This and That

November 10, 2010

Airport security woes

Airport security and me are inseparable. This time, it was at the Las Vegas International airport. I was stopped at the security and asked to go via the full body scanner instead of the metal detector. No surprise there! I contemplated for a second and asked them if it is mandatory to go through it and they said, “No”. So I told them that I won’t go through it if it is not mandatory. As soon as I said that, they announced to every other TSA personnel in the vicinity by yelling that they have an “opt out”. A security personnel came to me and told me that since I opted out, I will be manually searched. And he then went on to describe how they will search me. It went something like this “We will touch your inner thigh, around the breasts, butt, blah blah and blah”. It is not like I had a better choice than say yes. So then, they yell for a lady TSA person. The lady comes and asks if I am sensitive to touch, I was like, huh, Let us try and see how I do! Then she asks me if I want to be touched in privacy or in front of everyone. I went, sure! I like an audience, so let us do it in public. Then she starts rubbing me with her rubber gloved hands all over, it was a little short of a cavity search. And finally she said she was done, and I said, Thanks for the free massage and left! We got to see the positive side of everything, right? While all this was happening, my colleagues and hundred other travelers were having fun watching me and wondering why I wouldn’t go through the scanner. I have my reasons:

  • They were picking people randomly and they had to body search the people even after the scan (The body scanner was raising an alarm for the last 3 people that were asked to go through body scanner before me).
  • TSA personnel weren’t sure about what they can/cannot see
  • TSA personnel weren’t sure whether they will/will not store the scanned images
  • TSA personnel weren’t sure if the radiation from the scanner is bad for health.
  • And they were picking mostly women! So wasn’t sure if the person watching the scanned images did that deliberately or not!

And tell me I was wrong after reading this story from today.

Update: I am not alone! Check this out!

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April 20, 2010

Karma

Filed under: airport, Rant — Tags: , , , — yaadayaada @ 6:33 pm

This is what happens when they charge ridiculous amount of money for food, baggage, beverage, etc. Mother nature gets angry and grounds all the plane.

p.s. Very sorry for the people who are stranded though.

December 18, 2007

Airport Security and Liquid restrictions

Filed under: airport, security — Tags: , , — yaadayaada @ 11:53 pm

The airports have funny security. You cannot carry liquids more than 100ml. Ok. That is simple right! But they do allow you to carry upto 2 litres of alcohol or big bottles of perfume if you are in an international flight and if you had purchased it in a duty free shop inside the airport. So someone buys couple of litres of alcohol or perfume on his/her way from Cancun, Mexico to New York and has a stop over in Phoenix. So from Cancun that person is allowed to carry the alcohol/perfume on board. Once he/she arrives in Phoenix, the security there will not allow him/her to carry the alcohol/perfume on board. What can one do in that situation. Throw the expensive liquor/perfume. Drink or spray it all. Either they allow or not allow. Or at least, they should tell while buying, that they won’t be allowed to carry it on board if they have a connecting flight. It is is just so crazy how this whole airport security operates. No wonder things like these happen.

http://cbs11tv.com/watercooler/airport.vodka.liquid.2.610116.html

August 25, 2007

Planes, Pains and Automobiles

Filed under: airport — yaadayaada @ 12:51 am

This post is going to be a give-away for my friends and family. Thought long and hard about not writing this, but couldn’t resist.

Remember the post about airport and how I hate flying. One more trip was thrown at me. It was a 3 day business trip. And I thought, no big deal, I can take it. Wrong I was. I think the trip was doomed from the beginning. Had to struggle to get the flight, get the hotel,etc. Then I find out my better-half is also traveling the day before I travel. So I drop him, come back, sleep, get up early in the morning(4 am), park my car in the long term parking, head out to the airport to find that my flight is delayed by an hour. Somehow we take off after an hour, reach the destination after 4 hours of travel, rent a car and drive 120 miles to our destination. So far so good. Business was successful, we return back 2 days later in the midst of the thunderstorm to the world’s most unreliable (due to weather) airport to catch our flight. What do we see? Our flight got canceled. 1000s of passengers stranded. One of the worst storms, that the city has ever seen. So they reassingn my colleague to the  next day’s flight that leaves 24 hours later and hang me loose. Then I call the airlines, hold for 30 minutes and finally beg, plead, cry to get me on the same flight as my colleague.

