Budget Savvy Diva’s Hands Tested Positive For EXPLOSIVES at Airport Security

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So y’all know that I travel a lot – mostly for Budget Savvy Diva related things but today I am traveling to see my parents for Christmas in Portland, OR. I got to the airport this morning with plenty of time – totally thought I lucked out because I was going to have tons of time to find deals before my flight…. boy I was WRONG.

I was first pulled over by TSA – left me just say I understand what they are doing and they were very professional and nice to me the entire time – I even got two compliments on how pretty my eyes are πŸ™‚ )Β  – A TSA officer wiped my hands with a cloth and put it in a machine after which all these red lights and alarms went off. He instantly called for backup because

My Hands Tested POSITIVE for Explosive Materials!!!

All of a sudden TSA agents appear they go over my ID again and again. I am then taken through the body scan machine ( joy)

– Then I had to take down my hair ( from a pretty bun) to make sure I did not have any pins in my hair after which the TSA agent ran her fingers through my hair ( joy)

– All my luggage and I were taken to a roped off area where I sat in a chair and the used wipes on everything! Including all those 300 Dole free product coupons that I brought with me to mail ( took them a extra 10 minutes to wipe those alone)

– Then I was taken to a room where I was patted down ( COMPLETELY) I am not going to go into details but it is something I never want happen again.

After all of this I was released.

The only thing I can think could of triggered that reaction from the machine was the sunscreen I put on my face this morning – though I did wash my hands well afterwards.

So what do you think about my airport security experience?


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  • Marie Shackelford

    Awww and all you did was want to see your parents:( But you know in the world we live in no one can be too careful. I am glad they did not make you feel too uncomfortable because we all know it can be worse. I guess we should all read our ingredients on our products before we board a plane. Have a save trip and a Merry Christmas!

  • Samantha

    Wow, scary! However you’re probably right about the sunscreen. Have you ever seen a ventriloquist named Jeff Dunham? He had a similar experience he talks about in his act and the agent told him that sometimes lotion will read as explosives. Glad that’s over with! Hope the rest of you’re trip goes well and safe. Merry Christmas!

  • Cheryl

    Sounds like something I went through on a recent trip to Cancun. Not fun and scary. Even though you are innocent, it makes you feel guilty when they pull you aside.
    Obviously there is a glitch in the system if your hands, with possible sunscreen residue, on it set off this process. Not very accurate.
    Doesn’t make me feel any safer, if I don’t have to fly, I drive just to avoid this sort of thing.
    Hope the rest of your vacation and your trip back are filled with better memories, and uneventful.
    Merry Christmas,

  • Samantha

    I think the airports need to improve their scanner if it’s saying you have explosives! Sunscreen should never set that off! No wonder people get by with explosives with all the false positives. It’s horrible you had to go through that for them to just “release you” with nothing in your benefit for being violated for no reason. I can’t believe thh had to wipe EVERY dole coupon! I am sorry this happened to you and I hope it ever does again or to any of the other readers.

  • Deanna D.

    Be grateful it wasn’t a cavity search and that you weren’t in Heathrow. I flew to London shortly after 9/11 and the physical inspection was let’s say; intimate. They could have at least bought me dinner first!

  • Valerie

    Oh my goodness, I feel so bad for you! Were you alone? I would never want to be alone during something like that. I’m glad you were released and all. I wonder what it was? Happy Holiday’s! What a story to tell your family!

  • Rosa Espinal-Castro

    It must have been a most horrible experience but we must look at the bright side,it shows that they take their responsibilities very seriously!!!!

  • Jenn

    If the equipment can’t tell the difference between lotion and explosives, how useful is this screening process? Not to mention the invasion of privacy you had to deal with — sorry it happened to you!

  • patrice

    I’m sorry you went through this. Those security people probably had bad attitudes since they don’t read your blog and save money on things.:) I’d rather walk than fly! I do understand the need for security. Kind of makes you wonder what the heck kind of chemicals are in the products you use. I know we have tried to cut down on toxins lately.

    Hope Christmas is still good for you and the return flight is without incident.

  • Lori Stilger

    Man, I’m SOOOOOOOO sorry that happened to you!!!! At least you’re going to one of the most beautiful cities in the country to recover after that ordeal. πŸ™‚ We’ll be there next month – I MISS IT!
    Merry Christmas!!!!

  • Alicia

    That’s scary, Sorry you had a bad time at the airport.
    Hope you enjoy your stay here in Portland OR.
    Hope you get a chance to go to “The Grotto” ( Festival of Lights) it is beautiful and might help you to forget a little about such a bad experience.

  • Brenda Queen Page

    Wonder if you touched something in the airport that someone who had explosives could have touched…or was the TSA contaminated…before the search..just a thought.
    Merry Christmas..and if i were you i would be counting all those coupons to make sure they are all there!!!
    Oh I hope I win…the coupons.

