January 7th, 2010
04:00 PM ET

How safe do you feel when flying?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

So let's recap:

A man's father in Nigeria goes to the U.S. embassy warning that his son has "become radicalized," that he went to Yemen to be part of "some kind of jihad" and he's concerned his son might want to do us harm. This is called a clue.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/07/art.plane.window.jpg caption=""]
The man's son subsequently buys a ticket to the U.S., pays $3,000 cash... and has no luggage. These are more clues. But he's allowed to board a flight for Detroit and tries to blow it up.

The president now says U.S. intelligence officials had enough information to stop the suspect before he ever got on that plane... and that they knew that al Qaeda in Yemen wanted to attack the U.S. homeland; but once again they didn't connect the dots.

Also, turns out the top official in charge of analyzing terror threats - Michael Leiter - went on a ski vacation only two-days after the Christmas bombing attempt.

Then, a few days later, another man breaches security at Newark Airport - resulting in a version of a Keystone Cops movie. The terminal is locked down, thousands of people are stranded and have to be to be re-screened. But no one could find the guy because, among other things, the security cameras weren't working properly and hadn't been for several days.

The upshot of all this: The transportation security administration has taken full responsibility for the security breach and an officer has been re-assigned to non-screening duties after that fiasco. In other words, the guy who causes all the chaos at Newark Airport still has his job and so do all the officials in charge of protecting the flying public. And we pay their salaries.

Here’s my question to you: How safe do you feel when flying?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Shawn writes:
I fly all the time for work and statistically it is still much, much safer than driving a car. I am tired of this fear in the media and the government about this one guy’s failed attempt to blow up one flight out of 28,000 daily flights. I don't fear flying any more or any less because of this incident.

Matt from Flagstaff, Arizona writes:
I feel safer flying now than I did prior to 9/11. What concerns me is the intelligence community’s ability to connect the dots. The system is overwhelmed. It needs streamlining.

Amanda writes:
I don't feel safe at all anymore. If TSA can't keep their security cameras functioning properly, who's to say they'll be able to detect something hidden in some guy's bag?

Russell from Utah writes:
I feel perfectly safe still flying in the states. Yes, there were steps that were missed, and things that should have been done, but all in all air travel is still much safer than all other forms of transportation.

Joshua writes:
I don't feel safe flying. These people are paid to protect us and have failed a couple of times in a matter of weeks. I’d rather spend my time taking the train.

Daniel writes:
I fly weekly for 60% of the year and honestly feel VERY safe. I am more scared of drunk/intoxicated drivers than of terrorists - the odds of me dying at the hands of the former are FAR greater than the latter.

Peter from Stockbridge, Georgia writes:
Get a grip, Jack! It's still one HELL of a lot safer to fly then to drive!

Filed under: Airlines
soundoff (230 Responses)
  1. Greg in Cabot, AR

    If people really want to feel safe, stay home.

    Flying is now an adventure for risk takers.

    Passengers are screened by the overworked, under paid and barely trained while Air Traffic Controllers rely on antiquated computers to maintain order in over crowded skies with unpredictable weather situations.

    Once on flight, passengers are exposed to every disease and virus from every corner of the world and if that is not enough, miss a connection and you can get marooned in the terminal days on end.

    So be prepared, things ain't going to get better any time soon.

    January 7, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  2. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    Very safe as I do not fly.

    January 7, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  3. Peg from NY

    Air travel is a mess, safety is a joke and I feel unsafe on airplanes. Why? The planes are collapsing, security is non existent bad joke and the quagmire in Newark was the last straw for me! No thank you~I'll stay home and take a walk.

    January 7, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  4. Judy, Exeter, Ca

    Jack, I have not flown since well before 9/11, because unless we were flying first class, the discomfort of having no leg room coupled with rude flight attendants, bad food, angry passengers, and crummy scheduling just made me look for other ways to get where I needed to go. Now if we add the hoops we have to jump through before we get on the plane, it's just not worth it. I will either drive or take the train. Either way I arrive at my destination safe, sound and in a good mood.

    January 7, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  5. Marilyn in Raleigh

    I'd feel safer flying than riding in a car if I chose to fly. However, flying has become such a hassle that I choose to be more comfortable driving – though less safe.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  6. Rashad Alaiyan

    When I fly, I just keep thinking to myself that everything happens for a reason, and I just hope for the best.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  7. TamarS

    yes i feel safe flying. i won't let rude, inconsiderate fellow passengers buly me and i certainly am not afraid of so-called "terrorists". we never know when we might meet danger and fretting about it isn't a preventive method!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  8. DaveP

    I feel perfectly safe. Despite everything that's happened, air travel is still the safest form of transportation known to man. You have a better chance of being hit by lightning than being involved in either a plane crash or terrorist action. I think when people get scared, they tend to forget that.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  9. Don from Belleville, Canada

    Jack. The flying public is better off NOT thinking deeply about this question.
    It's just like asking "Is this restaurant clean?" or "I wonder who slept in this hotel room before me?"
    If we only knew how bad things really were behind the scenes, none of us would fly, eat out, or get a hotel room.
    The less we know, the better. The success of the entire travel industry depends on our ignorance.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  10. Joe Ft Walton Bch Fl

    If I have to fly to my destination to have any other choice.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  11. Alex

    Jack, I often wonder what journalistic purpose you serve at the CNN except for asking pretty obvious questions once a day... but since you ask... I will oblige – I feel very safe flying and have full confidence in the security measures in North America. A lot of folks neglect the fact that it was a European airport's lack of sufficient screening procedures comparable to our own that allowed the bomber onto the plane. I think all of us in North America should "fly" about our business as we did before.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  12. K.Nanstad


    We haven't "Flown," anywhere in the past 25 years! I am sure, It would, no doubt, be a total "shock," for us, when or "IF," we decide to ever travel again, via air. There are some trips I had planned to make, but am rethinking it of late.

    Our last true "vacation," was a 5 day stay at Florida Disney World. We were so disappointed to learn, that we missed the Grand Opening Day for their new Eppcott Center. THAT's how long ago it was. With all the news reports of airline problems of bankruptcy, cutting bathroom services, cleaning services, food services, holding passengers hostage for hours without food, water, fresh air, and bathroom breaks, terror attacks, terror attempted attacks, crazy passenger disruptions, sars virus breakouts, H1N1, TB, breakouts, smuggled snakes, & ( who else knows what), along with, intrusive image scanning of one's privates, & embarrassing "pat downs" and, just from a recent report, explosive materials added, unknowingly, to random passengers' checked bags & luggage, not to mention the constant "STEALING OF personal belongings," the airlines keeps on insisting, it's LUGGAGE LOST), is almost the last straw, for us to reconsider traveling by air again. We would really have to THINK hard, about ever wanting to travel again by air. I am just not sure all that I listed above, is going to make it all "worth it," for us. I feel sorry for the business people, who don't have a choice in the matter. It is so sad that this terrific country doesn't have enough "smart intelligent individuals," capable of figuring it all out in order to make air travel a wonderful way to go!


    January 7, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  13. Don in Delaware

    The experts can quote stats to me all they want about how much safer... statistically... it is to fly rather than drive. But when I drive.. yeah, it takes longer (sometimes), but at least "I" am in control. I'm not in control when I fly and sadly it seems no one else is either. I fly only when there's no other way to get there... and pray each time I do.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  14. Brad

    I feel completely safe flying. I fly all the time and feel quite safe on domestic flights. International flights are a bit more tense, but I don't let it stop me from flying.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  15. Spencer Gehring, Chicago

    I feel completely safe. Anyone who doesn't can't do math and shouldn't be involved in any of these discussions.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  16. Mike K

    Safer than driving, especially since a recent car accident. Terrorism much more rare than the daily auto accidents that we have. Why so much hysteria

    January 7, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  17. John, Fort Collins, CO

    For the past several years my wife and I have been taking driving vacations, killing an extra day each way to avoid the experience of airports and airplanes. Breezing along at 80 mph sandwiched in between eighteen wheelers feels a whole lot safer than flying. At least I know who is in the car with me - and I have never overshot my destination by 150 miles.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  18. Theo Pothier

    Do you know if one can still bring a butane lighter on a plane? I think that restriction was relaxed and I hope that it has been reinstated, but I haven't heard that mentioned. Also why don't we follow the Canadians and ban carry on luggage within the US. It would give TSA a lot more time to screen people.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  19. happybluedog

    Flew east for Christmas. Excellent flight in (not too crowded). The attempt happened while away. Flew back out west after the holidays. Excellent flight again (no hassles, yet felt perfectly safe). Let's not obsess over the 1%. After 9/11, airline passengers are the final line of defense, where they weren't before. Secondly, I think the TSA knows what they're doing (at least on protecting their safety in this country). Colorado Springs, CO.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  20. Trish

    I feel safe flying. How many flights take off every day, every hour in the US? In the world? How many hijackings or bombings have there been since Sept. 12, 2001 in the US? What about in 1st world countries? I think we will find out that the person(s) who breached security in Newark were snotty, self-centered Americans who didn't feel like waiting in line, who thought, "I don't have a bomb, so why should I have to wait in these lines and put up with this?" And they were probably late for their flight. The air is safe, people. No doubt about it. As was shown on the flight to Detroit, I think most Americans would alert airline staff or even step in themselves if they see anyone trying to ignite a bomb or hijacking on their flight.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  21. george charles paree

    I dont feel safe in my home the news around here anderson in. homes are beyng robbed daily .In indy there a big problem too I sure air lines are different but unbsafe .

