Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I'm feeling safer every minute:

1.) Man Questioned and Misses Flight for Speaking Tamil :
A 32-year-old man speaking Tamil and some English about a sporting rivalry was questioned at Sea-Tac Airport and missed his flight Saturday because at least one person thought he was suspicious....An off-duty airline employee heard the conversation and informed the flight crew.
Parker said the man was cooperative and boarded a later flight to Texas. He told officials that he would not speak in a foreign language on his cell phone at an airport in the future.

2.) Humiliation at 30,000 Feet:
Seth Stein is an architect who flies - apparently internationally - quite a lot.
In Mr Stein's case, he was pounced on as the crew and other travellers looked on. The drama unfolded less than an hour into the flight. As he settled down with a book and a ginger ale, the father-of-three was grabbed from behind and held in a head-lock.

"This guy just told me his name was Michael Wilk, that he was with the New York Police Department, that I'd been acting suspiciously and should stay calm. I could barely find my voice and couldn't believe it was happening," said Mr Stein.

"He went into my pocket and took out my passport and my iPod. All the other passengers were looking concerned." Eventually, cabin crew explained that the captain had run a security check on Mr Stein after being alerted by the policeman and that this had cleared him. The passenger had been asked to go back to his seat before he had restrained Mr Stein. When the plane arrived in New York, Mr Stein was met by apologetic police officers who offered to fast-track him out of the airport.

3.) Last March, I went to Paris via The Netherlands. My married name is not in the front of my passport, I have friends that don't think that I actually used my own picture, and to top it all off the passport is about to fall apart after an unfortunate washing incident. International reaction to my passport?
a.) The Dutch Customs official told me if I were Dutch, my passport would be confiscated on the spot.
b.) The French Customs officials all noticed the name discrepancy (my married name is listed on the last page, under alterations or something like that).
c.) The US Customs officials noticed nothing. And they also didn't catch the nail clippers or tool-for-all-seasons pocket knife that were in my purse when I got on the plane in Atlanta. When I got on the return flight in Paris, though...well, I'm now minus a set of nail clippers and one tool-for-all-seasons pocket knife.

1 comment:

sjer said...

You must get the passport situation rectified before I will travel internationally with you again. I'm not interested in being stuck anywhere indefinately. Have you watched "Broken Down Palace" or "The Terminal" yet? Don't mess with Customs man.