Open Phones: Your Weekend Travel Experience

Monday, December 28, 2009

Report on your weekend travel story! The long Christmas weekend is a busy enough travel time as is. It was further complicated by increased security after the failed bombing attempt on Friday. What was your experience like, whether by air, train, or car? Did you see increased security or different behavior? Comment below!

Comments [15]

Sam Murphy from New Zealand

Wow, great. Those of us with disabilities are going to be hit harder again. Will your grandma who uses incontinence pads be a terror suspect? Will paraplegics who need to lift regularly and use gel or air cushions to prevent pressure sores be unable to take medical equipment. Will those of us who wear flight stockings or inject ourselves for DVT risk or with diabetes be able to fly? Those with ostomies and need blunt tipped scissors on the plane or may need to change a leaky appliance in that last hour or someone who gets food poisoning on the plane. Perhaps the US doesn't need tourism dollars. This year I was going to spend a month and around 10 to 12k in the USA. Looks like I'll be spending that at home. I do admit there is a risk and respect the right for a country to protect its citizens and borders but perhaps a lot of us eventually get sick of the aggro and just stay home which is sad, I love travelling in the USA as it is so accessible other than getting there. What's the bet "first class" will be able to flout these rules anyway?

Dec. 29 2009 07:52 PM
Laura from South Orange, NJ

Flew back Sunday from Jacksonville, FL to Newark, NJ - though my parents were totally paranoid that security would take FOREVER there was no change in procedure. Agree with comment re El Al. Also, no matter what you do you cannot stop someone who is willing to kill himself and take others with them. Also, should we not be screening before we get inside the airport?

Dec. 29 2009 03:48 PM

Flew yesterday from CUU (Northern Mexico) to IAH to EWR. Houston to Newark was business as usual. But from Chihuahua, Mexico to Houston there were several additional security measures. Screening to go from the airport's general area to the boarding gates was as easy as usual: you go through metal detectors and x-rays luggage screens, but don't even have to remove your shoes. However, this time, there was an additional screening post right at the boarding gate before getting on the plane. there were 2 security guards checking every single passenger. One guard checked the luggage while the other register each person (this time having them remove their shoes). There was also the rules about no blankets, no laptops or getting out of your seat 1 hr prior to landing. I asked the stewardess if we could at least have reading material on our laps and fortunately she agreed. These new measures cause more delays and discomfort than what they do to enhance the current security system and shouldn't be implemented permanently.

Dec. 28 2009 12:24 PM
Blanche from New York, NY

TRAPPED ON MEGABUS. On Weds, 12/23, I got on a 2:15 Megabus from NYC to Philadelphia. The guy loading the luggage told us there was a big accident on I-95 so we'd be delayed. They closed the doors and we left at 2:30. We went one block and, the driver announced that the lock on the luggage door was broken and we would pull over and wait for a new bus. We parked on 10th Avenue and sat for three hours. He didn't tell us the new bus was coming from Elizabeth, NJ, two hours away, but it took him many calls to get them to send it. We sat and watched the sun set. One guy handed out chocolates from his office. A young engineer passenger went out to try to fix the lock. He couldn't. The new bus came at 6:00 PM. We all took the same seats on the new bus, and cheered when the engine came to life. Then we watched the safety video about how Megabus inspects every bus before use and wants us to have a safe ride. That made the whole busload laugh. At least the accident on I-95 was clear by the time we got there.

Dec. 28 2009 12:21 PM
Katie Kennedy from Huntington, NY

I am very irritated by the new flying regulations, especially the removal of the GPS system which tells you where you are. I hate flying and the little airplane flying across the screen showing me where we are is psychologically comforting to me. As usual, Homeland Security is reacting to one incident instead of finding other ways to improve security. We need to be more careful about who is flying.

Dec. 28 2009 11:59 AM
stefano giovannini from brooklyn ny

Anyway no matter of the new security measures there will always be a way to have someone bomb a plane.
i think this is reaching a paranoia level that will affect travel and that is a terrorism objective.

