(2007-03-17) “Special Treatments”
Posted by Jorge on 2007-03-17
Last Friday, Steven van Houtum (Exchange MVP), Brian Desmond (DS MVP) and I got on our airplane from Seattle to Chicago. After that Steven and I needed to get on a flight from Chicago to Amsterdam. Along the way I got all kinds of "special treatments", good ones and less good ones. From the start to my final destination I was picked at every customs check to be searched. Man, that was annoying! In the USA I was picked (still wondering why) and put in a "special" row. While I was still in line, the others (Steven and Brain) were enjoying "the show". At moments like these you can see how important communication is. One customs employee asked me if I had all kinds of fluids with. My answer: "yes, 2 small bottles of water". OK sir, can you put those on the conveyor belt? My answer: "Sure!". Another customs person comes by and tells me I cannot take the water with me and that I was not allowed to pass the metal detector port with those bottles. OK, so I remove them again from the conveyor belt, open one and drink it as I was thirsty. When finished I put both bottles on the table so they can be thrown away. Again another customs person comes by and tells me to not leave the bottles behind and to take the trash with me. WTF? What the heck do those people want? Make up your mind! I pass the metal detector and suddenly the customs person standing there starts yelling for a male-something. First thought…Oh shit, I’m being searched. He yells again, and again, and again, etc. A few custom people are talking with each other and suddenly look up and think "Hey, someone is calling us, let’s just wait a bit more". They finally felt like it to come to the guy calling. I was directed to a location with my stuff. Me and my stuff were searched for whatever they might be looking for and I also got several questions to answer. The guy searching was nice. He explained the procedure and did what he needed to do. In the end, everything was OK. It is a b!tch, especially when you don’t understand why you were picked. Meanwhile, Steven and Brian were enjoying the show. 😉 In the Netherlands I as picked out again and was asked if I bought anything in the USA and if I had that in my luggage. Answer: "No". My luggage still was scanned and he saw I answered truthfully.
One good thing about both flights was that both arrived earlier at their destination. The second flight almost arrived 1,5 hours earlier. I love it when the pilot "steps on it!" 😉
Just after checking in and before each flight, Brian was so kind to take us with him into the Red Carpet Club he is a member of. He was allowed to bring two guests and he did just that. Brian called it the "shiny cards thingy" that all people like. It was relaxed to be there before getting on the flight. Thanks Brian, for sharing that!
In a month or so, I’m going to DEC in Las Vegas with my girlfriend. I do hope I don’t get the same security issues again I experience again I did now. I really hated when we missed hour flight because the security checks at the Chicago airport took too long. Because of that we needed to wait for another 2,5 hours. Although that does not sound like much, it is not funny when you are already travelling for 14 hours.
Besides this, it was fun staying in the USA for a week or so and see a lot of faces behind the names and e-mail addresses used in the forums, blogs and newsgroups! It was fun to see you all and I hope to see everyone again at DEC!
PS1.: it felt good to get this off my chest and b!tch a little bit.
PS2: I forgot to tell you this one and it’s quite funny. One of the days, it was raining like hell! Imagine this…On the sidewalk, someone placed signs mentioning: WET FLOOR! No sh!t. No, I’m not joking! 😉
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