dildo on plane

Excess Baggage

In my recently posted tale of The Thai TSA And Your Junk, I recounted my friend Dee’s experience during a luggage inspection at Suvarnabhumi Airport and her panic that her dildo, disguised as a toothbrush, might be questioned. It didn’t. She got off lucky and suffered no embarrassment. Then I ran across this bit of news about a gay couple returning from a holiday in Costa Rica who were not so lucky.

After flying back into the country from their Central American holiday, the duo changed planes at Houston Intercontinental Airport, checking in two bags with United/Continental for their flight home. When they arrived at their home airport, they were in for a surprise. One of the pair recounts their experience as part of a complaint he sent to management at United/Continental:

“After arriving at our home airport while waiting around the baggage carousel, my partner kept looking for our last bag to come out. Then, a bag did in-fact emerge that had a similar appearance to ours; however, it appeared to be wrapped sporadically with CLEAR plastic tape bearing the logo “Continental” and seemed strangely malformed. As it got closer and much to his surprise…and moreover, his HORROR, he saw a sex toy we had packed, had been removed from the middle of the bag and taped right on top of the bag for everyone to see. SO EMBARRASSED, ABSOLUTELY MORTIFIED…just knowing that everyone in sight had already seen it and after looking at their faces that depicted disbelief, some were snickering, others completely astonished, and of course, disgust was ubiquitous. . . . .”

(Quick note to gay guys: Overuse of caps, italics, and bold font attributes makes your writing sound gay. It’s too easy to read a screeching campy queen into what you write. You may want to tone it down. Especially when you are attempting to stir up your readers’ indignation.)

The reporter posting this news item went on to explain that the bag had been deliberately sabotaged, noting that the zippers on the bag continued to be fully functional and the bag could be securely sealed without any difficulty. He also reported that some type of lubricant was smeared on the dildo in order to insinuate that it had just been used.

The passenger finished his tale:

“He grabbed our bag . . . . then began quickly striding for the exit while clenching the bag towards his chest, struggling to conceal the open end of the bag while in total discomfiture and despair.”

I’ve no doubt the gay couple was embarrassed by the totally inappropriate damage to their bag. And the totally inappropriate handling of their dildo. I’d like to be equally outraged on their behalf, the obvious intention of the journalist breaking this story. But then I have to question just how embarrassed someone who bought, owned, and felt the need to travel with an 18’ long neon purple dildo would really be. But I do award them extra points for using the word ‘discomfiture’ in a sentence.

The article reported that the couple had sent a written complaint to the airline, who responded two days late, the couple having given the airline ten days to respond within. Using words and phrases like ‘intentional infliction of emotional distress’, ‘discrimination’, ‘invasion of privacy’ and demanding a fixed period of time to respond within screams, “I’m gonna sue!” That the airline replied with a note saying nothing more than “they’d look into it” is not surprising. There’s a big difference between a complaint and a grab for cash.

(‘Nother quick note: If you plan on filing a lawsuit, get an attorney involved from the get go. Your initial correspondence will become part of the legal record. Misuse of legal jargon and citing inapplicable laws does not help your case; it just pisses the judge off.)

tsa baggage inspection

Baggage handlers are attracted to bright shiny things; pack accordingly.

This could serve as a warning about the dangers of traveling with your favorite sex toy. The more important message is that you need to remember that your checked bags are searched and that, obviously, there is not the degree of supervision of the inspectors that there should be. You may want to remember this when packing valuables like computers, camera equipment, jewelry, and of course, supersized neon purple dildos.


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