Tuesday, June 24, 2008

On the road again

Over the last 2 weeks I've been in more airports than I care to count. At half of them, my bag didn't pass the X-ray screening and I've been subjected to having a gloved guard go through the contents of my bag. I had a few giveaways from NXTcomm there. The freebie disk-on-key was suspicious, but apparently a melted chocolate bar does not count as a liquid.

On the one hand, I understand these people are here to protect us. On the other hand, does baby formula really pose a security threat? We all know the answer, and we all put up with it because we know that even if they have prevented one terrorist attack, it has all been worth it.

But have they?

I've done a bit of online searching, and the TSA is very good about posting all of their amazing successes here. Not one of their glorious press releases cites catching or preventing a terrorist attack, unfortunately. But did you know that they confiscated 13 million prohibited items over the course of a year? That includes my bottled water from one of the legs of my trip. YOu know, if they did consider melted chocolate bars as liquid, I bet they could at least double the number of confiscated items.

Honestly, I personally don't mind the delays. I do believe there should be some level of screening. But it needs to be rational and human. I found it fairly humiliating to have a guy with gloves asking me if there was anything sharp that could pop out of my bag and endanger him when he opens it. I found it offensive watching them search families with small children and take away their baby formula. Traveling with a baby is hard enough as it is.

I'm still waiting to hear about the apprehension of one terrorist disguised as a mommy with a baby to justify all this. But there are zero. After 5 years of no baby terrorists, perhaps it's time to rethink the policy.

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