A few days ago I was over at Tam's blog where she had a bit about the TSA and airline security. I remember after 9-11 thinking that security would go nuts at airports, that is just the way the government reacts to everything I also said at the time that what happened that day would never happen again because in the past we were conditioned to negotiate with hijackers and everything would be fine but now passengers would fight back in order to save the plane, a fact borne out by the flight over Pennsylvania. Tam's blog also reminded me of an experience I had a few years back and how rules are followed without any common sense.
I was awaiting a flight to Iraq. Our battalion was leaving Gulfport Mississippi, we were flying on a DC-10 operated by World, a commercial airline which had been contracted to transport us. We were not leaving through a passenger terminal but were bussed to the plane and boarded via steps on the outside. As we were waiting to board the plane we were informed that because this was a commercial flight we could not bring knives, razors etc aboard the aircraft. On the surface this may sound reasonable seeing as we were making a layover in Bangor Maine and would be entering the terminal in the secure area where other passengers had been through security. What made it idiotic was we were carrying fully automatic weapons, every one of us had an M-16, We were boarding the plane with over 500 M-16's and 9 mm pistols and you want us to hand over knives? There was a bag we were supposed to drop knives into and we would get them back on the other end of the flight. I decided I would NOT give up my knife so I promptly opened up the butt plate on my weapon, took out the cleaning kit and secured it in my cargo pocket and dropped my knife in the butt stock, I assumed they would not make us strip the weapon down. I was right the knife was never discovered. It was quite amusing as we taxied down the runway the pilot came over the PA system and made the announcement, " Thank you for flying World Airlines with us today, please remained seated while the seat belt lamp is lit. Turn off all electronic devices during takeoff, please stow all weapons on the deck facing outboard, We hope you enjoy your flight, thank you for serving our country" ....................It was then quite.
A little while after we had taken off the pilot came back on the PA and announced, " you are now free to roam aboard the aircraft, the cockpit is open feel free to come up and visit with us" Later in the flight I did go up to the cockpit and sit down and talk with the pilots and got a mini tour of the flight center. The airline was very good to us which goes to show the TSA are the 'anal' bunch. But the government knows best, and now they want to be in charge of our health care seeing as they do everything else so effectively.
PS, The ones that turned knives in to security never saw them again.