Who’s Smarter Than a Seventh Grader?

by | Jan 6, 2010 | Personal Notes, Travel and Dining | 1 comment

Just after the failed terrorist attack on Christmas Day aboard a Northwest airliner, I announced to my family that the TSA had banned all moving around in the cabin for one hour prior to landing and turned off the entertainment systems.  I explained the reason was because the terrorist got into his overhead luggage and went to the bathroom within an hour of landing (presumably to ready the hidden bomb in his underwear). 

I could see from the puzzled expressions on the faces of my family, who are no strangers to international travelling, that further explanation was needed. I continued: the TSA thought if no one was able to access luggage, go to the bathroom, or follow the plane on the real-time map on the entertainment system that this would avert a similar terrorist attack on a civilian airplane. 

“That is so stupid!” blurted out my seventh grader. “Any terrorist could figure out that now all he needs to do is get into his overhead luggage and go to the bathroom one and a half hours before landing and look out the window to see if the plane is over a city.”

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