June 10, 2019

"You flew? Aren't you going to blog the experience? Did you have to go thru Security? Did you take your shoes off? They search your laptop and purse/wallet."

Asks Nice in the comments to last night's "Hello From New York City."

1. I finally had a flight experience in which I was not chosen to be felt up by a TSA official. I believe this is because I changed how I dressed. Instead of a long flowing skirt, I wore non-baggy pants.

2. I did have to take off my shoes, and I had to stand in that plastic cylinder with my feet apart and my hands raised over my head which I presume allowed somebody somewhere to look through my clothes.

3. I paid an extra $100 per flight to get first class on the kind of plane that has 3 seats per row in first class and 4 seats per row in coach. I had the middle seat, with a completely non-annoying person right next to me. Across the aisle, there was a man in shorts with very hairy legs, and the socks that he wore with his sneakers had images of lobsters on them.

4. I did not commit the intrusion of snapping a photograph of these socks, even though I did, later on in the day, as you can see in "The Imp Café," snap a picture of a woman in a tie-dye t-shirt that had an image of Donald Trump with the word "impeach" stamped on his face. I liked how the green bottle hid part of the word revealing the little-noticed component "imp." Usually the included word "peach" gets your attention and keeps you from seeing the option of putting the "p" with the "im" to release the little devil inside the word.

5. Some people think Trump is a full-scale devil but an "imp" is (according to the OED) "A little devil" or "A mischievous child (having a little of ‘the devil’ in him); a young urchin: often used playfully." Jonathan Swift used the word in "Gulliver's Travels": "I once caught a young Male [Yahoo] of three Years old,..but the little Imp fell a squalling, and scratching, and biting."

6. "Yahoo" is "A name invented by Swift in Gulliver's Travels for an imaginary race of brutes having the form of men; hence transferred and allusively, a human being of a degraded or bestial type... Frequently in modern use, a person lacking cultivation or sensibility, a philistine; a lout, a hooligan." And that sounds like the way people think of Trump too.

7. I'm here in NYC on my own, staying in a hotel that has a name that's interesting for a reason that I'll reveal after I've checked out.

8. I took a cab from LaGuardia to Manhattan, and you might think that because it was Sunday, the traffic would be easy, but the Puerto Rican Day Parade was going on. The cabbie informed me that the Puerto Rican Day Parade was the worst parade of the year. Second worst was St. Patrick's Day. Wanting to soothe any incipient ethnic animosity — the cabbie was maybe Filipino — I said, "Maybe because of drinking?" He seemed to confirm that theory, then expressed approval of the 2 ethnic groups associated with those parades because unlike other drinkers, they don't vomit in the cab. He didn't use the word "vomit," but I did, to make sure I had the story straight. He spoke of "messing up" the cab.

9. Remember the old episode of "Seinfeld," "The Puerto Rican Day Parade"?

It aired on May 7, 1998, and was... the show's second-highest-rated episode of all time, with 38.8 million viewers.... Because of controversy surrounding a scene in which Cosmo Kramer accidentally burns and then stomps on the Puerto Rican flag, NBC was forced to apologize and had it banned from airing on the network again. Also, it was not initially part of the syndicated package. In the summer of 2002, the episode started to appear with the flag-burning sequence intact....

"The Puerto Rican Day" was criticized not only for the flag-burning incident, but also for the negative portrayal of Puerto Ricans, such as the scene where an angry mob of parade-goers damages Jerry's car, and Kramer later utters, "It's like this every day in Puerto Rico!"... 

87 comments:

MayBee said...

I believe this is because I changed how I dressed. Instead of a long flowing skirt, I wore non-baggy pants.

I think that's right. I've flown in maxi dresses and have gotten felt up every time. (until I did Global Entry)

Ann Althouse said...

Security is masculinizing.

mesquito said...

By the time I finished assuring everyone I’m not a robot I forgot what I was going to say.

Rick.T. said...

Did quite a lot of business travel earlier in the year so signed up for the TSA Pre-Check program. Surprisingly easy to do and probably the best $75 I've ever spent.

MayBee said...

Ann Althouse said...
Security is masculinizing.


Funny, right? Especially since exactly 0% of the plane terrorism events have involved women in skirts.

Michael K said...

I tried to do Global Entry and the web site Would not accept my passport info. No matter how I formatted my birth day it would not accept it. I finally gave up. I think I have probably made my last trip to Europe. We did do the Pre-Check thing.

tcrosse said...

