The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Columns

March 10, 2013

Krohn: Humor lost at the airport

The Transportation and Security Administration now says it’s OK for people to carry small knives, baseball bats and golf clubs onto planes.

This struck me as odd as we went through security and immigration at the Cancun airport last week. As I went through the metal detector and waited for our carry-on bags to go through the X-ray machine, the attendant pulled my bag off the conveyor and approached me. 

“I’m going to search your bag, sir,” she said. She unzipped it, and pulled out one of the newspaper-wrapped gifts we’d bought in Mexico. Unwrapping it, she said, “Oh, this is the problem,” holding up my four-bottle pack of quality Mexican hot sauce.

“I’m sorry, I have to take it,” she informed me.

“No, not my hot sauce.”

I’d forgotten, you can’t carry liquids on a plane. My hot sauce is more dangerous than a Swiss Army knife?

There is a long list on the TSA website about what you can’t bring on planes: ice picks, meat cleavers, bows and arrows, torches, spear guns, crowbars, nunchucks, stun guns or spray paint, to name a few.

But the TSA has been relaxing restrictions, much to the chagrin of the flight attendants union, which would rather not have its workers facing terrorists or sloppy drunk passengers with knives.

I’m not sure why people want to be flight attendants. It used to sound like a glamorous career, hopping around the world for work.

The American Airlines attendants we had on our flights — pretty much equally split between men and women — didn’t seem to have particularly alluring job: close overhead doors, check seat belts, pull a heavy cart of beverages up a crowded aisle, pick up trash, land and repeat, then ride to a hotel and back to the airport the next morning.

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