Getting searched at the airport? No me gusta

We last talked about exploring the Manuel Antonio Park and then hanging out by the hotel pool during the second to last day of our Costa Rican adventure. Ahhh. The next day we were off for a long bus ride back to San Jose (land of the used band-aid – GROSS). It was a long ride where we picked up many different people along the way, and finally wound up in San Jose, back at the Hotel de Crap. We set out to find dinner, with a very amusing experience of Dave trying to conversate with a non-English speaking taxi driver. (P.S. It does not work!) We finally found a decent place to eat in a touristy section, and wandered around a bit. I have to admit I wasn’t too impressed with San Jose. I did like the statue of a Bull that we saw though!

Bull on Parade Bull on Parade

We left super early the next morning, paid our tax to leave the country (you pay like $26 American dollars a person) and proceeded to get every toiletry item that wasn’t nailed down or in the determined plastic bag taken away from us. (Love that we can come into the country with it, and leave the US with it, but can’t leave Costa Rica with it. And they did this TWICE, once going through security, and once before getting on the plane.)

We landed in Atlanta for our layover, and I had no idea that if you travel back to the US and have to take a connecting flight, you have to go through Customs, get your luggage, recheck your luggage, and go through security all over again. We had just over an hour between flights and Dave and I were getting extremely nervous that we weren’t going to make it. We finally got our luggage, stashed the booze that we just bought in Costa Rica, and ran to the Customs checkpoint, to drop off forms when the guard called me back. I thought I had given the wrong form, or forgotten something, but no, I was told to go into a holding area, I was chosen to be randomly searched!! Of course I started crying, because I’m a wuss like that and was super stressed we weren’t going to make our flight. A guard finally calls me over, and asks me why I’m crying. I tell her and she asks “How old are you?” My answer? “26!” Hahahaha. I must have seemed so ridiculous!!

She said not to worry, its just a routine random search, and then she opened my carry on suitcase… and found Cuban cigars that Dave had bought.

Cue dark, sad music right here.

She immediately starts questioning me and I say, “They’re my fiance’s, I didn’t know they were illegal (lie), I’m so sorry, just take them, I don’t want them, etc.” She says she can’t do that, she tells me I need to stop crying because if her supervisor comes over he’ll think I’m feeling guilty since I’m crying. We go to get Dave, who is freaking out waiting for me, and drag him over to get his bag searched too. Luckily we didn’t have anything illegal in that one (sheesh) and after a while the guard says “I know you have a flight to catch. The paperwork for this takes like an hour. You don’t want to do it. I don’t want to do it. Let me go see if I can get you a pass to go.” She goes off, and then comes back and says “Ok, you can go” and then proceeds to TOSS THE CIGARS BACK IN MY BAG. We shrug, say ok, and RUN to try and get our flight.

Atlanta Airport TSA? YOU SUCK. (Minus the guard who searched my stuff and kindly let us go.) We were RUNNING to get to our flight, and you had one guard tell us that we should just give up, and not try to make it since security would take awhile. And who wouldn’t help us jump the line. Really? I’m going to say NYC TSA are a LOT nicer than you. I remember countless times when they would call people’s flights out and say that if they were on it, to come to the front. You guys said “Oh just get another flight.” No, I don’t want another flight. I want the flight I was scheduled for, that is going to TAKE ME BACK TO NEW YORK. You are LAME.

Luckily we flew through the airport, hopped on the shuttle to get to our terminal and didn’t run over any families since Dave warned them that once the doors were opened we were booking it. We JUST made the flight. Ughh.

Nothing like a good travel story to wrap up your vacation!! And Dave loves how I ratted him out to the guard. Hey listen, if I’m going down for YOUR Cuban cigars, you’re coming with me. 🙂

And as I’ve said before, I now have the travel bug. 🙂 Here’s what I’ve got lined up for the next year:

September 4-7: Savannah for a girls weekend and celebrating my friend Lindsey’s birthday.
September 15-23: Chicago for work. Two events,Sears Willis Tower, The Bean, and hopefully lots of time with Chicago bloggers. 🙂
December 25-30: New Orleans for my cousin’s wedding.
Summer 2010: HONEYMOON!! We don’t have exact dates yet, but we’re hopefully going to Prague, Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin. SO EXCITED!!