    January 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  22. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio


    If I understood the question, the response is as safe as birth control can be.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  23. Dan

    I feel absolutely safe in the air. I'm not buying into the terrorists' aim in creating terror. Statistically, I'm more likely to die in a fall in my own home than in a terrorist attack. I govern my actions based on real dangers, not perceived dangers.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  24. Pete Murphy

    I guess that when we fly we will just have to hope that we make it there and back because I don't think that they will ever make it safer for us.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  25. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    I don't care if I never fly again.... I don't like being treated as CARGO.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  26. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Flying and airports remind me of the Brandenburg Gate or Check Point Charlie , if you don't recognize the danger then your either safe or ignorant

    January 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  27. RH

    I do not feel safe at all when flying, but I'm not worried about terrorism. What makes me nervous is the unscrupulousness, callousness, and apparent ineptitude of the airlines. If I thought they were at least as concerned with my safety as they are with their profit margins, I might be more comfortable.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  28. Auctoritas Caritatis

    Jack, I feel perfectly safe flying. I feel as safe flying as I did when I was a child. This is largely due to not buying into the fearmongering that has swept over this nation. The planes are safe. Mistakes get made.

    Our precautions will still only catch 'dumb' terrorists, but that comprises the majority of terrorists. As for highly intelligent terrorists, we cannot be safe from them without trading in civil liberties and privacy on a level unprecedented even by police states.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  29. Samuel

    I feel safe. I mean, both of these people got on planes in other countries. I'm more worried that I'm going to get hit by a car on the way home, or choke on a peanut whilst on it, or trip and fall down a flight of stairs...

    January 7, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  30. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    One thing about perfection, especially human perfection, is that it is impossible to obtain. And in order to strive to perfection we must make mistakes in order to learn.

    Flight, as long as we maintain our dominate attitude towards those we do not understand, and for those who are not understood to turn to violence to gain attention. flying will never be safe.

    There will come a day when those that wish to cause harm will have the technology to blow up planes from thousands of miles away with a cell phone and undetectable explosives in baggage. Or some other means.

    We must, and I know this is radical and goes directly against the vengeance both sides seek, reach out to those who wish us harm and learn about one another, to realize that it is alright to be different, and to be allowed to live our lives in peace, compassion, and understanding. Isn't that how it is supposed to work for mankind, as it takes two to cause war, and it takes two to find peace.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  31. david

    Yes, I feel safe. We are much more at risk of an accident than an act of terrorism, and those accidents are not very likely either. This is all much ado about nothing. Little the government does will make us any safer, what makes us safer is our own alertness–just look at what happened on the Detroit flight.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  32. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    I dont feel safe not flying you never know when a jet's going to fall from the sky.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  33. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    I feel fairly safe flying in spite of human goof ups. Where I do feel extremely unsafe is the automobile trip to the airport, and other trips I must make. It is those terrorists that kill and maim and they are growing by the numbers, that scare the hell out of me. It is those who read , text, talk on the phone, eat, put on makeup, driving under the influence, and so many other distractions that take thousands of lives a year. No one dare call that terrorism.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  34. Bob

    The incompetence of our own government and their habit of swapping civil rights for a false sense of security is a much greater threat than all the terrorists put together.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  35. Karl from SF, CA

    I flew from San Francisco to Detroit to visit family the week after 9-11. Flying had never bothered me before that and I decided then and there it wasn’t going to bother me in the future. If the flight made me a nervous wreck, the trip wasn’t worth it. I always get on the plane with a clear conscience and figure if this is it, I should at least have a good chance at the Pearly Gates. If I’m crazy, so be that, too, but to me stress kills more people than terrorism.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  36. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Thanks Jack, but you need to get the right person that is wrong!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  37. Mark

    Jack, as long as all the little old ladies and children under 12 are patted down before they board my flight, I feel perfectly safe.

    Oklahoma City

    January 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  38. Jacquie Ferreira

    I feel considerably safer flying in a plane than riding the subway (have you seen some of those people!) or driving on the highway with who knows who weaving in and out of traffic 20 MPH over the speed limit under the influence of alcohol or drugs. How many people are killed each DAY in highway accidents?

    January 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  39. Cora Elizabeth

    Jack, truly it's not all that safe because they have no way of determining the mental stability of fellow passengers, and there is no telling what any of them would do on any given flight.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  40. Chuch in Warren Ohio

    Jack: I feel as safe today as I did 30 years ago. There is no guarantee for the next second of life, so why should we worry about it. You need to be ready, Jack!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  41. anon

    I feel perfectly safe even though I know the TSA is completely incompetent and couldn't stop an intelligent terrorist to save their pathetic agency. I actually feel less safe in the presence of TSA officers.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  42. Greg Mulholland

    I feel very safe flying. It's landing safely that has me concerned!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  43. Linda in Arizona

    Haha, I wouldn't fly if you paid ME. My airborne days are done, but it's not because I'm afraid of jihadists. It's because I don't want to go through airport security hell, thanks. I agree that security is ridiculous and people SHOULD be fired. LOTS of them.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  44. Radu

    I fly about 100k miles per year. To be honest I think the risk of a terrorist attack at all is way to low to feel less safe. I worry much more about the plane crashing then someone blowing it up!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  45. Tom Semans

    I still feel safer on a plane than I do driving to work.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  46. Wayne Neal Remeny

    Once a frequent flier, I knew mere days after 9-11-2001 that my commercial flights were going to end. I flew to Houston 7-2002, & was paranoid the entire flight from Nashville. I again flew to TX in 3-2004. When I opened my bag in the hotel room, I saw the little red, white, & blue love note ; you know from the TSA, titled Notification of Inspection. That was when I decided never to fly commercial again.

    Wayne Neal Remeny

    January 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  47. Josh Smith

    Overall, I feel safe while Flying. I understand that there is a risk of Terrorism while flying, and it gives me a larger situational awareness of others flying with me, as well as others in the airport. As serious as a threat as airline terrorism is, its not very common. If I honestly were that uncomfortable with flying, I wouldn't fly at all.
    Josh Smith
    Jacksonville, FL

    January 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  48. Matthew K Williams

    I live in NYC and fly around 20 times a year, with my home airport being LaGuardia. On average there are over 25,000 commercial flights a day (see NATCA). With only a few attempted and a few successful terrorist attacks on airlines in the past decade, how could I not feel safe when flying?

    January 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  49. Hyatt Riaz

    Hi Jack, to be honest I do no feel safe when I am flying, there are always slips in our security, and we just need to step up security to ensure our saftey

    January 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  50. kenpullen

    Jack, Don from Canada earlier hit the nail on the head. While I believe far too many people are oblivious and far to unaware, if we fret too much about "Is there a terrorist on this flight" people will make themselves crazier than we already are.
    All security is a myth anyway. It provides a "sense" of security, but no matter what the security people find a way in, find a way to destroy. Even NORAD and the Pentagon have their computers hacked. Banks are robbed all the time. Houses with the best security broken into.
    The airlines present a mask of security otherwise their industry would be as it was about 2, 3 weeks after 9/11. All empty seats.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  51. Frank

    Yes I feel safe because I know that the government is trying to do what it can to protect us (At least I really hope it is). Things may fall in between the cracks, true, but it also takes all of us travelers to help and be aware of others. Such as the people who subdued the Christmas day airline bomber. I am sure there are lessons learned and things that can and should be improved upon.

    You mentioned that "Also, turns out the top official in charge of analyzing terror threats – Michael Leiter – went on a ski vacation only two-days after the Christmas bombing attempt."

    Seems vague and misleading. Are there no other qualified terror analysts or is Michael Leiter the only person capable of analyzing terror treats in the government?

    I am sure there are other qualified individuals working as well. just because I have a boss, that doesn't mean he or she can't leave the office for a few days without it all turning into chaos.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  52. Ron

    Difficult to feel safe when people are being employed at bargain basement prices to protect the travelling public.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  53. Gus from Salt Lake City

    Being a pilot myself, i feel safe the second i'm on the plane till the second i'm off the plane. Yet, when going through an airport, i sit and wonder if we are just trying to plug holes with our "security procedures" or if they actually are making a difference. We, as Americans, tend to throw money at problems instead of coming up with solutions that are actually effective. At what point do we realize that every time we have a knee-jerk reaction to an incident (like no leaving your seat an hour before landing), we are doing exactly what the people attacking us want us to do?

    January 7, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  54. Paul

    Paul from Cambodia. I do not feel safe given the no dots to connect case on Christmas. Cash. One-way. No luggage. The US response that the boy's father didn't say he was planning to fly is shameful. So many people and so little analytical skills.

    Obama won't do it, but he needs to fire a few people starting with the Director of Homeland Security who has now donned camo. Hey camo is for operators not office bound administrators. I seriously fear for fellow Americans. The Christmas day event was prevented by the ineptitude of the bomber...nothing we pay for in the way of anti-terrorism.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  55. osilama Abu from Canada

    Enough of this noise,we have overflogged this issue and lessened our focus on the next threat.The news media is now becoming an information gathering tool for AlQaeda because of overexposure from so called policy analysts who discuss all strategies on the media and further removing the element of suprise to defeat the enemy.
    No one should be sacked,let the individuals deal with the mess created as the learn from mistakes,too much personnel turnover in an infant Government creates instability and mistakes the nation cannot afford at this critical moment.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  56. Harry in Corvallis Oregon

    Hi Jack...I will not fly anymore, not until they issue me my own set of wings. This fiasco must be being managed by the same morons who managed our money (The Fed), our insurance (AIG), our car manufacturing (GM, Ford, etc.) and our health care system (name any health insurance company). We are in a pathetic state of affairs and we are at the mercy of stuttering idiots like P. Gergen, among others, who sit back and county our money, tally our lost jobs and whine about our crumbling infrastructure. Thanks for being there with a touch of reality.

