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Author Topic: Travel conditions  (Read 5891 times)

Ian

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Travel conditions
« on: June 10, 2003, 01:01:56 am »

I have discovered (surprise surprise) that interstate travel without a private vehicle is a pain in the ass. I originally used airlines when traveling between school and home, but those have ceased to be an option I'm willing to use. So until I purchased a car, my only options were Greyhound (blech) and AmTrak (slightly less blech). So, having gone through that introduction, here's the useful tidbit for people in similar situations:

Western and midwestern AmTrak stations, even major ones, have no metal detectors. This was initially observed years ago, and most recently confirmed about a month ago. Basically, if you board at a minor (unmanned) station, you have no access to a baggage car and all your baggage has to be carry-on (their bag limits are, in my experience, thoroughly unenforced). Boarding passengers are not frisked, metal-detector-wanded, or anything of the like. At major stations you can check baggage, but the boarding process is the same. I have no idea what they do with checked baggage, but I doubt it is scrutinized much at all (as of a year ago, I guarantee they weren't x-raying checked bags  ;) ). If a person happened to want to carry a weapon of any sort with them while travelling, AmTrak would probably be the best commercial option. Keep it concealed, and nobody will ever know. I haven't bough tickets in person, though, so I can't comment on ID requirements that may exist.

My experience with Greyhound is much thinner (if you can avoid long Greyhound trips, by all means do so!) and a bit dated. A year ago they gave carry-on bags a cursory pat-down and used a metal-detercor wand at major stations. Checked baggage was not examined at all (I was able to watch my checked bags the entire time they were being handled). That situation may well have changed by now. Also, at the time they wanted a photo ID to buy a ticket, but it was only given a quick glance (theoretically to prove that you are who you say you are) and then returned. Any decent fake would have sufficed.

Hope this is of use to someone!
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And Tomlinson took up the tale and spoke of his good in life.
"O this I have read in a book," he said, "and that was told to me,
"And this I have thought that another man thought of a Prince in Muscovy."
The good souls flocked like homing doves and bade him clear the path,
And Peter twirled the jangling Keys in weariness and wrath.
"Ye have read, ye have heard, ye have thought," he said, "and the tale is yet to run:
"By the worth of the body that once ye had, give answer—what ha' ye done?"

Loxosceles_Reclusa

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Travel conditions
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2003, 04:26:24 pm »

;)

 Thanks for the travel tips. I haven't flown since the Seventies. I had some pretty bad experiences with airport "security" even then, and I'm sure not going to start back *now*. I haven't taken a long bus trip since about the same time,  but I've avoided that for different reasons, until lately. I've never travelled on AmTrak at all (though I did take some brief train trips when I was a little kid in the early and middle 1960s, on some other railroad lines I can't recall the names of). I toyed with the idea of going to a sort of convention in New Orleans by AmTrak in 1997, when I still had a little money, but I decided I'd better not spend it all in one place. I did anyway, though -- *this* place.

 Frankly, I've never done much travelling, period, except what I couldn't get out of. I wasn't much of a traveller when I was young, and far less so now. I don't really like cars or driving all that  much either, though, and kind of hoped I might actually be a little *more* untraceable or "invisible" going by train. No "sobriety checkpoint" roadblocks and all that.
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Eternal_Vigilance

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Travel conditions
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2003, 05:19:09 pm »

I don't know about you, but I find it ironic that the only one, actually, truly,  quasi-government mode of travel is the least restricted. Not that I'm coimplaining, but does that make any sense? If it's a plot to get more business to Amtrak, it seems to be working. Train travel is up (again), and if the current "Home Security" trends continue, it may be the only one with a profit...

Oh, yeah, Claire for Prez! If enough of of nominate her, she HAS to go right? I think I read that somewhere...  ;)  
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ladylearning

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Travel conditions
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2003, 06:22:05 pm »

Quote
Frankly, I've never done much travelling, period, except what I couldn't get out of.

Hi Lox,
I hope you don't mind the shorter version of your screen name, no disrespect intended.
At various times in my life I've traveled a fair amount, and lived in different countries. The only thing I don't like about travel is... all of it  <_<  It's the result that I enjoy.
Parts of this world are incredibly beautiful and actually seeing that beauty with my own eyes brings me great joy. Learning about and observing different cultures is mind expanding too, but right now I've set a goal to see as much of the American west that I can. I just returned from Arizona.... Phoenix, Sedona, and the amazingly breathtaking Grand Canyon.  Yup, the airport security, the long drives, and the whole travel thing was absolutely worth it. I'd do it again.... and probably will.  
Many people say the best thing about travel is coming home, I'm fortunate enough to feel happy and "at home" just about anywhere, especially if I'm surrounded with beauty.
:)

LL
 
 
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Loxosceles_Reclusa

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Travel conditions
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2003, 10:55:40 pm »

B)

 Hi, Ladylearning,

 Oh no, "Lox" is fine. I not only don't mind, but it was only forgetfulness on my part that prevented me from signing my first two or three posts just that way.

