The TSA Way

November 29, 2010 at 12:13 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

When I flew down to Louisiana for Thanksgiving on Wednesday, I was treated to my first experience with the new TSA security measures.  I had been under the impression that people only had to go through the new full-body scanning machine (or, alternatively, through the extreme full-body pat down) if they were randomly chosen from the line.  So you can imagine my surprise when I showed up at O’Hare Airport and was immediately directed to one of these:

It was exactly like this

See the little squares on the ground?  You have to put your feet in those while holding your hands up over your head.  If there’s a better way to make a perfectly innocent traveler feel instantly like a criminal, I certainly don’t know what it is.

The x-rays that the box takes are sent to some anonymous room where strangers checked me out to make sure I wasn’t harboring explosives in my underwear.  Since I had forgotten my explosives at home that morning, I was allowed on through and ushered into the craziness that leads to the O’Hare terminals.  The entire process didn’t take near as long as I was afraid it would, but I was concerned people would be pitching a fit over the security x-ray, which I didn’t really see happening.  If I had had unlimited time I might have questioned it’s Constitutional validity but I didn’t feel like getting arrested and/or thrown out of the airport at 6:30am.

Look, Ma, no hands!I should say that I’m torn as to how I really feel about these new safety measures.  I understand why they’re in place and that it’s being done to make flying a safer experience for everyone involved.  I like arriving at my destination fully intact so I appreciate things being as thorough and safe as they can be.  However, I don’t like being told that my only options for flying include an x-ray (the radiological safety of which is still being questioned) that will showcase every nook and cranny of my body to unknown persons or a pat down that seriously borders on molestation.  I’m not a shy person and I probably look a little better nude than many of the other people that walk through these boxes but it made me uncomfortable nonetheless.  And I can’t help but wonder how long it will be before similar measures are put into place for using all modes of public transit, such as trains and buses.  That is not something I’m anxious to see.

In the end, it’s not like the new scanner caused me any physical pain.  I know others have had rather unpleasant experiences with these new measures and I hate to hear that but I was lucky enough to get in and get out with minimal issue.  In fact, it took me less than an hour from the time I walked out of my front door to the time I was waiting at my gate with breakfast in hand.  I’m thankful I was able to travel down South and I’m even more thankful that planes didn’t encounter any terrorist activity over the Holiday.  However, I still feel like someone in those dark rooms of the TSA owes me a drink.


1 Comment

  1. Mega said,

    You’ll probably never get the drink that the TSA owes to you. Instead, I will drink 3 beverages. 1 in your honor, 2 in mine.

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