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Welcome to the US, please be paranoid

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We have just come back from staying in Las Vegas for a week.  There were 6 of us in total as myself and partner got married in the Planet Hollywood.  It was excellent!

However, my main gripe is that horrendous Green Card we all have to fill in before landing in the US.  The cabin crew decided to dish them out a few minutes after taking off, presumably to give us 10 and a half hours to think about filling it in!

Mum made the mistake of using red pen on both forms.  The chap checking them at Las Vegas Airport took a dim view of this and asked her to fill in a new one using a black pen and to "not use capitals."  He could have lent her his pen but chose to wave her into the area where the thickos who can't fill forms in end up. Bearing in mind we were all absolutely shattered at this point I thought his unsympathetic approach quite appalling.

Anyway, I lent Mum a black pen to fill another form in. "Are you a terrorist?" is one of the questions.  Are they having a laugh or what?  "Just answer no to them all" I told her, which she did.

She took the forms back and was then told she had failed to sign her name at the bottom!  Again, she could have signed it in front of the guy but she was waved away to the same place as before.  By now everyone was becoming agitated, understandably so and there were other people having to go through all this a second time as well.  "Welcome to the good 'ole US of A!"

US flag, why are they so paranoid? Eventually, this other chap gave up on Mum as she still didn't fill in the form correctly so he ended up (more or less) doing it for her as he gave her the sympathy vote, unlike the other bloke.

Why is the US so paranoid?  It's not the first time we have felt like "terrorists" over there.  In Chicago 3 years ago a rather large female Police Officer virtually waved a gun at my head because (in my exhausted state of mind) I forgot to take my shoes off for them to be scanned.  I can still hear her voice now "TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES RIGHT NOW MA'AM!" Needless to say I was scared to death.

I really think US officials should give us a bit of leeway here.  We have known terrorism in the UK for years and we're not as paranoid as they are after just one attack on their soil.

The should get a grip if you ask me!

By: Jane


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Mark

Mark

There are plenty of d1ckheads who are working like slaves and paying lots of tax to Uncle Sam and think they are clever.
Mark
11th Oct 13 13:30

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2
Holloway

Holloway

I know what you mean-remember when a terrorist tried to attack Glasgow airport and a guy ran up and booted him? I suppose in the USA everything is more dramatic, from sports games to air travel. Here we just have some booze and put our keys in a tray.
Holloway
21st Apr 12 01:53

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-5
flu

flu

"Heathrow is a nightmare. Coming back from Oz a few years ago I had to queue for an hour just to get the bus between terminals for my connecting flight (a domestic flight north). When I got to my terminal for the next flight I was told I had to go back through security again. Now, since it had taken so long to get from one terminal to another the time for my flight was coming up but was shown into a ridiculously long snaking queue - the security was for my hand luggage which had been through security in Singapore and Dubai already. I had not left the secure areas of any of these airports so security screening was really unnecessary.

I asked one of the staff - a young man - if there was an express queue as I would miss my next flight leaving in 25 mins - he plonked me in one queue which was no shorter or faster than any other. When I asked if I could be moved to the front and showed him my ticket as a genuine reason for haste he walked away without response.

The girl behind me was also getting a connecting flight to Dublin - hers was due to leave in 15 mins - she was treated in the same way. I took matters into my own hands and told her to follow me and made my way through the queue ducking under the tapes.

I found a member of staff near the front of the queue, explained both our situations and showed her the tickets. She got us through there and then. But then we had to find out which gate!

What I nightmare - I just about made my flight - I doubt if the young girl did. This is after some 23 hours flying. Exhausted I arrived at my destination to find that my luggage had not been transferred at Heathrow.

Lovely.

I have, since then, avoided Heathrow as much as possible and will continue to do so."

Heathrow is like a third world airport. Not because the Pope says so. Because it is.
flu
31st Oct 10 14:16

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-16
ajp

ajp

Heathrow is a nightmare. Coming back from Oz a few years ago I had to queue for an hour just to get the bus between terminals for my connecting flight (a domestic flight north). When I got to my terminal for the next flight I was told I had to go back through security again. Now, since it had taken so long to get from one terminal to another the time for my flight was coming up but was shown into a ridiculously long snaking queue - the security was for my hand luggage which had been through security in Singapore and Dubai already. I had not left the secure areas of any of these airports so security screening was really unnecessary.

I asked one of the staff - a young man - if there was an express queue as I would miss my next flight leaving in 25 mins - he plonked me in one queue which was no shorter or faster than any other. When I asked if I could be moved to the front and showed him my ticket as a genuine reason for haste he walked away without response.

The girl behind me was also getting a connecting flight to Dublin - hers was due to leave in 15 mins - she was treated in the same way. I took matters into my own hands and told her to follow me and made my way through the queue ducking under the tapes.

