Pam and I headed into the airport and if you've been reading my blog entries you know that every security check starting with KCI has pulled Pam from the line for an additional security check. This includes going to Italy, coming back from Italy. Well Frankfort would be no different. She goes through the line only to be pulled to the side and have her bag checked. She had a small lotion bottle. that she throws away after the search. Then we arrive at the gate and sit inside the gate since there is no one to check us in (remember we are early). When someone shows up she tells us we need to step out of the seating area so they can check our boarding pass. When they see Pam's boarding pass they determine she was randomly selected to be searched, AGAIN! This time they did a search of her bags, pat down and even checked the water bottle she had just bought.
Well, we finally get inside the gate being some of the first. Then there's and announcement that we must leave the gate and go through security again. Everyone is confused and we head to the exit gate for security which would of taken us back out into the airport. Fortunately, security tells us not to enter. Pam and I find ourselves behind a handful of people. Security continues to check folks who come in and go past us thinking they will get inside the gate (places even more folks in front of us).
Police had put up a tape about 30 feet from the gate not letting anyone through. We also notice that the terminal has also been roped off. Later we learn that a package had been left unattended so the bomb squad was called. By the time they let us in, Pam and I find ourselves way in the the back. Worse yet, the plane is now over an hour late in departing.
The flight was over 10 hours long and Pam slept most of the way. But yours truly just couldn't fall asleep. So I watched a number of videos.
For those who have never flown international. Let me take a moment and explain the experience. When we arrived at Atlanta we were instructed to follow the signs and would need to get a card from a machine before customs. What machine you ask? We had no clue but saw one as the crowd moved along and stopped. Pam put in her passport only to have the machine tell us - your at the wrong machine. So now a few folks have gotten in front of us. We move into a long line. When we get to the end of the line, we are instructed to scan our passports and answer the questions. When I got tot the machine I had an issue with my passport and the machine told me I needed to go to the custom counter. We went ahead and ran Pam's passport through. It worked and when she was done it allowed me to rescan my passport. Lucky me, it worked that time.
Now we moved to another long line and as we get to the end of the line a gentlemen instructed us to go left. Unfortunately, right had three customs agents and left had just one. So by the time we got up to the custom agent at least twenty people behind us had already gone through. The custom's officer asked if we had and meats, foods, cigarettes or alcohol. Pam said no as I was about to admit we had couple of liquor bottles in the suit cases we checked. Lucky I didn't say anything. Might of look suspicious had our stores not lined up.
Next we had to find the luggage pickup. Once we pickup our luggage we rolled the two suitcases about 50 feet to recheck them in. All we did was hand them to the bag clerk and he threw them on the belt.
Last but not least, we had to go through security one more time. Again we are instructed to move left and find ourselves in a long line. The other lines are moving much faster. When we get to security, computer out of bag and in it's own tray, Pam's iPad get's it's own tray, shoes and belts off. All pockets had to be emptied. As I stood their I realized why our line had been moving so slow. The person running the x-ray machine was new and had to keep asking for help.
I know your wondering -- what happened to Pam? Well once she got through the metal detector they asked her to step aside so they could do a pat down. At least the bags were saved from another search.
We grabbed a bite to eat and now are sitting at the gate waiting for our flight to KC. Just a four hour wait.