Sledge VS The TSA:
So, heading out to Texas in the morning, we went through airport security with relative ease, despite my qualms about it. The TSA is one reason why I prefer not to fly. But…we didn’t have to remove clothing, or have to open our laptops and such. Just pass two bomb-sniffing dogs and throw our carry-ons into a bin for X-Ray…done. I was amazed! It all happened at the speed of a standard walk through.
Heading back to Chicago from Texas, however, was an entirely different story. And mind you we flew on one of the last flights of the night so it wasn’t crowded or anything in the airport terminals. They took my husband and separated him from me, forcing us to go through different security points - I was shocked. They made us remove our shoes and our belts. They made us remove every electronic device to put into its own bin which required everyone to use multiple bins that filled the conveyors completely. And of course I had to go through what I hated most…the body scanners. In fact, I had to be run through twice and then have a pat-down also when that was no good enough. They asked if I identified with a female…and you guys don’t have any idea how difficult for me it was to not say I identified as a pissed-off American Patriot familiar with my Constitutional rights…like I was reeling in my tongue, know what I mean?
So they scan me twice and on the scanner it shows I have warnings areas so they need to get touchy feely. Turned out I left my plane ticket and wallet in my pocket and this was a no-no as well. Sorry, I must have forgotten it in the mad rush to remove my non-metal, clearly fabric belt and get all of my electronics out onto the conveyor into separate bins, taking up the entire thing. …Ever forget something? Happened to me…so I left my wallet in my pocket, oh no.
So they take my wallet and plane ticket and say they have to run these through the X-Ray. They are satisfied I am not carrying anything else with the pat down but I got a sense they may have wanted to take me into a private room but the crowd behind me may have swayed them otherwise…I don’t know. It was at this point they had asked me about my female-ness…
Anyway so they take my credentials while I try to get my belt back into the loops of my slipping-down shorts since they are too big for me (I don’t own many shorts and these were from when I was a tad bit larger) and get my shoes back on and my stuff re-packed from the conveyors. My laptop, my 3DS, my Phone, my IPad. They hung onto my ID for the longest time…I swear just because they wanted to piss me off more…two other people got through security in the meantime with all of their stuff without any problems at all or sensors indicting areas on their bodies being “problems.” Finally one of the guys comes up to me and with the snarkiest attitude ever hands me my wallet and plane ticket and says, “You gonna need these?” Not even in a joking manner or a smile.
So after all this I make it out and look for my husband…my husband hasn’t exited from security either from where he is. He is still being gone over too, especially his shoes. This is nothing new for him. He wears an American size 15 1/2 which is a custom shoe for all intents and purposes…since he has to order them on-line. People don’t believe his feet are that big. They ran his shoes separate of everything else and not even inside a bin.
The whole experience was just as demeaning as I imagined it could me. You really do feel just like cattle, especially being removed from your spouse. If our son had been with us and they made him go to a different location I would have legit lost it. It was everything I had in me not to say something as it was…but I knew if I did we would be prevented from getting on our plane at all, trust me I know. Once my tongue is loosed, forget it.
People just accept this treatment, man…