Wednesday, March 16, 2011

You've Been Selected For Additional Screening!

My 8-year-old daughter and I are going on vacation today. I booked our outbound flight at a regional airport in order to avoid having to make a choice between going through the backscatter x-ray machines or getting a freedom fondle. I was looking forward to being able to zip through security in less than 10 minutes. However, upon going through the metal detectors, my daughter set it off. I had her empty her pockets before going through, so when it alarmed, she froze in confusion. She told the agent nearby that she didn't have any metal on her.

The agent told me that my daughter had been randomly selected by the metal detector for additional screening. The thought of some glorified mall cop patting down my daughter made me want to vomit, so I told the agent that it was unacceptable. The agent looked to her supervisor who looked at my daughter, then back at me and said "Swab HIM".

An additional agent ran a cloth over my hands. I don't think he even ran the cloth through a detector. Before anybody could say anything, I picked up our stuff and walked. I figured that if they detected anything, they'd stop me. Nobody did.

I found the whole incident strange. Do metal detectors at airports really go off at random like that for the intended purpose of pulling some random person out for additional screening? I've heard rumors that they might be programmed to behave that way, but I'm surprised a TSA agent would actually confirm it to me. In the end, I guess I feel confident that the TSA is doing a great job of catching terrorists who don't wash their hands.

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