Airport Security, Aunt Bee and Me

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Ever since my lengthy coverage (aka, justified meltdown) of the Napolitano/Obama airport screening mandates for the TSA back before Thanksgiving, I have wondered how my own holiday travels would transpire once it was time for my family to fly across the country from New York to California for Christmas.  Well, yesterday marked the first leg of the journey, and I am happy, though somewhat perplexed, to report that I have no out-of-our-ordinary travel experiences to report.

We arrived nice and early at the airport, expecting a longer wait thanks to holiday travels and heightened security procedures.  We approached the security checkpoint.  We saw the scanners.  We saw travelers that looked like they could have been regulars on “The Andy Griffith Show,” their arms outstretched, being scanned.  We saw travelers ushered aside for pat-downs.  My kids asked if they would be patted down.  My kids asked if they would be strip searched.  My kids knew that if I was patted down, I would hope for something entirely inappropriate to occur.

We approached the podium for preliminary TSA vetting of our paperwork.   We were deemed fit for boarding. We walked to the familiar conveyor belt and began the procedure we have done a thousand times before like a well-oiled machine: removing shoes and jackets; taking computers out of carry-ons; throwing belts, watches and small containers of liquids into the gray bins.  We were ushered one by one through the metal detector…..and…..that was it.  “Thanks very much,” said the burly TSA agent standing at the finish line as he directed us back to our long line of belongings waiting for us on the conveyor belt.  Okay then. No scanning, no pat-downs, no strip searches for us.

It was not so pleasant an experience for everyone in our line, however. As we were reassembling our carry-ons and pulling on boots, we watched the progress of an elderly woman – a grandma-type who could have easily played Aunt Bee on the old “Andy Griffith Show” – as she traversed the security gauntlet.  She was ushered through the metal detector, then scanned in the scanner (which just a few days ago failed to reveal a gun a Pakistani man had on his person), then patted down physically, then sent through the metal detector again. Apparently Aunt Bee has been targeted by Obama and minion Napolitano as a serious threat to the national security of the United States.

Our spirits daunted a bit by what we had just witnessed, we reached our gate and learned from the cable news being broadcast there that the lame-duck session of the 111th record-low-approval-rating Congress had finally called it quits for the year after furiously setting a record in the lame-duck passage of bills. “Thank God!” I exclaimed. Looking back, I guess it’s fortunate I didn’t hear that news before going through security, or I would no doubt have found myself receiving the Aunt-Bee security treatment, as well.

One Comment

  1. Mary B.
    Posted December 24, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    My husband and I had the same experience when we were flying to Seattle. Other people got scanned and patted down, and we didn’t, and we don’t know why. We looked at it as a Christmas present. Go figure.