Flight attendants no so happy with TSA's move for pilots
1:47 PM Fri, Nov 19, 2010
So the TSA caved to pilots, saying they don't have to get pat-downs. It didn't take long for a major flight attendant union to chime in about unfairness:
Flight attendants have submitted to the same finger printing and 10-year FBI background check as pilots. Flight attendants have completed required FAA mandated initial training and annual recurrent training in safety and security. Flight attendants have voluntarily taken additional TSA crewmember self-defense training on our own time and at our own expense since the federal government refused to make that training mandatory and fund it. Flight attendants are FAA -certified safety and security professionals.
In spite of the invaluable role that flight attendants play in air security, flight attendants are now being subjected to Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) or "enhanced" body patdowns that are not only invasive, but also humiliating and embarrassing for front line security professionals who put their lives on the line every day. Enhanced TSA screening of flight crews is not only unnecessary, it is a waste of TSA resources that should be directed at the real security risks.
This is from Thom McDaniel of Transport Workers Union 556 for Southwest Airlines, but I'd expect some similar upset from CWA-repped unions in fairly short order.
The flight attendants point about safety: Pilots lock themselves in cabins, and they have guns. Flight attendants actually profile passengers, make judgments about threats and in the case of the shoe bomber and underwear bombers, possibly keep everybody alive to tell the story by physically stopping things that passengers may be trying to do.