Flying? Remove Shoes, No Liquids, Bend Over Please

From the “You can’t even make this shit up” department:

Apparently some nutjob in Saudi Arabi tried to assassinate a Saudi prince by detonating explosives he’d jammed up his own ass. Big deal right? Well someone at Homeland Security has been paying attention, and thinks it could be a threat to airline security.

Seriously, the have a machine called The B.O.S.S. they can use to scan the body cavities of prison inmates. Millions of people are subjected to shoe scans daily thanks to a single moron who tried to use a crude device in his shoe years ago. Millions more people are no longer allowed to carry on liquids thanks to some geniuses that tried to use that ploy awhile back as well. Is it really too farfetched to think that the BOSS scan may be the next line we need to wait in before boarding?

Ridiculous and far-fetched I know, but then, it i the U.S. Government we’re talking about… Come fly the friendly skies!

The liquid ban was based on a rumor, not an attempt, IIRC.


It’s a good thing Colombians aren’t jihaddists. My countrymen have been smuggling all sorts of things onto airliners for the past three decades. Exhibit A.

I’m sure someone has written some Jingoist piece of drivel about someone eating explosives that detonate when digested. As for the liquid thing, wasn’t that based on Die Hard 3?

Nope, thwarted attempt.

Airplane travel can’t die soon enough. Unfortunately, it can’t die before there’s something to replace it. Teleportation? Space ladders? Whatever the hell it is, make it happen so I never have to set foot in a fucking airport ever again.

We’ve got a trip planned in Dec and my #1 concern about it is dealing with the airlines.

There is nothing wrong with airplane travel. There’s everything wrong with the security theater which leads to all the absurdities in airports.

There is nothing wrong with airplane travel.


Amusingly, Israel has much better security and much less security theatre.

It works kinda like this…

In Amtrak, they check your ID, but they don’t look in your bags. In Israel, they look in your bags, but they don’t check your ID.

Mea culpa, thanks.


If you could just stroll up to your airplane five minutes before the flight was scheduled to start boarding, buy a ticket and hand someone your bag, then hop on the plane and settle in right before takeoff would you still hate airplane travel? That would remove like 90% of the irritants for me.

Do what now? Isn’t it somewhere around 4 hours to get through security at an Israeli airport?


That would remove like 90% of the irritants for me.

The seats would still be cramped, the food would still suck, and the flight would still be delayed by 5 minutes more then necessary for you to miss your connection. I hate flying. It’s something I endure to get to fun locations.

Fair enough, I think we just prioritize the irritants differently. I hate losing the extra time required for airport rigamarole and security theater.

I hate losing the extra time required for airport rigamarole and security theater.

Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE to see the security circus go away. It would improve my experience by an order of magnitude but it certainly wouldn’t raise it to the level of “acceptable” or anything approaching it.

Keep in mind the indirect effects. The security theater is funded in part by the airport, which passes the costs onto the airlines via gate fees, ramp fees, landing fees, etc. If the airport sillines gets back under control, it might give the airlines a little more financial breathing room to fix the things about airline travel that they know full-well their customers hate.


Shhhh. Grandpa’s trying to sleep, dreaming of iron horses that cross the plains.

Seriously though, I’d love to have some high-speed rail, if they do it right. Give me a real chair and a place to have a drink and watch the world go by, and I’m a happy man. I’m not exactly a monster but my shoulders are two inches wider on each side than Southwest’s seats. I feel like a serial killer when I fly, stalking the rows looking for kids small enough that I can be comfortable but not so small they’ll want to yammer in my ear. That, or a little latino grandmother, they fit well.


I’m 6’7" and of a medium build. I like to travel, but O Gods, the pain that is flying from Salt Lake City to Madrid…

I’m 6’5" and it’s painful enough for me. It’s gotten to the point now where I need to tap the shoulder of the person who sits in front of me before we take off and ask them to please not put their seat back because I need the 1/4" of space I have for my knees to fit. I can’t even imagine 6’7"…

For those decrying “security theatre”, or far more properly, “security theater”, what aspects of current U.S. airport/airline security would you dispense with?