Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

All Hail King Turbo!

with 2 comments

Greetings, and I hope this blog post finds your holidays happier than ever, and your travels hassleless.

Well, as hassleless as they can be in light of recent circumstances surrounding air travel in these United States.

Today, I went in search of the new TSA rules to make sure I was hearing them directly from the source.  In the process, I found a loophole that I’m figuring out how I can try to apply to myself.

More on that at the end of the post.

Currently, TSA Security Directive SD 1544-09-06 is scheduled to be in effect only through December 30 of this year, but I suspect it’s a sign of things to come — once we put these measures into effect, they seem to become permanent.

(Mind you, I try to maintain a sense of humor about these measures, being a frequent flyer and all, but I also recognize the serious nature of the threats that lead to them, so please keep both in mind as you read the rest of the post!)

First, at the boarding gate, TSA employees are instructed to perform thorough pat-downs of all passengers, concentrating on “upper legs and torso.”  They’re also instructed to “physically inspect 100 percent of all passenger accessible property” prior to boarding.

Okay, but didn’t the Nigerian dude who tried to light his foot on fire board at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam??  Why didn’t somebody inspect him!??

In flight, the restrictions get even more serious.

First, passengers have to remain in their seats beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at their destination.  That means no trips to the bathroom, no trips to the galley to flirt with the flight attendants, no trips to the cockpit to chat with the pilots.

You also can’t access your baggage starting 1 hour prior to arrival at said destination.  That means no reaching for your book, your iPod, your Kindle, gummy bears…nada.

But we’re going to make it even more fun.  We’re also going to disable “aircraft-integrated passenger communications systems” so that you’re bored out of your frickin’ mind because you can no longer access the Interwebs.

Rock Paper Scissors?  Anybody?

How’s that?  Is that something special in the air?  You loving the way we fly?  Is flying these skies really that friendly??

But wait, there’s more!  “While over U.S. airspace, flight crew may not make any announcement to passengers concerning flight path or position over cities or landmarks.”

I can’t wait for this announcement:

Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking.  I’d like for you to ignore that massive hole in the ground off to your left that looks something like the Grand Canyon, because acknowledging said hole might prematurely reveal our position in these friendly skies and give us away to the terriers.”

And finally — and with all due apologies to Linus from Peanuts — no blankies or pillows may be used starting 1 hour prior to arrival at said destination.

Does this mean flight attendants will come stomping through the cabin, the Blankie Policia, yanking away pillows and blankies from the kids mid-slumber?  I assume this includes for the sleeping kiddoes that, heretofore, were perfectly quiet in their slumber but will now turn promptly into screaming helions?


However, as with any good bureaucratic policy, there’s always an exception to the rule…and I found it!

Ladies and gentleman, from here on, I would like you to please address me as “His Substantially Absurd Majesty the Turbo, King of the Sovereign TurbotoddLand.”

You can find my country via the Internet at turbotodd.com.

You see, the new travel restrictions allow our government to exempt certain individuals — namely, passengers who are Heads of State or Heads of Government — from the new safety measures.

Now, could somebody please go find my court jester?!

It’s good to be the king!

Written by turbotodd

December 28, 2009 at 5:12 pm

2 Responses

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  1. All hail HRH Turbo…

    Like you, I agree that we need to increase security but all this is a shinny object to make it look like things have changed.

    All of these changes assume the terrorists are idiots. Lets not tell them were we are, anyone with a watch, arrival time and basic math can figure out where the plane is – hello, online fly to Hawaii where arrival times contests are “guessed” within seconds of the actual arrival time. Next we will close the windows so they can’t see all the buildings or street lights to know they are over a populated area.

    The point is all of these incidents have happened outside the US and he was flagged as a problem so why did we let him fly. I got hassled last week by TSA since United decided to add Mr. to my name dropping two of the II’s from III and they told me the ID did not match the boarding pass. If they can get that petty with me then why can’t they stop a guy who has anti-US rantings? Damn, I better be careful, these could be construed as anti-US rantings. Yep, land of the free and home of the inability to freely criticize government policy.

    The good news is I immediately bought GE stock since they sell those multi-million dollar sniffer/puffer machines that the critics all say would have detected his chemical brew. I can see the geo-political pressure now to get countries to buy them to show they want to support the US’s efforts.

    Finally, what is next – since he wore the cocktail on his leg will we have to wear shorts or go without pants?

    I can just see the celebrities and mega rich now buying islands and trying to get them to become sovereign states so they can keep their blankets and reading materials.


    December 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm

  2. Bill,

    I thought celebrities and the mega rich already bought their own islands. In fact, I thought if they were really rich, they also had their own airplanes and didn’t have to bother with we hoi polloi!

    Oh well. Your GE stock buy is a good idea…I may have to follow suit!

    I think some simple, clear internationally-agreed upon airline travel safety standards could actually go a long way myself.

    I think you’re on to something about going without pants. My friend Clay and I agree we should just go ahead and come up with Naked Air, where you remove all your clothing before getting on the airplane, and then just before boarding are handed a jumpsuit…you know, the same kind the detainees where down in Guantanamo Bay.

    Flying the friendly skies, indeed.


    December 29, 2009 at 4:44 pm

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