Since no one has taken me up on this question, I’ll answer my own question.
There is no good answer to the suggestion that cross-base search is a “Major Drawback”. Sure, we can all agree it would be nice to have this capability, but few of us have actually considered the true user requirements for a good search experience and this is especially the case when it comes to security in search.
There’s a lot of talk about the Major Security Holes in Airtable; some of it is unwarranted and misleading. When it comes to search, users are quick to assert there are major feature gaps without giving any thought to search in the context of security. We assume search is easy; it’s not. Blindly, we also assume that search hits are not security breaches unless the hits allow us to access the data. Try to explain this to an employee (and HR) who has discovered a record titled “Q1 2021 Layoff Plan” for which they cannot access. Um, yeah - that’s not going to work.
Now toss in cross-table and cross-base findability features, and all in a context of field-level security and accessibility; indexing data for search suddenly becomes very complex.
Indeed, we should strive to compel Airtable to build better search features. But we should also be prepared to articulate what that means and this little primer that I penned a few years ago might help.