Monday, October 27, 2003

Airport Security

I'm back! I'm back! I'm back! Thanks to fate and a nice man named Peter -- who broke all sorts of rules and put me on standby on a direct flight to LAX that (although it left 4 hours later than scheduled) got me here well before the flight from Charlotte would have. Yay Peter!

It actually all worked because of the thing that bothered the heck out of me last night -- the fact that my bag ultimately came to LA without me. (The flight that was announced with a delay of 10 hours actually left only 3 hours late -- although by that time I was snuggled in bed at the airport Marriott. My bag was on it.)

"But, NZ," you say, "What about that federally mandated baggage-matching thing?" Yeah, I wondered about that too. Every time I mentioned it to an airport employee, I got the same response -- an eye roll, and a comment like, "Yeah, in theory." Someone finally told me that there was an exception for when bags were already checked in on the flight and the passenger retickets -- then they just get the bag to the destination as soon as possible.

Mm-hmm.

So, what bag matching is REALLY about is making sure the alleged owner of the bag is identified around the time the bag itself is checked in (if you use curbside check-in, you don't even have to stand around while the bag is scanned). The whole "every bag on the plane is matched to a passenger on the plane" thing doesn't really hold -- as long as there's a delay in the flight and people can reticket to alternate flights.

When I got to LAX, I musta seen 100 bags (neatly sorted by flight) that had arrived passengerless and were waiting to be reunited with their owners.

Man, I feel so much safer now.

And don't even get me started on the Staples store INSIDE airport security. No, they weren't selling box cutters -- but I was surprised at the pointy things one COULD buy there and then take on a plane without so much as a scan through a metal detector. What were they thinking?

1 comment:

andreakingme said...

I could drive myself nuts with worry about what security is or isn't doing (one of the few times an imagination does NOT come in handy). And I don't any help in the going-nuts department.

Glad you're back safely, T. Er, NZ.