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Monday, May 30, 2011

Expert Travelers Only

I was recently on a whirlwind trip around the US (the 7-planes-in-12-days type) and the Nashville, TN airport was the first time I saw an "Expert Traveler" line to pass through security.
While I don't consider myself an "expert" traveler, I travel lightly and move quickly enough through the line (helpful hint: put your wallet/keys/change in your carry-on bag).
Were I a true frequent flyer, I think I would certainly appreciate the faster line.

Now, I know if I saw a shorter, faster moving line I'd consider moving to that one... However, there were some people in this line who clearly do not belong.
Here are a few I encountered:
  1. Old man wearing a Hawaiian shirt and carrying two bags from the airport gift shop- I know you love your grandchildren and want to bring them all the souvenirs in the place, but tourist ≠ expert.
  2. Wife of old man wearing Hawaiian t-shirt, and also carrying airport gift bags and a cane- I don't hate old people, or people with disabilities, but having to put your walking-aid through the x-ray and then walking through the metal detector really slowly  kinda exempts you from expert status.
  3. Black man wearing (and thus having to remove) a watch, several rings, a belt, and having in his pocket: a wallet, several key rings, spare change, and a phone- While very stylish, not very streamlined for airport security.
  4. Woman clearly bringing three carry-on bags- First, you're only allowed two carry-ons. Second, not an expert traveler.
  5. Young couple with three kids- There is no way they're going anywhere quickly, nevermind passing through airport security.

Also, after looking in to it some, apparently TSA has had these ratings out for some time.
There are three grades, based on ski-slope ratings apparently:

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