Sunday, July 22, 2007

Singled Out

Although we got back from vacation on Friday night -- okay, Saturday morning -- there were a couple of things that happened on the way back that were of note.

Okay, not necessarily of note, but, well, I remember them.

For example, did you know that you can't take a bottle of water through security? But you can take knitting needles.

Really. I blame Michael Vick.

We left out of Las Vegas around 1:00 PM PT, for a US Airways flight to Phoenix. That's the itinerary Orbitz picked, anyway. And we went along with it.

When we got our boarding passes, the US Airways lady couldn't print out our Delta boarding passes. So, we went to Delta. She said she couldn't print them.

Now, before we left the house to go to Las Vegas, I printed out our boarding passes on my computer. I guess Delta doesn't have terminals that advanced.

Anyway, that meant we had to see the Delta counter once we got to Phoenix.

There were 61 minutes scheduled between arrival and departure on the Delta flight from Phoenix to Atlanta. Which would have been enough ... maybe ... if we arrived at Phoenix on time. We didn't.

But, we didn't arrive that much behind schedule.

But, to get to the Delta gates from the US Airways gates, you have to take the bus.

That means going outside the "secure" area, and going back in.

And that means dealing with the clowns at the TSA Circus again.

Now, to be fair, not all of the TSA folks are clowns, idiots, morons, or a**holes. Not all of them. But a lot of them fall into one or more of those categories.

We got our boarding passes for the Delta legs of the flight, then headed to the gates. Now, I knew things weren't going well when we saw the long line at the TSA checkpoint that we had to go through to get to the Delta gates.

Things got worse when the grumpy old guy that looks at our ID and boarding passes pulled out his trusty red magic marker and drew a big red diagonal line across my boarding pass. Oh, and wrote "S.S.S.S." on it. No idea what that means.

Well, I know it means "take this guy aside and give him a real close looking at." I think that's what it means, because that's what they did.

I was a little worried when they had me step over to the side and pointed me to this guy that was putting a rubber glove on.

Turns out, he was just not wanting to make skin contact of any kind, because he didn't pull out any KY or anything. Just had me stand with my arms outstretched, while he ran a wand all around me. Like on the intro to Monk.

They gave my computer a real close looking at too.

I'm not sure what made them decide to flag me. Perhaps it was my Southern accent. Or extremely white skin. Or grey hair. Or clean-shaven face. I mean, if all that put together doesn't say 20-year-old Muslim extremist, I don't know what does.

Anyway, we made it through security only a few minutes after our plane was scheduled to take off.

The good news, sort of, was that the Delta flight was late. About 90 minutes late. So, we got there in time, after all.

The flight was fairly uneventful, as was the wait in Atlanta. That flight was delayed, too. It was supposed to leave at 10:36. Which was about 20 minutes before the Phoenix-to-Atlanta finally arrived.

Of course, the bad weather in Georgia that night meant that everything was late. Including the Atlanta-to-Montgomery flight. Good news for us. Bad news for the other 48 folks waiting for it.

It finally took off around 2:00 AM, and we got to Montgomery.

But our luggage didn't. But we covered that fact earlier. Oh, by the way, one bag finally ended up in Montgomery. And the other bag was sent to Columbus. So, we got that bag Sunday afternoon. They have now sent the other bag to Columbus, and I'll pick it up at lunch Monday.

Anyway, I'm done flying for a bit, I think. Not that this is putting me off of flying. We just don't have anything scheduled that far away.

But when we do fly, I think I'll get to the airport way early. Way, way early. Like a day or two early. Just to screw with them.

I mean, turnabout's fair play, right?

Update: It turns out that I got to the Phoenix airport too early. You see, I didn't mention that while we were in that big line, between my getting the big red slash and being pulled over to the side, someone came strutting through, calling out "Airport employee!" and telling folks to move over to let them through. We had to move over to the left to let him through.

Oh, this happened twice. A group of three came through a few minutes later. We had to move to the right that time.

No, I didn't see if they got screened or not.


  1. Basil, I wonder if your luggage got lost at Sky Harbor because of this. Sit down.

  2. Macker: I was adding the update as you were leaving your comment. Wonder if I should start printing off airport employee badges for the next time I have to fly through there.

  3. I think you should get to know the people at that shop in Boaz! Just in case, you terrorist! heh I sure hope the bad guys get a once over if they fly again!

  4. Hilarious, basil. Though admittedly only because it didn't happen to me. This time...

    Been there, done that. Did they deprive you of your shoes during this thorough wanding? Last time I went through I lost shoes, belt, wallet, glasses and enough other personal effects that I halfway expected people to be sticking money in my pants before I got through security. Of course, in my case it would be money paid to make me put the clothes back ON, but that's another story.


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