Last time I took a plane was July, 2009 and sometimes I think it will be the last time. The security procedures are getting to be a huge hassle. At first we just had to put our luggage on a conveyor belt and walk through a metal detector and go on our merry way. Every year they keep adding additional requirements to the list of things we have to do before can get to the gate.
If you haven’t been on a plane in a while, this is what you can expect. First, all carry on luggage and bag must go on a conveyor belt. I put mine on the wrong way and it got stuck, so I was reprimanded. You have to put your laptop in it’s own bin, empty your pockets, take off your shoes, jacket, sweater and put them in bins to pass through the conveyor belt. Then, as your things are being carefully scanned, you have to walk through a metal detector. When you get to the other side of the detector you have to quickly gather up all your belongings as they are piling up. Then, with your arms full, you have to redress yourself. On goes the sweater, jacket, shoes. You refill your pockets. Safely restore your laptop. Make sure you didn’t leave your keys or cell phone behind. And when you are satisfied that you have pulled yourself back together, you can continue to your gate, if you remember what it was.
Of course, there are new developments now that may require you to enter a scanner which is a “virtual strip search,” but I have not experienced that, nor do I want to!
And yet, with all this security, people are always finding ways to circumvent the system. This is what irks me. Last week, a young, Asian male boarded a plane dressed as an old man. He did not have the proper ID and yet managed to get on the plane. While on the plane, he removed his disguise and of course was much younger. Do you mean to tell me that he was able to fool everyone with his disguise? And, if so, no one noticed he wasn’t using proper ID? His hands were young, but his face was old, and that slipped by everyone? What is worse is that he has now shown the world that this little gimmick works and who knows who will try it next! Meanwhile, all of us law abiding, paying, ID carrying citizens are being practically strip searched like common criminals and terrorists. I think everyone responsible for this slip up should be fired, so maybe other security personnel will take their jobs more seriously.
What ever happened to “flying the friendly skies?” I don’t know, but these days I feel more like the enemy.