security and cancelled flights.

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.

6 Replies to “security and cancelled flights.”

  1. You say: Was it not obvious enough that I’d gone way out of my way to protect this stuff? But can you stop thinking so selfishly for a second. What is it that you think the terrorists are going to do? Just chuck the dirty bombs in with their underwear willy nilly? Anybody who cares about the stuff they ship along is going to be trying to pack it neatly and protect it. If your stuff mattered so much to you spend a couple extra bucks to ship it over a freight service, not on a passenger flight. So they didn’t put your stuff back in the bag the nice careful way you’d packed it. Think about this: we trust the security of our airports and skies to a lowest bidder situation and for them to have gone through your bag at all should make you feel more safe than intruded. I’m not one to take Their side of things but geez, take a second and think about something more than your precious hard drive and hot wheels. After all, it could well have been your precious hand grenade.

  2. uh, dude, my complaint isn’t that they searched it, it’s that when I was standing there they were careful and respectful of the fact that they are going through someone elses stuff, but when no one was watching they ripped appart my packing and didn’t even attempt to put it back in place.

  3. Hey Bush!!!
    You have got Saddam Hussain.
    Now when are American troops leaving Iraq ???
    You even could not find the weapon…
    You are a killer…of thousands of people….Your God will never forgive you…What about small kids and Women…I would like your God to punish you….you sinner….killer…..

    For criminal or terrorist act of few individuals can whole country be punished….What is the common Iraq people fault…You are simply creating problem for yourself and in past always done so…. who initially gave guns in the hands of Saddam Hussain…Who created Talibanis….Do you think by war you can achieve anything….There is hatret and anger against you people….War is not a solution of any problem….I am totally against war….Leave Iraq now….I am not against Americans in general….The attack of 9/11 was unfortunate…The people who have done /planned this act should be punished…I agree..But what is the fault of common people (iraq) ….Think a little bit…What you all is favouring is
    Killing of innocent people in exchange of killing of innocent Americans…..It does not matters how many times you pray to your God….if you are supporting this evil act ….and not speaking against it ….I hope God is seeing what you people are doing and not doing….For GOD SAKE, STOP THE KILLINGS.

  4. I think the problem at the heart of the matter is US foriegn policy. I seriously dont beleive that people (any people) would just off and kill thousands without reasons. Especially The Pentagon, The whitehouse, and the WTC – all of which are major military targets.
    Our government is using scare tactics against its own citizens. There has been more ‘terror’ generated by ‘level orange alerts’ than one act of violence.
    And all this ‘security’ is a joke – more people die in one year from car accidents, than have died in the last 20 years from terrorism in the western world (and possibly the middle east too). And you dont see people running around screaming for breathalizers on every street corner. Its all just a scheme for some goverment official to skim money, and the elimination of your right to privacy.

  5. Like I did at LAObserved and my own site, I feel obliged to correct the record. Because I couldn’t find mention of my flight’s cancellation in the media, I asked AeroMexico about it, and finally got referred to a media person, who checked things out pronto. She told me that the flight was actually cancelled because of a mechanical problem, not because people in LAX wouldn’t let it come in the country, as we had been told on the ground in Silao/Leon. I’m pretty mad at AeroMexico for lying to me and a lot of other people, but hell, after you get home, it’s just nice to be home, you know?

    Though I’d love to blame them for everything and then some, I don’t know how much of this fear stuff is purely endemic to Republican strategic thinking. Republicans don’t completely own the media, but the purpose of the American media more and more seems to be to keep people terrorized–Republicans have indeed fetishized terrorism, but they didn’t invent SARS, and don’t blare much noise about the flu.

    It us unfortunate that the current Administration has a few people in it who believe in that sad Machiavellian way that it’s better to be feared than loved. But it is just as unfortunate that the media so eagerly line up to serve as the distributors of fright, rather than focusing on other very serious things.

    And hey, thanks for discussing this. I don’t think I fear flying half as much as I fear the government, which makes me feel better about flying during the holidays.

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