The TSA won’t jam nor would the security at the Turkish airport, the Emirates airport, and any other airport on any given day for that matter.
“Laptops, liquids, gels, aerosols must be removed from your bag,” the TSA agent repeats over and over like a grandfather clock determined to keep time. Somehow there’s always someone who forgets to remove something, someone who is outraged that something is being taken away, and someone that complains that his tax dollars are being wasted. (The latter is certainly true of the agent who checks ID, scribbles nonsense, yet somehow passengers still get on planes without the requisite documentation.)
Like a programmed robot, I go through the motions of complying with the security regulations as I hear the agent say,for the tenth time, “Nothing in your pockets. Make sure you have absolutely nothing in your pockets.” In the body scanner, I put my hands up, fake a smile, and wait for the all clear. Then seconds tick by as I wait for my bag to make its way through the X-Ray machine.
The ugly gray bin arrives with my personal belongings as I do a quick inventory to make sure I don’t leave anything behind:
Boarding pass? Check
“Good job, not forgetting to take everything out of your pockets,” I tell myself.
Then I hear the inevitable inquiry, “Is this your bag?” followed by, “I’m going to have to search it.”
With no regard and no compliments as to how well I packed, how organized my bag is, the agent unzips this, removes that, till he finally comes to the item in question.
“I’m going to have to test this,” the TSA agent says.
“What is this?” the Emirates security agent questions.
“Open this!” the Turkish agent suspiciously demands.
Because it is a serious crime in 74 countries to grin during a security screening, I keep a straight face and oblige the agent. Moments later after it is scanned, examined, tested and then re-scanned, re-xamined, and re-tested, I’m given permission to be on my way.
Finally at the gate, I ask myself whether bringing it along is worth the hassle.