Friday, October 28, 2011

Personal: Homeland Security Laws Suck

Main Point: Under Homeland security law, if your passport will expire in less than 90 days, you will NOT be allowed to travel internationally.

This afternoon, I drove Mrs. Shambles to the airport so she could go to France to visit her good friend's mother who was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. After viewing her passport, they said "Sorry, we can't let you on the plane." Her passport will expire in 82 days.

I went back to pick her up.

Through much phone calling and double-checking we found out that it is a law under Homeland Security: If your passport will expire within 90 days, you will not be allowed to travel internationally. France says: no problem; your passport is valid. Belgium agrees.

But how does anyone know that? Do they post an alert when you buy your ticket? NO. Is there a common understanding that something you pay the government to license you for for 10 years is NOT honored for the last 90 days of that license? NO. Passports are good for 10 years, so when this law was enacted, were all passport holders who would be affected by this law alerted to this new policy? NO.

So WTF? Isn't Homeland Security's plan of "security" to keep dangerous people out? How the hell does it keep our country safer by making my wife - trying to visit a dear, ill friend - inside the USA?

Dear Washington: This is case in point of why Americans don't trust bullshit laws and Washington, D.C. in general. You create a law and don't tell anyone and don't back it with anything but a wall - the airlines don't prevent you from purchasing a ticket or ask you for your passport expiration or even have a pop-up warning that this is a LAW.

I'd guess that it actually ended up as a rider to boost revenue by 90 days.

I want a check for a 90 day pro-rate. Assholes.


Kay Dennison said...

How lame -- to put it mildly! I'm still trying to figure out why Homeland Security. As near a I can tell, they're about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.

Amber Star said...

It seems homeland security would be better served to try to keep track of the terrorists who are here. I would be happy with that, or happier.

Like you, I want a rebate for the last 90 days of my 10 year passport.

Murr Brewster said...

On the other hand, maybe people on their last ninety days are especially edgy. We, apparently, can't be too careful.

Liberality said...

Will the airlines refund you the cost of the ticket?

I've never flown and I don't think I want to even try at this point in my life. I'm sure I'd be pulled aside as a "risk" of some sort or the other just because I have a liberal blog and call BS on the government a time or two--that surely makes me a terrorist.

Ricky Shambles said...

Kay- well said. Makes no sense.
Amber- Yep, just wasting a little time on us legal US citizens.
Murr- Not sure what you mean. Edgy people are edgy. Why would someone with less time on their passport be more of a risk to security to the US?
Liberality- Delta uncharacteristically held the ticket as unrestricted, which was the only good bit to come out of the bad situation. I don't know; I've never been pulled aside, but then again, my real name's not Ricky Shambles either.