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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The TSA and other annoying things about air travel


I was just thinking about certain annoying things about air travel as the subject has plagued my recent posts...

I think the TSA is probably the most annoying thing about air travel these day. For those of you who don't know who the TSA are, they are the really annoying airport security people in American airports. The one that don't "force" you to remove your shoes before walking through metal detectors, the simply "highly recommend" it. As stated on their web page, they don't force you to remove them, they simply "encourage" you and won't let you walk through until you head their encouragement. "Sir, I HIGHLY recommend you remove your shoes before passing through the metal detector." "Are you sure sir, it is highly recommended."

Their website also states that some shoes may require a "thorough screening". This "thorough screening" is the same thing they do to all shoes that they have encouraged people to remove- run it through the x-ray machine.

I'm really worried about security in airports outside of Israel. I feel we pretty much know what were are doing. We've been doing it for a long time and have gotten good at it. Ever since 9/11 The Americans (and other countries) think that simply calibrating the metal detector to a more sensitive setting, and randomly checking bags for various residues, they will protect their citizens. I think it's a load of crap. I never beep on Israel metal detectors, and that's with watch and belt on and snaps in my pants. I have never not beeped in a foreign metal detector without getting mostly naked. I think they have it calibrated so that anyone with a filling in their tooth will beep! As politically incorrect as it may sound, racial profiling is an essential part of security. There is no reason the little Swedish grandmother, who is to frail to walk without a cane, should be strip searched because her metal hip set off the metal detector and the Arab 20-something guy who just came back from visiting Syria and Saudi Arabia, should walk through with ease because he so willingly removed his shoes!
Like I said, I think racial profiling is one of the most powerful and important in tools and security personnel's arsenal. If universities and corporations can practice affirmative action, and accept people based on race and culture then why shouldn't similar practices be used in security?!

"Why do remove are shoes anyway?" you may ask. Simple. One would-be terrorist once decided to put some explosive in his shoe. I want to know what that means for women when some lady decides to hide explosives in her bra. I mean, if it has a wire it's gonna beep with a wand stile metal detector, and may very well set off the big ones with the way they have them calibrated in the US. Will that mean the end o bras on airplanes, in which case you may have some male advocates. Or will women simply be "encouraged" to remove them in public and place them on the x-ray conveyor belt for a more "thorough inspection". Time will tell I guess.

Don't think I'm only angry about the security. The airlines execs piss me off too. If you read my some of my previous posts, you know I've done some interesting (for the lack of a better word) traveling recently. I would like to commend the Air Canada Execs for the way they handled the delay in my flight on the way home-even if they did loose my bags. They apologized multiple times and couldn't have been nicer. The continental Airlines people on the other hand, were just asses! I don't think anyone apologized even once. And they make inconsiderate decisions...Actually, they're considerate to their pockets. Want an example? Well you're gonna get one anyway. When I was traveling to Halifax from Newark and got diverted to Maine, the airline could have just canceled the flight in the evening and saved everyone the aggravation of getting there and turning around and coming back. We could have all gotten some sleep. But that sleep would have been on their dollar, they would have had to put us all up at hotels. It was a full flight, that's a lot of rooms. It's cheaper to pay the jet fuel and when we can't land and it's 4 in the morning, it's the weather that did it and they'll get us a flight out in the morning.

Well, I think that's enough ranting for now. I'll leave you with this interesting map. Check it out, I thought it was funny, or at least interesting. (Similar link)


At 2:05 PM, August 17, 2005, Blogger Talli said...

I love your ranting, it's so funny. I am also officially now a stalker since I have something to say about almost every single one of your posts. Instead of 'warning: ranting ahead' you should say 'warning: funniness ahead'. nah, stam, that's probably what you meant to say.

At 2:06 PM, August 17, 2005, Blogger Talli said...

oh yeah, and why is the similar link interesting?

At 4:15 AM, August 19, 2005, Blogger Ben said...

I thought it was funny that the Google map picture caught an airplane in the picture...but i'm lame and easily amused so i think a lot of stupid things are funny ;)


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