Why did the TSA keep one of my shoes?

I flew to Orange County airport a couple of days ago. As with all air travel now, I was subject to the usual scrutiny applied to air travellers: ignominious searches of everything, needless or not.

This includes my checked baggage, as confirmed by cute shiny “Inspected by the TSA” stickers on the American Airlines generated routing tags.

When I got to the hotel, I unpacked and found myself light one shoe, and the belt held within it. I know I packed it, and that it made the trip to the airport. So, it was lost while in the forced trust of the TSA.

It’s not all that much, as shoes go: a black, inexpensive loafer (with a cheap, brown woven belt within: I’m packing like the Queer Eye guys suggest!). So, it’s not a huge loss, except that I’m going to professional meetings in brown shoes wearing a black belt. Trust me, this is a crowd that won’t notice.

Anyway, it’s annoying. Keep a lookout for a DFW TSA person wearing one black loafer, wearing a brown belt. If you find such a person, let me know.

I emailed the TSA using their ‘customer service’ form, inquiring as to the whereabouts of my belongings entrusted to them. I’m holding my breath for a reply.


  1. On my last business trip I purchased some candy bars from a local chocolate maker for my children. I put them in my cheked luggage for the flight to my next destination. The TSA inspectors must have been hungry when they inspected my luggage because two candy bars were missing when I unpacked at my hotel.

    I put them in my carry-on on my trip home.

  2. I’ve never really had a problem at all with the TSA at airport check-in. I recognize that travel by air is not a right but a privilege (even if you pay out the nose for it). I’ve grown very comfortable with the mini police state that now exists in all major airports as I smile and try to look as non-threatening and non-terrorist as possible even though I?m a middle aged male with short hair, a beard, and slightly brownish skin. I fit the “profile” far better than the 50ish overweight Americana housewife type next in line after me that the TSA decided to give the full strip /pad down search to instead of me.

    It always makes me smile when I get “waved through security” while the TSA guys go after someone who looks like a cast member on the “Golden Girls”. I can’t help but smile when 9 times out of 10 the TSA X-Ray screeners let my carry on bag filled with a digital camera, PDA, cell phone, extra batteries, and lots of cables and wires go through as if it was filled with underwear and toothbrushes! Are these guys that good or do they understand that 999,999 times out of 1,000,000 all those electronics and wires are not going to be anything dangerous so why bother looking most of the time?

    So all this security is really just intended as a deterrent and not a 100% full proof firewall to prevent any and every terrorist attack. But I knew that. I smile at the mini police state because I know that it won’t protect against every terrorist plot especially one that is well funded and well planed and very determined. So screw it. Which Middle Eastern country can we invade next? There’s nothing like a good televised war to take your mind off the huge security lapses here at home.

  3. My wife and I have flown 13 times since 9/11. We certainly fit the profile of a terrorist. Blond haired middle aged College Nursing Professors. When we flew back from Portland this last time some TSA grunt decided they wanted my wife?s gameboy advance and about 300 dollars worth of games more than she did. No we never got anything back.

  4. This is obviously a way to track you in San Diego. See, the TSA folks had their suspicions about you, so they figured that rather than implanting a GPS in your belly, they’d just take one of your shoes. That way, all they’d have to do is put out an APB for a guy with one shoe and his pants down around his knees.