The airplane flights that do the grunt work of your trip, that allow you to get from place to place, are a sort of forgettable magic that, if you are like me, you do not record in your diary or photograph.
So what exactly can you get away with? A quick run-through through the TSA's Prohibited Items list hints at a surprising irony: Much of what is removed from carry-ons is perfectly legal if declared and packed in luggage that is checked and stowed.
Maybe instead of a foolish process of elimination, which still leaves a small but not insignificant risk, the government should reverse its approach. Instead of thinking of air travelers as guilty of terrorism until proven innocent, why not think of us as innocent until proven guilty?
TSA Administrator John Pistole was busy making the rounds during Thanksgiving week, trying to assure holiday air travelers that their screening experience would be better than last year. Which it was, thankfully.
I can't help noticing that a lot of the furor over airport pat-down policies has come from the crazy right. The same people will be the first to loudly denounce the Obama administration for any breach in airport security.
Our freedom to pray in the public square comes with parallel obligations: we must communicate with others so they can understand and we must understand how our obligations should change so we can co-exist with others.
The case of Alaskan Airlines 241 reminds us that while tefillin are not a security threat, ignorance is. It's troubling when airline personnel have no idea how to distinguish between a genuine threat and an unusual practice.
The TSA's website hosts a fellow nicknamed "Blogger Bob" who's responsible for debunking perceived myths about airport security. Sometimes Bob is right. Other times the TSA doesn't help itself by appearing to muddy the truth further.
In the wake of complaints about tighter airport security measures, the TSA has announced that the cast of TV's hit show Glee will be randomly administering pat-downs to airline travelers who opt out of using full-body scanners.