Friday 1 July 2011

New Zealand Airports (continued)

On the flight back from Wellington last night, and as usual on any New Zealand domestic flight where the plane isn't capable of reaching Australia, there was no security at all. For those flights, only domestic regs apply. I walked into Wellington airport and interacted with precisely zero airport, airline, or security people until I reached the gate agent who took the boarding pass that I'd printed back in Christchurch at the terminal. No ID. Bruce, in comments yesterday, noted that I could have saved precious seconds by just waving my phone at the gate; my mPass would serve as boarding pass with no need to print boarding passes. Excellent.

When a mentally ill woman a couple years back attempted to hijack one of these no-security flights, she was restrained by crew and put on normal trial. Even though she was a Muslim and Somali immigrant, I never heard anybody argue that she shouldn't have the same right to a fair trial as someone NZ born. She was sentenced to nine years in prison after a perfectly normal trial.

The utterly sane New Zealand airline security response? Reinforce cockpit doors. That's it. Even though the hijacking was in an election year.

In case you're wondering why I continue to love living in New Zealand despite earthquakes and have little intention of moving back to the US, add this to the list.


  1. Crampo

    You only stay in NZ so that you can watch rugby and cricket. If you go back to Canada you would have to watch synchronised swimming and the All Canada Paint Drying Competition!!! Admit it, rugby and cricket are just too good to miss!

  2. Which still leaves the question of how securitiy screening on other domestic flights passes any sort of credible cost-benefit analysis. We can guess the answer: it doesn't, but was done as a knee-jerk post 9/11 reaction. Screening for international flights can be imposed on us by other conditions as a condition of entering their airspace, but things are different domestically.