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Copyright © December 2002

Table of Contents
  • Tie Your Shoelaces!
  • Visit a Castle!
  • Soar To Fantasy!
    with the New Kid on the Block!

Welcome! to Psssss.....t!—Your Flight To Quality eZine—Your One-Stop Information Center. Here is everything you need!—

Tie Your Shoelaces
(aka Surviving Security)
by Marilyn King

If you are apprehensive about flying, or thinking of canceling your trip, then the current security-screening process is a convenient and extremely persuasive excuse.

On any given day, for any particular flight, the security procedure at U.S. airports is everything awful you can think of—time-consuming, annoying, inconsistent, infuriating, demoralizing, offensive, ineffective, intrusive, demeaning—well, you understand what I am saying.

The little old grandmother was sitting in a chair—with her shoes off as I walked through security in Seattle airport. Remember to Tie Your Shoelaces!!—I was thinking. She appeared very frazzled and upset. No, they did not find a bomb in her shoes.

When you fly today in the U.S., you may encounter a random shoe check at the security checkpoint. Be smart—wear slip-on shoes when you fly. You don't want to hop around, struggling with shoe-laces, while your laptop computer or carry-on luggage goes sliding through the X-ray machine and down the belt. Note, that travelers wearing shoes with chunky soles and heels get checked more frequently than those wearing thin-soled dress shoes. Maybe security screeners think that it is easier to hide explosives in fat, clunky, rubber-soled shoes.

I wasn't chosen at random this time around—but on another flight from Fort Lauderdale airport, I was asked to open my suitcase two separate times during one check-in process. On yet another flight (international), I was asked to remove my open-toe sandals. (Don't know what they could have found that time)!

If you have to travel, there's only one way to deal with security. Grin and bear it, survive, and take every precaution and use every shortcut you can think of.

The following suggestions may seem personally distasteful. After all, who wants to change how we dress or what we wear just to accommodate these arbitrary, and, probably, ineffective regulations? But, if we don't want our security screenings to last long enough to miss our flight, we better know this stuff—

1—Long ago, we figured out that wearing metal jewelry and clunky watches will set off the alarm at security. Now that the machines are set to ultra-sensitive, even watches with minimal bits of metal-casing, crowns and strap buckles, for example, ring the bells. The solution? Wear a cheap, plastic Swatch-type watch when you fly.

2—Traveling with a trench coat? No good! The metal grommets on the belt set off the alarms at security checkpoints. So do metallic buttons on your favorite blazer, the metal zipper on your jacket, your metal belt buckles, and bobby pins, hair clips, and metallic barrettes of any kind. Your undergarments can ring bells—under-wire bras and socks with metallic threads have been known to set off alarms. Don't spend endless minutes getting "wanded." Check your metal before you fly.

3—Those pockets bulging with metal—coins, keys, key chains, pens, mechanical pencils, glasses with metal frames, tin cans of mint, and even chewing gum with metallic wrappers. Then we have the cell phones, pagers and all the other pocket-sized items we keep close to us. Empty your pockets and bag-it with a zip-lock sandwich bag before you go through security. Rather than throwing your items into a plastic container, one item at a time—just toss the bag into the container, go through the screening and grab the bag when it comes through the X-ray machine.

4—Do you have a fancy pillbox to store your medication? Or a day-by-day pill dispenser? Leave them home. Keep all your medicines—prescriptions, as well as over-the- counter drugs—in their original bottles. If you must travel with special paraphernalia—needles, etc, check in advance with your airline and carry a readable doctor's note explaining your medical condition. Then—expect to receive extra scrutiny anyway.

5—Examine your carry-on bags one more time. Check the linings, pockets all the nooks and crannies. You may be surprised at what you find, Better, you find the Swiss Army Knife or the stray cuticle scissors—rather than the humorless security person. Put everything in clear, plastic zipper bags, to avoid having a stranger paw through every compartment and cranny of your carry-on luggage. Put plastic dry-cleaner bags over your clothes. Clear plastic toiletries and cosmetic bags or mesh packaging that doesn't obscure contents will sometimes discourage security staffers from opening everything. If they can "see it", they're less likely to disturb it.

6—Don't "Rush To Board." Being first in line to board isn't necessarily beneficial. "Random" checks at the boarding gate are not particularly random at the head of the line. First come, first searched! In fact, some airlines are known to pull aside one of the first ten passengers for a thorough "random check". Their security staffers obviously need something to do. So, aim to be, say, eleventh on line to board.

