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Posted: 4/3/2002 11:48:21 AM EDT
This tidbit from Aero-News. Dumb and Numb, Fliers Accept Paranoia Stupidity and Lack of Judgment Accepted by Public According to a Donna Leinwand story in USA Today, America West Airlines Flight 45 left Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport at about 4:30 Saturday evening, bound for Phoenix. It got as far as Wichita (KS), stopped in mid-flight by a piece of wire, the spring from inside the toilet paper roll (another thing to check!), which panicked the federal air marshals when it was found. Leinwand's story was remarkable in the revelation that the 130 passengers took it in stride, as they were hustled off the plane in school buses, 40 at a time, and allowed to take nothing with them, as they went to a hangar and watched while teams in protective suits clambered on and off the airliner, alternating with bomb- and drug-sniffing dogs (they divert planes for drugs, now?). They sat, complacent, as police and military ambled about, looking serious. They took it when they were told "there's a big man watching you," and that they were OK that they were under suspicion of... something. One of the two identified Air Marshals told reporters, "We found something questionable on this aircraft that made my partner and I (sic) decide to land the aircraft." Air Marshals, not airline captains, are now, apparently, giving the orders on flights. Air Marshals that apparently are scared of a piece of spring. The passengers watched their Easter plans evaporate, while a piece of wire was holding a transcontinental airliner hostage. The airline treated the captured passengers well, providing candy, pop, pizza, and infants' supplies; but the 130 were all hostages in the hangar, nevertheless. Carry-on bags were eventually returned to their owners, who, by 3AM, were on their way to a Holiday Inn. We hope the airline gets the toilet paper thing fixed -- or there will be a REAL problem on the next flight! FMI: www.tsa.gov What is wrong with this picture?
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