Airport Security Shuffle

Whenever going through airport security I am somewhat amused and mildly frustrated, as most normal people probably are. Of course abnormal people and those predisposed to stress are always freaking out.

I find the current airport security shuffle to be quite amusing though, imagine if you will, my typical pass through the security checkpoint:

  • Pass by the person helping bewildered people with their liquids and gels. “Does hair gel count?” “What about perfume?” “But I paid $50 for that!”
  • Pass by the TSA staffer waiting at the end of the rope lines for no obvious reason. Try to show her your documents, but she doesn’t care and points you on to the next person. What is she here for? Nobody knows.
  • Show your boarding pass and ID to the TSA staffer who marks it with an easy-to-forge mark, such as initials or a number. Note that this is the only time that an ID is ever checked. I won’t point out the flaws in this system. Staffer tells you to keep your boarding pass out.
  • Note that it’s impossible to strip as required to get through security while actually keeping your boarding pass out as they’ve told you to. Place boarding pass in pocket.
  • Remove cell phone and keys and place them in backpack pocket.
  • Remove shoes and belt and place them in a tray.
  • Remove laptop and place it in a tray.
  • Walk through metal detector.
  • Get dirty looks from staffer after metal detector because the boarding pass was not out, when they told me to keep it out.
  • Fetch backpack from X-ray conveyor.
  • Shock laptop with static electricity while fetching it from X-ray conveyor. Grounding yourself first doesn’t help because it’s the laptop itself that is charged.
  • Fetch belt and shoes from X-ray conveyor.
  • Walk sock-footed and belt-less to my gate, or the nearest gate with open seats to re-apply clothing.
  • Wait for plane.

Pretty much the same everywhere you go. It gets even more exciting if you get “randomly” selected for extra screening. This of course isn’t random at all: buying a one-way ticket gets you extra screening pretty much every time.  If I was feeling frisky and wanted to blow up the plane, couldn’t I just spring for the extra $90 for the round trip ticket? Hmm…

3 thoughts on “Airport Security Shuffle

  1. A few years ago I worked for a company that built custom conveyors and we did quite a few for airport x-ray equipment companies. One day while traveling with my wife and my 6 and 8 year old boys I was showing them the x-ray equipment at the airport when apparently we made people suspicious and we were taken aside. They pulled my 6 year old aside, made him take off his shoes, had him stand spread eagle with his legs and arms out and wanded him with a hand metal detector. I really am for strict security but does it make any sense to do that to a 6 year old.

  2. Why are people still fighting with the terrorist?!
    They can’t win the battle. The only way to change the world is to change oneself.

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