I asked a TSA supervisor to call my airline and let them know I was on my way and see if they could hold the plane a few minutes for me. He said, “They are a separate company and we don’t know their phone number and cannot call them.” I said: “So you’re in the same building and you don’t know their number? And you can’t find their number on Google?” His eyes bulged, like a child caught lying.
I literally had only five minutes to catch my flight when the TSA agents finished scanning my luggage. I threw everything into my suitcase, wrinkling my suit. Then I tossed my laptop and cell phone cables into my purse and started running full speed for my gate.
Clothes were peaking out of my half-zipped suitcase and cables were flying out of my purse. Everyone was staring at me. I don’t blame them; I’m sure I looked like a riot.
The only reason I made my flight was because I spotted a courtesy transport (they look like golf carts) and begged the driver for a lift to my gate. He saved my day.
I now know that “opting out” is only an “option” if you arrive insanely early to the airport or you enjoy tossing cash into the gutter.
If you are a businessperson rushing to make a meeting; a bride and groom heading to a destination ceremony; a parent with unruly young children or a caretaker traveling with an Alzheimer's patient, you cannot endure the hassle and delay of opting out.
And the TSA apparently does not take responsibility for re-booking flights missed due to its security delays. So, opting out could mean paying $500-plus out-of-pocket to rebook if the TSA delays you.
My story is just one among many. I’m sharing my experience in hopes that doing so encourages more Americans to publicly voice their own incidents. The squeaky wheel gets the grease; we all need to express our outrage at the unconstitutional and unhealthy treatment we endure from the TSA.