With my anxiety of the TSA checks and a drug-sniffing dog on the approach, this last trip was bound to have a few hiccups. What I wasn’t expecting was an explosives expert to be called in and learning that my breakfast set off alarms.
We woke up early for a 2hr drive to the airport to catch a 9am international flight on a Friday morning. By all calculations and the recommended times we were to arrive at the airport, we should have had 30mins at our gate once we passed through security. However, calculations don’t include errors such as drug-sniffing dogs, commuter flights, and cranky TSA workers.
We arrived on time, we checked our bag and headed towards security. The line was longer than I had ever seen, wrapping around poles and hallways. As we came around a bend there stood a group of TSA workers, a police officer, and a K9. Peter was extremely excited, I, on the other hand, had pure dread. I had to pee, I hated security, I was tired from lack of sleep and now I had to fight the dog crazed mindset of Peter.
You see, Peter is the type of guy who will open his car window to talk to a dog as it walks by. So when he see’s a dog at the airport I instinctively have to pull him back from wanting to pet the dog, play with the dog, talk with the dog, or anything related to possibly getting him arrested if the dog is working. I’m pretty sure this makes it look as though we are smuggling drugs or sandwiches across the security checkpoint whichever would need the full distraction.
We watched as the dog did his job, flagged someone who was then pulled from the line and when it was our turn to pass the dog, it followed us instead. My mind started wandering, what could have set the dog off, are we going to miss our flight, does this mean a cavity search… honestly every YouTube video of people going through TSA came to mind all of a sudden.
We were pulled out of line where we stood surrounded by 3 TSA agents in which we were told that the dog was alerted to something in our bag. I started mentally rolling through what was in the bag… vitamins, swimsuits, sneakers, goggles, a two can of Pringles and some M&M’s… so we waited for forty more minutes to learn if the dog was hungry or if we missed a new regulation from TSA.
Once our bags were scanned, we walked through a metal detector, and a full body scanner we were then both patted down. What was to come next, however, was something no one… I literally mean no one on the face of my tiny planet (I’m talking the people I know, the people Peter knows, etc.) would expect.
Many are accustomed to having their hands swiped randomly at the security check, I’ve had it before without any issues, so I thought nothing of it when they did it yet again among every piece of personal property we had in our bags. As my hands are swiped and the swab is placed into the machine alarms started going off.
“What did you do?” I hear from behind me as I turn around to see Peter holding up his pants because he hasn’t been granted the ability put a belt back on yet.
My first instinct says don’t say “bomb” my second instinct tells me we are even closer to missing our flight. But it became a blur of people moving around me, a few laughs to make me smile, a second pat down and suddenly an explosive expert walks in. Jeez I know I’m hot, but come on I’m only going to blow one thing up and I’m not allowed near the bathroom right now. As the clock keeps ticking and everything else comes up clean the explosive expert asks me “have you touched cold cuts or sandwich meats?”
Peter’s reply “Does pork roll count?”
I roll my eyes towards him, as the car ride to the airport ensued many jokes about my choice of a breakfast sandwich and if this expert agreed I knew I would never hear the end of it, so when the explosive expert solemnly agreed to Peter’s inquisition I felt some solidarity knowing that
A) I wasn’t going insane
B) Peter has something to hold over my head
C) The dog was actually hungry after all
Needless to say, we learned a lot in those 40 minutes of extra security screening – Don’t leave a sandwich in your carry on… or eat a sandwich before security… or anything before airport security unless you are missing personal touch but I promise you… it’s not personal.
The Portly Passengers provides plus size inclusive travel tips and advice for anyone who is looking to explore the world. From seat sizes on airplanes to exploring museums, restaurants, and nature Melissa & Peter have the experience and stories to help guide you through it.