Thursday, August 6, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Well, I'm home after another unpleasant encounter with the torture that is flying in the United States. I'm almost to the point where I'm not going to do any more flying. No matter how great the trip, and this was a really fun trip I'm just getting home from, you can bet the frigging airport/airline experience is going to screw it up. Said experience on my return from Utah was no exception. It began first thing in Salt Lake City airport when so-called Homeland Security confiscated an $18 bottle of Colorado Syrah because I had it in my carry-on luggage and it was more than 3.5 ounces. DAMN! I didn't want to forget the wine, and several days before I had put it in the carry-on bag. I had already forgotten another bottle of nice wine at my brother-in-law's house in Denver, and didn't want to repeat the same performance. In the meantime, my wife, on another airline (trust me, there's good explanation as to why this happened this way--wife on same trip, different airline) has an unopened bottle of chocolate-raspberry Pinot Noir syrup and a jar of honey confiscated by TSA for being over 3 oz. So keeping the country secure from wine, syrup, and honey cost me about $40 this trip. Little enough to pay knowing that I'm helping thwart terrorists armed with chocolate syrup and honey. And the thought of some knuckle-dragging TSA slug drinking my wine just really frosts me. (I was assured that they would "dispose of" the wine. Yeah. Right. Down their gullets is more like it.)

And then the raft of other delights: cattle car seating in the aircraft; ditto in the waiting area; the waiting itself; proving your identity several times; taking off your shoes, belt, hat, emptying your pockets; being scanned; in general being treated like you're a criminal because you have no other choice other than to subject yourself to this when you travel because this country in its great wisdom tore up the best railway system in the world fifty years ago. Unless you want to subject yourself to the joys of driving a long distance. But that's another post. Tell me I'm not pissed. Yet another delightful flying experience.

The airline industry is tottering on the brink of ruin, I'm reading. How much you wanna bet we bail them out too because they're too vital to the economy to have them fail?
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