Monday, December 28, 2009

What's next, ban all the passengers?

When a friend noted on her Facebook page a couple days ago that the Transportation Security Administration* (whose motto just went from "Your security is our priority" to "Shut up and deal with it") was considering a ban on passengers, I laughed. (She later informed me the line came from this Onion article, which is looking less like a parody and more like a reality every day.) Now I am crying.

As if getting and flying on a plane wasn't arduous and annoying enough, what with the long lines, fees for everything from checking a bag to getting a snack to getting a blanket and/or pillow (what's next, coin-operated bathrooms?), having to remove one's shoes and laptops, not being able to carry on more than a few ounces of liquid or more than one small bag, and being stranded on the tarmac for no apparent reason.

Now, because some lax security screeners in AMSTERDAM (where, as we all know, half the population is stoned) screwed up, we long-suffering, rule-abiding shmucks here in the U.S. of A. are about to (or are being) hit with even more regulations, procedures, and absurd rules, from (and I am not making these up) full-body pat-downs and strip searches (or else full body scans), having one's carry-on bag thoroughly searched by hand in addition to the standard machine screening, not being allowed to carry on or use any electronic device in the airplane cabin (to which I say, let's put all the senior TSA officials on a plane, clearly identified, with only business passengers and children between the ages of 6 and 14 and see how long that restriction lasts), to not being allowed to leave one's seat or use a pillow or blanket one (or two) hours after takeoff and before landing.

Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

And for those of you, like me, seeking some guidance or clarity, good luck. The "TSA Guidance for Passengers on Heightened Security Measures in Place Following Dec. 25 Incident" is ZERO help.

The really sad part? While this particular "attack" was easily foiled, the terrorists have already won.

*Does anyone else not recall the creation of the TSA? Or think that "Transportation Security Administration" sounds a little... I don't know... Big Brother-y? Whatever happened to the Federal Aviation Administration?

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