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Shopping by Any Other Name:TSA

Sorry, but this flight experience was another proof that a TSA inspection is about another purpose entirely than our security.  As we all probably have experienced, the purported reason for going through our bags is for our safety, to eliminate explosive or terrorist devices.

Human fallibility is to be expected, and we can excuse the silliness such as requiring wheelchair bound elderly to remove their shoes, and confiscating a baby’s tippy cup.  I was amused as much as surprised at the ignorance of confiscating my empty water bottle in an airport check point.   Obviously, an empty water bottle doesn’t qualify as an appropriate focus for a search involving liquids.

Some speculation by travelers encountering this kind of illogical confiscation has centered on complicity with the vendors, who charge ludicrously high prices for the bottled water travelers need to resupply with after having their containers raptured.

The pure cupidity involved in yesterday’s Dallas TSA nonsense was pretty evident, however.

I flew on Continental to Burlington, VT, and after making my reservation was informed of a change in policy that would make a checked piece of baggage cost $25 each way.  No problem, I used a lesser amount to buy a nice carry-on rolling bag that has swiveling wheels, something I had been thinking would really facilitate my travels.

The new and very elegant bag got attention from the TSA inspector, who announced with obvious relish, approximately, "Oh, lookie, we just have to go through this one."

She did indeed, and extracted the unopened can of olives that I had brought back from Spain for a friend who loves their olives.   The TSA inspector cited the liquid inside as the reason for taking it away, and I accepted that without doing as I ought to have, and opening the can to keep the olives in my lunch.

The clincher, of course, is that inside the bag inspected there was a  half-used bottle of shampoo, and inside my purse an almost empty container of handcream and a small package of matches.

Anyone feel more secure?

Not exactly.

This is sheer robbery, and I’ll be complaining to TSA, after I get back through the return inspection.

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Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.