Airport Security

3 09 2006

This week, we decided we would take a break from the desert heat, and visit a new place, Portland, Oregon. I had been in the area last year to participate in the annual Seattle to Portland bike tour. This time around, the whole family is here. While we have many things to see (including future places to live), we have a lot of other places to see and things to do. But, getting here was just the beginning…

Our day, yesterday, started at 4am. I quickly showered, and woke up the kids. The night before, we had packed everything up and placed all the bags in front of the door so that we wouldn’t have to think too much about where we put things. The shuttle arrived on time to take us to the airport, but I thought we were still going to be late because the driver had two more passengers to pick up. After a little confusion with the maps and the streets, everyone was on board and heading to the airport.

Once we arrived, I knew this is where the real fun would start. We had two large bags, a stroller and two car seats. I also brought my cameras, video and still, as well as both of our laptops. I mention our packing list because security these days is a real pain in the butt. Also, with all this luggage, we both knew it would be a real trick to keep the girls calm while still getting all this stuff to where it needed to go. We managed check in ok, which relieved us of three bags, but next was the security line.

The line wasn’t as long as it usually is, but that is probably in part to the fact that we departed from a smaller terminal. The line was moving along and then stalled for a few minutes. A red-haired woman with a TSA badge on her should came out and said that we had to take out all laptops, video cameras and shoes and placed them through the X-ray machine. That meant taking apart ALL of my carry-ons. Also what was mentioned was that there were no liquids or gels allowed as carry-on items. We also had to take the kids out of the stroller, and collapse it so that it would have to be X-rayed as well. Oh the joys of air travel.

Once we passed the metal detector, two of our bags were flagged for further inspection. I did have some snacks and some power supplies to feed our power-hungry laptops and cameras. The TSA agent did the obligitory bomb scan on my bag, and then rifled through the contents. I was hoping that with two kids, the two boxes of apple juice would be allowed. The guy grabbed them and walked over to a “secure” garbage container and tossed them in. These were not just your cheap run-of-the-mill apple juice boxes, they were organic. To see good products for kids just tossed like that, and without compensation just set a bad tone for the day.

I realize that with the recent terrorist plot raid announcing that gels and liquids not be allowed on board planes, that these measures might be “necessary”, but I highly doubt it. Aside from basically taking food away from babies, I’m also angry that there was no financial compensation offered. We will just have to be better prepared next time.




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