A week ago I had to fly to California for a short business trip. Since I have flown many times since the new “security procedures” were established at our airports, I chose to wear sandals instead of sneakers. My logic went something like this: “Gee, the fine people of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) make me take off my sneakers whenever I wear them so maybe I’ll wear something lighter this time to avoid any problems.”
Well, wouldn’t you know it? The alert TSA people have a completely different definition of “logic.”
As I was approaching the metal detector, I noticed other people sans any footwear. Since I had not been instructed otherwise, I decided to leave mine on. Oops! Bad decision. The agent at the metal detector asked me if I’d like to remove my sandals. “No. Not particularly. Is there a reason I should?” I politely inquired.
“Well, if you don’t, you’ll fit our profile of someone who requires additional screening” came the reply. Excuse me? Did I hear that right? I am free to go through the metal detector with my shoes on, but, if I do, then I might be a terrorist and, thus, require additional screening? (But, if I take them off, then I DON’T get additional screening.)
Since when did people wearing shoes constitute a “terrorist threat?”
This is disturbing for a number of reasons:
It’s that last one that really scares me. They are basically saying that they don’t have a clue and are just doing this so that people will think they’re doing a good job of protecting us from evil-doers.
Well, guess what? They aren’t. While I was being strip-searched, some other lady managed to get on a plane with a BUTCHER’S KNIFE in her suitcase! Hello! That’s bigger than my shoe and it went through the X-Ray machine that they wanted to send my shoes through! Seems to me that we’d be better off with people wearing their suitcases through the metal-detectors instead of running them though the X-Ray machines
Unfortunately, there’s no arguing with these people. Until the American public finally comes to its senses and realizes that this is really just another “job creation” program, we are all doomed to endure a never-ending show of apparent ‘security screening’ every time we go to board a commercial airliner.
I’ll stop complaining about the FINE JOB the TSA people are doing now before I condemn myself to riding Greyhound for the rest of my life and instead tell you about the wonderful in-flight amenities you can expect to encounter on your next airline flight.
Um, did I just use the word “wonderful” to describe airline amenities? I’m sorry, that was an oversight. I meant to say “non-existent”.
Yes, it’s true. To begin with: as far as I can tell there is no longer any food being served on airplanes. Instead, you can purchase (cash only) what is purported to be food. For example, for $3, you can buy a snack box that consists of 5-6 slices of salami, a small bag of dried fruit, a couple pieces of cheese, some crackers and two Oreos. If you’re feeling lucky, you can splurge and spend $5 for a turkey wrap (no accompaniments.) If you’re smart, you’ll save your money and eat before you leave home.
So much for food, now for the entertainment. While some airlines might offer you free headphones, the one I was on (it rhymes with Comerican) lets you bring your own or pay $5 for a set that is guaranteed to be broken before the plane pushes back from the gate. Once you have your headphones, you can enjoy a selection of audio channels or a movie. (I'm using the term “enjoy” pretty loosely here.)
Now, I’m not sure what the in-flight movie was on the way over to California (it took me most of the flight to get all of my clothes back on) but on the way back it was “Princess Diaries 2.” As they were showing the preview for the movie I thought to myself “If somebody IS planning on blowing up the plane, I hope they do it before the movie starts.”
Unfortunately, the flight continued without incident so I had to be content with making up my own dialog for the movie as I watched it without headphones. I must say that my version was probably much better than the original.
Well, I hope that gives you a good idea of what you can expect the next time you think to yourself “Oh, look! The airlines are having a fare war and I can get a flight for just $79!” Just remember the old adage “You get what you pay for.”