security and cancelled flights.

January 1, 2004 at 11:38 am in Uncategorized

LA Observed points to Joyrides Without Maps. Seem’s author Joseph Mailander was one of the people on a flight that got cancelled yesterday to LAX because of terrorist fears. Since I just flew around the country a bunch, a lot of his comments we’re very interesting to me. When talking about the not so great security in Leon he says:

“…with gloves on, finger their way through everyone’s personal items… Their main concern seems not to check for weapons but to remove the items from the luggage as carefully as possible, to insert them back into the same space they occupied, in precise order. At this they are masters. But I very much doubt if they could find a hand grenade if it was ticking.”

When I few out of LAX 2 weeks ago that’s about the kind of search my luggage got. In Miami I had to go out of security and then back in (at 4am, after flying all night and walking over a mile to get to a plane leaving from another terminal in under 40 mins, real fun) and they barely looked at my stuff, but made me take my shoes off to walk though the metal detector. Flying back to LA from Tampa just the other day it was a whole different story. Up to that point my stuff, if and when it was searched was done so right in front of me. I saw what they did and didn’t do. In Tampa, I had to drop my bags off at a security check point and they could scan, search, and clear each on on their own. There was no choice here, leave your bags or they don’t fly with you.

When I got them back in LA first thing I noticed was a blue TSA seal on one of the bags. I knew that would be trouble, since that bag, in addition to clothes had a harddrive and some collectable diecast toys in it. The clothes were really the padding for the other stuff. I’d spent a LONG TIME, a REALLY LONG TIME packing that bag very carefully to ensure the safety of the contence. When I opened it there was a note on top saying my locks had been removed for security concerns and they were not responsible for damage to the locks. Well, I didn’t have any locks on it to begin with so WTF? The stuff in the bag looked like it had been dumped out on the floor, riffiled through, and jammed back in with out a single concern. All the stuff from the bottom was on the top, anything that had been folded was now crumpled and smashed in, and all the stuff I’d painstakenly wrapped up was unwrapped and unprotected. The metal harddrive was right up against the outside wall of the bag.

Was it not obvious enough that I’d gone way out of my way to protect this stuff? I’m thinking the people searching it just didn’t give a shit.

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