    Harry in Limbo

    January 7, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  57. Scott

    Jack, since 9-11 the Bush administrations top priority was national security, mabey to a fault. This administration seems to have the opposite priorities like begging forgiveness from the 3rd world, healthcare, throwing money at bad investment- anything but national security- how secure should we feel? I'm terrified for the future.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  58. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    I understand your point of view but this is the easy answer for now and accountability to a system is different because it means tighter work procedures are in place for everybody for the info to be processed and be up to par at all times!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  59. d brown

    I feel very safe flying. I think TSA does an outstanding job. Millions of people fly safely and to demean all the workers and the whole system for one slip up seems to be unrealistic. Calling for heads to roll becuase they cannot predict what someone will try next? Would you like everyone to fly naked? Then theyd just think of something they could ingest. This seem like a lot of miserable unemployed people want company and will do anything to bash this president and his adminstration

    January 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  60. Julie

    My husband and I have been on a multi -city vacation all over the US for a month which at the end will mean we've boarded an airplane 14 times. I am struck by how differently the same agency over them all, TSA, behaves at different airports. Some seem very alert; others seem to have too many employees to keep themselves busy (even when there are lots of folks going through. ) This seems to result in lots of chatting among themselves and little attention to detail. For example, I accidently packed in my carry-on a pair of scissors with a 3 – 4 inch blades which, or course, is illegal and should have been caught, but was not!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  61. josh

    Air travel is safest form of transport, terrorism or no terrorism.

    While this terrorist had no checked baggages, he was carrying on which makes him look like any other traveler. Paying in cash in africa is common because of credit card fraud.

    It sounds like the security and intelligence agencies have revised their screening policies to err more on the side of not letting somebody on the plane, so I think the world is working as it should.


    January 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  62. American Me

    I wouldn't know. I can't afford to fly.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  63. dave savage

    perfectly safe. i only do it nowdays 'tho if its absolutely necessary, due to the performance you have to go through to get on the plane.I also don't catch as many colds .

    January 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  64. Bill Hewett

    Jack I don't fly and I never will not because of a fear of terror but I refuse to hand over my rights to a person who acts queer while feeling of my body. What has happened to America? All true americans should stop flying for a while and all this nonsense woud stop.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  65. Ella Johnsen

    Absolutely I feel safe. I went thru Newark airport 2 weeks before 9/11 and I commented to my companion how bad the security was. It is much better now. There are still some improvements that still need to be made, but, I don't have any fear of flying. People must always be aware in this day and age whether you are flying, taking trains, subways, etc. People in other countries have been living with this and much more for years.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  66. Robert Chaney

    Why can't Mr. Obama get the courage to fire someone? After the underwear incident and the "crashing" of the Whitehouse parties (now on two occasions!), we should now have a new Homeland Security Director and a new Whitehouse social secretary. He can't seem to do it!! Or, maybe admit he paid bad choices! This will not play well with those of us who expected "bridges built to unity"; a leader must first and last lead!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  67. Richard

    To answer your question, I don't feel safe flying. Let's face it, our government addresses airport security screening with "theatrics" and we continue to be patted down (sometimes) and are required to take our shoes off, etc. Yet our luggage, or any prescreening based on passenger info and profiles go unnoticed. We will certainly encounter another act of terrorism if the United States doesn't wake up and address security gaps. Sad that it's been 9 years since 9/11 and we still haven't learned from this tragic event.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  68. Andrew

    I do not feel safe. This past summer, I had a 16 oz sunblock tube that I inadvertently left in my backpack while traveling. I flew through Phoenix, Seattle, and D.C. twice before I realized I left it in my bag. They did not detect it at all. How do these "trained" TSA officials keep their jobs?

    January 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  69. imzens

    About as safe as a nun at a penquin shoot.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  70. Sara

    No way ! I saw in LAX airport after that christmas day and all those problems, they didnt even put my mother's baggage under the scanner because it was bigger than the normal size ! What if there was something in that baggage?! It went straight to the airplane heading to Amsterdam !!!
    Im wondering when are we going to learn our lesson?! Why are we issuing visas for these guys?! I wont feel safe in an airplane ever !

    January 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  71. Mike

    I feel as safe as I ever do when I'm 27,000 feet in the air in a metal tube doing 500 mph. If you're not comfortable with the possibility of not landing safely, then you shouldn't buy a plane ticket. There are a million reasons that planes fall out of the sky. Terrorism is not even close to the leading cause of commercial airline crashes.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  72. will wagner

    I feel as safe as I have felt since 9-11. When a quarter of million people are involved in providing safety, even 3 sigma certainty will generate errors. Furthermore, clever enemies can always examine defensive systems and defeat them eventually. Calling for heads to roll, before all the facts are in, is typical of cheap Washington politics and innumerate cable newscasters.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  73. Roy Dixon

    Since 9-11 i have made flying a very last resort...I do not feel safe on a plane ... i had to fly recently, and the security i went thru was so lacks that i feel now, it has not improved much since 911...if the citizens would boycott flying the airlines would get the picture and start doing their jobs...but as long as the bottom line continues for them they could care less about us...When one is running a business they should be responsible for keeping their customers safe, the government can only do so much...

    January 7, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  74. Howard Chicago


    I feel safe but flying has risks as all modes of transportation.

    I have been involved with developing security products. There is a test that is done called a moose test. A person with a picture of a moose is used for an ID card flashes it at a Guard. If the Guard doesn't catch it he or she fails the moose test. Clues are sometimes so obvious lapses happen in plain sight. Hopefully we can reduce the risks!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  75. Johnny Chagdes (from Los Angeles)

    Hi Jack –

    I feel very safe flying. I think the chances of getting struck by lightning on a golf course in Tampa Bay at 4pm in the afternoon are alot worse.

    I believe hysteria and hype are a bigger cause of anxiety on planes ... more so than the ratio of actual issues to the quantity of personnel who use the airlines to get around.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  76. Neely Raffellini

    Hi Jack,

    I really can't answer the question if I feel safe when I am flying. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. Ironically, the safest I have ever felt was when I have flown out of Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, which I have done a number of times. The sad thing is that it seems the government is still relying on passengers as the first line of defense. We could have saved a lot of money over the past 8 1/2 years and stayed out of Iraq and Afghanistan. I am so sick of hearing about people taking "full responsibility." I'm going to use that every time I make a mistake from now on, such as when I forget to wash the dishes.

    Neely Raffellini
    Montclair, NJ

    January 7, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  77. Cliff Glass - East Rockaway, NY


    I recently went on vacation to Nevada and I felt perfectly safe with the screening procedures.
    However, your pontificating misses the point. While security agencies are culpable for not sharing and acting on available information, the primary blame should be on our legislators.
    Since September 11, 2001, where are the laws mandating air marshalls on each flight and body scanners at every airport ? Why is the TSA ban on passengers carrying matches and lighters on board about to expire ?
    Ineptitude by national security officials probably deserve dismissal, but the continued malfeasence by Congress should also merit greater scrutiny.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  78. jacki

    It looks like the population aboard is responsible and must act like that super guy did two rows over and back. Depending on someone else I can see now, would have been a big mistake. It was pretty obvious when someone like an old lady yells 'what are you doing' when she's usually thinking of her grandkids she gonna visit, somebody had better look into it, fast.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  79. Doc in Elko, Nevada

    Jack, I was in Houston a couple of years ago. When I approached the x-ray screening, I noticed that the belt was running continuously. I looked up at the operator, who was sound asleep with his hand on the "advance" switch. I mentioned this to the next TSA screener I saw, who replied, "Yeah, that happens sometimes". Do I feel confident in the security system? Not hardly.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  80. angie

    hi Jack,
    good job first of all, i would like to ask, is this the job we're paying extra
    for airport security each time we fly?

    January 7, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  81. susan alan

    We are concerned with matches, bottle sover 3 oz and now underpants while all the while we fly with an un inspected cargo bay. Safe not so much. i"nteligence community" also not so much.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  82. Joe in Tallahassee

    I fly at least once a month, and honestly, I always feel a little safer right after the TSA gets a little pie on their face. It reassures me that they'll be on the top of their game for the immediate future, so as to avoid more embarrassing incidents like the one in Newark.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  83. mac from Wyoming

    I have not flown since 2005...Not that I was afraid, I just did want to deal with the process of having to be at the airport 2 hours before your flight. I also have not driven any where farther than 150 miles away because who could afford the gas a couple years ago. Seems to me that the American people are paying the price no matter what choice of transprtation they choose. Our governemt does need to stop treat the terrorists like citizens and stop treating our citizens like terrorists.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  84. Walt

    How could anyone feel safe flying....or travel by train, bus, boat, etc.???
    Jack you hit the nail on the head when you suggested putting some paychecks on the line for job performance. The only thing I'd add is those in charge, ie elected officials, need their paychecks on the line. I suggest a couple of elections where the incumbents are automatically voted OUT. That means Democrats and Republicans.

