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  1. #1
    dwross's Avatar
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    an airport to avoid

    I just returned from visiting family in Minnesota, with Duluth the last leg. Since the beginnings of "Homeland Security", the folks at the Duluth airport have always been a little over-enthusiastic, but on Sunday, October 22, 2006, they crossed the line. Security spent twenty minutes tearing through my small camera bag. Nothing escaped handling. My cable shutter release was played with for at least a minute and then wiped down for chemical traces. It was everything I could do to prevent them from unspooling my 120 film ("I've never seen this stuff. Are you SURE it's film?"). The woman ahead of me had her cell phone calls looked at and every file in her digital camera studied.

    Just thought you should know.

  2. #2
    dmr
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    I fly out of Lincoln, NE occasionally, a smaller airport, probably about the size of Duluth, and yes, they always seem to spend more time with each person than at OMA where I usually fly from.

    However, they have never refused to do a hand inspection of film or ever been nasty or uncooperative.

  3. #3
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    The US government imposed security screening at airports in the mid-1970's to address the threat of hijacking. Shortly after this practice began, I had a business trip to International Falls, MN - just up the road from Duluth. There were two things about this trip that I will always remember.

    One was that it was in January, and the wait on the sidewalk or a taxi to the airport was the coldest I have every been.

    The other was that when I got to the airport, the security screener took several minutes to examine a note pad in my briefcase - looking at and between every sheet of paper in the pad. I still don't know what he was looking for - and you betcha he didn't either.
    Louie

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Cable releases seem suspicious to screeners. They look like syringes on the X-ray.

    What I've done is to keep a small case with all the things that seem to have gotten the screeners' attention--cable releases, screwdrivers, Linhof rangefinder cams, small tools and such--and I put that case in my checked luggage. More than half the time my bag goes through the X-ray with no further inspection now.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  5. #5
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    I would imagine that the inspectors at smaller airports suffer from extreme cases of boredom. If they spent twenty minutes looking at a cable shutter release at LaGuardia the entire air traffic system throughout North America would start to seize up!

  6. #6
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    Hmmm....another airport tale. Let's see in the past 6 months I have flown, with my big yellow Hasselblad, rolls of film, winder, 3 lenses, viewfinder, light meter, and other assorted goodies in my LowePro through Providence, La Guardia, Dallas, St Louis, Toronto, London UK, Boston, JFK, Newark, New Haven, Cinncinati, Philly, San Diego, LAX, Westchester County, Hartford, Willow Run, Gatwick UK, Charles de Gaule France, Montreal, Chicago, Peurto Vallarta Mexico and Raliegh and I don't have a sordid tale like it seems all you folks do. What am I missing?

    I always wonder why the UFOs seem to pick up the trailer folks in the countryside and never the folks that WANT to meet the aliens. Hmmm...

    Regards, Art.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  7. #7
    DBP
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    The one place I never worry about TSA hassles is National Airport in Arlington, VA. As with many things, I believe the better people are moved to the most important locations. As National is probably as visible a target as one can find, they don't take a lot of chances with staffing. And any mistakes are as likely to make it into a Congressional hearing or a national newspaper as they are to get posted here, so supervisors are more attentive. I have had some very minor problems elsewhere, but none at National.

  8. #8

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    Dulles has been at the top of my Hated USA Airports List for years - the TSA is not the reason - stupid airport design and miserable ground transport system are the reasons.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  9. #9
    DBP
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    Agree wholeheartedly - the fact that Dulles is often cited as an example of great architecture is a clear sign that the architecture community has lost sight of the fact that buildings are experienced at close range and mostly from the inside. It's most attractive when viewed at a scale of 1/500 or smaller.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson View Post
    Dulles has been at the top of my Hated USA Airports List for years - the TSA is not the reason - stupid airport design and miserable ground transport system are the reasons.
    They're working on fixing that... currently there's an underground tramway system being built which will eliminate the big buses on industrial dumptruck wheels.

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