Summer travelers are going out of their way to avoid airport scans and pat-downs

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Christopher Elliott column ....

    St. Louis Post Dispatch: Summer travelers are going out of their way to avoid airport scans and pat-downs

  2. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    Is it possible that high prices, no leg room, no meals or stale cookies as snacks, baggage fees, and kiosks rather than a helpful gate agent just might also be a factor?
    AngryMiller likes this.
  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    They certainly don't help, but that's not the whole picture.

    I had plenty of perqs (wife & I were CO Plat/*A Gold & DL Silver & SkyClub memberships & I had WN CP) so things were much nicer/faster for us than the average travelers, we were also flying free on WN for two years. We used to fly 125K miles annually for each of us. We still quit flying because of TSA.

    Most people can put up w/ being stuffed in a chicken coop for three hours to get somewhere, repeat to get home. Adding to that the indignity of being assaulted and insulted repeatedly by government minions just grinds you down & ultimately changes the equation. There are more pleasant was to get through life & have fun than dealing with TSA.
    barbell and Cartoon Peril like this.
  4. Cartoon Peril

    Cartoon Peril Original Member

    You forgot arriving two hours early to be assaulted and insulted by your government.
    Elizabeth Conley and barbell like this.
  5. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    What the (expletive deleted) was with the last line in the article? "Shouldn't we be welcoming the screening instead of running from it?"

    Um, NO. No we shouldn't be welcoming violations of our 1st and 4th amendment rights and our right to air travel.

    I don't get it, whose side is Elliott really on?
    Elizabeth Conley likes this.
  6. THawk996

    THawk996 Original Member

    He is saying that the screening process SHOULD be one that we welcome (i.e. provides security but doesn't violate our constitutional rights) versus the existing screening process that we are running away from.
    barbell likes this.
  7. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Correct, that's how I understood it.
  8. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    Okay, that makes sense now. I think I'd have phrased it a bit differently: "Shouldn't we have airport screening that the people would welcome instead of the kind they condemn, decry and dread?"

    But yeah, I get it. Thanks, THawk and Mike.
  9. AngryMiller

    AngryMiller Original Member

    I started traveling in 2000 as part of my job. High prices? Customers pay for them. No leg room? An minor annoyance. Stale cookies? Hmm, can't recall any. Baggage fees? Got free baggage on my airline of choice. Kiosks? Deal with a very friendly travel agent.

    TSA? They've come close to me turning in my resignation and quitting my job. As a very frequent traveler, TSA, not the airlines has been the biggest thorn in the my side when it comes to airtravel. I've had items confiscated (not surrendered) that were perfectly safe, but because a TSO didn't know what they were deemed them to be a hazard to air travel. Funny thing is that the replacement went back into the same bag and travels through the same airport all the time without being confiscated. Been insulted and lied to by TSA managers so as far as frequent travelers go I would say that TSA tops the list for airtravel being off.
    barbell likes this.
  10. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Let me put this in a different perspective: Since 9/11/01, we've had the opportunity to deal with airport screeners in Amsterdam, Oslo, Göteborg, Stockholm, Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Warsaw, London, Paris, Rome, Athens, Istanbul, Llubljana, Prague, Zurich, Geneva, Vienna, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart. TSA scrapes the bottom of the barrel worldwide in our experience.
    barbell and AngryMiller like this.
  11. N965VJ

    N965VJ Original Member

    All of which existed prior to the rollout of the TSA's scope-and-grope last fall...
    barbell and AngryMiller like this.
  12. VH-RMD

    VH-RMD Original Member

    as I have written on several occasions - the US has lost three trips of mine to it in the past twelve months. I am not alone in avoiding the place, ALL due to the TSA.

    Glad your economy can manage to do without us...
    barbell and AngryMiller like this.
  13. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    These things existed long before scope-n-grope, except baggage fees. At least since 2002, which is when I started my airline career, and I heard these complaints. I think TSA is the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back. I know it was for me.

    I fly for free. Since I'm standby I often also get seats that are held for check-in like coveted bulk-head, exit row, and E+. I can also pick and choose my flights/routes so my upgrade percentage is as high as a top-level elite.

    It's not uncommon for people like us to use the airline as a taxi. For instance, I took my remaining prerequisites for grad school in California because it was both cheaper and faster. All it took was a free 45-minute flight from/to PHX on Friday and Sunday. Factoring in both the hotel and car it was cheaper. It wasn't unusual for us to take the first flight to LGB and have breakfast at a fantastic place called the Omelette Inn, or lunch at LAX, and for special occasions we would take the redeye for breakfast in ATL.

    We drive now unless we are going cross country.
    N965VJ likes this.
  14. Bart

    Bart Original Member

    I'll agree that cumbersome airport screening procedures has added to the equation. I won't agree that airport screening alone is the reason. It may be for you, and that's fair. But for the general public, I think it's the culmination of all these factors.
  15. N965VJ

    N965VJ Original Member

    You missed out on people hollering at you "It wasn't like this at Piedmont; USAir ruined a great airline!" :eek::p
    barbell likes this.
  16. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    Well, except that it was more like, "USAir always knew how to treat its most valued customers. American West is just a small regional airline that wants to nickel and dime everyone to death!" :D

    And Bart, I believe I covered that when I said:

    Americans are incredibly patient and understanding people. We can only take so much.
    N965VJ likes this.

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