To say that I’ve traveled a lot, is like saying there is a lot of corn in Iowa (where I’m from). I’ve racked up frequent flyer miles in nearly every airport in the country and many overseas. I’ve been on a first name basis with flight attendants and hotel desk clerks, and had to check the phone book in the hotel night stand just to remember what city I woke up in. I used to navigate airport security with ease, sliding through with my suitcase adorned with elite status tags from the various airlines back in my road warrior days. However this all came to a screeching halt on Sunday when I simply tried to return home from a business trip.
I got to the security checkpoint two hours early like a good girl, took off my shoes, took out my laptop, and put my stuff in the little tubs on the conveyor. I waited my turn to walk through the disturbing little body scanner thing that always makes you stick your hands up in the air like you’re on a roller coaster ride, when all of a sudden, there were bad noises. The friendly agent who had joked with me a moment before suddenly got serious and asked me to step aside. He showed me my body scan that was lit up like the fourth of July. He said I was going to have to undergo further examination and suddenly more agents appeared. Questions were asked, bags were searched and I was patted down. They did explosive residue tests and more. The most dangerous thing they found in my bag was a 2 ½ foot long plastic toy alligator for my 4 year old. After some discussion they decided it was most likely the metallic sequins on my new summer top that set off the sensors, and I was allowed to go along my way to my plane.
Some of the other folks in line who witnessed part of this got kind of upset that I got stopped. No, I don’t look like a terror suspect. I’m a 30 something, caucasian mom of two from Iowa on a puddle jumper flight to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The only things in my carry-on were a laptop, a Kindle Fire filled with zombie books (another story I’ll share later), some snacks for the plane (since many airlines are too cheap to provide anymore) and of course a plastic alligator. However, as we know from other terror events that have happened right here on American soil that we don’t always know who to suspect.
Yes, the culprit in this scenario was just a sequined top (which I’m never wearing to the airport again by the way!), but it did make me feel a little bit better that airport security agents did their job and investigated something out of the ordinary, even at 5 a.m. on a Sunday. It was an inconvenience, and a delay, however I don’t mind either knowing that there’s folks keeping an eye out for things when my family and friends are traveling. They are doing their job to keep us safe each and every day, plus it gives me a good story to tell and a chuckle whenever I see that particular evil sequined shirt or my son’s alligator.
However mental note… next time I’m headed to fly the friendly skies, leave sequined clothing at home, LOL.