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Have you been subjected to a random search before boarding an airplane?

Yes, the last time I flew, at the boarding gate, the TSA was doing random searches of passengers and all they were doing was checking your carry-on. It's something new they started within the last year. It's part of the randomness of checking for weapons and explosive components. I used to work for the TSA and I can tell you that everybody gets screened one way or another. You might not even notice or you may get selected for extra screening and then it becomes noticeable. I can tell you,, that the second you step inside the airport,, your getting screened one way or another. The TSA's number one goal is to make sure 911 doesn't happen again. I know going through the TSA security can be a pain in the butt some times,, but if the TSA didn't exist, the terrorists would do it again.

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I'm not sure what prompted it, but I was targeted for a search on our way to MX to get the lap-band. Because of some drama earlier in the day, we arrived at the airport with barely 20 minutes to spare. My 13 year old daughter was OK going through, but they wanted to search me more extensively. For a moment there I had images of a cavity search or something. They emptied my purse, put a gauze swab on the end of a long pair of tong-like things, swabbed the inner surface of my handbag, and inserted the tongs and gauze into some sort of detector machine. The completely funny thing is, I had just gotten a copy of a book by R.C. Sproul (Christian author) called "The Holiness of God" that I thought I would read on the plane and in hotel if there was nothing on TV. I was laughing to myself that the inspector thought I must be a real holy-roller, or that the book was a complete and total plant. I was not strip searched or anything. They passed over me with a wand, gave me my purse (and book--haha) back, and then we ran like hell to see if our plane had left without us. We just made it!!

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I'm not sure what prompted it, but I was targeted for a search on our way to MX to get the lap-band. Because of some drama earlier in the day, we arrived at the airport with barely 20 minutes to spare. My 13 year old daughter was OK going through, but they wanted to search me more extensively. For a moment there I had images of a cavity search or something. They emptied my purse, put a gauze swab on the end of a long pair of tong-like things, swabbed the inner surface of my handbag, and inserted the tongs and gauze into some sort of detector machine. The completely funny thing is, I had just gotten a copy of a book by R.C. Sproul (Christian author) called "The Holiness of God" that I thought I would read on the plane and in hotel if there was nothing on TV. I was laughing to myself that the inspector thought I must be a real holy-roller, or that the book was a complete and total plant. I was not strip searched or anything. They passed over me with a wand, gave me my purse (and book--haha) back, and then we ran like hell to see if our plane had left without us. We just made it!!

I'm not trying to beat up Tootsie, or pick on her, or anything like that, but Tootsie shows you a good example of what not to do,, and that is arrive at the airport late. Most airlines now have policies that if you don't check in 45 minutes to an hour before your flight, the check-in computers will lock you out and you won't be getting on your scheduled flight.

The TSA check point will not speed up the screening process because your running late. They'll assume that if someone was to try to get a restricted item on board an aircraft, they'd be looking for a passenger that was trying to create chaos by being late and that the TSA would skip steps in the security procedure to accommodate a passenger that was running late.

If a passenger sets off alarms, they're going to check you till they're satisfied you are not trying to hide or bring a restricted item onto a plane. A good example would be a passenger having metal piercings in a hidden area of the body. Stuff like this is like asking for trouble and slowing you down in the screening process, hence, you miss your flight. The TSA does not do strip or cavity searches. They just bring in the police and they'll do it. I know going through airport security is a pain in the butt, but there's over three thousand people dead because of 911. I've heard passengers complain about having to go through the security, but I guarantee you don't want to be on the next plane that some idiots hijack and try to recreate the next 911. So my best advice is to pack light and according to the TSA rules, arrive early and be friendly and nice to everyone you come in contact with. Be it the TSA screener or the person next to you on the plane, life is so much easier when everyone is nice to each other.

PS,, if you get selected for extra screening at the airport, it's because you either have set off the alarms or it's just a random screening. Unfortunately this is just the way it is now. Also,, leave those hidden body piercings at home. LOL.

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Hey Dolittle--

You definitely know what you are speaking about--they did not rush through doing what they had to do, that is for sure. The lady did say to me that the scan was in no way "personal", but if I wanted they would take me behind a screen. I opted to be scanned right there, to save time.

And for the record, no secret piercings--haha! :P

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