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Traveling post 9-11 in North America

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Forum topic by Bob #2 posted 12-29-2007 01:50 AM 1307 views 0 times favorited 47 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bob #2

3808 posts in 2707 days


12-29-2007 01:50 AM

Why I hate traveling.
Several years ago a small group of crazed extremists attacked the Twin Towers in New York setting off a chain knee jerk reaction that will forever blemish air travel.

The Bush administration quickly swept in with a number of bizzarre security requirememts and subsequently hired the most incompetant people on the planet to administrate same.

Not to be outdone, Canada followed suit (apparently without any real plan of their own.)

So here’s my accounting of another trip to the edges of hell compliments of bad govenment and a plethora of other dullards along the way:

We arrived at the airport terminal the traditional 2 hours prior to boarding the aircraft and presented the documents we filled out ”on line” to hasten the process.

The goof at the counter immediately contested the boarding passes saying they should be on “separate sheets” and not one under the other on the print out. I pointed out to him that the printout was issued from this airline carrier and had a copyright notice attached to it. As it was a secure document I was unable to tamper with it during the printing. He informed me he would ”let it go this time” but in future blah blah blah.

I told him it was going to be along day for him as it was a company form – not of my own making. (—-nothing???) —————-”i’m christening my sister’s new elelphant”——-

Now another three block walk over to the “strip search” area. Many people were unfamilair with this fiasco and had worn shoes, watches and belt buckles which seemed to wrankle the beaurocrats even more and they assumed rigid poses and glared back at old ladies and gentlemen who had ”rung their bells” passing through the metal detectors.

* Each security stop required presentation of a valid passport and the boarding pass. Each security agent compared the two documents by using a “reading finger” on each line to verify the combination.

Incidently, I had volunteered all this information over the internet in order to get the boarding pass in the first place but apparently it was never entered into the security system. (A waste of time for me but who cares?)

We each had to remove our shoes because there was once a threat of a shoe bomber somewhere on some aircraft at some other time. I felt fortunate that he had not tried to hide the bomb apparatus in his underwear or worse yet in a body cavity.

I note here that on returning to Canada we did not have to remove our shoes. I guess Canada must have signed a ”no shoe bomb agreement” with the terrorists and the Yanks had not.
Once the plane left the ground the next set of beaurocrats lead us through the mandatory seat belt,emergency oxygen, cabin doors, no smoking in the washroom (BTW how would you light one any way? with every amentity confiscated earlier by the other beaurocrats including bottled water) and… the “on flight bar” offering for five bucks a beer.
I’m wondering if they could check all the beer for bombs, why couldn’t they check my bottle of water too?
For the remainder of the flight they paraded up and down the isle with push carts and pedalled their booty while bashing the aisle seat customers with carts and backsides.

Finally the plane landed and we were free at last for the 3-1/2 block walk to our baggage that appeared roughly 30 minutes after we landed.


Just another hour of waiting for transportion to our hotel and we would soon be able to pull those shoes off for real.
We have been traveling now for roughly 11 hours. The desk clerk set up our room for us that we had incidently booked a month previously over the internet. Too tired to argue with her and realizing the English as well as most other spoken languages were not her mother tongue we submitted to her anyway.

She grabbed hotel map and briefed us in her special made up version of English as to where the elevators were to take us to our room. After much confusion because her directions were wrong as well as her pen marks on the map returned to the front desk (about a 2 block walk)

She insisted that she was right so back we went there was no room 1345 in the tower she sent us to. As a matter of fact there was no 13th floor either. In desperation, We tried another set of elevators across the hall and found #1345.
Success loomed in the present! The door would not release and after several tries, back we went dragging suitcases the 2 blocks to the front desk and now had to take a position in line to get back to the agent.
I explained the problem she insisted there was no problem.

I did this round trip twice.(now I am getting a bit steamed)

I agree to meet the security at the room and after another 2 block walk back to the room he discovers that he can’t open the door either.
He says I can let you in with the security key but “you” will have to contact the front desk. If I take his solution my bags will be locked in the room and I will have to face the desk clerk from hell again and try to get into the room with yet another bad set of pass keys.
I say now just what part of this mess do you feel responsible for.

He figures none.

Back to the front desk now and I demand a manager. She takes over and re books me another room, I insist that the security person accompany me now to the new room. She agrees to have him meet us there. He shows up about 5 minutes after us and explains that the dead bolt was closed on the other room.
I don’t answer him.
It’s now 1:45 AM.

We call the front desk now to confirm the room switch and the “nut case” says ”we tried phoning your room but there was no answer.” I say that’s because we were locked out *in the hall waiting for security!

——Silence.

Well we are here now and it can only get better until we have to get back home again.

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner


47 replies so far

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 2560 days


#1 posted 12-29-2007 01:55 AM

That is why I like to fly General Aviation.

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2707 days


#2 posted 12-29-2007 01:58 AM

Do they book your rooms too?

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View JasonH's profile

JasonH

136 posts in 2513 days


#3 posted 12-29-2007 02:02 AM

I feel for you, Bro…and I bet that many around here could share some horrific stories.

However…moronry has been in place in the hospitality business long before 9-11…likewise, inflexibility has always been a pre-requisite for employees at airline desks…

Best wishes on your return trip!

-- Living on the square...

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2722 days


#4 posted 12-29-2007 02:37 AM

AAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! So it isn’t JUST me! Sorry to hear that Bob. Actually, if I was traveling with you, they’d have lost our luggage. I hope Linda is still got that LV spirit!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4437 posts in 2648 days


#5 posted 12-29-2007 06:43 AM

I haven’t been on a plane since 9-11 and now I don’t want to. Guess I’ll get a BFR and renew my flight physical. What a bunch of crap!! All caused by fear. However, pretty valid fear. I watched the second plane hit the World Trade Center live. Scary!!!

