Guess what common “American as apple pie” name is now on the governments watch list? Mine. American Airlines has confirmed that my name is on the naughty list. Why did my parents have to slap me with the most common baby name for 43 consecutive years on top of my surname a Smith? If my name were Spike, I’m pretty sure I could get through airports faster.
Being on the “watch list” means I can never do web check in. I am no longer permitted to do curb side check in. Even if I don’t have a single bag, I have to stand in line at the ticketing counter every time I fly. Once I get to the counter, I must spend another 5-10 minutes standing there smiling while the agent gives me the sniff test. Lordy Lordy, please don’t detain me!
Look at me. I’m harmless.
Airlines state that they appreciate our business, because we “have a choice” in who we fly with. But airlines are basically utilities. If any airline would like to earn me as a lifetime customer, here is how you do it. Get me off the list. You know I’m a good guy. You work directly with the government every single day. Fast track me off the list and call me when it is done. Are you listening American Airlines?
Dec 17, 2008 — 11:58 am
Unfortunately, it could be that common names are used by people with “agendas” because of the safety in numbers and lower probability of detection. You might want to consider having your legal first name changed to a hyphenated Michael-Allen (which you use anyway), if you are so inclined.
Dec 17, 2008 — 12:04 pm
Wow. That sucks!!!
Dec 17, 2008 — 3:00 pm
Yeah but our security “screening” (and I use the term very loosely) systems will not get better anytime soon so it just depends on which type of pain or annoyance you are willing to endure 🙁
Dec 18, 2008 — 10:09 am
Can you get a PACE card or is that only for border crossings?
Dec 18, 2008 — 4:15 pm
Rob M —
I do not know. I only fly a few times a year, so I’m not really sure what action I should take.
I hoping that someone on the list can share their experience in the comments.