Friday, April 16, 2010

Friendly Skies

The other day, while attempting to board a jet plane in Los Angeles, I made the ghastly error of sending an old plastic seltzer bottle containing some tap water through the X-ray machine. There was around a cup of water in the clear plastic bottle. The instant I fed my pack containing this bottle into the rubber krilled X-ray device, I knew had I made a mistake. When I cleared the metal detector obstacle, I was greeted by a massive goon, hiding behind the badge of the Transportation Security Administration, whose logo is some eagle flying at the speed of sound.  He was looking for trouble.  He asks, "Whose bottle is this?"  and I tell him "Its mine, and I'm sorry, I forgot to pour the water out of it before I entered security.  I ask him if I can just dump the cup of tap water in that trash can over there", and he says no.  I ask him, "How bout I drink it and we forget this ever happened ?"  He's lookin' for trouble, don't forget, and he says, "NO!" He then trows it in a recycle bin while looking at me and smiling.  I attempted to retrieve it seconds later, but was thwarted.

My point is this---Do we need the federal government to be in charge of airline safety?  Have they done a good job?  Remember that underwear bomb guy in December?  When was the last time you saw an elderly woman being frisked?  Have you been harassed and treated like a terrorist?    Well, your paying for it, so I hope your happy with it!



  1. obviously security at the airport is a necessary evil - but only to a certain point. Not allowing water, or being forced to take off your shoes, or these invasive full body scanners are a bit extreme. It doesn't help that most TSA agents are hostile / unhelpful / "didn't quite make it to cop school" types who like to flex their flab to seem tough.

    Logistically, it makes sense for a centralized agency to take care of security. There needs to be a standard across all airports - if "word gets out" that it's lax at LAX, then there's obviously a hole in the system to the rest of the country, and world. There already are notifications in airports that some countries have really bad security and they don't let flights in from those places.

    Also, some airports have certain terminals only for one airline - United at Chicago O'Hare for example is terminal 3 i think - but what if you're in some smaller airport and there's only one or two terminals for 5 airlines? Are you supposed to go through security when you check in your bags to that airline? Are all the US Airways people supposed to go to the US Airways security line? What if Delta is sharing a flight with Alaska Air and your ticket says Alaska Air and your plane says Delta? What if you're not checking in your bag? It's too confusing, would cost too much money, and doesn't make sense. I think the government needs to have control over this so that the standards are the same across all airports, and that airlines should concern themselves with what happens between the departing and arriving gates. I do think the security rules need to be more realistic / accommodating to travel. at this point, it just seems like unnecessary hassle than actual security procedure.

    A REAL waste of money is the air marshall program. That is, the undercover cops who ride on domestic flights. Check these articles out:

  2. Jerry Seinfeld on Airports...