Doris Day in the Role of a Terrorist? As If!!!
If you were the typical airport security team, would you be looking closely at someone like Doris Day? Doris Day carrying a crystal wedding gift no less? I wouldn’t imagine that would be the case either, but read on.
I have always been a pretty good traveler and have complied with all of the tightened airport rules since 9/11. It is my philosophy that I can give up some freedoms for increased security and safety flying. Maybe that’s because I have never been a target of suspicion until now.
It all happened while flying during a recent weekend. Does it make me change my mind? I am still processing the experience so I haven’t quite decided.
It all started in Houston where I live, where my husband and I were flying to not one but two weddings in a single weekend in two different states. On Sunday we were leaving Chicago to fly to NYC for the second wedding with a very tight schedule as the wedding began in the afternoon. Thanks to SW Airlines, one way flights were not an issue, and we found a time where we could make the second wedding providing nothing went wrong and our flight wasn’t delayed in any way.
Of course given Murphy’s law, our optimism over making all that happen was a bit too optimistic.
Nonetheless, we set off Sunday – with my husband spelling out our leaving time to get to the airport, checked in and boarded for the hopefully on time direct flight from Chicago to NYC. That was our first problem. He allowed one hour of time for check in. I really have to learn NOT to trust my husband’s sense of timing about things. One hour is plenty of time in Houston, but in many other airports, it is not nearly enough.
At Chicago Midway airport, on a Sunday morning check in, the lines are long, random, disorganized and could take an hour and a half to get through them. As I watched the minutes tick away while waiting in an inefficient and endless security line that had no rhyme or reason why some lines were moving and others were not (but we couldn’t cut into a better one anyway) Murphy’s law was in full play. Later, a woman my husband sat next to on the plane explained that Chicago Midway is notorious for being inefficient with check-in.
Still, one has to comply so we waited and waited and waited, until it was a mere fifteen minutes until our plane was to depart and we were finally near the Xray machines. As luck would also have it, we bought early boarding passes paying extra money so we could easily pick our seats and get our carry-ons loaded in order to expedite our travel to NYC. So much for that with now just 10 minutes to our flight taking off with probably most of the plane boarded. There we were when they flagged my purple wheelie. They sent it through twice and then took out a suspicious package – an engagement gift of lead crystal for still another friend in NYC that we were delivering in person the day after the wedding.
The package tested positive for explosives so they took it apart, manhandled it, and then told me since I was carrying on a substance testing positive for explosives, I would have to be patted down and tested too. This is 10 minutes before our flight was to leave. Again, they saw it was a crystal gift I was bringing someone, all prettily wrapped. Not exactly a vest made of explosives is it? Again, they saw my horrified look much out of a Doris Day movie as they did a full pat down on every inch of my body.
After the pat down by a female security member, they tested her gloves and I came up negative for explosives. Surprised security people? Still, rules are rules, and I was treated the same way that the average terrorist would be.
They explained that either the packing or chemicals in the crystal set off the explosive warnings and then sent us on our merry way with 5 minutes till departure. We ran to our gate at top speed, arriving with three minutes to go. Doors were closed, but they let us on – the last ones to board.
WE MADE IT!
Don’t those people know someone like me wouldn’t harm a fly and has about as much radicalism in her as the average butterfly?
Note to self: Never, ever travel with lead crystal again. I’ll add that to the razors, scissors, and every liquid item over 3.4 ounces. I will be a very good, compliant girl, just like Doris Day.