Last week I flew to Pennsylvania to visit high school buddies and share a weekend of football and fond memories. Other than the extremely poor weather conditions, the weekend was a big success. Even our football team won in spite of their efforts.
I’m not an avid flyer by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m not afraid of flying either. Crashing – now that’s another story. It’s troubling for me every time I board a plane and make that right-hand turn to find my seat, that just to my left re the two people that will determine the next few hours of my life.
Before I go on, I must be sure to applaud the efforts of every single person involved in making transportation by air the safest it has ever been.
And with that said, I can tell you with absolute assuredness that the people I am most fearful of in the airport are the host of TSA agents waiting on the other side of the luggage x-ray machine and body scanners.
I only wish our football team could have had a few of these highly-focused individuals making plays on the field. If it moves, breathes, smells or looks funny in any way, a TSA agent is all over it.
Our flight came complete with two pat-downs and a substance check for explosives. Seriously?
Jennifer, my wife, had the lower section of her pants leg screened because of an apparent artistic hem that looked suspicious.
If that doesn’t surprise you, this will. Upon exiting the body scanner, I had a full upper body pat-down because my pectoral muscle flexed during the screening process.
I’m still trying to figure out if that was some sort of a complement for all those push-ups I do every morning.
Last but not least, our carry- on luggage was thoroughly examined after testing positive for an explosive material.
Who knew that hand-warmers, those nifty little packages that you can buy at Dollar General to keep your hands warm in cold weather, would make a TSA agent go into hyper- bomb-threat mode.
I guess if we had only purchased one or two it would not have been so bad.
Unfortunate for us, we purchased these little wonder- warmers in bulk. We had enough of those things to light up a small city.
Add on top of all this that Vice President Mike Pence was flying into the same airport and you have a complete recipe for a travel mishap.
Fortunately, we did make all our flights on time and actually arrived to our destination slightly early.
There are some very interesting facts that I discovered on the tsa.gov website. I would recommend if you are flying anytime soon that you visit this site to help you plan and avoid delays in your own travel itinerary.
One fun fact I found to be startling is that in 2017, more than $869,000 in coins were left y passengers at checkpoints. The airport with the loosest change was Los Angeles International Airport, where passengers left ver $62,000!
What happens to those shiny coins you may ask? TSA makes every effort to reunite passengers with items left at the checkpoint.
Unclaimed money is deposited into a special account to be tracked and subsequently disbursed. Ultimately, TSA uses the money to maintain and improve security operations.
A good idea and travel tip in order to help you from leaving your money behind at the checkpoint is to place it in a zip top plastic bag, pouch or favorite fanny-pack and store in your carry-on bag for X-ray screening.
Traveling can be fun if you plan ahead, my friends.
Email Rich at SeniorMomentsWithRich@gmail.com.