TSA screeningSince I wasn’t traveling with kids, I made a decidedly un-travelingmom-like decision not to get in the TSA security line behind those two families with four kids each.

Instead, I chose the much shorter line. Behind the pleasant looking elderly couple.
Big, big mistake.

Turns out the families were regular fliers who managed to get the kids out of their strollers, through the security check point and back into their strollers before the nice old couple had even figured out they had to take off their shoes.

The older folks were lovely. Really. And the TSA agent was helpful and gentle with them, even the fifth time he explained why the man needed to take off his hat before walking through the scanner.

Who Hasn’t Heard of 3-1-1?

In that moment, I realized: We need a TSA security line for rookies.

As hard as it is to believe, there are some people who still haven’t gotten the memo. They don’t know that they have to strip and de-shoe. They don’t speak the language of 3-1-1. Since it’s the holidays, more and more of them are flying. And it seems like they’re all in the security line ahead of me.

I don’t mind taking off my shoes. I don’t mind taking my iPad and/or laptop out of my bag. I don’t even mind taking off my coat, scarf, sweater, watch, rings and bracelet. But I do mind getting in line behind someone who doesn’t know they have to do all of those things.

Sure, there are the special lines for the special people. Uber frequent fliers and platinum card holders can walk right up to the priority TSA agent and be passed through to the priority security screening line where they join other veteran travelers who have the drill down. 

Special Lines for Rookies

I don’t need to be that special. I just need to be regular and get to my gate at O’Hare International Airport in less than an hour. It isn’t such a big request.

If the rookies–those people who actually listen when they’re told to get to the airport at least two hours before a flight–had their own line they could take as long as they need, go through the scanner as many times as it takes to get it right and still make it to their gate on time.

Now that would be a present that keeps on giving to the rest of us.