My (rather negative view) of the new Airport Restrictions

Pauline in the UK sent me an email earlier today, concerning the heightened airport security (she lives spitting distance of a major airport.) And so, she has asked for opinions on the new "restrictions" going into place. I obliged her with the following:

Well, I used to travel a lot for my former employer... conventions mostly within the United States... so I can tell you some things that do come in handy... and now that they are banned, people will be in fits over here

1. Laptops. To begin with, during a 6 - 10 hour flight, your company expects you to be productive. That means completing any last minute details for your seminar or project, working on email (to be sent once you have debarked the plane), figuring out your route, etc. The Laptop also plays movies, has games, and allows you to listen to music. We used to have security set up so that you had to turn your laptop on and prove it was a working device. Now that they are insisting that these tools be stowed in baggage, I will expect the airline to fully compensate me for any losses due to their neglect... in other words, they will not just pay for the laptop, but the wages I LOST because I could NOT perform my job without the laptop. I am PAID to work during the flight, as well.

2. Water bottles. I never fly without one. Mainly, it is because of medical reasons. I need to keep hydrated, or I become sickly. I also need water to take my medications (pill form.) The airline provides a small plastic cup with no lid, so I dare not nap, get up to use the restroom, or shift my position, or the damn cup will tip over and spill all over me and the fellow next to me. I also travel with a small bottle of apple juice, so my sugar does not drop. Will the airline provide FREE bottles of these things, at my very beck and call, when I need them?

3. Medications in liquid form. Over the counter drops for babies are a life-saver for all those who must travel with them. Their little ears can't 'pop' due to the altitude, and they begin to wail something horrid. A smart parent travels with a baby bottle of milk, and a baby bottle of water. Also, pediatric ear drops help ease the discomfort. If a parent is allowed to carry this... WHY CAN'T WE?? People with ear and eye disorders often carry over-the-counter medications that their doctor prescribes. There is, of course, no label on these items with the patient's name, as they are OVER THE COUNTER and not dispensed by a pharmacist! As for contact wearers? What will they use to hydrate their lenses? Spit? And a baby bottle with milk (the mother is required to taste it to prove it is milk)... I pity the poor father who is taking his infant on a short flight with bottled breast milk!

4. Cigarettes. Sure, those who smoke carry them, but now they too are banned. Guess what? My pack will be stuffed under my left breast, in my bra, and when asked, I will explain that I had breast restoration and am disfigured. They can pry my cigarettes from my cold, dead hands, as far as this asinine rule goes.

5. Other electronic devices... well, the iPods and other portable music devices are usually used with kindness, but I have been stuck on a long flight with a teen who seemed to be so deaf that he had to crank the device up to the highest setting. I am not a fan of rap music, and the flight was hell.

6. Hand luggage... gee, what do I carry in mine? I travel with one suitcase (checked baggage) and one soft case. The soft case is often stowed in overhead, after I remove my computer and a smaller case. The smaller case contains: medications (4 bottles, 2 of which prevent me from having a heart attack), antacids (I HATE flying, and it shows!), cough drops, a bottle of water, a bottle of apple juice, tissues, a tampon (should it be that time of the month... and where, I might ask, shall I store 2 or 3 of them? Behind my ears?), a small package of cheap cookies (to take with my medication so I don't vomit from meds on an empty stomach!), eye drops, an eyeglass case, and a book. Should I need to fly, I will embarrass whoever is around me by placing all these things in a clear plastic bag, making sure that I purchase tampons and kotex with the brightest and most obvious packaging. I will mark the bag "BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU" in big, black bold letters, along with "I HAVE MY PERIOD AND AM BLEEDING BETWEEN MY LEGS" (oh, too TMI!!!). That should clearly alert everyone to the fact that the feminine products are for personal use and not a bomb or weapon. Of course, I may lose my temper and insert a tampon into the eye socket of the first person who tries to reach under my left breast to grab my cigarettes.)

