12 May 2017 | Los Angeles International Airport
No, we made our flights, but the hassle of traveling internationally with boxes full of gear is reaching a point of impossibility. TSA has their list of items that one can’t carry, and each airline has its own set of items, too. There should be overlap, but there’s not.
We made it through San Francisco Airport with no problems, hauling three blue boxes and my Bill Bag. We carefully weighed everything and they were all under the 50 lb limit. To save some money, I’m hauling Conni’s black duffle and she carries my ukulele: that’s another two packs, a large black duffle, and an instrument. It’s a LOT to manage. We do laugh about our entry into Mexico when we were preparing for our big Pacific crossing. We took a Tufesa bus from Phoenix, AZ to San Carlos, MX. We had 11 different items, including an 8-ft digital antenna for the SSB, as well as the entire SSB and antenna tuner. We had to haul it out for inspection as we crossed into Mexico. We also had two 135-Watt solar panels, each 2-ft X 4-ft! What a hassle!
So, Air France. This time, and no other, they needed to check each box for illegal contents. Each box…. Conni went ballistic and I had to set her to the side, but they still got a manager over to oversee the inspection. She gets so angry at what she perceives as a simple power play. They confiscated a bottle of 409 cleaner because it had chlorine in it. I have no idea what else they’ll find when they inspect things before loading them. We need everything that we brought so I hope we lose nothing more.
TSA was up to its international best, yelling at people to move along when it was their S-L-O-W inspections that were the problem. Americans don’t do well with that kind of cattle car mentality and we didn’t enjoy the process. We were both angry after our Air France gauntlet, and TSA’s treatment just about did us in. Jeez.
So, we’re sitting at International gate 153 awaiting our Air France to Papeete. The flight leaves at midnight (2400) and it’s 2240 hours.
Yes, yes it’s all whining, I know, but the powers that be don’t make it easier. I can only imagine what the TSA people are saying about us: “silly tourists, never know what to do. Haven’t they ever flown before?” We wish that our Global Entry included a Global Exit!
I do love an international airport. English is a tiny part of the languages that are spoken. We stood in line with an Aussie, we hear every Asian language spoken, and see a lot of nationalities.
My next note will be after we’ve had a nap at the Pension Tiare Nui tomorrow!