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Airport Searches Not Firmly Grounded

June 21, 2002

The process of security at our nation's airports is a joke and an outrage. The random selection and search of individuals prior to boarding a plane is making fools out of those who make the rules. On a recent trip from L.A. to Dallas and back I was appalled that two young Boy Scouts were being searched at the gate while I walked onto the plane with a glass bottle of iced tea. The bottle was in the same hand as my boarding pass and ID as I was checked out for the third time for that flight.

Don't get me wrong. The checking of IDs before boarding is a good idea. It should help get the right people to the right places, but even that program works only fair at best. Not long ago I was en route from St. Louis to L.A. via Denver. While the plane was getting ready for takeoff in Denver, the passenger sitting next to me realized that he was on the wrong plane. He was ticketed to be on a plane to Orlando, not L.A.

It's a waste to have the people who do the random searches at the gate employed at my and other travelers' expense.

Rick Silva

Hanford, Calif.

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