Americans' fear of flying, prompted by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, seems to have dissipated for the most part. Once again, airports are packed with travelers, and the airline industry seems to be moving out of danger of collapse.
But one issue continues to threaten that segment of the economy: security breaches.
Last week, a man bypassed security at Lambert Airport in St. Louis by using the concourse exit lane. He disappeared into the crowd and couldn't be found, delaying flights.
And this week, San Francisco International Airport was evacuated after guards detected explosive residue on a man's shoe but then let him get away and blend with the crowd.
Mistakes are made in every profession, but in these times, there's no room for error in airport security.
As long as incidents like these continue to happen, the airline industry won't be on solid ground.