Travel Sickness

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Weapons of potential destruction

I should be in France right now. I really should. I should have taken off from London Stanstead yesterday afternoon and landed in Poitiers an hour or so later. Thanks to terrorism, a somewhat extreme reaction from the security forces and bottled drinks, I’m writing this in London.

And I’m not happy.Hand luggage

Yes, a serious reaction to a serious threat is warranted. But at what point does the reaction actually do the terrorists’ work for them. As I tried to cram my camera equipment into my hold baggage and decide what not take, these questions were pretty high in my mind. Not books to distract me from the tedium of the flight. No iPod to ease me through takeoff with great music (I’m a nervous flyer). No basic set of clothes with me in case the bags have lost.

I understand the risk. But if, as we seem to be doing, we make travel so miserable for everyone that all we get to carry on board is a handful of belonging is a clear plastic bag, then we’re doing the terrorists’ work every time someone gets on a plane. We’re allowing them to adversely affect every flight people take. We’re letting them win.

Still, I’ve been spared the flight experience. My passport is out of its plastic bag. Our flights were cancelled. We’re not going anywhere. The holiday is delayed, possibly cancelled.

Somehow, we’ve got this one wrong.


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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.