I’ll also be going to Houston for work (suck – I hate Houston), and most likely San Francisco again.

All of our Lonely Planet books. I love them!


  1. nancypearlwannabe says

    I totally would have cried too. Hell, I cried when they took my peri-peri sauce from my carry on and that wasn't even illegal!

  2. Prague is overrated. Go to Krakow instead 🙂

    PS. When I studied in Luxembourg, my friend and I had a layover in Brussels and she wanted to buy some Cubans for her father. She devised this elaborate plan to put them inside the plastic part of a tampon in order to get them through, but chickened out in the end 🙂

  3. omg I hate when stuff like that happens at the airport. I would have cried too!

    p.s. Your honeymoon sounds amazing!

  4. OMG almost the EXACT same thing happened to me when we came back from Jamaica. We landed in Ft. Lauderdale and had 1 hour to make our connection to DC. Since the first flight was late and it took FOR-EVA to get thru customs we were literally RUNNING through the airport. At one point Kristian asked me if I had asthma because I was breathing so hard. I was like "No I'm just out of shape!"

    I got pulled over too b/c I stupidly left a bottle of rum in my carry on and liquids are a no-no. I told the guard to keep it and kept running.

    Connecting flights from International travels = Total Suckage!

  5. ooo boy that sounds horrible!!! I think that its all really dumb. A few months ago Jared and I missed our flight to LA, bc we had to wait thru security!! uggg.. and they ended up tossing my new suntan lotion and we still missed our flight!!!! xxxooooo love ur blog

  6. Oh my gosh. I would cry too. I had that kind of stuff.

    But I cannot wait until you come Chicago!

  7. Oooh look at your upcoming travel agenda, jealous. I hope I fit in your suitcase 😛

    I'd be upset if that happened to me in the airport too, they're always so scary when interrogating.

  8. TSA makes me angry. They stole alcohol out of my bag on my way back from St. Thomas two years ago and it wasn't even illegal to have it. It was at the bottom of my bag, wrapped in a towel so it wouldn't break at their suggestion! I just get so mad when they are searching me, I'm sure they think I'm guilty all the time.

    I just went to NOLA! Such a fun city.

    And thanks for all the blog comments today =)

  9. thatShortChick says

    reading your aiport tale is stressing me out!! I hate it when stuff like that happens, sometimes that one experience ruins the entire trip for me.

    Don't feel bad, because I would have been an absolute WRECK!

    I itching to go to Savannah…I've read that there's a great cultural/artsy part of town and lots of good restaurants.

  10. oh man that's awful. i would have been a crying mess, i hate running through airports, oy. glad you guys made it back okay though 🙂

    and ummm love the travel bug, i can't wait for my next vacay.

  11. Any customs people who make the folks in NYC look nice must be scary indeed.

    Also, if you're going to smuggle stuff back into the US, you should go my BF's route and hide stuff in your dirty socks. Not that we smuggle stuff. But if we *did* buy sausages in France, we would definitely hide them, wrapped up in plastic, in dirty socks.

  12. At least you made your flight in the end! And it looks like you've got a good bunch of trips lined up for the rest of the year

  13. OMG I HATE the airport in costa rica. They tried to take away alcohol i bought IN THE AIRPORT in peru. I raised hell and they finally checked it for me.


  14. Love it that you're coming to Chicago! If I head up that way, I'll let you know for sure!

  15. I'm sorry, they stopped you & harassed you because you had something illegal and then GAVE IT BACK TO YOU?!

    What is going through their minds?! If that's an option why stop you in the first place??

    Oh wow, things I will never understand, I'm glad you got through alright!

  16. I heard that San Jose isn't that great too.

    Wow, what a crazy airport experience, I would have freaked out too!

  17. San Francisco! Do keep me posted, miss. I have a drink with your name on it.


CommentLuv badge