I am still trying to avoid these things at all costs, but today’s circumstances led me to the machine.
- I was running late leaving my house today due to laundry issues
- I realized about half a mile from my house that I didn’t have my wallet and I had to turn around and go back
- I hadn’t printed my tickets at home (just checked in and printed to PDF)
- the Airtran kiosk takes 5 minutes to locate a PNR
All that transpired and I went to the C check point with about 30 minutes before scheduled boarding so I had a bit of time. The C check point had about 40 people in line while the D check point had 4 so the were urging people to go over there. Since I don’t use the elite line while flying AirTran (whether the TDC would stop me or not is not something I’d like to waste time to find out) I decided to go to D. D is the farthest from AirTran, but all other checkpoints had about the same queue length as C.
I got in line at D and quickly noticed where the body scanner is. It is the second line from the left of 4 total lines. The left-most line was moving fastest so I entered it.
The lady in front of me was taking forever to clear the WTMD (belt, hitting the side, who knows) so while I was waiting behind her the lady manning the body scanner asks me if I have anything in my pockets thinking she means just things that would set of the WTMD I say “no” although I have my boarding passes and ID in my pockets. She then determines I should go through the nude-o-scope instead (why me? why not the lady who took 3 times to clear the WTMD???)
I politely said “I will not go through that thing”
She says I don’t have to, but I will get a special screening. I have to wait for about 3 minutes for my special screener, officer Miller, to arrive. In that time the lady manning the WTMD motions me through so I go through. The lady manning the body scanner (who had since closed it off anyway) asked me what I was doing. Well…your coworker let me through I thought, but instead I just made the VERY VALID claim that I was keeping an eye on my stuff since it had long since cleared the x-ray and I had no line of site from where they had me waiting.
Finally Officer Miller arrives and explains front of hand, back of hand, etc. She was professional. I wasn’t thinking and assumed a position not looking at my stuff and she quickly turned me around so I could watch my stuff. She told me right away that I had the right to request a private screening. Heck no! If you are going to grope me I’d prefer to be where I have witnesses if I need them. She was thorough but not inappropriate so it wasn’t an issue. There were a lot of things I wanted to say, but since I was approaching 15 minutes before boarding and I had to walk to the opposite end of CLT I didn’t say anything. The screening ended after massaging my feet (do the body scanners really see the bottoms of my feet? If not then why are you touching my feet) and taking one of the explosive detecting wipes to my ID, BP, and officer Miller’s gloves. I came out clean and they let me go.
I wish I had remembered the name of the lady who pulled me aside and forced me through the ordeal. I paid attention to the TDC and the secondary screener, but missed the other lady’s name. Her ego was crushed when I didn’t want to play her game and even though she shut her machine down and I cleared the WTMD without an event I still needed to waste 2 officers’ time with my secondary.