I’m stuck here at Detroit Airport, so I figure now is as good of time as any to mention some of the ridiculous TSA procedures that I was witness to while my flight was delayed at Muskegon.
If you’ve flown in the past few years, you know it is a pain in the ass. Take off your shoes, unpack your laptop, etc etc. But you get used to it. My flight was originally scheduled to fly out at 6:30am. The concourse area was blocked off until 5:45am or so, then everyone came into the gate area. Muskegon only has 2 gates. If you want to go to the bathroom, you have to leave the gate area. If you want to get some coffee, you have to leave the area, get (and drink) your coffee, and then come back thru security.
There were 3 TSA screening agents handling the line, and there were 2 elderly passengers who were pulled aside for an extra sweep of the wand during security. These things happen, no big deal (I don’t think these people were much of a threat though). Then the flight was delayed. Several times. People left the gate area for drinks or to use the restroom. TSA closed the gate area back off and would not let anyone back in until there was a flight update.
At this point, it appeared that 2 of the TSA agents went home. Or on extended break. When the flight was finally ready (at 8:30am), they had 1 TSA agent screening the entire flight herself. Again, the same 2 passengers set off the alarm and were set aside for extra screening. They sat there for a good 10-15 minutes before the TSA agent finally manually screened them. During their wait, they were repeatedly reminded (loudly) that they were to remain sitting, not standing in the screening area. They were also not allowed to speak with their spouses. The agent went so far as to stand between husband and wife and tell them that they are ‘not helping the situation’ and they are ‘not permitted to make contact with each other’.
I can understand they are trying to do their job, but come on. It’s the same 2 elderly people that were screened less than 2 hours ago, they never left the airport area, and one of them was using a walker. If you’re going to power trip on some people, do it to someone who deserves it. What ever happened to ‘Respect your elders?’