John Howell’s column

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 24, 2011

Atlanta airport not en route to glory, may be other way

My recent Milwaukee grandson visit allowed an infrequent opportunity to observe the airline passenger transportation and security industry. In Tuesday’s edition, I opined after the outbound trip that their business model must have copied from the cattle stockyard and meat packing business.

Nothing on the return trip changed my mind.

As we snaked through the security line leading to the boarding areas of the Milwaukee airport, I read a sign that had been posted there since our last visit in March. In straight-faced governmentese, it stated that the security of the airport had been tested and found wanting. Or something like that. And in many more words.

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The demeanor of the Transportation Security Administration officers we met subsequently indicated that they were making up for it with a vengeance. What had formerly been a relaxed boarding experience was that no longer in Milwaukee.

Later, I had time to reflect on a statement my mother had made when she learned our travel itinerary.

“They say if you’re going to heaven you have to go through the Atlanta airport,” she said. Having now passed through that way-station twice in recent days, I can report that if you have to go through the Atlanta airport to get there, you ain’t on your way to heaven.