My most intrusive pre-flight searches have been outside the US, in Amsterdam and Toronto. I do not have an honest face.

Lucid-Ideas said...

Does this mean you'll have 'lobster socks' on your Amazon portal? Because I would totally buy those.

MayBee said...

My husband and I did TSA pre-check and Global Entry. My son did Clear. I really think these programs exist because the government would like to back off on the ridiculous TSA security theater, but doesn't dare to because if something happens they'll be blamed.

Nobody said...

Fly to Europe business class with a sleeper seat and it's not bad.

MayBee said...

or at least they fear they'll be blamed

rhhardin said...

I used to welcome passengers in my tandem 2-seater airplane with "Do you want coach or first class?"

narayanan said...

are these it? - come on grammar nazis

https://teespring.com/JP-lobster-print?tsmac=store&tsmic=jordanbpeterson#pid=706&cid=103046&sid=front

I did not know that

Ann Althouse said...

I wondered why the first-class upgrade was so cheap. It was cheap, so what I got was worth it. It was as valuable as what you get paying an extra $100 for a hotel. But if people spring for it because they think they're getting a lot for $100, then they might think they'd rather have the money. You don't buy everything that's fairly priced and worth it. You might only buy things that you really want badly and things that are very good bargains.

Nobody said...

I think of a sleeper seat as an extra day of vacation.

BarrySanders20 said...

"[E]xactly 0% of the plane terrorism events have involved women in skirts."

Never know who identifies as a woman these days. If feel-up-the-long-skirt-wearers" is really a thing, it's probably used to justify feeling up the "women" in full burkha. Could hide lots of goodies under there. Travel with a true Scotsman and see if they feel him up for wearing a kilt (but nothing else underneath).

tcrosse said...

At least Althouse wasn't Sherman McCoy'd on the way in from the airport.

rcocean said...

Isn't that a fairly short flight? I would assume 3 hours max. No doubt that one reason for the cheap "1st Class" upgrade. Try getting a 1st class seat on a flight to Japan - it ain't no $100 extra.

Leland said...

I have Global Entry, but it doesn't help when travelling abroad. It only helps when coming back into the United States. You can sign up for similar programs the other countries provide. However, travelling within the US, Global Entry also provides the TSA-pre, which at some smaller airports is like the security protocols before 9-11. Those days when you only had to answer a few questions, put your luggage on the x-ray machine, and leave all your clothes on as you walk through the metal detector.


I am curious what planes have 3 seats per row in first class and 4 in economy. I don't know this plane. With the cost of onboard drinks/food and checked baggage; upgrading is becoming a more reasonable option for personal travel. It sucks as a business traveler for large businesses, where company policies insist on booking economy.

iowan2 said...

Lobster socks.

Sort of off topic, but the other post is Iowa centric.
Yesterday we ate at the Iowa Machine shed. (An experience of you haven't done it, and the food is very good). The lobby is a kitsch shop, like The Cracker Barrel, only upscale.
But, I saw some socks that made me laugh out loud. They had cows on them, and said "Live like they left the gate open"! unless you have some connection to farming that is meaningless, me, I laughed.

rcocean said...

Yes, it is silly to check old ladies EXCEPT if you exempt Old Ladies and Gents, then the Terrorist will find a Grandma or Grandpa that is willing to plant a bomb.

rcocean said...

Personally, I've got used to TSA. The only part is standing too long in-line, although even that seems rare. But what's so hard about emptying your pockets and taking your shoes off? Its like 60 seconds. I've had worse experiences in a Grocery checkout line.

MountainMan said...

"I wondered why the first-class upgrade was so cheap."

I wondered the same thing about our seats on our recent flight on Delta from Paris to Atlanta and I think it just has to do with their real-time pricing models. My wife wanted more room than standard coach so I purchased seats in Delta's new Premium Select economy class, which is just a step below Business Class. When I bought them the fare for each was about $200 less than standard economy. I couldn't believe it. These were wider seats, with more room between rows, more recline, foot rests, noise-cancelling headphones, and only 2 on the aisle. We also got upgraded food service with our food served on real china, not plastic. Our two meals were the best we've ever had on an airplane. We were so spoiled we will do it again next summer for our trip to Copenhagen. Don't think I can fly standard economy again on a long international flight.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

If you can upgrade on the cheap = do it!

reader said...

