A Passenger's Concern: How Safe Are Airport Security Measures?

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A Passenger's Concern: How Safe Are Airport Security Measures?

Air travel is a fast and convenient way to reach a destination. Even if many passengers may complain of missed flights, delays during the holidays, and the number of carry-ons they are allowed to bring onto the plane, air travel is an important part of quick transportation.

One essential part of the airport system is security. Today, security is a major priority that airports must administer strictly. Due to the recent terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, airports along with airlines want their customers to feel safe.

An interest in airport security took me to the Tallahassee Regional Airport. Except for the holiday rush, the facility is not a busy place. I arrive there on a Saturday afternoon about one week after the terrorist attacks. Housed in a large rectangular building, there is not a lot of activity taking place outside of the airport. One or two people meander out of the airport walking towards the parking lot and yellow taxi cabs line one side of the building. No curbside parking is allowed and there are police officers posted in front of the building to make sure that travelers abide by this rule.

I enter the airport and seat myself in front of the ticket counters. I expect the employees to be thorough while asking the usual security questions. Has your luggage been in your possession at all times? Has anyone given you anything or asked you to carry on or check any items for them? These are very important questions to ask, because a tactic used by terrorists is to hide a bomb inside an unsuspecting person's luggage. Another tactic is to give something, maybe a toy or stuffed animal to someone who is about to board a plane. That innocent-seeming object may actually be a bomb or some other harmful device (How Airport Security Works, 1-2).

With police officers roaming throughout the airport I do not want to look conspicuous. I try to resemble others who are patiently waiting for friends or family. I theorize that if people know you are observing them they put on a façade. By not involving myself, I am capable of watching the passengers interact with the security measures without altering their routine with my presence.

As I sit in the uncomfortable chairs, I notice that there are not many passengers checking in. The ticket counters have only one or two people working.

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