May 21, 2009

My Kind of Airport Security

You may wonder what the Minister of Common Sense does all day to make your lives better. My answer is, "A lot!" And, finally, my voice is being heard. I have long railed against stupidity in airport security, and the TSA is starting to listen. To my great surprise and pleasure, I recently went through a major airport where the security lines were segregated into lanes for different types of travelers. Welcome back, Plessy v. Ferguson!

I have been very vocal about establishing a special lane for "expert" travelers - people who know all the rules by heart, never set off the metal detector... basically people who know what the hell they are doing. Well, this airport has a special security line designated as the "Family Lane" for parents saddled with kids, babies, strollers, a million bags of baby crap... basically all the ingredients that create multiple failures in effectively getting through an airport security line. This is a brilliant idea - corral all the people that you would otherwise roll your eyes at when they are in front of you in the security line, and put them all together so they can be by themselves as they constantly set off the metal detector, repeatedly violate the no-liquids rule, fail to figure out how to collapse their strollers fully, spend 10 minutes taking off their toddlers' shoes, etc. When you group these people together and compound all their failures, there is no way that any of them are ever going to make their flight, which is fine because none of us really want children on the planes away.

In addition to removing families from the mainstream security lines, the airport also has "Diamond Select" lines. There was the Green Diamond for beginning travelers (people who have never been on the "magical flying machine" before), Blue Diamond for more experienced travelers (people who think they know what they are doing, but really don't), and Black Diamond for experts (people like me or, as I like to call them, the "good people"). I like that they use the word "expert" instead of "experienced". Lots of people might think they are experienced, but if you are going to raise you hand and say you are an expert in something, you better damn well be a real expert.

I can't ski the bunny slopes, but I rode the double-black diamond airport security line like a champ. You should have seen all of us - people's laptops were flying out of their bag at the speed of light, perfect separation of 3-oz liquids in regulation-sized clear plastic bags, no metal detector failures, security personnel not shouting the rules over and over again because we already knew them... it was a beautiful, seamless symphony of airport travel.

Because we designated ourselves as "experts", everyone tried extra hard to be really fast and perfect. I was eagerly awaiting for someone to crack under the pressure and mess up, just so I could see them dragged away by security, screaming and cry
ing, and taken to the beginners' Green Diamond line! Or better yet... punish them by sending them to the FAMILY LINE! That'll each 'em!


  1. There should be a "black diamond line" for everything! For supermarkets, ATM machines, ordering fast food, getting into heaven, everything!

  2. That was funny and enjoyable and very true!!!

  3. There is nothing worse that those who can't make it through the metal detector and suddenly pull out all kinds of keys and coins from their pocket. Seriously?!?!