Washburn is on the government's no-fly list. He doesn't know why, and the government won't tell him. Nor will it take him off. He's much like Franz Kafka's Gregor Samsa, who wakes up to find he has turned into a bug. There is no accounting...
The NO-FLY list does not prevent someone from getting a pilot's license and flying a small plane whereever he wants to go. I'm really surprised that more people don't opt to do that. No parking problems (drive your car right next to the plane and load your own luggage, then park for free), no searches, fly from hundreds of airports closer to your destination or home, fly when you want to, fly with people you know and are comfortable with, and the scenery during the flight is much better. SMART PEOPLE FLY THEMSELVES. Others are treated like cattle by TSA and the airlines.
Flying commercial can be a terrible hassle these days, but not for Steven Washburn. The people in charge of airport security have decided to spare him all the inconveniences. No taking off his shoes and belt, no putting his liquids in a plastic bag, no enduring a naked body scan. Oh, and one more thing: no flying.
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