So funny thing happened today. I’m in St. Louis visiting a couple of big clients for work. One of my Account Executives tried Soylent at my recommendation. Turned out it wasn’t for him. He had 5 brand-new bags of powder he didn’t intend to use, so he gave them to me. Score! More for me!
So I know what you’re thinking…this guy had an issue with TSA. Yes, but it got a little bit more complicated. So I already knew that TSA would flag the bag, so I had a small side-bag, detached with JUST the Soylent to help move this inevitable process along. I fly an insane amount for work, so “this isn’t my first rodeo”. Plus I was running a little behind and wanted to ensure I caught my flight home.
Everything’s going exactly as I expected until I see the testing device flash red and start making noises. Tested positive for explosives or something. I wasn’t entirely sure what it tested positive for. At that point, the TSA employee became much more assertive and by the book. Yeah, Soylent created a “Security Incident” at the airport.
I know my story sounded fishy. I can just imagine the TSA agents not believing my story of “I got these bags of powder from a coworker”. To be perfectly honest, it was pretty chill after that. I know I had nothing to hide. I was totally chill, let the TSA do their thing. I got the full pat-down, a detailed search of ALL my bags. I was carrying a TON of computer equipment with me so I know it was a lot of work for the TSA folks. They were all very professional. I know they’re just hard working folks trying to make a dollar, so why give them grief? (This is a happy story so please take the TSA-hating elsewhere. Thanks.)
The Eye-in-the-Sky was directing the agents as to what to do next. I was told I had to open the bags and inspect the powder first, then the TSA agent. He was apologizing to me the whole time because we had to break the seal of the bags. I told him it didn’t really matter, because they were a gift and didn’t cost me anything. “Still, this is your personal property, I feel bad we’re having to do this”.
I started to stress a little when time started to drag. I was already cutting the time closer than I wanted to. We finally got the ALL CLEAR from the Eye-in-the-Sky. I reconstituted myself and my belongings and hauled-ass across the airport to the gate home. Luckily, the flight was slightly delayed and hadn’t boarded yet. I made my flight.
I must say, this was an interesting experience. Everyone was very polite, professional, and courteous. It was not the horrible experience I was anticipating. I think there are some obvious lessons learned here for the next frequent-flying Soylent drinker. 🙂
TLDR: Moving bags of powder through TSA check-points is probably not a good idea.