My TSA Experience

Filed in Delaware by on November 29, 2010

We left the country over Thanksgiving to spend a week in beautiful Providenciales in Turks and Caicos.  Hmm… an international flight, and given all the attention given to getting through airport security lately, I was a bit nervous.  I read all the guidelines for checked luggage and carry-ons.  I emptied my handbag and started fresh, and I prepared my kids as to what to expect.  I really hated having to tell my 13 year old daughter that being searched could be embarrassing for her.

Our first security check was in Philadelphia.  Wow!  What a pleasant experience.  Carry-ons placed on the belt, shoes off and then through the metal detector.  Also, the TSA employees were extremely pleasant and professional.  Leaving Turks and Caicos was another matter.  First, what a horrible airport – dirty, overcrowded and complete chaos.  We were also pulled out of line for an extra special search and pat down.  Fine.  What I did have a problem with was the way they ushered me ahead, ultimately leaving my children behind.  Needless to say, I didn’t budge.  Luckily, they let me wait.  I shudder at the scene created if they hadn’t.

Third and final checkpoint was in Charlotte.  We got off the USAirways plane, went through Customs and then had to go through security screening – again – to get to our connecting flight.  Serious question:  Why do you have to go through security again?  Is it because we don’t trust the security in other countries?

Security at Charlotte included body scanners – although, my kids weren’t asked to go through the machines.  The TSA officials in Charlotte were okay, but Philadelphia was the best experience.  I get why security exists, but I can’t help thinking we’re fighting the last war.

Anyway, hope everyone had a great holiday.  I actually missed you guys!


About the Author ()

A stay-at-home mom with an obsession for National politics.

Comments (27)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

Sites That Link to this Post

  1. Pre-Chanukah Asshats of the Day : Delaware Liberal | November 30, 2010
  1. PBaumbach says:

    there was a good article (somewhere) on how the great Israel system that the Repubs keep pointing to would be 8 times as expensive per traveler as the US one, and cost more than the big bank bailouts did. The Israel system works well, given that there is only one major airport in the country–bottom line–it wouldn’t work here.

    I had the pat-down earlier this month, in Boston. I accept it as a necessary step until the technology catches up, but appreciate the fact that we are not paying through the nose for technology that isn’t yet available.

    Recognize that the technology needs to keep up with the threats which continually morph.

    I was pleased when the full body scanners made the wanding unnecessary for me (with my artificial knees), that is until the pat-down became required.

  2. reis says:

    They don’t trust other countries’ security for good reason. I went through security in another country, we were in a hurry being late for the flight, and the guard said, “Are you carrying any knives?”
    We said, “No.”
    He said, “Are you sure?”
    We said, “Yes.”
    He let us on the plane.

  3. aprice says:

    i think we are heading in one of 2 different directions.
    One extreme is that we will all be required to surrender our cloths and wear a standard “travel smock” on the plane. All our bags will be hand searched, dog sniffed and metal detected.. that is, the ones under the plane. Carry-ons will be banned outright.
    How will the Glorious Free Market.. Blessing of wealth and peace be unto HIM… deal with this?
    In flight entertainment options will compensate for the lack of carry-ons and some airline companies will offer “travel-smock” options. Since people will have to disrobe and change a search will have to be involved… What will be done to counter the outrage? Some airlines may offer porn-star TSA personnel provided per the searchee’s sexual preference. Im sure some airlines will lobby their way into being allowed to have lesser security… i.e people have carry ons, wear their own cloths and not get a cavity search from Bobby Bigwood. These flights will cost extra to pay for the armed air marshal and the F-16 escort ready to shoot the plane down should anything go wrong.
    That is outcome number 1.

    outcome number 2 is we decide that in order to live in a free country, some people are going to have to be killed by terrorists. we cant have both. regular metal detectors and bomb sniffing dogs will still be around, but someone will fid a way to sneak a weapon on to the plane and kill people. The victims will get a national holiday, democrats will lose whatever election comes next, a mosque will be burned down somewhere in the Confederacy (even if there were no Muslims involved) and 2 years later the anniversary special will lose in Neilsen ratings to the newest episode of “Who wants to marry my goat”

  4. delacrat says:

    “I really hated having to tell my 13 year old daughter that being searched could be embarrassing for her.”

    What parent would put their own 13-tear old daughter at risk of being groped ? Are vacations in the Turks and Caicos worth having their Fourth Amendment and body molested?

    “We were also pulled out of line for an extra special search and pat down. Fine.”

    No. That’s not “Fine”. Did they have probable cause for the “extra special”?

    “I get why ‘security’ exists….”

    No. Not really.

  5. aprice says:

    Turks and Caicos arent subject to the US constitution.

  6. pandora says:

    Wow! You’re such a moron, delacrat. Have fun never going anywhere. Do I like the security? No, but I like to travel. You might try it some time. You actually might get a worldview.

  7. aprice says:

    he has all the worldview he needs. he reads the internets!

  8. V says:

    “Serious question: Why do you have to go through security again? Is it because we don’t trust the security in other countries?”

    Boyfriend and I flew from Paris to Rome when he lived over there. Got through airport security no problem. When we landed in Rome we realized Boyfriend (accidentally) had brought with him two (TWO) large pocket knives (like actual folding knives, not swiss army types), a multi-tool, and a camelback full of water (like, a gallon). We were worried we’d get caught on the way back into Paris. We didn’t, but they almost took my Lemoncello.

    No one in Italy ever stamped our passports (they did look at them) either entering or exiting the country. Paris didn’t notice either when we got back (we were worried once we noticed). The only proof I have we were ever there are the pictures.

