Sunday, August 13, 2006

No Fly Zone

There are a couple of articles that came out after the recent plot to blow up airplanes flying from the U.K. to U.S. was foiled that have me thinking that I just won't fly anymore. Not because I'm afraid of terrorists, but because airline travel may become pohibitively inconvenient and even downright unhealthy.

First, there's Andrew Cohen's blog post about banning carry-ons all together. He makes two horrendously stupid points in his argument. One, "To those passengers who worry about stolen items from those checked bags, I would say: don't travel with your jewelry, or at least don't pack it in a bag." Um, hello? Computers? Cameras? Should I just FedEx my laptop every time I go on a business trip? What about those day trips where you fly up in the morning and back in the evening? They also recommend that you not check cameras or undeveloped film because the x-ray machines could ruin your pictures. Stupid point number two, "To those passengers who bemoan the frequency of lost luggage, I would say: the airlines and airports will try harder." That makes me feel so much better. Why aren't they already trying harder? "My laptop with vitally important information was in that suitcase!" "Sorry, sir, we'll try harder next time not to lose your stuff." Trust is earned, and airlines have simply not earned that trust.

The next is not so much a single article, but the idea that all fluids may be permanently banned from airplanes. This would make airline travel unhealthy for me. When I was younger, I would get very sick every time I flew (sinus infection and/or ear infection and/or bronchitus on every family vacation - fun, fun, fun). I found that taking decongestants and staying hydrated kept me from getting sick. But when I say "staying hydrated", I mean at least a liter of water every 2-4 hours. Those little eight-ounce plastic cups they give you on the plane won't cut it by a long shot. If I can't take fluids on a plane, I'll go back to being utterly miserable when I fly. No thanks.

I understand the desire to prevent terrorist acts, but at some point, the law of diminishing returns kicks in. Although, I suppose if you make flying so incredibly inconvenient that flying becomes a rare occurance, terrorists won't bother hijacking or blowing up airplanes anymore. And then they'll give up and never bother us again.


Anonymous Diana said...

If we ever fly together, you have to take the aisle seat. All that fluid has got to go somewhere, and I won't want to be between you and the bathr

8/30/2006 4:12 PM  

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