I get wanded/patted down almost every time I go through the full body scan. It has happened domestically and internationally. Something with my right knee catches their attention. My son thinks it’s hilarious. I don’t wear skirts or shorts when I fly.

I saw The Puerto Rican Day Parade just a few weeks ago on Hulu. I had never seen it before. Considering my husband and son run the series incessantly the episode caught my attention. Something new!

I try to upgrade my son when we fly. He is tallish (6’2”) and his height is in his legs. In coach his knees hit the seat in front of him and after an hour or so he gets uncomfortable.

Quaestor said...

"The Puerto Rican Day" was criticized not only for the flag-burning incident, but also for the negative portrayal of Puerto Ricans...

Negative? Negative is entirely relative. Nooyahk's Puerto Ricans should be grateful for having an entire day. In most of Latin America, they only get a 3-minute PSA in between reruns of Destilando Amor.

stevew said...

"I wondered why the first-class upgrade was so cheap."

Priced to sell out. Varies across different flight days and times, of course.

I wish TSA Pre had an annual minimum miles requirement such that if you don't travel the minimum miles annually you can't get pre-check. All you occasional fliers coming into the pre-check line are lengthening my time to pass through security - mostly because you don't know how it works and how to get through quickly.

roesch/voltaire said...

I have no problems. with TSA checks or search as both my wife and I have TSA Pre approved status and usual pay for extra leg room in economy. She just flew into Hong Kong, while wearing tights with dress over top, with no problem except for the heat and humidity.

Black Bellamy said...

NYC parade expert checking in!

So, the absolute worst is J’Ouvert. However, based on your source, it appears those guys don't take cars. Puerto Rican comes in second, with the violence, but not as much drinking. St. Patricks has less violence, but way way more vomit.

Michael K said...

Don't think I can fly standard economy again on a long international flight.

It was a few years ago but Air France had pretty cheap business class to Paris if you made reservations a month in advance,

Nice reclining seats.

I had a bad experience with Expedia three years ago. We were going to go to Greece and then the economy collapsed. Our flight was to London and change to Olympic. I cancelled the Greek end of the trip as I read that Greece was cash only and I didn't want to be walking around with a couple thousand Euros in a money belt. They would not let me just cancel the Greek segment even with no refund. They insisted I rebook the trip which cost me $1700.

I don't use Expedia any more. We did go to Waterloo with friends. 200 year anniversary,.

I would still like to go to Crete but probably too old now.

cacimbo said...

Two years after Seinfeld's PR day episode aired the NYC PR parade received worldwide attention when over 50 women and girls were sexually assaulted. Maybe that is why the episode was allowed to air intact again.The media had finally acknowledged some of the chaos that accompanied the event.
The week long celebration that cumulates with the West Indian Day Parade is the worst NYC parade. That takes place in Brooklyn. Cops actually take vacation that week just to avoid getting assigned to the event. For years the media would report the parade as peaceful and joyous, cops on the ground would talk about shots fired, stabbings, assaults.... As a result of media lies naive tourists would show up at the parade and end up fleeing in terror.

traditionalguy said...

Keep up the flying and you will soon be taking free Skymiles Tickets to Honolulu.

rehajm said...

Ya, the airline algorithms have gotten good at maximizing revenue per flight. If there's unsold room in first class some arlines offer tantalizing deals if they know the class won't sell out. It harms the frequent flyers a bit as I've noticed it's more difficult to get comp upgrades with the new rules.

The algorithms lead to some weird policies though. JetBlue's carry on game is interesting. When you're at the gate agents usually announce the flight is full and they will allow 10-15 passengers to check their carry on bag free of charge. I was surprised how many passengers do it until I figured out the game. If you want to check a bag it normally costs money unless you're Mosaic or pay a fare with free checked bags. JetBlue wants to load the plane quickly and time is money and carry ons slow that down so it would make more sense to make people to pay for carry ons and offer free checked bags. But the algorithms must have figured out some passengers will pay to check their bag when they buy their ticket and some will want to check but will try for free check at the gate but risk getting shut out.

dgstock said...

Saw the same parade which was less an organized march than a cacaphony of shrieking with a salsa beat. More impressive were the sanitation sweepers scouring up Fifth Avenue afterward with a synchronized looping pattern reminiscent of the Al-Bahr gokarters.

rehajm said...

