Airport Security…. Or My Travels in Wonderland

I had a chance to head to South Carolina on Saturday. Usually, my travels are international. The last time I flew domestically, I went to Detroit of all places.

So, the last minute flight booking left me on Spirit Air. I had used them once or twice before and they were fine for what they are.

When I fly internationally I use El Al for the Middle East and usually Lufthansa of British Airways for Europe and Asia.

Internationally, particularly El Al, the security is actually something I appreciate. El AL does it, not the TSA. El AL is usually considered the world’s most secure airline.

They determine it through questioning. The key is not what you say, but how you say it.

They also xray EVERYTHING.

So, on Saturday morning, I had an 8:30 am flight. It meant leaving for the airport about 5:30 or 6. I packed some yogurt and a bunch of water for the trip.

Spirit, you see, does not provide beverages except for pay, on board. Suffering from DVT, it is critical I stay well hydrated, which I always did anyway.

In addition, I packed my coffee in my thermal mug, and thermos.

When I got to the security checkpoint, they made me dump the coffee I was drinking (not the thermos which they seemed not to see).

Because I was a late booker and was returning in less than 24 hours I was selected for special screening!!

So everything was wiped with bomb wipes, and xrayed. I was patted down and wanded.

I was told that the water bottles and the yogurt in my bag could not go on the plane in the overhead compartments, but either had to be thrown out or checked. I complained, explaining the Spirit policy and was told they had nothing to do with airline policies.

OK, so I went to check in the bag, being tired and definitely now in a foul mood. And Spirit charged me $20 to check the bag!!!

Fine, despite having been walked to the baggage check by a TSA “officer” I then had to go through the whole process AGAIN!! That’s right the patting down, the checks, etc.

So, I finally finish the whole process after about an hour, and as I am making my way to the plane it strikes me that my red, metal Starbucks thermos with a top that looks more like a bomb detonator than anything I have ever seen, had made it through the advanced security checks not once, but twice. Filled with coffee!!

So, my Costco water and light and lively yogurt are clearly dangerous bomb making materials, but no one thinks to even look at the thermos, that went through on its own. I had been holding it in my hand prior to getting checked so it passed through the machine with my wallet and keys, etc.

I understand that there was a plot using liquid explosives, however the key is that there have to be two liquids to combine. Not sure how a clearly new, seal unbroken bottle of Acadia Costco water, on it’s own, poses a threat.

Ahhh, nothing like looking for the real dangers!

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