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travel notes

Inbound, I'd noticed signs at Chile's immigration advertising their use of antimicrobial copper. Outbound, I think I actually found the use: the desk area in front of the agents looked like copper. I'm not sure how useful that is, but I guess it won't accumulate germs from the papers of the person in front of you, and the agent's hands might get cleaned resting on the copper.

Chile continues to be a model of efficiency for customs. There's a dozen or two agents, and a single line, with numbers and sounds telling the head of the line which agent is free. Very fast. Chile isn't always efficient, often not, but they're great at this. Unlike JFK's two agents for US citizens, one line per agent, and slow. Probably because apparently even dual citizens get fingerprinted, at least if they wave their other passport around. Being a US citizen doesn't save you from being treated like a criminal.

Santiago's security claims "no liquids" now, but they don't actually notice/care about a half-liter of water in my duffel. US flights still have agents between the gate and plane, confiscating such bottles. The replacement bottle cost $4.40 from Hudson's in JFK. Geez!

JFK's security was like half an hour long. And still having shoes off and laptops out, unlike my last two Logan experiences.

OTOH, gotta like the abundant plugs at the gates. Just one side of this wall has four plugs, 3 USB ports, and two Qi circles.

My actual gate, 2, has a low and dark ceiling; I'm hiding out in gate 5 which has high arched ceilings.

CNN is hosting two women arguing about family leave and Obamacare. White Republican talking about Obamacare "killing family business", black woman calling her on it.

I just noticed: in addition to the TV, there's an even bigger and eye level LCD display just carrying ads. I'd managed not to notice until now, in part due to being on my laptop, but yeesh. Welcome to America, land of ads everywhere.



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harimad
Jan. 15th, 2015 06:44 pm (UTC)
It's interesting to read your thoughts about Chile, as I just returned from a vacation there.

I saw copper counters both inbound and outbound. I wonder if their use is scientifically supported and statistically significant. Looks nice, though.

We had the extra check before boarding to leave Chile, too. Is that new? Why does it happen? I haven't encountered it in any of the rest of my international travels, expect just after 9/11 when many airports hadn't adapted to the new requirements yet.

They didn't do a very good job, either. They looked in some but not all of the adults' bags' sections, and barely patted the kids' backbacks, not bothering to open them at all.

When we arrived at Miami there was a new step to the inbound customs process. There's now an electronic step: put your passport pix page on the scanner, line up for a photo, give a fingerprint. The machine spits out a ticket. If the ticket has a big "X" thru it, gotta go through the old process as well. If it doesn't, there's an expedited line. My whole family got an "X", including the 6 year old, which strikes me as baseless. I know a fair deal about Customs and we don't hit any of the usual warning signs; nor did we travel somewhere dangerous. It wasn't random because over 60% of passengers (multiple flights) got "X"ed. My hypothesis is the machines were misprogrammed.
mindstalk
Jan. 15th, 2015 08:46 pm (UTC)
I've heard of copper and silver as anti-microbial surfaces in medical contexts.

I think the extra check has been there for all my past trips, from 2008 on. Could ask my expat friends. I assume it happens because the US insists on "no liquids" on inbound planes and no one else cares. Though I don't remember if my flight from Spain to SF had such a check. If not, then I dunno. Low US respect for Chile, maybe.

Hmm, JFK wasn't like that. It was line up, go to agent, agent scans the passport, then in my case he stamped it and waved me on. The people ahead of me, in the citizens line but holding two passports each, got to stick their fingers in the scanner.
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