Photo Enlarge

Click on any photo in the blog for a larger version!

Preparing for TSA - February 19, 2013

One week from now we will be loading our little bit of  luggage into our neighbor's car for the 40 minute trip to Salt Lake City International Airport.  And on that day, the word INTERNATIONAL will actually be meaningful.  No idea how much worse the TSA will be since our last trip, which was to Mexico in 2010.   Since we had only carry-on luggage then, I recall it was pretty simple and painless.  A minimum of radiation and no groping of people, although one piece of luggage was probed.  Since then the airport has gone to full backscatter millimeter wave (which is "non-ionizing"and has no millirem rating), and so there will be lots of radiation virtual nakedness.  We can only hope that the groping and probing will be minimized.  Unfortunately we are bringing with us 6 weeks worth of dietary supplements and vitamins, mostly for me, which involves a few pounds of various powders and pills.  So our friends at the TSA may choose to provide extra scrutiny to our persons, our belongings, or even our finances - a recent "mission creep" by the TSA who are actively competing to become most-despised government agency (displacing the IRS).  I fly around the USA a bit, and the only airport (in my experience) that has special extra procedures for powders (instead of just liquids) is Salt Lake City.  To that end we are going really early, and I may ask Bob (our helpful neighbor) to stick around for a while in case we have to send something back home with him.  Lest you think I am overly pessimistic, I offer the picture below.

The two large bags in the background are powders for various things.  The small bag in the foreground is my allowed liquids - all TSA-legal sizes and contents.  The bag and bottle on the right are pills.  Nothing to see here.  These aren't the droids you're looking for.  All of it is perfectly legal, easily explained, and packed in TSA-friendly clear bags, which will be removed from luggage for ease of screening.  So I will allow extra time to go through security, just in case.  Planning to be flexible.  That is my mantra. My real hope is more optimistic - that we will clear security quickly and easily and have plenty of time to enjoy some of the fantastic new restaurants now locked away inside the airport, such as  Vino Volo or more probably Vivace.  Both great ways to begin a trip!

I always try to remember that TSA agents are human beings doing a thankless job that is unpleasant for all involved.  A cheerful attitude, positive and confident, goes a long way to help making the process faster and more efficient.  Those that chafe about it tend to get stuck inside of the process for much longer periods.  I try to keep the bigger objective in mind - not maintenance of security theater (after all I am no threat), but to get to where we are trying to go.  Not saying what we have in the USA is good, but at least we still get to go places.  Contrast that with the former USSR, where going places was not an option at all - with or without radiation, groping, or poking.  Thanks again to Mr. D for that perspective!  

You can practice by training yourself not to react to examples of TSA-porn.

OK sir, turn your head to the left and cough.

No comments:

Post a Comment