Dear Travel Agent,
Welcome to TSA!
How I wish that they were more cordial and welcoming; after all we are traveling, and not getting booked into jail! We all can wish! I must confess that it definitely depends of the gateway you use, perhaps your luck be different. Not so much for me who uses LAX, famously non-friendly LAX.
I have Global Entry and that doesn’t work for most foreign travel, especially if you use Bradley International Terminal. I can tell you many stories – even from MIA! But let me limit myself to my last experience.
In July 2017, I went to Tanzania and Kenya. I am allergic to dairy products, so for my morning coffee I bring along Coffee Mate On-the-Go (dairy free). I purchase them at Walmart and they don’t need refrigeration, even after they are opened. Each container is 3 oz. I brought 5 containers to Kenya in my carry-on luggage. They checked my carry on and said nothing. I had a great time.
On August 18th, from Terminal 6, I traveled to Alaska on Canada Airlines. I again brought 5 Coffee Mate On-the-Go, and guess what? A nasty TSA employee gave me a hard time about my Coffee Mate – exactly the same amount as I took to Kenya and Tanzania from Bradley International, and only let me keep 2 – out of the kindness of her “heart.”
I explained to her that I was allergic to milk, and that just a month before I had taken the same amount to Kenya from Bradley. She was rude and kept me interrupting me, and threw my small perfume and deodorant on the counter. I asked her to please be more careful because they could break. She didn’t care. She was happy to be in charge, and to decide how I could travel and how much I could bring. Being in charge was much more important to her than being nice and kind, or following the rules. By the way, I was in the line for TSA pre-check and told her that I travel at least every other month.
What a shame! We don’t need to be treated like criminals when traveling.
What has your experience with TSA been like?
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