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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2003-02-01
The Road Warrior: The TSA is a mess
By Mongo Johnson, Sports Shooter
Dear dumbs**ts of the Transportation Security Administration,
You were doing such a good job at LAX last week, no really I mean it. When I got to the terminal, the security line was about 50-yards long, but somehow you folks still managed to stick your screening guidelines and it took less than 10 minutes to get through.
Well here it is, a few days later at DFW and you've had a security breach. So now everybody's been evacuated from the terminal building. It's a good thing it's nice outside now or else you'd have a riot on your hands.
Question # 1: Why is it necessary to move everybody OUTSIDE the terminal? Since the primary security area is INSIDE past the mags, why not just let everybody stay inside the check in area?
You're re-screening everybody anyway.
Maybe you think the bad guys are going to hide in the check in area?
Question #2: You've got everybody outside on the sidewalk already, but now you tell 'em that they have to move across the street.
Now the people who are at their destination, waiting to get picked up by taxis, shuttle vans, and passenger cars are stuck as well.
Well, here it is now an hour later, and you've finally let everybody back into the terminal, BUT wait, NOW the lines to get through screening are an hour long.
One only has to glimpse at the headlines to see that all this security is just an illusion.
WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (AP) - Federal undercover inspectors slipped through Bradley International Airport security twice with a fake bomb in carry-on luggage, while one agent passed through with a knife taped to her leg, The Hartford Courant reported in Tuesday's editions.
"We're good at taking away scissors and tweezers from little old ladies, and pocket knives from 80-year-old men going to Florida," the screener said. "But when it comes to the real deal, quite frankly, I don't know that we're any better than the former screeners."
(Wanna see the whole awful story? http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2003/2003-01-21-bdl-security.htm)
Air travel has gotten to be such a hassle, that I have modified my fly / drive rule. In the old days, any destination over 200 miles I would fly to. Under 200, I'd drive.
Now days, that number is 300.
This number will fluctuate depending on where you reside. Out west (like Montana) where you can go 90 and not see another person for miles, it's easy to cover a lot of ground.
I figure by the time you factor in having to get to the airport 2 hours early to check in, 1 hour on the other end to get your baggage and rental car, PLUS flight time, I'm still ahead of the game.
Hell not to mention that packing is a lot simpler, cause I don't have to worry about the NEW weight and size restrictions.
Oh yeah, didn't you know?
I just got this little piece of PR bulls**t spin from United:
Planning to check a heavy bag? United has eliminated the current $80 fee for overweight checked baggage on domestic flights and replaced it with a new fee of $25 per checked baggage item weighing 50 pounds or more.
Oh my god, like you greedy f**kers are doing us a favor? The weight limit used to be 70 pounds!
I read somewhere, in the message boards that the airlines claim they had to reduce the weight limit because they were getting killed by insurance claims filed by the baggage handlers. The $25.00 per bag over 50 pounds is to help defray the cost of those claims.
Ok, let's say I buy into that line of crap.
I'll tell you what, let's limit the baggage weight to 46 pounds, BUT let me check 3 pieces, (3x46 = 138 pounds which is still less than the 140 pounds I used to be allowed)
(Mongo Johnson is a regular contributor to the Sports Shooter Newsletter. He is a former child actor whose credits include Johnny Quest, Speed Racer and The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. He currently works as a travel and security consultant and is based in Missoula, MT.)
Mongo Johnson's member page
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