Monday, December 28, 2009

Airport Musings....

So I'm at BWI awaiting my flight. No posh club here to hang out in, I'm chilling on the Southwest Concourse next to a gentleman who is jealously surrounding his Washington Post with his arms, as if I were tying to read surreptitiously. Dude, I have a computer....I can read online.....

Long-time readers know I am wont to post from airports. I used to travel a good bit in my last job, and it afforded me a good bit of time in the Admiral's Club, a perch from which I could pass along my thoughts gathered during my standard two hours of dead time before boarding.

I'm here not quite 2 hours prior, but there is plenty to talk about. So here goes.

Security: Thought things would be ridiculous after the Nigerian adherent of peaceful religion attempted to blow himself and 200 others up. But it was the same old, same old. Which brings me to my second point.

The traveling idiots: We've been at this airport security stuff hammer and tong for eight plus years now. I am astounded by the number of people who continue to have some difficulty getting with the program. Shoes in the box. Coats off. Cell phone, watch, jewelery in the box. Computer out of the case. Bagged liquids. I manage to get stuck behind the traveling idiot with startling frequency.

Airport wheelchairs: This is the biggest traveling scam there is. If you emptied this airport out, perhaps you'd find oh, 20,000 people. If you compared the frequency of the wheelchair bound in a community of 20,000 with the number who claim this conveyance in an airport, you'd find a statistically significant increase in "free riders", that is, folks who generally don't use the wheelchair but then choose to in airports. Front of the line on security, get onboard early, etc. I know, I know--just be happy I'm not in a wheelchair. I'm just sayin'. Additionally, there should be wheelchair security entrances--ways to enter the general terminal for the wheelchair bound and their traveling companions only. Same with SUV strollers....

Fancy men's stores in airports: Jos A Bank, Brooks Bros.....great decisions to place stores in airports. Dudes are ALWAYS forgetting things. Like ties.

Cinnabon: Why is there no Cinnabon here? Why must I be denied the glories of the 1200 calorie gut bomb, the nation-feeding sweetmeat, the insulin atomic blast? Why dear Lord, why?


Goldwater's Ghost said...

The last time I checked Philadelphia International, there was no barbershop scattered among the high-end boutiques? I've often wondered why that is? Does BWI have one?

Dan said...

I am traveling from Qatar to Dulles next week. Wonder what my level of pain will be for the last hour of flight?

"No getting out of your seat, sir, for the last hour of flight."

"No blankets or pillows on laps, sir."

"Hands on lap where I can see them." (I wonder if they'll mind that I stretch-out my two middle fingers at them while my hands are in my lap).

Anonymous said...

The question that needs to be asked now 8 years later is, "What is the function of this piece of security apparatus and is it providing the desired result? What is the TPE? (Task Purpose Endstate)" There is a methodology and an excuse to make mistakes at your initial ramp up in layering a defense, however, upon revision and certainly 8 years later, we should be refining now.
1. The WTMD (Walk Through Metal Detector) What is its purpose? Does it make the flying public safer. Amazing the number of people who think it detects explosives.
2. ID Check: What is its purpose, what list is this compared to? If my boarding pass is not compared to any official list at security, what good is the actual 'real ID' check?
3. Why can I carry multiple 3.whatever fluid ounce bottles of the same fluid, but not one 10 oz bottle of the same fluid?
4. Why is there no method, this many years later, of testing shoes without removing them?

I am just starting and could go on for quite a while.

I fly every week and I do not buy the doomsdayer arguments that TSA is Satan, however, when are we going to review and refine their tools and goals to make airtravel actually safe instead of security smoke and mirrors?

Mudge said...

"I fly every week and I do not buy the doomsdayer arguments that TSA is Satan"

Nor do I. Satan is generally competent at what he does (unless doused with holy water or the like). But, like many government entities with a predominance of civil servants, about one third of them are there for the federal handout, knowing they can't be fired no matter what. If the Obama Administration decides that Satan's management of Hell requires Government intervention (I've heard he gets a huge annual bonus so there would be ample grounds for such an act) and they replace him with a government agency, we would be far less likely to sin, since only two-thirds of the employees at FDH (Federal Department of Hell) would actually be at work conscientiously placing temptation in our paths and creating false idols while the rest built EO offices and recarpeted their lounges. The one good thing (in addition to less sinning, that's a good thing too) is that while these non-workers staked out their office spaces where they could play computer games, sell real estate and try to piss off one of the 66% who actually DO work so they could bring EO charges against them, is that no one would be tending to the burning embers and, like anthropogenic global warming, Hell would start to cool down. But spending eternity with non-fireable government non-workers might actually be worse than shoveling burning embers.

Anyway, I agree they aren't Satan.

Anonymous said...

@ Mudge:

I have no response. You win. I don't even like TSA. I am with you.

CCE said...

Forget Cinnabon, best for passing time is getting a good boot shine at Houston Intercontinental.

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