The pat down

Other than the inconsiderate people this morning who did not bother to show up at the appointed time to clear customs, disembarking the ship ran smoothly. We talked with friends prior to getting off, found our luggage without too much difficulty and caught a cab to the airport for $15 including tip rather than $20.25 each for an indeterminate time RCI contract shuttle.

It was at the airport that things started to get entertaining.

My flights were listed at United with the first leg operated by United and the second by Lufthansa. After being dropped off at the United location it took three people before someone finally figured out that the first leg of my air travels was going to be courtesy of Air Canada.

No problem, Terminal 2 is barely 100 meters down the sidewalk from United.

Checked in and checked bag – no issue. Deposited in the priority lane for security and initial TSA screening, nullo problemo. All my stuff goes through the conveyor without incident. I request my usual manual pat down and am lead off to the side after a short wait.

And then the fun began. During this fun (pat down, wipes), I chatted with nice TSA lady. Then the screening swab pops positive. Never been there before and it turned out to be quite entertaining. Everything has to be gone through, everything swiped, extra things X-rayed. I met the former Marine EOD guy who was walking by. We had a nice conversation about military deployments and weapons teams. I watched as they checked out everything in my camera bag, backpack and carryon. Two things popped hot – one was my apple external DvD drive (which I have no idea why I bothered to bring it this trip, it never made it out of the bag) and the other was my dress-up sandals. Both cleared the x-ray without problem.

Did I mention that I received a second pat down behind closed doors? The ladies were nice and professional. No significant differences to the original pat down. When we were done I repacked everything back to original locations and wished them good day.

On the way out I realized that it wasn’t likely the hand lotion that triggered the alert. Most likely it was the dis-insection that ship carried out before Fort Lauderdale and again before docking in San Diego. Spray enough carpets and there is a good chance it is going to get on foot gear. Since most people are nice and cooperative (baaaah, baaah, baaaaahhhh in British English. Mooooo, Mooooo, Mooooo in the US version) going into the chute and through the body scanner there are not going to be all that many who get to entertain the staff for the morning.

It only took 30 minutes or so. Nice and professional TSA staff and the entertainment was free!

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One Response to The pat down

  1. Mary Warhurst says:

    Good morning Holly, I enjoyed reading your blog and the panama canal portion of your trip. The TSA “pat down” is something I also have experienced a few times. I enjoyed knitting with you and the group on the transatlantic portion and wanted to ask you for the pattern instructions on what I think you called the Hitchhiker scarf. I have a stash of sock yarn and would like to whip up a couple for Christmas. Sent off the baby sweater with leg warmers and added a hat to complete the gift. Hope all is well and plan to see you on a future cruise.

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