Is airport security a waste of time? Ten Gadling readers’ shocking answers

The other day on the Gadling Facebook page, we asked what some might consider a loaded question:

“Do you think airport security is important or a waste of time? Why?”

We got a variety of responses both in the pro and con camps, and plenty of rants about how foolish airport security has perhaps become. Here are the top ten comments — a great litmus test of how airport security and the TSA is perceived by regular travelers.

1. “Huge waste of time. I think a lot of pilots agree on this. Bottom line: ineffective measures that have morphed into mindless procedures performed by (mostly) moronic TSA agents that yield no increased security and impact travel time. Even more, recently airlines issued statements that security regulations for flying into the US are expensive and unnecessary.” — Raul

2. “Have flown twice to Asia in the last few months … inconsistencies galore … have a friend that always carries this tiny box cutter in her purse … she forgot about it and now realized she has flown several times with it not being discovered … but they have taken her bottled water that she purchased in the airport.” — Kathleen3. “What Raul said. I was just at LAS flying back to NY and I forgot to take my liquids out. They didn’t even mention it and let me go right through. Also, plenty of plastic (non-metal detecting items) can be used as tools or weapons. Pathetic. Israel’s method of profiling is much more efficient.” … Pilots shouldn’t have to go through the security the rest of us do — if they are compromised they can take the damn plane down! They don’t need explosives or anything else to do that.” — Alyson

4. “Different airports have different requirements or strictures. If it’s not allowed at one airport, it shouldn’t be allowed at ANY of them.” … “Airlines don’t like security when it impacts their bottom line, but they’ll be the first to admit that having a plane go down due to an unchecked bomb hurts their bottom line even more.” — Jennifer

5. “It is important but they need to seriously streamline it and take a page out of the European countries airport security systems.” — Lori

6. “After a pat down I always have to ask ‘Should I tip you?‘” — Rob

7. “It’s called security theatre.” — George

8. “Honestly, I think the whole thing is designed to keep the sheeple calm because there really is nothing ‘they’ can do to keep us safe. If terrorists want to take down a plane or use it to take down buildings (again? puh-lease, that is so 2001, the terrorists are up to bigger and better things) they will. with these ridiculous so called security measures, the terrorists have won — we have changed our way of life because of them.” — Alyson (again)

9. “I’ve never worked out why 75 year old ladies need to take their shoes off when they’re only flying internally within the UK. The issue is not whether security is important, it’s whether security checks are valid and efficacious. I don’t believe they are. We should be profiling, rather than searching laptops and shoes. The terrorists will always move on. They must be clutching at straws if they’re putting 300mg of HE into toner cartridges on cargo planes; or perhaps the ‘terrorist’ was simply a nut-case.” — Stewart

10. “Security is important. It needs to be beefed up, tho. I was a flight attendant for 42 years with 2 airlines. I remember when we didn’t need it. Now, we need it.” — Vicki

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[Photo by redjar via Flickr.]