My instinct is to agree with Matt when he suggests that post-9/11, "airplanes have become relatively unattractive targets for terrorists," which means that "endlessly piling on more and more security measures to air travel is pointless." That said, there seems to be a persuasive argument (via Reihan, a few months back) for implementing different security measures than the ones we have now, focused less on passengers at the metal detectors and more on the planes sitting unguarded on the tarmac.
It's also worth noting that while one would assume that terrorists recognize that it's now easier, as Matt writes, to "blow up a train or a bus, open fire on a crowded subway station, try to hijack a truck carrying deadly chemicals, or do any number of additional things" than to muck around with airports and hijackings, it isn't entirely clear that they do recognize this. The lure of the airline attack (and the spectacular attack in general) seems to persist even in a climate where attacks on lower value targets would be far easier to pull off, and arguably just as damaging. From Richard Reid to the the British bomb plot to the idiots who wanted to attack JFK to the car bomb at the Glasgow airport, a disproportionate percentage of post-9/11 plots have involved planes and airports, even though trains, buses, shopping malls and other low-security targets would seem like more logical places to wreak havoc. Why this is I'm not sure - force of habit? a desire to disrupt global transportation? the symbolic appeal of striking at one of Western modernity's more visible technological achievements? - but it's something to keep in mind when you're suffering through the agonies of airport security.
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