Embraer E-170s and E-175s often have a 2-1 configuration in first and 2-2 in coach. If Ann was on one of those I presume when she says she's in the middle seat she's on the aisle on the 2 side of the 2-1 configuration.

Nice said...

I don't know how it is with other airlines, but when you arrive at Jet Blue, pre-security, everything is automated, and you never see a live staff member. You go to a machine that prints out your boarding pass, and prints out your bag tags, which you apply onto your baggage yourself.

I don't mind self-service checkout at the Grocery store, but at the Airport, it seems a little impersonal.

Do you need a Greeter to welcome you upon entering the Terminal?


rehajm said...

All you occasional fliers coming into the pre-check line are lengthening my time to pass through security

In several cities they sometimes shuffle the slowest passengers into the Pre-Check line so they don't destroy the regular security lines. Pre-Check becomes a mix of experienced flyers and the non-english speaking extended family with grandma, her wheelchair, her two dogs and their stroller. Last time they all flew was never.

Francisco D said...

But if people spring for it because they think they're getting a lot for $100, then they might think they'd rather have the money. You don't buy everything that's fairly priced and worth it. You might only buy things that you really want badly and things that are very good bargains.

I flew first class on a business trip back from Miami. The flight attendant hung up my suit coat and gave it back to me when we arrived in Chicago. It was hot so I did not put it on. A week later, I put the suit on and found that the jacket was a size 46 (I wear 42R). The airlines never found my jacket and I was forced to buy a new blue suit that cost me close to $1K.

I did drink a lot of pretty good "free" red wine, but it did not mitigate the loss.

TML said...

I'm guessing you're at The Renwick. For obvious reasons.

Bruce Hayden said...

Pre-check - best money I have spent for awhile. Back when o was traveling every week, I paid for something like Clear, and at big airports at specific times it was very nice. Told me at Reagan that the only people making their flights after the Obama inauguration were people in those programs. Everyone else was stuck in hours long TSA lines.

Not only is pre-check faster, you typically don’t need to take off your belt and shoes. Which means that you can efficiently wear lace up shoes. I got mine at a TSA location in Spokane while my partner was sleeping in, and after that she would typically, but not always, get pre-check status when traveling with me. But ultimately, I shamed her into jumping through the hoops (with me doing the computer work), and now have a TSA number for her too. Expect mine should be up for renewal soon.

I was going to give my kid and their SO TSA Pre heck last year, but the two of them have had it for awhile. They travel frequently, esp with all their college friends now 5-6 years out of college, and getting married. I am guessing that one or both of them flies somewhere at least once a month. Told them that if they do ever pull the pin and get married, and start having the requisite kids themselves, they will spend a decade or so of mostly just traveling, as little as possible, for business.

Narr said...

I am uncomfortable as soon as I enter an airplane, so the cheap seats to me are just something to endure for 8-10 hours. I am incapable of falling asleep in a moving vehicle (except when I need to be awake to drive) so no flight is other than an ordeal.

OTOH, I'm the son of a pilot and lucky enough to travel some as a kid: early 707's, and for short hops in Europe, Dc-3's(!), and on the flight back, one of the great triple-tailed Lockheed Constellation turbo-props. Now that was travel! Unfort, I have motion sickness pretty bad--I get dizzy WATCHING a carousel.

Narr
Groundbound

janetrae said...

To MayBee's comment earlier:
Two Chechnyan (sp?) women blew up two airliners in Russia. They were in burkas. So, I never wear a dress or a skirt flying unless I want them to look under it. Also, I have Global Entry which is automatic TSA-Pre, and still I fly in pants only.

Fernandistein said...

By the time I finished assuring everyone I’m not a robot I forgot what I was going to say.

That sounds like something a robot would say.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Pre-check is worth the money; it’s mildly annoying though when random travelers get selected for pre-check who have no clue what to do. I was slowed down once behind an elderly Chinese lady, Chinese passport and everything, who spoke not a word of English but somehow had a boarding pass with pre-check printed on it. It was resolved in a few minutes and was obviously not a huge deal but why on earth was she in pre-check?

Mr. Pants travels two or three times a month and was denied Global Entry when he applied. They did not give him a reason but his parents were diplomats and his dad was an intelligence officer in the army on the sly for thirty years after everyone thought he had been discharged (we found the documents after his widow died). He submitted FOIA requests on both his parents and was told there were national security holds on both of them until 2073. There is some kind of shenanigans attached to his identity but we will probably never know what.

