“Bend over please” the sniffer dog came up and sniffed his arse. Fancy having to do that all day! Didn’t the dog get bored, or pissed off with arse smelling? Probably not, it probably thought it was saying hello to each passenger. There were machines but apparently they weren’t as sensitive, the probe had to actually be inserted to get a proper whiff of the suspect’s suspect smell. This was apparently acceptable where a man was involved since it was ‘only’ his anus, but after a couple of Sun headlines along the lines of “Manchester Security Probe Took My Virginity” it was decided to train up a lot of dogs instead. Looking at the women in the Sun (and given that she was willing to describe in detail, which the Sun then replaced with a scattering of *** - as in “the probe was pushed into my va***a and I felt a stabbing pain like I was being raped”) it was hard to believe this was entirely true, one of them at least did not look like she would save herself for Mr Right. Still a battalion of dogs, Spaniels mostly, but Labradors and Alsatians, (they tried Bloodhounds but people complained when they were slobbered on), were trained up and used for the security checks.
Security had been a major issue across the Western World, and an increasing one. It was less of an issue in other countries where getting enough food, avoiding the government death squads, escaping Boko Haram, ISIS or the Western bombing raids was seen as more important than checking flights of rich tourists for bombs. In the West though their cossetted lives had led them to think that life was secure, and when this was challenged by people not following the ‘capitalism is good’ mantra, these people became nervous. The travelling public actually stopped travelling, briefly, after the Spring of 2021 when eight flights exploded in the space of seven days. They didn’t cancel their Summer holidays though and were soon back lounging on the beaches of Southern Europe or gawking at the “Fabulous ruins of ... what was that town called Mildred? Oh yeah, Venice, no Vesuvius, no, no Pompey? Yes that’s it”.
Politicians promised they had bombed the hell out of whoever had done it, signed security deals with Pakistan, turned the other way when innocent people were arrested in Algeria and generally hoped that nothing would happen before the election. But then Winter 2022 happened, December 25th to be precise, it seemed that planes were vanishing or dropping out of the sky everywhere! Iceland lost three planes and wondered what they had done to offend anyone. Australia banned all flights, grounded all aircraft. Austria imposed a complete strip search of every traveller. And that’s when the idea began.
The x-ray equipment could see through your clothing anyway, so it was said. The newer machines appeared to be even more intrusive than the old ones which simply showed a vague outline. Yet still the terrorists got through. It had been in the early 2000s that someone had tried exploding underpants, now the terrorists became much more sophisticated. In the light of what followed, Abdul Abdul’s PhD thesis from Islamabad University on “Ultra-rapid flammable materials as clothing” was more suspicious than first realised. It was said to have been sponsored by the Pakistan Security Service, but that was denied vehemently by Prime Minister Aghrab. That groups were now sponsoring student research was a worrying development though.
Travellers from Austria were not put off by the knowledge that they would each be required to remove every stitch of clothing and be subject to a full body cavity search. The allure of the holiday was too strong. Visitors to Vienna were a little more dubious when they came to leave, but surprisingly few opted to take the train or coach and fly from another country. A bit of nakedness was apparently more acceptable than losing a day’s holiday to travel.
The Nordic countries took the next logical step first on their internal flights. Instead of the disruption of being strip-searched and then having to dress again (and Austria found that several people missed their flights as they dressed too slowly), re-dressing was made optional and, when 78% of people opted not to bother – the Nordics being generally comfortable with nudity, separating it from sex to an extent never fully understood by Americans until now - then forbidden. In the next wave of attacks, not one flight within Scandinavia was affected. So the die was cast. The EU brought in a new regulation, surprisingly quickly, only Malta and the Republic of Ireland voted against. In majority voting they therefore lost and their citizens were likewise required to obey. There was some question as to where bishops and priests might be exempt; but if priests then also pastors, and if pastors then why not mullahs and rabbis, and if them then what about the ministers of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Where do you draw the line? The answer was that everybody was treated the same.
Religious groups objected of course, suggesting that terrorists could ingest explosives and literally blow themselves up. This was addressed by the sniffer machines and dogs. A stomach full of semtex will produce some smell from the mouth or the anus; it was deemed failsafe. No bomber could get on a plane if everybody was naked.
