Add this story to the paranoia file.
A FA walks into the lavatory, sees a few white specks on the counter, believes it to be anthrax or some sort of bomb material, and freaks out. The Alaksa Airlines jet doesn’t divert, but is met by a hazardous material team upon landing at Orange County and everyone is quickly evacuated off the plane.
With baited breath, the HazMat team examines the mysterious substance in the lavatory and quickly determines…it is toilet paper. In a lavatory of all places!
In a world in which many subscribe to the notion that "we can never be too cautious," I shake my head at the overreactions that continue to occur. The TSA, rightfully so, is usually the center of attention, but it is not just the smurfs that overreact–airline personnel can be guilty as well.
And if you’ll allow me to grossly generalize, Alaska Airlines FAs seem to be the biggest offenders. Just last month a FA became frighthened of Orthodox Jews performing rituals onboard a flight and demanded that the flight be diverted. Now the toilet paper incident.
Finding the right balance between sanity and paranoia is not easy, but it strikes me as compelling evidence that our way of life has been disruputed (a primary goal of terrorism and proof of victory) when we freak out over little things like a few specks of dust in a lavatory. And the HazMat team doesn’t work for free. I wonder how much that false alarm cost OC taxpayers?