Of course airport security is a very bad joke. Just last week my husband and I went to EWR to escort two of our grandchildren to a plane heading to California. They were unaccompanied minors (airline parlance for traveling without adult supervision) so we were to bring them to the gate. This meant we, too, would undergo security checks. My husband was unaware that he would be going to the gate so he had brought some work with him, including a heavy and sharp T square. It could easily have been used as a weapon. He put it in the little basket to be exrayed and it just zipped right through. No comments. No questions. Nothing like the big deal made when an infant is brought through security with a baby bottle filled with formula or breast milk. Those are real hazards! Not to mention 90 year olds who are forced to climb out of their wheelchairs.
So what about IST yesterday? I’ve been to that airport numerous times. I’ve even told my friends that it’s a destination airport. It has the most wonderful lounge which we are lucky enough to be qualified to enter and we’ve been known to choose flights that give us enough layover time to do just that. And the terminal itself is a true world unto itself. Every race. Every costume. Everyone flung together. A polyglot of language and customs. It’s simply fabulous and, in its frenzy, exciting, informative and hugely entertaining.
I’ve also regarded it as very safe. When entering from the city, as opposed to a transit passenger, every person is subject to a security check. No one can enter the terminal whatsoever without a pretty comprehensive looking check of belongings and person. Not just when you check in for your flight. For whatever the reason you are entering IST you will undergo security immediately. Not the case in Brussels, or Newark, or the overwhelming majority of airports throughout the world.
So how did these monsters get to commit their horrible crime? Of course I don’t know but I’ve pondered a bit since I’ve seen the turf and I’d imagine that they’d want to be creative and bypass the security. My theory is that perhaps they flew into IST. That they came on a flight from a country that had casual security (sort of like Newark NJ? or Egypt?) and were, de facto, already in the terminal when they set about to murder innocents. Is this possible? I think yes.
And for an airport the size of IST, with so many many flights per day, who could possibly swear that none of the incoming passengers had a weapon. No one.
My daughter was in Brussels Airport the day of the recent terrorist attack there. That proved yet again that airport security is basically an oxymoron.
And what can we do? Stop living our lives? Stop flying? And who says other modes of transport are not vulnerable? My personal answer is that I will continue to take my chances. My life is finite and the world is infinite. I want to see as much of it as I can when I can. The odds are always with me!
And may these latest victims rest in peace.