Prague Twin

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

America: You Gotta Love it!

So no problems at airport security. In fact, this is the first time in over 5 years that I didn't get twenty questions at customs. I was through customs with my luggage in 20 minutes. A new record. Having said that, the nice Finnish girl that sat next to me had to go into a massive line for non-U.S. passport holders. Perhaps that is why tourism is falling. In fact, in all my travels, only Moscow made their visitors wait so long. Generally, European customs go quite quickly for everyone.

Ironically, then, it was on the European side where I experienced some delays. I was frisked twice (once in Prague, and once in London). The second frisking was a really good one. I haven't been touched like that by a man in quite some time. (Calm down, just a little joke there).

I was really curious what the deal with the liquids would be. What you can do is buy water at the duty free shop and then they seal it a transparent plastic bag. This increased my cost of water for the flight ten fold, but no big deal. You can bring your own fluids on board so long as they come in less than 100ml containers. It doesn't matter how much fluid is in the container, it is the size of the container that matters. So for instance, you can bring a full tube of toothpaste in a 100ml container, but if you bring a 200ml tube of toothpaste that only has 50ml of toothpaste remaining, it will be confiscated.

All and all, a very civilized and efficient trip. No complaints. (Except that water thing, sheesh!)


  • praguetwin,

    As I predicted, no travel headaches for you.

    The article linked to your last posted contained the following:

    "According to figures from the Travel Industry Association of America, the number of travelers to the United States -- not including Canadians and Mexicans -- has dropped by 17 percent since 2001."

    Tourism is NOT down in NY City. The place is swamped with visitors speaking languages other than English. Although there are plenty of Brits storming the streets.

    Meanwhile, how full was your plane?

    The article also stated:

    "Despite a record year for world tourism last year and a weak dollar against both the British pound and the euro, the number of visitors from Western Europe dipped by nearly three percent over the previous year."

    I don't a three-percent decline is a catastrophe. Moreover, how much did these visitors spend? That's more important.

    By Blogger no_slappz, at 6:11 PM  

  • I had a free seat next to me for the first time in over 5 years.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 12:17 AM  

  • Hohum is not what I was expecting. I don't quite know what it is about the travel horror stories but I like them. As long as yours truly is not directly involved, ofcourse. How does it feel to be there after being sort of climatized by Europe? Do you feel being a tourist or is it if you never left?

    By Anonymous pekka, at 11:02 AM  

  • It kind of feels like both. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense, but it really does feel that way.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 10:30 PM  

  • The water thing is lousy, making a simple sip more costly than fine spirits. The solution is to bring an empty screw top bottle from home, maybe one that did hold water before you emptied it out or drank up on the way to the airport. Then just fill it up from the drinking fountain. Of course, Chicago's tap water is very, very good.

    By Blogger Publia, at 4:46 PM  

  • That old guy in the picture is a total terrorist!

    By Blogger GraemeAnfinson, at 10:09 AM  

  • Good to hear your travels didn't turn into headaches!

    By Blogger Frederick, at 12:03 PM  

  • So... Out of pocket for a while I see. Are you back in Prague yet? Still in the US? Did you visit our fair Left Coast?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:58 AM  

  • American tourism is failing because of the mandatory passport law that went into effect the other month. Now Canadians can't get into the States without paying about $95 each to the Canadian government for a passport. For a family, that can kill a planned vacation.

    By Anonymous saskboy, at 6:15 PM  

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