Sunday, March 18, 2007

Getting Through Security

I just can't get the thought of flying out of mind so I have to talk about it again....

I always have been excited about a new adventure and some of the best adventures I have had included flying somewhere. But after I think about it some of the adventure has included just getting through security....

Years ago my husband I flew to Arizona for a visit with family. Those were the days before 9/11 and the security was minimal. I had just about everything imaginable in my purse. Of course... what woman didn't! Well this particular time I couldn't get through the security check. I don't get alarmed or upset over these things... I just go with the flow. Well come to find out after they x-rayed my purse they said I was carrying a weapon!

Me? A weapon? Ok ... I couldn't figure that one out so I asked what kind of weapon. They said I had a "throwing star". Ok ... now those of you that know me know that I am full Norwegian and know nothing of throwing stars let alone how to use them. So I thought for a moment and then realized what I had in my purse that was close to a throwing star. But security wouldn't let me touch my purse for fear that I would use the weapon. So they dug through my entire purse and they came up with nothing. I knew what it was that they were looking for but they wouldn't allow me to help. I even told them what pocket to look in! They still couldn't find it.... So finally they realized that I wasn't a big threat and they let me find the "throwing star" that I had as a weapon. I pulled out my "Phillips County Sheriff's Department Key Chain" that was a five star badge made into a key chain. There was a sigh of relief from everyone and I was on my way.

Another time I was traveling alone and returning from a trip from Mexico. I went through security before boarding the plane in Mexico City. My purse made it through but I beeped. Well I couldn't figure that one out. All I was wearing were shorts and sandals. I didn't have any bulky clothing on or a large amount of jewelry or any sort. Security went over me with the "wand" and sent me on my way. Then I had to go through another security check just before boarding the plane that I was to fly to LAX. Same thing happened and they couldn't figure it out but sent me on my way.

So with my little amount of experience in flying I assumed that the wand was just overly sensitive and I thought no more about it.......... until I got to LAX!! There I had to retrieve my bags and take them through security and recheck them. Then I was on my way to the gates and before that I had to physically get myself through security again. I of course beeped again and they didn't even ask me a thing. They just said, "We have been waiting for you." I was really thrown off guard there. I had never had anything happen like that before. They told me they were going to do a cavity search! Over my dead body!

And as I threw up my hands and held them next to my head..... I suddenly realized what the problem was.... I had a pair of coral colored, fan shaped earrings on. They looked as though they were plastic but they were metal. I told them that I knew what the problem was and to let me just take those earrings off. They agreed and yep... that was it! Thank God!!! That was three security checks that I didn't make it through all because of a dumb pair of earrings!

I was also a CSA for an airline and worked at the gates every day that I worked. I loved the traffic of the people hurrying from gate to gate and my favorite thing to do was to drive the Jetway up to the plane when it pulled up to the gate. Those were fun memories of being a CSA. But everyday that I worked I had to get to the gates and to do that I had to go through security. I was in uniform and carried my purse and my gate information. Everyday security pulled me aside to check my purse. I never had anything in it and I never made anything beep! I saw the same people at security everyday but still they insisted on checking my purse. I knew it was just a random check and they were required to do it every so often but why me? I just smiled and asked, "Did you find yesterday's sandwich in there?" They didn't think it was very funny....

So now after the 9/11 attacks and all the heightened security I am more careful. I have removed everything from my purse that looks like a weapon and I even try to dress properly so that I don't cause a problem. So now I am down to my stocking feet and they are still having a problem getting me through security. I have no steel plates in my head or any holding any body parts together so what is the big deal now? Oh dear..... it has to be the under wire bra this time.... I can't win.

Love the adventure though!

Signed..... Mrs. Montana Conservative

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