Pat and Bee's Life

At the speed of crazy!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Heathrow Thing

I spent about 2 hours yesterday writing up stuff for this blog, and then I forgot that I hadn't update Windows with the security stuff that just came out, and I rebooted, and lost it all. *sighs* So here goes again!

This week's sensational terrorist plot story has been a huge shock to many in the travel industry. I believe it will forever change the way we travel, once more. Now into the "rights thing".

I've talked to quite a few people who believe it is their right to walk onto an airplane and not be searched. I think these are the same people who believe it's their right to drive 90 on a freeway and not be stopped, because they're "keeping up with traffic". Flying is a luxury, not a right. Like writing checks. Follow the rules, and everything is fine. Don't like it, that is a right. Want to say you don't like it, without being shot? That is also a right. Don't want to have what you believe are your "civil rights" violated? You have choices!

Walk, drive, get on a bus (you'll be searched in most major city bus depots)! Take a taxi, video conference, cruise (they'll search you there too!), or subway (they search here too!).

Let's all remember what a "right" is. In this country (U.S.) you can not like something, speak out about it, and YOU WON'T BE SHOT FOR EXPRESSING YOUR OPINION. Even if it's stupid. In other countries, bye-bye. Don't like it? Move to another country, and watch your mouth near any Federalies touting machine guns. I'm sure they'd love to have you. I'm more sure you and you're annoying self won't be missed. =)

I believe this whole issue will change carry-on luggage. I only hope I can take books onto planes, and that someday, I won't be afraid to check my laptop....somehow I don't see that happening. And I don't really have any more faith in shipping it to my destination before-hand. Guess that means it won't be going places. Anyone I visit HAD BETTER HAVE HIGH SPEED!!! :p

More on this story....I hope you know the details. The men weren't arrested while trying to board a plane. Do you realize that? The British interceppted a message from Pakistan that basically said 'Go ahead with your plans', and they moved in on these guys, that were already being watched. wow!!

My thanks to our allies who are on the ball, for their own sake, and our own. In case you need more info. They had 2 sets of tickets. One for what is believed to be a "dry run" and another for what is believed to be "the planned attack".

So why all the fuss, if they got the guys? What if those aren't the guys that the message was to?! What if somehow, the real team got missed, or it was a subterfuge, and they knew they were being watched? It's all so confusing...

Since the incident Heathrow Airport has been overwhelmed. The amount of security has taxed all available resources, and then amount of personnel needed to deal with luggage that's been checked is severely lacking, causing huge delays, cancellations of flights, and general chaos.

Here are the only things being allowed as carry-on luggage on Heathrow flights. It's a rather bleak list.

  • pocket size wallets and pocket size purses plus contents (for example money, credit cards, identity cards etc (not handbags));

  • travel documents essential for the journey (for example passports and travel tickets);

  • prescription medicines and medical items sufficient and essential for the flight (e.g. diabetic kit), except in liquid form unless verified as authentic.

  • spectacles and sunglasses, without cases.

  • contact lens holders, without bottles of solution.

  • for those travelling with an infant: baby food, milk (the contents of each bottle must be tasted by the accompanying passenger) and

  • sanitary items sufficient and essential for the flight (nappies, wipes, creams and nappy disposal bags).female sanitary items sufficient and essential for the flight, if unboxed (eg tampons, pads, towels and wipes).

  • tissues (unboxed) and/or handkerchiefs

  • keys (but no electrical key fobs)

  • All passengers must be hand searched, and their footwear and all the items they are carrying must be x-ray screened. Any liquids discovered must be removed from the passenger.
I think I'd be slightly mortified to take unboxed/wrapped tampons in a clear baggie for the world to see. But what choice does one have?

Anyway, that's enough for now. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone!



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