Saturday, August 30, 2008

Airport and Airline Part II

I was searching Madonna's latest song which is No. one in US. It is good and I like it. Then I saw the new about Madonna and Berlin airport. News said she was with her bath rope when passing security. Well she is Madonna so OK but if this is me, they will put me into Mental Hospital!! Then.............

I saw an article right after Madonna news, saying..."The Burmese Ruby Diary was up set at the LAX airport....." I blink my eyes because I thought hummmm...this is sound like me. Indeed it was my article about airport and airline. Then I found another blog (right under my article), who is also very very up set with TSA from LAX airport!! I was happy to see that not only me. See here how the blog goes....................

I am not a good traveler

Aug. 26th, 2008 at 12:14 PM
TSA can kiss my ass.

Do you know who TSA is? This is the group that handles security in airports. I originally wrote something a little more sympathetic, but based on my experiences in LA, I have more to say later.First, the original post.

Working for TSA must be one of the worst jobs in the world.I was entering the security checkpoint at Dulles airport. You know, the first place, where they check your boarding pass and ID. She had some sort of laster pen she ran over my California driver's license, and it seemed to me she lingered a bit much over it.

I've seen all sorts of reactions to my driver's license over the years. Snorts, looks of disbelief, double-takes, and the lingering examination. I always explain it with one short phrase: "Laundry Accident." Even though that isn't the whole truth.The whole truth? I don't carry a purse. I don't carry a wallet either, although that would probably be a good idea.

I carry all my paper money, credit cards, ID (at least, at the time), etc., in my front pocket. This worked for me for years, but then one day, either because of a differently shaped pocket or because my pants were too loose, my driver's license got wedged funny when I sat down and it bent and came away with a crease.Well, after that it happeend again and again because of the irregular shape of the card. Finally I moved the license into my back pocket and it stopped happening. Then one day I left the card in the pocket while doing laundry, but that didn't really affect it. The worst damage had already been done.So, while my driver's license did go through the wash, that isn't really the reason for its current condition. But it's just so much easier and shorter to say "Laundry Accident." Everyone understands. And usually, they get a chuckle out of it.

The TSA lady started to chuckle, but then stopped herself. Wouldn't do to have a humorous shared moment with a potential terrorist, after all. I wonder if her supervisor was watching.and now on to the less sympathetic partSo I have a layover in LA.

Don't know if you're familiar with LA airport, but if you're changing airlines as well as planes, you have to leave the terminal, take a shuttle to another terminal, check in all over again, and go through security. Nobody warned me about that and it pissed me off. Also, there are no signs indicating any of this or how to go about doing it. You have to stop airport personnel and ask them, because apparently they didn't see a need to put up an information booth. So I get over to the other terminal and go through check in. At least the line wasn't very long. But the check-in kiosk was configured differently from every other kiosk I've ever used, even the one for the SAME DAMN AIRLINE up in San Jose. It asked different questions and I wasn't feeling very intellectually alert at this time and had to call over one of the airline personnel to explain things to me. I'm never at my best in these situations, but my high state of piss-off must have triggered alarms in the security person.

Then I made the mistake of helping the elderly gentleman in front of me. He'd handed over his passport to the security checkpoint guy, but not his boarding pass. If you've been through several airports recently, you know that the first security checkpoint always requires your boarding pass and ID. The security person asked for his boarding pass but the old guy wasn't paying attention or something. I leaned forward and said a little more clearly near his ear "They need to see your boarding pass." He retrieved it from his pocket and presented it and was let through. So the security guy starts examining my stuff (crumpled ID and boarding pass) and, making conversation, asks me if the old guy was my father or husband. I really didn't expect this and said huh? Then I processed what he'd asked and said no, I just noticed he needed a little help. So then he looks at me suspiciously and indicates my crumpled ID, to which I make my usual reply, "Laundry Accident." Apparently I meet the profile of a terrorist with crumpled ID who helps old men in line. He called for a superviser to check my ID and I have to stand to the side while others go through. Eventually the guy comes, takes a look, and passes me through without asking any other questions. But it was enough to distract me so I forgot to empty my pockets before passing through the security scanner and of course it beeps. So I realize I have my cell phone and go back and they tell me to put it in its own tray, but one empty tray with a cell phone in it isn't heavy enough so I have to double up the tray and send it through.But again I beeped. So they ask me what else I have in my pocketses and I remember I had spare batteries, as well as change. So I go back and by this time other people are sending their stuff through so I have to get behind them and get ANOTHER tray and fill it with my change and batteries.This time I got through and went to get my stuff and there's this TSA guy at my trays and he's telling me I can't take in the bottle of water (I know this and I normally don't bring water to the airport - I wait and buy it after I get through security - but they'd made me leave the secured area at this fucking airport so I was losing my water) and I say keep it and I'm looking for my cellphone. He's leaning on a stack of three trays and I realize he's grabbed my all-but-empty tray and I tell him they made me put my cell phone by itself in a tray and he let's go so I can lift the top one and there it is. The fucking idiot had placed another tray right on top of it and was leaning on it. Wonder it didn't break.

And let me just say that LAX is in serious need of someone with a brain to put signs up. Nothing they had posted was of any use to me, and the walk to my gate was ridiculous. Oh, and food places that make you pick up and carry your own food and drink to a table when you are a lone traveler with no one to watch your bags for you should be burned to the ground. Fuckheads.I blame George Bush for this.

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aflon wrote:
Aug. 26th, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC)

LAX is a very strange airport. Flying into it from outwith the country is a nightmare - well flying into the States is a nightmare these days. Peter was telling me that he will have to fill in another online form before he travels in January to Guatemala and he is just transitting through the country for a couple of hours, but has to tell the US government just about everything almost down to the size of his shoes. We'll have to do that next March and also when we fly back and transit through LAX to London.

I hate the queuing at immigration. You are herded into a huge hall and have to queue and queue. Then you eventually get to a immigration officer who grills you, finger-prints you and takes your picture. When Sue and I flew in to LAX last February we had to queue for literally hours. I got stuck with a particularly obnoxious little man who did not want to let me into the States. They are not the slightest bit welcoming.Of course I don't know how foreign nationals are treated when they fly into the UK, but of all the countries I have visited the Homeland Security people are by far the most unfriendly and unwelcoming.However the people we visit are more than worth any of the hassles we have encountered at airports.Flying out of LAX is far easier. Everything has worked very smoothly each time we have done that.

However the worst flight out we ever had was at Toronto last year when The Grump booked us on Air India. Because there had been a bomb on an Air India plane bound for Canada back in the 1990's I think it was, we had to through special security. We were not allowed through the regular security checks. Instead we had special officers who searched everything that we carried onto the plane. I was almost expecting to be strip searched. Then when we went into the departure lounge to the gate we were searched yet again and kept in quarantine. If we went out to the loo or shop we had to go through the search process all over again. Never ever will I ever fly Air India again - even though their water was the nicest I have ever tasted.

Reply Thread

Aug. 27th, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC)
What a nightmare!

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