Patterico's Pontifications


Three Cheers for Not Flying Today

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:19 am

Hip hip, hooray!

Hip — ah, screw it. I’m tired.

If you are flying today, I do not envy you. May your security line wait be under two hours.

30 Responses to “Three Cheers for Not Flying Today”

  1. And may your TSA agent be gentle with your junk. 🙂

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  2. May you have a good review in your security theater.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  3. I am driving. No way I am getting anywhere near an airport until after the new year.

    JD (8ecd0f)

  4. It’s always been horrendous flying during this time of year – but it’s also more safe than driving.

    Dmac (498ece)

  5. I’m flying…let’s hope I make it to CO and not jail.

    I’m not happy.

    Patricia (9b018a)

  6. My son’s friend just flew home out of SFO – she said a woman a few people in front of her in line went through the body scanner – and everyone from her locale in line could easily see the xray pic on the scanning machine. It wasn’t blocked in any way. She (son’s friend) was pretty embarrassed about it and looked away, as did those around her.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  7. Fortunately, I am right where I want to be today, and don’t have to travel this weekend.

    I wish everyone who does travel a safe journey.

    Some chump (4c6c0c)

  8. I am not going anywhere but home and will leave work early besides. Hope you all enjoy your holiday as much as I do. I make it a point never to travel any distance on national holidays.

    Bar Sinister (0d48e6)

  9. it a lot makes you yearn for the freedom of the open road

    The Rockefeller and Waxman bills would substantially boost fines for auto makers found to have misled safety regulators; require new technology in cars, such as “black boxes,” which record crash data; and make public more vehicle-design information. The measures would also prohibit auto-safety regulators from immediately going to work as lobbyists after leaving the government.

    Safety advocates have said those measures would force auto makers to be more forthright in reporting potential vehicle defects and would prevent crashes.

    Auto makers have said the technology mandates are too prescriptive and have argued for the Transportation Department to show more flexibility in setting vehicle standards than the proposals now permit. They have also voiced concerns that proposed public-disclosure requirements could lead to the release of sensitive design information and prompt a flurry of consumer lawsuits.*

    this is of course “designed to respond” to the bogus trumped-up “concerns raised by the Toyota Motor Corp. recalls”

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  10. I flew Monday. Benefit of being a student is that you can just up and do stuff like that, without clearing it with anyone.

    Boo ya.

    Good luck to anyone who flies today, though. Based on how crazy it was at the grocery store here in Buffalo, the airport is going to be some Dante-esque nightmare – the Other Bolgia, as it were.

    I guess I’ll ask my brother when he gets in – poor guy.

    Leviticus (20cc2a)

  11. We canceled our flight and told them why. It’s not the airlines’ fault but they’re the only ones with enough leverage to fix these screening issues, and it needs to be fixed because it’s not accomplishing the goal of making air travel safer. It’s only making air travel screening more regulated and predictable.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  12. DRJ,
    Sorry to see you cancelled your plans but it is totally understandable. My wife is off to Japan in a couple of months and then later next year all of us off to England for a wedding (not the royal one). I just changed jobs and my travel time will pick up considerably.
    I don’t look forward to the screenings but more so for my wife and kids than myself.

    VOR2 (8e6b90)

  13. Has everybody seen Matt Bai’s piece in the New York Times? It is pretty good. He correctly diagnoses the public’s pat down and naked scanner hostility as being part of the much broader “mistrust of government” issue.

    the “Don’t touch my junk” fiasco raises, yet again, what has become the central theme of Mr. Obama’s presidency: America’s faltering confidence in the ability of government to make things work.From stimulus spending and the health care law to the federal response to oil in the Gulf of Mexico, Mr. Obama has continually stumbled — blindly, it seems — into some version of the same debate, which is about whether we can trust federal bureaucracies to expand their reach without harming citizens or industry.

    elissa (c1306a)

  14. Let’s all channel Meg Ryan from the restaurant scene in When Harry Met Sally as we go through the pat down.

    quasimodo (4af144)

  15. My 75-year-old father with a metal rod in his shoulder is set to fly today. I talked to him last night, and he was wondering if he should bother with the scanner if they are going to detect the rod and end up patting him down anyway — maybe he could save time by opting straight for the pat down, though TSA might think he is some kind of protester and treat him accordingly.