MayBee said...

Two Chechnyan (sp?) women blew up two airliners in Russia. They were in burkas

Ahhh, thanks for that. I stand corrected. Although I've never had them look under my dress, I've only gotten the extended pat down.

rehajm said...

his dad was an intelligence officer in the army on the sly for thirty years after everyone thought he had been discharged

My brother in law had/has intelligence clearances from the Navy and though he's been out for over twenty years he's still on travel restrictions and likely will be forever. (He doesn't disappear long enough to still be working on the sly..or so we think)

MayBee said...

Very interesting, Pants!

And yes, people can be randomly assigned to the pre-check line. Although a little in defense of them not knowing what to do:
I find they can be a little uneven in the way they do things from one airport to the next. I don't need to take my shoes off-- oh but those, yeah maybe you should take those off with that zipper. You don't need to take off your watch-- oh here step over here I'm just going to scan your watch a second. No, your belt is fine....oh wait, why don't you take it off just to be sure. You can leave your coats on everybody! Oh wait-- that long sweater. That might need to come off.

So what are you gonna do?

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

next time you fly, wear the orange TSA flight-suits you saw at the Met

MadisonMan said...

Pants, now I'm curious enough, almost, to submit FOIA requests on my parents and (deceased) brother to see what the government had on them!

I was Delta Gold for a while, but don't pay for pre-check or global entry. I spend my time in line wool-gathering, or observing other travelers (and judging them ;) ) I never expect anything to happen quickly in an airport (or a hospital) so I'm rarely disappointed.

wwww said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
johns said...

TSA-pre also allows you to keep your laptop in its bag, which helps when you are putting all your stuff on the conveyor. But i don't benefit from the shoe allowance because my shoes reportedly have metal in them. I always have to take them off.

Narr said...

MayBee@1138: All I do is what we must, endure it.

The arbitrary hoopjump-enforcing reflects the facts that 1) there's really very little point to the process as a whole, 2) everyone knows it, but 3) the plebs must be trained to accede to authority no matter how silly and pointless authority's demands.

Narr
#3 is the key

tembelis said...

Narr @1107: "... on the flight back, one of the great triple-tailed Lockheed Constellation turbo-props ..."

You might get a kick out of the new TWA Hotel at JFK. They turned one of those Constellations into a bar right outside the terminal, and let you into the cockpit. The entire hotel is beautifully executed. It just makes you happy, walking through it, with '60s tunes wafting throughout the public spaces. I love that they chose an Ohio Amish company over cheaper foreign bids for all their finish carpentry.
They rushed the opening and do have quite a few wrinkles to iron out yet, though. There, I warned you. Go anyway. It's fun.
Sitting in the sunken lounge (which is way more welcoming than the main restaurant which needs some retraining of its staff), I heard several aviation-connected guests sharing amusing or interesting anecdotes about flying in the Sixties.

Tom T. said...

"Instead of a long flowing skirt, I wore non-baggy pants."

To circle around to another Seinfeld reference, you're lucky the TSA guy wasn't the AssMan.

Narr said...

Thanks, tembelis, for the tip, that sounds like a great re-use. I was only eleven or twelve but the Connie seemed plusher, more like a nice train car, than the 707. Shouldn't be surprised I suppose.

We flew Lufthansa, Al Italia, and American that I can recall; Lufthansa had the best service, Al Italia's stews were on strike (I think) and they served us canned Italian army water. Luckily that was only Hamburg to Rome, something like that.

Any kid who was interested in airplanes (and what boy isn't?) got to step into the rear of the cockpit and chat with the pilot if one was available--they always loved the job, it seemed.

Narr
Just get me there ASAP is all I ask now

Penn Neff said...

You could wander over to see the helicopter crash on 7th Avenue if you are looking for something to do on a rainy day.

JaimeRoberto said...

I had the middle seat, with a completely non-annoying person right next to me.

So where was Meade then? Sorry, couldn't resist.

James K said...

My daughter, 7 at the time, got patted down by TSA. She’d been in a wedding and had so many bobby pins in her “do” that she set off the metal detector.

Nobody said...

I am only 5-11 and my knees bump if I don't buy the premium seats. I prefer the train, really.

Kelly said...

Middle aged woman here. No matter what I wear I get flagged and patted down. In Amsterdam I was patted down multiple times including right before I boarded the plane. I have never seen that before. Meanwhile, the muslim kid with the cartoon bomb on his shirt strolled past. Going back to Amsterdam in September and hope to upgrade to premium (my husband won tickets!)

