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Sikh Turban and Air Travel December 13, 2008

Posted by simarprit in Uncategorized.
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I have been flying with my turban since adulthood, enough stories and memoirs – maybe they can fill a book – The Turban Travails. This one just happened.

All set to fly all the way back to New Delhi, I reached the San Jose International Airport. The airport knows me and so does the TSA staff and so does the Chemical Sensing Machine installed there. So today when I said that I will “pat my turban myself”no alarm was raised – they took my carry on luggage and I went to the die, patted my turban and offered my hands for the chemical examination. The filter paper test done, the minute filter paper was put in the machine it raised the alarm. The first alarm from the machine at San Jose Airport installed an year back. May be a false alarm. The supervisor called another “male assist” and got to his job – they gave me full body search and scanned my carry-on fully, I agreed to allow them to pat my turban this time around, of course they found nothing.

I had my task cut, how did it happen?

Ten minutes of thinking through made me laugh. I had dry lips and had applied some lip balm – the habit of moving my moustache away got the balm residue to my right thumb and index finger, adjusting my turban got it spread across my turban. When they told me to pat my turban properly – my both hands got polluted and I tested positive on the Chemical Test Machine.

Lesson learnt, all Sikhs wearing turban should apply Lip Balm after cecurity check.

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