Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What bothers me about flying?? had one of those lovely, unscientific polls up, asking "what bothers you the most about flying?" I went to the site, eager to fill in my first choice, only to discover it wasn't even in the list!

What was missing that I wanted to answer? Stupid, pointless, feel-good, inefficient, useless, degrading, and authoritarian "security" measures, such as making people take off shoes, forbidding toothpaste and mouthwash, and otherwise giving dicatorial powers to petty bureaucrats who can strip-search you and then throw you in prison just for not being so meek as to bend over and take it without complaining.

Pretty much since they've instituted those measures, I have not flown on an airplane. And I will not fly. I think the measures are retarded and it saddens me to see people meekly subject themselves to it like sheep because of the threat of armed guards and the force of the government over it all. I don't feel any safer with those measures in place. I just feel like it wastes time. It is something the authorities do to make it seem like they are doing something. Meanwhile, real terrorists bypass such things with ease or just attack somewhere else. The simple fact is, NO security measure is foolproof. The best security you can have is to give no one any reason to want to breach your security in the first place.

Moreover, where real damage can be done, in our ports, at our borders, we have basically zero security. So it is all just a sick joke. And I refuse to participate. If the government is going to institute b.s. policies like "no toothpaste over 3 oz" then I'm simply not going to participate and all of my flying dollars will be lost to the industry. All of my tourist dollars will be lost to every destination that is further away from me than a reasonable drive. I'll take my savings and invest it in foreign stocks or anything else that will make sure the money does not somehow get back to the bureaucrats and authoritarian power mongers who made the stupid policies in the first place.

Ok, rant over. Maybe later I can post about the b.s. claim that "tax cuts pay for themselves."

Oh, one more thing - it is interesting that despite all of the reasons to hate flying related to the b.s. security measures that that was NOT a choice in the survey. Is that a subtle clue that we aren't really allowed to complain about that? Is that an indication that the creaters of the survey unconsciously are trained so as not to question the government on anything? It is fascinating to me that it was omitted. I read a lot into that.


Catana said...

I've always hated flying--the whole inefficient mess of crowding, lines, lost luggage etc. I'm almost grateful for the security measures because they're the reason why I will never again have to explain why I'm not going to pay a visit to the family, three states away.

I think the absence of security measures on the poll is just an assumption that nobody really objects.

atomiota said...

somewhere in the NTSA ebay auction are my nosehair trimmers. what i can't find but really want back are the 4 tubes of sensodyne senstive teeth toothpaste that got confiscated

Maya's Granny said...

I live in a community with no roads out. We fly or we take the ferry -- and the ferry takes days to get only part of the way I need to go. They have me captive. I hate them.

David said...

Yet another post that I agree with 100%. Well, probably more like 99%. You see, flying brings a joy in my life that is only surpassed by my relationship with my family. Flying is the most incredible experience and intense pleasure.

Of course, I'm not talking about flying on commercial airliners - I'm talking about private general aviation flying. I'm a private pilot. I've been flying small 4-seater planes for 5+ years and hope to never stop.

So, before anyone writes off flying in general because of the terrible commercial experiences we encounter these days, please consider going up for a ride with a private pilot in your local area. In fact, it can be as easy as going to your local small airport and talking to some people there. Pilots everywhere love to take people for rides - and I'll be happy to do it with you if you live in the Washington, DC area. Just say the word!

(Oh, and it's as easy as walking from the parking lot over to the plane, getting in, and us taking off. No shuttles, lines, overzealous security perverts, or dealing with airline agents. You can bring a soda aboard, as much toothpaste as you want, and I promise not to frisk you.) :)

DBB said...

You know, I've done that. The local airport in Ann Arbor has a flying club and I've gone up on one or two flights like that, just around the area. Though that was many many moons ago. I also have a cousin who lives in LA and he took me up in his plane once, over LA. That was fun. We flew over the Spruce Goose, amongst other landmarks.

Flying itself is ok, for the most part. It's all the b.s. that ruins it.

sdh said...

Nice! Someone else who agrees with me that the airport security measures are primarily for show and not really about security.

I have two business trips coming up. Not looking forward to them because of all of this nonsense--be scared! be scared! be scared!

chris said...

As someone who has done a lot of flying since 9/11 and since the whole 'we're gonna blow this plane up with gatorade, mouthwash, and a spark plug' incident, I can easily agree that the security measures are the most asinine thing on the planet.

However, I think the absence of these security measures on the poll was due more to its focus on the airlines and planes themselves, rather than the whole flying experience. Perhaps a poorly worded question, but there are a number of other things that could have been added outside of airline-specific questions, like getting to/from the airport, or car rental experiences. If they had included other things like this, but still left security off the menu, then I would be more inclined to agree that there is something to read into this.

Good post though, we need more people to recognize that this security does little to actually make you more secure.

hedera said...

The airline security mess is the direct result of the government's incurable tendency to fight the last war, instead of trying to do some intelligent forecasting of what the next war might look like. That's how we got into Vietnam, fighting a jungle guerrilla war with WWII techniques.

In 2001 a bunch of guys with box cutters hijacked some airplanes; and the result is (fighting the last war) we can't take nail files on a **deleted expletive** airplane. (Although I've read somewhere that people have successfully gotten combat knives past security. Go figure.) Meanwhile under 5% of containers coming into the country are inspected for anything at all.

The entire "airport security" kerfuffle is an extended exercise in CYA. It serves no useful purpose whatever.

I agree with the supporters of general aviation; one of my great memories is a flight over the East Bay in a Cessna 2 seater, from San Jose up to Berkeley and back, in about 1973.

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