RobinGoodfellow said...

I am incapable of falling asleep in a moving vehicle (except when I need to be awake to drive)

Me too. What’s up with that?

rcocean said...

Dr. K if you've seen one Crete, you've seen them all. I've always been astounded that it took til 1913 for Crete to be internationally recognized as part of Greece. The Great powers were content to let it be ruled by the Ottomans - which seems super weird.

Nichevo said...



1. I finally had a flight experience in which I was not chosen to be felt up by a TSA official. I believe this is because I changed how I dressed. Instead of a long flowing skirt, I wore non-baggy pants.


Sorry babe, that just means you ain't got it no more.



Penn Neff said...
You could wander over to see the helicopter crash on 7th Avenue if you are looking for something to do on a rainy day.


I work two blocks from there on a high floor. The tops of the buildings are totally invisible. Total overcast.


Rusty said...

TSA keeps thinking I have something in my left pocket. They keep wanding my implant.
I'm an American Airlines preferred customer. All kinds of perks and the Admirals Club. Annoys the hell out of my wife because she travels much more than I do. And American, out of the blue(pun), made me a preferred customer.

narciso said...

yes, they are known as the black widows, or that Riyadh al salih brigade, the wives of chechen militants, there were similar examples like Muriel degauge, from Belgium, who was a model for a character on the second season of sleeper cell,

Lewis Wetzel said...

"The lobby is a kitsch shop, like The Cracker Barrel, only upscale."
You mean The Cracker Barrel is not upscale? Can't wait to tell that to the swells living on Thousandaire Row back at the trailer park. I hate those snobs.

The Godfather said...

Has anyone ever known of a case where a TSA inspection caught a real terrorist?

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

I'm a smokin'-hot muslima with a rockin' bod under this full burka.

TSA has never laid a hand on me

Known Unknown said...

"Try getting a 1st class seat on a flight to Japan - it ain't no $100 extra."

Our group once got 1st class upgrades from Philly to Lisbon, Portugal for $200 each. We upgraded 20 minutes before the flight left.

Leland said...

Embraer's make sense, because I was thinking of the 135/145 with 2/1 but single class. I haven't been on the 170/175, and that's just about the type of plane I'd expect for that trip.

Nobody said...

I just spent 10 days in Amsterdam, 3 would have done it. Give me NYC any day.

Narr said...

Robin, I wish I knew! Makes travel more miserable than it needs to be. Hoping riverboats are more restful to me.

Nob., we were in Amsterdam in 1978, and even back then 3 days was enough. You couldn't get out at all, at all?

Narr
Bummer

Bruce Hayden said...

“I am uncomfortable as soon as I enter an airplane, so the cheap seats to me are just something to endure for 8-10 hours. I am incapable of falling asleep in a moving vehicle (except when I need to be awake to drive) so no flight is other than an ordeal.”

25 years ago, I was a white knuckle traveler, at times almost breaking the hand I was holding of my wife at the time. Then I got divorced from her, moved to Austin for a job, and started flying back to Denver every other week to parent my kid. And within a year, I was desensitized. Now, my seat goes back on the takeoff roll (after the waitresses are seated) and I usually wake up right before they come around for drink orders. The other part of it is having a good book along.

Talking sleeping though, before that divorce, when my kid was small, I would put them to sleep when recalcitrant on that front by driving behind the Elk Preserve, right across I70 from the Bison Lookout/Preserve west of Denver in the mountains (for anyone knowing the area - the road runs between the Chief Hosa and Lookout Mtn exits on I70). Driving works great for putting kids to sleep for many. So, at one point we headed back to the east coast to see her parents, and to introduce the kid to my wife’s family. We had it all worked out, expecting the kid to sleep on the plane, wake for the hour drive to her parents’ house, and be ready for bed when we got there. Nope. Vibrations between a jet and a car are different. Kid didn’t sleep a wink on the plane, then fell asleep before we hit the freeway. Then was refreshed and ready to rock and roll, as we got her parents’ house. We, of course, were exhausted, and her parents were retired, which meant ready for bed about the time we got there.

