Flying The “Friendly” Skies November 22, 2010Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Mindfulness, Travel & Leisure.
* My first flight (age 17) transported me from New Jersey to Paris with the High School French Club. In the City of Lights, I celebrated being liberated from my parents for the first time . . . and of legal drinking age to boot!
* My second flight (age 22) whisked me from Virginia in the middle of a blizzard to St. Thomas. Freedom enveloped me as I stepped off the plane into the warm island sun.
Although subsequent flights did not result in the same degree of “magical transformation” I experienced on those flights, the speed of air travel remained empowering.
Now, with the new TSA restrictions and screening procedures, the prospect of flying seems more like an ordeal to endure than an experience to savor.
If you want to fly the “friendly” skies, TSA security agents may require you to remove more than your shoes:
* The full body scanners now in use provide “intimate details” about your body to security personnel. When you pass through airport body scanners, you will have a stranger in a remote room looking at you naked.
* If you refuse the full body scan, you are subject to a thorough pat-down before boarding ~ women have complained that the force of inner thigh searches has lifted them airborne before they’ve even boarded the plane.
* In conducting its comprehensive searches of persons, pockets, and packages, the TSA forced one nursing mother to drink her own breast milk to prove it did not contain “tools of terrorism.”
If the TSA does not relent in its decision to treat ALL passengers as potential terrorists, either the A.C.L.U. will need to hire more attorneys to handle the egregious violations of our civil liberties, or we will have to stop pretending to be the “home of the FREE and the brave.”
Once in the air, your freedom may be further constrained. At the crew’s discretion, passengers may be required to remain seated during the last hour ~ which means NO last minute trips to the bathroom.
If you have anyone “suspicious” on your flight, be cautious when the flight attendant comes around to offer you a refill on your beverage, think twice before handing her your glass if you have an overactive or weak bladder.
During the last hour, passengers may be prohibited from accessing their carry-on luggage or having any items (including electronic devices) on their laps. The captain and crew are authorized to remove blankets, ban opening overhead bins, and may order passengers to stay in their seats with their hands in plain sight.
Twiddling of thumbs MAY be grounds for disciplinary action!!!
Passengers, especially parents with small children, may feel like virtual prisoners during that last hour since the TSA safety rules may preclude last minute diaper changes, or reaching into carry-on luggage for snacks, gum, or games to entertain the kiddies.
* Keep you calm and reduce anxiety during the flight.
* Give you something to do during the last sixty minutes.
* Help you tune out cranky kids (of all ages) whining about enhanced security precautions while aromas from soiled diapers permeate the cabin air.
Aah . . . that’s better!