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Russel's profile

Russel

2199 posts in 2625 days


#6 posted 12-29-2007 03:00 PM

I feel your pain Bob. I recently flew home from Phoenix and had to “abandon” a gift of after shave I received for Christmas. It seems that the 4.6 oz bottle exceeded the 3.2 oz limit for carry on luggage. Go figure. I could have checked it with my bags but they were already checked and that would have meant another trip through the joyous experience known as the security checkpoint. Of course, that would have meant missing my flight and that wasn’t going to happen. I appreciate security, but things have gotten a bit wacky of late.

-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com

View Tony's profile

Tony

978 posts in 2716 days


#7 posted 12-29-2007 06:02 PM

Thanks for the information Bob, we have have got to go through both the Canadian and US customs & imigration in the next few weeks, I hope that our journey does not turn into such a nightmare!

we have the all the same security measures in place here in Europe, but everything seems to go very quickly and smoothly, except for the UK, which is a nightmare from hell!

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (http://www.poydatjatuolit.fi)

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2707 days


#8 posted 12-29-2007 06:42 PM

Hi Tony.
You’re the second person to tell me that the UK has made a mess of their security.
The biggest problem we face here is that the regulations are not implemented consistently from airport to airport. The staff seem not welll trained and relatively inflexible with even the smallest of problems.
You can drive across the border from the U.S. to Canada and vice versa carrying the same articles and there is no ban on them. I saw a young mother having to give up 3- 4 oz bottles of water for her infant. Later that same day I boarded an aircraft with a 350 ml bottle of root beer in my hand and nothing was said.
They made me shut off my cell phone going thru security then scolded me a the next gate for trying to shut off my phone.
I was now told it was not necessary????

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View patrick m's profile

patrick m

197 posts in 2498 days


#9 posted 12-29-2007 07:11 PM

Man , I hear ya.. Two years ago I went to jamaica “family vacation”.. Getting there” was hell at the airport. I got singled out due to a cologne bottle in my carry on.. Major security threat. I was sent to a “special area” to have a talkin to, and a continuation of disrespect. While my family was watching three guards commenced with the search taking apart every thing in my bag and on my person. Mean while I’m thinking to myself. Man my family has been in this country for five generations or more. Fought in every war, except this one. And I’d be more concerned about the so called security They find for our airports. The focus seems to be way off.. My point is “they” the security powers that be seemed more concerned about me leaving then coming home… Bringing cologne out of the US. Mean while I managed to bring back a 3 foot 9 inch round log of “iron wood” home from jamaica, with not even the bat of an eyelash. Now I knew I wasn’t supposed to bring back “plant life” or wood that may contain a hiding bug. Most like gypsy moth’s get here by ships. You have to be very organized these days to travel and deal with a lot of oxymoron’s or just morons. I loved working with the iron wood and want more.. Hard to find I think they stopped farming it. Yet it’s all over jamaica they use it for every sculpture pot pipe and trinket they try to sell ya. Any hints on how to find Iron wood.. The good tropical type. I enjoyed your post . Thanks . Patrick

-- PJM.`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸ ><((((º> ""BY HAMMER AND HAND ALL ARTS DO STAND""1785-1974 nyc Semper Fi, Patrick M

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2778 days


#10 posted 12-30-2007 05:03 AM

Sorry to hear about your travel troubles Bob. Hopefully (for the airport peoples sake anyway ;-) your return trip will go event free and safely. May the New Year bring you smoother sailing.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Karson's profile

Karson

34886 posts in 3086 days


#11 posted 12-30-2007 05:12 AM

Bob see what happens when you try to bring back that 50’ coil of 12 gauge wire you are going to pick up at big blue or big orange.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Thuan's profile

Thuan

203 posts in 2503 days


#12 posted 12-30-2007 05:46 AM

I had a flashback in 2004 when my wife and I when to Hong Kong. The first leg to LAX was pretty much the first part of Bob’s story. The second leg, was supposed to be 13 hours flight, but it was interupted by a blown engine on the 747, the pilots pretend nothing had happen, circling the pacific to dump fuel, and emergency landing with the fire department’s foam trucks escorting the landing and a mad rush from 300 passengers fighting for motel rooms and re-booking at midnight. It’s seemed so much funnier now.

-- Thuan

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2846 days


#13 posted 12-30-2007 01:38 PM

that’s horrible.. not sure what is worse, the airport or the hotel. I think I’m voting for the hotel, at least he airport has “security” as an excuse.

My mom (80) won’t fly any more. Prior to her hip surgeries (and even after) taking off and putting on her shoes is an ordeal. She’s had to remove her shoes every time. At one flight, a wheelchair had been arranged for her to make the process easier. There was a change of planes or something and she had to make the 3 mile walk without the wheelchair. Everyone was miles ahead of her and so she had no idea where to go. When she finally found the next station she could barely stand and nothing was done. Finally another elderly man in a wheelchair yelled at them to get her a chair. She says that she is treated like a criminal and her dignity is severely attacked.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2707 days


#14 posted 01-01-2008 06:31 AM

Well that pretty much settles it then.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2722 days


#15 posted 01-01-2008 08:44 PM

Oh boy. Stay in line, be on time, and we’ll get along fine. Keep your feet off the grass, wash your hands, wipe your…. What a perfect place. Bob, how could you possibly go off on a holiday to another country and not do what the “feds,” told you to do. I’m tired of reading your sniveling. <g>

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

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