My parents encouraged Bryce and I to arrive at the airport three hours before our flight to Hawaii (en route to New Zealand).
“With the government shutdown, you just never know!” my mom said. “Sea-Tac seems to be operating normally from what I’ve heard but who knows, maybe the TSA workers will decide on your day of travel to just not show up!”
We arrived about 2.5 hours early — and thankfully there was no line at PreCheck. I guess the sweet spot to fly is 5 pm. Everyone else wants to get a move on in the morning or late at night.
My backpack got searched at security and at first I was a little annoyed that none of the TSA workers bothered to notify me that they were searching it. Isn’t the norm that they ask whose bag it is and then they go through it in front of you?
When I asked why they weren’t searching it in front of me so I could see, one worker replied that “there’s not enough room back here.”
OK, isn’t that why normally you bring the bag closer to where the traveler is awkwardly waiting or standing?
Another worker — different guy from the one who responded to my question — did bring my bag in front of me after the initial rummaging out of my sight and asked if I had food in the bag.
“I’m going to have to look at it,” he said nicely.
When I lifted the brown Chipotle bag out of my backpack to show that there were two burritos inside, he asked for us to peel back the foil.
“Those look like some good burritos!” he said as he told us we were free to go.
I laughed and put the food back in my backpack.
“Well, at least that was quick,” I told Bryce.
He agreed and reminded me that these workers weren’t getting paid at the moment, too.
“Oh, no! I should have been nicer at the beginning when I was giving them a hard time about looking through my bag without me being able to see what was going on!”
I felt a little bad.
Oh, well, at least they didn’t ask to take a bite out of our burritos.