To travel long distance in short periods of times means having to use airports. In the USA, this means interacting with TSA and other airport staff. At Philadelphia International Airport, I usually fly out of the domestic terminals on our Big Trip To Europe, we flew out of Terminal A. The layout of the Security Theater is important. Usually they have non-TSA staff guiding you to the right line. In all other cases, the intersection of the “guidance staff” and TSA officialdom are physically separated by at least tens of yards. But in Terminal A, there is no separation.
Jen and I waited in a long line and when it was our turn to go up to the TSA lectern, the pride of West Philly starts screaming at me “One at a time!”
I turned them and said “Is this a new rule? I travel for business and I’ve never heard of this rule.”
“One at a time!”
I turned to the TSA agent and said “Is this what you want?”
The unsmiling TSA agent said, “That’s what she said.”
So I took a few steps back while my wife was processed.
When it is was my turn, I handed the TSA agent my papers. Again, I asked the question to her directly, smiling. “Is this one person at a time thing a new a rule?”
She replied, again without a trace of humor, “I would have taken you both.”
We walked up to the conveyor belt and there were no bins, so I ran over to the other conveyor belt to get some bins.
Jen and I worked our way through the magnetometer. A TSA agent yanked our shoes out of the bins. “Shoes don’t need to be in bins!”
The same bin that I had to scramble for.
Having gotten through security, we collecting our belongings off the other side of the belt, when another TSA agent yelled at us demanding “Stack those bins!”
I had had it by this point. My wife saw that I was about blow a fuse, she pulled on sleeve and said “Let’s go.”
And we did. Bins were not stacked needless to say.
Terminal A is where guests to our country transit out. It’s bad enough that the TSA exists to remind us that we are peasants and not citizens, the entirety of the Philadelphia International Airport ought to be ashamed of treating foreign visitors this way. I suspect they behave this way because they believe they can. Invariably when you see employees behaving badly, there is a management problem. A decent manager would squash all of this, but I suspect anyone with a shred of decency would have resigned years ago.