Saturday, January 31, 2009

False Senses of Security

I sit here in the Frankfurt Airport, "trapped" in the C concourse, because of assinine multiple security check points. I landed 3 hours ago, at gate C-16, from Washington DC. C-16! What luck! I am departing from C-16 at noon, to go to Bangalore. Awesome! - or so I thought.

No, the innane, meaningless, waste-of-tax payers' money security that had infected the US and Japan, has now infected the Germans as well. In 1999 & 2000, I used to connect through Tokyo Nartia, enroute to China. You land in a 747, get out of the plane in the middle of the night, drugged up on sleeping pills and alcohol, and have to stagger through a x-ray baggage check, where they RE-INSPECT you, and then put you right back on the same damn 747 to go to China. Silly Japanese, I used to think. It was so ridiculous, I customized my travel so that in 2001 I never went through Japan or their inane security after that.

Then 9-11 came, and the US started doing the same damn thing - checking passengers through security who had just walked out of a secure and checked plane. Our security checks are better than yours! What a load of crap.

Now, the Deutschlanders have the same infection. A nice Lufthansa 747, disgorges it's passengers, who have to go up escalators, down long hall ways, through a x-ray security check - OMG! I had a water bottle! I might be a terrahist! - and back into the same damn 747! Except the Frankfurt airport is so f*cked up, that there's no currency exchange in terminal C. If I want to get some Rupees, I have to GO BACK through security again, get rid of my liquids again... it's such a ridiculous pain in the ass.

Check the passengers ONCE when they get to the airport, before they get on a plane, then STOP CHECKING THEM again and again. Ridiculous. Inefficient. Wasteful of tax payers money. Meaningless. It gives stupid people a false sense of security - oh, I just got checked again, must be very safe. BS.

They are not not sniffing for plastic explosives, they are not doing EL AL intensity personal screenings, they're doing a meaningless x-ray of baggage and making people throw out perfectly good bottles of water, duty free liquor, and any other containers larger than 3 oz. What a joke. A very badly executed joke.

Oh well, I hope my cab driver takes dollars in Bangalore!


  1. Don't be mad - Homeland Security is just making sure that you are extra safe, even from yourself. ;o)

  2. Dr Z! "I'm not mad, I got glad!" - a quart sized freezer grade glad bag to contain all my carry on liquids. How very silly.

    Turns out my Indian colleagues were so eager and happy to see me, the 2 main ones actually met me at 2:30am at the airport, with flowers! I've never been given flowers before, upon arriving anywheres. I felt like I should be waiving to adoring fans, or giving an acceptance speach! (as one of the humans who have the ability to speak, of course).

    It's now a bright and sunny day here in Bangalore (as we call it, or Bangaluru as new maps call it) and someone is using an industrial belt sander on the hotel floor above me, so sleeping is no longer an option. Time to get up, work out, and avoid contracting Malaria! =)

    More posts when I have time later in the week. Parkalam - we shall see!

  3. Heathrow T5 is just as bad. The Atlantic Monthly had a good piece on "security theater" last November. Most shocking revelation to me was that you can carry any liquid you want in a contact-solution bottle!

  4. From what Ron has said, ALL of Heathrow is a mess, but I do not doubt your comments on T5. All this "feel good" BS is maddening. It's doing nothing to prevent any actual malfeasence, aside from the vastly stupid. Atlanta and Cincy have glass cases of items that dimwitted passengers have tried to bring onto planes, conficated in security. Leaf blowers, road flares, swords, etc. Yet my 8 oz flask of cognac has to be stowed away in my checked luggage, because I might ... what... light it? Urgh!

    Upon landing in Bangalore's brand spanking new airport early Sunday morning, I counted not 3 or 4 automatice weapons, but 6 young men with machine pistols (1 in jet way, 2 at the rest rooms pre-pass port control, 1 post passport control, 1 at luggage claim, and 1 as I walked out to a screaming throng of sign holders). Enough fire power to take out all the disgorged 747 passengers, if necessary. Turns out, Banglore is India's military training & weapons manfucturing capital "because of the climate" I was told. Intersting.

    Anyways, off to work out and combat jet lag!

  5. Joe, you must do the needful and calm down. Getting upset during travel does nothing to help you. If it helps, just think: What Would Jesus(TM) Do? Oh wait...he'd just walk over the water or miracle his ass to Bangalore instead of getting on a plane.


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