The first thing I have to say is SHAME ON THE TSA!!!
|Your pick! |
I didn't need to watch the news in the past two days to know that we are NOT safer when we fly, even with all the stupid changes they have done in the TSA over the last years that have literally turned the experience of traveling by plane into a real nightmare.
First was the 95 year old grandma pat down humiliation incident
, then, it was the NIGERIAN MAN WHO BLEW PASSED JFK's TSA SECURITY
|Yeap, they check inside babies diapers too!|
I remember a time I used to enjoy traveling by plane, I know, that was a long time ago, we were served decent meals and were able to use real silverware, then we got nice pillows and blankets to take a nap after your meal, your seat reclined well and you had better leg room.
Now, we eat with plastic forks that break in two when you try to slice your lasagna, no pillows and forget about blankets. Unless you get an upgrade to Business or First Class, than, just than my friends, you can pretend it's 1988 again. Just remember not to light up a cigarette, those ashtrays on the edge of your armrest have been screwed shut, and that is also a good reminder that American Airlines hasn't upgraded their fleet since the 80's when people used to be allowed to smoke in the Airplane cabins and had an ashtray in every seat.
Now, I get tense, every time I know I will have to fly, I get in a bad mood, even when I am flying First or Business, which happens only when I am traveling for work, unless I get lucky and get a system wide upgrade, I even dream with those before I fly, oh, the anxiety.
Who the hell can afford U$6,000.00 to fly from Boston to Sao Paulo or U$3,000.00 between Boston and Los Angeles. I'd rather renovate my downstairs bathroom and repave my driveway in the summer, thank you very much!
There was a time when the only concerns we would have when flying was if we were lucky enough to sit away from screaming children and the occasional smoker, but that was a calculated risk, you knew if you got lucky and got an up grade to Business and First, you would be home free from children and we were kind of used to the inconvenience of the occasional smoker in the seat ahead of us anyway.
Nowadays, besides the fact that your seats only do a symbolic recline, it doesn't actually move, your leg room has been reduce by a third of what it used to be and flight attendants behave like mafia thugs with a bad attitude.
I am so afraid of flight attendants nowadays that I always agree with anything and everything they say and always, always smile and apologize to them, even if I didn't do anything or didn't understand what they are saying, no kidding, I've seen people been thrown off the plane because they didn't turn off their freaking blackberry when the
flight attendant told them to, I don't want to have a criminal record because I forgot to turn off my cell phone, so I remove the battery and put the phone away in my carry on, I've gotten in trouble before because my phone turned back on by itself.
I was on a Continental flight between Houston and Guadalajara, Mexico and my blackberry might have accidentally turned back on by itself, how did I find out? My phone rang when we were flying over Monterrey, Mexico. I had no idea, but the cell phone towers in Mexico allow you to have signal inside the Airplanes. In the US, after 9/11, they turned off the Cell Phone Tower signals going upwards, so the people can't use cell phones inside airplanes, but I found out the hard way, that NOT IN MEXICO, yeap, your cell phone signal will have all the bars if you are flying over MEXICO, just keep in mind that if you are flying with an American Airline company, they will still treat you like a criminal and throw you in the terrorist category for having your phone ring during a flight, so, I suggest you go the safe route and remove your Blackberry's freaking battery, better be safe than sorry.
Now, with all the hysteria surrounding flying nowadays, I perfectly understand how the Nigerian THUG went passed security with a fake Michigan University ID and a stolen Boarding Pass from a WRONG DATE, WRONG NAME and WRONG FLIGHT NUMBER, I can see that happening easily, because that ALMOST happened to me.
I was flying from Boston to Sao Paulo last year, thanking the sweet baby Jesus for a system wide upgrade, I checked in at the FIRST CLASS counter, where there are less people, the American Airlines First Class Counter Clerk gave me a WRONG BOARDING PASS, with the WRONG NAME and WRONG SEAT NUMBER, I didn't notice anything wrong. I admit partial fault for not paying attention. I was in a little hurry to get to the "Admirals Club Lounge", take advantage of my complimentary "Dry Martinis" and get comfortable :)
So, after I passed the security guard that flashes the magic BLUE LIGHT WAND over my Massachusetts Driver's License, took off my shoes, took off my over coat, sweater, laptop, blackberry, wallet, belt and re-assembled myself on the other side of all the metal detectors and the "new" sophisticated "GE" scanner that blows a jet of air on your to detect explosives and gives you a little "healthy" ;) dose of radiation. I stand up, grab my boarding pass just to check what gate I was supposed to go, just THEN I realized I had the WRONG BOARDING PASS, those bastards at the American Airlines First Class Counter PRINTED THE WRONG BOARDING PASS, with a different name, and WRONG SEATING ASSIGNMENT, I am so paranoid about getting my upgrades and making sure I fly FIRST CLASS that I didn't even realize that 3 different security check points MISSED the mistake, NOT JUST ME.
So, I walk ask a TSA agent for the HEAD OF SECURITY, when I see the man, I tell him, look, they printed me the WRONG BOARDING PASS!!! He opened his eyes like he was seeing ELVIS ALIVE in front of him!! He grabbed the WRONG BOARDING PASS from my hands, started mumbling something I couldn't possibly understand on his "Walkie Talkie" radio.
He called a Massachusetts POLICE OFFICER to escort me back to the American Airlines counter and have the proper BOARDING PASS printed, keep in mind I had already waited at the security check line for 40 minutes and would have to go back to the end of the line and go thru the gruesome process all over again.
When I arrived at the American Airlines counter, no apologies, no excuses, they were all behaving like I DID SOMETHING WRONG!!!! :(
But as an experienced traveler that I am, I kept my mouth shut, smiled all the way, prayed that they wouldn't downgrade me to coach and went back to the security screen line like a little lamb.
To add insult to injury, I was again mistreated my the security guard with the MAGIC BLUE WAND, and all the other
at the TSA screening area.
SO MUCH FOR SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS!!!!
|You don't know how many times I have felt like doing this! :)|
What good is it to remove your shoes, throw away your bottled water, your shampoo and your toothpaste if these bastards are not PAYING ATTENTION on what they are doing.
I can totally see how the Nigerian THUG picked up on their security gaps and blew thru TSA officers at JFK and LAX.
Forget all this crap, PROFILE, PROFILE, PROFILE the HELL out of passengers, can we please put our American political correctness spirit aside just this once, when our lives depend on it! PLEASE!!!!
My blue haired 95 year old grandma from a small town in Oklahoma, called Betty Smith, is NOT GOING to be a security threat.
Your dumb TSA agents who don't pay attention to what they are doing WILL, every time.
|Need I say more! I love google images! :)|
Talk to the security agents from the Israel airports, ask them "how politically correct' they are!
They will give you a crash course on racial profile, religious profiling etc.
They interview the hell out of people they
"think" might pose a threat, no, they don't pat down the 5 year old girl and the humiliate the 95 year old grandma into removing her adult diaper, they interview suspicious individuals, you know, people who are sweating a lot and look nervous, people who might have affiliations with radical religious Muslims, and any one else who might be a real threat to all of us.
I am not saying we should profile and pick on Muslims, but we should profile on any specific group that have radical ideas and might try to harm the rest of us, include in this category: the neo-nazis, the anti-government cults, anyone associated with the Westborough Baptist Church crazies who protest at soldiers funerals, hell, I would even throw in the people who protest in front of abortion clinics, why not! They look crazy enough and pose a threat to society if you ask me.
God help us all, our guardian angels must be working overtime, that's for sure, meanwhile, I am going to drive or take the train EVERY CHANCE I GET!
Travel safe, and have a great 4th of July weekend :)