The Washington Times - July 31, 2008, 02:08AM



By Jeffrey Denning

In a report a few weeks ago, CNN tried to answer this very question.

But today, on a Delta Airlines flight, the body of a 61-year-old woman was found in the lavatory.

Interestingly, it was unclear how long the woman had been in the lavatory. It was reported that the crew on the Los Angeles-to-Atlanta flight noticed the restroom was occupied just before touchdown. In other words, they were doing their final checks and saw that the lavatory door was locked and occupied.

Shouldn’t that have been monitored more closely, you ask?

Shouldn’t the flight crew or the Federal Air Marshals on board have realized someone was in the lavatory for over ten minutes or more, assuming that was the case?

The logical answer is, Yes. 

Unless of course, there were no air marshals onboard the plane.

This then begs the question: Where have all the air marshals gone?

On July 18, an American Airlines flight from Boston to Los Angeles was diverted to Oklahoma City after a deranged passenger stripped nude and ran down the aisle. He tried to open the emergency escape door before being tackled by members of a professional soccer team.

Certainly, the passengers who landed safely, applauded the brave men for having the courage to do the otherwise unthinkable: roughly tackle a naked man.

Usually such activity is alone reserved to behavior most people would never – ever – want to consider and to police officers dealing with Emotionally Disturbed Person (EDP), a term used widely by law enforcement officers.

Incident: A man gets naked and crazy on a flight.

Where were the air marshals?

Incident: A lady dies in a restroom and had likely been there for a very long time.

Again, I ask, where were the air marshals?

These are not isolated incidents occuring without air marshals on board.  Just see for yourself here.

Well, the truth is, as much as many of us would like the flying public to know there are air marshals on most flights, that’s simply not the case.

Unfortunately, it’s no secret that there are 28,000 flights a day and most flights that have incidents on board seem to lack the presence of Federal Air Marshals.

Ever since learning of the heroes and heroines who fought back the terrorists on United flight 93, the modern-day flying citizens realize they are pretty much on their own. This type of thinking is only re-iterated after reading the stories of incidents like those above.

Let’s just hope that anyone loitering in an airplane lavatory for an extended period of time, is not actually involved in perfectly concealed bomb making, cardiac arrest, or an attempt to hijack the plane …

… naked.