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Speedy1
01-11-2016, 11:35 AM
Actually... I don't want to be too harsh against any particular individual or any particular agency. This was a little more than one year after 9/11, and TSA and Homeland Security were still trying to find their place in the world, and assimilate with CBP and the Airport Police.

I walked up to the TSA security checkpoint and showed the TSA employee my FAA ID. The TSA person just looked at it like it was some kind of alien baseball card or something, then handed it back to me, and told me that I was not allowed to pass through the security area. I asked, "Why Not?" and the employee replied, "only passengers with boarding passes and valid IDs are allowed past this point, and you have neither." I said, "Look... I'm an FAA employee, assigned to fly out on flight #XXXXXX, and here is my FAA ID. The TSA guy said, "I don't even know what that is..."

I politely asked, "Could you please call your supervisor over here, so that we can get this sorted out? I am an officer of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, and I have been assigned to this flight." The TSA guy said, "OK... Whatever... Sure... I'll get him over here as soon as I can. Next!" (he motioned for the next person in line to approach his desk)

I just got really pissed-off at that moment, and I said, "I tell you what... I'm gonna go over to that table at that little restaurant over there, and read my book. You just come and get me, or call me over here... whenever you're ready." I did exactly that. I walked across the hall to the other side of the concourse, ordered a burger and a Coca-Cola, and started reading my book. About 15 minutes later, my burger showed up, and I ate it. Now I have been sitting at this table for almost one hour, and when the waitress come by again, I order a plate of Nachos. The nachos arrive at almost exactly one hour into this little episode, when I see a Pilot, looking quite irritated, storm through the security checkpoint, chatter with one of the TSA guys for about 10 seconds, and then storm off towards the main ticket counter.

I knew exactly what was going on... The Pilot was asking TSA and his company's ticket counter staff, "Where is the FAA guy?" Well, the ticket counter staff knew nothing about me. I don't have to check in with them. Now... the flight is over 1 hour, 20 minutes late for departure. The Pilot comes storming back to the security checkpoint. He's also on the phone. I assume at this point that he has already talked to at least a couple of people at his company's headquarters, and at least one person at the FAA. He engages in a heated discussion with one of the TSA guys while he continues to play with his cellphone. Well... he obviously had finally made contact with someone who gave him my cellphone number, because at that moment, my phone rang...

"Hola!"

"Where in the Hell ARE YOU? We're an hour and a half late!"

"Look to your left... about 8 o'clock... That's me on the cellphone, eating a plate of nachos." (I waved at him)


The pilot stormed over to me and asked me, "What's your problem, Dude? We're an hour and a half late!"

"Well... I was here over 2 hours ago, but TSA wouldn't let me through security with my FAA ID. He said... let me think... Oh! Yeah! I don't even know what that is! So... I came over here for a burger and nachos, to let the situation just work itself out, which... apparently... it is about to do..."

I had the waitress box the rest of my nachos, paid my bill, and walked over to the TSA checkpoint with the Pilot. It was a different TSA guy, this time, but... amazingly... he still didn't know what an FAA ID was.

The TSA guy asked me, "Do you have any other form of ID?" I looked at him like I was a complete retard, then looked at my ID the same way, then looked back at him, and said... "It... Is... a... United... States... of... America... government... I... D... issued... by... the... department... of... transportation... federal... aviation... administration..."

Sure enough, the TSA guy asked, "Do you have any other form of ID? I don't know what this is..."

I stared at him for about 10 seconds, just dumbfounded, then stared at the pilot for about 10 seconds, in the same manner, then turned back to the TSA guy and answered, "Nooooooooooo! I... Do... Not... Have... Any... Other... Form... of... I... D..."

Then... the Pilot... of all people... asked me, "Don't you have Driver's License or something? Didn't you drive to the airport?" I turned and glared at the pilot, and said, "You know what? I'm starting to get a head cold. I definitely feel an ear/sinus blockage coming on. I'm Unfit to Fly! I'm Outta Here!" I started to walk away...


The pilot ran after me, because he knew that it would be at least another 30 minutes to get the flight-check cancellation approved. He caught me by the arm and said, "Whoa! I can see you're upset, but let's get this thing smoothed over and get going. I promise that I'll make it up to you, as best as I can! Is your driver's license in your pocket or your wallet?"

I answered, "So what if it is? You either get Barney Fife (the TSA guy) to let me through with my FAA I.D., or I am Outta Here!" The pilot responded, "I got an idea!" He walked over to the TSA guy again, and said, "I want to speak with your supervisor right now! I want you to be here when I speak with him!" The TSA guy nodded and quickly shuffled off to a nearby office. He re-appeared with his supervisor about 20 seconds later. The pilot asked me for my ID, and I handed it to him... Then the pilot performed the most epic display of condescending, patronizing behavior that I have ever witnessed. It was truly a Classic!


Pilot: You see this ID? This ID belongs to this man right here. My flight, with about 150 of my customers and passengers aboard, is now over 90 minutes late, because at least TWO of your TSA agents don't know what "FAA" means. Now look right here... You see this little three-pronged "swirly" logo? That's the logo of the Department of Transportation of the United States of America. Look... It's even printed around the border of the logo... look here... (speaking super-slowly) Department of Transportation... United States of America. Now... you see this other logo, right here? The golden cross with the golden wing? That's the logo of the Federal Aviation Administration, which is a primary agency of the Department of Transportation. Now... Look Here... Printed around the border of this logo are the words "Federal Aviation Administration." This is this man's (pointing at me) Identification. He is an officer of the Federal Aviation Administration, which is in charge of all of the airspace over the USA, as well as a significant amount of airspace that is not over the USA, and most of the major airports in the USA. He even has authority over the air that you're breathing right now. Without him, and the FAA, this airport could not even operate. Now... could someone please explain to ME... why my flight is over 90 minutes late, because at least TWO TSA employees in this airport don't even know what an FAA ID is?

Just like the "Mastercard" commercials... PRICELESS!