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The first time I flew on an airplane was in 1968 when I was 19. It was a semi-formal affair with most male passengers sporting a coat and tie. Women often wore hats and gloves and a full meal was usually served.

There was also no security screening and hijackings were commonplace with more than 130 of them occurring over American soil between 1968 and 1972.

Often the incidents were more inconvenient than dangerous with hooligans demanding money, or to be taken to Cuba. Airlines knew the risk and often heeded skyjacker's demands rather than annoy the traveling public by searching passengers and installing metal detectors.

Authorities even considered building a fake Havana airport in Florida where they could fool the hijackers, land there instead when somebody told them to, and then arrest the bad guy.

Things got real when hijackers began to accept the notion of killing themselves along with a lot of others if they didn’t get what they wanted, and then after they went all the way on 9/11, traveling by air has never been the same.

Scoundrels and villains keep trying though. The TSA confiscated 6,301 firearms in 2022 alone, and 88% of those guns were loaded.

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