Category Travel

Eater’s Airport Dining Guide

This is helpful to frequent flyers.

Tripadvisaargh

A collection of the best (meaning the funniest, craziest… Basically the stuff we want to see on this blog) reviews from TripAdvisor:

our first night sitting on the outside pool area having a drink and unwinding from our travel, we got spewed upon from someone in their balcony – lucky2659
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You should only go if you like butterflies and want to see them up close. Otherwise a real waste of time and money. – Dave D

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The new manager walked into me and my wife’s room at 11:30PM without knocking. THEN, we stayed again with our pretty female employee’s in the next two rooms. He walked in their rooms while they were showering. THERE IS A PATTERN HERE. This motel has made 1000’s of my dollars in the past. I will never stay here again with the new people managing it. – 781Jimmy

TSA Can Grope You Even After You’ve Cleared Security

TSA reserves the right to grope you whenever the fuck they want:

“If I had been physically attacked, this would have been a very, very similar experience,” said Nancy Campbell, 33, an urban planner who said she was traumatized by a touchy-feely female TSA agent before her flight to Washington Tuesday.

Campbell had already cleared security and was approaching the gate when the young agent stopped her, told her to drop her stuff and demanded she stand spread-eagled.

As passers-by gawked, the TSA agent patted Campbell down, touching her breasts, inner thighs and crotch, the freaked-out flier told The Post.

When she protested, the agent said, “You can either continue on flailing about, or you can let me do my job. If you don’t, you can’t fly.”

The petite Brooklynite was in tears when she boarded her plane after the three-minute ordeal.

TSA Pays Off In Breast Exposure Suit

From The Smoking Gun:

JANUARY 13–The woman who sued the Transportation Security Administration after her breasts were exposed during a frisking at a Texas airport will receive a “nominal” payment from the government as part of a legal settlement, The Smoking Gun has learned.

The settlement was disclosed in documents filed last week in U.S. District Court in Amarillo, where Lynsie Murley last year filed a lawsuit accusing the TSA of negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress in connection with the May 2008 incident at the Corpus Christi airport.

Murley’s lawyer, Jerry McLaughlin, declined to disclose the exact amount of money that his client is receiving, but termed the payout a “nominal settlement.” Asked if the amount hit six figures, McLaughlin laughed loudly and said the negotiated payment was “way less than that. It wasn’t a whole lot of money.” Murley, he said, “was never interested in the money,” and would not have filed a lawsuit if TSA officials had simply sent her a letter of apology.

TSA bans bikini woman for ‘unusual contour’ around buttocks

From RawStroy:

A woman who became a YouTube sensation earlier this month when she went through airport security in a bikini spent a night at the airport Tuesday because of TSA agents’ concerns about an “unusual contour” around her buttocks.

Tammy Banovac says she is hand-searched every time she goes through airport security because she uses a wheelchair. But ever since the TSA instituted new “enhanced” pat-downs that involve touching of genitals, she has found herself feeling violated.

“If it happened anywhere else, it would have been sexual assault,” she says of the procedure.

India diplomat gets ‘humiliating’ pat-down at Mississippi airport

From USA Today:

The “humiliating” TSA pat-down of a female India diplomat is generating headlines today in Mississippi. That’s where The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson reports that India’s ambassador to the United States was subjected to the agency’s new enhanced pat-down as she went through security at Jackson-Evers International Airport last weekend.

The Clarion-Ledger writes Ambassador Meera Shankar was in Jackson last weekend as a guest of Mississippi State University.

“While in town, Shankar met with Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, representatives from the Mississippi Development Authority and members of the Indian community in Jackson, and she spoke to more than 100 people at the Executive Lecture Forum of Jackson,” the paper writes.

Shankar apparently was selected for enhanced screening, even though she did not set of the airport’s metal detectors. Witnesses tell the Clarion-Ledger security agents told Shankar she was singled out because she was wearing a sari, which the paper notes is as “a traditional Indian robe that is draped across the body.”

