Airport! 2004

One more thing before I go. Thanks to Max, I’ve learned that Atlanta’s Hartsfield airport is so abominably congested that it made the international news.

ATLANTA (AP) - Thousands of frustrated travelers waited in two-hour-long lines to pass through security Tuesday morning at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, slowed by a rush of business and post-holiday passengers.

Until the crush cleared up by early afternoon, departing travelers at the country’s busiest airport stood in a labyrinthine line that wound through ticketing and baggage claim areas and the food court before even nearing the security gate. … Lines also have spilled outside at least twice in the last month. …

By early afternoon, travelers’ waiting time was down to about 10 minutes, but airport officials say people should expect more long lines on busy travel mornings throughout the summer.

from The Guardian 2004-06-01

What is causing such insane bottlenecks? Federal bureaucracy, of course—did you really have to ask?

Hartsfield-Jackson officials have warned for months they could not handle the summer travel crush without extra help from the federal Transportation Security Administration. … The airport has asked for more security lanes but the four additional lanes now being built haven’t been completed. All 18 security lanes were in use Tuesday.

Airport managers are also waiting for 59 more screeners promised by federal authorities. …

Travelers wondered whether security measures should be loosened now that air travel has bounced back to pre-9-11 levels.

Quincy Osborne, who was headed to the Cayman Islands for a vacation, expected to miss his flight even though he arrived at the airport three hours early.

Not everyone should be considered a threat, he said. Look, you see the elderly, little kids, expectant mothers. They should think of another way to do this.

from The Guardian 2004-06-01

Your thought for the day comes courtesy of M. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon; this one goes out to all the folks waiting in line in Atlanta:

To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.

P.-J. Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century (trans. John Beverly Robinson), Epilogue ¶ 39

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