Even before 9/11 they decided that only ticketed passengers could go to the gate. After 9/11 came the no fly lists, the larceny of nail files and knitting needles, the de-shoeing and the rules about liquids that I still can't understand except for the assertion that ultra-fundie nitwits can apparently mix dynamite from toothpaste, root beer and cologne.
In the end, all of this hullabaloo scares the shit out of me.
Mind you, I'm not scared that terrorists might try to hijack or blow up my plane. Those possibilities don't bother me in the slightest. What bothers me is that, if my plane is hijacked or blown up, it will be because the TSA and the rest of the Department of Homeland Paranoia have their heads completely up their collective asses.
Why do I say this? Because they banned razor blades and nail files only after 9/11, because they started checking shoes only after that Seattle stoner lookalike tried to set his loafers on fire and because they started regulating liquids only after the Brits discovered a plot to make boom-boom goop in airplane toilets. That last plot, incidentally, Turned Out to be as Full of Shit as the septic reservoirs of the planes that I now have to run an obstacle course, give a blood sample and sing Hail to the Chief to be allowed to board.
I will only even begin to feel safe when the TSA and similar agencies can begin to think ahead of the terrorists. Then, and only then, will they have even begun to justify their own existence, let alone all of the headache they have caused air travelers over the last seven years.
Until that happens, harken CEO's of floundering airlines, I'm taking the fucking train.