View Full Version : James Foye Op-Ed - "I Want To Fly FedEx"

Otter Mii-kun
August 15th, 2006, 2:34 PM
Looks like it won't be too long anymore until we'll have to strip down completely (means no wallet, purse, money, credit cards, ID cards or ANYTHING) upon entering the terminal-just as the article below states!

From http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig7/foye1.html :
I Want To Fly FedEx
And take my iPod with me
by James Foye

On Tuesday afternoon my iPod arrived. Small, like a calculator (but a bit heavier), black in front with a shiny silver backside. It’s controlled by a nifty low profile wheel with some buttons, and sports a bright backlit display, and 30 gigabytes of capacity that can probably hold my entire CD collection. Hey, I’m a bit late for the iPod revolution, but here I am. Way to go, Apple! I have an upcoming long overnight flight to Argentina, and I’m really looking forward to taking this sleek marvel of engineering, along with the Bose noise-cancelling headphones I bought last year (oh yes, they work!) on my trip in September.

On Thursday I woke up and turned on the news. Apparently terrorists were prevented at almost the last minute from blowing up planes en route from Britain to the US. Their plan was to compose explosives during the flight with materials brought on board in the carry-on luggage. And a battery would be used as the detonator.

I groaned. Sure enough, later in the morning I read a news story listing the items restricted on all flights from Britain, including anything with a battery, and it even specifically lists the iPod. No doubt these restrictions will expand to all flights in the future. Bye bye iPod. And bye bye laptop. Heck, it’s even bye bye watch! Stewardess, can you please tell me what time it is?

Perhaps at some point in the future, we will make the transition to all nude air travel. This may be the only sure way to prevent someone from bringing something dangerous on a flight. Of course, there is another alternative. Well, there are two other alternatives, one being for the US government to stop meddling everywhere in the world, but the one I’m thinking of is to make airlines responsible for their own security.

If Fedex flew passenger flights, would you be their customer? Suppose prior to becoming a customer of Fedex, you had to provide some personal (and verifiable) information about yourself, in return for which, you would not be hassled when boarding the plane. Would you do it? Suppose Fedex personnel always took a little closer look at you than the granny in front of you. Would you consider that unfair? Yet the line would still move faster than the one managed by the TSA where everybody, no matter how unlikely a candidate to be a terrorist, gets a good going-over. Suppose Fedex charged 10% more for their tickets, but constantly updated their threat detection technology? And imagine how courteous the personnel would be. If you did have a problem, you could ask for a supervisor. Ever try asking someone who works for the TSA if you can speak with their supervisor?

If Fedex flew its own passenger flights, and a terrorist infiltrated its security and crashed a plane, it's unlikely that anyone would fly Fedex ever again. The company would probably announce bankruptcy in a few days. Knowing this, they would take very special care to make sure this doesn’t happen. By contrast, all of the airlines who lost planes on 9/11 are still in business. To the best of my knowledge, not one airline employee was even fired in the aftermath of that calamity.

The Post Office has lost a lot of my mail over the years. But Fedex has never lost a package I’ve sent. Never. I think they would take just as much care not to lose a plane I was on with a load of customers on board.

August 12, 2006

James Foye is an independent software developer living in Austin, Texas.