Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Not Scan-worthy, in Finland

My anger over TSA's new security measures at airports in the US had me all prepared: I had read about them extensively, I knew what to expect, and I knew what I was going to say when I got there. On Sunday as I got to Newark's Liberty airport, I was ready to demand a pat-down, and I had eager plans to write all about it afterwards. As I walked to the main lobby of the terminal, I saw dozens of people queueing up to the security check, and I even saw some body scans in progress. Then I figured out that my gate was somewhere else, and that I would have to go through some other security point. I did indeed. There were no people, only two old school metal detectors and one scanner booth, unoccupied. A TSA official checked my boarding pass, and told me to get in line: "Just choose one". There were no lines to speak of. I walked up to one of the metal detectors, took my shoes off, and walked through. No scanning, no patting, no questions asked, even though I forgot to take my zip-lock bag of liquids out of my hand luggage. Enhanced security? I think not. I guess they only screen passangers traveling certain airlines or routes, and I guess travellers flying Scandinavian Airlines are not scan-worthy. I have to say that a part of me was a little bit disappointed that I didn't get to experience the procedures that have had me all worked up. The other part was just pleased that they didn't take a naked picture of me or grab my private bits.

Thank you, everyone, for your comments regarding the security measures. I am glad I am not alone feeling the way I do about them. I haven't thought this through yet, but I think I am even more upset about them now, knowing that the measures are not only going too far, but that they are also suspiciously selective.

Anyway, I got to Finland safely. It is cold, dark and snowy here. I didn't exactly pack accordingly. I spent a good hour today going through boxes that contain clothes I had left behind, looking for something weather-appropriate. It almost felt like shopping. I can already tell that the coming couple of weeks are going to be tough, not-shopping-wise. I am considering giving myself permission to maybe, just maybe, get something. I don't know what that something might be. I am seeing an awful lot of tempting store windows, and my sister Tuuli has been thrifting like crazy recently, and her wardrobe is full of new beautiful clothes. It has been a day and a half, and I am already tempted.

Top: second hand Filippa K / present from Tuuli
Tee: JCPenney
Cords: J.Crew
Shoes: Kurt Geiger
Turtle pendant: present from Tuuli
Beanie: second hand / Plato's Closet


Cynthia said...

I flew out of Charlotte today at 8:30 a.m. At my gate there were two metal detectors (back in service since the last time I flew 2 weeks ago) and the X-ray scanner was roped off. Lines were minimal and the whole thing was easy as pie.

I have a feeling that this was all kind of a Bush-legacy policy (Darth Chertoff was behind the original purchase of the scanners, made some money for one of his consulting clients) that kept snowballing because no one's eyes were on it, and now that it's been noticed we're going to see some action.

Modesty is Pretty said...

I'm so glad you made it home safe, and you are totally right, unfortunately it seems like the scanning might be just selective, but hey good thing you didn't have to be photographed, that kind of scared me a bit since I have never experienced it yet (Thank God!). I have to say of all your shoes those are the best shoes I have ever seen! I hope you find something wonderful, I think it's okay to give yourself a bit of a break, the whole thing is to learn how not to buy on impulse right? You have done pretty well I should say, take care and stay warm!

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that everything went well and you arrived safe and sound :) By the way, how silly is it to actually worry about people who you know only through their blogs? I was *actually curious* how the scanning/flight would be like for you.
Bur nevermind that, the expression "scan-worthy" got me giggling; there's so much disappointment in that! I was wondering who they choose to scan- because scanning all passengers indiscriminately would lead to enormous delays. So I guess if you'd be some Arabian guy trying to get on a plane to New York, they'd certainly scan you, and pat, and God-knows-what-else. Which frankly speaking, is absolutely scary; sometimes I think all these security measures are in reality a measure of our stereotypical notions. But it may just be me.
Anyhow, enjoy your stay in good ol' Europe and have an equally safe flight back.