Yet again my children remind me why traveling with children is fascinating, funny, (sometimes) frustrating and truly unlike traveling with adults – even before you get through security at the airport!
We willingly subjected ourselves to the trials of holiday lines at the airport so that we could spend Thanksgiving with friends in San Francisco. I felt as if I was girding myself for battle as BigB insisted on steering his carry-on bag in front of him – rather than just pulling it along behind – and therefore causing me to trip over it multiple times between the airport entrance and the security checkpoint. Our journey had barely started and already I was working to keep my calm.
The airport was busy, but the security checkpoint was well staffed and the lines seemed to be moving quickly. So much so that I checked my watch and decided to time our progress through the checkpoint – just for kicks. Between wriggling out of coats, trying to untie shoelaces without holding up the line and wrestling my laptop out of my backpack – while simultaneously maintaining a “Don’t You DARE” (even think about mischief) hold on BigB’s shoulder – I wasn’t really looking at the signage. So the “Hey, it’s just like skiing” shout from BigB took me by surprise.
The folks at SeaTac have come up with a novel method of helping travelers navigate through the TSA security checkpoints with signs helping travelers to self-direct as Expert, Casual or Family travelers. BigB immediately spotted the fact that they’ve adopted the Green Circle=Easy, Blue Square=More Difficult, Black Diamond=Expert categorization which he’s familiar with from ski terrain maps.
I checked my watch again as we gathered our things on the other side of the checkpoint. It took us 11 minutes start to finish. A great start to a fun weekend.
If you’re flying with children, I highly recommend checking out the information on traveling with children on the TSA website. Even if you think you know all the information, the details change all the time. I find it worthwhile to take a couple of minutes before each trip we take and double-check for any changes in rules before we leave for the airport.