What we’re reading: January snow means sales, security improvements mean more oversight, jetBlue flight delayed after threat

by Stephanus Surjaputra on December 30, 2009

jblue

January’s snows mean sales

If your holiday vacation time is flexible, people say that January is the best time to go on your winter break.

January may be the best time of year to take a vacation, as passenger traffic drops and resorts, airlines and cruise companies all roll out deals. Yet the start of the year is often overlooked when it comes to vacation planning: families return to school schedules and New Year’s reveling is traded for resolutions of eating in, working out and spending less.

But a lot of travelers are missing out. It’s a great time to travel, [President of SureCruise.com Evan] Eggers said, “since you’re escaping the cold and getting a killer deal.”


Many airport security improvements would require more intrusion, oversight

In order to implement improvements in aviation security, security specialists say that the changes necessary would require “greater tolerance of intrusions and far more effective government oversight.”

Passengers probably would have to become accustomed to the feeling that authorities know a lot more about them, their families and their associates, and that they are being looked at by machines in intimate ways that once were unthinkable.

JetBlue flight in DomRep delayed after threat

An anonymous bomb threat delayed a jetBlue flight from the Dominican Republic for Puerto Rico.

Airline spokeswoman Jenny Dervin says the Tuesday morning flight to San Juan was delayed by 40 minutes. She said she did not know whether the caller had singled out a specific airline or flight at Las Americas Airport in Santo Domingo.

Dominican officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It is unclear if the caller was identified or anyone arrested.

(Photo: Drewski2112/Flickr Creative Commons)

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  • Hapgood

    Yes, more effective security would indeed require significantly more intrusion. That might actually be acceptable to most Americans if there were strong safeguards, along with strong oversight and sufficient transparency and accountability to assure us that procedures were being followed properly, the safeguards were working properly, and the intrusion actually got us effective protection against threats.

    The current situation is that the TSA wants to ratchet up the intrusion to whatever they decide is appropriate, but without any of the safeguards, oversight, accountability, or transparency. They seem to believe that unlimited authority to do whatever they want, in complete secrecy, is the necessary prerequisite for security. But the reality is that the secrecy and lack of oversight can only undermine their effectiveness, since it inevitably creates an environment that encourages waste, abuse, incompetence, and ineffectiveness. That’s why every other government agency is subject to “open government” laws.

    Until the TSA is brought under the same oversight and accountability as other government agencies, we will have every reason to doubt their effectiveness. And we should refuse to surrender any more privacy, liberty, and dignity to them until they have earned enough credibility to be sure that the sacrifice is actually making us safer rather than merely more hassled.

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