This book was chock-full of interesting bits.
- There was a time when each airport had a few metal detectors but not enough to screen everybody. Ticket agents would send some passengers to be screened if those passengers acted "hinky" when picking up tickets. This was a pretty good way to catch folks then as now. But but but though it worked well, it was too easily worked around.
- Airplane personnel didn't know who had/hadn't been screened. So a bad guy could take a plane hostage by saying "I have a weapon. I was totally able to sneak it onto this plane because nobody searched me! Do you want to call my bluff?"
- If someone didn't pick up a ticket, the ticket agents never had an opportunity to gauge their "hinky-ness". Airports weren't heavily guarded, so a ticketless bad guy could just walk up to a gate, reveal a gun, and force his ticketless way onto the plane.
- There really was a lot of copycatting going on.
D.B.Dan Cooper wasn't the first criminal to parachute out of an airplane while laden with cash. The first folks to demand that their flights be redirected to Cuba probably had reason to go to Cuba; but later folks just did it because, y'know, that's how the template for skyjacking worked.
- Much of the book covers a particular skyjacking by Roger Holder and Cathy Kerkow. They had their plane land at SFO. (One of their demands was that they could carry off Angela Davis, who was about to go on trial.) The FBI at SFO were somewhat distracted when dealing with this, because there was another skyjacked flight approaching SFO at the same time this was happening.
Then, as in 2001, there was a lot of "Something must be done; this is something" legislation. With hindsight, we can see that some of it made sense and some of it didn't. If you're a security-thinker or a systems-thinker, it's interesting to read about airline policies and new laws and how bad guys worked around them.