreed. Israel is a police state, by choice. Maybe that's what you have to do in the Middle East, but I don't think it is anything to be proud of.
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Old Nov 8, 07, 1:10 pm
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Originally Posted by whirledtraveler View Post
Agreed. Israel is a police state, by choice. Maybe that's what you have to do in the Middle East, but I don't think it is anything to be proud of.
Agreed.

"Nothing to be proud of, Russ." <"Fifty yards...">
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Old Nov 8, 07, 1:14 pm
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Originally Posted by whirledtraveler View Post
Israel is a police state
That is very far from the truth. The Israeli police have no more authority than do American police (and, yes, Israelis do have the right to remain silent, to have a lawyer present during questioning, etc.)

We are, however, not blind to the fact that we have been subjected to innumerable terrorist attacks at airports, in pizza parlors, on buses, in discos, at schools, etc, and that we need to take effective measures to protect ourselves.
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