With fall break upon us, many students will be flocking to nearby airports to spend a long weekend at home.
Unfortunately, this involves going through increasingly stringent security and dealing with Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Remove your shoes and jackets, don’t fly with a container filled with more than three ounces of liquid, put your laptop in its own bin to get scanned … you know the drill.
But do TSA’s policies actually work? Travelers aren’t allowed to carry containers filled with more than three ounces of liquid, but there are no limits on how many containers a person can have. Hypothetically, dangerous substances could be mixed right on the plane.
Everybody has to remove their shoes to be screened for explosives, but America is the only country where this security measure is taken.
Also, all passengers with one-way tickets are subject to extra security, as it is assumed that a suicide bomber would not be making a return trip. However, all passengers flying standby have one-way tickets. Is it necessary to put them under scrutiny?
Recently, the government changed the pat-down policy for young children in an attempt to reduce the instances in which such procedures are necessary. Airport workers are now told to make every effort to screen children without using invasive methods. In recent months, several videos have surfaced of children being patted down, which caused public outrage.
Children may be unlikely terrorists, but terrorists have used children as young as 10 years old as suicide bombers, according to a report released by MSNBC. Explosives can be hidden in the unlikeliest of places, like toys or underwear, and it could be a fatal mistake to make children exempt from security procedures.
That being said, pat-downs and bag checks aren’t always effective. TSA’s policies may sound excessive, but they would only be so if they were carried out properly.
Airport workers are human and can get lazy about thoroughly checking someone in security. On the other hand, bags are checked when it’s not necessary and random searches are carried out solely based on racial profiling.
Overall, TSA should be more efficient with their security. Some security is better than none at all, but so many of these measures cause stress fortravelers without actually getting anything accomplished.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.