UK air passengers feel safer
Security theatre reassures
The first major survey into passenger feelings since the alleged "liquid bomb" plotters were arrested reveals the famous stiff upper lip is alive and well among UK air passengers.
Some 5,700 passengers were surveyed before and after the publicising of August's alleged liquid bomb plot. Despite the changes in security procedures - no more hand luggage or liquids - only two per cent of people complained about feeling more inconvenienced and two per cent believe the UK was safer as a result.
Exactly half the people asked had been stopped for extra security checks.
Nine out of ten respondents found the security process reassuring, although a third did say they were a significant inconvenience.
The release ends with an amazingly optimistic quote from the boss of Steria - the security supplier which paid for the research. Chief executive John Torrie said: "The air industry needs to start planning ahead and work out how to make check-in as painless as possible. New technology will play an essential part in this process, with biometrics able to establish identity and background accurately and quickly, thus eliminating security risks."
All this on the same day a passenger in the US was detained for presenting a clear plastic carrier bag for search which bore the message: "Kip Lawley is an idiot". Security staff recognised the name of the boss of Transport Security Administration and were not amused.
When the passenger asked if his actions were covered by the First Amendment, he was told: "Out there (pointing past the id checkers), not while in here (pointing down) was his response."
After 25 minutes the passenger was released - after the offending plastic bag had its photograph taken. There are lengthy and hilarious details on this frequent flyer forum here.
Still not as bad as the poor Goth fined £80 for swearing at a metal detector.®