you are now free to be completely miserable about the cabin

12/27/09

Before we all wax yuletide about the holidays, can we approach the subject of the leg-melting would-be Underoos terrorist airline bomber? Let me get this straight… a dude gets on a plane in Nigeria and makes his way to Amsterdam with bomb parts from Yemen. He flies Northwest (or “Northworst”, as my US Air friends called it) into Detroit, tries to light some shit tied to his leg, and winds up getting tackled by a handsome young lad in his row.

In response, airlines are making draconian safety rules that may include (but are not limited to) making you sit in your seat for the last hour of the flight with nothing in your lap, getting rogered up the bum-bum by a Doberman Pinscher at every airport, and possibly banning all electronics.

I’m sorry, but these measures the day after a foiled attack is a bit like the old saw about the barn door, is it not? Here are my concerns, since I have to fly all the frickin’ time:

• That airport in Lagos, Nigeria has been marked as shitty since I was high school. The security at the Lagos Airport consists of a Xerox machine and a bunch of hamsters. Why do major European hubs keep allowing planes from Nigeria to land?

• Are they seriously going to keep people from going to the bathroom during the last hour of flight? Forget the passengers barfing on each other; I guarantee you that a burst bladder and a lawsuit will change that stupid-ass rule in a hurry.

• Are they also saying my mom can’t listen to her podcast of “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” when she’s within an hour of her layover at Dallas-Fort Worth? How the hell is that making us more safe?

• How the blistering monsterfuck did this guy get all those explosives onto the plane? Isn’t that proof that security all over the world completely sucks? All those millions of shoes being taken off, those tiny lotions shoved into Ziploc bags, the wedding rings jostling at the bottom of gray bins, and the mothers being forced to drink their own breast milk… and this shithead can still walk onto a plane with liquid accelerant?

Just when you thought flying couldn’t possibly suck more. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still the killer app of travel – until we get China’s Fastest Train in the World, an airplane getting us from NYC to LA in five hours is still a miracle. But it’s a miracle that now comes with major lumbar support problems.

0 thoughts on “you are now free to be completely miserable about the cabin

  1. Anne

    I really feel for those of you who must fly frequently; it seems to have turned into a nightmare in so many ways.
    Our son returned from Providence airport to Columbus OH on Southwest yesterday morning. He called us before boarding to say that he had been selected out of the line for a full, and I mean FULL, search. He was offended and ready to play the race card (he is a brown-skinned, black-haired Latino in his 20s), but we told him to chill: So soon after a major security screw-up there was bound to be some overkill, and at any rate, he (and we) could feel safer about his two flights because of it.
    I fall into two categories that keep me in contact with terra firma – terrified to fly (for phobia reasons) and generally can’t afford to fly – but I hope to have reason and resources to go overseas in the future, armed with plenty of Xanax. I guess overseas travel is a crap shoot no matter what. The last time I flew (please don’t laugh at me — it was 1991 when we went to Colombia to adopt our kids) airlines still served decent meals to all passengers. and aside from my barely contained panic at being so far off the ground, it was a fairly pleasant experience. The present reality for flyers sounds miserable.

    Reply
  2. asd

    great post, Ian. And how does not getting out of the seat and no pod casts one hour before landing prevent this in the future? Wouldn’t any would be terrorist just do it an hour and 10 minutes before the plane lands? Am I missing something? I must be. Lastly, Janet Napolitano’s “the system worked” comment is so disturbing!

    Reply
  3. Piglet

    Our planes should avoid Nigeria like the plague. Nigerians all have $11,000,000,000 that they’re trying to get out of the country anyhow, and so they can have their own private planes if they want to go anywhere.

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  4. dob

    The system did work. The suspect was unable to get a potent explosive or incendiary device on the plane, and the last line of defense, the passengers, disabled him in any case.
    Yes, we should examine if and how we could have stopped him at an earlier line of defense, and if that intervention could be effected at a reasonable cost, but the point remains: the system did work.

    Reply
  5. Terri

    Quote of the day: The real problem here is that, tomorrow, if someone tried to detonate a bomb on a plane and, right before he detonated it, he sang, ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb,’ the TSA would issue a rule tomorrow saying, ‘No singing on a plane.’ It is a very bad camouflage attempt of not dealing with the real issue of how did this guy clear security in Nigeria and twice in Amsterdam, and still get on the plane? — CBS News travel correspondent Peter Greenberg

    Reply
  6. hector

    The only implausible thing from Up In The Air – which was fantastic – was imagining that someone would truly love constantly being on the road and in airports. At least, it doesn’t make sense to me.

    Reply

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