Wednesday, December 29, 2010

More on Security and my flights for Christmas

I’ve been thinking about what Metro is doing with randomly checking bags. The more I think about it the silly it seems. As someone pointed out in the comments section in one of the articles, all anyone would have to do is strap an explosive vest on and then wear one of those down coats. They’d sail through any sort of check point. Is the idea the terrorists are too stupid to think of that?

As for airport security on my trip to Springfield there was a new ripple. If you have a video camera with a cassette you have to put it in its own try to go through the X-Ray machine. (This of course did not happen when I was going through security in Springfield on my way back to DC.) So here I am at the airport last Thursday. Here’s what I have to shepherd through security. I have my video camera in its own bin. Another bin has my coat, keys, wallet and change. Then I have my backpack. Next is my carry on. Finally, my shoes. I have five things I’m getting through security. I got everything on the belt the shoes being the last thing I put on there.

I walk through the scanner. I got a pat down because I had a heavy sweater on. I thought about taking it off but then there’d be one more thing to deal with. There was no full body scanner at the security check point I went through at National. So I get to the other side of the conveyor belt and wait for my stuff. Everything comes out. I’m trying to get it off the belt as fast as possible. One shoe comes through and then I wait and I wait and I wait. One of the TSA guys says not to worry it will be coming. Finally it comes through.

In general I have to say the airports were not over flowing with people. The flights were full but not completely booked solid. The flight from DFW to DCA was over weight because of the need for extra fuel. I’m assuming that was for all the wind that was on the east coast because of the storm.

For once snow and/or storms did not impact my flights to or from Springfield. There was an impact on travel in general into DC. I got to Dallas early. I looked at the monitors and noticed there was a 1:45 flight to DC. I decided to go and see if I could get on it. When I got to the gate, I looked at the list for standbys. There were 54 people listed. So much for getting on an earlier flight. I’ve never seen that many people listed for standby ever. I have to assume the vast majority of these people originally were going into Philadelphia or New York. Since getting to either of these places was not going to happen for a couple more days (for some people it won’t be until next week), people decided to get as close as they could.

I had a great time in Springfield and a really great Christmas.

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