 Now that I think of it, I *did* go on a lot of long car/camping trips with my parents when I was little. Oh, and with the Boy Scouts and R.A.s ("Royal Ambassadors," a church group)  too. But that's pretty different from travelling on one's own, as an adult.

 Lox
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Dave

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Travel conditions
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2003, 11:23:05 pm »

Personally, I have always hated mass transit.

Unfortunately, my preferred method of transportation (Cessna) just is not cost effective for crossing the country. I recently flew from coast to coast via the unfriendly skies and the only difference from the 90's I noticed was fewer travellers, more governement insecurity goons, and metal detector sensitivity was at maximum. I still had to show ID, I still had my bags searched. I am surprised that they did not make me turn on my laptop, that used to be standard procedure.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2003, 11:23:33 pm by Dave »
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Ian

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Travel conditions
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2003, 12:31:58 am »

Quote
I am surprised that they did not make me turn on my laptop, that used to be standard procedure.
That is unusual, because I was under the impression that it was definitely standard procedure now. A friend of mine had an awful time on one flight when they found an old calculator in his bag (so old he had forgotten it was in there). The battery was dead and corroded and it wouldn't function when they demanded that he turn it on...

Eternal Vigilance -
Quote
I find it ironic that the only one, actually, truly, quasi-government mode of travel is the least restricted. Not that I'm coimplaining, but does that make any sense?
Yeah, that had occurred to me as well. I suspect that plain ol' bureaucratic ineptitude is responsible, but there is also the fact that one can't really hijack a train (at least not the same way one could hijack an airliner or bus).

While I'm posting, I'll mention that if you don't mind being hours late to arrive at your destination, AmTrak is actually pretty comfortable. The seats are big (and recline pretty far back for sleeping), with plenty of foot room, and they're rarely crowded. In the west, the scenery is fantastic, especially from an observation car. Food is expensive, though - I always bring my own along.
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And Tomlinson took up the tale and spoke of his good in life.
"O this I have read in a book," he said, "and that was told to me,
"And this I have thought that another man thought of a Prince in Muscovy."
The good souls flocked like homing doves and bade him clear the path,
And Peter twirled the jangling Keys in weariness and wrath.
"Ye have read, ye have heard, ye have thought," he said, "and the tale is yet to run:
"By the worth of the body that once ye had, give answer—what ha' ye done?"

Dave

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Travel conditions
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2003, 01:04:59 am »

Quote
That is unusual, because I was under the impression that it was definitely standard procedure now.
I did have to take it out of it's bag and it went through the machine and a residue wipe.  :unsure:
I was all concerned because I have a friend that got seriously hassled because his laptop didn't boot into the familiar Windows screen, and like him I don't do Windows.
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enemyofthestate

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Travel conditions
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2003, 06:53:19 pm »

Quote
Quote
That is unusual, because I was under the impression that it was definitely standard procedure now.
I did have to take it out of it's bag and it went through the machine and a residue wipe.  :unsure:
I was all concerned because I have a friend that got seriously hassled because his laptop didn't boot into the familiar Windows screen, and like him I don't do Windows.
I avoid planes for the usual reasons plus the laptop issue.  I usually need my laptop when I get to a jobsite but even before 911 I had to put up with crap because of it.   Last time I took it by plane some yahoo wanted to run a program that looked for "pornography" and tried to confiscate my laptop because his program wouldn't run on Linux.   Fortunately the cop who was called over waved me thru.  Since then, if I need the laptop, I drive.  Since 911 I don't fly at all.  Fortunately I never have to go furher than Phoenix anymore so driving a rental car is practical.

I am interested in anyone's experience at using Amtrak for cross country travel.  I'd like to vists some relatives who live about two time zones away but I'm not flying if I can avoid it.  Even if it means not going.
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Scarmiglione'

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Travel conditions
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2003, 06:37:30 am »

Pre-911 I used really push the security folks around.  My favorite was this one particular knife I would carry.  It was a skinning knife, and as such was very short and curved.  It was, at the time, completely "letter of the law" legal to carry in every state. But because of it's severely arced blade, it *looked* mean.  I got it into O'hare on my belt once.

What was really fun was when they would insist that I check the knife in with my baggage, at which point I would tell them I didn't have any baggage.

I also used to hassle the residue-wipers incessantly, and put fun "things" find in my bag for the screeners.