    Keep up the good work!


    January 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  85. Lynn, Columbia, Mo.

    I'd feel safer if they would follow my suggestions. Just have everyone come to the airport nude. Have them go through a metal detector, bomb sniffing dogs (since they like to sniff there anyway) and then scan them in case they have surgically implanted a bomb in some organ. They could get a blanket when they go on the plane. When they arrive at their destination they can hand in their blanket, pick up their luggage and get dressed. We'd be safer and the airlines would probably get a boost from all the gawkers. It's a win win situation.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  86. Henry

    Iwill not fly again until some serious improvements are made and some more responsible people sre put in leadershiproles.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  87. K Smith

    Hi Jack, I never feel 100% while flying. In my opinion anything can happen. Other than the current situation, one can be on a plane where the pilots fall off to sleep and go way beyond the destination or the pilot could be intoxicated. Whats all this hoopla about being safe regarding this present incident other than having to fill in the blank spots for the 24 hour cable news.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  88. John

    This administration seems to be waivering, almost passing the buck. And now, after much criticism we're subjected to being spoon-fed more false security and a do-nothing attitude. At least with Bush, he'd have gone into Yemen, taken care of business and provided a more stringent response.

    Personally I think we should be focussing screening onto those from Islamic countries and as "racist" as this may seem, it's what we're all thinking yet no one will admit to it. I for one, am always on guard when I notice a middle eastern passenger on a plane. This is where it has come to.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  89. Greg

    Jack, I have not felt safe for years. I'm a road warrior and have been flying for years. I was flying out of Chicago a few years ago and accidentally packed a 9 oz bottle of creatine (weight lifting supplement). The TSA agent found it and said, "what is this sweetie?" I smiled at her and said it was creatine. I was very nice, so she said, "Well we'll just say its medication" and she let me take it on board. She had no idea who I was or what the clear liquid actually was. She simply took my explanation as fact (which it was). Since then, I always forget to use the plastic bags and always pack more than 3 ozs in my carry ons. SInce they never check, I never remember. Not once has my baggage been checked after going through the TSA gate check screening. Not once!!! I don't even think they look at the x-ray screen. This is not very comforting.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  90. Tommy from NY

    The fact that no one is going to be fired over the two recent security failures is part of the Government's program to reduce job losses in the time of financial

    January 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  91. steve- virginia beach

    Not very safe knowing that it's a matter of when and where rather than if more attacks will occur. The Keystone Cops label would be more fitting for the Obama "national security" machine. And to make his fascade even more concerning, it appears that we will eventually have a TSA leader who refuses to rule out unionizing TSA and subjecting them to the same requirements as the US Border Patrol- negotiating modifications to security policy with the unions. And I have little faith in Obama changing his ideology for the sake of our national security.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  92. Michel Di Lullo

    Hi Jack, I fly 40 to 50 times per year and I feel very safe even after these screw ups. The only positive aspect is it would appear that our recent terrorists are more incompetent than the people who are supposed to protect us. Also every thing or news item in the US appears to be blown out of proportion. However that's me, I know many canadians who have cancelled any plans to travel to the US mainly Florida at this time of year. It is such an unpleasant experience for most trying to visit the USA, I suspect that tourism will take it in the shorts big time.

    Regards Michel

    January 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  93. Tricia Phillip

    My confidence in our government's ability to protect its citizens has greatly diminished. While it's still safer to fly than drive, there's a larger issue that needs to be addressed – accountability. "Regular" Americans are fired daily as a result of actions that aren't putting lives in danger, so why is it so difficult for this administration to make some heads roll? Pres. Obama needs to get serious and fire everyone who had a hand in these two snafus.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  94. Manuel

    Feeling safe after 9/11 is not an option. The only way to feel safe is to segregate international flights as well as domestic and make them all non-stop service. This way there are fewer opportunities to get past security. And by the way the same reaction that this would-be terrorist faced on the plane is probably the same the rest who try will get. The American people themselves will never tolerate anyone who thinks they can get crazy and fanatical on a flight. They'll just end up getting a RED, WHITE, and BLUE BUTT WHOOPIN'.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  95. Peter M

    I feel safer in the sky than on the road...

    January 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  96. Kelly

    The cost of freedom is risk. Living in fear of what could happen is a prison. Fly. Be aware of what's going on around you. And if you see someone acting like he shouldn't be acting on a plane, ACT. You can't expect the government to provide security 24/7 if you want to keep your freedoms.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  97. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    We have thousand of American military men/women in harms way serving to protect us all and I refused to fear flying as long as they don't fear protecting us.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  98. Joel W

    I don't worry about a terrorist acts. It's the second and third order effects of terrorist acts that make me dread flying in general. The heavy-hand and dragnet approach to airport security coupled with the hysterical in-flight policies have simply made flying an extremely unpleasant and miserable experience. I try to avoid flying unless it's absolutely necessary.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  99. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    I understand your point of view but this is would be an easy answer for now. Accountability to a system is different because it means tighter work procedures are in place for everybody for the info to be processed and be up to par at all times!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  100. wincee.....Colorado


    Considering the fact that evertime I board a plane...I am already in terror,, the fact of the matter is that with my fear of flying....I always disengage the aircraft with loaded underwear...now I have to consider the guys who are boarding with loaded underwear...I think I will just ride the bus with John Madden.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  101. Paul H

    Heck no-the airlines care only for profit-flying 30 year old planes-with over worked pilots-canning us in planes like sheep to slaughter. Then you have a group of low paid contractors-working old metal seeking technology with few or any redundancy's. Add the confu8sion easy created by having the wrong item on you-a diversion is simple for a good team of terrorists. We are fools to think we are in anyway safe-what we are is exposed sheep relying on the goverenment for safe travel-heck no we are not safe-Let's hand everyone that get on the plane a 45 hand gun fully loaded. you turn it in when you get off the flight- this would make for a very safe flight or one very dead terrorist and one very happy group of gun toting passengers.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  102. Chris

    Jack, why are we Americans so ignorant? Most people in the MSM claim to do investigative journalism yet do not know the simple fact that in developing countries including Nigeria that business is done with cash-money and not credit cards like we do here, so the 23yr-old Nigerian buying an air ticket with cash is the norm and does not raise a red flag.!

    When we cannot get simple facts right it is a shame and a disgrace and just proves that every thing we spew is nonsense.

    I feel safe flying anywhere and I am confident of my Federal Government and leadership of President Obama.

    Thank you.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  103. Alex

    While I do generally feel safe, I do agree with your summation of things. It would be interesting to find out how many government employees that were in a position to connect the dots decided to take early vacations. Imagine all the intelligence information sitting on someone's desk in Washington. Now imagine that someone taking off several days early so they could get a long Christmas vacation.

    As for the TSA agent at Newark airport, he got what he wanted. He has been re-assigned to non-screening duties. That means he now has an office job. His commensurate pay raise will probably follow within a couple of months. Both he and the TSA supervisor at that airport should be currently unemployed.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  104. Ken in NC

    I no longer fly.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  105. Frank B

    I feel safer driving in my 18-wheeler, doing my job delivering America's goods at any and all times...this way 'I' am in control of MY safety.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  106. M.J.Byers

    Anyone that allows the government at any level, from city to federal, to assure them of their safety because of the concern of the government employees is insane. Government employees are the most protected speices on the earth, even more than the snail darter, and cannot be fired or even disciplined harshly without an act of congress; and we all know the type of work they do. Don't feel safe flying or in any other act you may perform if you are relying on the work ethics and integrity of a government employee. It is a fantasy.


    January 7, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  107. Rich

    I feel safer flying than I do driving in New Jersey. Nobody is screening anyone on the highways. Who's talking on the phone? Who's texting? And who just left the bar? Nobody's paying attention to anything while they're behind the wheel.

    That's ok, I'll keep flying, hey where's the bar cart?

    Flanders, NJ

    January 7, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  108. Everett Eddy

    Jack, you are right on the money with your thoughts and comments, I agree entirely! Nothing more to be said, as you have said it all, except I sincerely hope Pres. Obama reads all we have given in rhetoric.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  109. Tim In Farley

    Afraid of flying you ask? Damn right! I refuse to take a train( I,m allergic to seron gas),won,t take a boat,(too many pirates out there). In fact I won,t even go for my evening walk,(IEDs might be out there) I think I,ll just stay at home and watch all the blunders of the Homeland Security people and dream of the great vaction places they visit while Americans are moving about the country so slowly that moss is growing on the north side of thier backsides. Oh happy day!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  110. Joseph

    No I do not feel safe flying at all. The only reason that plane did not blow up on Christmas Day is because of a lot of luck. If I was a passenger on that aircraft I would sue the TSA and the government for negligence. We are spending billions of dollars on air security and for what? I think the passengers and crew on the Delta flight received a very nice Christmas present...

    January 7, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  111. JH

    I'm more worried about whether my electronics will make it through to my destination when you see how much gets ripped off between check in and arrival. But, that said, much is being discussed about passengers going through more stringent checks, what's being done about security in the baggage handling areas? If it's that easy to grab stuff out of passengers' luggage, would it be any more difficult to slip explosives in? Remember Lockerbie?

    January 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  112. Rick

    Jack I will not fly. This is the same bunch in charge of leting us know all about the health care debate on cspan do you trust any thing they would tell you? Regards

    January 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  113. Harry in Corvallis Oregon

    Sorry, Jack, I meant D. Gergen.


