I’ve wondered what it would be like running a blogging program for a generally despised industry or organization. Imagine what online customer service is like at a health insurer? At an airline? One organization that needs all the goodwill it can get is the Transportation Safety Administration, or TSA. Colleague Lisa S. sent along a link to their blog. I think I knew it existed by I never visited it until this morning.
It’s pretty candid, makes fun of itself in all the right places, puts a human face on some of the bloggers who are actual screeners and managers, and in general provides some good insights into what is happening when you line up in the cattle chute, unshod, jacket off, your one-quart ZipLoc of private toiletries dangling in your hand.
As a guy who clears security at least twice every week, sometimes six times, here’s my drill and recommendations.
- Be fast and be smart. Don’t be the mouth breather who goes through carrying an anvil in your pants. “Duh, how did that change get in my pocket.”
- Two bins is all it takes. I approach the bins and start the disrobe before it is my turn to unload. Change, pens, phone, blackberry, etc. all go into the jacket/blazer. Boarding pass in shirt pocket,
- Laptop in its own bin.
- Shoes (always loafers, laces slow you down), then coat, then bag o’shaving gear on top of that.
- Bin with shoes, coat, bag does first on the belt. Then carry on. Then laptop. Then backpack.
- Look the screen in the eye, wait for the signal, pass through, hand over boarding pass.
- Collect gear. Get dressed, repack.
It’s not that bad. In fact, all things considered, it’s down right tolerable. The only time I start to smolder is during school vacations when a ton of families are flying and the lines get longer and less experienced. I would love a priority line for frequent travelers, but so far the concept hasn’t really taken off.