Sunday, August 13, 2006

GBM Asks: Will Recent Terror Incident Affect Your Mobile Tech Travel Plans?

The news has been all about the air travelers in Great Britain being forced to check or even mail their technology instead of carrying it on. Warner Crocker asks at GottaBeMobile how we would deal with the same restrictions on our air travel. I started penning a comment there, but decided to put it here, as I was (as usual) getting long-windedpenned.

When I bought my car in 2000, I stopped flying for 6 years. I'd drive 600 miles to be with family, because it was still cheaper to gas up My compact SUV. After the security horror stories post-September 2001, even my mother's pleading, insisting and bribe offers wouldn't make me consider flying; I didn't want the hassle. When we went with a group of friends on a Carribean cruise earlier this year, we drove though four states to get to the port, because air fares were just too exorbitant.

When I met some family members in New England last month, I flew for the first time in six years, because there was no way I was driving. I had planned to travel by train, but circumstances prevented me from trying to make a reservation until there were no seats available. Because of the way I purchased my tickets, I got the full treatment (you'd think they'd be a little nicer to someone they hadn't seen in six years). The shoe thing was a new experience. On the way out, the guy answered my questions while sticking his wand in my backpack. These things made for a surprisingly unruffled MiniMage. However, I was able to keep an eye for the most part on my Tablet and my PDA phone, which kept me amused in the airports. I even talked with a nice German fellow about his beautiful PDA phone with GPS...and I dare say you'll find few people more introverted than yours truly!

So...tell me to check my beloved Tablet PC, my iPod Shuffle and my Pocket PC Phone? Sure thing, right after I'm reimbursed for the printer the baggage handlers busted years ago! No, in the interest of public safety, I will simply buy myself another compact SUV and drive everywhere hopped up on caffeine. If that isn't feasible, I'll take a train, a bus, or even a cruise ship. I'll drop my dreams of visiting other continents. That way, no one can accuse me of preferring convenience over the safety of others, airlines can be happy, and so can I, because having my gadgets (and knowing they aren't being broken and/or stolen) makes me happy, doggonit!

We're planning a group trip to Vegas next year, and it's already been decided we'd fly. Well, now, I'm just going to have to wait and see, aren't I? A train trip across the US might be fun, as long as I've got electricity and my cable lock.