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Old 02-19-2011, 07:58 AM
 
Location: FLINT (yeah you read that right!), MI
336 posts, read 911,976 times
Reputation: 166

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I came across this story today and I wondered if this is a common sentiment among foreign travelers?

Why I stopped travelling to the US and I largely stopped doing business in the US. : reddit.com
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Yorkshire, England
5,586 posts, read 10,711,287 times
Reputation: 3116
I transited through the US twice in 2007 and thought the security was excessive and the officials quite rude, particularly since all I was doing in the country was travelling from one part of JFK and Atlanta airports to another. In a lot of countries you wouldn't even need to go through passport control in those circumstances. Seeming as it's probably worse now with the X-ray machines and biometric scans and whatever it wouldn't put me off visiting the country but I'd try to avoid transiting through if possible.
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pennsylvania / Dull Germany
2,205 posts, read 3,349,149 times
Reputation: 2148
The TSA and especially the Homeland Security Rules do certainly affect my decision to visit the US and of course to use the US as a transit country to other destinations in Southern America, Canada or any other place.

I made good experiences at some airports with less passengers, whereas my worst experience have been in ATL. They asked me how I could afford travelling to US as a student, who paid for my flight, at which hotels I am gonna stay and some other stupid questions. I don't want to be treated as a potential terrorist but as a guest who leaves money in the US. I understand that the american government is really afraid of terrorist attacks, but in my personal opinion every person who really wants to do an attack will do so. It's just the most terrorists are too stupid...

All in all my experiences at the Airports PIT, CLE, DUJ, BOS, ORD, DTW, MRY, SFO, SEA, PHL, BWI, MCO, LAS and DFW were okay, some persons were quite rude but I don't complain about that because sometimes they have a pretty hard job and they have to handle thousands of passengers every day.

The article said that security checks at Russia would be much less intensive, I can't agree to this. When I've been to Russia, every person, even visitors, limousine shuttle stuff, people who just want to shop in the landside-area had to pass a first security checkpoint at the entrance. All persons going to the air-side terminal had to pass an additional second security checkpoint with similar standards compared to the US (without the new body scanner).

Did I mention TSA at Las Vegas last year did not found the (nearly full) 0,7l bottle of water I forgot in my rucksack?
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:53 AM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,002 posts, read 12,400,873 times
Reputation: 4125
This is just speculation, but one of the biggest reasons Chicago lost so early in the Olympic bid process (besides the IOC being a bunch of America-hating snobs and the fact that South America didn't ever have one until Rio won it) is because of the travel restrictions, security measures, overly restrictive visa requirements, etc. One person said during the final phases that traveling in the US felt like "going to prison." Obama was questioned about that actually, and he waffled on it, saying merely that we have to take our security into consideration.

I tend to agree.

Whenever I go to Japan the entry is easy and staff are polite or "just doing their jobs" and NEVER shout at, berate, or give travelers dirty looks. I've seen TSA folks shout at unsuspecting foreigners who probably have very little English skills. The right way to approach that is to not talk them down but to actually try a few languages. It doesn't take the smartest person to learn "How can I help you?" and "What language do you speak?" in a few different languages. Then they can call for a translator if necessary.

Then let's talk decor. Every single airport in the US I've been to has an international customs area that looks like the dumps. Going into Seattle you really DO feel like you're going into a prison. The light is dark in a few, the facilities old, everything is in english (because the whole world speaks english, right?), and you get the impression that people who are working there are merely there to collect a paycheck. In Japan, Canada, Spain, Denmark, Ireland, and Italy, EVERYONE was accomodating and friendly.

So yeah. No big surprise about the article. Traveling in the US sucks. The terrorists won.
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