Airport Security: The TSA Giveth and the TSA Taketh Away.
The years have crept up on me. Arthritis is taking its toll, moving parts are starting to wear out, and my arms are now too short.
There is one benefit to the march of time, however, because once you turn 75, you no longer have to remove your shoes when going through airport security. It’s the so-called Geezer Exemption and I can’t help feeling just a little smug when I see grown men hopping around in crowded areas trying to get back into their shoes with no place to sit down.
At least that’s the way it works here on Maui where the TSA has one of those big machines that makes all your clothing disappear for whichever TSA employee is manning the nearby isolation booth. Whenever I leave here, I make a beeline for that machine because it doesn’t pick up the titanium parts that make up my new knee. The big machine doesn’t look inside your body, so I sail right through without having to remove my shoes.
By the way, before I had knee replacement surgery, I’d heard that I would be given a document attesting to the fact that there was metal in my knee and that would allow me to skip the pat-downs at airport security. Sorry. Not true now and never was.
When heading back to Maui, I’m almost always on American Airlines flights out of Los Angeles and where I have to go through security at LAX, the TSA folks are using only the old metal detectors. Of course my titanium knee sets off all the bells and whistles … and — dammit! — that voids my Geezers Exemption. My shoes have to come off.
You can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a perk you only got because you’re old and decrepit. That really hurts.