Even a Trump Can Trigger an Alarm
By Hawaiian Beach Rentals
I’VE been traveling my entire life. With parents like mine, I’m sure that’s no surprise. I was in Central Europe, the south of France and the Amalfi coast all before I was 6 years old.
Now, traveling is part of my job. In the last year I’ve had day trips to almost everywhere in the United States, and I’ve been to Mexico, Bangkok, Shanghai, Ukraine, Moscow, India, Africa, Panama and Canada, just to name a few places. My passport is just under a half-inch thick, and I recently had to have more pages added. It took one official in Argentina about 10 minutes to look at the whole thing.
Before anyone thinks I’m just a big whiner, there are a few things you should know. I’m a road warrior like every other business traveler. I don’t travel first class. We’re too cheap, and try to save money where we can. That means I usually travel coach or business class. I try to upgrade when I can with frequent flier miles. But that’s been getting increasingly difficult.
If I’m wearing a suit, folks have a tendency to recognize me more often, and it does create an awkward few minutes. Check-in officials or gate agents may want to ask me about my dad, which is great. But it’s not so great for people who are standing behind me. I can tell how restless people are getting by the degree of mumbling that I hear. So I generally just try to answer questions and then make a quick exit.
I have learned to cope with airline security, check-ins and some inevitable questions. The first: “Is that your real name?” The second: “Are you related to that Trump?” Third: “How can I get on ‘The Apprentice?’”
If a seatmate recognizes me, I usually just get asked the same questions as I do before I get on the flight. The problem is that you can’t make a quick exit.
By nature, I’m not a rude guy. So if someone asks me real estate questions, I do try to listen and give some insight, even if I’d just rather listen to my iPod, catch up on some reading or sleep.
Don’t think that a well-recognized name gets you any special treatment. I can’t keep my water bottle, either. And I almost missed a recent flight to Boston because of an alarm clock, a $20 Brookstone, that runs on one AA battery and was, ironically, bought at an airport kiosk a few months before.
I had packed the little clock in my carry-on, and as my bag went thru the X-ray machine, the crack team of Transportation Security Administration agents took a look and concluded that my alarm clock was masquerading as a bomb.
Obviously, in this day and age, security needs to be tight. But it was an alarm clock. Despite my best efforts in trying to explain the situation, security shut down the lane. I felt like an idiot. And by the way, no one much cared about what I had to say.
The T.S.A. agents called in the state police. It took them only five minutes to figure out that I was indeed carrying an alarm clock. One of the officers spoke to the gate agent on my behalf, while I was being held, sockless and shoeless, in the screening line. The whole alarm clock affair took about 25 minutes.