My response to TSA’s attempt at questioning

This morning at CLT I was the only one in line so of course that meant the floating talker tried to strike up a conversation.

TSO: “Good morning”

Me: “‘Morning”

TSO: “So, where are you off to today”

Me: (in an overwhelmed/distressed tone) “Oh, I don’t even know, it’s too early”

TSO: Tried to give me some words of wisdom, but luckily didn’t push the issue further since I just wanted to get through and get to Starbucks.

In the past I’ve tried the (matter of fact tone) “I’m not telling you” or “It’s right here on my boarding pass” or just made up a city, but that usually sours them and they come back with more questions.


  1. I don’t feel this type of questioning is inappropriate and may even be as valuable as the x-ray itself. Criminals generally need a low profile and don’t like attention. It makes them uncomfortable. If a brief interaction can shine a spotlight on anything unusual (nervousness, for example), then I’m all for it. And a one or two-word polite response from the rest of us isn’t much of a sacrifice.

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