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Passenger Interviews Part of New Security for US-Bound Flights

A number of airlines operating to the US have indicated they will be implementing new security measures this week for US-bound flights. ( 更多...

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The Israelis have been doing this for decades. It may have stopped the shoe-bomber or the underwear bomber in Detroit. We have to be accurate 100% of the time. Even if one got through it could have a devastating impact on this essential global industry. Every new tactic we develop must be employed as soon as possible.
The Israelis are very good at this, in my case the interview was done by two extremely polite young persons while we were waiting in line for the security check. I'm quite sure that we were observed by specialists for body language during the interview with the help of the many security cameras around. Let's just hope that the airlines trying to set up the new system can find competent staff without the wannabe sheriff attitude that is all too common in security checkpoints now.
matt jensen 11
That's the big difference btwn experts (Israel) and wannabes (USA). The Israeli's treat each pax with respect.
WavemanT 3
True. I've flown to and from Israel several times. The questions are intended to solicit involuntary physiologic responses to statements such as "It's important to know if you have a bomb with you" or something similar. So they scrutinize what you say less than how you say it. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that they also have ways of monitoring heart rate and respiration remotely, in addition to cameras that evaluate facial expressions. Of course, Israel has only one international airport. Implementing a system like theirs in the U.S. would be challenging and expensive, but just training personnel how to detect untruthful responses could help.
A company in Montreal is now manufacturing and installing the next generation of baggage and human screening. It is so sophisticated it will highlight the components of a dismantled hand gun or a small vial of liquid explosive. This systems is operational at Montreal and Toronto. It will be installed nationwide.
When you arrive at Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv you will not be fully aware of the finest security system in the world. You cross between levels of security whether you are arriving or leaving. Security has eyes on you as you approach the airport. And of course they stay with you until you leave. All flights to and from Israel must have 2 undercover security agents who are armed and will immediately neutralize any potential threat upon verification.
It wouldn't have stopped Abdulmutallab. The flight he was on was a KLM flight, not a NWA flight at the time. He would have been cleared through KLM, which is Dutch, and continued on to Detroit via NWA, via codeshare. no further check in would have been needed, as he was in transit via that codeshare.
If I understand the text correctly all airlines regardless of their country of origin have to conduct such an interview for any flight to the USA.

It says: “The security measures affect all individuals—international passengers and US citizens—traveling to the United States from a last point of departure international location.”
So in Abdulmutallab's case, his last point of departure would have been EHAM: Amsterdam Schiphol. As he was already in transit, what would they do? remove him from the secure area, question him again, and make him pass through security a second time? To do that, he'd have to enter the Netherlands, which he didn't have a visa to do.

Keep in mind that he already had made it through to the secure area from Ghana to board the KLM flight, and onus would have been on KLM, let alone the dutch authorities, to take care of the screening process, let alone the Ghanians.

For this to truly work, it would have to be from the first point of origination, as anyone already in transit would already be in the cleared secured area.
Apparently that's the plan, interview before the last leg before coming to the USA.
Ugh.. and if they keep them for longer than their scheduled flight and find nothing wrong, who is responsible for them making it to the next flight? It wouldn't be because of the passenger that they are detained, and not every airport has a hotel in the in-transit area for them to stay. They would have to enter the country to have anywhere that they could stay until their next flight; enter a country they do not have a visa for to be in. And we know that the US Government isn't going to cover that cost.

And who is going to conduct the interview? This would basically require someone from the US government to be at every airport that has a connecting flight into the US ADIZ.

talk about a huge cost being passed onto the taxpayer without any input from the taxpayer.
Yes, there are lots of questions in this matter. It's easy to decide on the principle, but the implementation is far more complicated. If I understand the text correctly, it's up to the airlines to do the interview, but there must be some kind of overview by US authorities in order to make any sense at all.