    On a related note, I was listening to the Bill Handle Show on KFI this morning. He had on a retired Israeli airport security executive who is consulting here with TSA and our security system. His very interesting point is that we Americans rely far too much on technology in our screening. In Israel, they train their security personnel to spot suspicious characters. Everyone in the line where you show your ticket and passport is asked a couple of basic questions about the nature of their business in Israel and why they are heading where they are heading. The security detail is trained to spot people who might be dissembling in their answers and to take them for a private screening and questioning. He denies that Israel profiles by race, though he does acknowledge that passengers with passports from nations that harbor terrorists are given special attention.

    I think our tradition of civil liberties and our litigious environment dictates our reluctance to rely upon personal, subjective evaluations of passengers and leads us to our more technologically-driven approach. Whether or not that works is a whole other story.

    JVW (9bed62)

  16. JVW

    IT interesting that people are bring in the Israeli’s for advice and consent.

    Israel is bordered on all sides by enemies past and present

    Israel has very few airports and even fewer international flights

    We on the other hand are the worlds most wealthiest Country and we fly on a factor of several hundred times that of the Israeli’s

    You could say its like a former mayor of a small town like Wasilla telling the country how its done…

    Yes the last was sarc – but true

    EricPWJohnson (4380b4)

  17. In my understanding, both the back-scatter and microwave body-scanners stop at the skin or first hard obstruction. Implants and bone/joint repairs should be undetectable by them. Anything on or through the skin should be detected.

    Douglas2 (62fec6)

  18. Cute chick finds a workaround re TSA invasiveness,

    Unwilling to submit to the TSA’s controversial full-body scan, one enterprising traveler at LAX hoped to bypass the dreaded pat-down by wearing only a bikini through the security checkpoint. While the merits of wearing a bikini to the airport in the name of advocating personal privacy are debatable, it did provide more fuel to fire this story in this traditionally slow news week.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  19. EricPWJohnson, your point has merit but I think we need to get beyond the whole knee-jerk bureaucratic response of “we can’t do this because. . .” and figure out how we can incorporate some of the best ideas of what other nations do into our existing protocols.

    JVW (9bed62)

  20. JVW

    I’ve always been for profiling in all walks of life

    But that’s just me

    Also, I’m for at least one trained security team on each airplane incorporated into the Cabin crew


    I’m also for a simple robust national indentity card RIFD as well as a passport

    I’m also for pressuring our Saudi, Kuwaiti and Emirates friends to send troops to Afghanistan or face an embargo

    Let Europe take a bigger lead in fighting Al Qaeda there is no reason why Germany, Britain, France, Spain and Italy dont have a 150,000 man task force in Iraq and Afghanistan – the American Taxpayers are still subsidising Europes ridiculously inadequate military

    Otherwise we pull out completely and let chaos fall where it may

    EricPWJohnson (4380b4)

  21. Dont have should be – should have a 150,000 man task force

    EricPWJohnson (4380b4)

  22. or shouldnt have

    or maybe I’ll stop now

    EricPWJohnson (4380b4)


    “Those gloves are worn for the protection of the agent,” wrote the commentator. “You must request that they change the gloves in your presence or you risk acquiring venereal disease resulting from a fondle/molest search.”

    xrays or stds? Yikes

    VOR2 (8e6b90)

  24. Daughter made it through Lagaurdia, in a black nomex one piece in 30 seconds she reported no lines and flowing briskly

    EricPWJohnson (8a4ca7)

  25. I’m going commando

    SteveG (cc5dc9)

  26. I just want to put on the record that its 40 degrees here and the wind chill is 37….. so if my package makes the national news.. add 300%

    SteveG (cc5dc9)

  27. PFC Pico made it home from Fort Boredom Gordon without incident. They don’t have the full-body scanners at the Augusta, Georgia, airport, and she didn’t even have to take off her boots.

    Traveling in uniform helps!

    The Army daddy Dana (bd7e62)

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