I detest business travel. There simply is no upside to it. In addition to the hassles, delays and indifferent service, there’s also the reality of substantially increased security.
With the latter, there’s a very fine line that exists between safety and sheer stupidity. Two recent cases in point illustrate the conundrum:
The first was recounted in a recent Joe Sharkey/New York Times column. It detailed a horrific story concerning a young mom and child traveling on a Continental Express flight. According to Sharkey, the traveler’s baby kept gurgling, ‘Bye-bye plane’ over and over as it taxied to the runway. This admonition upset the flight attendant so much that she insisted the mother ‘…..shut the kid up’ and feed it ‘…..Benadryl to knock it out.’ The mother refused, so the flight attendant told the captain she’d been threatened by the mom. Bye-bye mom. She and the kid were tossed off the plane.
Now, fast forward to a recent Cody family event. My younger brother, John, was traveling with his wife and three young children (one of whom is still in diapers). As they walked through security, the entire group was pulled aside and patted down. And, get this, the TSA agent insisted the baby’s diaper be removed for inspection!
There’s smart security and then there’s sheer stupidity. In my book, the Continental flight attendant and the TSA agent both qualify for my sheer stupidity award of the week.
One would hope someone who understands image and reputation at Continental and TSA would pay closer attention to these increasingly absurd actions and plan an intervention. Otherwise, one day soon, we’ll be seeing ultimate fighting matches in airports and planes and not on pay-per-view.