I have plans to fly next Wednesday evening. Yep, the night before Thanksgiving. I usually go out of my way to avoid traveling on this day, but for various reasons there are no better options for me this year.
These fuckers want to take the busiest and most stressful travel day of the year and make it ten times worse for people who just want to go see their families by tying up all the security personnel with this protest bullshit? Because their panties are all in wad over the idea of somebody in another room glancing at a featureless grey outline of their body?
Per their website: “We want families to sit around the dinner table, eating turkey, talking about their experience - what constitutes an unreasonable search, how forceful of a pat down will we allow on certain areas of our body, and that of our children, and how much privacy are we will to give up for flying?” BULLSHIT! What they want is to be able to say “Ha ha, look how badly we fucked things up at the airports to make our little point!” Fuck you again!
Go carry some picket signs. Write letters. Peddle your paranoia on the internet as much as you want. *Don’t fucking screw with my holiday travel, assholes! *
My idea: Every airport should assign one male agent and one female agent to do pat-downs. Whenever somebody “opts out,” point them to that line and let them wait their turn while the rest of us move quickly and efficiently through the scanners, and we’ll see how many of you stick to your guns with your little foot-stomping contrariness when your boarding time is inching closer and closer.
I know that won’t happen though. What will happen is i’ll have to leave another damn hour earlier for the airport to have to put up with this nonsence.
I’m sorry to hear this is going to screw up your holiday travel.
I just got back from spending a week in Finland and the airport there was glorious. For an international flight they advise you arrive at least 45 minutes before your flight takes off instead of 2-3 hours like they advise here. I got to keep my shoes on the whole time! They were quick, efficient, and when my husband accidentally set of the metal detector they gave him a quick up-and-down with the wand and waved us on our way. I looked around and thought, “So this is what it is like to live without constant fear of being blown up!” I kind of want to move to Europe now. I probably won’t because I love NYC and moving out of the country is freaking difficult but I can see the appeal of living somewhere that isn’t contstantly frothing at the mouth over everything all the damn time.
Please, just like the various “Gas Out” protests that come up like weeds, nobody is actually going to follow through on this. At least, not in enough numbers to make the slightest difference in your process.
Your plane is leaving in a half hour, you get selected for the scanner, do you opt out to join the increasingly long line for the pat down? I don’t think so, since in order to “sit around the dinner table, eating turkey, talking about their experience” people actually need to be at the dinner table, instead of eating a turkey sandwich at the airport waiting for a flight.
Seconded. The security procedures get stupider and stupider, and an effort to reform that might be starting to pick up steam with all the bad publicity. “Opt Out Day,” however, is hot air and not a lot of people are going to bother. Especially not next Wednesday, when people are that much less motivated to protest because theyjust want to get the fuck out of the airport.
I’ve done it, and I would estimate it added about 5 seconds to the process. Lets call it 6, and that’s an even 10 minutes per 100 people in front of you, per scanner. I’d consider a line over 100 to be busier than average, and most of the checkpoints at O’Hare have 3 or 4 machines. So yeah, things run a little slower, but really nothing to write home about. But if a big enough percentage in that line take the time for the “enhanced pat-down,” I’ll be standing there cooling my jets for god knows how long.
That is a concern, and it might even be a valid one. But there’s not one single word about it on the website I linked. Not one.
Far from being bullshit, there is a signficant number of people who seem to believe that this is a serious civil liberties issue. If so, that makes it rather more important than one person’s Thankgiving trip. That’s just the way it is.
I think you’re worrying overmuch anyway. AFAIK, only a small percentage of people will be put through the scanners, and at best only a fraction of those will choose to opt out. Seems to me those lines almost certainly would be separate from the main security queues, so as long as you don’t get singled out for scanner-stripping, you should be home free.
You should go an hour earlier anyway, not because of any potential protest delays but because it’s going to be a busy travel day, and you’ll end up less stressed in the end.
I hope you’re right on both points, actually. To be clear, my rant is not about whether or not the scanners are justified or necessary or an invasion of privacy or whatever. It’s about this stupid misguided protest and its potential to screw with a lot of innocent people’s travel plans.
Exactly. I’ve been following the debate about the scanners for a while now, and I noticed that the arguments seem to go:
Privacy! They’re looking at your naked body! Uh, it’s a featureless gray blob- I can photoshop a better nude of you.
Radiation! Every exposure is a bad exposure! You know you’re exposed to far more radiation on the flight itself, right?
Well, until suddenly everyone was quoting that paper which suggested that since the radiation stops at the skin, it’s suddenly far more dangerous. Now *that *is the accepted wisdom.
If you ask me, they decided that the scanners were bad and dangerous, and then went around looking for a reason, any reason, to back up their aversion to the scanners.
Look, I hates me some TSA. I don’t think they’ve done a damn thing which would’ve prevented 9/11. Further, I think it would’ve been *impossible *to prevent 9/11. But if you’re going to try to convince me that the scanners are a bad idea, at least use rational arguments.
TSA’s lab director was at least nice enough to share this pic of her junk with the nation:
(not revealing but technically “without clothing”, so munged)
I was actually excited when I heard about the backscatter machines. I was willing to let someone look at my genitals, if I can leave my shoes and belt on and my wallet in my pocket. But I’ve heard that you still have to empty your pockets (including handkerchiefs) and take off shoes and belts. So what’s the point?
And I’ve heard about the excesses of the TSA for years, mostly through reading Patrick Smith’s Ask the Pilot column in Salon.com. He’s a commercial airline pilot so he goes through the TSA lines multiple times a week. He’s described things like a pilot not being allowed to go through the TSA lines for airline crews just because he was wearing a civilian shirt but was otherwise in uniform. Also, Patrick Smith said that he regularly packed a metal knife and fork in his carry-on luggage to use for in-flight meals, only to have them confiscated by the TSA, even though the knife and fork are the same ones issued by an airline to first-class passengers.
To those of you who have gone through, what do you do with your wallet, and anything else in your pockets since you can’t wear them through?
There’s been a problem of people stealing laptops and the like when you are out of contact with them while going through the metal detector. (Often a two-person thing where one deliberately slows down the line and the partner picks up your laptop before you can get through the detector.)
Do I have to worry that these type of people can now start stealing (my) wallet and passport?