Friday, April 5, 2013


To be fair

Despite Obungler’s “sequester,” Customs and TSA get high marks for the way my daughter, her husband, and the WGG* got through the lines at MIA.

On the way in, the daughter and the WGG came in via the US citizens’ line. The WGG being just a bit more than two years old rated a Special Services line for which there was no waiting.

The Son-In-Law, entering on a foreign passport, was facing a ½ hour or longer wait until a Customs’ agent took pity on him and waved him over to be first as the Customs agent opened a new line.

The trio was reunited almost before I got to the airport; they came out of the Customs area as I arrived to look for them!

Going back, the Daughter tried to get boarding passes at the American Airlines kiosks, none of which worked. Finally, an AA counter lady took pity on her and handled all the paperwork at the counter. It was, after all, her job, but in this day and age of disgruntled employees . . .

I am put in mind of Eastern Airlines just before it went belly up and faded into the sunset. At the time it, as AA is now, was the anchor airline at MIA (sharing honors with Pan Am and National). Anyway, Eastern’s ground and flight crews tossed customer welfare to the wind and treated flyers very shoddily. Even the director of PR was surly to customers . . . “hope they lose your luggage next time” he wrote in a letter to me.

Moving on.

The trio was told by the AA clerk to go to a specific security check point. On the way, I asked a TSA person how far we had to hike to reach the checkpoint. “It’s closed,” she said, and told us to go to the end of the section she was working.

There – again because of the WGG – a TSA person ushered the trio to the head of a line and they went through the checks fairly quickly.

Even sans the special treatment, lines were not all that long and they were moving smoothly.

It may have been a fluke – I understand MIA had exceedingly long and slow moving lines before the WGG’s arrival and after her departure.

I also heard news reports that people coming into Miami’s cruise ship port were substantially delayed because there were only 3 Customs agents to handle all the ship’s passengers. Eventually four more agents arrived; the question is, who scheduled the Customs personnel. Was the understaffing a local (Miami) decision, a decision by DHS, or did it roll down from Obungler?

* WGG = World’s Greatest Grand-daughter

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