Airlines keep an eye on extra security

An airline passenger has her boarding pass and identification papers reviewed by a TSA officer at a security checkpoint inside Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va.

TEXT OF STORY

Kai Ryssdal: President Obama convened a high-level meeting with his national security advisers this afternoon to talk about aviation security. After which he stepped to the microphones.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Immediately after the attack, I ordered concrete steps to protect the American people. New screening and security for all flights -- domestic and international -- more explosive detection teams at airports, more air marshals on flights, and deepening cooperation with international partners.

And he let on there will likely be more security to come. Airline executives were watching as closely as any member of the traveling public. They know extra security after the failed Christmas Day bombing in Detroit could conceivably affect their bottom lines. Our Washington bureau chief John Dimsdale reports.


JOHN DIMSDALE: So far, airline bookings are steady. And frequent flyers seem resigned to still more time for security.

Annette LaBeau, a software developer from Michigan, flies as often as twice a week.

ANNETTE LABEAU: Right now I know exactly the latest I can leave to get through security in time for my flight. Next time I fly, I'm definitely going to get to the airport earlier.

Right now, there's a tentative recovery in the airline industry.

And Julius Maldutis with Aviation Dynamics says some companies have even been able to raise fares.

JULIUS MALDUTIS: And the airlines were hoping they would have small earnings for this year. But it really depends on what's gonna happen as a result of these security checks.

Airlines know their customers want to feel secure, says industry consultant David Fuscus.

DAVID FUSCUS: They like to remind people, though, that there is an economic consideration to this. The passenger airline industry is a vital part of the U.S. economy.

Which means, he says, government security measures have to take passenger inconvenience into account.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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