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Matts (1087)

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I work for MessageLabs [] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Tuesday August 15, 2006
02:35 PM

More on baggage handling

[ #30640 ]

This time from a camera forum, where everyone is a bit distraught as those who would normally carry cameras with them are now finding bits missing, damaged or finger-marked when they get to the other end.

[This] is exactly one of the reasons we got into the current situation. It's easy enough to pack camera equipment to withstand the rough bagging handling, but we don't because there's a good chance it won't arrive at the other end and that we'll not be reimbursed for the loss. These days it almost certainly would be opened for inspection and you can't trust TSA or the airline to repack it correctly. All of those things are major problems, even for those of us with equipment insurance. Add to the fact that baggage handling is slow (I've experienced 45 minute waits in places where it should be 10 minutes) and the airlines have created a self-inflicted wound: one reason why it takes them longer to turn around a plane is that it takes passengers longer to deal with their carry-ons.

Realistically, people only need things with them that they'd use on a flight: a few comfort items and perhaps for some, a laptop. I certainly don't need a 200-400mm f/4 lens on board, though I always carry it that way for the reasons I just cited.

Now we're in a catch-22 situation. The things we bring on board are so wide and varied and potentially exploited by terroists, that the knee-jerk reaction is to ban everything. But doing that just exposes a new set of problems (and I don't think lowers the security risk by much--if you outlaw carry-ons, then terroists will just move to a new methodology, from new types of baggage bombs to surface-to-air missiles).

-- Thom Hogan

From here.

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