Steven Levitt writes about terrorism and flying in his blog today. Here is an excerpt:
The executives at American Airlines must be crazy. I heard a rumor — and I believe it is true — that they have made the decision to replace plastic knives with honest-to-God metal table knives in the first class cabin.
Are they crazy? Metal table knives were banned after 9-11 for good reason! Those things are dangerous. They could poke an eye out. There is no way the government, or whoever got rid of metal table knives after 9-11, would have banned them unless it was absolutely necessary to fight terrorism. This horrible decision to allow metal on the plane is simply an invitation to terrorists that they can come right on the plane unarmed, gather up these knives, and poke people at will. No honest citizen in his or her right mind would take the risk of flying on American in this new regime.
The next thing you know, TSA is going to allow me to fly with my 4.1 oz deodorant instead of throwing it in the garbage and rightly demanding that next time I limit myself to 3 oz. From what I hear, that extra 1.1 oz of deodorant is just the extra amount that terrorists need to turn deodorant into nuclear weapons from scratch on the plane. Apparently, though we have completely lost our will to fight terrorism in the sky.
(As an aside, I’m happy to say that my iPod listening during takeoff and landing continues not to cause the plane to crash.