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Michael Smerconish: A 9/11 wife’s safety worries

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 5, 2012 at 7:14 am •  Published: December 5, 2012

Saracini received a response from Michael Quiello, United’s vice president for corporate safety. He expressed sympathy for her loss but did not answer her question. “For security reasons I am sure you can appreciate that we are not able to share all the methods we have in place to meet the ever-changing threats, but please be assured that we are absolutely compliant with all FAA regulations, which include a multitude of cockpit security measures.” Quiello offered to fly to Saracini’s home and meet with her.

Last week, when I raised Saracini’s continued concerns with United, Christen David, director of corporate communications, provided me with a statement, which said in part: “Security measures have evolved in the years since the barriers were ordered, and many more layers of security exist, including the installation of hardened cockpit doors and coded security locks.

“Flight security has various components that we use in different combinations, and this security matrix varies from one type of aircraft to another. Of those measures, secondary barriers are only one option. The secondary barrier was a very early enhancement developed in years fairly soon after 9/11, and equally or more effective countermeasures have been further developed since then. On this fleet in particular, we have made the decision to utilize those alternative enhancements.”

While noting the invitation to meet with Saracini, United said it had no desire to “have the conversation with her through the media.”

Saracini is not mollified. But she told me she intends to accept the meeting invitation, so stay tuned.

“This should infuriate everybody,” she told me.



Michael Smerconish writes for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Readers may contact him via


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