Travel Roundup: Snakes on a Plane, Sex Toys on Luggage, Politeness on Police

Albert Einstein said something like this: When the scale of justice weighs need against need, there should be no doubt which is heavier. Well, there’s some heavy stuff in the travel news. You bring a cobra on an aircraft, you tape a dildo to the outside of luggage, you hawk phlegm on a French train, expect the heavy hand of justice.

What’s a frequent flyer to do? As if the miles alone don’t take enough of a toll, news reports suggest there are all kinds of distractions out there. Get a grip!

A deadly cobra was snuck aboard an Egypt Air flight out of Cairo. Inflight, the snake escaped from its carry-on and squirmed under cabin seats forcing an emergency landing. There was immediate justice when the snake bit his smuggler. But in the long run, in the rerouting of the flight, there is no justice. Interesting sidebar:  the bitten man, a Jordanian running a reptile shop in Kuwait, refused medical assistance.

And then there’s the French state-owned railway employing “conflict specialists” utilizing an eat-your-vegetables earnestness to deal with vandals, those hawking phlegm, and boots-on-seats thugs dressed like escapees from the cast of a Broadway musical. The railway cops are doling out heavy fines. It’s a kind of vigilante justice most of us can live with. Score one for the heavier need.

Sometimes dismissal serves as justice. Or not. Take the case of the gay couple who sued Continental Airlines when their checked luggage appeared with their dildo taped to the top. They sought compensation for “intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy, and negligence.” The judge threw the case out. Some feel the couple should have gone after the TSA.


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