It’s a little disconcerting—the variety of kinds of people you spot hustling and bustling through an airport. However, when the most dreaded and inconvenient process of the travel experience approaches, the TSA security screening, passengers fall into one of five categories, and they all share a common goal: get to the departure gate. According to Christopher Elliot, these are the five that whether you’re a seasoned traveler or not, you’ve likely met in airport security.
1. The get-alongs: most passengers fall under this category. All these people want is to expedite the screening process with a hassle-free proceeding. These are the passengers with nothing to hide, so they figure they’ll just comply with whatever the people in the blue uniforms are telling them to do. They “know” that the TSA’s job is to keep everyone safe, so obediently, without complaint, they step into the full-body scanner and agree to the pat-down.
2. The elites: a small number of passengers and crew members receive screening privileges—a coveted line titled “TSA Pre-check” that doesn’t require shoes to be removed or a full-body scan. Dignitaries, pilots and crewmembers fall under the category, as well as those with “TSA Pre-check” credentials. The justification for this is that frequent fliers give airlines so much business, or paid the government to perform a background check, so they deserve an expedited and less-invasive screening.
3. The dissidents: This is the small group of passengers that opts out of full-body scanners, subjecting them to a prison-style pat-down instead, which they are fully aware of. Despite this knowledge, these people also know that this process eats up a lot of valuable scanner time, and are willing to deal with a little inconvenience to make that point: that the government has no business in asking them to submit to a scan.
4. The victims: This group doesn’t it know yet, but they’re about to make headlines. These are the people who are unfortunate enough to encounter a misunderstanding or cruel TSA agent who causes the screening to go horribly wrong. What about the 90-something-year-old, cancer-stricken woman in a wheelchair was forced to allow the TSA to search her diaper? HER DIAPER?!
5. The ignorant: These are the dummies. They pack revolvers, souvenir hand grenades and machetes in their carry-ons and act surprised and bewildered when they’re stopped at security. You’d think it’d be common knowledge not to bring items of such nature, but too many too. A vast majority of the incidents are simply careless mistakes, but a handful are done intentionally as well. On that note, one in a billion are done with the intention of bringing down a plane. Guarantee, however, that the TSA will not treat it lightly.
By: JULIA JACOBO