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Thread: Queues at Empire State Building

  1. #1
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    Default Queues at Empire State Building

    My friend has just returned from spending Xmas in New York. Naturally, the subject shifted to security issues. Apparently she and her partner visited the Empire State Building, and they not only had to show their passports, but were subjected to having their fingerprints taken before they could ride the elevator to the top.

    It's the normal thing now for long queues to form during this process, and she says that America has become paranoid since 9/11.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marksix View Post
    It's the normal thing now for long queues to form during this process, and she says that America has become paranoid since 9/11.
    "Paranoid" implies that the fear is irrational and excessive. Unfortunately, 9/11 proved otherwise. Imagine what hero a terrrorist would be in the eyes of his organization if he successfully planted a bomb in the Empire State Building!

    There are much shorter lines very early and very late in the day. The building opens at 8am and the last elevator goes up at 11-11:15pm.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marksix View Post
    My friend has just returned from spending Xmas in New York. Naturally, the subject shifted to security issues. Apparently she and her partner visited the Empire State Building, and they not only had to show their passports, but were subjected to having their fingerprints taken before they could ride the elevator to the top.

    It's the normal thing now for long queues to form during this process, and she says that America has become paranoid since 9/11.
    There have been "long queues" at the ESB at peak hours for decades before 9/11, having nothing to do with security measures. I seriously doubt that the building is now fingerprinting visitors; there's certainly no mention of such a practice (or an examination of passports) in the building's stated security policies (http://www.esbnyc.com/modules/securi...isitorinfo=yes). Marksix has been flooding WNY recently with complaints about supposed privacy violations in his own country. If he had any actual evidence to establish the truth of this latest claim, he should state it (instead of tossing in a hearsay allegation qualified with an "apparently").

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marksix View Post
    . . . Apparently she and her partner visited the Empire State Building, and they not only had to show their passports, but were subjected to having their fingerprints taken before they could ride the elevator to the top.
    By any chance, do your friend and her partner look like they're of Middle Eastern descent? (Even if they are actually British.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManhattanKnight View Post
    There have been "long queues" at the ESB at peak hours for decades before 9/11, having nothing to do with security measures. I seriously doubt that the building is now fingerprinting visitors; there's certainly no mention of such a practice (or an examination of passports) in the building's stated security policies (http://www.esbnyc.com/modules/securi...isitorinfo=yes). Marksix has been flooding WNY recently with complaints about supposed privacy violations in his own country. If he had any actual evidence to establish the truth of this latest claim, he should state it (instead of tossing in a hearsay allegation qualified with an "apparently").
    It's no big deal but I guess its easier for you to go down to the ESB and check it out yourself then for me 3000 miles away.

    My friends are typically English tourists, one I have know since I was 11 years old and they just mentioned it in conversation; it certainly wasn't hearsay. Your charaterisation of my post as "hearsay" is it seems to me, emblamatic of the issue. The sadness is, you don't even see it.

    From when they first entered the airport (they flew American Airlines) to when they they entered the US (three hour queues at JFK!) and on occasions in their time in their 4 days in NYC they were made to feel uncomfortable.

    My mate was invalided out of the fire brigade (he was a fireman) and he was last in New York 4 years ago as a representative of the stations here in Liverpool who raised money (a lot) for the NYC fireman's families so he's certainly not one to make a fuss.

    Re. UK/to US tourism in general, I do happen to know because of my former business that aggresive security is causing a reduction in inbound discressionary travel.

    I'm sorry you think that I am flooding the forums ManhattanKnight. I shall desist forthwith. Or even fithwith!
    Last edited by Marksix; December 30th, 2006 at 05:48 PM.

  6. #6

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    You didn't mention if your friends who are "typically English tourists" happen to have the physical appearance of people from the Middle East.

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    Some European friends who travelled to the US over the holidays had to give fingerprints upon arrival at JFK. Seemingly this is now standard procedure for all Non-US Citizens entering the country.

  8. #8

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    ^Correct. At least the process no longer requires the use of nasty ink. For travelers who require visas to enter the US, fingerprinting is done abroad when the applicants are interviewed at US embassies and consulates.

