Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Airport Debacle

So today it was raining. Mr. Personality was bouncing off the walls, having just recovered from a week's worth of nasty coughing. I will leave out the part where I thought he had bird flu, however, since this post is about something entirely different.

Inspired by a blurb I read in a children's magazine, we decided to take Mr. Personality to a local airport. He loves mechanical things, so this would be a slam dunk. How could we go wrong, we naively thought. We would be indoors, there would be planes and baggage claim machines and men loading luggage in little carts. Besides, with the rain I thought there might be a chance that all the runway lights would be on, making the experience even cooler.

Silly, silly.

You see, we happened to forget something.

That something called 9/11 and what it did to our airports.

When I was a young lass, I loved going to the airport. There was something mysterious and exciting about airports. All these people rushing around, or even more interesting, those who were taking their time. We used to meet my father right at the entrance of the tunnel as he walked off his plane. He traveled to places like Ghana, Costa Rica, and Samoa which made the journey to greet him somehow more exotic than if he was coming from Duluth. I'm sure there is nothing wrong with Duluth, it's just an example, my friends.

I bet you agree with me, though.

We parked, and ventured into the baggage claim area, where Mr. Personality was duly enthralled with the baggage carousels. Feeling vindicated about my choice to come to the airport for the afternoon, we headed up the escalator to ticketing, and thus the boarding gates.

Except we had no idea we could not even get near the boarding gates.

You see, we had no boarding passes.

All that stood between us and the boarding gates where the huge 100-foot windows stood to look out at the runway was a puny 20 foot bridge. And of course, the security guards.

Don't think I didn't think about trying it. Just for a millisecond.

We walked up, explained that we just wanted to take our kid to the McDonald's that you could plainly see from where we were standing, and watch the planes.

No go.

Let me say that I don't think extra security at airports is not a bad thing. Let me also say that I am a patriotic woman who becomes a blubbering mess when I remember 9/11.

But is stopping people from gettng near the gates really going to stop terrorists?

As long as I have been inspected, what danger am I going to pose?

There are probably hundreds of ways in which a terrorist could attack us, and I am going to posit the theory that if they plan correctly, there is not much that could stop them.

Everybody feels better, thinking that the extra security guards and long lines mean that they are safer.

Are they really?


Awesome Mom said...

Yeah the new rules have really sucked the fun out of air plane travel. I miss being able to wait at the gate for the arriving person, seeing the plane land and knowing that soon they would be there. I loved going people watching at the airport.

Trabinski said...

Oh don't get me started.

I cross the US/Canada border fairly frequently and the new security measures that have been taken over the past few years leave me wondering the same thing. Truly, is this helping?

On the other hand, I hear it was Canada who let the terrorists in in the first place. Whoops! Sorry 'bout that eh?

Mel said...

I know what you mean! Going to the airport used to be an adventure. Now, not so much.

But good try!

Liz said...

I used to love going to the airport too.

I especially remember, in high school, taking a creative writing class field trip to the airport. Our assignment was to walk around and study people, then pick someone and make up a story about them. We certainly couldn't do that now!

chichimama said...

My mom used to take us on field trips to the airpoprt as well. An added bonus for her, it was and hour drive to get there, LOL. And my sister and I would be so excited about it we didn't care.

At least he could see the baggage???

Granny said...

I don't fly often so I haven't been in an airport since 9/11. I don't think they keep us safer; it's just noise so we'll think we're safe and say isn't this administration wonderful. See how they protect us.

Shalee said...

How true. It is so sad that simple things aren't so simple.

I understand the idea of security and I am happy for it, but I just think things have gone too far.

Now you can't even welcome a friend off a plane... you have to meet them in baggage claim. How uninspiring is that!

Mega Mom said...

Oh how I long for those days sometimes!

So glad you tried it though--I love old school stuff with the kiddies :)

wordgirl said...

No. We're not safer.

WordsRock said...

I can honestly say I've never gone to the airport in search of entertainment.


Anvilcloud said...

About that *&^%$ comment. Why are we still hung up on the terrorists coming from Canada? That was speculated in the hours after 9/11. Further examination has proven that it wasn't true. Not one did. Not one. It has been admitted and published. Grrrr.