Monday, July 9, 2012

I was Patted Down by the TSA

Remember how I mentioned that I went to Costa Rica? And I'm planning on going to Puerto Rico in like... less than three weeks? Well, I'm dreading a bit, going through security. Because I'm pretty sure I'm gonna have to be patted down again. Except last time, they didn't do it right. Not one bit. Here's how it went getting on the plane to go to Costa Rica.

We got to the airport at the buttcrack of dawn (literally). And we waited a smidge because the ticket counter wasn't open and for some reason, we hadn't been able to print my ticket from home the night before. We figured the internet was just fussy. So we got our tickets at the counter, checked our bags and headed to security.

And then they scanned us. And looked at our tickets. And let us proceed to our gate.


We sat at the gate for a good 45 minutes before boarding began. But it's better to be early than late, especially in an airport amirite? Of course, we were in the last group to board. I let Mom and Gramma go ahead of me and sleepily shuffled forward with the line. Gramma's ticket was scanned and she went on down the umbilical. Mom's ticket got scanned, and off she went too. My ticket got scanned and-"Oh. Ma'am I'm going to have to ask you to step to the side." Uhm. Whaaaat? But I did as he asked. My mom noticed I wasn't behind her and headed back up to see what the problem was. Finally the ticket guy turned to me and said, "You've been selected for additional screening. You actually shouldn't have made it here at all. They should have stopped you in security, so I'm going to have to call two agents up here." Well that's comforting. So we waited. And waited some more. And then we waited a little longer. I was delaying the plane.

Finally two agents came up and asked if I wanted to be taken all the way back to security to a private room for a screening. I said no, I had nothing to hide and it'd just waste more time. I was already cranky from the lack of sleep. And so I stood in the terminal, feet shoulder width apart, arms out to the side, sweatshirt off in front of all the other travelers that happened to be in nearby terminals or passing through, letting a woman with blue gloves pat me down. The other woman took my bag and took out everything. And opened every pocket. And every flap of everything inside my bag. Tampons, tablet, fruity gum, and all got removed from my bag and set down on those stiff, awkward terminal seats. It was awesome.

In the mean time, my Gramma had realized that neither my mom nor I had boarded the plane. She had convinced the stewardess to let her off to see what the problem was and came flying up the ramp looking for us. The look on her face when she saw me standing there, being patted down by one agent and my bag disassembled by the other, was pretty priceless.

Finally, they apologized for the hassle and thanked me for being a good sport (though most of the terminal was giving me shifty side long glances now) and let me board. I had delayed the plane for quite a bit, though saved a few stragglers running late from missing it entirely.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is how I was patted down by the TSA. Let's hope leaving for Puerto Rico starts a little differently.