A short rant about airport security

I love travelling but I hate to fly. There is just something about being thousands of feet up in the sky and not being in control.

Security at the Seattle airport was a nightmare!

I must have picked the wrong line because it took over an hour to get through. A large group in front of me had the maximum number of carry-ons and they were all spot checked.

A young girl in line in front of me set off the metal detector with her barrettes. She quickly got through after a few frightened tears but was then taken away with her mother for another spot search.

The whole time I am thinking, why don’t the airports just require that all items be checked and allow no carry-ons. I’m willing to give up the convenience to save time and to be safer. I’d even check my laptop if the airlines promised not to throw it.

When it was finally my turn I thought I would breeze through. After all I checked everything except my purse and laptop and had nothing but the essentials with me…so I thought.

I made it through the metal detector fine but my laptop case got stopped in x-ray because of “suspicious tubular objects.” I was asked for a description of the contents on my case. “Network cables, wireless cards, card reader for my digital camera, that’s about it.” At this point the line was stopped and an announcement was made for a security guard to come remove suspicious baggage. I’m not sure why the technician could not remove it herself but apparently she couldn’t, so we waited and waited and waited for a security guard to come remove my bag from the x-ray machine.

After what seemed like hours of humiliation and glares from the people in line behind me (with their own excessive carry-on luggage) someone finally removed my bag and examined the contents. The suspicious tubular items were found…flip chart markers.

The funny thing is that when I got home, I found that I had travelled with a pocket knife in my purse but that did not raise any flags. Instead it was the deadly flip chart markers. 🙂

With my rant over I have to say kudos to the airports for taking security seriously but this was my return flight. Why was no one suspicious of the tublular objects markers on my original flight?

After making it through airport security, I stopped at a coffee shop to get some caffeine and saw on the TV breaking news about a plane hijacked in Turkey. I quickly left and decided ignorance was bliss today. I sat down waiting to board the plane with my chai latte and opened up the New York Times to a front page story: Colliding With Death at 37,000 Feet, and Living.

It was clearly not my day to travel. Luckily I made it home safe and will have much to share over the next few weeks about our participation in the e-learning beta program with WebJunction.

About Lori Reed

Lori Reed, coauthor of Workplace Learning & Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Non-Profit Trainers, is a learning and communication strategist with more than twenty years experience in learning and development. A 2009 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and a 2010 "One to Watch" for paralibrarians, Lori graduated cum laude from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. Lori is a certified Synchronous Learning Expert and a North Carolina Master Trainer and has traveled across North America speaking about libraries and training.

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