September 03, 2006

Random observations on airline safety

It's amazing people still fly anywhere.

* * *

Awaiting my flight at the Ottawa International Airport, I passed by a drink stand and asked for a bottle of orange juice.

"Sure," said the cashier. "But because of the new restrictions, I'll have to pour it out of the bottle and into this cup before I can give it to you."

"Um, okay." I replied.

The cashier pulled the bottle off the shelf and began pouring the contents into a plastic cup. She looked up and smiled.

"Don't worry, we're fighting terrorism."

* * *

I can't bring deodorant on a plane, but I can bring a Dell laptop that may explode.

* * *

An Iraqi American was refused entry onto a flight because of Arabic writing on his t-shirt.

The story: Arabic T-Shirt Sparks Airport Row | BBC News
The personal account: Back from the Mideast | Raed in the Middle

* * *

Panic erupts on a flight bound for Ottawa because of a flushed iPod.

The story: iPod prompts airport scare in Ottawa | Ottawa Citizen
The reaction: Flying the Paranoid Skies | Ottawa Citizen
The personal account: I played a game, I became a terrorist | World of Warcraft Forums

* * *

A pilot flying from Ottawa to Winnipeg locks himself in the toilet in the middle of a flight.

The story: Canada pilot in toilet trip drama

* * *

There were six well-publicized crashes in August 2005, making it one of the worst months in commercial flight history:

August 2006 began with the uncovering of an alleged plot to blow up a number of commercial aircraft at Heathrow Airport. There were two major commercial airline crashes in August 2006, followed by another on the first of September.

And yesterday, a British Royal Air Force plane crashed, killing all twelve soldiers on board.

* * *

Well, at least we won't be subjected to the threat of an Arabic t-shirt on a flight.

Update 9.06.2006: Another amusing story out of Ottawa:
Speeding Driver blames lack of goats | Reuters

Not related to this post or worthy of it's own blog entry, but I just had to put it somewhere.


  1. Thanks, I had a great laugh while reading some of those. :D

  2. Assalaamu'alaykum

    Interesting. You don't mind travelling so much? Airports give me a bitter sweet feeling. I don't like them, but I like the idea of going somewhere.

    I wonder how much of a hassel it would be to fly now. Any pointers or tips for the infrequent flyer?

  3. Sister Maria: You're welcome. One of the great things about the internet, especially in this age of simplified personal publishing, is that often, we can get the stories first-hand. I was amused (and annoyed) when I found the first-hand account of the Iraqi who was refused entry onto the plane because of his shirt. The story of the iPod was just plain silly... I was surprised at how ridiculous the Canadian security officials seemed according to the guy.

    Before the internet, we'd only have access to the parts of the story that the media wanted to tell us. Blogging and forums and all that stuff has let everyone bring their thoughts and opinions to a global audience.

    Sister Farzeen: Wa'alaykum assalam,
    To be honest, the travelling is starting to get to me. Last week, I flew in to Ottawa overnight (losing three hours, sleeping less than two) from Vancouver, and then drove to Toronto almost immediately thereafter. The lack of sleep from that weekend coupled with all the driving has taken it's toll on my health. I've been feeling sick all week, but still have to spend hours and hours on planes and at airports. Insha-Allah, I'll be done with this project soon enough and can get back to a normal routine.

    Next week, I'll be flying on the morning of September 11th. Pray that everything goes incident-free insha-Allah. Of note, I was actually flying in from Moscow to Montreal on the morning of 9/11/2001.. I got heckled at the airport quite a bit back then. To be fair, I haven't felt any discrimination whatsoever in the last few months of frequent flying alhamdolillah.

    Tips? Avoid it if you can.

  4. Assalaamu'alaykum

    Tahooran, insha'Allah. Insha'Allah you feel better soon.

    It's good to hear you haven't had any hassels recently and insha'Allah your flight this September 11th will be no different.

    That's a discouraging tip...hmm..but it's not as though I'm going anywhere insha'Allah khayr.