Sunday, February 17, 2008


We haven't even landed in Latin America yet, and we're already being threatened with detention—not for investigating the counterfeit cigarette trade, but for theft.

As the plane descends, a terse flight attendant announces that a pin and some other American Airlines insignia have disappeared from a cabin crew member's uniform.

If the decorations aren't returned promptly, she thunders, the passengers will not be allowed to disembark in Rio de Janeiro.

This being a U.S. airline, pins are considered a security threat.

Rio approach

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