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Expect More Security Measures in Wake of Incident on Northwest Flight

December 25, 2009 | Posted in: News,Northwest

According to CNN, the White House is calling an incident aboard a Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit today, an “attempted terrorist attack”.

The suspect was quickly subdued after he ignited what was believed to have been a small explosive device as the plane prepared to land in Detroit. Details are still sketchy, but the plane landed safely and the suspect is in custody. The Detroit Free Press quoted a man aboard this flight as saying people ran out of their seats to tackle the suspect — and he added, the way his fellow passengers responded “made me proud to be an American.”

What this means for air travelers: The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement saying that passengers “may notice additional screening measures put into place to ensure the safety of the traveling public on domestic and international flights.”

In other words, give yourself extra time: extra time to get to the airport, and extra time to go through security.

5 Responses to “Expect More Security Measures in Wake of Incident on Northwest Flight”

  1. David Z says:

    Just read the article you linked here. It’s a Christmas miracle (so to speak) the bomb didn’t go off.

    All the more reason to savor the holiday and spend it with loved ones.

  2. Rick Seaney says:

    You may be right, David; and I hope you and all my readers are savoring the holidays. Thanks for writing.

  3. Rocky says:


    I generally respect your work (and your responsiveness to readers), but please don’t call these changes security measures. They are, at best, “security” measures — designed to convince people that additional hassle and inconvenience = security.

    The proposed measures would do little if anything to prevent such an attack. Oh, can’t do anything in the last 60 minutes? Just do it 75 minutes out.

    It was the fact that nearby passengers jumped out of their seats that prevented this from becoming a bigger event.

  4. Stuart says:

    Based on some of the things I have seen in the newspapers, the government is over-reacting. In most US airports, we have to take our shoes off and put them through a scanner, while we have never had to do that in a UK or other European airport. We just came back from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and they hand seach all of the checked luggage. They spend about 30 seconds or less lifting up your dirty clothes and then close the suitcase. What a laugh! They are in the process of installing scanners, so maybe it will get better. We were in line to check in 2 hours and 10 minutes before our scheduled flight time; and if it wasn’t for someone pulling our flight passengers out of the main line to process them through security, we would have missed our flight. Unfortunately, there should be the same requirements everywhere, but that will never happen.

  5. Rick Seaney says:

    Rocky, Stuart,

    I understand your concerns; and you’re right, Rocky, that in this instance the passengers did save the day (a fact also noted by DHS Sec. Janet Napolitano on the TSA Blog and elsewhere, who called them “heroic” http://www.tsa.gov/blog/2009/12/dhs-statement-on-northwest-airlines.html ).

    But she also stressed new screening measures, and added “These measures are designed to be unpredictable, so passengers should not expect to see the same thing everywhere.”

    I say, let’s give it a chance. If these measures prevent another such incident, and I realize that’s a big “if” at this point, what’s a little inconvenience?

    Thanks for writing,

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