Just last week the Department of Transportation seemed to deliver a huge Christmas gift. They ruled that, among other things, airlines can no longer keep us waiting on tarmacs for more than three hours with no food, water or bathroom access.
This was a long time coming for many of us who had spent the equivalent of a Shark Week marathon stuck on a runway -- or just those of us who thought we could somehow go our entire lives without enjoying this wonderful experience. But our terrorist friend, besides burning off his privates, has pushed the pendulum back in the other direction. The TSA is already responding in a manner that we've sadly become all too used to since 9/11. Instead of finding better ways to keep bombs and bombers off airplanes, they have reacted by not even applying a band aid to a wound, but by blindly trying to pin a tail on a donkey.
Because this guy chose the last hour to make his attempt at mass murder, instead of the 1st hour like the 9/11 hijackers, or the 5th hour or the 3.5th one, now we all have be locked in our seats like we're in A Clockwork Orange (all that is missing are the eyelid pins) for the last hour of a flight?
We need more rights, not less, when it comes to airline travel. We need solutions, not random reactions. And more than ever, we need a Passenger's Bill of Rights passed, a measure with support across the spectrum political, from Senator Barbara Boxer to Senator Olympia Snowe to Senator John Thune.
Remember what Ben Franklin said about giving up a "essential liberty" for a little safety meaning we are deserving of neither. Well, this is a test of whether we can get past the hysteria and live up to the standards of one of our greatest minds.
**I am a proud and passionate advisor to Flyers RIghts.