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WSJ: Airlines Want to Bump Air Marshals to Coach...

WSJ: Airlines Want to Bump Air Marshals to Coach...

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Old Sep 29, 10, 4:48 pm
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WSJ: Airlines Want to Bump Air Marshals to Coach...

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

SEPTEMBER 30, 2010

To protect the nation's air travelers, federal air marshals deployed after the 2001 terrorist attacks try to travel incognito, often in pairs, and choose flights identified with the potential to fall under threat.
And they almost always fly first class—something some airlines would like to change. With cockpit doors fortified and a history of attackers choosing coach seats, some airline executives and security experts question whether the first-class practice is really necessary—or even a good idea. It could weaken security by isolating marshals or making them easier for terrorists to identify, airline executives say.
With more threats in the coach cabin now, first-class clustering may not make as much security sense. Security experts say bombers are a bigger threat today than knife-wielding attackers trying to get through secure cockpit doors, and Transportation Security Administration checkpoints are heavily focused on explosives, whether hidden in shoes, liquids or under clothes. Some believe bombers try to target areas over the wing—a structurally critical location and also the site of fuel storage—to cause the most damage to the aircraft.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...473932878.html
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Old Sep 29, 10, 6:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Tenacious View Post
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

And they almost always fly first class—something some airlines would like to change. With cockpit doors fortified and a history of attackers choosing coach seats, some airline executives and security experts question whether the first-class practice is really necessary—or even a good idea. It could weaken security by isolating marshals or making them easier for terrorists to identify, airline executives say.
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well, I've seen them/marshals sleeping (the appearance of sleeping with eyes closed), with headsets on listening to music and using portable DVD players to watch movies. Airline executives obviously want the first class Revenue. Security experts understandably question the safety of the front and BACK of the plane.
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Old Sep 29, 10, 9:40 pm
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Originally Posted by NYC96 View Post
Airline executives obviously want the first class Revenue.
This makes me wonder - who pay for their ticket? I always assumed the Federal Government pays. Or do the carriers pay, using some internal account?
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Old Sep 29, 10, 11:52 pm
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Originally Posted by u2fan View Post
This makes me wonder - who pay for their ticket? I always assumed the Federal Government pays. Or do the carriers pay, using some internal account?
No and no.

The federal government steals the seat from the airline. Period.
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Old Sep 30, 10, 8:39 am
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Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
No and no.

The federal government steals the seat from the airline. Period.
And the federal government steals the seat from the flyer who wants to sit in it, as well.
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Old Sep 30, 10, 10:10 am
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Originally Posted by NYC96 View Post
well, I've seen them/marshals sleeping (the appearance of sleeping with eyes closed), with headsets on listening to music and using portable DVD players to watch movies. Airline executives obviously want the first class Revenue. Security experts understandably question the safety of the front and BACK of the plane.
You are identifying air marshals how exactly?? How do you know these people are not ordinary pax?

FYI: There is a longer thread about this over in the Travel/Security forum.

Last edited by zitsky; Sep 30, 10 at 10:19 am Reason: Link to longer/dup thread
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Old Sep 30, 10, 10:12 am
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Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
You are identifying air marshals how exactly?? How do you know these people are not ordinary pax?
If you're cabin crew, they identify themselves to you.

If you're a passenger, they used to be extremely easy to spot. They blend a bit better now but some of them still really stick out, especially in F.
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Old Oct 1, 10, 6:04 am
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Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
The federal government steals the seat from the airline. Period.
unfortunate but true....
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Old Oct 1, 10, 7:54 am
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Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
You are identifying air marshals how exactly?? How do you know these people are not ordinary pax?

FYI: There is a longer thread about this over in the Travel/Security forum.
I see two familiar faces frequently at PHL and another one at OGG and HNL that are obviously FAM. They are usually not too hard to spot and are always in aisle seats in FC and dont drink any booze.

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Old Oct 1, 10, 1:31 pm
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Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
You are identifying air marshals how exactly?? How do you know these people are not ordinary pax? ...
One give-away is if they're carrying today's newspaper from the destination city.
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Old Oct 4, 10, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
The federal government steals the seat from the airline. Period.
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Old Oct 6, 10, 1:45 pm
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A legal requirement is not stealing

I read that the tax payer pays $860 million in fiscal year 2010 for the marshal program. As to the seats, it is not a matter of stealing. Airlines must provide seats to marshals at no cost in any cabin requested. That is the law and marshals almost always travel first class. I read it here: http://www.airlinepassengerguru.com/...rity&Itemid=65
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Old Oct 6, 10, 3:14 pm
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Easy to spot ... when you are the first passenger on and there are already there.
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Old Oct 6, 10, 3:18 pm
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Btw - the flight attendants are aware of anyone allowed to wear a concealed weapon on the plane. They also notify said people of others who are wearing a concealed weapon (so they don't get each other). Our flights are more protected than we think. Yes it's the Air Marshall's actual job, but others in our civil and military service jobs fall into the role by default. Knowing what I know, I actually feel very good in our domestic skys.
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Old Oct 6, 10, 3:22 pm
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Originally Posted by calitequilasippergirl View Post
Btw - the flight attendants are aware of anyone allowed to wear a concealed weapon on the plane. They also notify said people of others who are wearing a concealed weapon (so they don't get each other). Our flights are more protected than we think. Yes it's the Air Marshall's actual job, but others in our civil and military service jobs fall into the role by default. Knowing what I know, I actually feel very good in our domestic skys.
I'd feel a lot better if no one were permitted to carry firearms on the aircraft.
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