It seems to me that the drastic economic losses endured by the airline industry in the wake of the 9/11 attacks might have been blame enough. Coupled with the fluctuations in oil costs and the current economic crisis, the attacks of September 11 had a detrimental impact on the industry, one that might not be fully absolved. Indeed, security lapses was a part of the success of the attacks. The idea that "a weapon" was only considered to be a bomb or some type of gun was narrow thinking, in hindsight. The hijackers changed the definition of terror by using the plane, itself, as the bomb. The need for greater and more intense security measures became one of the legacies of that fateful day. In the end, it seems harsh to assign blame to the airline industry with economic and perception issues the industry suffered after the attacks.
I do not believe that the airline industry should take the blame for the attacks on September 11th. I do not think that the airline industry or anyone else for that matter thought that anything like the 9/11 attacks would ever happen on Unites States soil. In America we have a sense of safety and I do not think that anyone would have predicted such a thing happening.
While it is still certainly possible for another terrorist attack to occur I do think that it would be much more difficult for terrorists to get away with what they did on 9/11. The government and the airline industry as well have realized that these attacks are a reality and we need to protect ourselves from them. This may mean extra security checks and so forth when we are flying but I would much rather spend a little extra time waiting in line knowing I'm safer.
I suppose you could argue that they should. If you wanted to say that they should, you should point to their resistance to security checks. The airlines had been unwilling to really put in very tight security because they did not want passengers to be too annoyed (the way they are now).
But I think it's pretty harsh to say this. I think it's pretty unfair to expect the airlines to have put in place reallly super-tight security -- costing themselves money and annoying their customers -- when the threat of something like 9/11 did not seem very real.
I think the ext to which airlines industry can be blamed for the 9/11 attack, is no more than the extent to which a brick, which has been used to hit a person, can be blamed for hurting the person. But the the brick is an inanimate object, while airlines industry is an organization of people, and it would be great folly for those men from airlines industry to not to accept the responsibility for preventing such possibilities in future.
I cannot say that airlines industry has now made it absolutely impossible for terrorist to use air travel to perpetuate terrorism in any way, but they appear to have accepted their responsibility to prevent terrorism and are taking many positive actions to curb use of airlines for terrorism.