I recently took a trip to Hawaii. I have a lot of thoughts on what I did and saw on this trip, enough to make several posts on the subject. Since the trip involved 7 different flights departing from 5 different airports, I want to begin the series with a discussion of the experience of flying and going through TSA security.
First, the TSA:
Since travelling with a firearm is such a hassle, and since the state of Hawaii does not honor my concealed weapons permit, I was travelling unarmed. I locked my firearms in the safe, and headed out.
Screening is a mess. During the seven different screening processes, I was asked to remove my shoes for 5 of them, my belt for two.
In four cases, I was scanned with the millimeter wave devices. In three of those 4 cases, I also received a pat down. In one case, the machine had them frisk me because of a wadded up receipt in my pocket. Twice, they felt the need to examine my left calf. This is the same calf that required extensive surgery to repair. Perhaps the old scar tissue sets it off, I do not know.
In four of the airports, I was also sniffed by a TSA dog.
In three airports, my luggage (checked and carry on) was x-rayed at least twice.
It went like this:
(Hawaii) Bags are x-rayed upon entry to airport, for so- called "agriculture inspection."
Have papers examined at ticket counter. Hand checked bags to TSA. They x-ray them and send them through.
Stand in queue that passes by sniffing TSA dog.
Have papers inspected by TSA agent.
Remove shoes, belt, and contents of pockets. Place them with belongings on belt for x-ray exam.
Go through perv scanner.
Get dressed while standing under TSA version of flag.
I actually felt DIRTY and sick to my stomach each time I had to go through this. What happened to the freedom we used to have?
Of my 7 flights, four flights were late. Three had been moved to different gates without notification. Three of them had me sitting next to crying babies.