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Airport experiences

I was writing my morning pages today when I thought about an experience I had coming through a major South Indian airport. My husband being an ERCP- ist had ordered radiation protection glasses to be shipped to my Indian address. The glasses arrived duly and were packed among other things in my check in baggage. Emigration and check in went on like clockwork. I was in the airport hoping to have a good shopping experience having saved some spending money during the trip. I was in the Duty Free shop when I heard my name being called the public announcement system. As is usual for me, I thought they were calling someone else until something about the name sounded familiar and it clicked in my brain that they were actually calling me. So I hurried towards the airlines counter, from where a girl accompanied me to the innards of the airport. I say innards because she led me far below the airport in its underground places. I hadn’t known such places existed. It was a long walk. The girl told me I was likely to lose my iPad which I had packed into my check in luggage, not wanting it on the flight.

Soon the girl guided me to the place and left me alone to deal with a security person or police woman there, who stood guarding my open suitcase. Heart beating I approached her. She asked me if I had packed any hard stuff in my suitcase- I couldn’t recall having done so. She said there seemed to be something in my stuff which was in the shape of spectacles. Suddenly it struck me- it was my husband’s radiation glasses that were causing the issue. It was not seen properly on the security cameras as it was made of lead. I explained why I carried it and she let me go. Since we had gotten pally by then, I told her I was worried she was going to throw my iPad away as it had to necessarily come through the check in luggage. Reassured by her, I walked the long journey back to the upper echelons of the airport. Needless to mention, I lost my appetite for shopping by then.

On my recent trip to California, in the US domestic flight security check ins, I was separated out to be pat checked. It happened on two domestic flights and I wondered what the camera could not see in my innards that needed me to be patted fondly by hand. It seemed there looked like something was hidden in my groin. Every time I was given the green chit. Perhaps they thought I was smuggling drugs or currency or even a small weapon- who knows ?

I really appreciate airport officials for doing their jobs thoroughly though for the time involved, I did go through some moments of anxiety. Have you had any airport security experiences ?

21 thoughts on “Airport experiences

  1. Travelling by plane isn’t my favorite thing to do but at times it’s the only option. In the Turkish airport an agent went through my bag and started asking me the Turkish names for some of my items, asking me if I knew how to say “apple” and whatnot. I actually spent nearly a month there so I had picked up on the language a little. Sometimes you’re singled out just for being different. But what can I say, I’m sure the same will happen to him when he decides to travel to a new country. At least things worked out in the end!

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    1. Oh no ! In Miami airport last year, the agent asked us how much cash do you have ? We said about 1000 $ and he said- no I don’t think so- you have lots more- and he wanted to check our baggage. Somehow he let us go through.

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  2. I only had a strange experience when arriving in Abu Dhabi airport. They are very careful and each passenger must have their eyes scanned to see if they are on the most wanted list. I was amazed at how far ahead of the U.S. they are.

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  3. They must have a lot of money to throw around and they don’t want anybody to enter the country who has a record. It is also very hard to enter the UAE and many papers and proof of many things is required: again they have alot of money and a lot of caution when letting in people. I was not inconvenienced as I have nothing to hide and it is their policy.

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  4. Wow – it’s been ages since I have traveled by air … 35 years in fact. When I last traveled by plane, no digital devices likely existed. I will tell you that I have to go through a lot of hassle to renew my green card every year. The fact that I have no fingerprints because of years of typing and wearing off my prints causes much consternation with the Department of Homeland Security. It is upsetting because me, the Squirrel Whisperer, and lover of animals, is hardly a threat to this nation where I have lived for 52 years. Likewise, a mild-mannered woman who loves cats and treats them with kindness and compassion is the least likely to be a problem either.

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      1. We sure are – animal lovers are sure not someone to worry about doing damage to a country or its people … but we are both foreigners. To me, I’ve lived here five decades and Canada is across the Detroit River. I have to apply for the renewal in Nebraska and go downtown to get processed, but last time I had to go down twice as my prints were not legible and then, I still was not cleared for a green card and had to go to the police station in my city and have them certify I had not been trouble in 10 years and lived at that address for 10 years. I had to pay for that as well. And we had a really bad snowstorm two days before the second time I needed to go back to get fingerprinted a second time – I was not going by bus or car – Detroit was paralyzed by this snowstorm – 13 inches of snow and half the City was not cleared of the snow that fell continuously. I had to pay for a Metro car limo to take me down there and wait – I was not going to take a cab … lots of problems with cabs here and strange things, not safe in my opinion, but I don’t trust a lot of things. I am OVERLY cautious Susie.

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  5. I was patted down going to Israel. I told them I had 7 screws & a metal plate in my leg due to a bicycle accident. That wasn’t the issue. Unforgotten by me, my blouse had metal snaps. Sigh. So I dressed with no metal snaps for the trip home.
    Also I was with a large traveling group, total 59 people, so they mostly waved us on through without much trouble.
    Sorry you went through this unnerving experience.

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    1. That was certainly an experience. What all things the machine catches and what it lets go through. Thinking of all the terrorist attacks in the world because of weapons, I mean, some machine must have let them go through right ? Where are weapons and where are harmless women’s clothing ? All for the sake of security.

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      1. No, I don’t think so. I just didn’t want them to take my rocks. So I hid them in three different suitcases. Those rocks came from the Valley of Elan, same place David picked up his rocks & destroyed Goliath.

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  6. Just discovered your blog! I fly quite regularly and I don’t really enjoy it but that’s more because of the actual sensation of flying rather than the security which I find quite reassuring haha! I’ve had my bags stopped a few times for random tests and I always immediately panic that somehow I have been duped into carrying all manner of illegal things! Overall, I like to avoid flying when I can but living in Ireland and wanting to go anywhere means it’s pretty much unavoidable. New follower – looking forward to reading more 🙂 🙂

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