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Worldwide Ace » The Requisite Airline Post – Part 1: Getting Ready

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The Requisite Airline Post – Part 1: Getting Ready

30 May, 2008 (09:44) | Travelogue

There’s an old saying that life is a journey and not a destination. I generally agree with this, but when it comes to airline travel, all that matters is the destination.

I waltzed in to Denver International Airport shortly before 7 AM, determined to get my plane ticket all set. Because the Round the World ticket uses Turkish Air to fly from Delhi to Istanbul and Turkish Air doesn’t like e-tickets, Star Alliance had to send paper tickets for every flight to me. As of 7 PM yesterday, those tickets still hadn’t arrived.

The gentleman at the United counter was very helpful, and after only 30 minutes of waiting for 12 or so tickets to verify and print, we were done. And to think, I only had their extra bag fee policy flashed in front of me 50 some odd times.

I was warned when I signed up for this ticket that certain airlines had prohibitive baggage requirements. Singapore Air, for instance, requires carry-on luggage to be less than 15 lbs. Absurd. My laptop alone is 12 lbs without the bag.

United recently switched their baggage policy. Where you used to be able to check two bags, the second now costs $25 (a service fee, according to the adverts). In addition, requesting an emergency exit is an additional fee and a separate class (economy plus instead of a economy). It’s simply a travesty.

With my bag checked and my costly upgrades deferred ($130 to fly first class from here to San Francisco), I proceeded to deal with security.

Airline security has always been somewhat absurd. I still giggle seeing 50 some-odd people slipping off their shoes and tossing them on the belt like a bunch of uninspired synchronized swimmers. Of course, the bother of taking off my shoes and still having no place to sit down and put them back on completely detracts from the amusement by the time I get up front.

As I emptied my massive cargo shorts into the bin, yanked my laptop from its case, and slipped off my sole pair of shoes, I began to wonder why this was at all necessary. If I wanted to attack an airport, I could enclose a biological weapon in a plastic case and get it through security no problem. Even with 4 security guards at each station, they’d be hard pressed to catch me. Of course, I wouldn’t even dream of following through with the plan, but I have to wonder if security measures are just another way to boost prices on consumers.

And then it happened. I beeped.

As the portly security guard ran down the list of usual suspects, I yanked my belt off. It was the only thing besides my glasses I still had on that was metal. My belt has never previously set off any alarms at security, and I’ve flown quite a bit in the time since I got this belt 6 years ago.

My belt gone, my shorts immediately dropped to the floor. At this point, I simply didn’t care anymore. I waddled through the security gate, the guard yelling at me to pull my shorts up, and several other passengers chuckling at the football themed boxers displayed prominently on my rotund ass.

By the time my belt had actually made it through security, the laughter had subsided. While I stood there fiddling with my belt and shoes, the other passengers began to push past, angry at the delay. The security guard just glared at me.

I didn’t bother to stand around tying my shoes, instead choosing to slip them on and tie them on the escalator. Before I even got on the train, I realized my belt was on wrong and began adjusting it, holding my pants up all the while.

Now, with my belt back on, my stuff situated, the only thing left to do is get on the plane and catch up on sleep. I’m loathe to say it was the excitement, but whatever has been keeping me awake and lucid has finally left, perhaps for a long journey of its own.

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