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April 2011
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gwen [userpic]
about this airport security...

So, how soon will it be before we can't take any items on board an airplane?

No, seriously. Right now the list is down to.... books, clothes, and laptops/electronics. So the electronics can be obvious about how they can be abused, so that leaves books and clothes. Well, both are flammable, and can be used to make a fire without too much else needed, right?

And does this really help us be more secure?

Now, can I posit this? Liquids are easily tested for what is in them. Why not just put the stuff through tests to determine that they are, in fact, HAND LOTION or WATER. You know, items that are useful when flying on an overly-air-conditioned plane! But, you know, that wouldn't be FEAR enough, nor would it allow the airlines to "supply" you with these products.... for a modest (over-)price.

*shakes head*

Current Mood: cynicalcynical

Actually- flights out of the UK were only permitted to bring into the cabin their passport, boarding pass, and house key in an airline supplied clear plastic bag. All other items including books, newspapers, purses, etc. were required to be checked.

Gd help the menstruating woman on one of those flights, if it was headed here.

Geez, an 8 hour flight without reading materials. I'd go insane.

The thing is, the UK is likely to lift that back up, because they do. The USA has a more specific list, and is more likely to leave that list in place after the current scare is done. So one by one, we lose the ability to have any items on board, permanently, here.

Yah, sure, that makes sense.


Train travel is a grea idea in theory, but trains in the U.S. are slow and uncomfortable. Lily and I are going to New York for three days this weekend, traveling by plane. Had we taken a train, our trip would have taken a total of six days.

The government should just install a great train system and it would be great for everybody. Oh, except, we're already eight trillion dollars in debt. Cancel that plan. We can all travel by horse instead.

It really depends on how where you're going for the train time to be more or less efficient. I've trained to Philly in less time than it would have taken me to fly there, once I factored in time for security check. I have trained to Chicago as well; the train did take longer than flying in that case, but it was overnight so I could sleep on my way in. It was also cheaper (I was in school full time at the time, so this was a major factor in my decision.)

I also took the train from Philly to NYC for a job interview -- if I bypass amtrak, there are trains leaving the 30th Street Station once every hour or so, and it takes less than two hours to train up. Given this, it was easy for me to train up (buying tickets on the spot), go to my interview, walk around NYC for a couple hours, then train back to Philly for dinner with friends. :)

Training from PGH to NYC is inconveniently timed though. It's around 9-10 hours, during the day.. so in effect you get to throw two days into transportation (though, not three, so I'm not sure how you doubled your time there). I've looked at going to NYC by train in recent times myself, and came to the conclusion that unless I'm training to Philly to visit folks there, then continuing on to NYC; it's just not efficient to train there.

Yah, ideally we'd have more support for train systems here, so that they can be a viable alternative. I was really into the extensive MagLev proposal that congress was trying to budget for in the late 90's. The idea for that system was to alleviate commuter flight traffic in major corridors (DC-Baltimore-Philly-NYC, frex... and a branch out from Philly to PGH to Chicago!) by providing the alternative, fast, MagLev routes. The study was thorough and addressed safety issues happily... but it was just too expensive, and faded away.


FWIW, I don't think anyone ever flies from Philly to NYC. It's expected that that's a ground-travel trip. Incidentally, the current administration has mentioned lots of plans to eliminate Amtrak. Supposedly because it's inefficient, and requires gov't subsidy to stay afloat. But personally, I wouldn't be surprised if it had more to do with the fact that if no trains existed, it'd be one less alternative for people instead of gassing up their cars.

The three days is because in this case, we do not have flexible travel dates, and so we'd have to leave a day earlier from PGH, and a day later from NYC, plus tickets being unavailable for our return date would have put us coming home on Wednesday, which just isn't acceptable.

Out here in the west, the trains are not only inconvenient -- usually only one or, if you're lucky, two trains per day -- but way expensive, too.

Every time I go to Seattle, I look at the possibility of taking a train there. And every time, it comes down to something like "Well, you can leave at 6 am, and it'll take 20 hours, and cost $1200. Or you could take a plane, leave when you want to, it'll take four hours, and cost $400." It's really frustrating. I could handle the extra time and the inconvenient departures, but not when coupled with three times the price!

MagLev was supposed to have interconnected routes along the west coast as well. At 200+ mph, it was supposed to get from PDX to SEA in under an hour. San Francisco to PDX would have been around 3 hours.

