I have been flying back and forth to Norway lately. I generally have a violent dislike of flying (founded primarily in the conviction that I am about to die in a ball of flame, but also fuelled by many years as an environmentalist), and this leads to me being on my most critical of the world around me when in airports.
This last couple of flights I have found a new focus for my irritation: flight bags.
I am sure you have come across them. They are part of the same old inane security
, which any terrorist with half a brain would be perfectly able to circumvent if blowing up the flight was really what he (or, indeed, she) wanted to do that day. For those of you still in the dark (probably because you prefer to take the train rather than subject yourself to the shame, fear and annoyance of flying), I will explain.
Regulations state that you are no longer allowed to bring bottles of more than 100 ml aboard flights. You are, however, allowed to bring more than one of these, and probably in order to put a cap on the amount of bottles, airport security (or, rather, the people in charge) have decided that you can bring as many as fit in a zip-lock bag of a particular size:
They hand them out before you go through, and if you carry as much as a lip balm (but, oddly, not the cartridges in your pen...), you have to take one, because heavens forbid you walk through security without your lipbalm safely shrouded in plastic.
I usually circumvent this problem by not carrying anything of the sort in my handluggage or pockets, but due to the cold I had had to resort to lip balm. Hence annoyance.
I pick up the bag, put my lip balm in it, walk through security, pick up my things and ... what am I supposed to do with the bag? There is no collection point that would allow them to reuse the bags (as if the flight industry does not pollute enough already); no recycling, even. I am annoyed.
Rather than throw it in the bin I took it home and vowed to keep it as a testament to the stupidity of man.