Monday, November 27, 2006

They Took the Fun Out of Flying

Sometimes I really wish I were a "pato" and had my own set of wings. I hate flying these days. The long lines, the security BS, Customs, rude passengers, smaller cramped and downright uncomfortable seats it is more of a hassle than a pleasure.

It didn't used to be that way. I used to love to get on a plane and go all over. Small puddle jumpers to jumbos, it mattered not. I enjoyed settling in, watching the world go by. Checking in was pretty painless, the seats not bad and even the food was ok sometimes. I remember a steak dinner in coach on a Denver-St Louis Ozark DC-9 flight, now they are the cramped regional jets, turbofan powered tubes and all you get is peanuts...if lucky.

As you can surmise, I am back from Nicaragua. The flight back was got me here. But good god, all the damn rules, and lines and searches and the overall sense of is nerve racking. I know not what is worse, the rules, the damn Transportation Insecurity Administration or the stupid public... maybe all of the above. I got through ok as I packed no liquids, no electronics but the small Ipod in its original box, no toothpaste or any sharp objects. All my metal was removed, shoes, wallet, and just about everything else. I breezed through. But my companions, who obviously are not as aware as I, screwed everything up by carrying toothpaste, water, computers, nail files and other essentials along. It made me weary.

The lines are sooooo long, and what pisses me is that the TSA people seem to have an attitude that we are the enemy. I guess maybe some are, but I think the people bound to blow up a plane are going to do it no matter what. I just hope they don't use their eyeglasses or underwear. We'll have to give those up next. They herd you along like cattle, and do not dare look annoyed or nervous or speak out of turn. You get "the treatment". Pulled aside, double checked, baggage checked. It can take you hours. They may even make you drink your breast milk like they made a lady do once, or turn on all your electronics, or even strip search.

I was in a long ass line in Houston one time with the stupid TSA flack checking everyone's ID. He'd look at it, look at you, look at the ID again, read it front and back and then do it all again. Some one asked him to speed it up they had a plane to catch. "Arrive earlier" he said with a smug arrogance and proceeded to quadruple check that lady's ID.

I could go on.. but you get the drift. All the bitching in the world would not change it. It is now more of a hassle than convenience to fly. If I ever win the big prize, trust me, I'll charter a jet.

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