Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Joys of Air Travel

One wonders whether civilization will survive at times. Since 9/11 we have had to endure the absurdity of the Transportation Safety Administration (Thousands Standing Around) and its absurd changes in the way people fly. What you can carry on the plane seems to change periodically. We lose things like nail clippers (I guess they might induce a hangnail) but the screening system missed a metal letter opener that was given to me as a gift. Which is more dangerous? If you buy a one way ticket or change your plans (and most business people change their plans) be prepared to go through their search. Their computers cannot figure out that I got on and off airplanes more than 150 times last year.

This morning I was a bit late to the airport and found out that United and the TSA have instituted a rule that says you need to be at the gate 30 minutes before a flight or 45 minutes if you check baggage. Obviously I showed up less than 30 minutes before the flight. The folks in the TSA seem incapable of doing things with either energy or efficiency. And yet, there is little reason to believe we are substantially safer than we were prior to the tragedy of 9/11.

The Congressional demand that they move the screening to public employees has done everything critics said it would.

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