Emily Paige Blanco, Contributor
Ideology: Conservative | Writing from: Wheaton College
Flying from Newark to O’Hare Airport today, I expected delays due to increased security. I didn’t know if I would have to go through a full body scan—which did not happen—nor did I know beforehand that I would need to take off my sweater and go through security in my undershirt. I, unlike most of my travel companions, however, did not mind these extra security measures taken by the TSA, but rather embraced them. I purposely factored in extra time to my arrival at the airport, and had I gotten through quicker than I had anticipated, I would not have complained about my wasted time – I’d enjoy a cup of coffee while waiting at my gate. I would rather be mildly inconvenienced than have my plane overtaken by a terrorist.
Many Americans fail to recognize that flying is not a right, but rather a privilege and choice. Yes, it oftentimes is the most convenient form of transportation, but it is by no means an inherent human right to fly in an airplane. Secondly, it must be realized that in the act of purchasing an airplane ticket, one is becoming a customer of the airline, and thus agreeing to their terms and conditions. These terms and conditions clearly state that there will be security screening procedures.
Currently airport security measures may seem cumbersome, but this is because the TSA is trying to create new procedures to effectively secure airports in the United States. First of all, the TSA is not completely sure presently how to proceed with more intensive security screenings, so passengers cannot be told beforehand what to expect. Second of all, it is more strategic for the US not to release all of the security measures that will be put in place at airports so that potential terrorists will not fully know how to evade and thwart the new security precautions. It is evident that action taken by the Department of Homeland Security and related executive offices is largely reactionary, but that does not discredit its importance. Clearly terrorist extremists have an interest in using aircrafts to destroy life and property in the United States, so our government should make it as difficult as possible for them to execute such actions.
Perhaps a solution that airlines could adopt to alleviate some of the lines at security would be to remove the charge on checked bags. This cost, in addition to airfare, gives incentive to passengers to carry on their luggage rather than check it. The average traveler, rather than just bringing on a personal item, now also packs a suitcase for the overhead compartment, and the increase in carried on luggage increases the time it takes to go through security. The airports cannot do anything to alleviate the amount of security screenings their customers must go through, but it can speed the process by eliminating the price to check bags. If nothing else, it would give travelers one less thing to complain about, which is uncommon these days.