Thursday, September 13, 2018

My TSA Incident

Have you ever been strip-searched by TSA at an airport?

Alexa, play “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter.

I thought I was going to surprise my family by flying home to attend a family party at my house in Cape Cod this weekend. It was a last minute flight, had to use my JetBlue credit card points to avoid the thousand-dollar ticket expenses.

I had a hectic day; I failed a test in American Constitutional Development, got a ticket for accidentally running a red light on my way home (I swear it was yellow!), then forgot my wallet at my apartment on the way to the airport.

No worries, right? I’ll just have my friends take a picture of my ID and text it to me for airport security to use.


The kind Homeland Security agent asked if I had any prescription medications on me to confirm my identity, and luckily I had one- but one was not enough. So Homeland Security began interviewing me on my identity, my childhood, family, my work history, college classes, and personal information.

After all of my information checked out, I still had to be searched for any weapons or chemicals. To my absolute surprise, my sneakers tested positive for recreational drugs, specifically; heroin.

Hey Mom, I’ve never tried drugs, I promise.

I began crying, insisting they test my blood or urine, but when the agent discovered I live in downtown Waco (Waco has a huge drug problem), he simply told me I must have stepped in an area with remnants of drugs, that it happens often and wasn't a big deal. In order to further conclude I was not a potential threat to the flight, TSA decided I had to be strip searched.

Naked and goose-bumped, I stood in front of two female agents in just my lacey Victoria Secret PINK thong. I have never been more uncomfortable in my life than when the two women ran their cold, rubber-gloved hands over every inch of my bare skin. The rest of my body was clean, they found I was hiding nothing, and after a few more uneasy exchanges they let me go. 

I was finally through security when I get a text saying my flight has been delayed three hours. I definitely should have just driven home to grab my wallet. 

Starving, I sit down at the airport bar to try to buy some food with a picture of my credit card. The men next to me overheard my crying to the manager, and they bought me enough food to last me days! We were all waiting on a flight to Boston. When I finally land at 3:30 a.m., I see my beautiful mother waiting with coffee to take me home to Cape Cod. 

A couple bottles of wine, a few dozen lobsters, lots of laughs, and one corn-hole tournament later: my family's party left us smiling the whole weekend. It's been years since the whole family was in the same place, let alone the same state, at the same time. Overall, my incident with TSA was worth it to spend a long weekend with my nearest and dearest relatives. 

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