September 26, 2006

Why AQ Is Off the Air

Via Insty comes this news from Strategy Page: people are flying less, because procedures for air travel are so arbitrary. But terrorists are only targeting airplanes less because they fear mutiny—the "Flight 93 Syndrome."

I have to admit that I'm a bit tired of airlines taking advantage of 9/11. For example, why not let us transfer air tickets from one person to another after they've been bought? If everyone has ID, how can this possibly be a risk?

Posted by Attila Girl at September 26, 2006 04:11 AM | TrackBack

Well, the Feds can't check all the data like they can when you are the registered buyer(well before the flight). And they can't see your credit card info., or know you even have one. And with IDs the way they are....

All in all, it adds a lot more variables into the mix.

Posted by: Darrell at September 26, 2006 08:56 PM

I'm talking about my cousin having to buy a ticket for his 17-year-old son when there was no more room on the flight the rest of the family was taking-- and then wanting to swap them so that his son wouldn't have to fly alone. He figured it would make more sense to do that himself.

The airline wouldn't let them do this, citing FAA rules or some such horseshit.

The money issue is moot; my cousin was paying for them all with the same credit card. And the potential swap was weeks before the flights were to leave, so there should still have been time to check everyone against the no fly lists and whatever else they like to do.

Posted by: Attila Girl at September 26, 2006 11:00 PM

I don't understand. Why is the missing ticket for the 17-year old? Can't one of the older adults fly alone? And aren't tickets now all sold with a name attached. If you trade tickets, some other person's name will be on that ticket and the airlines and the gov't won't know who's really on the plane. That used to happen all the time with the secondary market in tickets.

Do you know that we really don't know the names of the real 9/11 hijackers? Airport tapes from the months prior to the attack show multiple people travelling with those identities. Obviously, senior people planned the attack and the suicide operatives executed it. Absent good IDs, with some sort of DNA info., or at least fingerprints and eye scans and facial metrics attached--we can never control security. And the gov't needs instant access to a gov't file showing all the original IDs issued so that they can compare the ID presented to the original to spot forgeries.

Posted by: Darrell at September 27, 2006 09:09 AM

Originally, the family was going to fly from the SF area to Florida. The eldest son was unable to go because of another commitment. Tickets were bought; the family would fly together.

Then the school schedule changed, and the eldest son would be able to go. They didn't want him to fly alone, but rather one of the adults. The airline didn't allow the family to change the names on the tickets once they'd been purchased, so the 17-year-old had to fly alone.

It seems to me that the airlines aren't allowing names to be changed as a convenience to them, rather than to serve any real security purpose. It's just silly.

Posted by: Attila Girl at September 27, 2006 12:34 PM

I agree there has to be some flexibility and common sense. What airline was it? United? They're just being pissy or looking for the $100 cancellation fee. I asked the Transportation Security Administration - the federal agency responsible for airport security - what would happen if I showed up at a checkpoint with an ID and ticket that didn’t match. It told me that I’d be subjected to additional screening at the airport checkpoint, but allowed through. The correct last name would definitely be a plus. BTW, a 17-year old can put together any kind of ID to match one of the adult male names because 17-year olds don't usually carry ID. Or anything official, like a driver's license with picture--not every 17-yo drives. Also, you could use the "nickname" ruse if the 17-yo wanted to carry his own ID. My name is Thomas, but my friends/family call me Alex after my Grandpa. The adult then can buy a ticket on an earlier/later flight under his/her correct name.

Posted by: Darrell at September 27, 2006 08:33 PM

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