I feel like I’ve gone through security at a lot of airports. Years ago I was flying home after living abroad and went through JFK (I think?) and it looked like a 3rd world country to me. There were guys with machine guns all over the place.
But all of that pales in comparison to how awful the TSA is at JFK. I always opt-out of the body scanner and security is almost always extremely polite about the whole thing.
SFO is downright hostile.
The first time I flew through the agent (who looked about 15 years old) looked confused and asked me to take my bags off the scanner. She turned and in a whisper said “Male opt-out” to no one in particular. No one responded, no one acknowledged her. Every other airport I’ve ever been to they shout and someone from the other side of the security line shouts back to let us know that someone is on their way.
The person giving the pat down wasn’t very professional and the whole thing took about 20 minutes (it normally takes less than 5).
Last week I went through SFO again. I figured the first time was a fluke but I was in for it this time. This time there were agents walking around yelling at everyone in line. “YOU SEE THIS MOUNTAIN DEW BOTTLE! IT WILL MESS UP OUR DAY! GET IT OUT OF YOUR BAG! PASSENGERS BRING THIS STUFF AND IT CAUSES A 20 MINUTE DELAY FOR E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E.”
“We do not have magnetic or telekinetic devices moving your property forward.”
A woman put her things down in line to be scanned and then waited in line to be scanned her self. A TSA agent corrected her “YOU MUST STAY WITH YOUR BAG! We do not have magnetic or telekinetic devices moving your property forward. They require kinetic energy from your person to continue down the line.”
That made me laugh until the TSA agent shot me a glare. What, you weren’t joking with that line?
I put my own things down. Carry on by it self, a tray for my laptop, and a tray for my jacket, belt, shoes etc.
Another TSA agent approached me “Better get those shoes in their own bin or we’re going to be in for some serious shit.”
“Serious shit”? Really? Are we in ‘NAM or something? Is this TSA agent shooting the guns out of a black hawk helicopter to cover the LZ for the marines? I’m pretty sure putting your shoes back through the scanner doesn’t qualify as “serious shit”.
“[W]e’re going to be in for some serious shit.”
There’s more but I’ll skip to the end where a TSA agent gives me a pat down by karate chopping up my groin before sliding his hand so he could feel my full anatomy. WUT IS GOING ON!? Opting out means I go through a lot of pat downs and this guy was crazy invasive. Next time they ask if I have any sensitive areas of my body I’ll say “Yeah, my privates.”