Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Come Fly with Me

Okay, so by now you've all heard about the tighter control planned and already in the works for airport security. Thanks, Mr. Terrorist Wannabe, who screwed us all up by trying to blow up a plane en route from Amsterdam to Detroit. You threw a real wrench into the vacation plans of so many people over the holidays, and caused bedlam in airports around the world.

But maybe that's a good thing. We all learn from our mistakes, right? And according to international journalists, we can all learn from Israel's airport and national security measures, right?

So, people, are you prepared for those "pat-downs" (known in teen talk as "cop a feel"...or back when I was a teen that was the term) by an airport official? Are you ready for some official to see the "underworld beneath your clothing?

People are talking about the intrusion of privacy and the fine line between security and privacy. No, children will not be scanned...that could be deemed as perversion. But what about religious people who don't touch a member of the opposite sex and live within restrictions of modesty? What will they do -- they're damned either way! "Don't touch me!" might become a common refrain amidst your fellow travellers in a lineup.

And then there's talk again about what on-board luggage you can bring with you. What qualifies as too big a purse or a tote bag? People intentionally bring big carryalls aboard a plane -- these often house everything you ever wanted or needed, minus the kitchen sink, aboard a 2-hour flight or 20-hour flight.

That's just what's happening on the ground. What about the airborne restrictions  re. getting up and walking around, milling outside a bathroom, bathroom visits prior to landing, etc.? I took a long flight to Israel this summer; of course I couldn't sit still for all those hours in my seat. But then again, of course nobody can sit still on an El Al flight 'cause it's like one big block party among your fellow MOTs, several of whom you'll always know. I hung out in the galley and near the bathrooms, talking to people and just having a change of scenery.

And here's the real punch-in-the-gut fact, the tough pill to swallow in all this: no doubt, membership in the "mile-high club" will be down significantly!