There were classes of travel even in the new level playing field of nudey-travel as it was known. Business Class travellers were given a disposable paper gown after the security check.
John was lucky, he’d bought the ticket at the last minute and had to pay for Business Class, or rather his employer – HPIBM-AccentIpro (a last ditch attempt by some of the old computer companies and consultants to compete in the new Google-world of Cloud-everything and OpenSource Free stuff) – insisted that no-one was allowed to travel Business Class, though since the senior executives all had use of private jets (and could therefore claim they were using the standard class on these jets) it was clear that rules could be bent. But John had to have this flight, he had to be in Zurich this morning, so Business Class it was! He walked down the corridor towards gate 25, marvelling at the shapes and sizes. Most airlines offered paper panties (unisex) and bras for sale at a ‘moderate fee’, which was usually almost as much as the ticket had cost. Older travellers bought them, some tried to use them on the return and were told they weren’t secure once they had left the airport. Many younger travellers opted not to bother with the extra cost, men flaunted their tackle and young females who were on their way to the fleshpot beaches to strip off in any case figured they might as well start early. It wasn’t that they weren’t bothered at being ogled by sex starved men, more that they would be insulted if they weren’t stared at for their perky tits and attractive bottoms. In true myopic ignorance, even the ones who had already arrived in unattractively tight mini-skirts struggling to contain the two bulldogs apparently fighting in their pants stripped off and revealed the rolls of fat that continued to roll even when they stopped walking. Anorexic girls found the experience an ordeal as they were convinced people were looking at their fat bodies, and redoubled their efforts to look like famine victims.
His flight to Zurich was due to leave soon and so boarding took place very quickly, on the plane an attractive young lady flopped down in the front seat beside him (or rather in the window seat, his being the aisle and the middle one left unoccupied in Business). She wasn’t wearing a gown, her breasts had bounced as she sat, and every time she moved her buttocks made a ‘spaagh’ noise on the chair; something that caused her great embarrassment. She turned to him “It’s not me, it’s the seat” meaning “I’m not farting”. He smiled reassuringly and asked why she had no gown. “I used the toilet before getting on board and the taps in the sink spurted all over it” He thought of offering her his, but then thought he preferred things as they were.
One of the challenges with the new policy was that it was immediately obvious that 95% of men got an erection on seeing a pretty girl, and there were lots around. Some men found the way round this was to think about something seriously sexually disgusting as their wife disrobed, getting an immediate hardon; then the spouse would assume he could still get the hots for her despite the top totty surrounding them. Others failed entirely and found their holidays ruined by sulks and arguments, whilst others found themselves still thinking of the sixteen year old they had followed off the plane whilst they were entering their rather more mature partners. John had an erection now, so keeping the gown suited him. It still wasn’t acceptable to get aroused by the nudity, British Airways had made headlines three weeks ago by escorting a man off the plane after he failed to comply with a requirement to lower his priapic penis. He unavailingly protested (to the sympathy of many a man and the distain of many women) that he was unable to control his penis’s unconscious and automatic reaction as it was an evolutionarily bred response. And that was over the stewardess. Once more The Sun excelled itself by polling its readers to find if they would get an erection over ‘Sexy Sandra the Stewardess, seen here on holiday in her bikini’. Since airlines had all opted to retain a uniform, it might have made sense to picture her in that, particularly considering what it was. 67% of readers said they would have had an ‘uncontrollable stiffy’, 43% said they ‘would have to use the toilets to knock one out’ and 85% said ‘they would, given the chance’. Presumably Sandra was meant to feel flattered that middle-aged men who could barely lift their beer bellies lusted after her.
Membership of the mile-high club exploded and the older, original members who had had to undress in the little toilets felt that things had been made too easy. Just wait for a gap in the seemingly constant supply of tea, coffee, drinks, snacks, duty free etc and dive into a toilet and fuck like mad. Some even got themselves going first in their seats with a carefully positioned rug. Some, like Air France and Sabena, turned a blind eye whilst others (Lufthansa and all the American airlines) took a very puritan view. If you were caught by them you could be banned for life from their planes.
