Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘airline’

Traveling by airplane in today’s cultural climate can be stressful at best without other issues being thrown in there that are harmless and out of the traveler’s control.  

Recently, Roy and I went to Southern California (Ontario, CA, to be exact) for a business conference.  We flew from Sacramento to Ontario because it’s quicker, cheaper, and less stressful on our relationship than trying to drive.  Gas as well as wear and tear on our vehicles coupled with the sheer time saved all play a factor.

Anyway, it was cool and rainy out, so I wore jeans and a sweater with a tank top underneath to the airport so I could keep warm without having to carry unnecessary items.  Little did I know that my sweater would cause the machines to go nuts and me to get a total and complete pat-down.  I mean really now … I don’t even come CLOSE to looking or acting like a terrorist … and couldn’t pull it off if I tried.  I’m tall, fair-skinned, red-haired, bold, and outspoken as well as in my early 60s.  I guess, however, since I don’t fit any profiles, I am safe to target.  

In any event, my sweater had glittery threads sewn throughout, which caused the entire group of TSA agents to almost have a melt-down.  Really, now … a damn SPARKLY SWEATER?  Come on now.  Get a grip!   A sparkly sweater.  

I volunteered to take the sweater off and go through the scanner machine again, but they weren’t having it.  Oh no … let’s pat her down COMPLETELY right out in the open.  When I say “completely” … I mean completely.  

“Well, ma-am we’re only using the backs of our gloved hand in the ‘sensitive areas’.”

Really, now … would *they* want that done to THEM out in the open?  

Fine.  I’ll work hard at keeping my non-PC mouth shut.

Anyway, while they were doing this, I told Roy … “Remind me to *NEVER* wear this sweater while travelling again. Sparkles are apparently dangerous.”

Then, on the way home, there was another dumb issue.  I guess I attract it.  As I said … since I don’t fit the standard terrorist profile, I’m one of the first ones targeted.  You know how it works … get the children (my daughter who, at the time was 12 years old, was pulled out of line due to a box of AAA batteries that they thought were “bullets”); get the tall red-haired Caucasian women (like me); get the elderly (they pulled my very frail 87 year old white haired mother out of line to pat down and go through all of her luggage once also), etc.  You get the picture. 

A couple of years ago, it was because I had lost a bunch of weight but hadn’t bought an entirely new wardrobe yet, so I was patted down “because your pants are too baggy”.  (That blog post is back in my historical posts.)  

Ok … uhhh … I’m sorry … (I guess) … that I was working to be healthy but couldn’t afford an entirely new wardrobe, because my income is taxed excessively by the goons in Washington DC.  

Next it was about a sparkly sweater.  

So … coming home after the sparkly sweater incident (believe me … I packed it under the plane this time) … I was eyeballed closely because the State of California DMV does not know how to put hyphenated names on their driver licenses, but my passport, my Social Security card, my legal name, my airline ticket, whatever, all have a hyphenated name shown.  Generally, the TSA agent can see past this idiosyncrasy with California and understand that both names are listed there, but they are not listed the way everyone else lists them.  Basically, I have NEVER had TSA have an issue in the past.

Until this time …

TSA (snotty): “Next time, ma’am, make sure the ticket matches the driver license.” 

Uhhh … then it won’t match my PASSPORT … which is by far and away more important to match.   The State of California can’t seem to do it right. 

TSA (confuzzled): “uhhhhh …”

Yes, that’s a word.   I made it up.  It’s a cross between confused and puzzled. So there. 

I want to ask this question however.  Has TSA ever actually caught a terrorist before anything happened?  I sincerely doubt it.  I wonder if, in their training manuals, it states “your job is to harass anyone that doesn’t look or act like they’ll be a problem, particularly if they’ve lost weight or are wearing sparkly sweaters because that way you won’t be accused of profiling.”

Anyway, when travelling, along with not carrying all the things they say you can’t carry (fingernail clippers, tweezers, bazookas, bottles of water, hand grenades, shampoo, hand lotion, etc), I offer you my additional list of “don’t do these things”.

1. No baggy pants

2. No sparkly sweaters

3. No AAA batteries

4. No California driver licenses

  
 

Carry on, everyone.  Happy travels … if possible.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »