Friday, September 16, 2011

"Hop 'n Go!"

Well, I decided at the very last minute, to take a trip up to Salt Lake City.  I mean, WHY work for an airline if you just can't hop on a plane and go?  I quickly went home, showered, brought my son to swim practice, set up a ride home for him and headed to the airport!  Easy, peasy.  Until I returned home the next day!  Here is what happened:

Now, I consider myself a pretty "Seasoned, Experienced" traveler. Truly. I mean, I GREW up in a household where my father worked for an airline.  We took family trips.  Whether a quick trip to the St. Louis Zoo for the weekend or a couple of weeks in Hawaii, I KNOW how to travel.
I always pack a carry-on that has my "necessities."  Very rarely, do I check a back for fear that, A: I do not make the flight or 2: no seats.  No matter what the situation, I was prepared.
Many, many years later, an unfortunate event happened. One that would change travel as we knew it. This "event" started the "Transportation and Security Administration."  They were visible EVERYWHERE!  Now, there were restrictions as what we could carry on.  Over the last few years, adjustments were made as well as changes.
Yesterday, I had an item removed from my bag.  An item that, by the way, I ARRIVED with!  An item I had traveled with MANY times.  I mean, I WORK for an Airline.  I am with TSA everyday.  I am very familiar with what items I can and can NOT carry.  I verify items daily with TSA on what is appropriate and what isn't.  The item that was removed was a small swiss army tool.  According to TSA, it is okay.  In fact, here is what their website says:

Scissors - Metal with pointed tips and blades shorter than four inches - carry on
Tools - Seven inches or less in length - carry on

Here is a picture of "said" item:

Now, as you can see, open, it is LESS THAN 4 inches!
I was nice to the man.  I did not/would not, just toss it.  He told me I could mail it to myself.  Really?  Seriously?  He kept it while I walked across to the gift shop to purchase an envelope and about 4 stamps.  Sure. No problem.  Sales clerk said they sold the envelopes, but the stamps, they sold in books of 10.  I don't want a book.  I have an entire roll at home!  I only need 4 I tell her.  Whatever.  While addressing the envelope to myself, I remind her she owes me change!  Ready for this? She apologized because she had to COUNT, yes COUNT OUT 10 STAMPS!!  FROM.  A.  FREAKIN.  ROLL!!!!!!!!  They aren't in a BOOK AT ALL!  I finish my business, return BACK to the lovely TSA agent.  Sign in the book they have,  saying they aren't responsible, blah, blah, blah.  Whatever.  I thank him {because I was reared better} and head to my gate.

Seriously, as soon as I return to work, I WILL be talking to the supervisor of TSA in my station and asking him if the rules have changed.  So folks, I guess it makes sense to check ALL guidelines before traveling, that TSA advises, so that YOU won't be delayed while going thru Security!  Learn from my mistakes, even tho', I don't believe I did, and you can travel freely without troubles.

Now, I get to my gate and they haven't started boarding yet.  They should have, but it looks like the plane arrived late.  I look to the GIDS screen to see if I've been cleared yet.  I am the only non-rev traveling and most all, but one "HK" passenger has gotten seats.  Cool.  There are 2 seats left.  One in First class, one in Coach.  I should get the "First Class" because the "HK" has no status.  I walk to the agent when she begins boarding the "First Class" cabin and ask if she has "cleared" me and tell her that I was the ONLY ONE on her "Standby List."  She says "yes."  I have her scan my "Seat Request" card that I printed prior to leaving house.  I notice my seat says, "20D."  WTH?  It is a small plane.  I am in the last row.  The seat does not recline in the LAST ROW!  Did I mention it is a 3 HOUR FLIGHT?  Okay, where is Gilligan?  the Professor?  Hell, I'd even take Ginger as long as they tell me it is a joke!!  No. such. luck.  Oh well.  I make do.  I'm at least on a direct flight home.  on the plane.  in a seat.  I have my Kindle. {okay, it's my son's that I high-jacked} and I have my MP3 player.  I'm set.  WAIT!  Did I mention I'm sitting next to a mom and her................................................................................... 6 month old baby?!  No?  Well, thank goodness she's adorable AND behaved.  Don't think I would have tolerated much.  My back totally ached when I got up.  Then when I walked to the front to deplane, it felt so much cooler there!! WTH?  Okay.  I'm home.  That's all that matters. Right?  Yeah.  I'm right.

I enjoyed my day and I will return in a day or 2 with pictures of my adventure.  Until then, be safe and happy!!

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