School/Work Balance

| San Jose, CA, USA | Working | January 4, 2017

(During my senior year of high school, I go with my dad one day to San Diego to check Prestigious College I was accepted at, during my spring break. It is five am and the security line has just opened. There’s roughly ten TSA agents actually working and about ten more just standing around doing nothing. I’m putting my shoes back on when two agents behind me, who have been discussing a club they went to over the weekend, notice me.)

TSA Agent: *condescendingly* “Aren’t you supposed to be in school?”

Me: “Aren’t you supposed to be working?”

(Everyone that heard me laughed and the agent sulked away embarrassed.)

Won’t Break Your Back To Offer Some Help

| Germany | Friendly | January 2, 2017

(I’m standing on a shuttle bus waiting to be taken to a plane, and see a guy in his 50s struggle with his bags. He clearly has a broken arm, yet no one offers to help. I’m stuck behind a crowd and can’t get past. We board the plane and land, and get on to another shuttle bus. As we walk off the bus we are met with a massive set of stairs. The guy from before gets off at the same time.)

Me: “Can I help you with that?”

Guy: “Really? Yes, please.”

Me: *struggling to pick up the bag* “Wow, this is heavy!”

Guy: “Yes, thank you. I’ve had to pack everything. My daughter has had her baby and I jumped on the next flight.”

Me: “That’s great. Must be a long trip with your arm broken.”

Guy: “Not just my arm; I broke my back as well. I’m in an upper body cast.”

Me: *reaching the top of the stairs* “Do you need any help from here?”

Guy: “No, thank you again.”

(Just to think 20 – 30 people would rather ignore someone so obviously struggling and with a broken back just to get ahead! The kicker: with everyone rushing off, they still had to get straight into a line to wait for customs checks.)

An Explosive Realization

| London, England, UK | Romantic | December 27, 2016

(I am an experienced international traveller, so I tend to take it very easy when passing through customs and immigration. A few years ago I took my boyfriend to Europe for his first ever trip overseas, and we made it a big one: flying into London, taking the train across the channel, visiting Paris and Cologne, and then flying home from Germany. I manage to mortify him at both ends of the trip by speaking thoughtlessly to airport security.)

UK Immigration Agent: “And how long will your visit be?”

Me: “We’ll be here for four days, and then we’ll take the train to Paris.”

UK Immigration Agent: “And will you be coming back to the UK?”

Me: *genuinely confused* “Uh, I don’t know. This is my first time here, so I don’t know if I’ll like it.”

Boyfriend: *exasperated face-palm*

Me: “Oh! You mean on this trip! No, we’re continuing on to Germany and flying home from there.”

UK Immigration Agent: *stamps our passports and waves us through*

Boyfriend: “Can’t you wait until AFTER they let us in before saying stuff like that?”

(Two weeks later, we are in Frankfurt, preparing to fly home. We don’t feel like we are running late, but somehow we manage to be the last ones to board, and of course the security agents decide to pick us for the random explosives check.)

Airport Security: “May I take your camera to test it for traces of explosives, please?”

Me: “Really? Oh, sure, that’s fine.” *I hand it over and start “thinking out loud” to my boyfriend* “Strange that they singled out the camera and not any of the other things in our bags, like our laptops or tablets or handheld gaming devices. Hmmm… Oh, I suppose it’s because an SLR camera is basically a sealed, empty box, so there would be a risk of people smuggling explosives inside them…”

Boyfriend: “Stop… talking… NOW.”

Me: “What? Why?”

Boyfriend: “We’re standing at an airport security terminal and you’re speculating OUT LOUD about the best ways to smuggle explosives onto an aircraft! SHUT UP!”

Me: “But I was just wondering why—”

Boyfriend: “SHUT UP NOW.”

(We got my camera back and boarded without any issues, but my boyfriend had a story to tell for years afterwards of the time I tried to get us arrested in Frankfurt.)

Advocates Of The Bathroom Bill Will Not Be Pleased

| Canada | Working | December 19, 2016

(I am a 12-year-old girl, and I fly to Newfoundland by myself, so I travel as an unaccompanied minor. I have to transfer planes, and while I wait for my next flight I am herded together with some other UMs. They are all boys. I have short hair, a very unique name, and wear gender-neutral clothes. We need to go to the bathroom, so an airport employee accompanies us. The boys go into the men’s room; I head for the women’s room.)

Airport Employee: “Where are you going? You have to stay with the others!”

Me: “…to the bathroom.”

Airport Employee: “It’s right there. Didn’t you see where the others went?”

Me: *starting to get embarrassed, because this sort of thing happened to me all the time* “I’m just… going to the bathroom.”

Airport Employee: *looks at me more carefully* “Oh. Oh! Sorry; go ahead!”

Has Some Baggage About Who Gets Their Baggage

| Amsterdam, Netherlands | Romantic | November 28, 2016

(My husband and I just landed in Amsterdam and are waiting for our luggage. The luggage belt did not start moving yet, so we just sit there and talk. Note that we travel quite a lot together and my husband actually works for an airline.)

Me: *looking at the belt as it slowly starts to move* “I wonder who is the lucky b*****d who always gets his luggage first. It’s the people in Business Class, right?”

Husband: “No, it’s pure luck. It depends what luggage comes out of the plane first.”

(As we sit there and wait, the first suitcases appear and, lo and behold, the very first two suitcases are ours.)

Husband: “Well, that certainly determines who the ‘lucky b*****d’ is.”

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