The airlines had negotiated with the authorities and obtained agreement that in the interests of health and safety that pubic and anal areas should be covered where food was being prepared or delivered, and that since the stewards had to lean over customers, it was best to control the female breast rather than let it flop onto a customer – no matter how much they, the male customer anyway, might like that. Stewardesses were therefore given new uniforms of bra and pants in the airline colours; stewards of course only got the pants. Pilots all flew naked now, which made the braid signifying Captain over Co-pilot superfluous, some captains had them tattooed on.
There had been some suggestion that nakedness would make identification harder in the event of a crash, but this had been solved by passport services insisting on the passport number being tattooed on the right buttock of every passport holder, and the universal DNA-base being built up by AWS had already reached the first 1 billion records and was adding 5 million every month. The concerns over privacy had been allayed by Amazon’s SAD System (Secure Access Device); the updates each month were, everyone was assured, nothing to do with security breaches and the four court cases that had been abandoned when the DNA evidence was proved to be flawed were nothing to do with the hacking of the DNA-base.
A stewardess came round offering chocolates, her groin was exactly in line with John’s face and it was hard not to stare at the clear camel-toe between her legs, or, looking up, not to appear to be staring at her thinly covered bust. She continued down the aisle and then returned and strapped herself in facing him in the crew seats. Once again his penis demonstrated an independence of mind as she sat with her legs together but failing to hide the ripples of fabric between her legs. He looked up and she was staring straight at him; he tried to smile or look away (or both), but then reasoned that she must be used to this by now so he looked at her chest instead, which was attractively curvaceous.
One of the challenges of this new high-security policy (HiSec in American parlance) had been women travelling when on their period. It had caused some concern; all major airports had initiated the Menstrual Queue. This allowed women on a period to be separately checked. They were allowed to remove their tampon themselves (women wearing sanitary towels found it impossible to fly as all outside clothing was removed). The sniffer dogs then checked. Initially there had been some problems as the dogs found the smell of blood rather attractive and had licked a few of the women. This was variously viewed as hilarious (mostly the guards), rather pleasant (some women) and horrendously invasive (a slight majority of women), the dogs had been retrained in most countries now. A box containing security checked replacement tampons was available after the check – another source of disagreement, initially the British Government had put the contract out to tender and chosen the cheapest option, a virtually unknown Chinese brand that did not suit the western female body; a few leaks on planes prompted the cancellation of the contract and Lillets to sponsor the UK border agency tampon supply service (“Lillets – proud to be helping to protect all borders” ran their adverts).
An unexpected result of this, a silver lining if you will, was that male politicians, businessmen, security advisors and others were forced to talk openly in meetings about female menstruation, it became less and less embarrassing, as did the naked travelling, until it was perfectly normal to talk about the special measures concerning tampon replacement, the approach to take with wheelchair bound females, whether it was necessary to give women privacy to extract the ‘tainted’ tampon (yes) and to insert a new one (no, but female security only initially, this changed, again in Sweden first and was slowly spreading Europe. If menstruation was a totally natural event that could be discussed openly then it followed that it was not something a women need feel embarrassed about in front of a man).
A more intractable problem was incontinence, though this again proved less big than expected. The years of adverts persuading healthy people that they had ‘sensitive bladders’ had resulted in a large proportion of women and men over 50 wearing some form of bladder leakage protection. Given the impossibility of travelling with these it became evident that many of them were perfectly capable of holding it until they went into the toilet. The much smaller number that were genuinely not able to hold bladder or bowel functions under control were, at this point, excluded from air travel, though negotiations were going on to establish a conference to agree a protocol to derive a treaty on IIT (International Incontinence Travel).
John noticed the telltale red cotton hanging between the girl’s legs, she was having her period. Perhaps this explained the trip to the toilet he idly wondered, though it was quite common for travellers to visit before boarding the plane. It had been known for some flights where alcohol was served to become catwalks – where people walking down the aisle to the toilets at the back would have scores shouted at them, or worse. One transatlantic flight had diverted to Shannon after passengers (male and female) had their bottoms slapped by the boisterous Rugby team on board. Many passengers opted not to be judged by their fellow passengers by holding their bodily needs until they landed.