    January 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  114. jay

    In light of the recent security breach I feel very safe travelling. A human error on x-mas day to conduct a THOROUGH search of passengers in no way means failure in the system. We just have to be extra careful.

    As for Janet Napolitano, I think she should be replaced with someone with a CIA/FBI experience, this job is not for a gated community officer!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  115. liz in boulder

    Yes, I do feel safe when I fly. Certainly more safe than on the highways. However, I am stunned that all the people who came into contact with this would-be terrorist, beginning with the father, and all those along his route until he sat down in that seat on that plane, were ignored. What reasons were given for ignoring this would-be terrorist? Was it someone else's problem? Was it PC or fear of litigation? And why are we Americans so willing to give up our freedoms? We are becoming a nation of weaklings, relying on our hand guns and big bombs....living in fear unable or not willing to think!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  116. Paul

    Yes I feel safe flying, but trust me it has nothing whatsoever to do with the TSA (Total Sloth Administation), having folks who had a choice of jobs of either securing our airports or asking would you like fries with that? does instill a sense of security for me. I will admit that not all the TSA folks are less then optimal, but if you fly frequently enough you have to notice they are not the best and brightest.
    If we truly want to be secure we MUST implement similar security measures used in Tel Aviv and stop the half measures our government is infamous for.
    Just a thought maybe the folks that blew this, that is not doing their job properly should be fired, along with the idiot that walked away from his post in the Newark airport.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  117. Donaldson SEMA

    Mr. Jack, I understand how you feel and how every other American does feel or should be expected to feel. We have a very delicate situation at hand but what i feel is the media making things worst rather than looking forward for a solution.It is true mistakes have been made and we are bound to learn from those. We have an enemy difficult to get and so is our solution.Sacking defaulters will not be the best just as withholding their pay checks will not solve an issue, but rallying behind them with our support will be a better idea as this is not an opportunity for mid term elections campaign as this chaos has been seen to be misused by Republican Dons.Lets keep our political ambitions aside and check out a new route for the safety of the US and the world at large.God bless America.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  118. Karen


    I feel safe enough. No one can guarantee that a terrorist will never have the chance to board a flight. I trust people who know full well what happens when they screw up. Maybe the officials in the middle of this mess didn't understand their responsibilities before, but I bet they do now. The decision to fire them should be based on whether they learned their lesson. They know they can't let this happen again.

    -Karen, Missouri

    January 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  119. d brown

    I have yet to experience anything in life that has worked 100%, 100% of the time. The news is treating this like its trial and error. TSA and other are doing an wonderful job. I feel as safe in a airport as I do in my livingroom. There are no crystal balls to predict every action. They wil always find a way

    January 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  120. pw Fl

    just a thought.....could all this be just a ruse? Could the father have more about this...he would not give son money to continue college...so why is he concerned wheres son is. here we are w/all Intelligence looking at planes.Could attack come from the ground, while our pants are down .what about sleeper cells now in US......something doesn't feel right

    January 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  121. Paul E. Vinson

    It is Russian roulet when traveling on an airline. I proudly have not flown since 2005 as I do not want to suffer the indignities as well as the perils of flying.

    San Antonio, Texas

    January 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  122. Andy

    I feel safe, but i don't fly if I don't have to. Flying is such a hassle. I hate being treated like cattle and jammed into a tiny seat. Then you add the chance of the flight being delayed or canceled. Forget it. Unless I'm traveling overseas I'm driving.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  123. Russell in UT

    I feel perfectly safe still flying in the states. Yes, there were steps that were missed, and things that should have been done, but all in all air travel is still much safer than all other forms of transportation.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  124. Todd

    Do I feel safe?

    I feel ignored.

    My government is corrupt as hell.

    They flat out lie.

    They don't even care that we know their lying.

    They're untouchable and I'm helpless to do anything about it.

    No. I'm not safe.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  125. willie hammontree

    What good would it do to fire someone over a breach in security? They would just go get a job at McDonalds! Get it? You pay for what you get!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  126. terry k.

    Most countries are tearing down walls. The U.S. is building walls. Why? Paranoia? Sounds a bit like Russia during the cold war. And what are you afraid of? Americans tend to kill themselves by drive-by's and DUI's more than they could ever imagine. Maybe the best way to bring down America is by owning a liquor store or a gun shop.

    Just a thought...

    terry k.
    north vancouver, Canada

    January 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  127. Dennis, Columbus, Ohio

    Think about it Jack, take all the people killed by terrorist in any given year it will be less than were killed in auto accidents.

    Now if they take out our power grid (say now – in this cold) millions could die during the month or more it would take to get back on line.

    How much do we know about the security of the power grid or the water supply?

    January 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  128. bryan

    I absolutely feel safe while flying. I frankly can't imagine anything that a "terrorist" could do to make me afraid to fly. Frankly, anyone who is afraid to fly needs to get over it.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  129. Jean-Texas

    Jack: I feel as safe as I always have. And as to who if anyone should be fired here is my question to you. Who was fired after 911? Who was fired after the Shoe bomber tried to blow up the plane? Who was fired for making up inteligence on Iraq? Who was fired for not taking the Al Qaeda threat seriously in the first place? Why are you all holding the current administration to a different standard than the previous administration?

    January 7, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  130. Jim


    Much safer since I got my own wings, but are my arms tired!

    Reno, Nevada

    January 7, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  131. john r

    Jack I feel safe flying. Its crashing that bothers me.
    Where there’s a will there’s a way. If we make airport security airtight (NPI) they will just do something else. It’s time for this generation to endure another holy crusade.

    cullman, al

    January 7, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  132. Mary

    I have flown many times in the pass couple of years and I have felt very safe. What I don't feel safe about is the country that I am flying into? Americans have a bulleye on their backs and that is very scary.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  133. laura levine

    I do not feel safe flying because the TSA management and employees are not intelligent and use no common sense in the screening process. The confiscation of Play Dough this last week is a good example of no common sense.
    The most bizarre thing we have to do is to get rid of all liquids over 3 oz. prior to going thru security. Those items are THROWN in a large trash container right next to the passengers/screeners and left there all day long. If this material really was hazardous, why is it not handled by people with hazardous suits and gloves on, and why is it left sitting there.
    TSA employees need to be trained like New York City Police, and they need to profile. Then we would be safer.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  134. jon

    Jack: I was at SFO on 9-11; my next flight to europe was 2-22-02. In the bar at SFO were 2 guys w brit pasport yet non brits photographing and writing tail # of all planes coming into the supply section and watching where they went. I called 911, an hour later the polce showed; told me they were just plane buffs and were angry that i bothered them. Teach Me! Our security culture is Do Not make work for others by reporting the dots. At Ben Gurion, screeners are paid extra for the unfounded reports.
    Answer: I feel just as safe as I was on 9-11 watching the planes crash the twin towers. Still flying, eyes wide open.
    Question? If the airline told the passengers there was an Islam guy paying cash 4 one way ticket, no luggage; Who would have got on board??
    Jon in Calif.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:32 pm |

    You know Jack,with people walking into the White House uninvited,guys flying into Detroit with their shorts ready to explode and take my plane into hell and idiots in N.J.walking wherever they please in airports.
    O,yea I'll be spending my vacation flying into the USA......NOT.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  136. Larry the therorist

    Let's presuppose that the Nigerian rich kid was succsessful. Say, after a torturous 2 years of combing through the wreckage, background investigations, connecting the dots our agencies come to the conclusions that we know now. Do you think that then somebody lose their job ? Or would Mr. Holder continue to rail against excesses by our countries intelligence agencies. Just saying.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  137. Al

    Well Jack,

    The idea of terrorism is to strike fear into people from living their daily lives, and make them succumb to your will. The best thing you can do is to get back on an airplane and keep flying. We don't need to proliferate the same fear tactics being used against us. Even if you take these two instances at face value (assuming that the system hasnt been working since 2001 and that dozens -maybe hundreds- of terror plots havent been foiled by our agencies and allies) then you can still rest assured that 2 security breaches divided by 15,000+ flights per day equals very good odds of surviving air travel.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  138. D Logan

    On Christmas Eve we were given yet another major reason NOT to fly. Add terrorism to the already long list including, no leg room, no services, no consideration, no control, and no respect and I have to say "NO Thank you" I'll travel by car or stay home.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  139. Gene, Poughkeepsie, NY

    I do not feel safe flying, nor do I feel safe going to my doctor. My medical insurance will probably deny paying my claim. Nor do I feel safe going to work. My job may lay me off any day. Nor do I feel safe using my credit cards or going to my bank. They may raise my rates or charge me rediculus fees. Nor do I feel safe voting in the next election. I may again be deceived and vote for people who put Wall Street, major banks, and insurance companies concerns ahead of mine and my familie's.

    What was the question again? Oh yeah, flying is no problem for me. I can't afford it.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  140. RR

    The airline companies should start taking on some of the responsibilities for securing their passengers. There should be a security officer on every flight paid for by the airline companies as well as TSA. It is in the companies as well as the governments best interests to protect the passengers.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  141. John M.

