Originally Posted by Steve2ski
Whats the odds of being profiled - go into a airport with ski boots, helmet, check long bag for one of the checked bags - destination somewhere near or in the mountains. DO YOU THINK THEY MIGHT BE A SKIER? I was asked a couple of years ago by TSA, Do you wear a helmet when skiing? My answer, Most times but not always, but always when I fly. The security didn't see the humor in my answer.
Speaking of flying to the mountains, I'm reminded of a true story that happened to none other than ME.
Quite a few years ago, I was flying through Denver (the old Stapleton airport, not the new DIA) on my way to Jackson, WY. I had to change terminals from my connecting flight, so I had to go through security again in Denver.
I was in line for one of the two scanners when a nice man in a suit tapped me on the shoulder. He flashed a badge at me that said FAA and asked if I would help him in a test. Being not particularly bright, I said "sure".
He then slipped a chunk of plastic-coated metal about 4" by 6" by an inch thick into my carry-on bag and followed me as we made our way to the scanner. My bag and I sailed right through and as I was about to pick up my bag on the other side of the scanner, the guy reached across in front of me and says "Excuse for a moment, sir".
He then flashes the same badge at the person running the scanner.
With that, he takes the chunk of metal out of my bag and plops it on the conveyor in front of the scanner guy and thanks me for me cooperation.
He then turns to the guy at the scanner and says:
"Shut down your scanner RIGHT NOW and come with me."
As I boarded my plane to Jackson, I was feeling pretty reassured about airport security.
The more I thought about it, however, the more I decided I was a world-class chump. It apparently turned out that the guy was legitimate and he really was with the FAA, but I got to wondering about what might have happened if he WASN'T legitimate.
Two scenarios came to mind...
In the first, I successfully carry his chunk of metal through security, he very "officially" thanks me, takes back the chunk of metal and disappears into the airport. Perhaps the chunk of metal is actually an explosive and I just got it through the scanner for him.
In the second scenario, the guy at the scanner is paying attention and does his job. He flags me for a suspicious item in my bag and the cavalry comes down on me. I then try to explain how this "guy with an FAA badge" put it in my bag. They look around and go "What guy?" and I go "Well, gosh, that's strange. I don't see him anymore." And Bob goes to jail.
I decided I probably wouldn't do that again if asked.