I flew back from Chicago today. I have a real bad back and I don't do well sitting for 4+ hours in those oh so comfortable airline seats. So what I typically do is go to the back of the plane about two hours into a a flight and flirt, uh, er, I mean chat with the flight attendants (FA). (Two beautiful blonds this time I might add). Depending on the mood of the flight attendants, I usually have no problem socializing. In fact, many of them like the company.
I was speaking with one of the FAs and I like to casually bring up security type questions. They usually open up to me as I don't look like a terrorist and am generally friendly and funny. This one was telling me that "officially" no one is really allowed back there because they have been briefed that terrorists fly to test the system. They (security types) also figured that if the FAs are distracted, it would be easier to hijack the cockpit. They are told to be on alert when someone acts "out of the ordinary" and yes, they do profile...unofficially.
Well, while I was back there, this one big burly guy comes back and asks for Cosmopolitan magazine. Talk about out of the ordinary behavior! The other FA has a very cordial conversation with him and he went back with some type of magazine...not Cosmopolitan.
A few minutes went by and I asked the FA if that was an air marshal. She said she couldn't tell me (wink wink) but if the air marshalls see someone hanging around the back too long (obviously the bathrooms are back there) they will come back and "check things out". I was paying particular attention to see if he was printing and I think he was.
Just so you know, one FA was VERY married and the other, well, I may just have to fly again.