If we take anything away from the latest attempt by radical Musloons to take down an American jetliner it is that once again the last line of defense in the war on terror is every able bodied soul that boards an aircraft. When Janet Napolitano tells us that the system worked and the President calls the incident an alleged act of terror they want us to believe as long as the plane makes a safe landing all is well at Homeland Security. Eventually however the terrorists will perfect the exploding apparel device and the final link in the security chain will tragically fail. Until then passengers need to take an active role in their survival because the rest of the system is obviously just a little bit flaky.
It may be inappropriate for the TSA to profile passengers but the individual traveler is under no such moral constraint. Begin in the boarding area by sizing up your fellow travelers to identify anyone that might fit the profile of a terrorist. Chances are your choice will not be the same as the ones that got the pat down going through security.
I know at this point some are saying to yourselves, "That's so prejudicial you fascist Neanderthal!" To that I say, "Screw you." The first rule of survival is awareness of your surroundings. I haven't heard a statement from the fellow on the Delta flight that climbed over the seats to get to the bomber but the fact that he acted so quickly would indicate that he was already alerted to the threat.
The second is having a contingency plan in the event that your newly profiled friend should actually have plans to land your flight a cornfield short of your intended destination. Preparedness is not paranoia and traveling with a plan to defend yourself is just as prudent as an insurance policy. Spike TV's recent "Surviving Disaster" series showed a realistic response to an aircraft hijacking that gives many tips and tactics that I think you will find useful. Lets hope those charged with our protection get their act together so you never have to use it.