Luggage Security Nightmares – have you experienced anything like this?

Another great personal story by Alabama contributing author, Inez McCollum. What is your worse experience in luggage security? Share it in the comments below.



Inez McCollum

We have all been through some nightmares when checking our luggage.

Thankfully, since 9/11, that experience is even worse. That sounds like an oxymoron; but is so true. Even though frustrating at the time, I can actually laugh at most of my luggage check problems. I suppose that is hindsight.

After our retirement, which was pre-9/11, my husband and I made a trip to Hawaii. We flew into Honolulu and after a few days on Oahu, went to Maui. While there, we made the treacherous drive on the Road to Hana.

We stopped at a roadside market and purchased three coconuts. The produce salesman made a hole in two of the coconuts and inserted straws. As we rode along, we drank that delicious coconut milk.

What about the coconut?

Upon leaving Maui for the airport for our return to Birmingham, I put the third coconut in the softside luggage. At the airport, when asked if we had any produce from the Island, I answered, “No!” My ever-alert husband asked: “What about the coconut?”

I had forgotten about that and in turning to my luggage, saw a small football-sized bump on the side. We were, however, permitted to bring the culprit home; but, never ate it.

Madam, can you understand English?

Several years after my husband’s death, I visited my son and his family in Uzbekistan. Greenhorn that I was, my luggage was only checked through to Frankfurt, Germany. I arrived in Tashkent, Uzbekistan without luggage other than my carry-on.

As I approached Customs, I was instructed to put my bag on the line. I walked around; but could not see a “line”. After several attempts, the Customs Official said: “Madam, can you understand English?” Another person in line pointed to the conveyor belt.

We were one disappointed group

I made a trip to Cuba with Friendship Force of Birmingham. We Americans purchased many souvenirs; after all, we probably would never be there again. We were so overweight, our luggage had to be left behind to be sent to us later.

We were one disappointed group as we flew out on that propeller plane without our precious souvenirs. Our luggage did make it to Birmingham ten days later. My bags still contained all my treasures.

Since 9/11, I have had hip replacement surgery. You should see all of us gray hairs with prostheses lined up for security check–or, you probably have seen us and wondered what crime we were guilty of! Each of us has a little card given us by our Orthopedist, but that was a waste of paper!

Here is an interesting video on how luggage can be opened without you ever knowing. It’s not a good idea to never pack expensive items in your luggage. If you must have an expensive item, try shipping them to your locality ahead of time so it will arrive when you do. (You should also insure them against)

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By (author):  Causey, Donna R

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