16 November 2010

I Opt Out.

I love to fly but I hate airline flying.   When death row inmates have more rights than an airline passenger, something is very, very, wrong.  And that was pre-"enhanced passenger screening".  It has only gotten worse.

My objection stems from the fact that airline passenger screening is a joke.  It's a show to make other passengers feel good.  TSA is looking to prevent the last attack.  Current radiated/gropage protocol is a result of last year's (yes, a year delayed!) underwear bomber attack.  But it doesn't stop the creative and determined terrorist.  Just ask any prison guardcorrections officer about how thoroughly do they search (patdown) inmates and visitors, and yet how much contraband makes it way into jails and prisons.   I don't want to get too graphic and fortunately I don't have to since Christopher Walken explains it so eloquently.   Do you really want to go through airline security after terrorists set off a bomb secreted inside their body?
Considering all the ground time associated with airline travel (drive to off airport parking, ride the bus to the terminal, wait in line to get irradiated or groped (your choice) , walk the 1/3rd mile to your gate and check in early enough to ensure your seat.  Not to mention the taxi time at some airports from the gate to takeoff can be nearly an hour ( I once asked a stewardressflight attendant for a class of water 45 minutes after leaving the gate and with the runway threshold nowhere in sight due to choking on a dry throat).  The breakeven between driving and flying is around 6 hours.  Last night a caller to Cam & Company noted he quit flying several years ago.  Where he used to fly he now drives.  His additional time in only about 2 hours.

Pre-9/11 I could put up with about 3 airline trips a year.  Post 9/11 that dropped to one a year.  Now in the year of "You agreed you be groped when you bought your ticket".  I'm done.  Alpha Mike Foxtrot.  It's one thing to grope me, I'm adult and never been raped.  I can "close my eyes and think of England", but totally another to expose my family to the gropage.  Go grope someone else. 

Now here is where I have an advantage.  As previously mentioned, I love to fly.  Many years ago I realized a lifelong dream and earned a pilot certificate.  Today instead of cruising the freeways at 70MPH, I'm cruising the airways at 220 MPH with me in the front-left (captains) seat. That moves the time-wise break even point considerably further out.  As a bonus, SandCastle Airlines has NEVER lost my luggage!  As a general rule "If I can fly direct (no fuel stops) I beat the airline's direct flight.  Similarly, one stop for me beats one stop for them.  (5 hours at 220 mph works out to at least 1100 miles).  (There is a delta cost but I'll pay that and consider it the cost to log the time and avoid the grope). 

The best part is I completely avoid the security theater.  Instead, I fly in the best security available.  I personally know each and every single person in the aircraft.

I Opt Out.  If TSA is involved with me getting from here to "there", I really don't need to be "there".  Or maybe if I do, I'll have a fourth amendment case!

* open offer... if this "opt out" option tickles your fancy I am happy to explain how to get from here to there and what it costs and answer questions though the training process.  I do this pro-bono.  Not see a nickel of your $$$ will end up in my pocket.  Rather I'm interested in seeing more certificated pilots out in the air.  I can only hope my guidance will add to this goal.

1 comment:

Wilson said...

Well put, the only way this is going to stop is if the major airlines take a crippling financial blow over this insane policy. Then and only then will the TSA finally be muzzled.