  9. aprice says:

    aka… the way it should be according to del.
    no security anywhere…. that will take all the fun out of it for the terrorists and they wont think about attaking anyone anymore.

  10. pandora says:

    Some people think visiting Epcot is the same as visiting Europe.

    V, they didn’t stamp our passports in Rome, either. My kids were bummed.

  11. V says:

    so was I! We’re trying to do as much traveling as we can afford while we’re young(ish) and more mobile.

    However I do love Epcot, “drinking around the world” should be an official park game.

    We’re planning on South America in March (Argentina, his cousin lives there). I will report back with my security findings.

  12. reis says:

    A lot of countries don’t stamp Passports automatically, but will if you ask. Also, when you have a really cool passport with lots of stamps, make sure you “lose” it, otherwise you have to turn it in to get an update, which means you lose all the cool stamps.

  13. delacrat says:

    Comment by pandora on 29 November 2010 at 1:34 pm:
    “Wow! You’re such a moron, delacrat. Have fun never going anywhere. Do I like the security? No, but I like to travel. You might try it some time. You actually might get a worldview.”


    To insinuate that non-cooperation with the police state implies someone has never set foot outside of the U.S. is moronic.

    FYI … I’ve been to Europe several times

  14. Capt.Willard says:

    Back in ’89 early in the Bush administration and after the Iran/Contra story I spent a week deep-sea fishing the Pacific side of Costa Rica.
    I had taken a small plane to the town, Tambor.An older couple had rented a car and asked me to drive it back so they could fly.They were good friends and I agreed to do this for them.
    The ferry broke down and I and another buddy ended up driving north up the whole Nicoya peninsula to get to the Pan-American highway.We met it about 2 miles south of the Nicaragua border so we made a small detour to cross over just to get our PASSPORTS stamped.BIG mistake.
    Upon flying into Miami on our return, the customs agent looked at our passports and took me and my co-driver out of line and into separate rooms. Our connecting flight wasn’t for 5 hours so I wasn’t that worried.
    But he left me to cool my jets for an hour until some guy,not in uniform, came in and sat down across from me and just LOOKED at me.
    Finally he asked,”What were you doing in Nicaragua?”
    Being a wise guy and getting pissed I told him,” I was meeting with Raoul.”
    “What for?”,he asked.
    “I had a message to give him”,I said.
    “What was it?”,he asked.
    “The secret ingredient is saffron”,I said with a shit-eating grin.
    He got up and said,”Oh hell, you guys are just two flakes”.
    I said,”You should have asked me that when you first came in.”

  15. anonone says:

    At this rate, in a few years, TSA will be injecting people with electronic tracking chips and men, women, and children will line up quietly to get their chips injected after having a full body cavity search. People say things like, “Do my children and I like the having our body cavities checked and getting a chip? No, but we like to travel.”

    In the growing Corporate American Police State (CAPS) freedom is being taken away in increments in hopes that not too many people will notice all at once. So far, it is working.

    TSA = Total Sexual Assault

  16. Joe Cass says:

    Wow. A1 needs to break out of the basement. I agree with you concerning our descent into Corporate America but your right not to be groped doesn’t trump my right not to have a plane crash into a tower I’m building. And I don’t care about your kids being touched by TSA. My parents let the priests have at me and I turned out fine.

  17. Geezer says:

    “My parents let the priests have at me and I turned out fine.”

    Oh, wait…

  18. Boxwood says:

    “travel smock” -Lol!

  19. Dirty Girl says:

    delacrat went to Europe…..a couple of times….40 years ago……on a ship….

    actually a slow boat to no where – what we used to call “the ugly Americans” the I’m in Europe and why isn;t it like America attitude…” we woud sit there and watch them disembark and laugh our asses off at them and invent ways to scam them out of money

    what fun we had!

    good catch = the Turks and Caicos don’t have a 4th amendment, but they do have a drink called Sea moss — Killer stuff

  20. Dr. Crazy says:

    “Serious question: Why do you have to go through security again?”

    Because you had access to your checked luggage.

    When you flew in to Charlotte, you got your checked luggage, went through customs, then you took it to the re-check counter. Remember?

    If you weren’t re-screened, then all you had to do was remove the machete that you checked in the bag in T&C, remove it after customs in CLT, and then take it aboard your domestic flight.

    BTW, anyone who buys duty-free liquor abroad and has to connect domestically – Always remember to put your purchase in your checked bag before you re-check after US Customs.

  21. pandora says:

    Ah… that makes sense. Thanks, Dr. Crazy.

  22. Joanne Christian says:

    TSA went very smoothly–but we had sent our explosives ahead :). No scans, rapid entry–ID asked for one of my teen daughters. I would have objected due to her under 18 status–but I knew she was probably relishing the moment of looking “older”. And off we were–to this year enjoying Thanksgiving amid the Sonoran desert, and the annual model rocket launches, that keeps the gang entertained while I watch from afar (again, I am the biggest chicken)–or get peace and concentration in Thanksgiving prep. Welcome back Pandora–any turkey in Turks?

  23. pandora says:

    There was turkey, but since I’m not a fan I skipped it for more island-y food.

  24. Truth Teller says:

    I also took a trip over Thanksgiving the only thing that bummed me out was because it was outside the country I couldn’t fly SOUTHWEST and had to fly US AIR cost me an extra $100 dollars $50 bucks each way for bags bummer

  25. Truth Teller says:

    The highlight of the trip was the look on the female TSA agent’s face when I went thur the naked scan and then the male agent I believe he got to third base on the pat down.

  26. Truth Teller says:

    Reis You don’t lose your passport when you get a new one they return it to you with a hole punched Thur it