The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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5:32pm on Sunday, 2nd October, 2005:
I was hauled over by security when I went to the gate here at Indianapolis airport just now. Delta had cancelled my flight, but because I'd bought it from the UK they were obliged by international air transport regulations to provide an alternative. As a result, they shunted me to a Northwest flight, which I much prefer to Delta's as it's direct (rather than involving a change in Atlanta). To effect this change, they gave me a new ticket. The ticket had SSSS printed on it — a special code word! I was directed to my own, individual security line to be checked out by the local SSSS officers.
Tempting though it is to refer to them as SS officers, I shall resist it because actually they were nice people. One seemed to have been doing this for some time and the other two were trainees. Other than not being able to raise my right arm as high as they wanted (due to an aeroplane accident yesterday — I made a paper one and threw it so hard I hurt my bad shoulder), it all went smoothly and I was out faster than I would have been if I'd joined the longer non-SSSS line. Fortunately, they only used the rubber gloves they wore to check out the contents of my briefcase, not my intestines.
While I'm writing about it, here's something weird.
I noticed that also on the front of the Northwest ticket was a plea to fill in my contact information on the back. I had a look, and it wanted to know:
The switch between two checkboxes and one checkbox is interesting. They could have given me just one checkbox for the US citizen question by stating "I am not a US citizen". They could have had two checkboxes for the last one, asking "Do you decline to provide this information?". However, they went with the inconsistent solution. The thing is, though, that the last checkbox is contradictory: if you tick it, you are providing the information that it asks for (ie. that you decline to provide it!).
All these academics writing papers on HCI for decades is all very well, but if the non-academics don't read them...
Referenced by Another Airport, Another QBlog Entry.
Referenced by SSSSecurity.
Referenced by Diversion.
About this blog.
Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (firstname.lastname@example.org).