First of all, you should know, I’m not going to regale you with tales from the mile-high club so, if that’s what you were expecting in my airport confessions, you might as well take your mind out of the gutter right this second.
This is about my recent experience traveling and why I am questioning whether I can ever, ever travel again.
Okay, okay. Maybe that’s a bit too dramatic but once I share with you my travails at the airport, you’ll understand.
Last month I took took a trip, one that required getting on an airplane. And in order to get on the airplane, I had to first go to the airport because that’s where you find them. Airplanes, I mean.
So anyway, there I was, going through the rigamarole process of getting to my gate, when something absolutely horrible happened.
For the first time in as long as I can remember, I didn’t get assigned to the TSA Pre✓ security line! Aack! Talk about miserable luck!
Now, before you scoff and say, “Monica, what’s the big deal? It’s not as if you ever officially applied to be in the TSA Pre✓ line,” let me say that most of the time when I travel by air, I do get assigned to the TSA Pre✓ line, and I have to tell you: I love that line!
It’s like winning the lottery and getting the Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory all at once. I mean, have you ever been on the TSA Pre✓ line? It’s the equivalent of being pampered at the spa. You don’t have to take your shoes off. Or your jacket or sweater, for that matter. Nor do you have to pull out your plastic bag filled with toiletries in order to prove to the guards you’re not carrying any liquid more than three ounces. You even get to keep your belt on! Does it get any better than that?
Plus, the guards that work on the TSA Pre✓ line are nicer. It’s like they hired comedians straight from summer stock. They joke around making wise cracks. They’re jovial, good-natured and wave you through the line with a smile. It makes me want to applaud–and I do! For I had no idea TSA security even knew how to smile. Frankly, either I’m too thrilled to be on that line or their jokes are downright funny. I never laughed so hard!
Going through the TSA Pre✓ line puts a song on your lips and can lift your spirits like nobody’s business. I swear one of those security guys looked like he was going to give my shoulders a mini-massage. As I breezed through the screening, I wanted to hug each and every TSA agent and invite them all to my house for Thanksgiving, overcome as I was with the feeling of camaraderie and goodwill to all humankind. I mean why can’t all security checkpoints be like that?
But no. Not this time. As soon as I arrived at the airport and pulled out my boarding pass, I noticed f that there was no “TSA Pre✓” stamped on my pass. I panicked.
There must be some mistake, I said to the airline representative at the check-in counter. After all, I ALWAYS get TSA Pre✓!
“It’s not a mistake,” she matter-of-factly replied. “It’s random selection. You didn’t get it this time.”
Devastated, I join the end of the line reserved for, well, the riff-raff. It snakes around about 15 times or so. I’m sure if we’d straightened out the line, we could’ve extended from Chicago to New York. And back.
Here, in steerage, we’re treated like sheep and forced to remove just about everything. We walk through the ex-rays with arms extended in the air, and no funny business–please! That means no talking and forget about joking or laughing.
Nobody’s a happy camper in this line, especially when you can look clear across the hall and see the short TSA Pre✓ line, and just how darn happy those folks are. As I bleakly make my way through my line, feeling pea-green with envy, I can’t help but think,
I want my TSA Pre✓ line back!
Incidentally, if you’re thinking I should go to the trouble of applying to become a permanent, card-carrying TSA Pre✓, forget about it. Too much paperwork, too costly and too much effort. Frankly, I don’t have the patience. But if you yourself are interested, click here.
In any case, now we know that no matter what line you’re in, the TSA isn’t doing a darn thing to make you any safer. Not when they miss weapons and other instruments of mass destruction 95% of the time. If you ask me, that’s 95% too many!
So, are you TSA Pre✓worthy or do you have to slouch around with the rest of us? Do tell!