Monday, January 21, 2013

C'mon mate, you gotta trust somebody

My first trip to Melbourne. My first domestic flight.  What a difference in security.  Let’s compare my flight experiences in the United States v. Australia, shall we? 

First of all, Australian security has one agency that protects all airports, the Australian Federal Police.  In the US, the TSA is controlled by the state or local level which is why there is such a difference in training and implementation at each airport. 

Arrive at airport, stand in line
Arrive at airport, immediately find an open kiosk
(It’s kind of like the grocery store serve-yourself checkouts. One person is there to help in case you need it otherwise, you are on your own)
Get boarding pass, ID check, check in bags
Print boarding pass, drop off bags in queue
Get in line for security (wait ??)
Get in line for security for about 5 min. or less
Show ID and boarding pass to security
No boarding pass needed to get to gate
Wait in line...

Take off belt, shoes, anything metal

Take out laptop, Ipad and put in separate containers
Take out laptop and any aerosols
Take any change out of pockets

3-1-1 rule, no liquids over 3oz in a ziploc bag

Absolutely no aerosols

Go through x-ray machine, puffer machine, 360 degree x-ray, “randomly” get selected for physical pat down
Go through x-ray machine
Pick up stuff and get dressed again
Collect bags, put laptop and aerosols back in bag
Arrive at gate
Arrive at gate with free newspaper and wifi
(Qantas wing of airport)

No idea but not less than 15-20 minutes
Less than 5 minutes depending on how fast you are

*At no time was I asked to provide my ID

It is very clear how reactionary America has become in response to potential terrorist threats.  Are we really safer?  Someone tries to use a shoe bomb one time, we now must take off shoes for the rest of time.  Someone tries something with liquid one time, we can no longer travel with liquids over a certain amount.  Wouldn’t a terrorist try something new? I’ve heard stories of international businessman who apologize when their clients and friends have to fly airlines in America. Interesting and now understandable.  

As an Yraguen, I was randomly selected to be patted down about one out of every three times going through security.  Seriously, it became a joke in my family.  As a Wilbur, I have yet to be pulled aside.  Am I that much less of a threat now, TSA?  Just because my name is easier to pronounce? 

It all comes down to something the nice man from Perth said on New Years Eve.  A man had a hot dog and was trying to get it to his wife on the other side of a mass of people.  One guy said, “here we will pass it along.”  The man turned away and talked in his native language to his wife to come help him get through the crowd.  The man from Perth said in his Aussie accent, “c’mon mate, if you can’t trust somebody what have you got left? Give me the hot dog and I’ll pass it along.” The man did and everything turned out fine.  

C’mon humanity, we will surely be let down again from time to time but if you can’t trust somebody, what have we got left?  

Random pics o' the day:
I love that my area of town has mounted police

Australians are realistic.  Beyond is just a table.

Your food may be spicy when tissues are provided at your table.

Me and the Rubber Duckie at Darling Harbour

Lost in translation?  Or are their browns that harsh? 

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