...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Friday, April 08, 2005
      ( 3:23 PM )
Open Letter

Dear Portland International Airport:

One of our favorite simple pleasures is going to the airport and watching the airplanes up close. My 3-year-old son absolutely loves airplanes and now that Southwest has painted all their planes purple (his favorite color), it has become even more of a thrill to watch them. However, when we went to the airport the other day, we found that all the windows in all the public areas have been covered over with this transluscent (but not transparent) covering. So the light gets in, but no one can see out. It was horrible, we went everywhere and couldn't find one window to look out. I flagged down one of the TSA agents [(is it just me or are they all now drunk on the power of funneling people into lines to strip and go through the metal detectors? and here in Portland, there seems to be about 3 TSA nazi's to every normal person in the airport)]. He then informed us that you have covered all the windows "so people can't figure out the patterns of the airplanes."

Oh for crying out loud. This is really the last straw.

A. You can't see any "patterns" from the restaurant windows. If you're loooking for take off and landing patterns, watching from the airport doesn't help, you'd just drive down to the lookout at the end of the airstrip and get what you wanted. There is literally nothing to see from the public area in the airport (since no on can go to the gates anymore if they're not flying) except airplanes taxi back and forth - something that is pure delight for little children.

B. Did you have to cover up the ENTIRE length of the windows? They are floor-to-ceiling windows, so why not leave 2 feet at the bottom opoen so little kids can still see out? Then adults crouching for long time to watch the planes would obviously be suspicious. Shouldn't be too hard for the hoards of TSA agents to figure out that adult was out of place.

C. Give me a break. You don't even check any of the cargo getting onto planes, the airlines are outsourcing all the mechanical work on the planes, and you're spending money on covering up and removing the only pleasure that's left in the aiport?

It's a sad day when one of the few free pleasures in life is taken away because of stupidity. Of course, since that seems to be the course this entire country is on, I suppose it is little surprise. When I tried to explain to my young son that the airport wouldn't let him watch planes anymore because they don't want bad people to see them, he responded, "but I'm not a bad man, mommy." The statement we're all increasingly making as our rights, freedoms and simple pleasures are slowly stripped away.

A Frustrated Mama


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