Our reach exceeds your grasp

Paul Ferguson pointed me to a story in today’s Statesman about random car searches at ABIA. The gist is that anyone wanting to pull up curbside is subjecting their car to random searches. Refusing the search means you’re sent to park instead of being able to get close to the terminal. I haven’t yet seen this in action, but I can’t see how they’re going to pull this off without causing a mess. I’m interested to know if anyone out there has actually been selected for one of these searches and, if so, did you agree? What happened?

I posted about this last September when I heard it mentioned in a KUT report.

You can see from my follow-up comments in that post that this isn’t a new practice and it’s not a very effective one either. On top of that, you have to start considering Fourth Amendment issues with this practice. There’s at least one challenge underway concerning how far TSA and airport police can go when trying to keep us safe.

Given that you can’t really spend any time curbside anyway and with this added restriction, they might as well totally shut down both upper and lower driveways. It’s interesting to see how the airport that was opened in late 1999 has had its original layout thwarted by security concerns. The main concourse was intended to be an area for both passengers and those meeting them/sending them off, but that all ended with September 11th. The newsstands outside the security checkpoints started selling more food and drinks and I suppose the restaurants inside took a hit. I love how all of the politicians after an attack implore us to go on with our lives as usual or else the terrorists win. Well, guess what?

Anyway, I’m dangerously close to going off on a rant about all of this, but I’ll refrain. Fellow Austinites, consider yourselves warned the next time you make a trip to the airport. You might be walking.

Update (07.12.2005): News8Austin has a story today about the random searches as well. Apparently, we’re the only Texas airport doing the searches. How did we get so lucky?

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