The tragic realities of latter day travelers.
One of the most dramatic if not destructive impact of the Day of infamy popularly called the 9/11 is the disruption and transgression of all that we once held dear and took for granted in our past experiences as travelers, moving across borders through the air or by the sea.
The traveler is subjected to such traumatic experiences and beleaguered by series of woes that the simple thought of having to journey across border gets me so terrified and distressed. It is not just that you have to be at the airport 3 or 4 hours before your departure , then the longs lines of queues . it is not only the airport security control and the routine humiliations it is also that no matter how well you pack your bags and whatever you may carry, if you made the mistake of taking a low cost operator such as Easy jet, or Ryan air you are in a serious trouble. That small second handbag which you thought could be carried on to the craft will double your travel fare as you will be forced to check it in. Which subsequently doubles your cost and travels expenses. Days are gone when we travel with 2 three luggage without being inflicted with so much pain and agony. Days are gone when “people travel for travel’s sake” and felt that sense of freedom that belongs to travelers.
The other day I was flying to Helsinki with Fly-be air-line from john Lennon Airport in Manchester. The city railway to the airport was in disrepair. Passenger were forced to go by coach or taxi to the airport . By train it was barely thirty minutes from the railway station . Most or all of the passengers and I had taken the next bus to the airport, as I still had barely 2hours to my flight , I thought everything was fine but when I arrived at the fly-be check in counter I had barely forty minutes and five passengers ahead of me. When it got to my turn, the Fly-be staff said she couldn’t check me in that I had arrived too late. In a very exasperating and rude manner, she exclaimed. “Am sorry” she said “I can’t be of any help … you should be here 2 hours before your departure time”. I tried very calmly to explain why I had been delayed and arrived relatively late to the time. “ I still have at least thirty minutes to go so why are you being so intransigent” , I said to her. She unruly maintained I should have been at the airport 2 hours before the departure. My efforts to meet some more compliant managers was in vain. In fact that effort brought me face to face with the trending reality of the indiscipline and pig-headedness of the airport staffs in UK today. The bottom-line is that I had to pay another full ticket , took a hotel by the airport and finally left the next day.
But the miseries we suffer as travelers is no more or less the price hike coupled with declining services , it is no more or less the insolence and the impoliteness of the air travel staffs, it is more or less that every traveler is regarded as a potential terrorist.
So when you have been subjected to the indiscipline of the ground staff and finally you are confronted with the routine of the airport security control it aggravates your exasperation for traveling
An overwhelming sense of disgust took over me as the next day I got into the airport security control room. The lines are endless . My back- pack is heavy . The screeners are screening every item in details and the lines are not decreasing. At this point I thought to myself that John Lennon Airport was a monumental bullshit. And when it got to my turn to proceed to one of the screening lines what I received as order was “You, gate number 10” Just like that. I considered him for a while for treating me like a criminal and proceeded to gate number 14 which was likely empty. But from this moment something deep in my soul has been busted. And at this moment am being told to take off my belts and take off my shoes . my pants are very large. Without my belts they can’t hold so they are slipping of my waist. And I need my both hands to unpack my bags and remove my laptop and all the rest such as keys. God! I thought to myself “it is a hell traveling these days”And in spite of all of these exasperating experiences and humiliation you find that the airport Security measure in UK are using cameras which can screen individuals through their clothes and indicate every intimate details of the traveler . And this really is the height