It's amazing to me how many people are not prepared for simple daily life. I agree that some people may not need a wilderness style kit but everyone needs to have "survival" tools on them at all times, regardless of where they are or where they're going. That was the point of the article. We're all just way too comfortable with our daily routine. How many carry a first aid kit in their car? A fire extinguisher? tools? chain or strap?
As far as airplanes go, there are still plenty of survival tools you can carry with you (on you). And the "on you" part is very important. Never stow any survival tools in the overhead bins or under the seat. I was on a plane in South America that had a bombing attempt against it while we were on the tarmac and you would not believe the panic when they told everyone to evacuate. Wear a travel vest and keep your "tools" in the vest and on you at ALL times.
Here's a very recent example of having simple "survival" tools:
My partner and I were traveling home from the Blade Show in Atlanta yesterday. As we crossed the Alabama line on I20 headed west we saw a major one car wreck. I red SUV flipped several times in the median. Mike and I stopped our car and ran over to help. There was a man with 4 small kids in the vehicle. The SUV was upside down and one small child was hung up in the seat belt, bleeding. A man who got there before us was trying to get the seat belt unfastened. Mike and I were trying to help from the opposite side of the car. Both of us were crawled in through tiny crawl space in the window from where the vehicle was smashed flat. No one had a knife except Mike and I. I was trying to hold up the kid up while the man on the other side was trying to get the seat belt un-done. Mike reached in his pocket and pulled out his knife to cut the seat belt just as the other man got the belt un-done. My point it is this: even though the kid was saved without having to do any cutting, no one there was prepared to do any cutting if need be. On a brighter note, no one died in the accident although they were all pretty bloody. Seat belts saved them.