To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Monday, August 21, 2006

British Airport Puts Passengers in Concentration Camps (More or Less)

Yesterday I flew to Amsterdam from Heathrow's Terminal Four in London (Terminal 4 is the terminal significantly away from the rest of the airport). The terminal was clearly overwhelmed with too many people; and the fact that many people (myself included) showed up three to four hours early didn't help. The security was intense. Every second person was hand searched. Sadly, I didn't get a free grope. Anyway, the airport solved the problem of too many people by not allowing anyone to go through security until an hour before their flight. People were made to wait outside in tents for hours instead. At any one time there were probably more than a hundred people stuffed into two tents just outside the airport. We just sat there waiting for our flight to be called. This may have helped improve the problem of too many people trying to get into security at one time; but putting customers in cold, wet tents for several hours is complete rubbish. My flight was called 45 minutes before my ticket said the gate would close. It took me about 35 minutes to get through security, so they cut it pretty damn close. This experience is why Michael O'Leary, the chief executive of Europe's biggest low-cost airline (Ryanair), is my new hero. He told the Financial Times:

Terrorists "must be rolling around the caves in Pakistan laughing at us," he said, as he threatened to sue the government for [millions] in compensation unless normal service resumes within seven days. "We are not in danger of dying at the hands of toiletries," he added.
This is after he described airport safety measures as "farcical" and "Keystone Cops-like." Pilots can't even take toothpaste and contact lens solution onboard in some countries. Pilots, you know the people that we trust enough to fly the fuckin' plane.

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