So I couldn’t resist pulling out my Flip camera as I walked through the TSA checkpoint in Miami International Airport on the way to Washington D.C. this morning, even though I was dead tired from having partied all day Sunday at my friend’s house.
I was operating on three-hour sleep, so I wasn’t as sharp I could have been. Otherwise, I would have opted out of the radiation body scanner, which would have given me an excuse to keep holding the camera.
The other thing is, I had my boarding pass in my hand, but not my driver’s license, so even though they can’t legally ban me from boarding without my ID, they would have to go through a series of steps and phone calls to determine I am the real Carlos Miller.
Then I had some asshole behind me who started getting on my case because the TSA agents were getting on my case about video recording, which ended up holding the line up.
And I was also traveling with seven Colombian family members, who had no idea what I was doing – not that they were surprised – but the whole confrontation added to their stress of flying with a Colombian passport, which means they could have been whisked to a sideroom by Customs to have their bags searched at a moment’s notice (it’s happened before).
I also didn’t have the printout from the TSA website that confirms what no TSA official knows; that photography and videography of the checkpoints is allowed.
I had it on me last year when I did the same on a trip to Colombia and look how that turned out.(http://www.pixiq.com/article/testing-the-tsa-policy-on-photography).
So after arguing with the two TSA agents about the legality of videography at checkpoints, I had to let my camera swing from my wrist while I retrieved my ID from my wallet, which is why I cut that part out. It’s just too jarring to watch.
He told me to turn it off and I told him it was turned off just so to keep the line moving, but it was rolling. As much of an asshole I can be, I really don’t want to hold the line up because I know people need to get on their flights.
He left me alone while another TSA agent was acting all friendly towards me, asking me where I was traveling to and things like that, so I was thinking he was feeling me out to see if I acted nervous.
I made some small talk with him as my camera went through the scanner on the conveyer belt and I stepped into the radiation box where I’m sure they all gathered around to check out my pacakge.
And that was it. I turned the camera off on the other side while I gathered all my crap; my camera bag, my laptop, my shoes, my wallet, my pens.
In fact, my family ended up getting their bags searched more than I did, which is rare because my camera bag always sets off alarms in their heads that result in them having to go through it with their hands.
But then again, they’re traveling with Colombian passports. I regret not that recording that part.
You think I would be a pro at this, but I’m not. I should have had more of a game plan about my reasons for recording the checkpoint, specifically my intent on documenting the scanners and the opt-out process, instead of just saying I am testing out their knowledge on their own photo policy.
It’s pretty much a given they don’t know their own policy, so it’s no longer a test. The true test is how they react to my intent on recording my own molestation or radiation process.
The true test is how they deal with my insubordination when I refuse to put the camera down as I choose either Door # 1 or Door # 2.
The true test is whether my family has the balls to video record me as I video record them.
Nah, I won’t drag them into this. Especially with those Colombian passports. I can just imagine the headlines that would stem from a mass arrest against my family.
I’m flying back to Miami on Wednesday, so I might do this again with a better game plan in place.