Tag Archives: airports

In Flight

US Airways PlaneSo, I’m sitting in the airport terminal currently, waiting for our flight to board. We showed up a little earlier than we thought (traffic was good) so we have a little over two hours to kill. Well, closer to one hour now – It’s 12:10 (flight boards at 1:20). But nothing exciting so far. If you read my previous post on airport security, specifically the new security machines, you’ll be interested to know that Philadelphia International Airport does in fact use the millimeter wave machines… which are significantly safer than the Backscatter x-ray ones (despite what the TSA claims). One benefit to showing up so early is that we literally sped through the machine – security took us maybe 5 minutes, tops.

So now the waiting time. We ate breakfast(lunch really) and sat around for a bit… but now we’re just sitting back and relaxing. I needed to charge my phone (forgot to charge it last night… I have to screw at least *one* thing up when I fly…) and found an outlet… which doesn’t work. So I’m charging my phone through the laptop right now… ha! Technology at its finest.

That’s all I have to say for now… more updates in flight!

Well, the time is now 2:45 and we are in the air. Something exciting did happen! Our flight was delayed… lol. Only by half an hour, and they expect to make that back up in the air, so our arrival time shouldn’t change much.

It’s been over three years since the last time I flew – Boston to Philly that time. And I have to say, not much has changed. They still go through the same spiel before take-off. The boarding is still the same (backwards… people seated in the rear of the plane should board first damn it… it makes so much more sense… but anyway). And I still hide my iPod and listen to music during takeoff. Because damn it, I want music. Takeoff is boring, uneventful, and if we crash during takeoff more than likely I’ll die… so I don’t need to listen to any instructions. I’ll be too busy waiting for the plane to rip in half so I can try to dive out… haha (you think I’m joking…) And I can do that with headphones in, thank you.

So yeah, flying isn’t that big of a deal. It’s mostly just sitting around, waiting. Kind of like train rides, but at least you have interesting things to look at out the windows on a train. Right now I can see… clouds. Meh. More later if anything interesting happens…

5:40 p.m – or rather, 2:40 p.m. in SF… Just went to bathroom and noticed something… why is there a sign pointing out that there is an ashtray in the opposite lavatory, when smoking is prohibited entirely on the plane? Silliness…

No Smoking?

I mean... I assume it's for you to put out your cigarette when they catch you... but still. Why?

7:10 p.m. – or rather, 4:10 p.m. in SF… I swear… there is a constant stream of people going in and out of the bathrooms on this plane. And it’s not like everyone has gone. I think it’s the same 15 people. Insanity. I’ve been one of them of course – but with my eye allergy thing, I need to put my eye drops in. But I mean, damn. I don’t think this many people used the bathroom on my flight to Europe… damn…

Over-all I’d say this was a good flight (so far). Not much turbulence. There HAS been a kid banging on the back of my seat for almost the entire flight, seriously (no stereotyping here)… but considering his dipshit parents didn’t bring any toys for him to play with on a five to six hour flight… I don’t blame him! Some people should be sterilized… I’d be kick seats too… or people… heh. Apparently the kid has been crying/screaming the entire time too… but I’ve had my headphones on for the entire flight, so I don’t care (that’s *one* reason I bring them in the first place…). One more update when we land!

Well the eagle has landed. Or, more accurately – I’m in San Francisco. BOW TO ME CALIFORNIA. Or something…. End of the flight was extremely uneventful. We landed… we got off the plane. Met my Uncle Michael. Aaaand now we’re at his house, relaxing. San Francisco is… foggy. I approve. Michael pointed out something very important though… When you leave the airport, it was 68, and bright and sunny. Michael lives 15 minutes down the road… and it’s 10 degrees cooler, and overcast/foggy. Insanity. My kind of city it seems. Also – the hills are awesome. I wish I had brought my bike.

So now, I leave you. In another time zone… a part of the country I have never been in… and off to do more important things than write on my blog… 🙂

~Ian


Flight of the Bumbling Idiots…

A 747 FlyingSo, originally I was going to say “screw it” today and post some creative work that I’ve had sitting around for a while. A bit of a cheat, but part of the goal of this site is to have an open avenue for creativity as well… But then I read this – “Pregnant Flyer Says TSA Confiscated her Insulin” and I remembered that I’ll be flying the lovely skys in about a month. Now… I’ve never been a fan of TSA, or their safety practices, which are ever-encroaching upon a violation of human rights… And before any of you who don’t know me too well start up with “if you don’t like it, don’t fly” nonsense… think about this first.

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

I’ve said this for a while, and have always stood by it, and encouraged other people to at least consider it, if not agree with it. This is one of the principles that our country was founded on, and as much as I think our country has gone down the shitter in some ways since then… but that’s another story for another day. When we allow organizations like the TSA to control our every move in travel, we lose that essential liberty. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for not dying in a fiery explosion. But forcing a 95-year-old woman who has cancer to remover her Depends? Yeah, that’s going so far over the line you can’t even see the line any more. And of course, they are always up for a good excuse to fondle women

Why should we have to put up with this? Why should pregnant woman be forced to subject themselves to potentially harmful body scans, even when they ask for a pat down? Why should I have to carefully go through my suitcase and carry-on and make sure that, A: everything I’m taking is “legal.” B: Nothing I don’t mind potentially losing is in my suitcase. And C: Even the things that are within TSA regulations aren’t suspicious looking. Of course… in most cases I probably shouldn’t fly anyway considering I’m the type of person likely to do this…

XKCD Bag Check

"But you know I could just snap the earpiece off my glasses if I wanted to stab someone..."

The security measures here have reached the point where, honestly, I’d prefer to not fly. Sometimes it really just isn’t an option though. With gas prices what they are, it’s actually cheaper for me to fly to California than to drive there (which is where I’m going in early September). And, I’m poor… so obviously I have to pick the cheapest route. And taking Amtrak is almost twice as expensive, and there isn’t even a station in San Fransisco. So that’s not an option. When the most convenient, and usually cheapest way to travel is the most violating… I call that bad business. Are we going to get people to boycott flying? No, and I would never even suggest it. But can we try to change things? Yes. And some people are already trying… The Bill of RightsCheck out Ban Strong Hands, a satire site dedicated to mocking the TSA’s ineffectual operations and bring the “actual” security risks to light. They also strongly stress banning people with strong hands from flying. Because, you know… strangulation can be an effective way to kill someone.

There is also a blog over on MSNBC called Overhead Bin dedicated to news reports on TSA transgressions and the ridiculous things they subject flyers to. I mean, hell, let’s not forget the MIT student who was arrestedfor having an LED display with exposed wiring on her shirt (for a school project). She was even informed that she “was lucky she followed instructions, because deadly force would have been used.” And of course some media picked it up as “MIT student arrested at Logan in bomb scare” (note that the Boing Boing article’s use of this headline is mocking the other one). Remind me not to wear this shirt Crista got me for Valentine’s Day.

Travel, in any form, can be stressful, or pleasant. And I vote it should always be pleasant. So let’s make sure the TSA, and our government, know how we feel.