25 years later, the kid has turned into a world traveler, as I indicated above. Including popping over to Japan this spring to ski powder. They were used to flying back and forth to college, which usually meant three hops each way, typically through Logan (Boston) where they had to collect their luggage and go through security again to board a smaller regional airline. Their first experience flying internationally was flying to Madrid for their Junior Year Abroad. They had grown up hearing about the differences between Business Class and First Class from my parents, who almost religiously made two international trips a year for vacations for decades. So my kid was trying to decide whether they should fly first class, or if they could survive in a Business Class. Nope. Doesn’t work that way. I had them look at the difference in price between Coach and Business Class. I told them that I would deduct that from what I was paying for tuition, room board, etc. Probably would mean that I wouldn’t pay for their Greek house. Maybe have to cut out one trip back to CO too. Their choice. In the end, they took my Nook filled with books, had toons on their iPod, and were happy as a clam in Coach. Oh to be a college kid again.

Michael said...

Althouse
Don’t know of any first class configuration that has middle seats. Some small jets have one seat on one side of the aisle and two on the other but no airline to my knowledge has middle seats in first class. The PR day parade was characterized by a friend as having floats that were large switch blades opening and closing. This was in the 80s when people said funny things.

Michael said...

I flew 200000 miles last year and was not patted down once. Pre-check, global entry and Clear make it pretty easy.

Unknown said...

Re TML's comment guessing that Ann is @ The Renwick,does Ann know that in Iowa, Renwick is very near Garner.

JamesB.BKK said...

They warned us about letting the Irish and Puerto Ricans in, and just look at what's happened.

JamesB.BKK said...

Francisco D: Always check, and recheck, everything.

elkh1 said...

What will TSA do when a "woman" shows up in a burka?

Feel or not feel, that's the question.

Paul said...

I'm set up with the TSA Precheck... So I don't get 'felt up'.... and I don't wait in lines... but then the CIA, DIA, FBI, and KG used to B know all about me!

You know they sent me a letter congratulating me on being in the program. But they warned me.. if I brought a gun or bomb on board they said I 'might' lose my privileges.

Oh yea, I have no doubt I'd lose them... and be locked up to if I did such a thing.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

What will TSA do when a "woman" shows up in a burka?

TSA:"excuse me ma'am-- We need to see under your burka"

Burka-Babe: "Why? What do you need to C-4?"

Balfegor said...

I wondered why the first-class upgrade was so cheap. It was cheap, so what I got was worth it. It was as valuable as what you get paying an extra $100 for a hotel. But if people spring for it because they think they're getting a lot for $100, then they might think they'd rather have the money. You don't buy everything that's fairly priced and worth it. You might only buy things that you really want badly and things that are very good bargains.

I domestic 1st class isn't too bad, usually, although there's times when it spikes particularly on coast to coast flights. Recently, United has rolled out a Premium Economy option on its long-haul flights. I tried it out my last flight to Tokyo (this past Friday), and while my initial reaction was that it wasn't worth the $400 I paid for it, I did discover that I slept a lot more than usual, so maybe I'll pay for it again going forward. On the flights with it, apparently they're making you pay for the upgrade into premium economy in order to be eligible for upgrades into business class, so I might as well. I guess. I was kind of hoping for the domestic business-class style seats, though, so it was a disappointment.

Re: Michael:

Don’t know of any first class configuration that has middle seats. Some small jets have one seat on one side of the aisle and two on the other but no airline to my knowledge has middle seats in first class.

United definitely still does on the long-haul flights (2-4-2 configuration on the 777 old business class configuration before introduction of the pods), but they only rarely fly those domestically, probably just when they need to move them from one hub to another. From context, though, she's probably talking about a 1-2 regional jet.

Narr said...

To be clear, i'm not terrified of flying, just uneasy and not able to relax. I think it's the sense of lack of control. Same same trying to sleep in the back of a car or van.

Narr
There are worse afflictions

Ann Althouse said...

“Don’t know of any first class configuration that has middle seats....”

When the whole row is 3 seats, the middle seat is an aisle sear.

Leland said...

Lufthansa has A320's with a first class that has the same seats as economy. They just don't sell the middle seat. You might think, but that's not really a middle seat then. I assure you, the smaller seat with smaller leg room reminds you constantly that you are in that predicament, because there is an unused middle seat there in first class.

MalaiseLongue said...

Doesn't anyone remember the Puerto Rican parade of 2000 and the mass sexual assaults that followed at the south end of Central Park?

walter said...

Malaise,
Was that the one when the French couple got separated and the woman had her clothes ripped off?
Pride!