Saturday, March 22, 2008

Suspicious Characters

Given that it is a 4 day weekend in England I decided a mini-vacation was in order so I headed to Florida on Thursday. The flight itself was rather uneventful. Landed, cleared passport control easily, hadn't checked any baggage so I figured I would be out and meeting my sister in 5 minutes. WRONG!

I get to the customs desk they ask me where I had come from I said London, the agent handed me back my form and said red-line please. This did not bode well as the 3 people before me had also been sent to the red-line. At this station, all bags are searched questions are asked as the agents search for contraband. Of course while you are in line use of cell phones is strictly prohibited so I can't contact my sister who is expecting me within a matter of minutes to let her know I have been detained.

My turn finally arrives I walk up to the agent hand him my form and am asked the following questions:

  • "Where did you travel from today?"
  • "How long are you here for?"
  • "Are you travelling alone?"

At this point the agent is called away to help close the suitcase for somebody and I am left standing there. I know better than to ask questions or cause a stink as that could lead to a full body search so I wait patiently for him to return. Another agent walks over and asks for my form. I tell him that the other agent took it and walked off at which point he looks at me and says "Oh you're free to go." This was news to me as everybody else was having all of their bags searched or scanned.

It was only about a 15 minute delay but it was enough to irritate my sister who had already been waiting for an hour and is not known for her patience. Luckily there were no other delays after this and we were on our way to Key Largo.

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