Saturday, October 15, 2016
The Perils Of Modern Air Travel - Part XXII #TSA #Airlines
I fly around the country a good bit for work. Just enough to have plenty of Transportation Security Administration stories, and enough miles on a number of airlines to not quite qualify for free travel.
The first step in modern air travel is going through security. This is not a skill that I have mastered. Many of my fellow travelers seem to be quite comfortable removing shoes, and cellphones, and in placing the laptop n a separate bin. This is followed by being x-rayed in a giant tube and then looked over by TSA personnel. (Why do they always think that I have metal in my forearms? Am I related to Wolverine? Do they just need an excuse to pat me down?). Then after the security screening, you have to put yourself back together. Don't get me wrong, I see why security is necessary; I'm just not good at getting through the line quickly.
So a few weeks ago, I'm deftly going through security and the TSA person asks if this is my suitcase. I say yes. She says may I inspect it, and I say yes. Then she asks the million dollar question: do you have anything sharp in the suitcase? I think for a minute and say I have a safety razor, but that's all I can come up with. She opens it up and goes to my travel kit, which includes a little box with nail clippers and related items. Inside is a small device with three "blades:" a nail file, a bottle opener and a small cuticle knife with a blade of about maybe half an inch. She confiscated it, and disposed of it. I asked if it could at least be donated to charity, but apparently there is some federal regulation that prohibits arming the poor!
The amazing thing about this incident is that I have been travelling with this kit for over twenty years. I have been on hundreds of flights armed with a "knife." The other bummer is that this kit was a gift; it has sentimental value. Another causality in the war against ... But if my suitcase has been truly unsafe for over twenty years, why did it take TSA so long to find me out? Flying safely through the air????? Yikes.