Friday, July 13, 2007

Usually you have to buy me dinner

Can I just tell you, I have never been so politely felt up and searched as I was on Thursday at the Minneapolis airport.

“You’ve been selected for a more comprehensive search,” said the airport worker.

Gulp. What exactly does comprehensive mean? Horrible visions of Turkish prisons and full body cavity searches flashed through my mind.

A TSA agent came over, directed me towards the X-Ray machines and proceeded to strike up a friendly conversation with me. “Flying to Chicago I see, business I take it?”

Actually sir, I’m heading home to DC, Chicago’s just a layover.

“Oh, ok” he said with a smile. “If you wouldn’t mind stepping over here for “Officer_____”

Officer_____ proceeded to begin giving me an extensive patdown, while the first officer began taking apart my carryon.

The first patdown indicated that I was carrying a wallet and a number of folded pieces of paper.

Sorry about that officer.

“Oh, not a problem,” he said cheerfully as he got back to the feeling.

I smiled uneasily and waited for him to finish. After a few more uncomfortable seconds I was allowed to walk over to the table where the original officer was searching my bag. I proceeded to strike up a friendly conversation with him about a few souvenirs that I was taking back.

I walked away not exactly sure what to think. I was feeling a little bit uncomfortable, but at the same time I was impressed at the friendliness and professionalism that the TSA officers had shown me. As much as part of me was hoping that it would go horribly wrong, just so I’d have a good story to repeat and blog about, I found myself thinking, “Good for them, doing their jobs, efficiently and effectively.”


Trisha said...

If only my experiences had been so nice...

I've had cheese confiscated.

I've been yelled at for reaching the gate late (at an airport where you could not go through security until your flight was called) because security took over 20 minutes to process me including literally scanning my chest while I held a necklace out of the way. Then once I reached the gate I was given the 3rd degree on a few mini pies I had bought at a bake sale and was taking back to college. That time I was nearly not allowed on the plane because of the Epinefrin pen I have to carry for allergic reactions.

I now carry a prescription for the epipen, but even with the ban on liquids when I declare the epipen they never ask to see it or the prescription. Yet they must inspect my makeup.

Friendly and effective is not how I'd describe TSA.

Jo said...

I'm glad it's not just foreigners who get randomly selected for more comprehensive searches. It seems every time I'm flying somewhere (especially internationally)I get picked to get searched.

Damn them, I always forget and they always take my lighters.

Jo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
genevieve said...

that's nice that you had a decent experience.

what sucks is when you get selected to get a pat- down at like, kings dominion. and the creepy 19 year old boys are waving the wand over your chest "what's in your shirt?" "uhm. underwire?" "huh?" "my bra...."


Across The River said...

trisha: Sorry to hear about your bad experiences. I realize that my good experience is not necessarily the norm, which is why I highlighted it.

jo: I guess I'm a prime example that the TSA goes after everyone.

gen: Wait, so do they let the 19 year old's be the one's to pat you down too?

mm said...

I'm glad you were chosen. Its nice to know they don't just go after those of mid-eastern descent.