they went the extra mile

i learned something interesting at the airport. i walked up to the counter and told the woman i wanted to get on the next flight to l.a., she printed up the boarding pass and said i had about 20 minutes to get to the gate. you can imagine how excited i was when the homeland security officer pointed me over to the “extra special” service line. (which made a lot of sense when i looked at my boarding pass, stamped SSSSSS all over it. walk in with no reservations and purchase a one-way ticket, and it’s bound to happen). they let me through the not-quite velvet rope, and an officer told me what they were going to do, almost like when you go to the doctor’s office and they tell you in matter of fact language that you are about to undergo something unpleasant. they had offered the guy ahead of me the option not to subject his two young children to the search, but he had to go have some discussion with his airline first. he opted to not enter the special area.
i stripped off most of my metal, one officer told me not to bother taking off the watch or the fouled anchor ring i wear. they were going to wand me. big deal. they wanded me, found out in searching my bag that i am SUCH a dork that i brought my world of warcraft install discs with me, and then i was on my way.
i said to one of the officers “jesus, that was pretty painless”, and she said “yeah, this line is actually faster than the normal one”. the “ex” in the extra search area is for “express” i guess.






2 responses to “they went the extra mile”

  1. b Avatar

    OK, last time this happened to me… I was running late since my brother-in-law likes to cut things close and I had a one-way ticket since I drove to Portland. First I waited 10 minutes to check in at the counter, and then I waited through a huge line at the security checkpoint (15 minutes or more) and was just going to make it to the gate in time… “STOP!” They called me aside, and started checking everything I had – and unfortunately, I had my backpack with my computer… 15 pockets later, I’m cramming stuff into my backpack as fast as I could (and it barely fit when I packed it carefully), putting my shoes on without tying them and running at full speed through the terminal. I was the last one to board – they were about to close the door when I got there. It was not a good flight.

    The one good thing about it was that they guy who searched me was polite and respectul. This is more than I can say for the cops at the security checkpoint in SFO who confiscated my Swiss Army knife a couple years ago. In fairness to them, it did have a toothpick, and I might have intended to use it to hijack a Martini olive.

    So, which two-year old hasn’t figured out that buying a one-way ticket gets you extra attention? This is a perfect example of a completely brain-dead policy that solves nothing, but it makes some idiot look like s/he’s doing something about an alleged problem. The airlines treat everyone like shit and then wonder why their flights don’t have anyone on them… I can feel the rage building, so I’ll stop here.

  2. Bret Avatar

    Pre-911 I bought a same day ticket from Denver to LAX. They detained me because at that point in time last minute plane tickets were only purchased by drug runners in their mind. (I did ask why I was taken to a whole different room for my bags to be checked and they told me that last minute tickets reeked of drugs to them.)


    If anyone gave it two seconds of thought they would have a friend get a job at a resturaunt in the airport… after they went through all the stupid hastle, they could have that friend hand them a butcher’s knife and hop on the plane.

    People that thing all those metal detectors are even plugged in are kidding themselves.

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