HelloSailor - nice to know I'm not the only one who feels that way.
As this started as a St. Maarten thread I'll keep it there but weave in a tsa bit.
Last year on the way back from St. Maarten to California
(in the usa and the source of all things T S A)... I accidently did two things - the carry on was used to hold three 250 ml rum
samples from a street merchant in Grand Case (the OTHER St. Martin), in addition, do to a small rip in the lining of my carry on a swiss army knife (with everthing including a cork - screw (wine opening screw?)) (can we type screw here?) ... I digress...
at any rate, the swiss knife slipped into the lining of the carry on and it along with the three rum
bottles were shipped through to Miami
(USA) where we (meaning everyone on this flight - this is normal) were all put off the plane, luggage picked up by us (for inspection) and then sent outside the airport
doors (from sterile to unsterile environment) and then led back into the airport
where the carry-on and we were all properly xrayed or small particle scanned or whatever and then (rum and knife still in carryon) sent to Los Angeles, CA.
Arriving in Los Angeles, we picked up our checked bags and set off for the SWA (soutwest airlines) terminal for the final leg to San Franciso. When the carry on went through the machine this time an inspector came over and pulled me aside for an inspection
. Opening the bag (and my back-pak) the inspector then rummaged around (finding no knife, no three 250 ml rum bottles ) and put the bags through the machine again. On the second pass the inspector then went through my back-pak (not the carry-on with the rum / knife) and found a finger nail clipper. Holding it up and exclaiming quite proudly 'a' 'ha'. seriously, she spelled it just that way.
I mentioned that the finger-nail clipper wasn't on the do not fly list and she then pulled me to an independent inspection
seat and went through the bags again - when I suggested that I could help her find what ever it was they were looking for I was told to sit and be quiet.
On this pass they still didn't find (or at least mention) the three rum bottles, nor the knife.
On another pass I watched the display on the machine and clearly saw (to my surprise as I really didn't know the knife was there) the image of the swiss knife... and I was 5 feet away from the display.
When the bags were pulled this time the inspector did find the rum bottles. She pulled them out and again with the 'a' 'ha'. I was told they were not legal
in size and would be confiscated. By this time my connecting flight had left. I mentioned that I wasn't flying out that night and wanted the rum returned. Turns out that if you don't take the flight you can get the stuff back.
I want to be sure that it's understood that until this episode was was 'supportive' of the tsa. Now not so much.
When I got to a hotel
in LA that night I went through the bad and found the swiss knife that I'd seen in the display, removed it and posted it home. We drank two of the bottles of rum and gave one to the jitney driver for moving our bags (his choice).
On that same trip I carried a laptop
and and an Ipad
. the laptop
had to come out for inspection just as surely as I had to remove my belt, shoes and over-coat. The ipad
(and it's large lithium battery
- the same battery
for which your laptop is separated) was never looked at, inspected etc.
of the TSA is good. The execution of the TSA is - well as they say in St. Martin (French side, not the Dutch side) 'merde'