Saturday, January 03, 2004

Are you worried about flight cancellations? 

There seems to be some low grade finger-pointing between American and French officials over the Air France flights that were cancelled last week. There shouldn't be. There are roughly 50,000 commercial airline flights in the United States alone every day, and every day there must be hundreds of flights delayed or cancelled for reasons of weather, equipment failure, union rules or bureaucratic fiat. If cautious governments and airlines cancel a few flights more -- even a few flights every day for the rest of the twenty-first century -- because they catch a whiff of a scent of an attack, that is fine with me. If terrorists are indeed planning attacks like this, we are absolutely better safe than sorry. People will just have to recognize that if their flight is cancelled, there is a tiny chance that it was cancelled in light of security considerations, instead of for mundane reasons.


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