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Sunday, December 26

Fear of Flying

I'll be traveling via plane on Tuesday morning for the first time since 9/11. I have to take 2 flights to get where I'm going. oy. I don't particularly care for flying. I have this take off and landing issue. Once I'm up there, I'm fine as long as I'm 2 sheets to the wind. Supposedly I won't be felt up by a stranger at check in because the airports have eased up on their pat down rules, it has been reported. I always miss out on the cheap thrills. Kidding. I get plenty.

This article in the Kansas City Star is pretty interesting. You have women who feel somewhat violated by the pat down especially when it's random, and I would fall into that category. Then you have your "patriotic" women who would take their "top off... It's part of traveling, you do what you need to do." I don't think so.

I'm not bringing anything metal on the trip. I clipped the toenails already. I wouldn't want to be accused of planning to hijack an Airbus using toenail clippers that I have cleverly tried conceal between my breasts. Hey remember when you could you bring pot on airplanes? And even smoke it? Those were the days, eh?

Here is the new pat down rule:
The Transportation Security Administration has changed the rules regarding pat-down searches. Now, screeners will only pat down passengers' chests if they set off the handheld metal detector or if it looks like something could be concealed beneath their shirts.

Pat-down guidelines
  • Travelers will receive pat-downs if they set off metal detectors. Others are randomly selected.
What's this randomly selected thing? Where's that guideline?
  • Passengers will get a chest pat-down if they set off the hand-held metal detector or if it looks as if something could be concealed beneath their tops.
  • Avoid wearing tops with metallic designs or fibers that could set off the metal detector or bulky sweaters and sweatshirts.
  • Passengers who refuse to submit to a pat-down will not be allowed to board their flights.
  • Screeners are required to offer private screening to passengers, but travelers may request private screening if the option is not offered to them.
  • Screeners of the same gender as the passenger, if available, will conduct the pat-downs.
If available? You mean to tell me that a woman can be randomly selected for a pat down and then if there's no female available that one of those security guys gets to have his jollies? Are they kidding me?

I doubt I will be wearing my sequined bulky sweatshirt for the plane ride and I am hardly suspicious, as I look like the menopausal version of the 1960's all American girl next door, but these rules still leave something to be desired in a democracy, if you know what I mean.
  • If a passenger thinks the screening procedure was done inappropriately, he or she should immediately request to speak to a screening supervisor. Feedback forms are available at the security checkpoints or passengers can call the TSA Contact Center at (866) 289-9673 or e-mail TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov .
Forms? I don't need no stinking forms. I'll just program this number into my cell phone in case I see any crap being perpetrated against my fellow female passengers.

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