  • seana

    Yeah, I got searched twice coming home from the Dominican Republic last March. Getting my boarding ticket they open all my luggage, mixed up clean and dirty clothes and made a nice mess. The at the boarding gate I was searched again. Patted down, purse opened, the whole nine yards. My husband got away unscathed. I know that they have rules to follow, but twice?

  • Gail Beireis Davis

    My suitcase handle once tested positive for gun powder residue. They concluded it was a medication I was on and a false positive result. I like being safe but it sure is embarassing.

  • Lesa Vanden heuvel

    I am so sorry this happened to you! I have never heard of the had wipe procedure, Good to know so we all make sure our hands are VERY clean before going through security. I have been patted down after going through the body scan at Las Vegas Airport but for some reason just on my lower body. It is not Fun!
    Have a Merry Christmas and I hope your return trip is better.

  • Anita Andrick

    Wow! Not something you’d want to happen again. What a scary and uncomfortable experience. Sorry you had to go through it!!

  • Mary Colfer

    I am sorry that you had to go through that, I understand being careful but they need to reevaluate their test if lotion reads as explosives. Hugs

  • Shavon

    Wow! We went through that this summer on the way to disney world. My daughter takes a can formula through her g-tube. We had both her liquid cans and my son’s powder formula in the diaper bag along with water in his bottles to mix the formula… They tested the water, they opened the cans of powder formula and tested it, but the killer part was… My husband had to do a cavity search in order for them to allow us to take my daughter’s formula with us. She eats 95% of her food through her g-tube via this formula. Luckily we had two cans in her feeding pump bag so he told them to toss it. lol I was upset because they are $9 a can and she takes 6 per day, but he just didn’t want the big burly overly excited male sticking his fingers inside of him.

  • Melissa P

    Oh wow! What a morning for you! Sorry I know it wasn’t funny, but I did get a laugh out of your story. I can just picture you arriving all prettied up and walking off that plane all ruffled up from all that they put you through. It is great to hear that our security is very much on their feet. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family and your trip home is uneventful.

  • Serena

    I am so sorry that this happened to you. I do have to be honest though…….you had my whole office laughing. I work for an explosives company, and we have stories like this all the time. Only, we know where the explosives came from. I haven’t had the pleasure of this kind of experince yet….I hope to keep it that way. Glad you finally made it on the plane. Have a Happy Holiday!

  • Cristina Jackson

    This is ridiculous that problems like this keep on happening. I do understand they are trying to make the air safer BUT they let men on a plane with box cutters. That should have been preventable without all the money they have spent on all of this technology to scan the common person. They pull you out of line and strip you down but even with all of this “safety” in place there have still been people that got all the way on the plane with a bomb in their underwear and shoe. How much is all of this really keeping us “safe” is my question.

    • Shawna Alldridge

      Please get your facts straight: Box cutters were allowed then. Nobody gets stripped down…..you are patted down with clothes on. The underwear bomb was found in another country….had nothing to do with OUR screening in the US. Nothing will keep us safe in the US because Americans are too spoiled to care of everybody’s safety to go through a little inconvenience.

  • Col

    I can only assume it was due to either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide? Though there are many other ingredients that could have set it off. A PITA, I can only Imagine, but I am glad our countries is taking precautions like this and others should stop complaining. How did terrorists get aboard planes back in 2011? Remember that people?!?! Sure there are faults everywhere. We are not perfect and were not intended to be, therefore our machinery is not going to be 100% perfect.
    Take it as a lesson learned and don’t wear it the next time. Each of your readers should as well. And instead of knocking the TSA down, “you” (not you directly) should think of all the people they have caught that may have planned to harm others on a plane.

    • Shawna Alldridge

      Thank you for your reply! It’s the first educated forward thinking reply on here. The problem with the lotion is not the “false positives” as everybody keeps saying, it’s the ingredients in the lotion that they also make explosives out of. It’s not false, it’s actually picking up explosives because the same ingredients make both. Just like the drug meth, different household items make it. Thank you again for not knocking TSA, I for one appreciate the needles in the haystack they are trying to find!

  • ME Stephen

    I am so sorry! The problem is that you are a beautiful woman and a false positive gave everyone a chance to keep you in their company a while longer. Have a Merry Christmas!

  • Gary McGowan

    Stinks it happened to you, but at the same time, what if the WRONG person made it through security, with the same stuff on his/her hands and a plane exploded mid-flight. Procedures seem invasive, but in these days, are necessary. πŸ™

  • jennifer dansberger jones

    i had to have a female TSA pat me down taking my son to the gate(wasn’t even getting on the plane) why? because i had a baggy sweatshirt on since i was PREGNANT. seriously? hello!