Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Washington National TSA experience

I assumed that security would be even tighter at Washington National (DCA), what with it being in the Nation's Capital, home to half of the 9/11 attacks, etc...

Having learned from my mistakes last week, I walked up to the Northwest desk with the boarding pass issued to me by the easy-checkin machine, and asked them to print me up a new one marked "SSSS" as I did not have ID. After verbally confirming that I was without ID, the agent printed me out a new pass.

Next stop: The TSA Checkpoint.

The contractor manning the pre-checkpoint security station received the news rather well (Note: "I don't have ID" works far better than "I am envoking my court-recognized right not to show ID", esp. for 8 dollar an hour security folks who don't want their jobs made more difficult). She wrote the words "NO ID" in very large red letters on my boarding pass, and shoo'ed me into the checkpoint line.

Alas, at DCA, selectees/terrorists to be must stand in the same lines as everyone else, and so I didn't get rushed to the front as at Indianapolis.

DCA, at least at the domestic Northwest checkpoint, has 2 lines. One line with just an x-ray/metal detector, and another with a High Tech "Smiths" creepy puffer machine.
As opposed to other airports where you are randomly selected for the puffer machine, at this airport, everyone going through the sole-xray line is spared the puffer treatment, and everyone unfortunate enough to think that the puffer line is shorter is subjected to a few blasts of air.

I approached the guy manning the Smiths machine - handed him my boarding pass (clearly marked "SSSS" and "NO ID"), and explained that I did not want to go through the puffer machine, and that I was happy to undergo additional screening.

2 supervisors later, after carefully explaining to me that by not going through the Smiths machine, that they would be looking at every individual item in my carry on bag, they let me skip it.

Success. Thus, while Indianapolis airport's TSA folks insisted that I go through the puffer machine, the folks at DCA let me skip it after speaking to a supervisor.

The rest of the story is the same as Wednesday for the most part. Again, they tried to take away my sex lube, and yet again, I had to pull over a supervisor and remind her of what the TSA website states.

Other than that. I yet again made it onto an airplane without showing a single piece of ID, and the entire search/TSA experience didn't take more than 15 minutes.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Again, how much TSA time did you waste/divert that should have been focused elsewhere? Your shenanigans are pointless and a waste of other peoples time (passengers and employees) . I only hope that one day when you enter the real world people cause as many unnecessary problems for you.

Anonymous said...

So the previous poster thinks our friendly neighborhood blogger "wastes TSA time" electing to evoke his right to travel on a plane without identification. I suppose you'll think it's a waste of our court's time with all these pesky people exercising their right to trial by pleading not guilty at the initial hearing.
What a troll.

Sarah said...

Its people like you and the news media that are very ignorant, in posting online and commenting on the television every little detail of how to breech security. You have to remember that TSA is a newer organization and there will be mistakes and there will be changes happening all the time. What you need to remember is that though TSA is an important organization, it is like any other business starting off. The military system is far different from it started off and look at it now. TSA was only created 5 1/2 years ago. And uh....the employees are paid more than $8/h