Distrubing news i have to share about airline security..
I don’t enjoy writing (or reading) about negativity in the airlines.. In fact, I don’t even like to watch the news because for the most part it is disturbing information being shared. However, as I am about to write some today, I do understand and believe that everyone has a right to know the good and the bad of what is going on in the world.
The other day I was commuting back to LA after a work trip on United airlines. I chose to sit in the back row aisle seat because I am one of those people that get up frequently to use the bathroom, stretch my legs, etc. and do not wish to bother people around me. From the on set of the flight, I began conversing with a flight attendant working the trip. You see, flight attendants, no matter what company or part of the industry they work in, feel a sort of bond with each other. I really love that and always enjoy talking with other flight attendants and hearing their stories.
As this lovely flight attendant and I were talking, the issue of the United- Continental airlines merger came up..and so did the topic of security.
The disturbing News
What I learned in our conversation was that Continental airlines was intending to remove the reinforced cockpit doors while reconfiguring and taking over the United aircraft’s. You know, the steel doors that were put in place after the tragic 911 disaster? Maybe they don’t feel like they are a target for this sort terrorism? The reason doesn’t even matter.. the fact that Continental would do this is beyond disturbing to me as a flight attendant, a passenger, and a US citizen. Not to mention how those “United” crew members must feel about this. Their airline and employees were attacked on that horrible day and the cockpit door could have been a savoir if those steel doors had been in place before hand..
Coincidentally, on this same commuting day, i had witnessed an odd security failure myself.
Like everyone else, when I travel commercially, I go through security. I do NOT wear any sort of badge indicating i am a flight attendant, nor do I tell anyone.( Corporate flight attendants do not really have this “authority” anyway). So, like everyone else, i took off my shoes, coat, and arranged my bags on the conveyer belt in proper protocol. However, I had forgotten to remove a small FULL water bottle from my carry-on. And this, I did not realize until i was on the other side of the security station collecting my bags.. Which means, my bottle of water went undetected…
I was walking towards my gate thinking: hmmmm, have the rules changed about carrying liquids or did TSA completely mess up?!
While i was on my flight, i mentioned this to the FA I was speaking with and she assured me it was unfortunately the latter..
The REAL Question
So what is going on out there?? Has everyone become lax about security again? No reinforced cockpit doors, lazy security guards?
And Generally speaking, from the conversations I have heard among airline employees, there is a concern about what is really being done to protect all of us.. I am not trying to cause any sort of fear in flying for people, but I do want to bring awareness to the subject.. I don’t want to turn on the news and see anymore tragic terrorism attacks and more people loose their lives when it could be prevented.
Maybe people will read this and get really angry with me for writing it, or maybe someone in the right circles will start a chain of better prevention..
I just needed to share this in hopes of possibly helping to prevent more disaster.
Cobblestones and Heels