Trigger Points

What’s your trigger? I did my normal walk through security today and, BEEP! Second attempt with shoes removed, BEEP! (Keep reading if you want to know what the trigger was)

Today’s philosophical question of the day: why can I walk through security at some airports without issue but at others, usually smaller airports, my footwear sets off the sensor?

Puzzling! Baffling! An enigma! Why? I just want to know why. The scanner we walk through is exactly the same so what’s the trigger?

You’ll hear the normal response of shoe shanks, nails, zippers, belt buckles, steel toes, rollers and light ups. All these items set off the sensor but sometimes they make it through and sometimes they don’t. Children under 12 can keep them on regardless of these pitfalls but adults have to take them off. Why?????

Here are some other possibilities to ponder what can trigger the sensor:
• Fillings in the teeth
• Pins in the knee or other joint
• Chastity belts
• Steel plates – don’t worry, your part will fall just fine
• Surgical instruments inadvertently left inside the body – remember Nip/Tuck?

Today the underwire in my bra triggered the sensor (turns out I could have left my shoes on after all)! Yes. You read that right! My bra was the trigger. Do I take it off or get felt up? Quite the conundrum.

Thanks to GoGo in flight WiFi I was able to research this during my flight. Basically it all comes down to how sensitive the metal detector is set. While the metal detectors are all the same different airports use different sensitivity settings. Just my humble and laypersons opinion but it seems that since the same screening processes are used consistently across the country perhaps all the airports should set the metal detectors to the same settings. Just a thought. We don’t need to know what the settings are. By all means set them more sensitive during times of alert and change them frequently but let’s all do the same thing.

As if the bra weren’t enough, I was the lucky winner in today’s drawing for a random security check. Why are you selected? Well, upon research, “sometimes it is random but usually you have fit a profile that they are looking for. Something in the way that you purchased your ticket or something in your appearance triggers their interest. Sprucing up a bit does seem to help and having your s*** together at the Xray appears to ease the way.”

Interesting. It wasn’t the ticket purchase and with the exception of my bra triggering the metal detector I have my s*** together. Note to self: research profiling.

I’ve always been one for flexibility and still am but when it comes to safety and security we do need rules. They should be followed by everyone without exception but everyone should have the same set of rules. Until then, ladies remember to remove your bras. Perhaps we should all begin placing them in a plastic bin prior to walking through the metal detector and putting them back on afterward.


The Mathematical Science of the Overhead Bin

As I think back over the course of my flying career I’ve seen many people willingly check their bags to their final destination. This is happening more often now that more and more people are carrying on. Let’s face it. Even with 3-1-1 carrying on is the way to go. You’re off the plane likety split and you have everything you need. No lost or delayed luggage. No baggage fees. No countless hours waiting at baggage claim. It’s awesome!

Rarely have I had to check my bag due to size. Actually I’ve never had to check my bag due to size. Until last Friday. I boarded the plane and in usual fashion lifted my bag. The flight attendant came to help me but then something occurred. Three men commented how the bag ‘won’t fit’. ‘Good luck getting that up there’. ‘I’ll stand here just to see that’.

Now my carry-on meets approved size. It’s measurements are 8.5 x 21 x 14 inches when expanded. The bins measure 55L x 15W x 12H.

I’ve never had it not go in the overhead bin unless it’s being stored where the life rafts are kept in the ceiling compartment, which is exactly where I was seated. That takes about 5 inches from the overhead bin for 1 1/2 bins on the left and right.

Normally I just use another bin but on Friday I was advised I must check my bag. The men all smiled bc they were ‘right’ after all. I’m not typically a believer that men are chauvinists but these men on Friday were determined to prove that the bag wouldn’t fit. Not to brag but I’m fairly cute so usually they help me but not so much on this flight. Chivalry was dead and I was stuck waiting in baggage claim.

Proper Method of Placing Luggage in the Overhead Bin

Carrying on is becoming more and more common these days. Every flight I’m on they’re always asking for volunteers to check your bag to its final destination and no one ever wants to, of course. Yet the more who carry on the less they seem to know so today’s lesson from The Angry Traveler will be how to carry on and stow your luggage once you’re on the plane.

First the rules: you’re allowed one carry on and one personal item. Let’s be clear, ONLY ONE of each. This is a federal regulation. The exception is if you’re flying first class or an airline employee or just happen to be lucky enough that you slide in under the radar. A word of caution: be very careful about your laptop bag. While deemed a personal item they vary in size and you have to catch your ground crew on a good day.

When boarding ONLY larger roller board bags are stowed in the overhead bins. These go in wheels or handles first. Not sideways.

ALWAYS place your roller board bag in the overhead bin at YOUR assigned seat. Do not stow it at the front of the plane. That’s someone else’s seat and you’re taking their overhead bin space. This is a common courtesy not to mention common sense!