I found a member of staff near the front of the queue, explained both our situations and showed her the tickets. She got us through there and then. But then we had to find out which gate!

What I nightmare - I just about made my flight - I doubt if the young girl did. This is after some 23 hours flying. Exhausted I arrived at my destination to find that my luggage had not been transferred at Heathrow.

Lovely.

I have, since then, avoided Heathrow as much as possible and will continue to do so.
ajp
31st Oct 10 12:36

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-4
Jojo Bizarro

Jojo Bizarro

I’m no fan of London Heathrow myself. I’d already gone through security in İstanbul en route to Boston Logan, but upon arriving in London I gotta go through security again as if the people back at Atatürk Airport never bothered in the first place. Next time I fly home to the states, I’m gonna try for a layover in Paris instead, since the French aren’t so paranoid.
Jojo Bizarro
26th Sep 10 12:34

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-12
anon

anon

The reason America are so paranoid is because they are the most hated country in the world at the moment because of it's foreign policy. Invading other countries to secure oil supplies is never going to win you any friends.
anon
17th Sep 10 16:33

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3
Fat Man

Fat Man

Never had any problems myself. I just follow the instuctions given and have always been treated professionally and courteously.
Fat Man
24th Jul 10 11:37

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-3
Sheely

Sheely

Uhh Yeah maybe that's why we don't have attacks on our soil. who goes to another country to get married anyway? strange....And if you couldn'ty help Mum fill out the form...my gooodness you already stuck her on a plan a took her to vegas the least ya could do is fill out the form her. Sorry. you felt so ...whatever it was you felt.Good luck with your homeland security...that;s ashame you have so much terrorism going there.VBut hey at least you hae health care. By the way does your health care cover you when you are here too?
Sheely
6th Apr 10 21:28

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-15
charmer

charmer

Yea I went over on my own in april to miami and as a single guy,boy was I treated like a criminal. and I was followed aound the departure terminal,weird. but in the end if it prevents another load of idiots putting bombs on board and and hijackers. I guess its worth it.
the only thing that confuses me is that we fill out that ESTA form on line and still have to fill out that card thing on the plane. oh well............
charmer
18th Nov 09 21:20

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-13
rd996

rd996

I've flown to the USA several times and never had a problem with the landing card. All your Mum had to do was to read the instructions, take care with the answers, and check everything at least three times. The cabin crew always stress the importance of getting this right. Get it wrong and you will be delayed. You also have to have a thick skin and just do what the US officials ask you to do, however mad it seems or rude they are.
rd996
28th Oct 09 17:35

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-13
boogywstew@aol.com

boogywstew@aol.com

When I visited England for the first and only time in 1994, upon arriving at (Gatwick?) ,I was pulled out of line, brought into a secure area and strip-searched by customs officials.Maybe because I look Irish and the IRA had set off a bomb in Victoria Station the day before AND a great deal of their funding used to come from the US. The officials were firm and polite,and I understood and agreed with what they were doing. I definitely felt safer around London and on the plane flight back home. By the way, both Twin Towers were attacked (NOT for the first time), the Pentagon as well, the Capital barely saved on 9/11 alone.
boogywstew@aol.com
1st Oct 09 21:38

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-13
Blartman

Blartman

Imagine how much longer the queues would be if the immigration official had to help everyone who made a mistake on the form. And as mentioned, if she struggled with questions like "Are you a terrorist?" then sending her to the room for thickos was the best thing he could have done. I wonder how many others have been sent there twice though.....
Blartman
29th Jul 09 17:02

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-11
Baffled

Baffled

"He could have lent her his pen but chose to wave her into the area where the thickos who can't fill forms in end up." - Correct me if I'm wrong, but as your mother seemed to have difficulty filling the form in herself, wouldn't this apply to her as well? I mean, we're brought up in the UK to know that filling in an official form with red pen isn't acceptable, and we also know that every official form needs a signature, so why was your mother having difficulty? Perhaps the whole thing could have been handled more delicately, but asking her to move to another area to fill out the form again was not unreasonable as she would have been holding up a queue otherwise.
Baffled
31st Mar 09 09:16

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-10
Gentle, kind, and saintly

Gentle, kind, and saintly

I'm a Yank, and I'll be the first to say that our airport security are retards 1st class. They get paid a fortune, by the way. So I wonder why they hire such twits.
Gentle, kind, and saintly
5th Oct 08 05:53

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3
Stevo

Stevo

The reason they are so paranoid is because it has finally started to dawn on them that everybody hates them. The reason ?? well perhaps the treatment your mother received at the hands of the immigration officer is a clue.......
Stevo
23rd Jul 08 15:01

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-7

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