Fly safe, fly light
When it comes to security, it's all about privileges ... abusing them and sacrificing them.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Recent events in London are serious and a stark reminder that the world we live in is not a safe one, but there is one good thing to come of them ... no carry-on luggage.
That presumably temporary measure, installed by British authorities just after the arrests of 24 men suspected of planning to blow up planes over the Atlantic, should be made permanent.
Naturally there is an obvious security advantage. But there is another, more personal interest that should be on the mind of every traveler.
People and their carry on luggage are a pain in the ... neck.
Anybody who's traveled has seen it....
The businessman who drags aboard an overstuffed garment bag; it would be a competitive disadvantage to spend 15 minutes at the bag carousel.
The teen vacationer who tries to jam an overstuffed backpack into the overhead. Wham ... wham ... wham ..."I just don't understand why it doesn't fit?!"
The grandmother who carries on a taped up box with "a few gifts for the kids."
The shopper with the bags: "Look what I got at the duty-free stores!"
Sure I carry stuff along on trips, but no more than what can fit into a small knapsack. And I'd be willing to give it up to avoid having someone's knick-knacks spill on to me from above or having to dance around an impromptu cargo staging area in the aisle.
Of course there are those who'd be aghast at having to travel without a laptop and other work accoutrements. Well, we've had plenty of studies saying people work too hard. View this as enforced relaxation ... provided, of course, you can relax on an airplane. And for those who take a grocery bag full of goodies on board for the trip ... slog along with the airline fare like the rest of us.
This ties into a previous, somewhat tongue-in-cheek argument I've made: That everyone should fly naked. Think about it. You'd get automatic security. And as a bonus you'd get the population, the flying population at least, motivated to stay in shape. If you're going to be naked you want to look your best, after all.
But the government doesn't listen to me, so clothes will probably stay on. And carry-on luggage will likely come back to Britain and stay every where else. And people will continue to abuse the privilege.
And privilege is a large part of the debate. We want security. But to get that, we have to give up some privileges. And that takes sacrifice.
The last time I flew, I was searched. Another guy was searched too. But he hollered and fussed and put up a stink. "I paid $800 for this ticket and I don't have to put up with this," he spat out as he juggled his hiking water bottle and backpack.
Tell you what. I'll give up the carry-on bag and the clothes if I only have to pay $100. But anybody wearing clothes ... search them twice.
Allen Wastler is Managing Editor of CNNMoney.com and appears on CNN's "In the Money." He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.