NEVER place your personal item in the overhead bin. It goes under the seat in front of you. Period! It doesn’t matter how tall you are. Your legs bend. When backpacks, purses, coats or computer bags are placed up there it causes someone else’s bag not fit and they have to check their bag or worse, stow it further toward the back of the plane where they’re not seated, resulting in delays in deplaning. Again, common courtesy and common sense. I won’t even mention that the flight attendant goes over this process a multitude of times during the boarding process DO NOT IGNORE HER!!!

ALWAYS stow your luggage quickly. Scope out where YOUR overhead bin is located as you enter the plane. Do not delay others bc you’re not sure what you’re doing. We have connecting flights and when departure is delayed or you take someone else’s bin space causing them to have to stow their luggage in the back of the plane and the wait for it that’s NOT COOL!

Better yet, there’s an app called Seat Guru you can download if you’re not sure where your seat is located. It gives all kinds of information about the seats on the planes and is very helpful.

Finally, be cognizant of the people sitting in the middle and window seats. As an aisle seated person either grab your luggage, step back, let the others out and trade places or get their bag down so they can place it in their seat or at their feet to expedite deplaning so connecting flights won’t be missed.

Stingy with the Pink Tag, aren’t we?

What ever happened to common sense? Is it non-existent? Did it go away when the dinosaurs became extinct? Enlighten me, please!

I’m traveling with new luggage. A new laptop bag to be more precise. A purchase I hadn’t budgeted for but had to make due to an injury that’s resulted in my needing a laptop bag with 4 wheels like my regular luggage. All the attached tags indicate the bag measured appropriately. However the ground crew felt it necessary to call me out that I wasn’t traveling with one carry-on and one personal item, but two carry-on’s. She ‘allowed’ me on the plane with the caveat, ‘that just won’t fit. You’ll see.’

So I arrive at my layover after my second carry-on successfully fit and I realize I will need to pink tag my bag, which is fine, I ask for a pink tag at the gate check only to be told I cannot have one. She said they don’t just hand them out but will give it to me once I scan my boarding pass. When I explained I was just trying to save time by getting it now she insisted that doesn’t save time. Pretty confident she is WRONG!!! Now normally they go through early and hand these out so boarding can be completed quickly and efficiently. Not here at this gate. This lady is wearing that hat and she has made it known she is large and in charge.

I know of two individuals who will be getting a special mention on this flights survey.


Say it in Español???

I have learned that leaving a note on the ironing board and iron saying ‘please leave out’ in Dallas hotels means the following: Put the ironing board up but take the iron so the next morning I’ll be screwed when I go to iron.

This has happened twice here. Must be lost in translation.

-Exit Row Ron

What??? No Priority Line???

Difficult to believe in this day and age that not all airports cater to airline status. Chattanooga airport has no TSA Pre-check or priority TSA line. Really???? I know this is just a small airport but when the line is down the hall multiple escalators long and two people deep with only one TSA agent checking IDs? There are three agents at one check ID station and only one of their two nudie scanner lines open. Come on!

My afternoon clearly started off poorly when I checked my bag in online. Every other airport allows you to drop it at the ticketing counter and go. In Chattanooga however they do not open the Sky Priority line. No. You have to wait in line with all the other passengers while they fumble through how to use the kiosk because they are not frequent travelers until it’s your turn. HELLO!!! Delta offers this service so their Medallion customers can get priority service and don’t have to do this. Hence the name, ‘Sky Priority’!!!! While Atillo, who looked and spoke just like Bono and was wearing Bono-type glasses, was very nice and helpful I’m now annoyed.

To Tip or Not to Tip. That is the Question.

So I’m reading this article on how much and when to tip at hotels:
Housekeeping: $1-$5 per day and leave daily
Servers/ No Charge Reception: $0-$2 per drink
Bartender: $1 per drink
Room service: $2-$3 extra thenormal 20% tip
Front Desk Agent: $3-$5 if give special service
Repair person for fixing problem in room: $0-$5

So I’ve experienced ALL of these things. Most recently the Embassy Suitesupgraded their browser so I could do some work that I couldn’t do from my Mac. Would be interested in the consensus from my fellow road warriors (or anyone).

Do you know to tip for these services? Do you tip? Should I tip or just continue to give a pretty smile? Or would you now all go back and pay your debt to society?

Take Beano Before

Flight 1893 (2/16/14)
Dear sir sitting in front of me (2F, charlie brown looking mo-fo)

I’m glad you are comfortable falling asleep on the plane but your farts smell like something curled upside you and died.

If you are wondering why I am kicking the back of your seat its b/c I’m tired of smelling the shit that is curdling inside you

Please…for gods sake and mine take Beno before you get on a flight…

Important Travel Topics Defined!