Enjoy your flight and don't forget to "Tie Your Shoelaces."

Visit a Castle

Castle        Kinnitty Castle is a gothic revival Castle located at the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in County Offaly. About one and a half hours drive from Dublin, Limerick and Galway, it is easily accessible from all airports. The castle's location makes it an excellent base for touring the midlands. Birr Castle, Clonmacnoise, Slieve Bloom Mountains, River Shannon, and Ireland's most haunted castle, Leap Castle, are all nearby.

       Fine Dining & Accommodations— Kinnitty Castle offers a 60 seater restaurant decorated in Georgian style, a library bar and an exquisite Louis XV Style Drawing Room. There are also two private dining rooms where guests may enjoy gourmet cuisine in complete privacy. The Dungeon Bar remains a vivid reminder of the castle's colourful past, with evenings of traditional song and dance.

Bedroom       The 37 rooms in the castle include 10 superior, 12 baronial and 15 standard rooms.

       Leisure Activities—Kinnitty Castle is located within range of five of the top golf courses in the region. In addition, game fishing, equestrian activities, tennis, game and clay pigeon shooting and walking can all be enjoyed amid the splendour of the Slieve Bloom Mountains.

Deluxe Stay at Kinnitty Castle—$275*

Your Visit Includes:
3 nights accommodations
Full Irish breakfast daily
4 days car rental including CDW, tax & theft insurance
Custom designed itinerary
24 hours service from our Tour Planner—Destinations Ireland office in Ireland

*Price is per person, based on double occupancy. Prices are valid from 11/2002 thru 3/2003.
Prices not valid Dec. 15, 2002–Jan 1, 2003.

We work with Destinations Ireland to provide the ultimate in custom designed tours for our clients. Ranging from self-drive to chauffeur driven your visit will include the finest selection of castles, manors and hotels throughout Ireland.
Reserve Now—Kinnitty Castle:

For more information on Kinnitty Castle and other Irish Castle offerings, Click Here...
More Irish Castles

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Soft Scuba
Soft Scuba
"The Soft Scuba Adventurer"

Diving Two-by-Two It's taken over a year to refocus our dive adventure travel operation. We sent many of you directly to our suppliers. I look forward to working with my clients and you who have contacted me over the years.

As you know, I specialize in the Caribbean and South Pacific destinations. At this time I am extending my research to include the Mediterranean. I hope you will enjoy the following URL regarding dive adventure opportunities in Spain's Costa Blanca waters. Taking the Plunge

Taking the Plunge


Soar To Fantasy!
with the
New Kid on the Block!

Direct to Roatan—50% Off!

News Flash: Sol Air will fly direct from Dallas to Roatan starting Nov. 30. Sol Air is providing not only better access, but also much-needed competition in this market. The result is that the cost of flights to this island have fallen about 50%. [Sandra Sampayo, Roatan, Honduras]

For more details, 50% Off Direct Air to Roatan, go to:
Sol Air

Fantasy Island Special—Roatan

Fantasy Island

Roatan is located about 40 miles off the north coast of Honduras. It is a part of the largest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere. Many divers on their way to or from Roatan often prefer to enjoy a side trip to the Mayan archeological sites on the mainland, Copan being the most frequented. Roatan is the largest island of the Bay Islands group, has the most resorts and the only international airport.

Weather & Water—Year round air temperature averages—65–85 deg.F. October and November are the wettest months bringing frequent rainstorms. Water temperature ranges between 77 deg.F.–84 deg.F. Visibility runs between 80 to 100 feet.

Fantasy Island Resort—especially for you who seek the amenities of a full resort! You will find on this 15-acre private key, A/C, satellite TV and telephones in all 75 rooms, swimming pool, tennis court and dive operations on both north and south sides of the island.

From $799 Per Person/Double Occupancy: Includes Air from Dallas, 7 Nights, 6 Days of 3-tank Boat Dives, Unlimited Shore Diving, 1 Night Boat Dive, All Meals, Airport Transfers. [Not included $130 per person Air and Hotel taxes.] For more information on this Special, please contact us now—

Soft Scuba
Voice: (941) 331-2086
Fax: (208) 955-7705
Email us now:

We offer you more Dive Adventure Destinations.
Visit us now!— Soft Scuba

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