Saturday, December 26, 2009

International Security

I had another blog in mind for today, a God-moment even, but it needs to be more developed first. Instead, I logged online and found an interesting article I'd like to talk about.|htmlws-main-n|dl1|link3|
Sorry, I don't know how to do the cool "click this link" thing... I can do it for my school/work blog on wordpress but not here).

That's right, they're changing airport security measures at least temporarily. When I first read the article, I was worried. They said no carry-ons in your lap when you're one-hour out from your destination. Um... my flight home is only two hours; you mean I'm going to sit there staring at the back of the seat in front of me for half of that time? I think not. No electronic devices I can handle. While I can't handle words in the car, the motion from planes doesn't bother me, I'd much rather be reading or writing than staring at the stranger sitting next to me.

I then learned it's only international flights. While I've never flown through any of the cities mentioned in the article, I do have international flying stories that can tell, and I realize international airports have different rules and regulations.

In Central American countries, security measures are... well... a bit different. My friend had his wallet chain confiscated. This had not been a problem for him to and from Europe nor to Central America. We were amused the US didn't care about it but this country did.

Also, the 3-1-1 rule does not apply (3 ounce liquid, 1 quart size bag, 1 traveler). Even though it was under 3 ounces and in a Ziploc bag, they took my hand sanitizer. I didn't understand, and the security guard felt the need to attempt to explain it to me in very broken English (I am an American but that doesn't mean I'm ignorant; I do speak Spanish). What I finally understood is that they had to take it because it has alcohol in it. I worked really hard to not laugh as I assured him I would NOT be drinking my hand sanitizer. He took it anyway and I was glad this was on the return trip. He didn't care about my one-liter bottle of water, though.

If you've been in an airport in the US you've heard the woman say, "Items purchased beyond the security check point may be carried on to the aircraft." This seems really weird, right? Well, in Central America, items purchases beyond the security check-point may NOT be carried on-board the aircraft. They hand-check bags as you're boarding the plane and confiscate water bottles at this point in time. This was bad news for our team member with a kidney stone. Flying with a kidney stone isn't a good idea to begin with but to board a plane in a lesser-developed country with a kidney stone and no bottle of water is... well... let's just say EMS met the plane when we landed in the US.

I'm not saying one way is right while the other is wrong. I do prefer the US standards because I'm not forced to surrender my beloved hand sanitizer and then fly five hours without a bottle of water but that doesn't mean it's a better system.

Just something to ponder.
<>< Katie


Anonymous said...

That was very long. And slightly confusing. However, I am trying to watch the Office at the same time. So, that is why it is probably confusing. But thank you for the heads-up. :)

gary greenberg d.m.d. said...

I just flew out of FT Lauderdale on Fri. the 18th and you could have refilled your purell on the other side of security as there were two dispensers in each bathroom. Just fill up some plastic bags with Napalm. Each dispenser has 1 liter in it. Just fill them up and bring them aboard. This is insanity!!! How does the Dept. of Homeland security miss these obvious dangers to the public!!!!!!!!!