Posts Tagged ‘Airport Security’

Observations at a Heartland Airport

October 8, 2007

Observations at a Heartland Airport

I recently arrived early at a ‘Heartland of America’ airport, breezed through screening, and took a seat in the proper waiting area. Feeling bored and still two hours until boarding I walked back to the security area and found a window to watch Skybus airlines, whose motto is ‘Only birds fly cheaper’ taxi in, unload, reload, and depart again in the space of half and hour. A truly amazing feat to watch a fresh crew of passengers, pilots, and stewards replace the departing group. Food and fuel trucks pulled up and refilled the plane like clockwork.

I also kept my eye on the passengers passing through screening. I didn’t really keep any numbers but I would say that 95% of the people that tripped the metal detectors or who were chosen for additional scrutiny were middle aged and older women. In some instances it was obvious what had tripped the metal detector. The woman with three bangles hanging from each wrist for instance. They were all patted down and went on their way smiling, not one sign of irritation did I detect.

Eventually, my radar went off. “Here we go,” I said to my wife so that she could nonchalantly observe too. If you made a composite blended picture of the 9/11 hijackers, this male, flying alone, fit the picture exactly. The metal detector signaled warning and he was directed forward for further inspection. The hand detectors were passed over him and he was then patted down. He then went back to retrieve his shoes and other articles where he was engaged in conversation with a screener for quite a few more minutes. I think it is safe to assume that the conversation was in English and he understood what was being said and had no difficulty in replying.
Having observed a hajib wearing young lady working in the coffee shop directly to my right, I was curious if any eye contact would be made between them as he passed her on his way to his gate. He seemed to intentionally focus straight ahead, although she noticed him and her head moved as she followed his movement.

Since the time was now approaching for our flight, we followed him to the boarding gate area where he sat down. His flight to La Guardia Airport in New York was to leave twenty minutes prior to ours and boarding was just beginning. All of the different special classes and clubs of passengers were called and then the different areas of the plane were called for boarding. But he remained seated. The line disappeared. Finally, the stewardesses on board the plane had to phone back to the boarding area about the empty seat on the plane, thereby delaying departure. The speaker in the concourse loudly announced, “Mohammad [REDACTED] please proceed to boarding gate 28.” At the announcement of his name, a smug smile crossed his face and he quickly got up from his seat and boarded the plane.

I assume that the sole purpose of his waiting out the boarding process, based on his prior easy conversation with TSA screeners, was to force the airline to announce his islamic name throughout the airport. As far as being unable to pass the metal detectors without tripping them, any dolt with half a brain can quickly  figure out when they dress in the morning what metal objects one is wearing that will be detected. So the purpose of his games? Classic attention getting behavior and an attempt to reinforce the “islamophobia” charge against non muslims?

A couple of games for him to play perhaps, but for those of us that will always remember September 11, 2001, we see you and are watching you, even without your pathetic little attention getting games. You did not ‘further the cause’ by your actions. Instead you reinforced the conviction that many hold that your religious beliefs are incompatible with Western civilization.