Air travel then!
There was a time when air travel was a nostalgia. Air Hostesses were made to look like a celestial representative sent to earth by Aer or Aether (the God of Air). Their costumes were not like house maid but at worst looked like a women army official. They used to hail from educated upper class society. She would speak with smile act with courtesy and move with dignity. Air Hostesses had fewer duties and many other staff to assist in menial duties.
It was more of a formality than anything. Policemen carrying heavy guns was a scare enough. X-ray was all that was needed. Frisking was a matter of apology for the policeman, which he would carry on his face while frisking us. Fewer people and fewer questions. Face reading was all to do for security. Any one who looked out-of-place was subjected to more severe scan.
The snacks or the food, which was prepared had no consideration like economy. Consideration was packing and to serve it hot. It was invariably fresh and not only from a 5 star hotel but was actually 5 star i.e. with the recipe endorsed by reputed chef. The purpose of serving the food was to provide an on board experience for taste buds, often a culinary delight. A Journey on the clouds duly pampered by the on board hospitality.
Air travel now!
It is an unavoidable nightmare. Rising fuel cost, too much competition, greed and above all insecurity on account of threat or terrorism has made air travel, a physical and mental torture at worst and an undesirable drill at best.
Hostesses look like bar-maids at worst and school-girls at best. They now serve the ambitions of girls from hard-working families who are ready to take up the hard work. Pathetic work conditions in jostling crowd and fewer facilities have rendered this job less of a dream. Every Tom, Dick & Harry is riding a plane home. Even a curt smile to a passenger can be hazardous. They now have to do the partial work of scavengers by picking up the trash in a huge bag they try not to directly touch their hand or body. It is a pitiable sight that young girls, who may not go out to throw their house-hold trash, are collecting the trash of public in air.
The term security is in appropriate now. It is not security. They should be called the suspicion-removers. Every person is a suspect. Guilty unless proved other wise. Drink a few extra drinks at the air-port lounge or tip a waiter more and your security rating will go up. Every visitor is welcome but please behave as if we were called on
conscription. One out-of-place movement and you are subject to severe warning or if we look the way I did a stern glance. I wonder when they make it mandatory for all passengers to report in swim suits or ask them to switch into their travel dress leaving everything in a packet to be delivered at destination. Nobody is trust worthy except politicians in power.
A person who never had any stomach ache or acidity must try the food supplied in air. It will the strength. Straight food poisoning means the person was ill. Stomach ache means he is not used to eat street food. Acidity means that person has healthy stomach but he would do better if he avoids unhealthy food. Now only a label of 5 star remains. Better food is sold on the street then that which is served on air. Sever niggardliness in water. Packaged water of 150 ml. is supplied with such glances as if we are going to bathe with several bottles. Other no frill air lines supply on board water in ice-cream cups of about 25 ml.
Liam Corcoran, age 11, travels from Manchester to Rome, alone, by air.
In these pathetic conditions a lad of 11 years, said to be having learning difficulties (a.k.a. mental retardation by WHO), without any passport or paper reached on board a plane and was discovered after the plane had reached beyond the point of return. He was closely following another family with several children and nobody did a head count anywhere.
Looks amazing but let us look from another angle. There is some compassion left for young children. They are not suspect as yet. The only reason it happened because the humans working at all places took a sympathetic look at the boy and a family of children, and suspected nothing.
That is the problem. Suspicion. The whole industry is now forced to rely on suspicion as a decision-making and not objectivity.
Home jobs or work from home was never so attractive and never so easy. High costs, especially due to security drill is crippling the industry. Stiffing their own customer over pennies is also not a good policy.
Customs has a green channel for the people who do not import anything or have nothing to declare. Such people can walk out without hassle. Of course they can be subsequently asked or checked if suspected.
My humble proposal is to create a Green-Channel. Less frisking and less security check and if possible less check in wait.
After all if we can not make a black list of all people, can’t we start with a small white list of people, which may gradually expand into a list so that it may help creating a better black list. After all, every person is under some kind of e-surveillance. Whether we like it or not it is there. Privacy is a myth. Can’t we select and enroll people for this Security-Port or Green-port, peace-port or whatever named called or some biometrics number. Why torture every person? That too again and again. Unless it gives a sadistic pleasure of being in dominating position. In fact most of the rules are created not for logical objects but for egoistic supremacy. Is airport security is one of those matters?
Or is it that Governments and its resources are still incompetent and can not properly asses threat perception from any individual? Or is it because no person is trusted by Governments?
Any expectation of reasonableness for common man, is a mirage on which Governments are elected. Nothing more.Truth is such channel exist for rich and influential. The present day Nobles. Its existence is neither admitted nor talked about. It is a state secret.
© Sandeep Bhalla