Tag Archives: airport security

The fine print

If you have purchased or are planning to invest in the convenience of TSA Pre, be warned:

They don’t tell you everything in the sales pitch.

image

Paying your $100 and completing the in-person interview does not guarantee that you will receive TSA Pre on your boarding pass for every flight.

On random occasions,  you will be placed in general boarding. Just because.

Huh.

Wonder if I will receive a ‘random’ reimbursement for a portion of the fee?

Get real

Okay, people.  It’s time for everyone to take a deep, cleansing breath.

All this trauma about going through airport security and the full-body scanners and the TSA pat-downs is, in a word…

RIDICULOUS.

I travel all the time.  We’re talking, on average, six trips through security a week.  I’ve gone through pretty much every type of scanner and exam that airport security can throw at you.

And here’s the simple, hard truth:

  1. The scanners are more ‘down’ than ‘up,’ so nine times out of ten, you don’t have to fool with them at all.
  2. When the scanners are working, no one in the TSA gives two shakes about your junk.

Sorry. It’s the truth.  They have other things on their mind.

Have you seen the lines in airport security?  Believe me, the TSA is doing all they can just to deal with the volume in a timely manner.  Plus, it’s on them if some crazy gets through with an actual bomb.  I seriously doubt they are sitting behind the scanner, laughing at your big/small/fat/skinny ass.

For anyone to go to the trouble to buy special undergarments that conceal their ‘business’ from the TSA workers (like the stupid ones at left) — and potentially slow down the line for everyone behind them — is, in a word…

RIDICULOUS.

So, as you prepare to travel this holiday season, pack some perspective with your panties…and have a great trip!

Rainy days

It’s raining, so I must be flying somewhere.

That a bit whiny, I know.

I’ve never been one to mind the rain or let the rain affect my mood.  In fact, I’ve always liked rainy days.  Rory sleeps in a bit longer, and he doesn’t like to walk in the rain like a Golden Retriever or Lab might.  That gives me some extra time in the morning that I don’t normally have to get things done.

It’s a win-win.

But on travel days, rain just kinda mucks up the works.

It’s harder to hail a cab…’cause even the locals don’t want to walk on rainy days.  When I get to the airport, it’s filled with other slightly damp, even-more-rushed-than-usual people trying to get through security to their gate.

And once they are through?

Well, they’ll probably sit and wait because the rain will more often than not delay their flight.  And then they’re grouchy and mouthy with the poor gate agents.  It’s not pretty to watch.

Man, this is a fun blog entry. Clearly, the rain doesn’t affect my mood at all…except maybe on travel days.

Come on, sun!

Insecurity

Have you ever gone through security at the airport and felt a little bad for the TSA personnel?

I know I have.

I think their job looks mind-numbingly boring and yet, at the same time, they could potentially prevent (or accidentally allow) a catastrophic event.

The responsibility must weigh heavily on their shoulders because many of them wear a very dour expression.  You know me — I’ll strike up a conversation with just about anyone, and I’ve tried to be friendly with them.  But most of the time, they are just not in the mood.

Today, though, I met a TSA agent who has decided to have fun with her job.

I was flying very early.  The line in security was light.  After I walked through the metal detector, a female agent — we’ll call her Tammy — pulled me aside to do a pat down.

I was kinda surprised to receive this attention since I hadn’t set off any sensors.  I was also wearing a fairly fitted turtle neck and jeans, so it wasn’t like I could hide anything anywhere.

As I was collecting my items afterwards at the conveyor belt, I noticed Tammy giving pat downs to lots of females in the line.

Was she told to give women extra attention by her supervisors?  Was she simply bored?

Or does this TSA agent just really like her job?

Passengers can’t really speak up anymore because any smart remarks or outbursts can get you kicked off your flight.  So, who’s to know the real motivation here?

Tickle-Me-Tammy and her reign of terror could go unchecked for years.

Editor’s Note: This is how rumors get started.

Chirp no more

As I write this, I’m sitting in LAX listening to the crickets.

No, they haven’t installed an aquatic exhibit in my terminal (although that would be very California and a very cool way to pass the time).

The chirping is unfortunately manmade and courtesy of Nextel. All those darn walkie-talkie phones with the annoying, high-pitched ‘ba-da-beep’ before each incoming transmission — I want to crush them all in my pasty white girl paws.

Why do people feel compelled to use their phones in walkie-talkie mode?  Does it save them money?  Minutes?  It seems like most cell phone companies today have stepped away from minute-by-minute packages.  Aren’t most of us paying monthly usage fees now?

Do they think it makes them look cool?  Here’s a review — it doesn’t.  Do they think it sounds cool?  That chirp every 10 seconds is tedious and repetitive…especially in a crowded airport terminal, where you also have to contend with a million loud conversations and recorded announcements about allowable liquids through security — and we’re already through security.  But that’s another rant.

The Nextel chirp also totally freaks out my dog.  He’s not with me in the airport tonight, but if he were, he’d be sitting on my head.  To him, that noise is a natural predator.

And I’m really beginning to feel the same.