Saturday, July 30, 2016

No, I am NOT taking off my skirt!

So I bought a new skirt while I was in Indiana. It's a cute black skirt with little metallic plastic rings all over the front of it. It actually did occur to me as I was buying it that the back scatter machines at the airport would probably have a stroke with it and flag each ring as an "anomaly" requiring further attention. The thing is, most of the time I get to use the TSA pre-check line these days and get to just walk through the good old fashioned metal detector, and I figured that since the rings were plastic, it wouldn't matter.

I was wrong. 

Before heading through the metal detector, I took off my heels, because they will almost always set off the metal detector, and then I stepped through. I thought that I'd made it as it took the machine a moment, but it did eventually alarm and I was asked to step back out.
The TSA inspector took one look at my skirt and said "Yeah, it's probably the rings."  He continued to look me over and then continued "You might try taking off . . ." And here he hesitated so I chimed in and interrupted him.
"Uh no, I am not taking off the skirt!" I told him with a laugh. He laughed, and then started over.
"You might try taking off your bracelet." He completed his statement with a grin. "Or you could just step into the scanner and then get a pat down."

Ok, so I stepped into the damn back scatter scanner and then joined the TSA inspector running that machine in a good laugh as it flagged my entire skirt for further inspection. So yeah, I had the pleasure of a rather intimate pat down by a female TSA agent. 
I have to wonder about all of the stories that I hear about people being mistreated by the TSA because I've never really had a problem. Yeah, I got pulled aside for the dreaded "pat down", but they were very professional and the woman that performed the inspection was very thoughtful and concerned that I be aware of everything that she was going to do, and that I was all right with it. So yeah, an annoyance, but an understandable and minor one at most. I've always been polite to them, and they have always been polite to me.

It kind of pisses me off about the skirt though, because I like it but I don't want to go through that song and dance every time that I fly, so it probably won't get worn often.


  1. Kim -

    Do you find that there is a difference in how you are treated by the TSA at various airports? You are experienced in "flying pretty", and I have "cruised pretty". Although I follow your advice (from your "How to fly pretty" post), I still have had minor headaches that I'd like to keep at a minimum. I would also like to start flying pretty for some of my trips, and that will mean picking up on any nuance I can beforehand....


  2. I don't recall anyplace where I felt like the TSA was not treating me well. To be absolutely honest, I find that they treat me better as Kim, perhaps out of concern for a public relations nightmare. What ever their motivation, I find that they seem nicer.
    Now I haven't had any bad experiences personally, but I have noted two recent events where folks flying out of Washington DC felt that they were treated poorly. For the record, I've actually flown out of both major airports in that region several times and was always treated well, but I mention it anyway for your info

  3. None of it is a big deal BUT it all takes extra time ! I have been early enough,but still end up hustling because of the ten minutes lost to nothingness !

    1. You wont be getting an argument from ME about that! Obviously I fly a LOT, and if it were up to me, I'd accept the risk and get rid of the TSA. Not that I have a grudge with them, and not that I think they do a poor job, I just don't think it is worth the incredible cost and inconvenience.

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