Of course there are already quite a few airports where passengers on flights to the US are pre-cleared, so it would be easier to implement there.
Excellent point, we have to fill the gaps the nuts will use.
tuba 6
About 20 pax (including me) were randomly pulled out for semi-private interviews before a LHR-EWR trip in September... seemed at the time that they might be testing feasibility. They moved at a brisk-but-pleasant pace, but it's hard to imagine the entire plane being screened this way. Also hard to distinguish this process from the usual UK/Euro verbal screening in the check-in queue, where a third party agent quickly but firmly chats you up... in both cases, the questions are routine "softballs", not enhanced. I imagine that, a la the Israelis, they're looking for subtle "tells". Or furious sweating.
Ron Stack 1
I had the same experience before an ORY-JFK flight in October. The questions were the same as always although the swab included the inside of my backpack along with my hands, clothes, etc. I agree that it looked like a dry run for plane-wide screening.
I have gone from a dozen airline trips a year and driving 10,000 miles to maybe 2 airline trips and now driving 35,000 miles a year. Every time it becomes more difficult to use the airlines I use them less. Zero airline legs will be okay with me and if it is impossible to get there without flying then I don't need to go there at all. There does come a limit to how much abuse customers will tolerate from the airlines and the airports.
strickerje 5
I just bought my Amtrak tickets for my summer vacation next year. Sure it takes longer, but for about the cost of domestic first class, we get a sleeping car and meals along the way. Depending on how it goes, this might be my preferred mode of travel from now on.

As a private pilot and aviation enthusiast, though, it saddens me that flying commercially has gotten this way.
LOL during my latest air venture a couple weeks ago, I chuckled at remembering that check-in staff used to ask "did anyone ask you to carry something in your bag?" Just when I thought logic had prevailed, we are back to interviews by staff who likely think the questions are just as ludicrous as PAX.

Still can't explain to my daughter who asked years ago, "dad, we take off our shoes because of the shoe bomber, right? What about the underwear bomber?"

On liquids, my other daughter observed, "why wouldn't bad guys just all bring a bunch of 3 ounce bottle on the plane and pour them into a big container."

Middle-schoolers are smarter than we are.
pagheca 2
it's interesting to compare the effort and cost put to stop potential air terrorist, respect to the total lack of interest for the legal weapon market in the US: 0 for air terrorism with current policy, vs. 300,000+ in the last 10 year respectively.

Cognitive bias at its best.
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MrTommy 1
Oh no, not politically incorrect racial profiling! Just because it works and the Israelis have been doing this all along and weeding out potential threats doesn't mean WE should have this done. What if we hurt someone's feelings?
pagheca 0
You are right! I consider very dangerous to have a white US citizen sitting on my airplane, given the love for weapons they demonstrate and the number of mass shooting happening in that country, almost every day!

Hope they will apply racial profiling to US citizen visiting Europe or the rest of the world. They are *statistically* very dangerous and unpredictable.
MrTommy 1
You're safe paqheca. We can't bring our weapons on board planes. I think we ARE now allowed to bring paper clips though. The horror . . . . .
pagheca 2
Ho, that's great! You are not allowed as well as the other "races", aka the bad ones, I guess... So, what's the aim of racial profiling?
MrTommy 0
The "aim" of profiling is to prevent air disasters and 911 type events. Shaking down 98 year old grandmothers in the name of 'safety' is ludicrous. Granny has to undergo this crap so we don't hurt the feelings of a burka wearing Muslim who will NOT be checked. How does THAT make sense?
For the same reason why we shake down 20 something year old white people so the Middle Eastern, SE Asian, and AAPI Americans do have their feelings hurt.

Your comment here is exactly why we have this issue to begin with. You're all being reactive to a problem and protectionist, when playing that card never wins. Each time you do, the terrorists win.
pagheca 3
Again, I fully agree with you! Unfortunately, Tommy, removing burkas and any other garment hiding the identity of a PAX has nothing to do with racial profiling.
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