Aziz Poonawalla has a great look at how the new regulations after the Christmas Day terror attempt continues to punish the innocent airplane passenger while not really doing anything to dissuade a would be bomber that happened to get through five other hurdles due to a massive systematic failure. Both the airlines and the bureacrats who tell them what to do view us as a herd, not a pack.

The airline industry has long treated us like a herd, even though we, the passengers, are the sole reason for its existence. Shut up, sit down, walk here, walk there, wait here. Much of this is necessary due to simple need of efficiency but there’s a mentality that has taken hold now, especially in the area of security, which rationalizes the passenger as a kind of enemy, or at least a necessary yet annoying burden which interferes with the noble ideal of moving planes around.

The story of Flight 253 is of a pack – the passengers themselves subdued the idiot, as they have done many times before (including on 9-11 itself). Yet the answer? new rules stating that on the final hour of the flight before landing, passengers may not stand up from their seats, use the restroom, or even take any items out of their personal carry ons – including those under the seat, not just those in the overhead. This is utterly insane. The logic of it is ludicrous – would these rules actually stop a committed saboteur? Why just the final hour of the flight? Why would there be anything in your carryons – which have passed through security already – be a sudden threat? And what if there was a real threat in that last hour – would a civic minded citizen hesitate to get up and act to save his fellow passengers if he saw something suspicious from a few aisles away? Without the ability (or rather, a severe disincentive) to even stand up and stroll over to see whats going on, the first line of defense is now effectively castrated.