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May 21, 2013

Airport Insecurity — Once upon a time in America


People under 40 have no idea of how easy and pleasant it was to fly back in the 60s and early 70s.

Above, a glimpse of good times past, never to be recovered.

What's past isn't prologue: heck, it almost doesn't seem real even to me — and I was there.

[via Bryan Gardiner and Wired]

May 21, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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Cabin leaks were routinely identified by the cigarette tar stains on the fuselage. Take a trip of any significant duration and you would arrive at your destination with a smoker's cough.

The Krishnas would accost you in every terminal, waiting area (hell, I'd even had one accost me in the John), boarding zone, baggage carosel. I was changing planes at O'Hare one spring day, making my way across the country, when one of those Saffron-robed young men approached me bearing a large, hard-bound (coffee table tome sized), Krishna variant Bhagavad Gita that he thrust into my arms with the urgent invocation that, "George Harrison wants you to have ths book!"

I kept up my normal New Yorker walking pace, headed to my next boarding gate, followed by this guy in his Toga, constantly nattering about Krishna Consciousness - and a donation - I was moving at such a pace that he was winded when we arrived at my departing flight, already boarding. I showed my ticket/boarding pass and started to head for the boarding ramp when the Krishna tried to have me swap the big, hard bound, book for a paperback. I told him, "Sorry. George Harrison wants me to have THIS BOOK." And, I still have it.

Belligerent drunks groping the (at the time) invariably pretty, young, Caucasian stewardesses wearing uniform dresses so short that the world was their gynecologist were common on the Boston-NYC-DC shuttles nearly every evening and always on Fridays.

Lost / stolen baggage a frequent issue in airports subordinated to certain criminal organizations.

I can say that nobody questioned me about carrying on board a rucksack with an Ice Axe strapped to the back while taking Freddy Laker's Skytrain to Britain in 1977. I think that the TSA pretty much frowns on ice climbing tools in the passenger cabin these days...

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | May 21, 2013 6:02:28 PM

On the downside though, you travelled in a fug of cigarette smoke. I'll take the PIA security anyday.

Posted by: Donovan | May 21, 2013 2:25:28 PM

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