(Guest blogged by Nonny Mouse)
The travel and tourist industry is one of the
People are simply choosing to go elsewhere. But as a follow-on to Logan Murphy’s excellent post on the increasing invasion of privacy by the soon-to-be approved Passenger Name Record for passengers entering international airports, allow me to present a personal view into why tourists are deciding not to spend their money visiting the States.
We were told to disembark with all our carry-on luggage, leaving nothing on board. Those who were flying from
The Immigration official at the booth was not so polite to her. ‘Take your glasses off,’ he demanded. I could see her stiffen, an elderly respectable schoolteacher unused to being so brusquely ordered around. ‘I beg your pardon? Why do I need to take my glasses off? What right do you have to take my fingerprints or my photograph?’
Again, came the refrain. ‘It’s the law’.
We finally were allowed, once we’d all been ‘processed’, to sit down and have a cup of tea or coffee in the transit lounge… for about fifteen minutes before they reloaded the plane. Judy looked angry and close to tears. ‘I’ve never been treated like this before,’ she said. ‘It’s all one thing when you read about it, but having to actually submit to being fingerprinted? I feel… violated. Like I’m some sort of criminal.’
Would she ever consider returning to the States, as a tourist?
Absolutely not. And the next time she flew from
This was pretty much the general feeling of every passenger on that flight – none of them had ever intended to enter the
And they have friends and families, too. Some people don’t like it when their 61-year-old mothers are treated like potential al Qaeda terrorists.
While the rest of the world is enjoying a boom in tourism, and our own tourist industry is begging the government for a let-up on such draconian policies, the abysmal way we are treating air passengers – even those who have nothing to do with visiting
We are not becoming a police state.