JetBlue Refuses to Let Hindu Man Board Flight During Ramadan, Concerned About His "Disposition"

Air travel has become such a nightmare that it's hard to muster any surprise about the hassles and indignities travelers face on a regular basis.

Excruciatingly long lines, invasive pat-downs, awkward luggage inspections, delays, cancelations--and, oh yeah, racial profiling--are all pretty much accepted as par for the course.

Aditya Mukerjee, who lives and works in New York and is Hindu, not Muslim, wrote about a particularly awful experience he had at JFK recently in blog post titled "Don't Fly During Ramadan."

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Now You Can Feel Better (and Healthier) About Yourself at NYC Airports

We all know how much airport security can suck. You wait on a rotating line and push your heavy suitcase on the floor, inch by inch, then you're forced to quickly take off your shoes, watch, belt and anything else metallic before walking through the detector. After all this is finished, you're pressured to pick up all your belongings again and move out of the way as fast as possible because the next mobile traveler always seems to be breathing down your neck. 

And the worst part of it all is knowing that the security guard smirking at you just saw your naked body on a computer screen.

Well, in terms of the last part, those days are behind us (us meaning New Yorkers, that is). Yesterday, the TSA announced that it would be moving full body scanners from both JFK and LaGuardia Airport to lesser populated airports. The move is an attempt to speed up the security process that swamps these constantly busy terminals. The nudie machines will be replaced with what are called millimeter wave machines, which basically do the exact same thing except minus the pictures of your genitalia. Now the guards will only see a two-dimensional bland outline of what you've got going on.

This is great news for two major reasons: First, of course, there's a restoration of our dignity before we hop on a jetliner. And, second, we're pretty sure those full body scanners were pretty bad for our bodies.

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TSA Admits Screwup in Shakedown of Old Ladies

Categories: TSA

After months of intense internal debate, the TSA decided that mistakes were made when two elderly women -- who claim they were subject to strip searches (!) -- were examined at Kennedy Airport in November, The Associated Press reports (via USA Today).

Homeland Security Officials, prompted by the women's complaints, wrote U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and state Sen. Michael Gianaris this week, saying that security screeners did screw up -- by not following general screening policies.

Officials still disputed the women's statements that they were asked to strip and show screeners medical devices under their their clothes.

They stuck to the screeners' story: that the women disrobed voluntarily.

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TSA Agent Finds Pot in Bag, Leaves It, Along With Note

Remember the brouhaha in October over the vibrator discovered by a TSA agent, who left a note in the suitcase inspected saying, knowingly, accusingly, "Get your freak on girl"? (Perhaps most upsettingly, that statement could have used a comma.) Remember how that TSA agent was hunted down and canned, post-haste? Well, the latest in missives left by TSA agents (this really should be a Tumblr, if it isn't already), according to rapper Freddie Gibbs, who both tweeted about and took a photo of his own special TSA love note, is this mild, all-in-all rather friendly admonishment (after the jump):

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TSA Meanies Will Unwrap Your Presents, Take Your Snowglobes, Ruin Everything

Even though it's the most wonderful time of the year does not mean that any of us should lose even an iota of vigilance and dedication to the cause at hand which is, of course, our safety, and any inconvenience dedicated to such. Thus, while you might be getting ahead of things and purchasing all your gifts and even wrapping them, obsessive-compulsively and perfectly, as you do, the TSA is under no obligation to just leave the presents be, and might actually have to unwrap them if they seem slightly or majorly sketchy. knew this already, right? This is the year 2011?

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Weather Still Disgusting; Episcopal Church Divided Over Gay Marriage; Woman Gropes TSA Agent

• Good morning! It's the fourth day of this current heat wave and it's going to be the worst so far, apparently, with humid, sticky temps in the low to mid 90s by afternoon (so it feels like 103). By tonight the humidity will take a slight dip, then we're back to hot and sticky through the week, and possibly into the weekend. Remember how much you love summer? Call 311 if in need of a cooling center. [NBC NY]

• The Episcopal Church is divided in its response to legalized same-sex marriages in New York. Some bishops, such as Bishop Lawrence C. Provenzano, are allowing priests to officiate at same-sex weddings in Brooklyn, Queens, and on Long Island, while other bishops, in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, are not allowing priests to officiate. [NYT]

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Dear Rest-of-America: Stop Freaking Out At The TSA, You Divas. (or "Shut Up, I Have a Flight to Catch.")

Yes, we're all for excited for the government subsidized handjobs many of us are about to receive courtesy the TSA during our holiday travels. And by excited, we mean: "preemptively traumatized, and preemptively pissed." But do you ever imagine how the TSA screeners themselves feel?

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