A Tulsa TSA alert

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I think they've upped the sensitivity on the scanners at Tulsa International Airport.

I tripped the alarm with the following metal on or about my person:

  • My wire-rimmed glasses (titanium alloy)
  • My gold wedding band
  • My wrist watch
  • A pair of jeans with two small metal rivets, a metal zipper, and a metal fly button
  • A small belt buckle
  • A small nail clipper
  • A penny
  • A paper clip

In the past, I've gone through with no problem with everything except the last three items. It's possible that a nail clipper, a penny, and a paper clip were just enough more to put me over the threshold, but I doubt it somehow.

When I tripped the alarm the first time, the TSA agent waiting on the other side sent me back and told me to check my pockets. I found the nail clipper and showed it to him, then started to look for a little bin to send it through the X-ray. At most one or two people were waiting behind me. He said, "That should be OK," and waved me back through with the clipper still in my hand. I set off the alarm again, and the agent said, "Two tries are all you get. Step this way, please." And he shunted me to the area where you wait to be wanded, which was already backed up.

I got the distinct impression that the TSA agent was playing a little bureaucratic game. By rushing me and others through, without giving us time after the first beep to rid ourselves of the least bit of metal, he was able to keep his line moving and make himself look efficient, while making his colleagues in the wanding area look like they couldn't keep up.

I could have misjudged the man, however, and I was especially annoyed because a meeting at work delayed me getting to the airport, and I was close to missing my flight. Still, if you're flying out of Tulsa, you may want to be more thorough than usual about stripping off anything with the least bit of metal on it.

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RecycleMichael said:

Nail clippers?

What kind of terrorist are you, boy?

It's very clear to me that you had the makings of a weapon there. Don't tell me that you just happened to also have a paperclip and a penny in your pocket at the same time as the clippers.

And look at you...all you terrorists have beards. I am glad the TSA agent had the sense to stop Osama Bates Laden.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 13, 2008 11:09 PM.

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