    Jack, I am of the opinion that 99% of the TSA workers could not hold a job at a 7-11, and that is not meant as an insult to the 7-11 workers who at least don't think they own the world just because they are behind the counter. TSA workers, like other safety workers, need to mingle, or travel with the general public so they can learn to observe, and care more for what they do, instead of being in a confined space all the time just like hamsters. I believe they need to be on 40 min., off 20 min., similar to casino workers to keep them from just not caring about who, or what they see.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  142. Tom in Iowa

    I don't feel safe at all. You see the problem is that the entire system depends on People and people are fallible and given that people are fallible there will always be a chance that someone will fail. So no matter what precautions are taken there will always be the possibility that something will go wrong and someone will make a mistake.

    Then you guys will sit around for a month trying to figure out who to blame and who's head should be chopped off.

    So the only way I can make sure that my family and I are safe is to not fly at all. We will drive wherever we need to go.

    Tom in Iowa

    January 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  143. Frank in Muncie, Indiana

    Jack, Yes I fell safe about flying, but I pray before I get on and off any airplane to anywhere. I will never put my life in the hands of the humans, they make to many mistakes.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  144. Frank

    Why not ask the tens of thousands that are killed yearly in car accidents? There is nothing on god's green earth that couldn't and shouldn't be improved on including air safety, but this is making mountains out of mole hills. Ok, I admit I fly several hundred flights a year and almost never get on an airplane without someone complaigning about how they hate to fly. The solution is simple. Don't fly. There are a multitude of alternatives that they apparently like less, or they wouldn't be getting an airplane.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  145. letsbehonest

    Not really safe. I thought after the security lapses on 9/11, security agencies would be more enclined to put their competitivity aside, work their differences and enhance their channels of communication but after the failed christmas attack, I guess the status quo is still on. The Bush administration didn't do much concerning those agents responsible for the security lapses. Now Mr Obama needs to stop apologizing, giving speech and START FIRING!!!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  146. Dave Marshall

    I don't fly!

    New Carlisle OH

    January 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  147. Brad Wheeler

    It seems that people here are missing the point. We would all feel much safer if we knew that our government were not so inept as to not recognize when someone wants to do us harm by boarding a plane to the U.S. The own perps father turned him in for crying out loud and still, our hapless government did nothing to prevent what would certainly have been a tragedy.

    Most people in the U.S could not pull out $3000 cash to buy a plane ticket, so when this known terrorist did it, why didn't someone in the government stop the idiot from flying? THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE PEOPLE!!!

    Good day,

    Ocean Springs, MS

    January 7, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  148. Carol

    As a Flight Attendant for a major US carrier for nearly 36 years, I appreciate the dedication of the majority of the front- line employees responsible for the security of air travel. However, the failures of a few of those front-line employees can be catastrosphic. Refer to the recent incident in Portland, OR where a B767 with over 200 passengers on board, was escorted back to PDX by 2 F-15s. The problem passenger was released after being interviewed by authorities. How can this be? News organizations are too focased on raking politicians and political appointees over the coals instead of concentrating on front-line supervision...go where the rubber meets the road.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  149. Roz in West Fargo

    Not only do I feel less safe than ever before, but after viewing the report earlier showing the "full-body scan" that may become increasingly in use, I have decided that Amtrak and Viarail are about to get ALL my travel business!!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  150. Patrick

    I fly so much that I've been on awards and elite frequent flyer programs for many years now. As far as how safe I feel when I fly? I think I feel as safe as I possibly can be. I don't feel 100% safe, but I feel like it's the best as it's going to get. If someone wants to get something by security, they will. It's as simple as that. Our system is based on humans, which simply a problem within the system itself. Although I wish it were different, this is ultimately the reality. I myself have accidentally got passed security liquids and bottles that should have been confiscated but found them in my bags after being home. This definitely gives me that uncomfortable feeling and I hope I'm wrong that this is as good as it gets.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  151. Yeshiembet/Yeshi

    It depends; if the security is weak it is very scary. From my past experience the search and the supervision on individual person is very tight and there is no reason why a person shouldn’t fly. However, from this past experience the concerned people should learn a lesson and discover where and how went wrong and make it tighter. One other thing I should suggest with no discrimination when people go to bath room should not take their hand bags or for that matter any objects. One other thing which needs to be strictly is careful on the issuance of passport. How about the ability and intelligence of individuals who are working there? Do they get constant training and briefing? Since flying is one part of economy the fault should be corrected and encourage people to fly.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  152. Robert Harris

    Mr. Cafety,

    No, I do not feel safe! The President must make an example out of someone. If indiviuals see someone lose their job behind this, they will take notice.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  153. Bob

    Yes. People are notoriously bad at evaluating relative risks and we focus on the rare but newsworthy disasters and accidents when those aren't the most significant risks to us. Flying is still incredibly safe and you're still at far greater risk driving to the airport than flying from it.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  154. Nicole Dussere

    I still fly, but it's nerve wracking....and sadly I find myself profiling every passenger. I know it's wrong, but when you are concerned for the safety of your family, nothing is off limits.
    Nicole in Texas

    January 7, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  155. BiNs

    Not safe.

    Here is why:

    On the security gate, TSA is only matching passengers' ID with the physical person, but not running that name against the no-fly list. There is no way they can remember all the hundred of blacklisted names.
    That means, terrorists whose names are in the no-fly list could book the ticket with a stolen credit card assuming a different name. Then, they could do online check-in, and alter the name on the printed boarding pass to match their real name in their IDs, and board the plane.

    Airlines need to stop offering online check-in. That will make it safer.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  156. jon

    I feel perfectly safe flying. Anywhere anytime. We have done an excellent job denying access to terrorists. Those posting of their fears need to turn off Dick Cheney and use their head and look at the facts, no one has bought down an American airliner since 9/11.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  157. Justen

    No, ever since 9/11 I've been pretty paranoid while flying, this latest incident didn't help.

    Good thing I don't do it much.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  158. Michael B

    I fly in and out of Lagos Nigeria multiple times per year. The scrutiny I receive in the international terminal is oddly enough better than anywhere I've ever flown out of in the US. Most of what we have with the TSA is the show. We seriously need to take a lesson from Israel and learn what they've done.

    Eliminate the privacy nuts. If you want to fly, here's how you do it and it involves the full body scan and/or the puffers. If you don't want to subject yourself to this, please take the bus. There is no privacy invasion here at all.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  159. David in Raleigh, NC

    Other than making the airport security people and the security screeners government employees in TSA along with a pay raise. Nothing has changed since 9/11/01. The same incompetents who let the 9/11 bombers through security are still doing the same job.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  160. Jim North Carolina

    Jack, A lot safer, than with the nut jobs on the interstates.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  161. Andy

    I never feel like I'm going to get blown up when I fly if that's what you're asking.

    If I die, I die, who cares? It's gotta happen some day. I'm not staying in my house and watching Friends re-runs for the rest of my life...and I'm not driving from Philly to Vegas once a year.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  162. Sean

    Seems like Osama won at the end of the day, trying to make us fear from flying...

    January 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  163. Scott

    Jack, the wife and I feel safe every time we fly. Air travel is much much safer than road travel. Over 40,000 die/year in auto accidents in the United States. How many have died in airline accidents in the past 10 years, excluding 9/11? This is my point. You can screen everyone, and everything but sooner or later the terrorists will find out what they can, and what they can't, get through security. And then the process starts over again. And when that happens, the government takes another one of our liberties. Next thing you know, we're looking like Orwell's 1984.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  164. Will, M.D.

    Fly.. I'm waiting for transporters or the star gate. Beam me up scotty!! Seriously, are we going to allow threats to prevent individuals from utilizing this mode of transportation? No matter, in 2010 or 2070 as long as there are terrorist there are going to be threats. We just have to make sure that we have the best possible methods, technology, processes and well trained individuals to prevent such attacks.

    Just a thought.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  165. Hippie John

    Great Jack,... ... I'll get by with a little help from my

    January 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  166. James in Richmond VA

    Jack, I don't really feel any safer flying now then I did 2 or 12 years ago. I don't allow my self to worry about what some crazy may or may not do. I just get more and more annoyed at all the hoops I'm forced to put up with when I fly now. Which is why I dont plan much on flying for a while.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  167. Patrick

    I fly a minimum twice a week trans-continental. I've seen no negative changes, and I feel quite safe. I'm quite convinced the Taxi ride is far more dangerous.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  168. Amanulla khan

    Inspite of all the clear warnings about Muthalab,he got into the plane and tried to kill about mor than 300 passengers.Our security system failed.Or arranged to be failed.And he will be brought to the court.There also some will be there to defend him,even if every body knows that Muthlab is a terrorist.Fence eats the crope.
    But still we have to depend on the sky.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  169. brett mullins Phoenix,Az

    I feel very safe with the internet everybody can visit the whole world from a rocking chair, also you have to deal with crowds.
    Brett Mullins
    Phoenix Az

    January 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  170. alex

    why does every CNN personality talking about as if the vigilance of the passengers saved the attempt on Christmas Day??? I may be wrong, but didn't the bomb blew up, but not the way it was supposed to?? So, what would a passenger jumping on top of him help stop the threat?
    I am not trying to take away any credit from the passengers who acted, but we can't deny what happened. The bomb blew up, but failed, and then people jumped on top of the guy. If the bomb worked, we would be talking about something else today.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  171. Corey

    I feel very safe. I compare the number of incidents on airplanes such as the Christmas attack attempt versus the number of flights throughout the world each day. The numbers don't lie and they're on my side.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  172. Paul Burns

    Well Jack after the 9/11 attacks Bush did not discipline anyone. Not a single head rolled after the worst security and intelligence failuire in US History, Pearl Harbor not withstanding.
    There are indications that there were numeous warnings concerning 9/11. One FBI agent even warned his superiors over seventy times about middle easterners of Arab descent taking flying lessons with absolutely no response from them. Intelligence agencies from other nations also warned our government and no action was taken.
    As for the recent attempt to bring a US airliner and the Ft. Hood massacre there are indications that there was enough smoke to break out the fire hoses but they stayed on their hooks.
    When one's dog is too big and vicious there may be a risk in attempting to punish it. Especially if it might inadvertently growl out some names best left unspoken.
    Wasn,t it Dwight D. Eisenhower that warned us to beware the concentration of power in the hnds of the Military Industrial Complex.
    As far as I can tell Ike was not insane and what he warned about has probably not gone away.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  173. Ed Moore - Phoenix, AZ

    I have not heard anyone address the failure of the airline to react to someone attempting to purchase a one-way ticket...... for cash.... to a person without luggage. They SOLD him the ticket!!!
    Who failed? Are they accountable to the TSA?

