If there’s one thing I value more about flying than reviews, it’s safety. So far this year I’ve been pretty devastated by the news of Malaysian Airlines’ Flight 370 and Flight 17, Air Algérie’s Flight 5017 and TransAsia Flight 222, and while it really hurts, it does remind people to enjoy life as it lasts.
Malaysia Airlines #staystrong Tweet post-MH17
If there’s something that makes me more heartbroken than these accidents, they are attacks. The September 11 attacks back in my birth year were pretty damn horrible, but it hurts me more to think that if it weren’t for the Al-Qaeda, these people would actually have a safe chance of surviving. Now, I’m not a politician and have no right to say that the Al-Qaeda had no reason at all to do that, but after all, life is an amazing opportunity God gives you, and if there’s something worse than taking your own, it’s taking someone else’s without them wanting to.
Newark Liberty Airport Gate A17 Flag (Memorial of UA93 9/11 attacks)
Which leads me to Al-Qaeda’s possible Christmas attacks on five flights to Europe. Putting all the hate aside (which I can not describe), I’m really scared, as this could bring a massive destructive blow to many families and people (let’s put this alongside the fact that many people will die, which is an intolerance in and of itself).
Which further brings us to the counterattack solutions. Via the National Public Radio:
In response, counterterrorism officials on both sides of the Atlantic have been discussing how to prevent the attacks. One remedy under consideration is to ban all carry-on baggage, though there is some question as to whether airlines would push back against such a draconian provision.
Another possible remedy: banning electronic devices from the passenger cabin. Officials are discussing whether to require that electronics such as cellphones, iPads and computers be placed in the cargo hold with checked baggage, which goes through a much more rigorous screening process. Detecting a bomb, if there is one, would be more likely.
U.S. officials have been warning for some time about what they call the “next-generation explosives” developed by al-Qaida. Last year, the head of the Transportation Safety Administration, John Pistole, described an explosive that looked like toothpaste or bathroom caulk but could be used to bring down a commercial aircraft.
The possibility of getting something like that aboard a flight is more likely now, officials say, because of the literally thousands of people with European passports who have joined forces with Islamist extremists in Syria who might be persuaded to be part of a terrorist attack.
In a sentence, the counterterrorism officials are considering getting electronics completely off planes.
While I would definitely do this for safety, it does bring a blow to travel in and of itself.
So why are electronics that important?
1. Taking pictures
Since I wrote trip reports, it basically turned around my view on travel on its head. I always loved travel, but now I do observe the service, refrain from skipping the meals, and take pictures of the toilets, which is fun and I feel like I’m doing this for you guys, which I always feel good about. There’s a lot of fake stuff on the internet, and I believe that the pictures I take kind of “signify” that all my travel is actually real and first hand.
Dragonair Airbus A330-300 Business Class
2. Observing arrival flight information
Sometimes my delays don’t rest on arrival flight faults, but sometimes Google comes in handy for checking the progress of my arrival flight. For example, my flight back from Kaohsiung was delayed because of a late inbound, and my phone did help with tracking KA 436 as it flew (the delay was announced after we went airside).
3. Passing time during a non-wifi equipped flight without entertainment
Dragonair Airbus A330-300 (old) Economy Class
There are none of the above points that I wouldn’t give up for safety. However, thinking about counterterrorism officials trying to take away electronics from us during flying, it really doesn’t make sense, and actually can turn flying around on its head for some of us.
I hope they find a way to stop the Al-Qaeda from repeating the 9/11 attacks without taking away electronics, but as I said, I’m up for safety anytime.
Any thoughts/comments/things I missed?