I was not going to be a happy camper if I missed our evening at the Rooted Spoon in Viroqua as the menu was a Vietnamese dinner. Luckily there were no snafus in my delayed journey back to the Coulee, my second attempt. I was not in the mood for another mechanical difficulty for sure. I want to share with you the day before as it my TSA experience that may actually save you some grief one day.

The problem started before I knew it was a problem. I simply went in the week before my Atlanta trip to renew my driver’s license which would expire on my birthday. Unbeknownst to me you don’t go home with your license the day you go in with the paperwork and to take your “mug shot.”

There is a new addition of this mini transparent photo which isn’t done on site. Your old license is hand punched with the tiny letters spelling the word VOID and you are given a letter

from the DMV saying you have paid for your new license which will arrive within two weeks, and this letter will suffice as proof. I wondered if my new license would arrive before my departure / would cause a problem. Well, it didn’t arrive and for ID sake, I took the old license with me because it had the photo and correct ID info and my license really didn’t expire until after my birthday the following week.

I had no issues going through with my old license en route even with the void punch but it was the return when after an hour Disneyland line in the TSA section. The TSA agent informed me that I had shown her a voided ID AND I would need to go to the regular security line (BTW even longer than the TSA one.) I explained I had shown her the letter because I thought she needed to see it and only when it was deemed an issue had I handed shown her the 3 day expired license so she could confirm identity. Big mistake. “You are using a voided ID.” Frustrated I explained but I only showed it to you to confirm my ID. ” She vehemently shook her head. I added, “Is there a possibility an agent could usher me over to the other section?” (Have you ever seen anybody trying to make their way back through those lines? It’s like a fish trying to swim upstream?)

Another agent did accompany me through the cordoned off sections without the throngs of people to the security section on the south side of the terminal where a supervisor was standing next to another security agent. I ‘m sweating bullets now if I am going to be allowed to fly. What are you doing here? inquired the supervisor. The agent doesn’t know so I explain the issue. He doesn’t want to see what’s in my hand but tells me I need to go to the TSA headquarters not be in this line. That’s back on the North side of the airport. The supervisor walks off as does the accompanying agent and I am left standing there looking befuddled. The agent who is sitting nearby checking tickets and ids beckons me over. She looks at both the letter and ID and quips this ‘just’ expired and it’s still good. She lets me through.

Relief is an understatement. But now I’m in the security line where you need to remove that plastic bag of liquids, computer, etc… Frazzled, I start pulling the items out and place them in the bins and I start walking through the xray until I realize I have forgotten to remove my slip on sandals and have to return to the bins and put them in…

Luckily my gate was in the same wing as security and I have some time to cool down before boarding. I’m there and will get to go home or so I thought. We board early and are even going to take off 10 minutes early when the captain announces we have a technical difficulty and it will take 2 hours to get the part and replace it… This means I will miss my connecting flight in O’Hare and the last flight home. I opted to spend an extra night in Atlanta rather than deal with being stuck in Chicago with the bonus to see that precious grand baby another morning…

Addendum: Guess who was the TSA agent the following day. Yep, the same agent. This time she glanced at the letter and informed me in the future this letter would not be permissible as it is not an official ID. I said nothing and thanked her. She let me pass. Go figure…

7 thoughts on “TBT: TSA , REALLY?

  1. Life gets more complicated every day. Here in Arkansas we get our driver’s license the same day we renew. Sorry you had such a hard time at the airport. Just depends on which airline employee you get – as to whether you get on your flight or not.


      1. Wonderful – more IDs to keep track of. What a world. Does this mean “Big Brother” is watching us? Ha


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