Anyone using the airlines for Thanksgiving weekend return travel today ... good luck! And a few bits of airline-security lore for your guidance and amusement.
1) Turkey-day scenes from Turkey. This from a reader who says that he is generally tolerant of American TSA procedures:
I [am] someone who sort-of likes the whole security theater thing, but Turkey took security theater a step too far for me. I've attached a photo at ASR (Kayseri), looking from the check-in area to the outside. In order to get to check in, everyone has to go through a first layer of security, including checked bags. Of course, we have to go through security again to get to the gate. This added layer of security also occurred at Istanbul, so I assume it's a country-wide effort to ensure that if a crazy person shoots people in line, those people are waiting to get into the airport and not at in line at the check-in counter or at the interior security line.
That's the scene for getting into the airport. In many big cities in China, you have to walk through a line of police or soldiers who give a cursory glance at what you're bringing into the terminal and sometimes ask people to open their bags. But I've never seen this kind of security-line before the "real" security line. Logically, there's no reason why the U.S. shouldn't ultimately apply the same approach, since (as Jeffrey Goldberg has pointed out many times) the easiest way to do great damage to the air-travel system would be to mount an attack on people jammed up in lines inside the terminal. The logic, of course, is the screening-line premise that every traveler should be considered a potential terrorist. The TSA Administrator, John Pistole, says he wants to move away from that premise -- and we'll get into all the ramifications thereof, plus the increasing intolerability of air travel (for instance as addressed by Ta-Nehisi Coates), anon.