Passengers who travel frequently are dreaded to put luggage as check ins. Most business related passengers prefer to keep it as cabin luggage. Two main factors, delay in arrival of luggage and missing items from luggage, contribute to this thinking.
Among many changes that have come up recently in India at the airports, the main ones have been aping US security checks. Laptops are separately put while mobiles are inside the bags. In an X ray machine, how does it differ to see a laptop from inside the bag or outside? Fear of flying is another factor that goes through every one’s mind. I don’t have a problem while taking off with any commanders and as usual I start my prayers whenever the commander says, “Cabin crew to seats please”. But as soon as the commander repeats this on descend, the heart beats doubles up and my prayers go into a different zone. Though I look outside the window for a better view of the ground – and now-a-days use my SLR to click some aerial pictures, my mind is always spiritual for that little time.
Gradually I found that all these are myths. As I went deep into aircraft behavior, I realized that when it gets locked into ILS, the pilots are just dummies. But believe me these childish looking pilots have always had some of the smoothest landings I have ever experienced. At times, I don’t even feel the plane has landed until it starts applying brakes. I feel like going into the cockpit and kissing the commanders for their great landing but if I do so, I may land in police custody for harassment charges.
I used to get delayed check ins because the security at the airport was not sure if my bags had weapons or any utility equipments. There were very solid and logical reasons for that. I workedfor Radio and radio equipments include a host of accessories, which looks like weapons if you are in front of an X-ray machine. Take for example a security man asking me to open the mic I was carrying. I said I need a screwdriver to do that. He even asked why I was carrying two when only one was sufficient. He asked me whether I am a singer. ‘No’, I replied. You must be an announcer, sorry anchor. Nope, I am carrying this mic to get other’s voices and not to announce myself.
He was not too happy with the answer and took me to a corner and asked me to open the other equipments bag. I did and he had never seen a digital recorder or for that matter long set of cables that I carried. He called his boss and very hesitantly they let me off only to be recalled before I reached a coffee shop. They asked me which profession I was and I said I am in the worst possible profession – Journalism. They suggested I should change my plans to carry my handbag as a cabin luggage. I said I would cancel my tickets than risking the equipments to merciless baggage handlers. They were apparently satisfied at my observation about the baggage handlers and allowed me to sip the hot cappuccino, which turned itself to a tasty cold coffee. This happened in 2004.
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