    January 7, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  174. YALE

    I'm more worried by pilot error than terriorist attacks!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  175. Tom

    Never felt safe before 911 – naturally something that far above the earth and the potential for disaster how could you feel "safe". The idiotic Jihad ragamuffins just add fuel to the fire. I agree with the comment made about being treated like cargo too............rather drive and enjoy the scenery.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  176. A Martin

    I have no fear of flying, but I no longer fly commercially due to the hassles, lines, restrictions, etc. of the TSA. If the TSA was eliminated I would gladly go back to flying. The terrorists targeting aircraft are so inept, they are nothing more than a distraction. Intelligence and police action should take care of them as well as the real threats.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  177. Michael Alexandria, VA

    Right now, I can't afford to fly. If I did, I would feel fairly safe, however, since no al Queda hijacker has been able to pull off any plot without getting creamed by his fellow passengers. If they like getting beaten up, they can, of course, continue to try.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  178. Sam

    I feel a lot safer flying than I do driving in a car with the amount of cell phone use, texting, aggressive driving, etc. taking place on the road.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  179. Carol in Rio Rancho, NM

    I flew three days after 9-11, on a plane almost empty because of fear-driven cancellations. I felt safe then - before anybody dreamed up shoe removal, 3-ounce containers in plastic baggies, and other ridiculous "security" measures - and I feel safe now, at least where terrorism is concerned. That said, I have concerns about airplane maintenance and antiquated air traffic control systems - and I agree with Ed in Santa Fe - I hate being treated like cargo!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  180. Brian Meeks


    I feel incredibly safe flying. I do not believe that 1 or 2 mistakes have increased the probability that I will be injured or killed on a flight substantially. I can't say how many people fly in the US in a year, but I know that if these mistakes occurred 1 time per month or one time per week, the odds are still overwhelming in favor of me being safe.

    That being said, if the recent errors lead to improvements, I am all for it. I will gladly suffer personal inconvience and delays if it means that security is improved. But even without changes, I will not be 'Terrorized' by the enemy.


    Brian Meeks

    January 7, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  181. larry wisconsin

    Jack, I changed jobs, and not for the fear of flying, but because of the BS at the air ports. I was averaging 143 flights per year, and prior to 9-11. On 9-11 I was on a Delta jet 20 mn's from touchdown at Ronald Reagon when the first tower was hit, and that's another story in itself, but my normal 3 day business trip now turned into 5, and with delay's and hassels up the ying yang. I made the decision to change job's and get out of the air. I haven't been in an airport since July of 2005, and there is no way i would put muslef or my family through the BS that now exists. I feel sorry for those who have to be dehunanized, and belittled by the process now in place.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  182. oumarou

    Hello jack I m scare to fly at all I m from Niger in west africa and I m worry if I will never going to fly to see my family again because of fly risque. American have to watch those people they are well prepare to attack us. I don t trust republican at all because many of them are wisching something to happen in america so they can blame the president Obama.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  183. Pete

    Safety is a false reality. Fear is used to control the US people
    The clamor to ramp up airport security with invasive naked body imaging scanners has nothing to do with ensuring the safety of travelers. Rather it is part of an ongoing incremental push to break the will of the people and encourage mass subservience and meek obedience.
    I want my america back............

    January 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  184. Silas Kain - Boston

    In a country where we text message and yap on our cell phones while driving, I hardly find flying any more frightening. We've got to get a grip, folks. Terrorism is real and we've been spoiled. It's time for us to get off our Blackberries and START paying attention to what goes on in our neighborhoods. We are our best defense, the problem is we don't know it.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  185. Conor in Chicago

    And yet we will never hear of the hundreds of times our security apparatus actually prevented a terror attack because the government doesn't want to worry people. Think about that for a second Jack...

    January 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  186. Jon

    Take a ride with my mother one time. I will take the chance on flying.
    Cleveland, OH

    January 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  187. Andrew

    I am unsure what the TSA means when they state that they take full responsibility for the security breach. The lives and safety of hundreds of thousands of people traveling by air every day are in the hands of TSA and they take "full responsibility" for their pair of screw-ups by simply reassigning an officer to another area. How is this taking responsibility? Had the Newark Airport incident turned out worse or say the December 25th bomber had succeeded, I, as a traveling American with a family at home, would expect to hear a lot more than a statement that the officer(s) who dropped the ball has been reassigned to perform "non-screening duties." I would certainly hope they had.
    I understand that terrorism tactics have changed from 9/11 until now, but the goal of the TSA remains the same: ensure a safe and orderly environment for air travel. Where is the loophole in which an individual can slip through a security checkpoint with an explosive device? It's unacceptable. Regardless of whether or not the "dots" where connected and the Nigerian could have been predicted, he shouldn't have been able to get through security. Period.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  188. Andrew

    Flying is a calculated risk just like driving. It is still safer than driving your own car. Every night I drive home from work I see at least one deer on the side of the road just waiting to jump out in front of me.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  189. rami

    I don't know who I am more critical of terrorists or the airlines let's look at who makes my days more miserable. Between losing my luggage, bumping me out of my seat for someone else, missing my connecting flights because of constant delays, never being on time, the lack of meals, bad service, no leg room on flights, dealing with screaming kids in terminals, and let us not forget the airlines wonderful safety standards they have for their planes need I say more.

    Do I feel safe flying no way I don't and that was before 9/11 and don't get me started on the tsa and other security we have to deal with at the airport they make us all feel like we are terrorists from now on I will be driving and when I have to go overseas I will be taking a cruise ship it will be alot more fun.

    beaverton, oregon

    January 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  190. Tom

    I felt somewhat safe until a colleague of mine realized that he accidentally put an industrial box cutter in his computer bag and never was stopped nor was it ever picked up on any xray machines. He must have flown 10 to 12 flights and never stopped once. Scarey.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  191. Kevin

    If I want to get around I am going to have to get passed my fear if I have one. Just the same old stuff though: The message to the upper echelon is you do not have to be responsible for what you are supposed to be responsible for, e.g. The bailout of the companies that did not deserve it due to bad business practices. And in this case, no one looses their job for making mistakes that could cost lives.
    It is not going to get through till you hit them where it means something. These people deserve to loose their jobs, if not brought up on charges for their failures.
    So you ask me if I feel safe flying. No I don't. We are not safe when protected by someone that does not know what responsible means.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  192. Bruce in Colorado

    Jack, Statistically, I’m safer flying than simply walking out my front door and going about my daily business. Perspective has been lost in the politics of fear post 9-11. Isn’t this just what terrorists want? Disrupt our lives, hurt our economy, and have us live in fear. Don’t feed their cause Jack.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  193. Russell From Potomac, MD

    To tell you the truth Jack, it seems like these airplane attacks have become part of our daily lives. I've been a frequent flier even before 9/11 and never felt unsafe, and I still don't feel unsafe. It makes me wonder though, who is trying to scare the general public more, the idiots attempting to kill themselves and others, or our very own government. Every time there is an attack or an ATTEMPTED attack the media and government coins a catch phrase and begin to fill our heads and lives with a sense of general danger, and precautions without solving or taking accountability for ANY of the problems. Don't you think that's exactly what those terrorists want? So why give in to that fear? Live life. Fear God, not people. There's danger everywhere.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  194. Jacobus Gerardus Waldram

    I like all the new check the body scans I agree with if you have nothing to hide what is the problem. it is just like a xray. when I fly I never wear a belt my keys, wallet and change I put in my small carry on. I do not wear a cap or any thing I my head I say travel with as little carry on and dress light and comfortable. I stil l get pulled aside for pat down
    carry on checks it does not brother me. anyone who travels and does not like this stay home

    January 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  195. Zach - DC

    How many flights go out a day from all over the world again? Oh yea, a lot. Because security breaches are so far and few between they get too much hype. Let's put this in perspective. I fly 100K+ miles a year for my job and don't bat an eye at it. Security gets it right 99.9% of the time. That's a pretty solid error ratio. Stop playing into the media fear mongering.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  196. zenarcher

    I have given up flying with all the hassles of security and the poor service of airlines. I will have to say that I would feel safe until I had to deal with full body scans, arrogant TSA staff and rude Immigration and Customs staff. It makes little sense to me, having all this airport security, all the while or physical borders are nothing more than giant security holes.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  197. Ronald A. Davis

    The lack of business background is showing in our new President. In business any screw-up like those that have occured in our security system would result in an immediate discharge of the people who actually made the ommission of their duties. This would happen in both instances 1. the ignoring of the information on the Nigerian who wanted to blow up a plane and 2. the security guard that wlked away from his duty station.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  198. oumarou

    These people can be detect they using the chimie noir that s what we call it so no matter hapen they can still be on the plane

    January 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  199. nancy

    jack – how many people were killed with guns in their work places in the last year? it happened again today. yet, no call to prohibit guns as bodies pile up.
    the CIA has a history of not using vital information properly and I sometimes wonder whose side they are on. they don't cooperate very well with other agencies in the turf wars.
    as to the event at the new jersey airport, TSA does not have a chief thanks to Demint who is holding up the nomination because that person has expressed approval of unions.
    those who work for TSA are low paid and not very highly educated. they sit for mind numbing hours watching people leave the airport.
    i'm also sure their training is limited. a lot of changes need to be made.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  200. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio


    I certainly hope, if I cannot trust, that our State Department or Security sectors will offer protection to that father.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  201. Kris

    We should be a society of 'Have A Go Heroes'. We all know what is at stake if a nutter manages to detonate a bomb or gain command of an aircraft. We are the best deterrent.

