United says our flight will leave only a few minutes late, but we decided to stay home until we know more. We may travel next week, or perhaps just I will go – it depends on what we can get and our assessment of the risks.In reality it’s unlikely that anything untoward will happen. The controls are very strict, and in any case the chances of being on an affected flight are very small. How should one look at these risks?
My view is that we have to keep travelling. Not out of any particular sense of defiance, but just because life is always surrounded by risks, and one cannot realistically assess the scale of those risks. We know that historically air travel is very safe – much safer than travel by road. We also know that there is a high level of alert and careful scrutiny of travellers and their bags. We also know that there are always creative people who can figure out ways around security. So we avoid times of greatest risk, and pay attention to ourselves and our surroundings.