Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Step Away From Your Jimmy Choos...

I was reading an article in the newspaper yesterday about heightened airport security and it was making a big deal about the new rule that "All shoes must be removed and placed on an X-ray belt for screening". This is news??? I know there's been a lot of new restrictions about liquids put into place but I thought the whole "take off your shoes" rule was old hat. I was 21 years old before I ever took my first plane trip (not counting a family flight I can't remember when I was probably less than two) so I can't say I ever experienced airport security pre-9/11. For as long as I've been flying, I've had to walk through metal detectors in stockinged feet. I've wizened to the handy tip of wearing slip-on sneakers for quick removal and reshoeing. And yet five years later I'm still surprised that people don't know about this policy of footwear scanning. I remember one time I was in line behind a woman shod in flip flops. These weren't any Saks-special, high-heeled, glittery Manolo Blahnik thongs. They were flip-flops. Your plain old centimeter-thick, rubber-bottomed, Jimmy Buffet variety. The kind you should never ever wear to the White House. She was shocked and almost indignant when the guards informed her that she needed to pass through the scanner area barefoot while her miniscule sandals took a ride in the x-ray buckets. And, yeah, I understand not wanting to ruin your pedicure with whatever microorganisms take up residence on the floors of O'Hare (which raises a whole new question of wearing flip flops to an airport in the first place...) but there's something to be said for knowledge of the rules and willing compliance. I can sympathize with those that regretfully surrendered hundreds of dollars worth of cosmetics and perfumes when the new regulations against liquids in carry-on luggage went into effect, but as for the questions about footwear removal, it really is an old is-shoe.

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