Then we go to find a hotel to stay. We find all the hotels nearby are sold out. Finally found a Marriot some 15 miles away. We say ok. Let us go. We go and stand in the line for taxi to see there are 200 people ahead of us in the line for a cab. A fine young lady who was going to the same hotel, called her travel services booked a limo and offered to take us with her since we helped her get the hotel. So off we go in a stretch limo in the midst of rain, thunder and lightning. Stay in the hotel, eat an expensive dinner in the only available restaurant. We tried calling the travel agent to see if we can get on an earlier flight, we couldn’t. So colleague and I retire ourselves to our respective rooms and decide to call each other to coordinate the next day at around 8am. So I get up the next day around 7:30 am, laze around in the bed, check my email, go take a shower and then see a missed call in my fone. My colleague had left a message saying that he had left for the airport early in the morning since he found a flight for himself. So I pack my bags run out to fetch a cab to see if I can try to squeeze into some flight since the weather is going to be bad that evening as well.

The person in the lobby says I need to wait for an hour to get a cab. I go out, I see a cab, he says he can take me to the airport, I get in without thinking. I call my husband and tell him that my colleague desserted me and I am on my cab and in case the cab guy kidnaps me, here are the details of the cab. And then I call my colleague, ask him for the travel agent number and he tells me that he is on the flight for 10.10am, call travel agent, she somehow gets me into another flight at 3 pm with a connection to a city 40 miles away from my original destination. I reach the aiport at 9:15am, stand in line for 30 minutes, then call the airlines and beg the representative to see if she can put in an earlier flight. She surprises me by giving a direct flight at 11:35am. I was so thrilled get into the earlier flight, call my husband and ask him if he can pick me up from this 40 miles away airport since I am landing there instead of original destination. Husband says no, he will be busy. I hang up fone, then pass security and see that the 10:10 flight now leaves at 10:20am instead. So I run to the gate and ask the representative if they have any seat available and if they can accomodate me in that flight. He says yes, and I almost kiss him and voila I am in the same flight as my colleague. I call him and ask him if he can give me a ride and he says yes. Now I am sitting in this plane and writing about it and we are about to land in 20 minutes. Thank God. I hope this jinx doesn’t continue in my future travels.

August 7, 2007

Singapore Changi Airport

Filed under: airport — Tags: , , — yaadayaada @ 7:23 am

Of all the airports I have landed, boarded and transited, my favourite is still the Singapore Changi airport. Lately I see many people shifting their loyalty to Hong Kong airport. But according to me Changi rules! The facilities that they have is just unbeatable. Every time I transit, I find something new. This time I found a free shower (Everyone knows about the paid shower, this one is free and tucked away in a nook), laptop access cubicles – One can connect your laptop for free from these spots and work on it as long as he/she pleases. And free foot massagers sprinkled all over. I mean what more can you ask for. And if you are into shopping (not me…), you can really shop till you drop here. Also this time I managed to find the free movie theatre upstairs as well. Next to it is an open air garden with beautiful sun flowers. The colorful orchids all over and the 2 Koi ponds are a treat to the tired eyes.

July 23, 2007

Strange Airport Security Guidelines

Filed under: airport, security — yaadayaada @ 6:50 pm

I was traveling from a major airport to my hometown. Now that I pretty much know the security routintes, I placed all my liquids/gels/paste in the check in and just kept my backpack. After I checked in, I found a water bottle in my backpack. Managed to guzzle the rest of the water and walked through the security with reverence. Opened my backpack, laid out my threatening laptop, dangerous slippers, scary backpack in the belt and guess what happens, the security personnel is just talking to her friend without even a glance at the baggage x-ray passes my baggage. The same thing happenned to the 5 passengers that were standing before and after me. And what do I see at the end, everyone is carrying water and I am the only stupid one with no water and running to find a restroom quick. If this is the way they secure us, why bother posing all the restrictions and confuse stupid people like me.

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