I don’t know what to think of TSA

I just don’t know what to think of the transportation security administration. I travel a fair bit and have run into some nice agents who’ve been helpful, but more than not I’ve run into those that aren’t nice at all. Today was one of those days.
As I mentioned I travel a fair bit and I never take off my belt to go through security. Today a TSA agent was yelling at me to take off my belt before going through the metal detector.

I’ve never taken it off before, it’s never set off the alarm. Why do I have to take it off?

The only thing I can think of it is the security theater of the TSA. While we haven’t had an attack since they were formed, the process we go through is nothing more than a show.

If we are going to have security, let’s get serious about it. Otherwise let’s stop the show.

Don’t put two iPads in one bag …

Well don’t try to travel with two iPads and expect TSA not to freak out if you leave them in your bag. I did that tonight and they had to send my bag back through with those removed.
I usually just travel with one iPad for work but in this trip I have our family iPad also because the kids and I are heading out on a spring break trip. I need the one iPad for me and the other one to keep the kids entertained.

Well when I put my bag through they couldn’t see through it even though you don’t usually need to take it out.

The TSA agent was nice and got them through the scanner again and there were no problems.

I guess on our way back I need to pull them out so we don’t have any delays.

Problem with being on the east coast

The problem with being on the east coast is adjusting to the time difference. From Denver, it’s only 2 hours. But it’s a long 2 hours.
It’s almost midnight right now and the pub is closing in the hotel but there are still west coast games going on. Plus, I’m not even tired.

The good thing is that I don’t have any thing in the morning. This is different from my other trips here where I have to get up early to get into our office.

I can take it easy and possibly go for a nice walk around DC before the conference gets going at 1.

If you didn’t know, I’m in DC for the 2010 PRSA International Conference. It’s looking to be a great conference with over 3,000 participants. I’m a little disappointed in the keynote speakers, but thworkshops look really good.

More soon!

Don’t Stay at the Fairfield Marriott on Paradise in Las Vegas

I like to stay at Marriott’s across the country. They usually do a good job.
But the Fairfield Marriott on Paradise is not good for business or leisure travelers.

In Las Vegas, it begins with the air conditioners and this hotels can’t keep up. Our first room it was barely working so we moved and it was working a little better.

We left the room for a couple hours hoping it would catch up, but alas it didn’t. I spoke with the front desk and they blammed it on the heat.

Well that is why we want the air conditoners to work. It was actually cooler in the hallways than in the room.

There was a refridgerator in the room, but it barely worked. We put some water in there and they were somewhat cool by morning.

The one thing I noticed for business travelers is the lack of outlets. There was only one on the desk. So if you need to charge your laptop and cell phone, you’re out of luck unless you take it to the bathroom.

The only partially good thing was the wired internet. It did websites well, but it looked to throttle media files. It took about 10 minutes to download a couple minute podcast. Not good.

Overall, if you are looking for an off-the-strip hotel, skip this one. There are many more and better options.

A rude TSA Worker

This morning I experienced the most unprofessional TSA employee of all my travel experiences.
Now let me begin by saying that all the TSA employees I have previously encountered have been professional and have good dealings.

This incident didn’t happen to me, but to one person in front of me and a person behind me in line.

The first person got lectured about not meeting the new name requirements. The agent said, “I can stamp this void and send you back to the counter.” That is just rude.

The second person laid their documents down on the table before he was ready and the agent stopped and said, “pick those up.” Then the guy picked them up and said sorry I was just trying to make things easier.

The next thing out of the agents mouth just shocked me. “I don’t come dump paper on your desk do I?”

That is not what the traveler was trying to do. The traveler then said something else, I didn’t think it was a big deal, and the TSA agent said, “Do you want to go to the back of the line?”

That is just an abuse of power. Just bad.

After going through the security, the traveler got a card to send in a letter of complaint. The TSA agent then comes up to the supervisor wanting to know what the guy was complaining about and then proceeds to complain about the traveler.

I work in public affairs and communication with the public is essential to have support and understanding. Bad employees like this give the TSA and other federal employees a bad name.

Frontier Messed Up Today

Frontier Airlines has really messed up today. We were supposed to leave at 11:45 today. But we are still sitting in Denver, instead of getting ready to land in Washington, DC.
We are all on the plane, but we’re not going anywhere. This flight was late getting to Denver and now we are waiting for a part to fix the captains chair.

So instead of getting to DC at 5 pm, we are getting in around 7. There goes my opportunity to have an early dinner and get ready for the week.

I am hoping we get in at a reasonable time. I really like Frontier, but now that Republic Airlines is running the show, I may have to rethink my loyalty.

Napolitano should resign now

Department of Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano should resign her position. She just doesn’t get security or what it takes to defend this country.
Earlier today she said the “system worked” in the twarting of the bomber on the Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. Huh?

A bomber was able to get material that he used to try and blow up the flight. He actually started the fire in his lap. If it wasn’t for an observant passenger who tackled the bomber there would have been a big disaster.

Excuse me Madam Secretary. The system didn’t work.

The U.S. Government knew that there were concerns about this passenger when the bomber’s father notified the U.S. Embassy that he was concerned what his son would do. The terrorist was also known to have ties to Al Qaeda and should never had been on that flight.

What we now have to be concerned with is being scared of these terrorists. I am scared the new security measures that DHS will now implement. They tend to over-react to things and implement security measures that are show and do no real good for the security of the flight.

Napolitano should resign and someone with a real security background and knowledge become the Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security.

Why I won’t stay with Frontier if Southwest absorbs them

I think that everyone needs to be really nervous about Southwest acquiring Frontier Airlines.
Once the airport moved from Stapleton to Denver International Airport, DIA was one of the most expensive airports in the country to fly in or out of. There was one reason for this. No competition.

Once the move was made, United became the dominant carrier and Continental removed Denver as a hub city. There was really no one else here to keep United’s prices in check. And then came along Frontier. Continue reading “Why I won’t stay with Frontier if Southwest absorbs them”

Schooner Tour a must do in New York City

The Schooner Day Sail is a must do in New York. We were on the Adirondack.
The Schooner Adirondack

The staff is great, the views are amazing, and it is definitely worth the time. It doesn’t get better than cruising down the Hudson from Chelsea Piers only under the power of the wind.  When the sailboat catches the wind, we were passing some of the tour boats under power.

The tour starts out with the boat under power to get away from the piers, but as soon as you are in open water, they drop the sails and you head south toward the Statue of Liberty and Eilis Island.

Once they have the sails trimmed, the crew comes around and asks what type of drink you would like and then it is a relaxing two hours.

You get to see Manhattan and its wonderful skyline from the water, you get up close to the Statue of Liberty and Eilis Island, and you get a cool and relaxing couple of hours on the water.

It really helps to be on the water when it is really hot and humid.  You get some relief from the heat.

The price is not bad either.  It was only $40 each for two hour Day sail plus a tip for the crew.

Take the time and enjoy the Schooner Day Sail while you are in New York City. You won’t forget it.