Yesterday I flew in to Chicago O’Hare to connect with a flight to Amsterdam. I had an hour and thirty minute connection which shouldn’t have been a problem…
Well, TSA in terminal 5, the international terminal, was a cluster to behold. I was greeted at the security checkpoint by a mass of about 150 and an estimated 50 minute wait. This just for the passport / boarding card check. Even with a flight that had started boarding and a departure in less than an hour I was told, twice, that I had to stand in the line. After 15 minutes in line and listening to a woman walk up and down the line quietly asking for anyone on SAS flight number something or other I asked about my KLM flight. She looked horrified. Apparently I should have been directed to the rush line earlier. She took me there.
Movie Theatre’s have large LCD displays over the ticket taker indicating what movies are currently seating. Why TSA can’t do the same for flights currently boarding and that thus have priority screening, I don’t know.
Once cleared through the passport check I was to choose among 5 lines for x-ray. About 7 people in each line, shouldn’t be a problem. I made my choice and waited some more. All was OK for a few minutes and then my line ground to a halt. I noticed that every time there was suspected contraband the screener checked the bag, stopping our line dead in its tracks until the screener resolved the problem. I really lucked out, there were 5 people in a row whose carry-on’s required hand searching and re-screening. An average of 4 minutes each.
In 18 of the 20 minutes it took our line to process 5 people, the line next to us got 27 people through. All of them, by the way, folks who had come through the passport check behind me.
I now had less than 10 minutes until my flight was scheduled to depart. I mentioned this to one TSA gal and asked if there was anything she could do. “No, we’re getting everyone through as quickly as possible.” I offered that it might be best if, when they encountered a bag with contraband in it, that it be pulled aside, someone other than the screener deal with it, and allow the screener to continue with those in line (most of whom did not have contraband).
“We don’t need your lip.” Was her reply. “We’re getting everyone through as quickly as possible.”
There was nothing I could do. I had no options. I was stuck.
Is this what we can expect with government run healthcare?
We have what is unquestionably the best healthcare system in the world. World leaders and the rich and famous come to the U.S. for the exact same healthcare as our union workers, CEO’s, bus drivers, unemployed, and even bloggers. Why would we want to turn our health over to the government?