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The International Writers Magazine:Dangers of Flying

Panama Security
Ginny Guess
Is it me?  Do I look like Alice in Wonderland, or are things really crazy and upside down sometimes?  We do quite a bit of travel abroad, usually involving, of course, flying.  On a recent trip from Panama, we booked our flight on CopaAir (Continental Panama). 

metal spoon

After an absolutely wonderful stay in Panama, we readied ourselves for the trip back to the United States. We got to the Panama City - Tocumen airport the required two hours ahead of departure.  Of course, first was the normal airport security, complete with big burly unsmiling agents.  Next was another scanner, after which we were allowed to wait at the gate.  A large group of attractive young women in airport security uniforms paraded in front of everybody, showing that they were ready to do their part in the war on terrorism.  Passengers stood in one line after another, while the women meticulously went through baggage, purses, and packages.  Most of the male passengers were not only accepting, but eager for the pat-downs!  One lucky soul was pulled aside for a further search of his shoes.  He quipped - "a foot massage would be nice too!"

After surviving the girls' inspection, we boarded the plane and the flight took off.  All the flight attendants on our particular flight were handsome young Panamenian men.  After about an hour, we were served the meal.  As soon as I unwrapped the meal I thought there had been some mistake - the utensils were METAL!. Yikes! A metal knife and fork with which to attack a flight attendant or fellow passenger?  What could CopaAir have been thinking?  They had ravaged through all the baggage, and yet allowed people to eat with metal utensils? (See image above)

CopaAir has one of the best-run airlines I've seen in a very long time.  Their flight attendants were courteous and knowledgeable.  The plane was immaculately clean.  The food was the best I've had on a flight in a very long time.  They served all the alcohol you wanted, free, and amazingly, not a single passenger got drunk. 

It seems CopaAir flies all over the western hemisphere, but their security procedures are the most intense on flights going to the US.  I wonder why that is???

Ginny Guess July 27th 2011

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