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Friday, June 24, 2005

"Flight Suits"

The New York Times had an interesting piece, yesterday -- okay, okay, sometimes I read the Old Grey Lady . . . it was free, alright? -- on the lengths to which people are going to avoid being held up going through the post-9/11 security regime between check-in and boarding their planes. The gist of Eric Wilson's piece (E1) of the title I've quoted in the header to this post is that passengers are going without belts, wearing flip-flops, donning draw-string pants, and so on -- all to avoid lighting up the metal detectors or to be exempted from any additional screening.

When I first started flying, I quickly learned to follow the example of experienced flyers who dressed well enough to be presentable in the airport lounge but casually enough to be comfortable and to keep from raising red flags with customs agents for additional checks. The post-9/11 security regimen has streamlined since those early days after 9/11 -- chemical contamination checks, now, of lap-tops instead of "power checks" (Would you please turn on your lap-top, sir?) -- but having to undo one's belt and shed shoes? I know, I know -- it's all for our safety, and some people think there's no humiliation that cannot be endured in the name of security.

Um, I can take the lap-top and carry-on inspections. I can bear up under the belt and shoe checks. But I've gotta say it: Toronto's Pearson airport must hire some of the most obnoxious gate security staff anywhere! They're not just occasionally awful, they're consistently and unfailingly so. It doesn't happen like this in any other major or not-so-major airport I've been through in Canada, nor does it happen like this in O'Hare, LAX, Atlanta, DFW, Salt Lake, and Dulles or Reagan. I haven't been to either of the New York metro airports, recently, so I defer to others' experience of those.

So, why the hassle in Toronto? Does world-class city have to mean world-class . . . well,  you fill it in as you see fit.
(Cross-posted to Burkean Canuck).

Posted by Russ Kuykendall on June 24, 2005 in Travel | Permalink


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On my last (brief) business trip, I decided to pack everything and not take a carry-on - big mistake! For some reason the security personnel didn't like the idea of me not having a carry-on. Not sure why but it resulted in me being sent through an extra layer of screening before being allowed to pass. Funny thing is the person behind me got through with a swiss-army knife - doesn't that make you feel good?!

Posted by: John Brown | 2005-06-24 1:33:13 PM

One of the security guys said to me, You shouldnt wear suspenders it sets of the alarm. oookay.

Posted by: MikeP | 2005-06-24 1:41:37 PM

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