January 3, 2010

* So far ... a little exciting ...

So far on this journey it is Canada who is in a big SNIT, not the US.  Victoria was absolute chaos.  I checked in without incident.  Hit security.  Security authority stopped me.

Security Guy: "You cannot take that purse on the plane.  It is the size of carry on luggage."

I say:  "No, it's the size of my computer and that is what is in there, a lap top.

"What else do you have in there?"  He opens my bag and looks in ...

"My personal purse things."

"Repeat ... you cannot take that bag on the plane.  All purses must be small."

"This is not a purse, it is a lap top case."

"But, you have purse things in there, therefore you cannot take it on the plane.  Purses must be small, you cannot take that purse on the plane!"

After much ado  (I realized this was a battle I was not going to win) ... I went back to the check in desk and checked my 'purse' through to Leon.  Meanwhile, I stuff all my purse stuff into my CPAP bag.  Get back to security.

Security guy:  "What do you have in that bag?"

"CPAP machine."

"Is there anything else in that bag?"

 "Yes, my purse stuff you told me I couldn't carry in my purse."

Security guy: You can't carry any personal items in your CPAP bag.  You will have to remove all personal items."

"What do I do with them?"

"Put them in your pockets or carry them."

"I don't have pockets!  I raise both hands, one with my coat in it, the other with my computer."  I make a face.

Security guy, with exasperated expression on this face says:  "Proceed!"

I empty everything including my shoes into security trays.  Everything comes out the other end except the CPAP machine.

Lady security says:  "You can't have these personal items in with your CPAP machine."

I say:  "Do you want to hear my story?"

She says: "Wait 'til I get my supervisor so you don't have to repeat yourself!! (A woman with a brain I think to myself.)  Supervisor lady arrives ... I tell my story.  Supervisor looks concerned, frowns and mutters to herself.  Young security lady gives me a stern lecture.  Older and wiser supervisor says ... let her go.  Young security lady objects.  Security supervisor nods and frowns and walks off. She waves her hand in disgust, telling me to go away.  Young security officer reams me out again ... lectures me in very stern loud voice.  Tells me I am going to be in really big trouble when I get to the states and don't be surprised if they won't allow me to board my flight in Seattle.   By this time I am so stressed I am purple and shaking.

I want my shoes.  She gives me my shoes.  I put them on and walk off ... head held high.  I'm thinking to myself .... Holy S___ ... if it's like this in Victoria, I'm really going to be in big doggie doo doo in the Great United States of America.

Still in Victoria.  Sitting in holding area waiting for plane.  Security arrives and sets up a whole new row of tables, empty trays etc.  Announcement made ...." pre flight security ... line up".  I rush to front of line ... I'm tired of queues!  Remove shoes, examine feet, spread arms, fully patted down, legs squeezed top to bottom ... crotch not touched ..... hmmmmmm I am thinking!  Crotch seemed to be the important part in recent incident. This took eight staff over one hour.   Plane was one and one half hours late leaving.

Arrive in Seattle.  Whisk through immigration and customs.  Did have to collect my baggage to go through customs ... even though they were 'checked through' to Leon. Customs and immigration tell me to have a nice trip.  I say it's been very exciting so far.  Now sitting in holding lounge ---another two hour wait.

Now in Houston Airport.  Everything seems pretty normal here as well.  Everyone is lugging their carry on luggage .. no limits to size of purses or lap tops.

I'm having a very strong cup of English Breakfast Tea with cream and sugar.  Couldn't face coffee.  Actually have not had ANY food provided on any flight so far.  Ate some Mexican food in Seattle ... too much fat ... now have acid reflux!!  Thought tea might settle it down.

Another two hour wait ..... talk to you when I get to SMA.  Have a great day everyone.

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