The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
claims it can keep secrets, but I suspect it's
just a matter of time before we start seeing full
frontal scans of celebrities in the supermarket
tabloids. Some probably won't mind. Well, hello
I hope they publish only celebrity images. As you
know, our privacy has never been a U.S. government
priority. (Can you say WikiLeaks?) We all know
that eventually a disgruntled TSA employee will
sell his private collection of scans to the
TSA uses two kinds of full body scans -- neither
produces flattering results -- and now I read they
are considering a third type. The new type doesn't
show your whole body from top to bottom, just the
anomalies. Uh oh.
Anomalies. I hope they mean just harmful
devices like bombs and box cutters. But just in
case I'm adding this new TSA scan type to our
growing list of air travel advisories, a periodic
public service of your friendly charter boat
outfitters at Southwest Florida Yachts (Motto: We
Air travel advisory number two is air traffic
controllers who nod off on the job as one did
recently working the night shift at Ronald Reagan
National Airport, Washington, DC. Two airliners
landed without permission from the tower. I doubt
if the pilot even bothered to tell the passengers.
I expect at least two pilots and one air traffic
controller are looking for new work this week.
These air traffic advisories are our little way of
pointing out the differences between planes and
boats. If you subtract the time it takes you to
get checked in and navigate security, air travel
will get you from point A to point B faster than a
boat but at what cost? Your dignity, that's what.
Now, contrast all that with another mode of
transportation, the boat. Admittedly, a boat can't
get you across the country as quickly as an
airliner, but it will get you from our marina to a
special relaxed place in your mind in record time.
Our charter customers like to cruise on the placid
side of the Gulf of Mexico barrier islands like
Sanibel/Captiva. There is no turbulence on this
dignified flight path. There are no body scans, no
insults to your dignity and no air traffic
controllers who nod off.
There are no lines to get on board, no bags to
check and no packing and unpacking once underway.
There’s no waiting for a seatbelt light to go off
so you can go to the bathroom. There is no middle
seat. You won't go to war for an armrest. A kid
won't kick the back of your seat. Your kneecap
won't get shattered by the beverage cart.
As air travel becomes more onerous, remember that
cruising with family-and-friends is one of the
best ways to restore your dignity and zest for