Sunday, August 13, 2006

The fear of flying revisited

A friend of mine flew in from Dubai to Berlin today. Due to the terror hysteria she was not allowed to take her small suitcase as hand luggage as she usually does, so she had to check it in and with it her laptop battery other important things you need when travelling on business. Of course the luggage got lost - like it has apparently happened to 1000s of suitcases today. Sure we all want to fly safe but if they need to keep it 100 percent secure we would all have to fly naked. After 9/11 Lufthansa made me leave my tiny nail clippers behind... Sure I could clip the capatain's ears and force him to crash the plane! Puleeze... Well, now it's not clippers or forks anymore, but all your valuables... what person on a business trip would be so insane and check in their computer and mobile phone? An estimated 30 million pieces of baggage gets lost every year! And, while reading all about the airport chaos around the world today, I asked myself: what stops people who do mean harm from hiding explosives in their suitcase and then timing it to go off a few hours later? The airports don't even have the resources to scan every piece of baggage.
My friend had a bottle of water with her and actually had to take a sip in front of airport security. I'm sure a terrorist who intends to blow himself up on a plane wouldn't mind drinking whatever he has in that bottle, so what's the point? US and UK airlines of course don't allow you to take any drinks with you, but according to the Transportation Security Administration Website there is an exception: You are allowed to take "Baby formula and breast milk if a baby or small child is traveling;" Thank God for that - the idea of young mummys having to squeeze their breasts until all the breast milk is out is even too absurd for the Bush-Blair-Fear-Alliance. It wouldn't surprise me though if you would have to try the breast milk in front of security too.... after all Mum's milk could be some deadly formula hidden in a silicone boob.


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