This morning I got my coffee in hand and sat down to read the news, but a scan of the headlines read like storylines from horror movies. I just couldn't do it. I found myself already getting frustrated by what our country and world is turning into just by reading the headline and one or two sentence teasers so I checked emails and did other things for a bit.
When I had a second cup of coffee in hand and went back to the news, I went to the Reuters site to scan some headlines and see if there were any I was ready to click on, and I saw we were getting ready for some new rules at the airport. Again.
This caught my attention because I'm doing a lot of traveling this Fall and I already found 2 'new' rules... wait, actually one airline made me do something else the others never have so maybe "3" new rules just over the last 3 weeks. I'll get to those in a minute... first is the news story that was the basis for this "... it's just the coffee talking this morning" post.
WASHINGTON, Oct 24 (Reuters) - New rules on all U.S.-bound flights take effect on Thursday including stricter passenger screening to comply with government security measures designed to avoid expanding an in-cabin ban on laptops, airlines said Tuesday.Airlines contacted by Reuters said the new measures, which could include short security interviews with passengers, would be in place by Thursday.They will affect 325,000 airline passengers on about 2,000 commercial flights arriving daily in the United States, on 180 airlines from 280 airports in 105 countries, and industry trade group Airlines for America has said the changes might cause disruptions.
The U.S. announced the new rules in June to end the government’s restrictions on carry-on electronic devices on planes coming from 10 airports in eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified security threats.Those restrictions were lifted in July but the Trump administration said it could reimpose measures on a case by case basis if airlines and airports did not boost security.
You can read the whole story by clicking on the link in the headline. Anyway! So that got me thinking about the other small changes I've personally seen over the last 3 weeks.
I flew twice in September and the following items were not required, but when I flew again 3 weeks later, in October they had been implemented and followed for each flight since.
The first tiny change is one I noticed while waiting in line to hand my boarding pass and ID to the first person in the TSA security check. I noted the little signs they have stationed along the line had changed. They now read any electronic device larger than a cellphone has to be taken out of your bag and put in a bin for scanning. That meant my ereader... which is a Samsung Galaxy tablet. I've never, in 5 years had to take that out before so of course when I had packed this time, it was at the bottom of my bag. Under the things I knew I DID have to take out, like my laptop.
I commented on this when we were going through. The TSA worker told me "Yep, that's new. Just came down this week..."
The second surprise was the signage right by the conveyor belt as I was struggling to get to the bottom of my bag to get the ereader out, I read I also had to take out any 'snacks' from my bag. My mind raced, trying to sort just what they meant by that? I'm careful to not bring any foods or liquids through - even if they are supposedly allowed, because I just don't want the hassle. But snacks? Do they mean the two little protein bars I had thrown in the front pocket of my backpack 'just in case'?
The sign went on to list even hard candy and trailmix has to be removed and placed in the bin.
So here I am struggling to move as quickly as humanly possible to slip my shoes off and get them into a bin, get my little purse into a bin, get my laptop out of the backpack, dig out the ereader I didn't expect to have to dig out and now I suddenly had to dig through the little pocket on the pack to take out my two little protein bars.
And then I was stopped and told I had to open my laptop case because I had the power cord "IN" the squishy protective case with the laptop.
What? I've never been asked to do that before either.
She said "you can't have a cord in with the protective case..."
So now I finally get my crap in the bins and rush to take my place in the scanner and 'assume the position...."
And the TSA worker tells me to turn my little tiny cross necklace 'backwards' so it's hanging behind my head instead of in front where a necklace usually sits.
I've never been asked do THAT before either. And I've worn this tiny little cross necklace daily for about 12 years now.
Well, I made it through all scans just fine after all that hullabaloo but man... flying sucks.
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