Fear of Flying: Terrorism

Another popular fear when it comes to flying, is the threat of terrorism. Of course, terrorists have been around for years, and have used aircraft previously. However, the most notable terrorist attack involving planes was 9/11.

The reality of this happening in front of the eyes of millions worldwide has seen a whole new type of fear. Truth is, the airline industry has changed dramatically since that fateful day. As changes were swiftly made the overall opinion was that it was the end of the aviation as we know it.   

What is important, is contrary to popular predictions, it was never going to be the end of the aviation industry. In fact, many airlines thrived in the aftermath. BUT, airline security changed – and it needed to.

Pilots now sit behind bullet-proof cockpit doors. They are locked from the inside, and can not be penetrated in any way.

When the flight attendants are feeding the pilots (we can’t let them go without food and drink!), one attendant must guard the door while another is let in. To many passengers this still poses a threat, as the door is open. But;

  1. There is a camera in the flight deck, and if there is anyone close to or advancing towards that door the pilots will not unlock it.
  2. The door is open for seconds – and is locked again as soon as the flight attendant has entered.
  3. Before exiting the flight deck, the camera is checked before it is deemed safe to open the door.

There is no possible way for anyone other than a flight attendant or pilot to enter that cockpit whilst airborne.

Leading on from this – don’t bother asking if you can go and visit the flight deck at 39,000 feet! Yes, some passengers still ask. The answer is always a polite ‘no, I’m afraid not’ (with a possible small shake of the head as I walk away)! It doesn’t matter if little Johny wants to be a pilot and would like to have a look – it just isn’t gonna happen.

Before you get on the aircraft, security at airports has also been improved dramatically. It now takes longer, and is more stressful, to get through security. It’s not being done to annoy you, or hold you up. It takes longer for a reason….

Police presence has increased at airports worldwide. Not all are in uniform, so if you can’t see any I’ll bet my savings on the fact that they can see you.

If flying in the US you are likely to be joined by a ‘Sky Marshall’ or ‘Air Marshall’. They travel on many flights in plain clothes – so you will not know they are there.

Airline security is now at least ten times safer than it was prior to 9/11. It’s just a shame that it took such a despicable terrorist attack to get to this level.

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2 responses to “Fear of Flying: Terrorism”

  1. I’d love to believe that Airline security is 10 times safer than before but then how did the Christmas bomber get onto the plane? The last time I was in an airport I was thinking about how easy it must be for airport security to get complacent about their jobs. It’s very tedious work and most will never come into contact with a terrorist in their whole careers. It must get hard to do after awhile

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