Thursday, January 17, 2013

Air Travel For A Dummy

I don't fly much. I love flying, and when younger, I was blessed to have travelled a good amount- Hawaii, Europe, Canada, Guatemala, Honduras, Korea, across the U.S., etc. I knew my planes and had ridden on everything that was around.

But as an adult, my flying frequency has dwindled. We drive to California to visit grandma.  Some buddies fly to Arizona to visit during spring training (where I live), and I'm an appraiser, so I never have time to go anywhere, nor do I typically need to for my profession.

So when with my new company, I was invited to visit corporate headquarters in Northern California, I got a chance to take a trip. Packed, boarding pass, carry on, on time, good to go...

When going through the TSA checkpoint I was interested to see the new full body scanners in action, but I'd been used to taking off my shoes and belt and emptying my pockets.  Everyone was pleasant and it went pretty smoothly.

When they had a second person do a quick pat down, I was cool. No invasive groping. But then they asked me to step over to another area. They let me out my shoes back on, and my belt and fill my pockets- even get my tablets closed up. But then the girl asked if had any sharp objects. "No ma'am, no sharp objects." She asked this as she was rummaging through my carry on bag- the bag I take to work with me every day, with a few books, pens, business cards, etc. it's one of those bags with a bunch of pockets.

So when I confidentially told her I had no sharp objects- like Penn and Teller asking "is this your card?", she pulled out my leatherman. "Oh shit!"

"Oh man, I totally forgot about that, I never fly and had no idea that I had in there. I'm so sorry!"

She looked at me for a beat and I asked "now what?"

She coolly replied "you can check it"
"But I already checked my bag. What other options do I have?"
"You can mail it to yourself or throw it away"
"What do I have to do to mail it to myself?"
"Go back out, find a place to package it and mail it"
"Yeah, I don't have time for that. Can you save it til I come back?"
"How bout you take it home and give me your phone number and ill call you when I get back?"
".... Ok... Dang that was a wedding groomsmen gift... Alright, chuck it"
Lesson learned- I guess. But letting a shaved head guy with a knife go through without further grilling was pretty lucky I guess.

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