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16 November 2010 @ 10:41 am
bleeeeeeeh (TSA)  
Sent to Virgin America this morning:
I write to you, my preferred airline in hopes that you can help me remain a customer. I typically fly 3-4 round trips with you per year, all of which are recreational, and I am consistently happy to fly on Virgin America.

I have decided to limit my optional air travel until the current state of security theater is scaled back. I believe that you are position to advocate for passengers' rights and reasonable, appropriate treatment from the TSA.

I want effective, evidence-based security measures that improve safety without invading every passenger's right to privacy. The new full-body scanners do not qualify, based on the research I have read, and are costly and offensive. The recently "enhanced" pat-downs are invasive and meet the legal definition of sexual battery.

As much as I love travel, and enjoy flying with Virgin America specifically, I am unwilling to undergo routine sexual battery for the privilege.

I hope Virgin can help, as I hope to be flying with you again someday soon.
I'm feeling: sadsad
sernin on November 16th, 2010 04:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you for posting. Last year I had over 15 roundtrip travels (so more than 30 security screenings). I haven't encountered this decision yet, but I really like the idea or airline pressure through civil letter campaign.
harimad on November 16th, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
Funny I was just thinking about sending letters to the major carriers about so-called security screenings. I used to fly every week, now I avoid it like the plague it is. My focus is on "time consuming" + "useless" but I like your points as well. May I crib?
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on November 16th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
Please do!
Yagayagagriswold on November 16th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
This is a great idea. I have followed your lead and contacted Jet Blue in a similar, but less eloquent, fashion.
The Hebrew Hammercockhammercock on November 16th, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I might just send a similar letter to all the airlines I have flown in the last year or two.
David Policardpolicar on November 16th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
Go you!
cheveux sable with earworm rampant: the handlcohen on November 16th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)
i think this letter is a really good idea and i hope you get a good response from them.
Completely Socially Unacceptabledeirdre on November 16th, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC)
There's a meeting scheduled for tomorrow of the Senate committee that oversees the TSA (Kerry sits on it).

I've already called his Washington office to urge them to make sure this issue is on their agenda.
drwexdrwex on November 16th, 2010 10:07 pm (UTC)
Sadly the airlines cannot do jack
There was a pretty major flap in the UK last year when the airlines (including Virgin) were forced to implement US-style security theater over there on any flight that went to or overflew US airspace.

I totally sympathize with the desire not to fly, and am fortunate I can choose not to do it myself, but unfortunately the airlines are just as helpless as we.

Interestingly, both the pilots and stewards unions have put out their opposition to these invasive methods, so perhaps if your chose airline allowed/supported a union? I don't know how Virgin employees are organized, if at all.
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on November 16th, 2010 10:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Sadly the airlines cannot do jack
Corporations can and do influence policy in the US and around the world every day. As do citizens and citizen action. Which is the whole point of my letter, and of any organization to advocate for change.

I'm startled that you seem to think there's nothing either airlines or citizens can do to make change. Is there some reason this arena should be different from others in which this tactic is successful?

Edited at 2010-11-16 11:04 pm (UTC)
drwexdrwex on November 17th, 2010 01:37 am (UTC)
Re: Sadly the airlines cannot do jack
You're right, of course. And I'm sorry for letting my cynicism spill out. I do think that citizens can make a difference here, both through individual action and publicity and as part of a larger group push, as well as calling our legislators. Kerry is on the committee that is meeting about this and I hope he's hearing from more than just you and me.