    Richard Reid – dealt with by the public
    Glasgow Car Bomb – dealt with by the public
    2009 Christmas Day attempted bombing – dealt with by the public

    Keep your wits about you!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  202. CCL

    Feel safe flying? I dont even feel safe on the ground. The Christmas bomber's objective was not only to take out the plane, but to inflict as much damage as possible on the people below. He had plenty of time to blow the plane up over the Atlantic.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  203. Mac from Wyoming

    Just got done hearing President Obamas' speech...He makes me feel better since he refuses to hold anyone accountable...gee, I feel safer already.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  204. dwaine from michigan

    Jack I don't fell safe with this government of change, this is what happens when health care is more important than our safety.
    We may need this health care if our government doses't get there heads out of there butts.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  205. diridi

    not at all, jack....

    January 7, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  206. Mario, Dallas, TX

    There will always be nuts killing or trying to kill people. This guy was no different than the Virginia Tech shooter. They may or may not be affiliated with any terrorist group. This guy just happened to get infatuated with the jihadists. The Fort Hood killer is another example.
    It doesn't take much if one already has a sick mind.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  207. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    the main info is : failed to connect the dots from planned attacks which means failure of the analysis of various dots.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  208. Lel

    Commercial air travel is statistically safer than staying home.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  209. David

    Having Obama in the white House means no one in America is safe.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  210. spicypink

    No, I'm scared to death and have to take tranquilizers to even get on the plane.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  211. Mark from Minneapolis

    Flying is still the safest way to travel, driving to work is more dangerous.

    All this phony hand wringing and huge dollars spent on the latest high tech gadget to prevent last weeks, years, decades attack is wasted money. Dump the high tech gizmos, spend the money on people on the ground issuing visas, tickets& passports. Better on the ground intelligence

    Business depends on effecient air travel. We are in a recession. Let's spend more of our money making it more difficult to do business! Come on.

    I have been a 30,000 to 70,000 mile per year flyer for over 25 years. Why not ask the road warriors what they think, not the once a year leisure traveler.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  212. Jimmy from MN

    I do feel safe, due to the thousands of daily flights that go off without a hitch. It's simple mathematics. Regardless of what we do, security-wise, we cannot make ourselves immune from attacks in the future. I'm sure this won't be the last breach of security, but I will not stop flying.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  213. Cee

    I flew back from Egypt the other day and felt fine about it. If someone is determined, they will make it happen. I live in Baltimore City. I'm still safer flying than I am walking around this city at night. This stuff doesn't concern me at all. Statistics show driving your car is far more dangerous than terrorists. And haven't we seen enough workplace and school shootings to know that there is a lot of violence that is not prevented, even with all the warnings in the world.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  214. veronica

    Don in Delaware, You don't need experts to tell you that flying is safer than driving..you only have to pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV.

    EVERY DAY of EVERY YEAR, thousands of people die and/or are seriously injured in car wrecks.

    can we say the same for air travel? no.

    i don't need a rocket scientist to tell me which one is safer.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  215. Craig

    Anyone who thinks flying is unsafe is a victim of overblown media coverage. They are afraid more of the idea that their country has lost some amount of control more than the actual risk.

    There's almost a million flights a month in the US alone. Even if a plane was taken down every week it would be safer than driving a car.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  216. John Adams

    Yes, I feel safe flying.

    The odds of anything happening on a flight is minuscule, but there is absolutely no escaping that anytime you confine yourself to a small space that is vulnerable to catastrophic failure and add a couple hundred unknown people you're in some level of danger. If you fly, you have to accept the fact that the TSA and all of the other systems are not fool proof and vulnerabilities that will ALWAYS make terrorist attacks possible. Once you accept that, you'll fly with a lot less stress ...except for all the ridiculous hoops you have to jump through to get on the plane put in place because some guy tried to light his shoes on fire... or his underwear.. or whatever..

    January 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  217. Jim in Alabama

    Hell no Jack, I don't feel safe flying. Once upon a time all one had to worry about was mechanical trouble or pilot error, but now with so many insane people in the world trying to kill us, nobody can relax. Add to that the inefficiency of the homeland security department, the CIA and other agencies who are supposed to be on top of this situation and share information, it really becomes stressful. It's also unfortunate that we have to have a disaster to get the folks in washington off their sorry butts to do anything about the situation until next time. Nothing much has been done since 9/11 and that's simply a national disgrace. heads should roll and I mean NOW!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  218. James in anaheim california

    I don't feel safe at all, and I do not feel that the screener deserves to keep his tsa job. There is a simple way to run things, if you screw up at your job where you cause chaos you should be fired. end of story. No one on the TSA deserves to keep their job after this fiasco at Newark airport and it all could have been avoided by just doing one simple thing:fixing a camera.

    what has the world come to?

    January 7, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  219. myeyedea

    What does it matter how safe folks feel? You'll fly if you have to/want to and hope it's not your day out...

    January 7, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  220. Jim Marlowe New York, NY

    I think there is more chance of mechanical failure on a plane than there is of a terrorist attack. Since 9/11 it is in our minds that something could happen but the way to beat terrorists is; to not be terrorized and go about living your life with a minimum of fear or concern. By making too big a deal about them, we make them larger than life and in actuality they are very small and deserve to be smaller. The less coverage they get the better.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  221. Kim

    I feel about as safe flying as a deer does on I 35 in rush hour in Minneapolis. I was thinking of planning a trip to see family in February but something tells me to stop this nonsense and just pick up the phone instead. It is too big of a hassle, and frankly, I am scared!

    January 7, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  222. John

    During World War II, Americans had to endure shortages and rationing of basic services. Londoners endured repeated bombing campaigns by the Germans, and had to hunker down in underground shelters. Because they were at war, and they didn't want to surrender - they wanted to win.

    Today, 60 years later, we are at war again, and Jack thinks that we Americans are such softies that can't deal with one idiot per year who stuffs his underwear with explosives. Come on. No system is perfect, because nobody is perfect.

    If you want to get somewhere far away in a hurry, obviously you should fly. Nobody can assure you that it will be 100% safe. Only 99.999% safe. But I can assure you that life is short, you only get one go at it, and remote risks and the possibility of discomfort or rudeness are no reason to sit at home scared, rather than living your life.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  223. Maria

    I feel safer flying than driving. That doesn't take away from the contempt I feel for those who are hired to protect our air transportation safety.



    January 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  224. Charles from ND

    As a worker here in the US, i am held responsible for my actions as well as my inactions. if my actions could've caused the death or harm of a fellow employee, my company wouldn't hesitate to fire me. why then are OUR employees, not held to the same standards?

    January 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  225. TareX

    I've always felt safe flying. Not because of the annoying, irritating, security searches before the flight (seem to be annoying more than they are effective)... but because there are MUCH MORE LETHAL threats to worry about like cardiac events, a diabetic spell, road accidents...etc.

    Specifically for flying, if I should be concerned of something, it would be of a maintenance malfunction, something wrong with the wings/wheels, or a thunderstorm.... not an extremely rare terrorist attack.

    Flying is -in fact- statistically speaking, one of the safest experiences ever.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  226. Tyler Ritter

    I generally feel safe flying but I can understand how others wouldn't. It's humn nature to fear what we can't control and when we decide to fly, we decide to leave a lot in the hands of others. TSA needs to do a better job making sure there are no exceptions to protocol when a suspicious situation arises. The case of the Christmas bomber is unacceptable and frankly too easy to miss.

    Norristown, PA

    January 7, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  227. Tom

    No. We need to profile. It's odd but all terrorists seem to be young Muslims. Haven't seen any granny bombers yet.

    January 7, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  228. Jeremy in Albuquerque

    I'm terrified! What if I get seated next to Ivana Trump?

    January 7, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  229. heather

    the bomber flew from another country not the from the usa. why yet again we police the world.? maybe we should be nato usa we run the world. this is demarks problem not ours, but yet again we step in and police the world.denmark and other countries have much stifffer laws. we will give the bomber free housing, free food and we will probly give him free health care so that thay can ask him questions that have no merit to the situation.the media qustion are so far left get back to basic question and report the facts

    January 7, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  230. Dunne

    No. The air filtration systems and maintanance cleanings are lethal.

    Al-Qaeda who?

    January 7, 2010 at 5:59 pm |