Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake
jaylake

[travel] Follies redux

Flying to North Carolina for Day Jobbery today. As is almost always the case, I am on the earliest possible departure. I woke up with a start a little after 3 am this morning, just slightly before my 3:15 am alarm. [info]the_child was just packing up to go to bed, having spent her evening watching anime on Netflix Streaming. It was weird, felt like a shift change.

Then when I opened my laptop up, I found she'd changed my desktop image.

desktop_by_child

Love that kid.

At the airport, the usual low-grade madness ensued. Stuck in the check-in line behind someone with a complicated problem who didn't seem to understand their own issues. (International traveler with a non-US passport who was quite confused about visa requirements. How did they get into the country in the first place?) Stuck in the security line behind someone who didn't seem to understand that the instructions to remove everything from your pockets meant that they, personally, had to remove all their personal things from their personal pockets. This traveler was sent back once for a handful of change, a second time for a set of keys, and a third time for a wallet.

In other words, business as usual for America's air transit system.

Which leads me to wonder what people are thinking. I recognize that most people are not regular air travelers. I understand that the system is confusing enough for expert, frequent travelers like me, and is likely baffling to newcomers or those who fly rarely. But there's a lot of effort spent explaining things in signage, in announcements, in instructions given by airport staff. Why wouldn't you follow a clear, simple instruction to empty your pockets? Why is it okay to delay the twenty or thirty people standing behind you while you reluctantly part with $0.38, a set of housekeys and a wallet. One at a time.

I know that the question of whether we should be taking off our shoes, et cetera, is a ridiculous one in its own right. I agree that we practice security theatre, not good security, and that this is not likely to change for purely political reasons. But given that this is the system we have, why do some people feel like they don't have to follow it?

Rant, rant, rant. I know. I'm not actually grumpy about this. More like mildly boggled.

Anyway, to the air with me now.

Tags: child, personal, travel
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