It was a disastrous way to end the week, with a mass exodus of passengers drifting down Century Boulevard on foot.
LAX was closed for 36 hours and was an isolated crime scene for a day.
Paul Hudson, FlyersRights president affirmed "this was a travel nightmare that could have been a total horror show and major massacre."
The news that TSA agents were shot and one killed by someone targeting the organization was a shock.
Was it an arbitrary attack? Or was there nothing random about this shooting?
A casual comparison between TSA's Instagram feed and Friday's news photos raises the question of a possible cause-and-effect between TSA's confiscated guns and those weapons becoming icons rather than an effective PR campaign for an organization long nicknamed "security theater".
TSA chief, John Pistole, has called for a complete airport security overhaul, something Hudson has long advocated for.
Hudson stressed that he "was against taking down armed security at major airports after 9/11 when on he served on the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (1997-2007) and heading the Families of Pan Am 103/Lockerbie."
"Especially after the armed attack on El Al at LAX," he said, "and the confession by KSM mastermind of 9/11 attacks, that Al Qaeda had follow on armed attacks planned against major airports, to kill and hijack aircraft on the ground, then takeoff and crash into nearby targets."
"This attack reveals anew a glaring vulnerability to terrorists, and considering the recent U.S. attacks on Islamic terrorist leadership in Pakistan, Libya and Somalia, retaliation attacks must be expected." Hudson said.
There have been other domestic terror attacks against U.S. government personnel, most notably the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building bombing.
Other armed assaults on airports include the Rome, Italy airport by Palestinian terrorists in 1985.
Hudson remarked that additional defensive security measures are needed to stop copy-cat attacks.
TSA claims to have deployed behaviorism to detect nervous persons who may be terrorists, but apparently nothing to stop a brazen armed attack.
Hudson is calling for President Obama to ensure visible armed security is in place at all category X airports using national guard if necessary, as was done after 9/11.
"This is necessary to both deter further attacks and reassure the flying public," he asserted.
Compounding the mess on Friday were reports of airlines actually charging passengers to switch their flights. A FlyersRights member wrote in with his experience:
Like all Americans, we were shocked and angered by the shooting In terminal 3 at LAX.
We were on route to LAX with my 80 year old mother-in-law when we heard the news and turned around before reaching LAX.
Since LAX was on a lockdown, she missed her flight. We called Alaska airlines to re-book for tomorrow and were shocked when they wanted to charge a $100 change fee!
I know this situation was out of anyone's control but in the spirit of understanding and customer loyalty you'd think they understand and waive the fees to those who missed their flights today.
It took 20 minutes and the threat of legal action to get the airline to back down and waive the change fee.
I wonder how many passengers paid the fee adding to
Alaska Airlines profits while the airline took advantage of
A frequent flyer
From Santa Monica
Time To Burn Those Miles
Buried in Friday's news was United Airline's unprecedented announcement of a massivedevaluation of their frequent flyer program.
The airline will soon require a much higher number of frequent-flier miles to book its flights, especially with its Star Alliance partners in business and first-class to international destinations.
UAL spokesperson Rahsaan Johnson told USA Today the change was made "to account for the increased cost of providing transportation."
Some of the new partner award redemption rates are shocking and it appears to no longer make sense to accumulate miles on its Chase MileagePlus credit card.
"United's action in drastically devaluing its frequent-flyer miles shows the need for rules that grandfather in benefits and require 6-12 month notice for major program changes." said Paul Hudson, FlyersRights president.
"Airlines sell frequent-flyer miles to credit card companies for cash up front, then the miles build up as a liability on their balance sheet, so they are highly motivated to devalue them with unilateral program changes or by drastically limiting their use." Hudson remarked.
FlyersRighs has advocated for mandatory disclosure of the usage rate of frequent-flyer miles versus how many expire unused.
Unsurprisingly, United was nominated as America's Worst Airline by The Airline Quality Report earlier this year.
TSA Changes After Knife-Ban Reversal Voted by U.S. House Panel
In another victory for FlyersRights, TSA will now be required to consult with industry groups on decisions like its short-lived move to end the ban on knives aboard airplanes, under a bill the House advanced today.
Representative Richard Hudson(R-NC), chairman of the Transportation Security Subcommittee, said the legislation is a response to the TSA's attempt earlier this year to remove the ban on bringing small knives onto commercial flights. The agency reversed itself in June after protests by flight attendants, airline executives and TSA employees.
"One day Harvard Business School will teach a seminar on how not to roll out a new rule," Hudson, a North Carolina Republican, said in an interview. "This will be the textbook example."
Ideas such as relaxing the knives ban should be discussed with industry groups like airlines, airports and unions before they're announced, Rep. Hudson said. He said he supported the policy change and criticized the way TSA Administrator John Pistole went about it.
The agency also has a warehouse full of equipment it bought and never used, while companies have put time and money into developing technology TSA asked for before deciding it was no longer interested, he said.
"Everyone I talked to said the process is broken," Rep. Hudson said. "If you look at the amount of money involved, this is a place we could save significant money for the taxpayer."
Makers of the 787 Dreamliner, Boeing, expressed concern over recurring glitches on the plane while at the same time insisting that it was a machine that has never caused issues with the safety of passengers.
"We are concerned (about the problems with Dreamliner). It's a machine, we did our best to design it... but something happens."
"But it is a safe airplane, it has never caused issues with the safety of passengers," Dinesh Keskar, Senior Vice President (Sales, Asia-Pacific and India) of Boeing, said.
When asked about the incident of a panel in the belly of a Dreamliner aircraft falling off at Bangalore airport, he said, "It never put the lives of passengers or the aircraft at risk as it was just an access panel and not the pressurized one."
A 8x4 foot panel in the belly of a Dreamliner operated by Air India, which was carrying around 150 passengers, fell off as the plane from Delhi was landing at Bangalore airport on October 12.
We are commited to solutions for promoting airline passenger policies that forward first and foremost the safety of all passengers while not imposing unrealistic economic burdens that adversely affect airline profitability or create exhorbitant ticket price increases.
All American air carriers shall abide by the following standards to ensure the safety, security and comfort of their passengers:
Establish procedures to respond to all passenger complaints within 24 hours and with appropriate resolution within 2 weeks.
Notify passengers within ten minutes of a delay of known diversions, delays and cancellations via airport overhead announcement, on aircraft announcement, and posting on airport television monitors.
Establish procedures for returning passengers to terminal gate when delays occur so that no plane sits on the tarmac for longer than three hours without connecting to a gate.
Provide for the essential needs of passengers during air- or ground-based delays of longer than 3 hours, including food, water, sanitary facilities, and access to medical attention.
Provide for the needs of disabled, elderly and special needs passengers by establishing procedures for assisting with the moving and retrieving of baggage, and the moving of passengers from one area of airport to another at all times by airline personnel.
Publish and update monthly on the company’s public web site a list of chronically delayed flights, meaning those flight delayed thirty minutes or more, at least forty percent of the time, during a single month.
Compensate “bumped” passengers or passengers delayed due to flight cancellations or postponements of over 12 hours by refund of 150% of ticket price.
The formal implementation of a Passenger Review Committee, made up of non-airline executives and employees but rather passengers and consumers – that would have the formal ability to review and investigate complaints.
Make lowest fare information, schedules and itineraries, cancellation policies and frequent flyer program requirements available in an easily accessed location and updated in real-time.
Ensure that baggage is handled without delay or injury; if baggage is lost or misplaced, the airline shall notify customer of baggage status within 12 hours and provide compensation equal to current market value of baggage and its contents.
Require that these rights apply equally to all airline code-share partners including international partners.