Usually, I don't have much to complain about as far as the airlines go. I understand the need for the extra security, especially since I would be the first person to become claustrophobic on an airplane and / or begin freaking out because I still have a fear of high places. I can at least find comfort in the fact that everyone's footwear has been checked for strange substances (toe lint excluded) and that the woman sitting in the next aisle is definitely holding a baby, and not a doll filled with liquid explosive.
Nevertheless, this is the first time that I have flown and been a tad perturbed with the goings-on at the airport. I had never been in one of those strange see-through booths, but I was asked to step into one twice--once at Palm Beach International, and once at Philadelphia Airport. When the door swings shut (I'm guessing) the person inside the booth is temporarily separated from the rest of the world as a machine scans for illegal objects or something that could be used to stab a person in the eye, should you desire their seat in first class.
The first time I stepped into the booth, I didn't know what to do, so I put my hands on my head, much like the criminals you see on television. I felt extremely silly. I thought it was a little odd, but I went with it. However, in Philadelphia, the place was packed, the lines were long, and the TSA agents were grumpier than usual.
I was asked to step into the booth (my second time). The booth swung shut, I was scanned, and I stepped out.
A large black woman said, "Turn around."
I was then fondled.
Okay, maybe "fondled" isn't the right word. All I know is, she had her hands all over my butt. I was tempted to turn my head and say, "Wouldn't you rather go on a date first? You know, get to know each other over a glass of wine, maybe?"
I have never been felt up that much in an airport. They said it was my jeans. The machine "didn't like" the designs on my jeans and marked it abnormal, which prompted the agents to investigate. I was then told to visit a man at a little desk, where he swabbed my hands for "substances" and then tested the results.
I know it's important to be safe, and to protect civilians, but I can't help but think that things are going a little too far. If the technology is so great, how come they can't change the machine so that it doesn't notice the patterns on my jeans?
If everybody who has a pattern on the back of their jeans is being fondled in airports, I am surprised that more people haven't been complaining.
I'm just grateful that I didn't get strip-searched.