Wednesday, June 13, 2007

No really, I fucking hate flying

This is my fourth post about flying. About how much I hate flying. As you might have surmised, I really fucking hate it. But it's not the actual flying part that I hate--it's the lead-up, the nonsense, the bullshit. What I hate are the indiscriminate rules.

I don't mind following rules if they serve a purpose, if they are in place for a valid reason, namely safety or efficiency, but bureaucratic red-tape gets me so angry! And nowhere are idiotic rules in evidence so obviously as in airports.


In April, I went to Kansas City for my sister's wedding shower. It was a quick trip and like always, I took a small, carry-on bag instead of checking a bag. Now, I know the new rules for flying: any one container with more than 3 ounces of liquid can be used for making a bomb--combining 2 smaller containers while on board to make a bomb? Perfectly acceptable.

So, I had all my liquid necessities bundled together (my 2.5 ounce contact solution, my 1.7 ounce face lotion, my .8 ounce toothpaste, etc) in my toiletries bag. You know, the bag designed for toiletries. I put my shoes, my hoodie, my purse, and my carry-on bag onto the screening belt and that's when the trouble started.

"Ma'am, I'm going to have to look through your bag," one of the checkers told me.

"Of course," I replied confidently, knowing I had painstakingly banished all the dangerous extra ounces of liquids and/or gels from my bag.

He pulled out my toiletries bag and looked inside disapprovingly. "All liquids need to be together in a plastic bag."

"Oh, I'm sorry--they're all together here--and look--they're all under 3 ounces."

"Yeah, but they need to be in a plastic bag."

"Ok, I'm sorry, I don't have a plastic bag. They're all together though and they're under 3 ounces. Isn't that ok?" I was trying to be calm and not accusatory. Why did he keep harping on this plastic bag?

"Is there a problem?" A robust man wearing a fancier uniform approached us.

"Her liquid isn't in a plastic bag." The peon dutifully reported.

"But everything is under 3 ounces," I chimed in, still thinking this was a valid argument.

"Well, ma'am, that's good, but it all needs to be in a quart-sized plastic bag."

"Ok, I'm sorry, I didn't realize that."

"You're going to need to go get a plastic, quart-sized bag. The gift shop right outside the terminal will give you one for free," He said as if this was a perfectly reasonable demand.

"What?"

"You'll need to get a plastic bag for all your liquid."

"What are you talking about? Why would I need to get a plastic bag to put all my toiletries in?"

"It's the policy. You need to have all of your containers within one quart-sized plastic bag."

"Why?"

"In order for us to see that none of your containers is over 3 ounces."

"But you can see that nothing is over 3 ounces. See?" I held up my face lotion. "Under 3 ounces! It's all under 3 ounces."

"That may be so, ma'am, but it needs to be in a plastic bag."

"But I don't understand. The entire reason it needs to be in a plastic bag is so you can see that it's under 3 ounces. You can see that it's under 3 ounces now. Why would I need to put everything in a bag if you can already see that I'm following the rules?"

"The policy is that everything needs to be in a quart-sized plastic bag."

"Fine--but the reason behind the policy is to see that everything is the right size and it's all the right size!"

"But it needs to be visible in the bag."

"You're really going to make me leave the terminal, go get a plastic bag, put my liquid that's already passed inspection in the bag, and come back through, wasting everyone's time."

"If you want to keep the liquid, it needs to be in quart-sized plastic bag."

I stared at him incredulously. Unbelievable. Un-fucking-believable. I huffed my way out, muttering under my breath and scowling.

So, I got the bag, filled it with my under 3 ounce containers of liquids, waited in line and went back through the scanner. Once again, a checker asked to look through my bag. He took out quart-sized plastic bag of toiletries and looked at it approvingly. Then he asked to look through my purse. It was my make-up pouch that interested him. As he unzipped it, he said, "You know, all liquids and gels need to be a quart-sized plastic bag."

"Yeah, I know that." Could he hear me rolling my eyes?

"Well, you have mascara and lipstick in this bag--it really needs to be in the plastic bag."

"What?"

"I need to put it all in the plastic bag."

"Ok....."

So he transfered the deadly mascara and horrifying lipstick to the safety of the quart-sized plastic bag.
"Now you're good to go!"

What? How did that make any sense? How did any of this make any sense? All of these nonsensical rules are in place to make the public feel safer, and yet, it makes me more and more afraid of the idiots and assholes in charge.

1 Comments:

Blogger Gloria said...

I couldn't have said it better...

It makes you never want to venture beyond a 100 mile radius of home so you don't have to go through any airport ever again!

8:22 AM, June 14, 2007

 

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