If people are willing to be suicide bombers even with body scans they will find a way to have a bomb inside their body through surgery or insertion through ingestion. Maybe now sounds like science fiction.

Where will it end? will passengers be restrained and sedated to fly across the country at some point?

Dec. 28 2009 11:59 AM

The US should learn a lesson or two from El AL. Removing blankets, revoking bathroom privileges, et al. will do nothing to deter or prevent future incidents.

Dec. 28 2009 11:58 AM
Chaz from Park Slope

I didn't fly, but I did drive home on the NJ Turnpike on Christmas. At least half a dozen crazy drivers tried to kill me during that hour and a half -- a lot more than have ever threatened my life on an airplane.

Dec. 28 2009 11:58 AM
the truth from bkny

Taking the blankets during the last hour of the flight is hyper-ridiculous!

Dec. 28 2009 11:57 AM
Seth Ginsberg from Williamsburg, BKLN

$10 federal tax on every single airline ticket to pay for serious security - chemical detectors, marshal on every flight, etc...

Dec. 28 2009 11:57 AM
the truth from bkny

Ridiculous so called security enhancements...i am certain the bads guys are laughing at us! and if we keep being reactive instead of proactive well who knows what's next.

Dec. 28 2009 11:56 AM
Elaine from Baltimore, MD

I flew back from Israel this weekend and there was heightened security at Ben Gurion airport. There were about 5 layers of different security measures. Some people complain but I welcome these precautions.

There was an impromptu barrier that was put up in front of a group of gates, one of which was mine, US Air to Philadelphia. All personal carry on luggage was again searched & all liquids were disposed of.

Even though the plane was 2/3 empty, we had to stay in our seats for the duration of the flight. No one was allowed to stretch out in any of the empty rows. We were also told we couldn't cover our laps with anything (including blankets)but then they amended that to the last hour of the flight. We were told to only get out of our seats to go to the bathroom, kind of unreasoneable for a 12 hour flight!

Dec. 28 2009 11:55 AM
James from Nyack

A lot of changes to security have been put into place since the Delta incident. Those new rules are being revised almost hourly. The initial rules were a knee jerk reaction to the incident, much like what was instituted after 9-11. As we get a better picture of what happened and what failed, we will continue to see more revisions to the measures.

As a pilot for a major airline at JFK, I have already received several emails, updates and revisions to the initial new security measures.

I think there will be some longer lines and delays initially, but it will become more streamlined as time goes by, and the delays we are seeing now, will lessen.

Dec. 28 2009 11:15 AM
Angela from Midwood, NY

I flew back from Madrid yesterday to JFK.

Definitely increased security, but it seemed silly.

A silver pendant which I've had for years & wore through security with no problem triggered concern. The security folks wanted to know what it was, and sent it through the xray machine by itself. It's a life-size replica of an RCA plug--I'm a filmmaker--and I didn't know how to say that in Spanish!

Then, after going through security, before getting on the flight to NYC we went through *another* security. Everyone was frisked. All carry-on bags opened and gone through. The bottle of water I'd bought after going through the first security was questioned--I had to show the receipt for it, even though it hadn't been opened.

*Then* somewhere over the Atlantic Iberia announced that an hour outside of NYC, everyone would have to take all personal items and blankets off their laps, for security reasons. However, they didn't insist on that, which was a good thing because it was freezing on the plane.

Dec. 28 2009 10:41 AM
nathalie de la gorce from ny

flew yesterday from francfurt to newark. Doubled-security, with separate check for US flights. Crew and passengers were a little edgy, but that could just be holiday travel nerves. We were told that we could not use the bathroom or overhead bins 1 hour prior to landing ( sounds reasonable...) and that due to TSA request, no in-flight entertainment would be that to me is insane and makes no sense whatsoever. I can't even begin to figure out what the point of this is... By the way, I could use my laptop without any problems.

Sorry for spelling errors, typing fast...

Dec. 28 2009 10:13 AM

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