I would like to believe that all of the tax dollars going toward the Transportation Security Administration are making a difference in our national security, but they just can’t seem to do anything right.
Recently, I traveled and pre-travel, I brought up their site on my Mac to learn more about this whole 3oz. liquid thing and the site crashed Safari, didn’t work in Mozilla or Mac ie. So I basically got nowhere. I was able to read one file that was somewhat pertiment about what’s allowed and what’s not. Meat cleavers are not. This doesn’t really affect me, but it got me to chuckle.
Next step was to pack for the trip. I had to put everything in the wrong bag in order to fit the stupid ziplock with all of the liquids into one of my carry-ons. (Yes, I had multiple. I have an infant – it’s nearly impossible to travel without multiple carry-ons with an infant in tow.) Anyway, I dealt with that and made it to the gate.
Best news of the day – TSA let us fast track through security with first class since we had a kid in a stroller. Then we got stuck behind some stuck-up goth-laden rockers carrying Louis Vuitton bags and had to wait seemingly forever. Anyway after they were moving on, the TSA people actually asked me to take off my cardigan sweater to make sure there was nothing underneath – while I was carrying my baby. Like these other people with their black jackets wouldn’t be hiding something more serious than my limp little cardigan? We looked at the TSA staff like they were nuts so they let us through. We bought water in the terminal before boarding the plane so we would have enough for the 3 of us, formula, and other needs while in flight.
On the flight back, we were leaving Kansas City which doesn’t have shops inside security so we couldn’t buy water. I brought a few extra bottles anyway to see what they would let us have. The guy explained that the more liquid formula you bring, the less water you’re allowed to take, but he allowed me to bring one bottle of water because I had a few dry packets and only one can of the liquid. Come on… and to top it off, he gave me this look like “here, you can get away with more water if you bring more packets!” Like he was doing me some favor? If this is really a security risk, why would he be telling me this? Please.
I’m not afraid of flying, airplanes, or terrorists. Maybe I should be, but I’m not. What I am afraid of is stupidity, disorganization, loopholes, wasting time and money, and above all, poor management when it comes to security. I’ve been through a real clearance process that was much more rigorous, I’m willing to bet, than most of the TSA employees at airports have. Security should be serious. You don’t bend the rules when it comes to true security. Ever. You don’t keep changing them either. And you don’t waste anybody’s time. You look out for what’s a realistic threat and you keep your eye on the ball. (And it wouldn’t hurt to have a web site that didn’t crash browsers either.)