TIFU by Wearing a Bra
As an active duty service member, there is nothing better than being able to go home for Christmas. I had a set back getting home but after a nice long break from duty, I thought I was rejuvenated and ready for anything. I thought wrong.
The closest airport to where I live is so small it only has one runway. It had been raining there and there was a delay to my flight to Philadelphia, as expected, but it apparently got so bad that an earlier flight to the same place got cancelled. Note: I've never had an issue with American Airlines before, even though I've heard some horror stories. I thought my handy-dandy little CAC card or wearing the uniform could get me through anything.
So American Airlines, wanting to please the public, started boarding the people from the cancelled flight onto mine. I thought nothing of it because I bought this ticket two months ago, why would anything happen to me? To assume is to make an ass out of you and me and oh boy did I make an ass of myself. The flight ended up getting overbooked and I got kicked off the plane. Even after explaining my position as an active duty service member that needed to report to base the next morning, the plane left without me and about 5 other people.
Luckily, they said American Airlines would compensate me for the flight-about $300-and they would pay for my about 2 hour taxi ride to another airport, saying I would get a straight flight out to San Diego. The ride was fine, I got a nap in but all hell broke loose at the airport.
I was told I could skip past security but different airport means different security. I went through, took off all my metal and walked through the body scanner. A male and a female guard were standing duty there and the male patted me down, which I thought was weird but I let it slide. He looked at the screen, looked at me, patted me down and told me to step into the scanner again. I didn't think anything of it and did it but once I stepped out and he looked at the screen, he whipped out his walkie talkie and said "I think we have a situation here".
The female guard was suddenly in interrogation mode and me, a 19 year old female, suddenly felt very alone, afraid, and like I was 5 years old. She asked for my ID and I provided my CAC card, and in the calmest voice I could possibly muster, I said I was enlisted and have to get on this flight. If you're enlisted too, you know CAC card pictures from boot camp are never flattering and don't look a lot like you after a while. Because of this, she became suspicious and asked for my name and birthday, which I provided but then she asked for my DOD ID number. If you're enlisted, you probably will read this and realize you probably don't know yours either. I told her I don't know it by heart and that most service members I know don't know theirs either but because of this she felt the need to say "So you mean to tell me you don't know the identification number on your own ID?"
Within minutes, five other guards arrived, all armed, and told me to put my hands above me head and it was at this moment that I realized I fucked up, somehow, someway, I didn't know how. I did as I was told but demanded that I be able to make a phone call, as is my right. They allowed it and I had to call my dad, who works in the NYPD, to come bail me out and assert my identity. When he finally showed up, he did exactly what I knew he would and said:
"What are you doing to my daughter?"
The wire of my bra set off the metal detector but TSA thought I had a bomb strapped to my chest because they thought I was a man.
Finally the TSA nightmare was over but when I got to the gate, I tried to board but the ticket I was provided had a seat with someone already in it. The woman boarding me asked how old I was, and then asked for my ID, where I was mistaken for a man again, and was eventually given a seat.
The seat didn't exist.
I ended up sitting in a random empty seat.
Tl;dr: I need to grow out my hair so I can avoid being called a terrorist.