Experiencing TSA

Last week when we were coming back from St. Louis, we got shuffled into a TSA line where they are apparently testing new equipment.  No taking off our shoes, no pulling out our little baggies of liquid, no requests to dump water bottles. 

At first I thought this would be great but was very shortly disabused of that idea.  After your bags went through the scanner, anything that looked funny got shoved off to the side for additional scrutiny.  In the regular line this happens as well but since our line had been specifically told NOT to pull out anything including liquids or toss water bottles, it meant that more than half of the bags going through got held up.  Water bottles were opened and examined with some kind of test strips, bags were opened and rifled through; it was not a quick check. 

Neither YA nor I had anything unusual but we were behind a few people who did.  So we stood back and waited while watching everyone else’s problems pan out.  The family who went through right before we did were a hot mess.  Three kids, all under the age of five and already hot and tired after waiting in line.  Four adults – it was hard to tell who belong to whom but they were clearly all together.  Because they were told not to take things out of baggage, there was a plethora of sippy cups and water bottles.  Every bag was opened and pawed through (sorry, my bias is showing here).  Every sippy cup and bottle was opened and tested. 

As the kids started to melt down, one of the adults started to melt down as well.  She was angry – about everything.  When her anger did nothing to make the situation better, she got angrier.  Her voice got quite loud, she got in one TSA agent’s face.  The folks with her tried to calm her down, but she was having none of it.

I’ve never seen anything like this in person but it was amazing how fast other TSA agents were in coming to their co-worker’s defense.  And how MANY TSA agents came over.  I was extremely glad right then that TSA agents do not carry firearms or any other weapons but there were enough of them that could have taken this woman down with ease.  They did end up asking her and one of the other adults into a side hallway (six TSA agents for the two adults).  When they came back a few minutes later, the distraught woman seemed a little calmer and she didn’t say one more word.  I can only imagine what they said to her. 

I asked one of the agents who was standing behind us how long this new process/equipment had been in place.  He sighed and said “one week”.  I wished him luck.  Then our bags came through.  All they did was confirm our little baggies of liquid/cream which was easy because we both had them in side pockets of our bags; off we went, plenty of time to get to our gate despite the delay.

Have you ever been a test case for anything?

20 thoughts on “Experiencing TSA”

  1. Don’t get me started on the TSA! *grrrrrrrrrr* One of the great travesties foisted on the American traveler in the name of safety. It’s perhaps THE prime example of government overreach, overspending, inefficiency, and a false sense of security.

    Delegate security to each airline and each airport, and let the market decide which airline deserves our business. Granted, there may be one or two incidents, and yes, lives may be lost, but any airline that allows that to happen will go out of business almost immediately.

    Okay, I got started, but I’ll end there. I want to enjoy the rest of my day. 🙂

    Chris in O-town

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Don’t mean to be snarky, Chris, but since when has trusting big corporations to regulate themselves and do the responsible thing, been a wise thing to do?

      I’m no fan of the TSA, but keep in mind that safety in the air isn’t just an American concern. Turning it over to the various airlines to sort out on their own, doesn’t seem like a wise decision to me.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Point taken PJ. I’m saying we could at least try another way and let the airlines do their own security. Profit IS the big motivator for corporations, so I think they’d have a high motivation to make sure their planes and security measures were the safest and best in the business because one negative incident of any sort would cause them to lose massive numbers of passengers.

        The bigger point is, I imagine airlines would choose the Israeli method of security and actively look for the most suspicious, most likely people and not bother the 99.999999% of passengers who aren’t terrorists. My biggest gripe with the TSA is that their approach is “Everyone is presumed guilty until they prove their innocence.” That’s why we stand in endless lines when only one security checkpoint is open (two are at Terminal 2 at MSP and I’ve never seen both being used at the same time. Then, most of the time, only about half the carryon scanner conveyor belts are being used. Why is that allowed to happen, and make people wait twice as long as they need to wait? TSA should know by the departure times when travelers will arrive and can staff accordingly so everyone gets through as quick as possible.

        I don’t fly a lot, but since 2001, I can’t remember making it through TSA security at MSP any faster than 20 minutes. Usually it’s 30-40. And most of the time, the screening facilities are 50-75% open. (And yes, long beore the current worker shortage–this goes back to the earliest days of TSA).

        Everytime I get through the checkpoint, I feel like a steer that has just been approved for the slaughterhouse. Such a pleasant way to start my trip. Oh yes, then I get loaded into that flying cattle car known as economy class to the airlines for shipment to my “final destination.” 😦



  2. OMG, remind me to not fly any time soon!

    Not intentionally, but my college graduating class of 1970 made me a sort of default test case for a lot of things. i.e.:
    What happens when you try to get a teaching job when birth rates have dropped and school enrollment is down? (You end up with a half day kindergarten in a parochial school.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do have to report that other than watching these fireworks, both our trip to St. Louis and the return were uneventful. After seeing all the news (and believe me, I see a lot of it in my job) about delayed flights, lack of personnel, cancellations, I was a bit apprehensive. But both flights were on time, even a few minutes early each. Nobody got out of hand on either plane and no fisticuffs concerning the overhead bins!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. When we were sitting in the gate area on Tuesday, YA said “do I feel warm to you”. Yes, she did a little. She tested positive when we got home. We THINK she probably got it on Saturday and by Wednesday morning, her symptoms were full blown. For YA (who has only been ill maybe 5 times in her life) she was pretty down and out for three days. I tested negative six days in a row…..


        2. And none of our more vulnerable peeps in St. Louis caught it from her, thank goodness.


  3. After having the cyst removed from my back, which everyone said was kind of unusual but not unheard of, I asked the doc if it was paper worthy. Oh no, he said I didn’t want to be paper worthy, those are usually bad news.

    I’ve been in a few medical studies. Nothing very interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My passport was once flagged when coming into the country from home (in Taiwan). I had to report to a different desk, where someone looked at a record and asked if I’d been in Georgia (I assumed Atlanta, but they were talking Central Asia). The agents were all polite, but would answer no questions as they typed and typed. Delay was about 10 minutes, but explanation was never given.


  5. Revamping or maybe just re-zeroing the MMPPA in 1965. They did not ask me they just told me. I think I took it about 5 times maybe more in a few months, maybe a year.
    Starting doing traction on my back once a week. First session a big help.

    Liked by 3 people

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