Summer Travel & Flying Pt. 2

Yesterday I rambled about the complete ridiculousness of airline ticketing and pricing.  Today I wanted to continue to talk about airline travel in regards to what you can and can’t do with your luggage and issues with security.

I know that I mentioned it in my previous post that most airlines have started charging you to take checked baggage on your flight.  With the exorbitant price of tickets to start with, I would think that baggage could still be included in that cost.  At $15 for your first bag and $25 (or more) for your second, what exactly are we paying for?  Seeing as every bag doesn’t get handled by it’s own handler, odds are the cost is not directly related to paying the handlers.  With the number of bags each handler moves in an hour, that would be quite a salary!

I understand the weight restrictions on bags, at least to a point.  I would imagine these are in place to protect the baggage handlers.  Slinging 50lb bags of funky shapes and sizes all day can’t be easy, so having a heavy bag could be an issue.  I don’t know if the baggage handlers have a union or anything, but I could see this being a point for hazard pay.

Now let’s look at airline security.  Is it really more than a joke and an inconvenience?  Every “advance” that we make in security protocols in airports is completely reactionary.  Someone tries to put a bomb in their shoe, so we all have to take off our shoes.  Someone decides to try binary liquid explosives so now we can’t take any real quantities of liquids and pastes.  Ironically, the only thing that I think has regressed is the screening of laptop computers in that you used to have to power them up so that the screeners could see that it was actually a working computer.

Sure, we have added a few things in security that are less reactive, but are they really making us safer or just making us spend more time in line in the airport?  Are they more efficient?  Do they invade our privacy?  Many airports are installing/testing full body X-ray devices.  I don’t have anything to hide, and I am sure that most people don’t, but still, does a full body X-ray of myself really need to end up somewhere in cyberspace.  Does airline security take precedence over personal security and privacy?  All that is not to mention the fact that it takes a lot longer to use the full body scan since TSA has to wait for the images to render.

My real thought that comes from all this is that anyone that is determined enough to make some kind of terror act on an airline will find a way to do it.  When you consider how many people and goods come in and out of every airport every day it almost makes all the the security measures that most people see seem moot.  I mean, does every box of donuts for Dunkin’ Donuts and every bag of coffee beans for Starbucks get screened?  Have you ever gone into the FBO section of an airport?  If you are meeting a private jet you can drive your car right out on the tarmac.

So, what’s the point?  Does it really work?  Does all the “security” make you feel more secure?  Have you ever not felt safe flying?

2 Comments

  1. Oh I have my own cruel thoughts on this too…

    First, I purchased an International ticket that had combinations but since I had to take two local planes I had to pay overweight fees…I paid like 100 dollars :S

    Secondly, I had to take off all my things, take my laptop out of my backpack (which was a mess) and stuff and I truly felt like a terrorist (though it made me happy to see that everybody was being checked and not just me)

    Travelling is worth it though…no matter what.

    • Traveling is certainly worth it, it is just a real pain in the arse sometimes.

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