Like a well-oiled machine

I have been flying regularly—at least once or twice a month—since I took this job in early 2005. I have my security regimen down to reflex: on the way out of my car, my keys are already clipped inside my briefcase, my wallet is in my hand and I am tucking my parking pass inside and my license in my shirt pocket; by the time I am in reach of a bin in the security line, my laptop and one-quart bag are out and my jacket and shoes are off. I scoff at those occasional travelers who slow the line.

Well, I got my comeuppance. I waited about 20 minutes to show my boarding pass and photo ID to the bored worker at the head of the line so I could get in the stationary line to go through screening. He took a look at my boarding pass and said, “This is a JetBlue pass. This is the United line. Go back up the ramp and to the other side of the terminal.”

Thankfully, I left plenty of time this morning. But what a blow. My perfect system: busted.