The Horrors of Flying


Here I am at Heathrow, extremely groggy, peeved and brooding about how bothersome air travel is becoming by the day. If there was another mode of travel between India and the United States, I’d probably take that in a jiffy!

I had an 18 hour layover at Heathrow (I still have 3 hours to kill) and I’m woozy. Obviously, sleeping on airport benches is not the most luxurious way to nap. However, I would do fine if the airport authorities did not keep moving us from one lounge to the other like we were a bunch of homeless people. Well, I did know that god works in mysterious ways but I wonder if it was one of His ways to drive home the plight of homeless people to me?

Leaving aside such philosophical questions, I’ll get to why I am so annoyed right now. The absurdity of what can or cannot be taken in the cabin luggage at various airports has long been a sore point. One, no two airports seem to have the same rules- so while airports around the world (or so I think) don’t allow scissors to be carried in the cabin luggage, Heathrow has started to make an allowance for less than 6-inch scissors. But they won’t let me carry my 4-inch nail clipper. Eh?

Two, sometimes the rules are so bizarre that they defy logic! I once had some water in a bottle and during the security check I was told to either drink the water or trash the entire bottle. It was a good bottle and not wanting to throw it when I had an option, I offered to drink the water. But the officers at the security check wouldn’t let me in that area. Did they think I’d blow up if I drank anything? I was escorted out of the security check area just to the point where the line ended. I poured the entire contents into my throat and then got into the line again. I idly wondered that if I had seriously thought of setting off a bomb, would it matter if I did it inside the security check area or outside?

Getting back to today’s incident, if someone could tell me stories on nail clippers used as a murder weapon, I’d be enlightened!

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