7. Carry on bags in general. Most of us who travel for business do away with checked bags. We pack one suit, with interchangeable shirts. We have 1 pair of extra shoes. We pack only enough underwear to last the trip. Thus, we travel with just a carry on bag (I, however, prefer to drag a suitcase, as I always stop at museums or other attractions during my personal time. Souvenirs are a bummer to carry!)

8. Perfume. Good, ban it. I can't stand having to sit on a plane with someone who wears their perfume so heavy that they have burned out their olfactory bulbs. I am allergic to perfumes, and reply upon tissues and antihistamines to survive flights containing people who smell like French whores.

9. Newspapers and books. What the hell are we supposed to do during long flights? They won't let us smoke. We can't have sex in the bathrooms. Picking our noses or masturbating in public is a very, very big no-no! Fellow passengers won't appreciate us singing. So that leaves us with: 1. talking to the person next to you (I hate doing that. I don't want to hear about your great aunt Millie, or your kids, or your dog, or your job, or your promotion, or the concert you are going to.) Unless you are in a scientific field, or medicine, don't bother me. 2. Sleep. Yes. I can always sleep, provided I'm not sitting next to a 'talker'.

10. Cell phones. We can't use them during flight anyway. But, the minute my plane lands, I have to "call the office" and let them know. I then call the hotel, and the convention center, and the client. If my bag is lost, not only do I not have my computer, but now I can't call anyone! As I can't carry books on the plane, I don't have any contact phone numbers handy! I am stuck, in your rotted airport, without any means of communication! Excuse me while I insert this tampon into your other eye socket.

11. Booze. I don't carry it. If I find a good deal, I'll mail it home. I hit the airport bar before I leave, if I so want a drink, or I'll have one in-flight.

12. Makeup. If you think, for one moment, I am going to represent my company by stepping off a plane looking like Attila the Hun, you've got another thing coming.

13. Keys are allowed? Honey, if I'm mad enough, I can kill you with a set of keys. The tampon is just softer and absorbs your blood so that I don't leave a mess on the floor.

14. Toys. Alright, I won't travel with a dildo, I promise! (LOL). But toys are what keeps those cranky kids amused. I suggest we put a caught terrorist on flights with children. His punishment will be to keep the tots entertained through the entire flight. If one child cries, he gets shot. Or stabbed with tampons.

Believe me, travel before these new restrictions was hell. At this point, if a terrorist should be stupid enough to 'try something' on a flight, I believe most of us business travels would murder him in the aisle, just because people like him have caused us so much inconvenience! They had best ban stewards and stewardesses by that point, because we will use them as a weapon... nothing says 'thanks for flying' like being hit over the head with a cheerful, perky flight attendant.

As for American airport security... the lines are always long. Arrive 2 - 3 hours ahead of schedule. Be ready to have your checked bags searched. Your carryon bags must be opened up and sent through X-ray. You must remove your shoes and place them on the X-ray belt. Your computer devices must be removed from their cases and set in a separate bin. You must walk through the metal detector, sans shoes (also placed in a separate bin). I always beep (surgical metal and metal in my ankle brace), so I am taken aside (wasting another 5 - 10 minutes) while they run a wand over my body and feel me up. You must have your ticket and a valid photo id handy. No one but those with tickets and an ID can cross the checkpoint. No cigarette lighters, btw. (Carry matches) No hairspray cans, or other flammables.

5 responded with...:

Annie Jeffries said...

I'm crying and laughing this is so funny. I'm posting a link at my site. People will love it. And Oh Toni, you are such a naughty girl. LOLOLOLOL

Miss Robyn said...

me too - I am sitting here laughing & laughing! great post!

Janet said...

I came over at Annieelf's suggestion and boy am I glad I did! This was one of the funniest things I've read lately. I don't fly much but I can sure relate to some of the things you mentioned.

paris parfait said...

I came to your site via Annieelf. Hysterical piece! Love it! The thing that upsets me besides not being allowed to bring a bottle of water is no books!

Beth said...

This is a great post,,love it!

Beth(friend of Annie)