Well, in true "Festivus" fashion I am going to rant and rave now and air some grievances about some folks who insist on making the holiday season a true non-joy for people. I am talking, of course, about the terrorists, or in this case that one idiot in particular -- a Nigerian national who boarded that Northwest Airlines (Delta) flight in Amsterdam and tried to blow the plane up over Detroit. On Christmas Day, no less.
First, here's the CNN story about it all. By the way, this was basically the only story on CNN even though it was old news by Saturday morning. I can understand wall-to-wall coverage on the day it happened, but it was really getting to be overkill by the time I checked out of my hotel in Las Vegas.
At this point, I'd like to give my own first-hand account of my experience flying out of Las Vegas back to Saskatoon.
What ended up happening was our flight ended up being delayed for over two hours because of all the beefed-up security going on. Personally, I had no problems with lineups at the actual airport itself, even though there was a lot more security present. The problem was there were all kinds of delays in getting flights to and from their destinations because of all the extra measures being taken.
Once the WestJet flight finally arrived and we got on board, we were in for some unpleasant surprises: the captain came out and apologized for the delay, and told us because of security reasons they weren't goiing to show the satellite TV. Well, great. No TV to watch for the entire flight to Saskatoon. Also, we were all required to sit in our seats for a full hour before the plane landed. There was much muttering and grumbling on the flight about all the havoc caused by this one individual who had tried to blow up a plane over Detroit.
Anyway, it wasn't all bad. Because we were delayed we were given free food vouchers to eat lunch at the Las Vegas airport. Fortunately, the place I went to had good chicken-noodle soup, so that was all right. Another positive was the fact that I was able to extend my stay in sunny Las Vegas for a little while longer, allowing me to play some of the slot machines at the McCarran International Airport and Casino -- as I call it.
What I find interesting about the airport is that it is literally right next to the Las Vegas strip. So when you land in Vegas you are right there at the centre of the action -- not way out in the boondocks as is the case at most metropolitan airports. They also had a neat display in the terminal saluting Bonanza Airlines, which used to be based out of Las Vegas but which disappeared as part of the many mergers and acquisitions that took hold in the American airline industry. The display showed off old Bonanza Airlines outfits, timetables, tickets and other memorabilia. So that passed the time while waiting for WestJet to arrive.
All in all, it was a remarkably stress-free trip, except maybe for the tail end of it. But what can you do but put up with it, eh? Otherwise, these terrorists win.
Here's a link to the story about all the flight delays and chaos caused by this one idiot. Also, here is a story on what was going on at the Las Vegas airport where I had to put up with delays, although, as I said before, the delays had more to do with flights and less to do with lineups at the airport.
I'm very happy that this terrorist plot was so totally botched up and this Nigerian is now in the slammer. All I have to say to him is simply this: Merry Christmas! Ho, ho, ho!