Some time ago, someone on FT posted the best assessment of US air-travel security advances post 9/11 I have ever read. I can't find the post, so if anyone knows/can find the post I am referencing, please let me know so I can give the OP credit. EDIT/UPDATE: Thanks to MSPeconomist and N965VJ for identifying who to give credit to. The great analysis discussed below is from: Beyond fear: thinking sensibly about security in an uncertain world by Bruce Schneier, 2003. This is not my analysis at all, but I found it to be so spot on I thought I'd repost it here. The OP's succinct assessment was something along the lines of this: The only two real advances in our airline security since 2001 are: 1. armor plated/fortified cabin doors; and 2. the understanding that people who hijack an airplane may intend to use it as a weapon. The OP argued (very persuasively) that 9/11, as we know it, would not have occurred if armored doors had been in place (the terrorists only had boxcutters etc) and that the passengers would have attacked/subdued them if it had occurred to them the hijackers were going to crash the plane. They likely assumed the hijackers, as had previously been the norm of hijackers, were simply going to divert the plane and make demands. Just as persuasively, the OP made the case that all of the other "advances," e.g. "take off your shoes!," "no water!," "no nail clippers!," etc., are anything but advances. The OP stated, and I think most people on this forum probably agree, that these are actually nothing but BS regressions in commonsense/civil liberty, that do nothing other than reassure (and simultaneously terrify) the feeble-minded.