Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Underwear Bomber? It Depends.

I managed to get down to New Orleans last Saturday from Toronto. My secret Canadian airport tip? Drive to Buffalo.

Canadian travellers were being told to arrive at Pearson (Toronto) three hours before their flights. This was so they could be personally patted down (there are only two types of travelers -- those who look forward to the pat-down, and those who don't) and have their carry-on luggage physically inspected.

Fortunately for me, I had booked a cost-saving ticket out of Buffalo. In fact, the ticket was free, but that's another story -- all about me sensing an over-booked flight in Denver last March, positioning myself so that the instant the "ladies and gentlemen..." announcement began I could dash to the counter to volunteer to go out on a later flight, and getting a free ticket for my troubles. Thank you, United Airlines! But, it was only good in the 48 contiguous, hence, Buffalo. (I'm still feeling a bit badly about knocking over the old lady to get to the counter, but, hey, a free ticket is a free ticket.)

So, I crossed the border at Buffalo (no personal pat-down and no physical inspection of my carry-across) and headed for Uno's for a deep-dish. Uno's -- ahhh! The next morning I arrived at the Buffalo airport at 5:45 am. for a 7:45 am flight, shaving a full hour off the Canadian three-hour requirement. I had my boarding pass in hand and was through security by 6:00 am -- a mere 15 minutes later. I kid you not. Then, to my delirious joy, I discovered a breakfast area that had booths that had electrical outlets! Buffalo -- I'm a fan. (It seems that modern airport designers go out of their way not to provide electrical outlets, when they know we need them -- hello?!

I had been wearing disposable, velcro-snapped underwear so if a thorough underwear-bomber inspection was required, I could just whip them off and hand them over. Turns out this was not required. And yes, for the more literally minded among you, I am just kidding. I did, however, wear my velcro-laced shoes, so I could whip them off and on, and yes, thanks to the shoe bomber, we still have to change into fresh socks even if we have only been wearing our current pair for less than a month.

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"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"