SINGAPORE (April 17): The Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attacks (9/11) on the World Trade Center (WTC) in Manhattan, New York, changed not just the face of US foreign policy for good — it also altered the course of the global aviation industry in a dramatic and permanent fashion.

For example, boarding and disembarking from the plane used to be as quick as getting in and out of a convenience store. But various security screenings have lengthened that process. Items that were once easily stowed in cabin luggage have now been limited by quantity, or forced to be checked in or banned altogether.

Moreover, access to the cockpit has been restricted and fortified to prevent any forced entry. This is on top of travellers having to complete tedious visa applications and face unwarranted queries by immigration authorities. In short, air travel has become a painful and cumbersome experience like never before.

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