The Jackson airport does not yet have full-body screeners, which meant that the ambassador became subject to the thorough pat-down.

Today’s TSA Grope Story

TSA groin searches menstruating woman:

I recently traveled via air, and was subjected to that new scanning device. “No problem,” I thought. I was wearing jeans and a linen tanktop, bra, panties, and one camoflauge pantyliner. I’m a rule follower, so I never have any problems at the airport. Not this time. I was stopped, and then held for 15 mintues while they tried to find a female supervisor. I couldn’t get to my bag, my shawl or my shoes; just standing there while the TSA agents kept me in one place. Now, I don’t want this to be about bad TSA agents; they were doing their job, they were as delicate as they could be, etc., etc. But what ultimately happened is that I was subjected to search so invasive that I was left crying and dealing with memories that I thought had been dealt with years ago of prior sexual assualts. Why? Because of my flannel panty-liner. These new scans are so horrible that if you are wearing something unusual (like a piece of cloth on your panties) then you will be subjected to a search where a woman repeatedly has to check your “groin” while another woman watches on (two in my case – they were training in a new girl – awesome). So please, please, tell the ladies not to wear their liners at the airport (I didn’t even have an insert in). I’m a strong, confident woman; I’m an Army vet (which is why those camo liners crack me up), I work full-time and go to graduate school full-time, I have a wonderful husband, and I don’t take any nonsense from anyone. I don’t dramatize, and I don’t exaggerate. I’m trying to give you a sense of who I am so you won’t think that this is a plea for attention, or a jumping on the bandwagon about the recent TSA proposed boycott. I just don’t want another woman to have to go through the “patting down” because she didn’t know that her glad-rag would be a matter of national security.”

Question of the Day

What do you want to know?

Is Anybody Exempt from TSA Inspection?

Palm, meet face:

And by “contradictory,” here’s some blockbuster news: Although the X-ray and metal detector rigmarole is mandatory for pilots and flight attendants, many other airport workers, including those with regular access to aircraft — to cabins, cockpits, galleys and freight compartments — are exempt. That’s correct. Uniformed pilots cannot carry butter knives onto an airplane, yet apron workers and contract ground support staff — cargo loaders, baggage handlers, fuelers, cabin cleaners, caterers — can, as a matter of routine, bypass TSA inspection entirely.

All workers with airside privileges are subject to fingerprinting, a 10-year criminal background investigation and crosschecking against terror watch lists. Additionally they are subject to random physical checks by TSA. But here’s what one apron worker at New York’s Kennedy airport recently told me:

“All I need is my Port Authority ID, which I swipe through a turnstile. The ‘sterile area’ door is not watched over by any hired security or by TSA. I have worked at JFK for more than three years now and I have yet to be randomly searched. Really the only TSA presence we notice is when the blue-shirts come down to the cafeteria to get food.”

Radiation and the TSA’s Body Scanners

Feeling safer yet:

Earlier this year, the Congressional Biomedical Caucus – of which Holt is a co-chair – hosted a briefing by Dr. David Brenner of Columbia University on the potential health effects of “back scatter” x-ray devices. According to Dr. Brenner, the devices currently in use and proposed for wider deployment deliver to the scalp “20 times the average dose that is typically quoted by TSA and throughout the industry.” Dr. Brenner has pointed out that the majority of the radiation from X-ray backscatter machines strikes the top of the head, which is where 85 percent of the 800,000 cases of basal cell carcinoma diagnosed in the United States each year develop.
According to Dr. Brenner, excessive x-ray exposure can act as a cancer rate multiplier, which is why Holt has urged the government to investigate thoroughly the potential health risks associated with this technology.
In August, Holt wrote to the House Committee on Appropriations calling for a freeze in funding for any further full-body scanning devices employing “back scatter” technology until the GAO completes its examination of the technology.

“I appreciate the challenges we face in trying to prevent terrorists from boarding American airliners. That same background also gives me an understanding of why TSA’s current obsession with fielding body imaging technology is misguided, counterproductive, and potentially dangerous,” Holt writes.


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