The other day I took a flight from San Diego to Los Angeles on a small commuter jet. It took about 30 minutes to check in and get through security and then another 20 minutes to file on, hand off our carry ons and get on the plane. The actual flight took 25 minutes and then we had to wait 20 minutes for a tram that took us through the backlot of LAX to get to the main terminal.
The whole experience was one of frustration that it took so long. The airport and flight staff did their jobs well, but the new procedures, especially through security, were tedious at best. The terminal I went through had the new full body scanners, so I had to take off my shoes, my belt, and empty all my pockets. I then had to stand in front of a wall and be x-rayed and searched like I was a criminal. It took three trays to get my laptop bag through the scanner. It was nuts, trying to juggle luggage, identification, and clothing items.
There must be a better way.
The way it is now, the terrorists have won. Flying has become so tedious and time consuming that it doesn’t make sense to fly on short commutes anymore. I could have driven from my house to LAX in the time it took to go through all the mess, not to mention the fees and time it took for long term parking.
So what is the answer?
How about pre-screening passengers and providing a security card and questions that quickly and easily identifies you to authorities.
How about coming up with a special carry-on that fits in the overhead bins without hassle and has security features that eliminate tampering. You want to fly faster, buy a special carry-on.
Have special commuter flights that allow pre-screened passengers to get on quickly and easily, with special overhead bins that make boarding much faster. Have two enter-exits to eliminate bottlenecks.
Redesign commuter terminals to get you off the plane and put you in a quick boarding hub in under 5 minutes.
Bottom line, getting on a commuter plane should be like getting on a commuter train. It should be on time, and hassle free. Certainly someone can come up with a better solution than the insane status quo!
Question: How would you improve airport security?