And the suspicious activity begins….

The more the stories of “security” the past few days roll in, the more I feel like Glenn Beck. Don’t worry, I’ll spare you the tears, chalkboard, and “founding fathers” speech, but for the first time ever I’m really wondering whether flying is something I’ll want to do anymore in a couple of years. Some might argue the current measures are temporary, but then again I thought the liquid restrictions and shoe carnival would be as well, but they’re still around.

The first story of interest is yet another issue on the same Amsterdam to Detroit Northwest flight that caused this whole scare a couple of days ago. I only realized this was a story this afternoon, since up until that point I assumed they were still talking about the incident from a couple of days ago. This time around a passenger that was “described as a Nigerian” (not sure what the hell that means) was sick and locked himself in the bathroom for an hour. That caused the FBI to get involved. Poor guy!

The second story is truly ridiculous. A US Airways flight from Orlando to Phoenix was met by anti-terrorism authorities because of the suspicious activities of a couple of passengers. What did they do, you ask?

Transportation Security Administration officials said passengers aboard U.S. Airways Flight 192 from Orlando, Fla., on Saturday night reported that two men, described as Middle Eastern, were acting strangely and talking loudly to each other in a foreign language.

“Acting strangely?” And talking loudly? If talking loudly is a crime, I can think of several self-important businessmen that deserve to be detained. šŸ˜‰

A nearby passenger also observed one of men watching what appeared to be footage of a suicide bombing, but was actually a scene from the 2007 movie “The Kingdom.”

I’m sorry, I just had to chuckle at that. Perhaps not the smartest thing to watch if you “look suspicious” (according to other passengers), but I can’t imagine they’d be watching that if they had bad intentions.

The man also got up from his seat while the seat belt warning sign was still lit, FBI spokesman Manuel Johnson said.

Given that pilots in the US love to keep it on forever, I can’t really blame the guy! When you’ve gotta go you’ve gotta go….

For once I’m scared to eff around at the airport! Not that I’d do anything outrageous otherwise, but I won’t be giving the TSA any lip, I won’t be thanking the TSA agents at the gate for protecting our country (this time around they might actually think I’m being serious), or anything else. And for once I actually support every passenger getting a pat down. Given the incompetent workforce protecting our airports, that’s the least they should be doing, in my opinion, instead of standing around discussing Dancing with the Stars, football, or New Moon. Of course I’ll still ask them to change their gloves if they so much as want to touch my bag. šŸ˜‰

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. If it makes you feel any better, we just got home from SIN and the beefed up security is a bit exaggerated. At SIN, we were required to check all liquids, which is perfectly reasonable given that airports have no technology to detect liquid explosives. On the NRT-SFO leg of SQ12 (first class!!), our bags were searched at the gate and we were given a pat down. The GPS flight tracker thingy was on until about one hour before landing. We were told that we had to be seated for the final hour of the flight, but this was by no means enforced, at least not in first class.

    When we went through the UA terminal 6 screening at LAX, it was EXACTLY the same as always, as was the boarding and flight itself. Not one word was uttered of any changes to security, IFE, remaining in your seat, etc.

    So, I believe a lot of the news about some of the ridiculous security measures is nothing but media hype.

  2. Just arrived at in the US from FRA on UA. Turned into ConAir about an hour before arrival. *Every* bag and personal item had to be in the overhead bins. No blankets allowed on lap, but surpringly they didn’t confiscate my pillow behind my back. And they didn’t care that I was reading a newspaper, covering my lap. IFE worked (alas 777, so sucked), but map channel was turned off. No Ch.9.

  3. I’m fully intending on bursting out laughing when I hear that “no getting up one hour prior to landing” nonsense – because it truly is a joke. What’s to stop anyone from doing anything 90 minutes before landing, or 62 minutes? Since when do terrorists follow instructions?

    It’s unbelievable. We have watch lists. They’re ignored. We don’t have bomb detection equipment in place at all airports to scan checked and carry on luggage, which would actually increase our safety when flying, because that kind of safety costs too much. Instead we’re told that turning off maps and staying in our seats for an hour prior to landing are supposed to enhance our security – when in reality we’ve done almost zero since 9/11 to truly enhance security when flying.

  4. Lucky – While I agree with you that security measures are mostly misguided and ridiculous, you are missing the point regarding the scrutiny of suspicious activity. It is the combination of warning signs that merits – and rightfully so – suspicion. You take a couple middle-eastern-looking guys, throw in the loud talk, ill-timed standing, and movie with terrorist images, and you certainly have good reason for concern. Who cares if 99 out of 100 times it leads to nothing? If you catch just one of these militant muslims before they strike, it’s all worth it.

  5. More good news, just checked in for a flight from YXU-DTW, and no more carry ons allowed for international flights to the US. And they won’t even let me get my carry on back at DTW, they had to check it all the way to the destination, so all my valuables are in the capable hands of Northwest Air links employees. Thank you TSA, and Obama.

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