Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Travelers pay price of Muslim menace

I've just arrived at my hotel in New York and thanks to the time difference , it is still Monday.
And let me say thanks to our muslim friends for making international travel such a pain in the arse, especially to America.
First of all, if you haven't booked your accomodation for the USA, you cannot check-in at Auckland airport.
Thus, i had to seek out internet and make an online booking before rejoining the queue, which had grown considerably longer. Fortunately, I had arrived in plenty of time.
I saw some muslims queing for the flights to Los Angelese on Monday afternoon. Some of the bushy bearded bastards in their white flowing robes were complianing about something and I thought, 'thanks to people of your faith, we have to go through so much hassle now.'
I said as much to a Canadian lady, adding when i went to the States in 95 there was none of this. She replied we lived 'in different times then.'
Soon after, it was the security checks but luckily I had no liquids with me, but it didn't stop some Indian guy giving me a frisking over.
After all this, I thought taking a few bottles of Wither Hills sauvignon blanc with me would make me feel better.
But as I was changing planes at LA, rather than flying direct to New York, i was told I could not board any plane with liquids- not even Wither Hils. As I grumbled under my breath, some passer-by mentioned at least I had't bought the wine and faced its confiscation.
And then we have the joys of LAX. Amid the usual security checks, is a stronger take off your jumpers and shoes. Remeber the Shoe Bomber, I suppose.
Fortunately having landed at JFK New York at 10ish local time in the evening there were no more checks.
So here I am in New York foir the next two nights, staying just off Broadway in Manhattan.
Not sure If i will visit ground Zero. Shopping and eating is on the cards instead. but we'll see.
And much as i might complain of all the extra security hassles, it does serve a purpose.
While London, Madrid and other places have had major bombings since September 11, the United States has been spared.
No more planes have ben flown into buildings. So these security policies must be working.
If only we could defeat the muslim menace instead!
In the meantime, travelers take not of the hassles ahead.


Johnboy said...

Pretty fair really. I think I once spotted a recipe in the Koran to make hydrogen peroxide and wine into PETN, or was it water into wine in the Bible. God knows but have a drink on me when you finally get through customs. Cheers mate.

spam said...

When we went through, we didn't have a hotel booking, so just made one up. "Raddison". Easy.

Skyman said...

Welcome Fairfacts! I hope you enjoy your stay here. I guess the security is different so that's why everyone mentions it. But really, what a minor thing spend most of you post on.

Anonymous said...

I live in the US these days, so I'm used to the screening process. It can be a pain, but I've only once had to throw away some liquids due to arriving too late to check my bag.

In select company, I sometimes air the theory that I'd rather not have the security on the following basis:

- 600 million US air passengers per annum x average of wait of 10 minutes at security = approx 11500 years of lost human life per annum.

- Estimating the average remaining lifespan of a terrorist victim at 30 years (i.e. average age of approx 45) means 380 people per annum would have to die to generate the same loss of life.

Some people suppose that 1000's would die each year without security. I doubt it. There'd have to be one 9/11 every 8 years or so. to reach 380 p.a. and I doubt that.

All of this supposes that the security works anyway. I can't see why a terrorist would try to get on a plane and either risk failure or achieve suicide when they could more easily launch a surface-to-air missile smuggled in from Mexico from the ground.

N.B. I know I didn't also factor in costs other than life e.g. security running costs versus loss of capital in aircraft and ground damage. This is just a simple thought exercise.

Rick said...

No objection to your prejudice against the bushy-bearded bastards. But the stupid terror laws are not their fault.

At best they're the fault of the Islamists.

I'm afraid, though, it's really the doing....or, over-doing....of the Americans themselves.

KG said...

I wonder if we'd regard it as "over doing" if three thousand Kiwis had been murdered in Wellington?

spam said...

@anonymous - I have thought the same as you. But in my experience, its not a 10-minute wait, its often 30 minutes. ANd passport queues are very long too - up to 2 or 3 hours at particularly bad times.


Thanks everyone
I think i wil make up an address next time.
But surely the Yanks might have a way of checking out before you land.
Thanks You Skyman. I have enjoyed my first day.
Anonymous, very clever thinking. I like it.
And Rick, how many of the bushy bearded bastards are Islamists.
They didn't look very liberal to me.
Perhaps they had been in New Zealand setting up a Madrassa.

Reasonable Ray said...

What's particularly galling are the two idiots in front of you who've missed the half dozen signs warning of the consequences of search and seizure on liquids, but have them anyway, then wonder why they're being hassled. On a trip last year, just after the liquids ban, I took to wearing slip-on shoes to save time. I probably saved a whole 5 minutes across my 11 check-ins. I recall Auckland being the more thorough though, out of LAX, LAV & Miami, and here.