Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Passport snafu

Ever had your roller bag packed and ready at the front door, boarding pass downloaded with a TSA clearance onto your phone, wallet tucked away, called for a Lyft and felt for your passport. Of course, it's there in your inside pocket as it was five minutes ago. You slip on your shoes, hear the car pull up in front, grab the keys and are out the door. 
At the airport, the TSA line moves quickly,  you move your roller bag along and zip you reach the gate. Next in line to show your downloaded ticket, passport and glad you don't have to take off your shoes. You're thinking about the extra time to grab coffee and then it's 'Next please'.
You're putting the phone down on the bar code scanner with your boarding pass, handing your passport. The agent is taking a longer time than usual. 'Do you have another form of ID?'
Other than my passport? Why? It's current and valid.
'Your passport's expiring in five months,' the agent says.
Ok, but it's valid, right?
Do you have another form of ID?

Thank heavens you do. And that this is a domestic flight. You show the agent your driver's license.
This doesn't seem to be the same name as the ticket, the agent says.
But sir, that's beause....a simple explanation doesn't satisfy him. But you tell him politely, there's my name with the married name as well, all the information is the same. Your voice remains calm. I need to get on the plane.
You'll need to speak with my supervisor.
Then you're shuttled to the side while impatient TSA passengers whisk past you to rush now to their flights.
Finally, the supervisor comes over. Another explantation ensues.
Eventually you start to feel like
And because the supervisor is in a good mood and for whatever reason feels you really can be the person who you say you are, he admonishes 'I'll let it go but renew your passport or you'll have this trouble again and won't be let into foreign countries.'
You shove the roller bag through the machine, grab it on the other side and run, run, run and make the flight as the door is about to close. Forget the coffee.

Cara - Tuesday
 who has an expiring passport and needs to figure this out before flying to Bouchercon in Florida in two days.


  1. Ugh! What is the point of an expiration date when the passport, for all intents and PURPOSES, pre-expires six months before the date printed in it? UGH!

    Fingers crossed it all turns out well for you, Cara!!!

  2. You handled it magnificently. These folks love it when a passenger gets riled. It makes their day to wreck yours. I suggest you contact a supervisor at HSA and ask what the policy is, and once you learn that what you were told at the security point was inaccurate, then you come prepared for the next time with the facts and the name of the supervisor.

    Keeping one's cool is paramount...sayeth one prone to losing his temper at the officious bastards.

  3. Bureaucrats are maddening!