Since becoming an IJ I've been traveling by airplane a lot more than before that. Booking, tickets and stuff like that is not difficult anymore; the Internet provides you with plenty of good search sites, where you can find, compare and price your needs. The difficult bit starts when you are deciding what to pack into your bag. Tillerman from the Proper Course Blog had some experiences with this as a sailor (Airline Paranoia, Tillermans Tiller and Airline Paranoia revisited) Luckily as a judge or umpire, I don't need to bring my tiller-extension.
Like all of us, as a judge I have to deal with people I would classify as "Airport Mussolinis".
Those hardworking, honest, open and friendly security people who check your bag, pockets, coat, laptop, shoes, belt, ears and underwear for explosive gels.
People you stand hours in line for, to help you;
People who let you pass a portal that beeps and emits other strange noises, whenever someone has the audacity to step trough;
People who confiscate your nail clippers as a terrorist treat;
People who track you down on the airport, because they want you to open your checked baggage for an inflatable life-jacket, and then remove that explosive cylinder containing oxygen, so the plane doesn't blow up;
People who don't smoke, so they don't recognize a travelers ash-tray when they see one and have to ask a supervisor;
People who want to take away your laptop-lock because it's attached to a steel cable and you could strangle the pilot with it, at 10.000 feet;
People who take away your water bottle, because you have to buy them at the airport;
Those people. You know them. You've met them.......
Please stay calm, remember THHGTTG and DON’T PANIC:
The Airport Mussolinis have something new to look for:
Effective January 1, 2008, travelers may no longer pack spare lithium batteries of any kind in checked baggage. Passengers wishing to carry spare lithium batteries for devices such as laptops, cell phone and cameras are now required to pack them in their carry-on baggage with the terminals covered/ insulated or stored in plastic bags. Travelers may check bags that contain batteries, as long as they are installed in electronic devices. Lithium batteries found during the screening process may be removed by the TSA. - http://www.ussailing.org/safety
Note to self: pack duct tape in hand bag, with certificate of non-flammability, tension strength below 5 Psi and no electrical conductive properties at all.