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Carol Perkins: Identity crisis at airport security

Last week's column: Carol Perkins: A trip to Austin frustrates GPS and driver

By Carol Perkins

My trip to Texas is never without incident as last week's story proves, but perhaps the greatest disaster was not the "faculty" GPS, but the fact that I lost my driver's license and did not realize it until I was digging through my purse for my ID at the ticket counter and could not find it.

"Don't worry. As long as you have it at security you'll be fine," the ticket person assured me.

In a cafe area, I dumped the contents of my purse and searched through every zip part in the front and along the sides but found nothing. Piece by piece, I laid aside receipts, change, coupons, combs, and everything else I had thrown in during the last four days. No license. I went through my wallet, inch by inch, and still nothing.

In a slight panic, I retraced my steps. Back across the terminal to the car rental building and then to the rental car to search it thoroughly did not lead me to my license. I called Guy. What did I think he could do? Support my panic. I honestly didn't think I could fly without my ID. However, I learned it is possible.

I found a TSA (transportation/security) person and explained my dilemma. I could have hugged her.

"You just tell the guy when you go through security what has happened and he will tell you what to do."

I have to admit that between the two security people checking boarding passes and ID's, I was hoping the lady would call me first. I know that is not PC to say this, but men sometimes have a tendency to show through body language that they find a woman who does something irresponsible such as this to be idiots. However, the guy who listened to my story was courteous and helpful, especially when I could not find one thing that had a picture ID or a home address to verify my identity.

"Do you have a Costco Card?" I explained where I lived.

"Do you have anything with a phone number?" I didn't. My checkbook has a PO Box number.

"Do you have any meds?" Alas! I fished through my carryon and brought out two bottles of meds. By now two guys are helping me. They found the drugstore phone number and finally after I thought I was doomed, one said, "Whose number is this?"

It was my cell number. I was waved on to the second step. My carryon and my purse were emptied and "wanded." The lady explained what she was going to do and I thought she said for me to touch my toes. I looked at her and said, "You've got to be kidding!" She didn't understand until I started to bend over to my toes. She then laughed.

"No, don't touch your toes. I said I was going to pat you from head to toe."

I have admitted that I don't hear well, but now I am convinced of just how close I am to reading lips.

Finally, I passed all tests and dashed to my gate. I missed my pre-boarding number but ended up with a window seat (my preference). I sat next to a nice guy who was going to spend Thanksgiving with his five sons (we chatted before takeoff). I was thinking about how nice it was that his sons could all come to visit. He scrolled through his phone to show me their pictures. I nearly choked when the sons turned out to be his five cats. That is another story.


This story was posted on 2015-12-01 09:29:55
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