  9. #9

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    ^
    Relatives of mine from Europe visited the observatory early this year. They never mentioned fingerprinting at the ESB, but I sent an email.

    I could have just called the ESB at 212-736-3100 and asked them, but they may have wanted to know who I was and why I wanted to know. Marksix has me a little paranoid.

    It seems to me that if there was a reason to fingerprint anyone at the ESB security checkpoint, they would have been pulled off the line and (ahem) detained.

    If anyone from Homeland Security is reading this, I must confess that I have been double posting. I am really Lofter.

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    And Lofter is really Ablarc -- and does NOT live in NYC but rather in some state down south ...

    So interested HS officials should start any and all inquiries down that way

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    Default Walt Disney World: The Government's Tomorrowland?

    Perhaps they got the idea from Disney?

    "By the end of September, all of the geometry readers at Disney’s four Orlando theme parks, which attract tens of millions of visitors each year, will be replaced with machines that scan fingerprint information, according to industry experts familiar with the technology."

    http://newsinitiative.org/story/2006...he_governments

    I've never really trusted that Mickey Mouse. I've always suspected that he was a human being dressed up as a mouse. Maybe I AM paranoid....


    ps - FYI All non US visitors passing through immigration are fingerprinted and photographed. Also, airlines are required (illegally, in Europe at least) by the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection to provide passenger date before the flight leaves under TSA demands (formally Secure Flight & CAPPS II). From this data you are profiled by computer software as green, amber or red risks. Green would be an individual with no criminal record - a US citizen, perhaps, who had a steady job and a settled home, was a frequent flyer and so on. Amber would be someone who had not provided enough information to confirm all of this and who might be stopped at US Immigration and asked to provide clearer proof of ID. Red would be someone who might be linked to an ever-growing list of suspected terrorists - or someone whose name matched such a suspect. You might wonder how they know if you are a US citizen and have a job and a settled home life. These are questions for you to ask of your government.

    One other piece of advice I should offer to all fliers is never, never, EVER!!!! throw away the stub of your boarding pass at an airport/bus station etc. particualry if you are a member of a frequent flier scheme. Your stub contains all the information necessary to not only steal your identity, including your passport number but seriously defraud you. This is because governments demand more and more of our personal information and then entrust it to companies simply not geared up for collecting or securing it as it gets shared around more and more people. It doesn't enhance our security; it undermines it.

    Soon the US will demand biometric information [fingerprints, retina scans etc] and they will share that around. When this happens toursim to the US will fall still further and US citizens who wish to fly will have submitted to a defacto ID card system similar to the UK's National Identity Register. It is this I have been trying to warn you all of these past 12 months. For those that want to hear.
    Last edited by Marksix; December 30th, 2006 at 05:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rapunzel View Post
    You didn't mention if your friends who are "typically English tourists" happen to have the physical appearance of people from the Middle East.
    My friend is typically English looking:- badly dressed, overweight, bad teeth, balding, drunk most of the time....

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManhattanKnight View Post
    ^Correct. At least the process no longer requires the use of nasty ink. For travelers who require visas to enter the US, fingerprinting is done abroad when the applicants are interviewed at US embassies and consulates.

    if you don't have a visa waiver you have to attend one of the three US consulates. Too bad if you live at the other end of the country. This is yet another reason UK-US travel is struggling.

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    Is that why the U.K. is still by far the biggest source of New York's international tourists?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    Is that why the U.K. is still by far the biggest source of New York's international tourists?

    Is what why?

    New York is the most exciting city on earth (although its rapidly turning into Toronto - lol) and with the /$ rate the best its ever been and fares in real terms, the lowest they have ever been NY remains the favoured gateway US city. I had the opportunity to work for a start up airline operating UK-NYC so I know of what I speak when I talk about the challenges facing such an enterprise. Whilst it is possible to maintain traffic it is at the expense of yields and if not in public, behind the scenes airlines are livid about the obstacles and disincentives being implemented by your government further disuading discressionary travel.

    To illustrate my point of the damage being done by your government to tourism I have put a post on the politics forum. All European tourists should read this...

    http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/sh...526#post138526

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