Airline Safety: Subsidize Checked Bags

tsaQuepos In the wake of the attempted blowup of an international flight into Detroit, TSA is instituting new rules, including many that will catch travelers unprepared as they return from the holidays.  It goes without saying that airline and passenger safety is a tantamount concern.  As a frequent flier, I also have to quickly add that it is almost unbelievable how much the air travel  experience has been degraded!

The worst news creeping out from foreign airlines given the fact that the Department of Homeland Security and its Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) subsidiary, which does the airport screening, is that all travelers may be limited to one (1) carry-on.  Kill me, now!

Such a policy will force all business travelers to be required to check-in bags, and airlines are simply unprepared to handle the increasing load with any efficiency whatsoever.  Frankly, as all travelers know, this has never been much of a priority with airlines.  It’s an after-market add-on.  The airline collected their money for the flight and delivered the value when the plane safely touched ground.  The question of how much time it may take the traveler once they have landed to collect their gear and get out of the airport seems a begrudging irrelevance to most airlines.  A semi-service for which they garnered no revenue.

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Learning Little from Indonesian Reconstruction

compassion-5Quepos Five years ago the tsunami hit south Asia as bringing a terrible tragedy killing more than 225,000 people in more than a dozen countries.  Banda Aceh in Indonesia was at the epicenter with almost 170,000 of the total estimated deaths.  I have often spoken about our partner, the Urban Poor Consortium, and the work they did in the area in helping fishing villages rebuild homes and livelihoods after the tsunami, and the difficulties they confronted in handling the arrogance and insensitivity of the donor countries and the NGOs.

Peter Gelling in an article in the New York Times may not mean to be indicting the United States Aid for International Development (US-AID), but there was no way not to read the story of the 93-mile new highway forced through Aceh in exactly that way.  The spin from AID repeatedly was that the local population would like the highway sometime in the by and by as years went by.

“But some villagers along the route, unhappy with payments they have or have not received for their land, continue to resist the project, erecting blockades of barbed wire and boulders to obstruct traffic and further construction.

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