My team and I travel a lot. We have literally millions of air miles between us over the past decade. And we all hate airports and airlines. We mainly hate them because they lie to you. It can’t be that difficult to keep passengers up to date with what is happening when things don’t go according to plan. And “the flight is delayed due to operational reasons” means absolutely nothing at all – and they know it! But that’s another thought for another day.

Today I want to moan about the security controls in place at airports around the world. I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent, and I get paid to come up with mental frameworks that make sense of the world for other people. But airport security baffles my brain.

If you really wanted to, you can get pretty much anything onto a plane. The controls in place could be easily circumvented by anyone who travels more than once a month. If you don’t believe me, then read the wonderful article by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic in which he spent a number of months showing how bad airport security actually is. Priceless stuff!

He proves what I have often thought – that airport security is much more about making people feel that “something is being done” rather than actually doing anything useful. Hugo Rifkind in a recent Spectator magazine article goes further and suggests that “airport security is a giant exercise in arse covering – and it doesn’t work, obviously” (and that’s just the title of the article!).

Well, yes. Obviously. The new short hand for this is: #fail

It would be nice if some sanity prevailed somewhere, sometime and we got back to rational and useful security sometime soon. I doubt it, unfortunately. But I do live in hope.

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