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Travel Travails December 28, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Photography, Politics, Travel, Videos.
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Raise your hand if you know how much I hate to fly?  This grumpy old woman who complains to all who will listen, travels a lot, considering how much I hate to fly.  I have two trips coming up – one in January and one in February.  Thankfully, both trips are within the continental US so I do not have to suffer the new indignities of flying abroad.  Not only is the dollar worth crapola these days, you also are now being made to suffer more while experiencing travel to foreign lands because of the nut job who tried to blow up a plane as it landed in Detroit on Christmas Day. He ended up being tackled and probably now is suffering from a severe case of fried testicles.

The overlords who figure out how to impose new indignities on travelers have now tightened rules.  Apparently you are not allowed to get out of your seats within an hour of landing.  How dumb is that?  Do they think if some whack job is going to blow up a plane he is only going to blow it up an hour before landing?  The overlords do not want you to have anything to do for an hour before landing.

Other tightened security measures include: ‘Extra pat-downs before boarding. No getting up for the last hour of the flight. More bomb-sniffing dogs.  Air Canada also said that during the last hour passengers won’t be allowed access to carry-on baggage or to have any items on their laps. The official said passengers travelling internationally could see increased screening at gates and when they check bags, as well as other measures on flights such as stowing carryons and personal items before the plane lands. Passengers on a flight from New York to Tampa on Saturday morning were told they must remain in their seats and couldn’t have items in their laps, including laptops and pillows. Passengers on a United Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Washington were not allowed to have anything on their laps during the descent into Dulles, or to open the overhead bins an hour before landing’.

But what really pissed me off was when I heard that you could no longer watch the little map that showed your flight progress.  The little map is my favorite thing about flying.  It occupies this restless mind through the numbing experience of flight.  I study geography with the little map.  I think about my experiences visiting the places we are flying over.  The little map actually calms my nerves.  The overlords think that getting rid of the little map will confuse the whack job would be bomber because he will not know where he is – so therefore will not blow up the plane?  (A big sigh can heard from Lobo).

Nate Silver from fivethirtyeightcom did a little math on the probability of your plane being blown up. Very interesting reading.’There have been precisely three attempts over the last eight years to commit acts of terrorism aboard commercial aircraft. All of them clownishly inept and easily thwarted by the passengers. How many tens of thousands of flights have been incident free?’

How about we all calm down and figure out how to make that ‘watch’ list more effective and the ‘no fly’ list more accurate? Just sayin…



1. BungalowBILL - December 28, 2009

Ultimately I think the airlines will have to replace all seats with potty chairs that have recumbent bicycles attached ( to satisfy the restless leg syndrome people) and make everyone fly naked, maybe blindfolded, have the windows blacked out, and perhaps given a mandatory laxative so no one can hide explosives inside themselves. What other indignity can we impose on the traveling public?

2. Matt - December 28, 2009

I don’t know—let the FAA try anything they want. I’d rather be a little uncomfortable than be detonated and DEAD over somewhere, or anywhere, in the world. I go through a little more security than many folks do because I have a hip replacement, yet I see travelers staring and laughing at me as I’m getting frisked because they think it’s a big joke. I’d rather be safe than sorry. No matter how much we do to stop any terrorist acts—the terrorists are most likely working 10 times as hard to defeat us. Only my opinion.

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