TSA Cares, I seriously hope!

Just had an encouraging phone conversation with an agent at TSA Cares! Last week Jerry and I flew out of PHX Sky Harbor. Even though we both have TSA pre-check, I always opt to tell them that I have an artificial knee. They want me to go through the full body scanner, but I always choose the pat down because it’s hard for me to wrap my head around their safety talk when the machine supposedly sees through everything, but unfortunately fails to melt my cellulite.  I always make it a priority to thank the lady doing the pat down and for taking the time out of her busy schedule to accommodate my quirky qualms. Most often the agent seems appreciative and it turns out to be an OK experience. However, the very attractive young blonde called over to do the pat down was not a happy camper and she let me know it by her demeanor. She seemed to relish telling me I had failed the chemical test, and we would have to go into a private screening area for a more thorough pat down with a second female agent present. Again, I failed that test. I told her the only thing I could think of that was causing this was the oral chemo capsules that I take twice daily. She looked at me like I had just dropped from outer space, and she showed no kindness whatsoever. She took her findings to higher authorities and they waved me through without further ado. Jerry witnessed her conversation with the two male agents, and he said they looked at her like SERIOUSLY?  They were probably thinking “let the old gal through. She really doesn’t appear to be a terrorist”.  Just guessing on that, but I like to think people see me as a kindly, elderly grandma who wouldn’t harm man nor beast.  Well, not quite true, as I am seriously thinking of harming one of our cats who has used our less than one year old leather sofa as a scratching post.  And it’s not even paid for yet! But I digress so back to TSA.  A couple of days after the Phoenix experience we were in the Austin airport going through the same old process. The agent there was very kind, considerate and found absolutely no evidence of any chemicals on me. I guess it will forever be a mystery why I was a chemical carrier one day and chemical free three days later. I share this story to encourage any of you who may face the same issues in flying to be aware you do have the right to ask for a supervisor if you deem it necessary. Also, please take time to report the good experiences to TSA Cares as well as negative ones.  When I phoned TSA Cares today I spoke with a very nice agent who promised to relay the negative experience to appropriate personnel at Sky Harbor as well as my compliments to personnel in at Austin Bergstrom Airport.  It feels good to end a conversation on a positive note. SERIOUSLY!



  1. Anne Forsythe.

    Had same experience few years ago. I was held up for half hour; almost missed flight. They tested my tennis shoes and said looking for chemicals, gun powder etc. only thing we could figure is I must have walked on grass that had just been fertilized. Fertilizer will make you flunk test. 😜

  2. Jan

    Great story! You never cease to calm me with your prose.
    Your TSA adventure reminds me of the time I was bringing flavored sugar home from Hawaii and they flagged my bag for containing “white powder”. I forgot I had purchased the stuff and told them that my bag had been hijacked by drug dealers. Even they got a laugh out of that one. It’s hell to be old.

  3. Ginger

    Somebody doesn’t love her job! She probably thinks she is above being kind to people because she is so attractive. It’s hard enough to travel these days with or without TSA pre-check. I hope your trip to Austin was awesome!!! Thanks for sharing…ginger

  4. Sharon Madson (no q on the end!! )

    Love your blog! I don’t fly often but really don’t care for their machines that do and see everything. There is no one in this world that would get their jollies from seeing that picture! Looking forward to the next one!

  5. Stef Tresco

    Don’t you just wonder why some people have to be so ugly? Guess we should feel sorry for them as really must be extremely unhappy or dislike their jobs…And if that’s the case they should find a new one.

    As you well know … if you have you health. You have everything!
    Love your blogs!

  6. Linda Johnson

    Oh Charlotte, you have THE BEST way of expressing yourself. Although the TSA Cares story could have been written from a grumbling standpoint, you wrote with great humor and understanding. Perhaps you have a future as a writer for airline magazines……they all need help. THEN I read blog #2 “Procrastinator? Seriously?” That was hysterical!!!!!!!!!!! You are Erma Bombeck of the 21st century. Call the Phoenix Times or whatever it’s called and if they turn you down contact the New York Times. They know quality.

    You add joy to my days……keep writing! Love you, Linda

  7. Suzanne

    Char, your blog entries are very thought provoking for me. Thank you for doing that. As for the TSA and how often we fly, I do have to admit that there are smiling nice ones and then once in a while a crab who woke up on the wrong side of the bed. When we fly out of the city in ND, the agents are the best…very kind, friendly, thoughtful of us and helpful. We come away with a good feeling, knowing they did their best to keep us safe, as well as, helping if we ever need. Saying that, it is a small, international airport and we are never rushed through or have to wait in long lines. I do have to say that I have to take with me a bottle of a joint supplement, which is in powder form (I dilute a portion with water each day). Agents always pull it aside and swab it, put that
    in a machine and read it. Even if it is a sealed bottle. It states
    on the outside exactly what it is and what it is for on the packaging. At Phoenix Sky Harbor, I have felt they are annoyed with it at times. I’m sorry you had the problems there.

    As we just came back from Europe, the equivalent TSA people are profiling and we had to go through 3 different areas and questioning people to get to the gates after going through security. They were all very professional and very nice to us.
    Even though it seemed like a bit much, we realized it was for our safety and security. May you have an easier time with your future travels.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *