Monday, June 16, 2008

Savannah Hilton Head Airport TSA: Best in the Nation?

My travel since January has been minimal but I've still had my interactions with TSA. I flew up to Savannah, Ga. this weekend and took along a bag I've carried on board and has gone through security at least five times without incident. Yesterday was different.

Something suspicious showed up on the TSA security screen at the Savannah Hilton Head Airport. "Ma'am, is there a bottle opener in your bag?"

"Not that I'm aware of," I always figure that generic response doesn't make me a liar in case it is an unintentional lie.

My bag was run through the x-ray at least five times, with stuff and without stuff. The TSA agent kept on feeling around and could feel something but couldn't locate anything. Finally another TSA agent came over. He started pulling apart the interior and found...nothing.

I thought he was going to take one of the confiscated pocketknives and slash the bag open but he didn't. He was persistent and reached into the exterior pocket and located a small hole.

And what did he confiscate?

Truth be told, this story began back in January when I attended a trade show and put a pocketknife in my bag. I used the knife during the show and thought I lost it. Fast forward to yesterday....

He pulled out my missing pocketknife! Somehow it had worked its way from an exterior pocket to lodge itself between the lining of the interior pocket and the exterior.

I gasped with shock.

"Do you want to give this to anyone in Savannah?"

"No, just toss it, I don't need it."

While I'm glad I wasn't hauled off by the TSA agents and interrogated, I was shocked thinking how many times that bag has gone through TSA security without being noticed. Obviously, I had no intentions of using the darn thing, I didn't know it was there and it was very difficult to get out. But makes me wonder, do these enhanced security measures really work?

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