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Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Making it easy to get out (and back into) the Grove

I've been traveling often and I'm trying to make it easier. The last few times I took Uber to the airport, it was only $13.99! I tip the driver five bucks, but people tell me I shouldn't tip, because that is all part of the process; in other words, it's included, but I feel weird just getting out of the car and not exchanging money. But it's nice to know that a $35-$40 yellow cab ride from Coconut Grove to MIA is only $13.99 with Uber, when there is no traffic. I usually fly early Saturday mornings, so of course, there is no traffic at that time.

For a couple of years I had TSA Pre-check. It was just given to me. What a pleasure! That's where you go back to the days of just walking through the gates at the airport - no taking shoes off, you don't have to take your computer out of the luggage or display your liquid stuff or even take your jacket off. You speed right through, but just like that, they took that away from me. I read that it's a random thing or you can do something to piss them off like look at them crooked, so for some reason, I lost it.

That's why today, I have an appointment at the TSA at the airport. You can sign up for TSA Pre-check for five years at a time. There is an $85 fee and some credit card companies cover the fee, they will refund the charge once it's made. But even so, it's worth the $85, to avoid the hassle of airport check-ins. I was just in New York for Thanksgiving,  a messy time to travel, and not having the Pre-check made a difference.

I do have to give up some freedoms, like my fingerprints, and share my birth certificate or passport and other things, but I don't have anything to hide and in this day and age I'm assuming the authorities know everything about me already, especially my computer surfing habits, and since they had given me the Pre-check in the past, without me applying for it, I'm sure they know what they need to know about me,  I'm just making it official now and trying to make flying a pleasure again.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

After Snowden revealed government surveillance worldwide it has become impossible to provide a high level ability to access what the terrorist are up to,PARIS, and more! You spoke for many by stating you had nothing to hide and more revealing, you said "they" probably already know everything about you. "They" do indeed know just about everything about everyone, everywhere - - - unless you purchase very, very, very secret inscription ability. And if you did subscribe to such a need, what would the average person think they have to hide? "They" already have my permission to monitor any and all of my families communications, utterances & nuances and if I'm involved in some communication that could harm my community or country, please, get involved - - - - "THEM". Jobie Steppe

December 02, 2015 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For $100 you can sign up for Global Entry and usually get TSA Pre-check as well. Last 5 years and lets you skip the customs lines (which at MIA/FLL can be 2 hours!).

Taxis are dead. Last taxi from FLL to my house was $85 in light traffic. Uber this past week in heavy traffic, $30.

December 02, 2015 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For $100/5 years you could get Global Entry and that makes going through Miami customs a 5 minute procedure instead of 20-30 minutes. And no filling our declaration forms!

December 03, 2015 7:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What blows my mind is that the taxi drivers don't understand why they are being put out of work when they have such horrible customer service. They always claim that the credit card machine is broken or even put cloth bags over it to prevent use. Their basically rude to customers. Last time I put my bag in the trunk and it came out with some kind of black gunk on it. These guys need to be put out of business.

December 03, 2015 8:35 AM  

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