I was bringing back a big can of face cream as a gift once.  It was a large cylinder, and a packed it in the center of my suitcase, and then padded it with a week's worth of dirty clothes. Hehehe.  I think what *really* pissed them off is when I made them put everything back.
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kbarrett

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Travel conditions
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2003, 03:00:46 pm »

Quote
My experience with Greyhound is much thinner (if you can avoid long Greyhound trips, by all means do so!) and a bit dated.
The Canadian management of Laidlaw ( Greyhound's parent corp ) has fully jumped into the TSA crapwagon.

They are starting to search bags before boarding at major cities, and they go out of their way to cooperate with unlawful LEO shakedowns. If you must use Greyhound, board at a flag stop between terminals ( the driver just wants you to show him the ticket and get aboard ), and leave at a similar stop.


Amtrak is still reasonable.... the long time railroad workers who run the train generally don't comply with the TSA crap ... they don't let non-railroad people tell them how to do their jobs.

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The psychology of “Projection”:  If you want to run people’s lives for them, then you will probably assume that any armed person wants to do the same to you. Scratch a victim-disarmament supporter, and you will always discover a fear-ridden control-freak.

kbarrett

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Travel conditions
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2003, 03:53:33 pm »

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Personally, I have always hated mass transit.

Unfortunately, my preferred method of transportation (Cessna) just is not cost effective for crossing the country.
Private aircraft are very cost effective....as long as you don't care about selling your aircraft afterwards.

An experimental builder does his own repairs lawfully ....

I'll not tell you publically to avoid APs..... but if you don't plan to sell the aircraft.....

And when was the last time you actually saw the FAA do a ramp check at an uncontrolled field? Do you think anyone would have put up with this crap before WWII? Are we all somehow "safer" now?


 
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The psychology of “Projection”:  If you want to run people’s lives for them, then you will probably assume that any armed person wants to do the same to you. Scratch a victim-disarmament supporter, and you will always discover a fear-ridden control-freak.

Dave

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Travel conditions
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2003, 09:28:06 pm »

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Private aircraft are very cost effective....as long as you don't care about selling your aircraft afterwards.

The planned trip from San Jose to Newport News would be around $5000 and take nearly as many days as driving. (I can comfortably drive 12-16 hours/day. I can comfortably fly 8.)

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An experimental builder does his own repairs lawfully ....

And takes a lot of time to do so.
Quote
And when was the last time you actually saw the FAA do a ramp check at an uncontrolled field? Do you think anyone would have put up with this crap before WWII? Are we all somehow "safer" now?
Can't say as I have ever seen the FAA do a ramp check.

So the point you are making is that it is dollars effective to fly a GA aircraft across the country, but I need to trade off time and future value to do so. That does not seem very cost effective to me.

And fuel consumtion is still quite bad. 40 hours @ 11 Gal/hr @ $2.50/gal = $1100 or twice the airline ticket. If fuel were the only cost I'd say it was worth it. ($500 to not use mass transit is a good value!)

Dave  
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kbarrett

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Travel conditions
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2003, 04:53:16 pm »

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And fuel consumtion is still quite bad. 40 hours @ 11 Gal/hr @ $2.50/gal = $1100 or twice the airline ticket. If fuel were the only cost I'd say it was worth it. ($500 to not use mass transit is a good value!)
Hmmmm. A larger plane would need more passengers to be cost effective....Sounds like you are flying something a bit larger than a 172.... I guess it comes down to how much you value privacy and not being interfered with. Privacy is always more expensive than just going along with the herd.

If you fly through an airline, you deal with the TSA. All forms of long distance mass transit want to see an ID ( although I've boarded AMTRAK without ever showing one ), and get pissy about cash fares if you buy tickets at a main terminal. Auto plates get punched into an NCIC terminal whenever a cop gets bored behind you at a stop light.

No one keeps track of, and no official ever bothers a GA pilot on VFR outside of class B or C airport's airspace. Fly NORDO in a biplane and you don't even talk to other pilots.

Heh.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2003, 04:53:52 pm by kbarrett »
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The psychology of “Projection”:  If you want to run people’s lives for them, then you will probably assume that any armed person wants to do the same to you. Scratch a victim-disarmament supporter, and you will always discover a fear-ridden control-freak.

Dave

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Travel conditions
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2003, 01:52:08 pm »

Quote
Hmmmm. A larger plane would need more passengers to be cost effective....Sounds like you are flying something a bit larger than a 172.... I guess it comes down to how much you value privacy and not being interfered with. Privacy is always more expensive than just going along with the herd.
Actually a 172 is MORE expensive than the 182 numbers I mentioned. Fuel consumption per hour is 7 gallons - but you add a lot of hours. (Need to go around the Sierras and Rockies rather than find a low point in the ridgelines.) For Cessna aircraft, a 210P (or 210 w/O2 system)  is the most efficient for 1 person coast to coast.

I don't mind paying more for privacy and just staying away from flying cattle cars, but when it is either see the family or not see the family...
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