Saturday, September 03, 2011

Departing DIA - Standing Ovation

I was already in a foul mood.

Checked out of the hotel at 4:30am, headed for DIA and all the fun of an international departure.

Gassed up and dumped the car, got the shuttle to the terminal, got checked in with minimal effort, even got a bulkhead seat. Woo hoo.

Elapsed time- 2 hours.

Really, Denver? 2 Hours?

Now the fun begins- the TSA Checkpoint @ DIA has always been bad for me, hence the "arrive early as possible" policy for departures from Denver.

So- 6:40am and I'm in line to clear security for a 9:00 am flight.

And the line is loooong.
And since I've been flopped about on so many different airlines I haven't hit any milestones in the Frequent Flyer hierarchy, so I'm standing in line with the hoipolloi.
The only positive thing is they have the Family Lanes and Expert Traveler Lanes once you pass the first mouth-breather that checks your ID, so in theory things should be smoother.

And wouldn't you know, the couple-traveling-with-two-screaming-infants jump into the Expert Traveler line, one person in front of me.
"What's wrong with people? Can't they read the signs?" I said, just loud enough for the woman (business traveler) in front of me to hear... She rolled her eyes.
"You'd think the TSA would help direct these people to keep the flow moving."

You're asking alot honey, that would require a TSA mindset that actually wanted to HELP people, not make them miserable.

Screw it- I'm not in the mood to ruin their day...yet.
And the line is moving slow anyway...

Why is the line moving so slow?

Because it's coming up on 7AM, opening time for all the shops and kiosks in DIA, and all the day workers are jumping to the front of the line to get to work.

You've got to be shitting me, guys... Like five shoeshine guys troop to the front of the line, throw down  the plastic pie plate with their pocket junk and breeze through without even an "pardon me" or a "fare thee well".

You know how you always think of the perfect response, quip, cutting remark or I-shoulda about 10 minutes after the fact? Well, I was trying to be proactive- coming up with a plan of action for when I was up at the front of the line and one of these little bastards tried jump the queue...

Adding insult to injury, the literacy-challenged mom-pop-and-two-screamers are having issues getting all their crap squared away and into bins for the X-Ray...
While they struggle, more cashiers and cleaning staff jam their way past the granola munchers and Precious Snowflake 1 & 2.

And my Irritation Index is peaking.

And I know exactly what I will be saying and doing should someone throw down a bin in front of me and try to cut me off. I've had ten minutes to come up with a plan, and I have one that will probably work and not get me thrown in the DIA TSA holding tank...

Mom and dad and the yardapes finally make it past and are into their secondary screening - TSA Idjits are pawing through their diaper bags and inspecting all the flotsam and jetsam that accompany Travel With Kids, including mom's breast pump. Lovely.

Business Lady is next and as she pushes her bag and shoe bin into the XRay, a 5'0" Hispanic dude with a cleaning company t-shirt logo plops down a bin with his shoes and crap in front of my bag and stands behind Business Lady.

Bullshit, motherfucker.

I took his bin and placed it on the floor and slid it back down the line about 10' with my foot. The several other people in the Expert Traveler line looked at it and smiled...

The dude looked at me like like I'd sprouted horns and a tail....

He looked at the TSA guard at the metal detector- looking for diving intervention.
TSA Guy shrugged his shoulders. He wasn't getting involved.

"I'm allowed! You can't..." Queue Jumper sputtered.

"Wrong. I can. And I did.
And if you think you can just jump in here and inconvenience me without even being the least bit polite about it, I don't feel like I need to be the least bit polite either. I don't care if you DO work here, you should at least TRY to act civilized and ask permission or at least say 'excuse me'."

Two guys behind me gave me a thumbs up and a "Yeah, you tell 'em." and a couple further back started clapping, which spread through the line quickly. Both my line and the one next to mine- everyone that had been seeing the parade of day labor waltz through the checkpoint was clapping and hooting at the Queue Jumper.

I turned back around- slid my stuff into the XRay and TSA Guy waved me through as he tried to keep from laughing out loud.
The TSA Girl behind the XRay was laughing and shaking her head...
"That was beautiful." she said as she passed my bag through.

I never even looked back to see what happened to Queue Jumper. The other guys in line behind me came through laughing.
"That was awesome. I wish I'd had my phone out to catch that on video." one guys said.
I got several smiles and thumbs up as I was repacking my bag and putting my shoes on... I even got an encouraging word from the TSA guys.
"They are supposed to ask before jumping to the front of the line, but people don't usually call them on it."

The rest of the trip was a smooth downhill glide after that; I even sailed through Customs in Toronto like a breeze... I should have gone and bought a lottery ticket.

Of course, I remember the last time I was in Toronto...

Seeing the CN tower brings back some memories...

Yeah, I knew there was a reason I like Toronto.



Irish said...

mmmmm Toronto......;)

Irish said...

Okay..I scrolled back up and read the post now... GOOD for you Unc!!

I'm glad you got the rest of the crowd on your side :)

libertyman said...

Nicely done sir!

Bob said...

Bravo! *scrolling down* Holy Sh*t!

Old NFO said...

Well done :-) I'm afraid I would have called BS on the couple with the rug rats... At least at IAD they keep ONE diamond line for the real business travellers!

kx59 said...

glad we didn't have to put up a pay pal account for your bail BG.
Well done sir, very well done.

Teke said...