The other day I jokingly wrote in a post that at some point we’re going to be required to fly naked to help ensure that were not carrying anything with us. Even then, however, regarding to need to undergo a cavity search before we can board the plane.
Well, I’m not sure where all that far from that based upon the initial responses that were seen from the TSA to this weekend’s failed attempt to down a passenger plane.
Larry just called me that he got word from someone trying to board a plane in Philadelphia that they’re not allowed to carry an iPod on board with them.
Better still, a leaked memo from the US Department of Homeland Security (on Gizmodo) indicates new security measures that are being put in place. If you aren’t “a head of state watch out! Screeners are now being told to do a “thorough pat-down of all passengers and concentrate on the upper legs and torso”. They are being told to ensure that all liquids, aerosols and jells strictly adhere to policies that have been in place for a number of years. But, “the air carrier may exempt passengers who are heads of state or heads of government from these measures”. During the flight, “passengers must remain in seats beginning one hour prior to arrival at destination, passenger access to carry-on baggage is prohibited one hour prior to arrival at destination and passengers may not have blankets closer personal belongings on their lap one hour prior to arrival at their destination.”
It doesn’t mention iPods, however, which suggests that extra stringent, even random, practices are being tried right now.
Translation – the requirements are going to be all over the place for the next few weeks, air travel is going to be even more challenging than ever before and, unfortunately, the bad guys will quickly find new ways around any measures that are put in place regardless of what measures are put in place. Yes, evil tends to be rather creative and flexible; that’s the sad truth.
When Larry and I were talking we agreed that there is one measure that would be put in place right now with no exceptions. It will make air travel far less enjoyable (as if it’s enjoyable now?) But it will reduce the risk, speed up the screening process, and remove any vagueness with regard to what is and isn’t allowed.
This is the proposal –
No carry-on luggage whatsoever. No jackets, no bags, no nothing. You get to board the plane with you, your clothing, your keys, and if you need medication during the flight, medication so long as you get prior authorization from the airline.
No ifs, ands or buts about it — no carry-on luggage whatsoever. You get to fly and spend the time reading the crummy magazines that have already been touched by dozens of strangers.
Yes, I hate the idea. Larry isn’t particularly thrilled with either. But we both agree that it’s the best option available right now. At least it beats having to fly naked.