Sigh… The Overreaction Starts Again… Let’s Hope It Rationalizes Soon

According to the Los Angeles Times, in reaction to yesterday’s attempted attack,

The new rules limit on-board activities by passengers and crew members while in U.S. airspace. Among other things, passengers must remain in their seats during the last hour of the flight and cannot have access to their carry-on items or place any personal belongings in their laps.

Presumably, part of this is poor writing on the LA Times part (not surprising, given their staff cutback), and they didn’t mean to imply you couldn’t get to your personal belongings during the entire flight. The New York Times put it this way:

Among other steps being imposed, passengers on international flights coming to the United States will apparently have to remain in their seats for the last hour of a flight without any personal items on their laps. Overseas passengers will be restricted to only one carry-on item aboard the plane, and domestic passengers will probably face longer security lines.

As you can see, these two are inconsistent, which means the most overreacting choice will be made. One wonders if this means you can no longer listen to your iPod during the last hour (or the entire flight, on short flights) or read a paperback book as you land? I’m curious what the difference is between a book and the airline issued magazine? Here’s what the San Francisco Chronicle said:

Air Canada said in a statement that new rules imposed by the Transportation Security Administration limit on-board activities by passengers and crew in U.S. airspace. The airline said that during the final hour of flight passengers must remain seated. They won’t be allowed access to carryon baggage or to have any items on their laps.

Flight attendants on some domestic flights are informing passengers of similar rules. Passengers on a flight from New York to Tampa Saturday morning were also told they must remain in their seats and couldn’t have items in their laps, including laptops and pillows.

The Chronicle also noted:

Air Canada said it was limiting passengers to one carryon bag in response to a request from the U.S. and Canadian governments. The airline advised U.S.-bound passengers to restrict their carryon item to “the absolute minimum” or to not carry any bag on board at all. “Carriage of any carryon item will result in lengthy security delays for the customer,” the airline said.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I see an inherent conflict between charging for checked luggage, and telling us not to carry-on luggage. If the TSA wants to encourage people to check and not carry-on, they should prohibit fees for checked luggage.

Hopefully, this will all settle out before I have to fly again. Hopefully.