TSA: Buffoonery and Larceny

by Kevin D. Williamson

Since I managed to sneak some observations about the horrible state of domestic air travel into my piece about net-neutrality rules, maybe a bit more airport horror.

I was amused but not surprised by this reporter’s account of being asked for his passport after showing a TSA agent his D.C. driver’s license — the agent, as it turns out, did not know what the District of Columbia is, and assumed that it was a foreign jurisdiction. (It does feel that way.) The TSA is now helpfully instructing its minions on what (and, presumably, where) the District of Columbia is.

But I can top that: When I was doing my interview for TSA Pre, the agent asked me: “City and state?” And I answered: “New York, New York.” And then it went roughly thus:

TSA: “State?”

Williamson: “New York.”

TSA: “No, state?”

Williamson: “New York. New York, New York.”

TSA: “That’s what you said for city.”

Williamson: “Yes. New York, New York.”

TSA: “Right, that’s what I have.”

Williamson: “Okay, then.”

TSA: “State?”

As it turns out, she’d identified my city as “New York New York,” but apparently thought that the city-state combination of “New York New York, New York” was implausible. It took what amounted to three-fifth of an Abbott and Costello routine to straighten it out.

Front lines on the war against terrorism, with sidelines in buffoonery and larceny