Straight from the TSA horse’s mouth, Volokh posts the TSA Security Directive SD-1544–09-06.
- Make all passengers endure a full pat-down and luggage contents inspection at boarding gate
- Can’t leave your seat for 1 hour prior to departure time, 1 hour prior to landing
- No access to any personal belongings while sitting there waiting prior to departure
- No phone, internet, TV, or GPS any time you’re in the plane
- No access or use of personal belongings, not even a blanket, 1 hour prior to landing.
Any of you who can explain to me how this prevents a terrorist already on the terror list who’s allowed to board a plane from sewing powerful explosives on their underwear, please do so in the comments section.
I’m mildly phobic about flying, and usually assuage my anxiety of talkeoff and landing by reading and listening to soothing music. After this I’m going to require full sedation by the time I get to the airport. That way they can just wheel me in, unconscious, prior to takeoff, and wheel me out, equally unconscious, at landing, in a full circle of indignity.
The new restrictions, coupled with all the cost-cutting measures airlines inflict on the suffering customer, make one yearn for the sybaritic comforts of Freddie Laker’s airline, which I flew in my first trip to England, when all we worried about were attacks from the IRA (the Irish terrorists, not the retirement accounts).
Christopher Hitchens casts a jaundiced eye on the new restrictions:
In my boyhood, there were signs on English buses that declared, in bold letters, “No Spitting.” At a tender age, I was able to work out that most people don’t need to be told this, while those who do feel a desire to expectorate on public transport will require more discouragement than a mere sign. But I’d be wasting my time pointing this out to our majestic and sleepless protectors, who now boldly propose to prevent airline passengers from getting out of their seats for the last hour of any flight. Abdulmutallab made his bid in the last hour of his flight, after all. Yes, that ought to do it. It’s also incredibly, nay, almost diabolically clever of our guardians to let it be known what the precise time limit will be. Oh, and by the way, any passenger courageous or resourceful enough to stand up and fight back will also have broken the brave new law.
But! Just when you thought they couldn’t humiliate you more, Gerard had foreseen years ago “Another Reason to Never Fly Anywhere Ever Again”: the bald, fat and naked X-ray.
I’d love to travel to Buenos Aires for a tango holiday. Anyone know of any cruises who get there from New York?