How I got on the FAA watch list

Posted by: on Jun 7, 2010 | No Comments

Yes folks, I am now on a list with lots of folks with names I dare not try to pronounce or sit next to when I fly. Never thought I’d think of myself in the same vain as a terrorist but according to the FAA, I might be and here’s how it happened.

Saturday night I was traveling to Portland Oregon on my way back from the annual boys golf trip, which was at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort on the Oregon coast. At the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport in North Bend (where TSA security outnumbers the passengers on many flights), I made it through the security checkpoint without a problem.  Got to a seat in the waiting area when my name is called out by the gate attendant. I go up to the desk and the United Express counter person asks me “did I have any lighters or matches in my checked bags?” My initial response was no but as thought about it, I vaguely remembered a box of matches that might have been in my toiletry bag. Bingo! He takes my license with all my info and tells me to expect a warning letter from the FAA. Holy shit! Can you believe this?

You should know that those matches have been in my toiletry bag at least a year as I picked them at Quality Meats restaurant in NYC when I had dinner there last year. Coincidentally, all the men at that dinner were also on the golf trip (but Gregg I blame you as the dinner was in your honor).  In the past year, I have gone through airport security 10…12…14 times…who knows? Before it was Quality Meats matches, it was probably someplace else because my daughter collects matchbooks and I am always bringing them home from somewhere. If airport security missed them all those others times, has to make you wonder what else they are missing (teeth not included).  At least they didn’t touch what was left of my MacCallan’s, which happened to be right below my toiletry bag. Now that would have been a problem.

Ira Berkowitz on the FAA watch list. I am so ashamed.