At The Airport

IMG_9391I’m on my butt, on the thin carpeting, over the very hard floor, at Gate 6 at Bradley International. That’s the only way to sit near an electrical outlet.

I know the label ‘International’ now fits this airport because across the hall Northwest Flight 98 to Amsterdam is getting ready to board.

I went through security with one tiny problem. As my bag was rolling into the x-ray machine my cellphone began to ring! The TSA agent told me it was OK to answer it… but what a bad place to start a conversation.

As I was reconfiguring my baggage – putting my watch on, my wallet in my pocket, my belt on my pants, my laptop back in its case, etc., an older woman was being frisked. She stood there, arms outstretched horizontally at her sides while a guard waved a metal detecting wand up and down her body. Her feet were carefully placed on the foot outlines stenciled on the mat she stood on.

Here’s the deal. I am willing to live with the risk this woman is a terrorist. Let her pass. Is there anyone who could possible consider her a threat?

Frisking her doesn’t make me safer. When I start hearing about gray haired old ladies making trouble, I’ll reevaluate my position. There’s a happy medium between profiling and stupidity.

Seeing her there only went to point out the foolishness of the whole security procedure. Truth is, by noon on September 11, 2001, the type of hijacking we’d experienced that morning was no longer viable. Emboldened passengers, not governmental vigilance, changed the paradigm.

Can you tell I’m upset?

3 thoughts on “At The Airport”

  1. Geoff I agree.

    When will airports finally start giving us areas where we can plug our laptops or other devices to recharge batteries? Atlanta has “laptop lanes” where you can plug in. LAX has some spots to just recharge cell phones. But that’s it. Finding an outlet is nearly impossible. Finding one near a seat at your gate is like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Although I must confess I did find an outlet in the floor near my seat at Gate 5 in the new terminal at Bradley.

  2. I had a window-seat in a terminal at Las Vegas McCarran recently with an 802.11 free antenna right over my head and an outlet nearby. I charged a phone and laptop. Also had a view of the side of the strip…I was in heaven…

  3. I travel constantly for my job. In fact, between tomorrow and Sunday I will be in and out of a grand total of 6 different airports.

    Don’t even get me started on post-9/11 security theater. Some of the idiotic things I’ve seen perpetrated in the name of “Homeland Security” have made me want to chuck it all and move to France.

    All that, and I could still walk at any time onto any Metro-North train with enough explosives in my backpack to turn Park Avenue into a real, not a metaphorical canyon. Trust me, it’s not air travel we need to worry about any more.

    (I hope everything goes well with your dad!)

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