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Episode recap Season 1

No Hijacking – Airport Security

Have you ever wondered what the real job to be done for airport security is? You did?! So did we!

In this episode we talk about what airport security measures are trying to achieve, and how this is communicated to the public. Warning: this may be our most critical episode yet 🚨 😱

Daniel defines what the “job” of airport security is. We end up stating it as an optimisation problem: minimise an objective function of monetary costs and passenger inconvenience, constrained by maintaining expected plane hijackings at zero. (Can you tell that we are both recovering economists?)

Lena covers the messaging side. She talks through how airports are currently communicating with their users – spoiler: not enough and not very clearly – and can’t help but dive into recommendations early.

We also discuss feature creep in the context of airport security. It seems that measures are never rolled back. Once we have knives in shoes, liquid explosives, battery bombs, etc, we introduce a new measure and keep it for good measure (as it were).

Our recommendations?

  • Clear messaging is key. Inform users about estimated wait time and walk time to gate. Is there a second security check? Is it safe to buy a water bottle now?
  • Creating a department for passenger satisfaction might act as the counterpart to security feature creep. Daniel uses the analogy of a compliance department vs a growth department. They pull in opposite directions, but both are needed to achieve overall success.

There are more recommendations in the episode – this one is full of them. So go on and have a listen.

And as always, please let us know your thoughts 💡

Links to resources mentioned in episode

Marty Cagan, PM thought leader

What is airport security? – just in case

What is feature creep? – in case it wasn’t clear from our discussion