Tag Archives: transportation security authority

The Kid in the Airplane and Pretensions to ‘National Security’

This week, a sixteen-year-old kid climbed the fence of San Jose airport, climbed into the wheel well of a plane, and stowed away on a flight from San Jose to Hawaii. Note: this is not a story The Onion made up. It actually happened.

A couple of weeks ago, the Transportation Security Agency relieved me of 4.3 ounces of toothpaste because it is a threat to ‘national security’. My toothpaste is the latest casualty in a long list of ‘dangers’, including white-out, a water bottle, contact lens solution, and the forbidden liquid deodorant. I have been subject to alternate screening several times for such offenses as wearing baggy clothes and having a surgically altered ankle. I’ve spent quality time in with TSA agents for tshirts like one that has Elmo on it and says ‘that tickles a little’ or one that says ‘FBI’. Others, of course, have dealt with more serious harassment.

This kid snuck over a fence, walked through the tarmac, evaded dozens of employees, climbed into an airplane, and rode it to Hawaii. Ever been on an airplane where they make someone move to the back to balance the weight? Yet they don’t know this … ? All joking aside, the kid apparently did it to run away from home. Good thing he didn’t have something more sinister in mind. Because news coverage suggests that eighty percent of American airports have similar vulnerabilities.

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