Friday, June 18, 2004

Waiting at the Airport

I was sitting in the airport today for about two hours, because my dad's flight was delayed. It was a good opportunity for me to do something I haven't done in a while - people-watching. Some people wonder why I do it, and I always tell them that it's just something I do. I enjoy watching people, in a microcosm kinda way.

Anyway, I noticed two things that I wish to share with you today.

1. Unattended Package
Those that have traveled after the September 11th, 2001 incident in the United States would most likely have heard the public announcements regarding unattended packages. Whether it is in the airport, train station, or even the tube stations in London. Those announcements repeat themselves every five minutes or so, urging you not to leave anything unattended and anything that is left unattended will be removed and destroyed.

So I sat down waiting for my dad, and noticed a rather huge plastic bag with a box inside, sitting on the other set of seats across from me. I thought to myself, "Wow, unattended package.. " I wasn't too aware of it at first, thinking that the person who owns it must be steps away (there were quite a number of people around those sets of seats), and they must be keeping a close eye on their own stuff. However, people came and gone, and yet, nobody even walked close to check on the bag. In fact, the bag sat there for twenty minutes before I noticed that nobody is actually watching the bag! I got a little worried, so I moved and sat a little further away.

It wasn't until AN HOUR later that some traffic patrol at the airport noticed the bag, and called in for support. Umm.. excuse me, but if that was a bomb, and if it were to blow up, I would have been dead. Then they got two traffic patrol to 'watch the bag', but not warning people not to go near it, or blocking off that section until it's cleared. Oh no, of course not, those two traffic patrol were too busy talking to themselves.

It took them a little over an hour and a half before they sent a real security officer to check out the bag.. no safely precaution either, just opening the box and checking the contents with his bare hands. I'm not suggesting that it may be a bomb (it turned out to be two bottles of really nice wine that somebody probably forgot about), but what if it were?

During the half hour that the traffic patrol was watching the bag, the second event happened..

2. Woman Falling Off Escalator
So this woman decided that taking the elevator is too far of a walk (about 15 feet away from the escalator), and took her huge luggage with her on the escalator to the second floor. I was sitting right in front of the escalator when her luggage toppled over. She lost her balance (apparently she was JUST holding on to her luggage for support), fell backwards and hit her head on the steps. The escalator, of course, continued moving. I quickly ran and pressed the stop button on the escalator, and try to help the lady up. Again, it took the airport paramedic 15 minutes to show up in his little airport golf cart, that was moving much slower than my walking. He could have walked here and it would have been faster!

Why would you carry a luggage twice your size, that barely fits on the steps on the escalator? Especially when the elevator is a few steps away! Talk about laziness. What's even funnier, is that as they closed the escalator, most people would insist on carrying their luggage up the stairs beside the escalator, then to walk a few steps for the elevator.

Of course, as this happened, everybody's attention was on the incident and everybody just forgot about the unattended bag..

How's that for airport security?

No comments: