Friday, July 24, 2009



Yesterday (was it only yesterday???) I flew home at the lovely hour of 6:07am.

My brother drove me to the airport. I got there perfectly on time at 5:00am.

I got in line at security at 5:10am.

I RAN to my flight at 5:50am.

Why, you ask, did it take me 40 minutes in security?


As you all have read, we're having insurance headaches with Dovi's portable oxygen concentrator, the Sequal Eclipse.

So, instead of leaving the concentrator at camp with him for two weeks, we decided to bring it home, return it, and then get it back when I have to fly back and pick him up in ten days. Yes, a royal pain, but if insurance denies it, I will have saved two weeks of rental costs. It's no big deal at camp because they have lots of oxygen concentrators (don't all sleepaway camps stock oxygen concentrators??)

Back to my flight home.

I got in line at security, waited about ten minutes to get to the xray machine.

Put the Eclipse through.

They pulled it off (they always do) after it went through. Did that whole swab thing-they wipe it down and put the little wipey into a machine.

The machine lit up red and started alarming.

He opened the machine.

Cleaned it.

Swabbed again.

Red light, alarm.

Cleaned machine again.

Swabbed again.

Red light, alarm.

At this point, I'm assuming that the test machine itself is not working-it's erroring.

So I ask the TSA guy: "What's up?"

He says: "Ma'am? Is this machine yours?"

Me: "Yes, it is. It's a portable, airline approved oxygen concentrator. Is there a problem?"

TSA man: " Well, Ma'am, this device is alarming positive for the explosive TNT"

Me: "Excuse me? It's my son's oxygen concentrator! We used it on the way here!"

TSA man: "Let me get my supervisor"

We go back and forth. I show them the little airplane insignia on the device. They wipe it again. Take out the battery. Put it through over and over.

Keeps alarming.

At this point, I'm getting very alarmed myself! It's 5:35, and my flight boards at 5:30, leaves at 6:07.

I tell the supervisor again what it is.

He asks me: "Well if it's your son's, where is he?"

Me: "Ummm he's at sleepaway camp. You'll see us flying home the first week of August with this device again!! But I do have his prescription. Will that help?"

I show the prescription.

Back and forth.

He tells me that they might not even let me check it under the plane because it alarmed as an explosive.

I tell him that I AM NOT (nicely of course, I remained TOTALLY calm. I'm serious!) leaving a $5,000 oxygen concentrator that doesn't even belong to me (it belongs to my HH) at the Newark airport.

They swab more. Test more.

For whatever reason, at about 5:50 am, they decided to let me through.

I RAN for the airplane. I might have been the last one on.

Got on. Went to sleep.

Wondering, all the while, if my TNT positive oxygen concentrator was going to explode.

It didn't.

Wish us luck when we fly home!


Shira said...

Oh boy, never a dull moment for you, huh? If it did explode, those TSA guys would have been fired so fast. So, good thing.

Shosh said...

darn it, sara. its people like you that are ruining our friendly skies.

Stephanie said...

That's really disturbing! I wonder what was on it that made it seem like it was explosive. I would call the Sequal company?

agent99 said...

it's so unfair...all the best "Worst" things happen to you....none of us have stories that even compare. Glad you are home safe.

npl said...

So, it checked out fine on the way out there, and didn't on the way back? That's just so weird. Glad you made it home safe and sound. Maybe request a different unit for the return flight?

Anonymous said...

wow! you are one lucky girl!

maybe ask for a different concentrator for the trip back?

have a good shabbat!


ps anything to share from your photoshoot? (not entirely fair of me; i checked out the three peas and already saw you and what looks like all of your neighbors!)

chaviva said...

Sara that is quite the story. I'm happy for you that they let it through, but I tell you these TSA ppl are worthless. Your concentrator that tests positive for an explosive they put through, but my baby's fishy aquarium mobile thingy that had liquid in it they wouldn't let through, cuz you know fisher price puts really dangerous stuff inside their toys. The supervisor told us we had to either throw it out, or go back out and check the luggage (for an additional fee of $25 of course). Lovely.