SARTORIAL BIAS IN AIRPORT SECURITY??

by admin on May 31, 2011

airport security

burberry overcoat

esme has not traveled since the whole unfortunate business where you have to take off your shoes, have full-body x-rays, and possibly be subject to intensive pat-downs.  the main difference she noticed from the past was that, even in first class, the lines were long long long (and more people were wearing flip-flops!).

fortunately, the noirs breezed through the process without alerting suspicion (although mr. noir had to heft esme’s carry-on up to the moving belt for her, it being too heavy for her to lift!).  however, others were not so fortunate.

in the s.f. airport, a sweet kid about christophe’s age helped esme lift up her bags.  he had long hair, a funny hat, a sort of neo-hippy/cowboy appearance.  despite his sweetness, he was singled out for a pat-down.  who knows why…..just because he stood out from the other travelers?

waiting for the return flight from chicago-o’hare, both esme and mr. noir noticed a trim, gray-haired black gentleman who was elegantly dressed—dark suit, cuff-links, white shirt, black dress shoes, beautifully tailored tan overcoat (which when he took it off turned out to be burberry….well of course!).   to our dismay, we noticed that he was singled out for the super duper extra special pat-down.

security had him standing there in front of everyone, arms extended, legs spread, while they searched inside his collar, cuffs, etc.  esme could not bear to watch as they warned him about the rest.  he bore it stoically, his face still and expressionless.  esme wondered what it reminded him of…….so, is it suspicious these days to be flying black and well-dressed??? the image still makes me feel vaguely ill.  of course, we had no idea what prompted the extra pat-downs, but i couldn’t help imagining that the criteria for added surveillance seemed to be anyone who stood out in any way, especially in  their dress!

thank heavens esme was wearing her jeans and black trench, and not her harem pants and big red coat.  thank goodness she was in need of a haircut and hadn’t spiked up an edgy new trim.  although you never know.  years ago, esme’s mother, who doesn’t stand out in a crowd except perhaps for her height, triggered special scrutiny because she apparently resembled an irish terrorist  for whom an all points bulletin had been issued.

anyone had related experience??

esme

Share

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: