For years now, we've put up with absolutely ridiculous security theater in airports around the globe, and while almost everyone who flies knows it's a joke, you never seem to hear anyone who actually works in the airliner business point this out. However, the head of British Airways apparently is now pointing out how ridiculous these security measures are
, most of which are driven by US demands (even though the US doesn't always follow the demands it makes on foreign airport security within the US). He's hoping that foreign airports will start pushing back on these demands:
There was no need to "kowtow to the Americans every time they wanted something done", said Broughton. "America does not do internally a lot of the things they demand that we do. We shouldn't stand for that. We should say 'we'll only do things which we consider to be essential and that you Americans also consider essential'."
The remarks, reported in the Financial Times, were not disputed by BA. No one wanted weak security, Broughton said, but added: "We all know there's quite a number of elements in the security programme which are completely redundant and they should be sorted out."
These included the requirement to remove footwear, brought in after British "shoe bomber" Richard Reid hid explosives in his trainers on a flight from Paris to Miami in December 2001, and differing approaches to checking laptops and other equipment.
"Take the iPad, they still haven't decided if it is a laptop or it isn't a laptop. So some airports think you should take it out and some think you shouldn't," Broughton said.
It would be nice if others started speaking up as well, and maybe we can actually move away from such wasteful security theater.