Oh, I just check amtrak.com though, it is a 24 hour train ride, but as a normal coach fare, the price is only $84. If you were to opt for the sleeper car, it's up to the $1200 price tag. You probably were going when all that was left was sleeper car seats. :(

Hm. Cool, I'll have to remember that and try to book early.

I absolutely love the train. I go between NYC & DC at least every few months and have no complaints about Amtrak. And for some reason their phone customer service is easily the most helpful and friendly customer service I've come across in years.

Tampons are allowed. We checked. This is of interest to my wife within 24 hours…

I figure a couple more incidents like this and we're all flying in the nude. While I'm all for nudity on my own, I'm not sure I'm ready for everyone else's nudity. x_x

yah, I was commenting yesterday at work that soon, they will have every one check in nude, sedate us, then stack people like cordwood.

Secure, cheap, and no crying babies. Problem solved!



*spits coffee through nose*

No watches either. Even the batteries in there can be used to trigger a device. The only way to make the skies safe is keep people out of the damn skies! Back to the ground you bastards!

p.s. the grey on grey for the cursor does make it a bit hard to see what you are editing in here.

Hey, my cursor is BLACK, like the GOTH SOUL I AM!

Uhm, I've been meaning to overhaul my LJ look for a while, but I haven't really had time to do so. So, you get to deal with it like this for a while longer. :p

Watches and battery-powered devices aren't on the list yet. Lots of security folks are talking about how they would sure like them to be, however.

Correct. The only place where books/electronics/etc. are being prohibited is the UK.

In the US, it's just the liquids thing- which TSA is saying is a temporary precaution.

Rapier was putting that forth hypothetically, as an addendum to my list of "what would eventually be banned."

Oh, I know - I only mentioned its current absence because I fly tonight and have heard a lot about what they want to ban compared to what they have banned.

While I'm in completely in favor of complaining about ineffective security (and this certainly falls primarily in that category) I am, at least, a little hopeful that this will be temporary.

Why? Two reasons:

1) They implemented this draconian policy because they weren't 100% certain they caught everyone in the plot, and since they knew the method they were planning on using, they wanted to make sure they kept that method from occuring until they could put in a more viable long-term solution.

2) Chertoff, while not someone I would trust any farther than I could throw him, has stated to the papers that this is a temporary measure until they can get better detection mechanisms in place.

Of course, I'll also note that despite the Bush Administration's insistence that things like the NSA wiretapping, harsh interrogation techniques, and other civil liberty-infringing techniques are all protecting us from terror, this plot was blown open by Pakistani intelligence. Funny how human intelligence still works, but the restriction of freedoms doesn't...

Other people said what I was going to point out, but yeah, I get the sense that this is a temporary measure, until they figure out something better long term (like perhaps implementing the tests you mentioned). You can't really blame them for not having these things on hand. At least they adapted to the threat at hand, and no one got blown up. Also, it sounds like no liquids are getting on the planes at all, at least not at PHL. So it's actually HURTING the businesses past the security checkpoints, not helping them, since no one can buy something to take with them.

I hope so, but my problem is that "temporary" measures in the past have turned permanent.


Why not just put the stuff through tests to determine that they are, in fact, HAND LOTION or WATER.

You aren't seriously saying, test the water bottles, deodorant, shampoo, hand cream, toothpaste et alia et varia, of every passenger's hand luggage on every flight at every airport to see that it's what the label says it is and nothing's been added? Just looking at the stuff causes horrendous delays- adding on site testing would surely be worse? 'Oh dear, I must get off to the airport for my security check, I'm leaving in a week.'

Re: Puzzled

We're already at that level of delays. It honestly wouldn't be any worse than we have now.

I'm not talking about reading ingrediants -- the current panic is assuming that liquids inside normal bottles are being replaced. Just take a sample of the liquid and feed it into the testing setup, see if it passes. That's really no different, time-wise, than where they're at now; which is to search every piece of your luggage and inspect every item one by one.

Re: Puzzled

Actually, they didn't search our luggage at all.

That was probably the gelled perioxide.

I got stuck here in the uk on my way back from mauritius and the clowns on the BBC were saying that it is ok to fly with nothing, and that "we need to stop relying on technology..." Regarding detecting these sorts of things...

Wtf, sheeple everywhere

You know, I don't care terribly much if I can't bring drinks through security. But AT LEAST LET ME BUY THEM PAST SECURITY!!! I don't like to chew gum, and rely on a drink to help me pop my sensitive ears.

As for anything else...fine, it can get checked...although for short trips this can mean the difference in whether you can go carry-on-only or must check bags.