I have never made it through an entire cross-continental journey without being stopped at either security or customs for additional screening. That is a fact.
Today I fly from Heathrow to Logan, going on a short holiday to see my family.
At security I removed my shoes, belt, ring and sweater and placed them in the tray alongside my bag.
The machine goes off.
That’s funny; all I’m wearing now is cotton and poly blends.
Anyhow, I end up getting pat down and they debate more checks because I didn’t take the laptop out of my bag. (About five minutes later they realise said laptop is actually a stack of art mags – Frieze, BJP and Dazed to be exact. Genius.)
Whatever, I move on. Fully dressed (sans shoes- I’m looking for a bench to put them back on) and back to normal I’m walking and putting my passport back in my bag.
“Ma’am!” someone shouts, “Do not move and please give me the items in your hands.”
It’s security. This woman is talking to me. Seriously?
“Why?” I ask. I mean, if I’m handing over something I want to know why.
“Random check,” she says with all the confidence in the world.
“What kind of random check?” Seriously. It’s my shoes and my passport, and they already did the bit to make sure it’s mine.
“To check for traces of explosives. The passport please.”
Wow. Ok. What? I’m a bit insulted now and definitely looking like the least threatening person around in my purple socks with white hearts and white midi.
But I hand over the passport, no need to make a scene or a fuss. When she’s done I demand to know why she’s selected me out of the crowd. She gives a terse, “It’s random.”
No it’s not. I know for a fact there has got to be a list of suggestions to search for. Perhaps passengers traveling alone, certain behaviour, oversized carryon baggage, etc. (I know many people who suspect racial profiling may be involved.) Whatever it is, “random” is not how it’s done.
But shortly I board for Logan where the sun and hot days await. Not to mention family and old time friends!
I’ll amend this post later to let you know if my luggage has been searched yet again before customs.
EDIT [10.13pm EST]: For the first time in five years, I managed to get through immigration and customs at Logan without an extra search. Hurrah!