Definitions in “The Insider’s TSA Dictionary” taken from James Harrington’s blog, “Taking Sense Away.”
10-100: Originally, CB radio lingo for a bathroom break. This is what some TSA officers say when they’re tired of their co-workers.
Alfalfa: TSA malespeak for an attractive female passenger.
Baby-shower-opt-out: When a woman opts out of the full body scanner and accidentally lets slip the explanation: “I don’t want to go through the scanner. I’m pregnant,” evoking a shriek from her fellow traveling companions, “Why didn’t you tell us, Becky? OH EM GEE!?” A mini celebration then takes place right there in the line. It is one of the few heartwarming things that ever come about due to the full body scanners.
BBC: Bogus Bag Check, or Bullshit Bag Check. What happens when a not-too-bright x-ray operator decides to call a bag search.
Bin Loader: What a TSA employee is for the first month of his or her employment.
Code Red: Officer malespeak. Denotes an attractive female passenger wearing red.
Fanny Pack, Lane 2: Code for an attractive female passenger.
Jif Peanut Butter: One of the main things you’ll be saving the world from in your day-to-day activities as a sworn federal security officer devoted to protecting the nation from the existential terrorist threat.
Opt out: A smart passenger.
Retaliatory wait time: What happens when a TSA officer doesn’t like your attitude. There are all sorts of ways a TSA officer can subtly make you wait longer to get through security, citing imaginary alarms, going “above the SOP” for “a more thorough screening,” pretending that something in your bag or on your full body image needs to be resolved—the punitive possibilities are endless, and there are many tricks in the screener’s bag.
Run the Cat Through the X-Ray (idiomatic): Denotes a passenger, usually someone from out of country, who is so unfamiliar and lost in U.S. airport security that they are likely to make significant errors, such as running their cats through the x-ray tunnel. Ex: “We need an officer to go out and help that flustered gentleman out front before he runs the cat through the x-ray.”
Suitcase Surgeon: Informal term for a TSA employee, derived from the blue gloves they wear. Used ironically, because it’s not like what the TSA ever does requires anything remotely approaching the mental capacity of a surgical procedure anyway, even though you may feel as though you’ve undergone a surgical procedure after they’re done with you.
TSA Baby: Officer slang for the result of procreation between two TSA officers. This is not advised, because statistics show that the likelihood of a TSA baby turning out to be a mediocrity who reflexively snatches and cries incessantly about people’s liquids, gels, creams and aerosols and who tells airplane pilots that they are not allowed to bring Swiss army knives on the plane because they may use it to hijack the plane are substantially high.
White Shirt: A TSA employee who still believes his or her job is a matter of national security.
Xray Xray Xray!: Code for an attractive female passenger, general.
Yellow Alert: Code for an attractive female passenger, yellow clothing.
Ziptop baggie: A magical thing that renders liquids safe for airplanes.
In a report provided to me by reader Sarah K., News.Com.AU flags the story of Kwong Wah Yit Poh, a Chinese man who used a current loophole in airline ticket policy to eat like a king for almost a year.
Basically with airlines if you are flying internationally in business or first class you get free lounge access. Some lounges are nicer than others. Some, like the US Airways club offer a bare minimum of food like cheese, crackers, yogurt, and fruit. Others, like full service lounges (like the Thai First Class Lounge in Bangkok) offer a full menu of hot food, waiter served, and more.
So Kwong bought a refundable China Eastern First Class ticket and then went in the China Eastern lounge, being admitted by his First Class (presumably international) boarding pass. After eating, instead of taking his flight he contacted a China Eastern agent and changed the flight’s departure for the following day. Then the following day, he would do the same thing, and so on for 300 days. After 300 days I am guessing the Airline started getting openly hostile to him so he decided to quit exploiting the loophole. He had the ticket refunded back to his original method of payment, presumably a credit card.
Back in the day I have been known to buy a refundable coach ticket to access a Delta SkyClub to enjoy free drinks when staying at a nearby airport hotel. But those days, at least for me, are over. And some people really stretched this loophole to the max.
Yesterday I posed the question to my readers the Latest Platinum Marriott Challenge:
“forward I am heavy, but backward I am not. What am I?”
Well this morning I went to the front desk and turned in the card with my response: “A Ton”. Reader Spiro and Facebook Reader Buz helped me figure this one out. I did not know it on my own.
My prize? Any one item from the Springhill Suites Market. After careful selection, I went for a Butterfinger.
The front desk told me they begin asking of these challenges of their guests after they have completed about 8 stays at the hotel. So now I can consider myself a “frequent guest”.