Sara Whitman

Fly No More

Filed By Sara Whitman | December 29, 2009 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: airplane security, airport, airport security, new flying regulations, underwear bomber

Perhaps we won't come home. I cannot imagine standing in the airport for hours and hours to have my body searched, bags checked- no books? I mean... no books??? Hello? I have two six hour flights ahead of me and I'm not to read a book?

Ohhhhh, but you can buy one once you are past security. Whatever.

Can I take my medication with me? Should I stash a few in my wallet? Look like some crazed drug addict when in fact, I'm more worried about getting stuck somewhere... Can I bring a toothbrush? I always have a toothbrush in my briefcase just in case. I long ago gave up on toothpaste- too much hassle and most hotels will give you a little tube if you ask.

I'm surprised they aren't having everyone take off their pants and put them through the xray. It would be a boon to the underwear industry- I mean, please... you couldn't get caught with old underwear.

I'm sick of it. It's all stupid. For one, no one is going to get away with something nutty on a plane- I think this was a good case in point. People will DO something now. People DID do something.

Instead, we will change the rules, some businesses will figure out how to make a ton on people's panic, and we will be no more safe than we were before. Why don't we try, I dunno, better foreign relations and an ounce of common sense? Instead, we'll get more guns in airports held by security forces that won't make us more secure.

Once, a long time ago, I loved to fly. It was magical to me. You were served food- even in coach- stewards were polite and lovely, and your friends or family waited for you to arrive at the gate.

No more. Sit still, god forbid you get sick in the bathroom, and soon the seatbelts will lock into place.

And send another few thousand troops to the middle east. That'll do it. That will make us safer.

Maybe we'll just start looking for a nice little house here instead.

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After my last drive to St Paul, I've been thinking of riding Amtrak for my next trip. The new hassles associated with air travel pretty much clinch it. It may take a little bit longer, but it would certainly be almost stress free by comparison

The chances of your flight being attacked are over 16,500,000 to 1. The chances of conservatives trying to make hay out of this half assed bomb attempt, despite inconvenient little facts like Jim DeMint's hold on Obama's nominee for TSA chief is 100 percent. The chances of any specific Democrat hiding in the shadows and whimpering things like, "please don't call me a weak liberal", about 75 percent. The chance of Obama being pressed by the Villagers and the conservatives into starting another war against those awful brown people in the middle east, about even money. Chance of the response being entirely out of proportion with the event is 100 percent.

I used to love to fly as well, which is one reason I trained to be an airframe mechanic. I also used to love my nation and the system that we had, which I considered the best in the world. Money and influence has so corrupted that system that it has become indefensible. Conservative venom and Democratic fear, (of being called fearful ironically), has ruined any chance of meaningful debate on any subject up to and including naming post offices. I'm about as disgusted as I can possibly be. If I could recant my prior service in the military, I would do so in a heartbeat.

my partner and I discuss this last night.
the plans are in the works for 2 yrs from now for a trip southward. we decided, TRAIN.
car will be second choice but no flying for
us. to much fekkin hassle.

I love the train. But it's long and you know they'll start changing those rules too.

can't take a train from hawaii.


Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 30, 2009 6:30 AM

Cruise boat?

Next will come the body cavity bomb..the rectal bomb, or, as it will be commonly known..the ass bomb. At that point the only way they'll let any of us fly is to put us to sleep, a la The 5th Element style. Considering all the hassles of flying...maybe they can put us to sleep at home, so we can avoid the trip to the airport as well.

All the restrictions that can easily be undone if they continue to allow radicals to board the planes.

How about we skip the intensive restrictions and simply keep extremist radicals off?

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 30, 2009 6:42 AM

First they came for the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the intellectuals, but I was not an intellectual.

Then they called me an extremist radical...

State Department at the country level dropped the ball big time. When someone's father comes in and tells them to revoke his son's visa they ought not to allow this person to board a plane.

Alternatively there are people who get on the no fly list just because of their name being like someone else. For American citizens this could be solved for domestic travel by a national ID card. Now we need passports even for domestic travel, but some 23 year old can get all the way to Detroit via Amsterdam on one of the busiest travel days of the year. How narrow can we make the funnel before all business travel grinds to a halt with resultant economic malaise? How much of it is security and how much of it is theatrics?

Am old enough to remember a time when one got "dressed up" to travel on an airplane and it was a very pleasant experience.

In recent years when my Partner and I have gone from Washington DC to New York, we have taken Amtrak which has been relaxed and hassle free.

I am from a train family and have always had a life long love of trains. This past trip, with the east coast under a blanket of snow and all flights cancelled I enjoyed watching Hitchcocks 'North by Noethwest' as we rumbled along. Yeah, we were 4 hours delayed due to weather but I didn't worry about deicing the aircraft, the stack, pack, wait, deice again and then worry the whole flight. I love the train.... Don't even get me started about steaming to islands far and wide. Flying? Me? Only when work demands it.

It will be a boon to whoever owns Vancouver airport.

15 hour Trans-Pacific flights with no entertainment, no news, no internet connection, not even being told where you are or how long to your destination, just because your landing point is in the USA would be most uncomfy.

What would be an annoyance on a 4 hr flight within the US becomes a dealbreaker on long-haul flights, especially if you have children.

So you take the 15 hour flight to Canada, then a 3 hour hop under these onerous restrictions to LAX.

The thing is, it's all Security Theatre anyway. None of the new measures would have stopped the latest planekiller bomb detonating - only faulty fusing did that.

I gave up on flying domestic about two years ago. Now when I visit the states I fly directly from either Paris or Dublin into Chicago and then take the bus down to Indianapolis. There's no sense in taking another plane in the US, and that was before all these stupid security measures people are talking about now.

The "no drinks" rule was a fairly obvious (to everyone) attempt to force people to buy another bottled water after the security gate. Are they really thinking about "no books"? Yeah, we all know the overpriced book dealers would love that rule.

No moving in the last hour of flight is one of the better ones I've heard of. Everyone knows that a terrorist has to blow up a plane 60 minutes before it lands or it doesn't count. And the 9/11 terrorists? Well, they got lucky by going early, but I'm sure they'll be the last.

It's half-theater, half-asshattery. And everyone outside the US knows it. I read somewhere, and I don't think I could find it again, that one of the main concerns the Olympic committee had about putting the Olympics in Chicago was the fact that applying for a short-term visa to the US has turned into a crapshoot... found it!

I don't know if people think that those measures are actually making us safer, or if they just like the idea of being treated like a lowly peasant with no rights at the airport because it makes them think daddy's in charge and keeping them safe, or if they just don't think anymore about these sorts of things, but it's not doing much good for the country.

I feel significantly more comfortable on Greyhound now, and it's not just the extra legroom, but the fact that I know they won't find a new way to force me to pay $25 just to use the ticket I already bought.

Maybe we should consult with security officials from the state of Israel. It has been a number of years since Israel has lost an aircraft due to terrorism.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 30, 2009 7:40 PM

I have only gotten into Israel off an Itlaian Cruise boat and the previous stop was Egypt. No security checks whatsoever on or off in either location. It was pre 9-11, but still it WAS Egypt and Israel.