Tag Archives: TSA

Getting in the short line

TSA preYesterday I made a special trip to the Newark Airport to conduct my in-person interview for TSA Pre.

It seemed like a good idea when I signed up a couple of weeks ago.  Interviews are only conducted at Newark and JFK — not my usual LaGuardia — so I opted for Newark since I can get there easily enough by train.

Then the heavens opened up.

It was raining cats and dogs yesterday morning.  The trains were all delayed.  Even the tram at Newark was stopping and starting due to the weather.

So, needless to say, I was about seven minutes late for my interview, and the TSA doesn’t wait for anyone.  They would only interview me if they had another ‘no-show.’ (Thankfully, that happened within 30 minutes.)

The interview itself took about five minutes, and I was approved — woo hoo!  But if you see my ID, I won’t look happy about it.

The TSA doesn’t allow you to smile.

Feet first

So, I’m putting on my socks this morning — newly washed yesterday, gotta love freshly laundered clothes — and when I unrolled them, they were inside out.

And I put them on that way.

inside out socksNow, I do this a lot.

Inside out socks do not bother me a bit.  The only time I might take the extra time to turn them right side out is when I am headed to the airport and know that my socks are going to be on display in a most public way.

Otherwise, I let them be.

Who’s with me?

Rockin’

I took Amtrak yesterday to a business meeting outside Philly.

Why do trains kick air travel’s butt so soundly?

Of course there are the simple logistics.  No TSA security. No baggage check for most standard luggage. No plastic bag for toiletries, no removing coats and shoes, no arriving an hour before departure.

No hassle.

But I realized last night — as I sat in a comfortable semi-coma on a regional coach headed home — what makes trains more than merely the easier way to travel.

It’s the chugga chugga.

Trains literally rock you while you ride.  That signature motion soothes the nervous traveler and helps the overtired find sleep.

I think it takes us all the way back to the cradle.  Or, in my particular case, to the clothes dryer.  My mother used to sit my bouncer chair on top of the dryer to help me fall asleep.  The rocking motion and the warmth from the machine totally knocked me out.  (Still does.)

Now, people may not ride the train because of it, and Amtrak certainly doesn’t advertise it, but I think this subliminal motion really rocks.

Airplanes?

Well, the only motion they have to offer is turbulence.

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!

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.