October 12, 2022
Here in Chicago we are blessed with two big airports and the best connections to destinations around the world. While no longer the busiest airport in the country, O’Hare International gets lots of online abuse for its crowds, parking, and delays. The recent Transportation Security Agency (TSA) jams have been shown on local television frequently. We business travelers roll our eyes at the amateurs filling out the security lines. From families with toddlers through college tour groups, they have that deer-in-the-headlights look when confronted with a slow moving queue and the mayhem of shouted instructions, shifting barriers, and combining groups. It is a great day when my boarding pass is stamped for TSA pre-check but I try hard to model good manners even when subjected to the general cattle call. Little eyes are watching and none of us wants to be that rude, self-centered lout who thinks he is too important to comply with the TSA instructions. I’ll be the first to admit the regulations are arbitrary and illogical; but if removing my shoes and occasionally being patted down is the price for safe air travel I will gladly pay it. Could a better system be developed? I certainly hope so. Unfortunately, logic and security seem to be mutually exclusive terms. People take offense way too easily, in my opinion, and read evil intent into the actions of both the hard working TSA officers and their fellow travelers. You have to wonder about the people who consider their personal attractiveness to be so high that the officers just can’t keep their hands of them. Similarly, if you are going to go out into the world you need to educate yourself about other cultures and respect their customs and manner of dress. Why not take a deep breath and use your trip as a learning experience?