Passenger Singled Out for Political Views?

February 15, 2012

in Passenger Stories

During the period from 2007-2010 I took many flights, either from PHL (Philadelphia International) to RDU (Raleigh-Durham), or from DTW (Detroit Metro) to RDU. Always a round trip, as I was visiting my girlfriend at Duke.

During that period, on somewhere between 50-75% of the flights after everyone had boarded, the gate attendant would board the flight with a piece of paper, walk down the aisle looking up at the row number (as though she was instructed to go to a specific seat) and ask me, “Are you (my name)?” After telling her I was, she would say, “OK. Just wanted to make sure you were on board.” Then she would walk away, tell the stewardesses to have a safe flight and close the door for takeoff. 

Why would this happen at all, let alone on numerous occasions? The first time it happened I thought that I was going to land, and the Michigan Sheriffs would be waiting to arrest me when I landed. (Being a college student, and considering the security at airports post 9/11, I thought it might be possible that there could have possibly been marijuana remnants in my car from some time during my late night escapades with my frat friends.)

Am I on some kind of low level watch list? I have read that NSA/FBI keeps tabs on the locations of people who they view as political dissidents (of which I would certainly consider myself), and monitor domestic movements of said individuals via their access to flight manifests, under the guise of terrorism. I know this is far-fetched, but whenever I tell anyone that they always make a special effort to ensure that I have boarded (THEY HAVE NEVER ASKED ANYONE ELSE ON MY FLIGHT- the person walks directly to me, immediately before takeoff, and directly to closing the hatch), they get all freaked out.

Although this may sound arrogant, my friends also believe I am one of the smartest people they have ever met – I am passionate about two things: quantum physics and politics – and that I should run for political office because of my ability to clearly articulate, and more importantly unify people against the political establishment – which I have found is a very popular sentiment. The point is – I believe that I am a real threat to our government/establishment (again, not through violence or terrorism, in more of a Jack Kennedy way).

In that regard, it makes some kind of sense that people in the establishment would want to correlate my name with possible events I may be attending, but know that I am not going to blow a plane up so don’t subject me to additional security screening. I guess what I am saying  is – what motivation could ANYONE possibly have to ensure that I am indeed going from Raleigh to Detroit? Clearly they checked me in at the gate, why reconfirm if not to be 100% sure I am actually going to Detroit (hence me being prepared to meet police at the gate when I landed).

More importantly, there are NO other posts I could find anywhere online of other people who have experienced such events. I thought that was very odd. Am I being watched? I don’t think I am, and am hoping that I can find someone who knows enough about airline protocols to explain why this keeps happening to me.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Anon February 15, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Lol your paranoid. I work in the airline industry and i have done that numerous times because sometime when boarding the boarding pass doesnt actually scan so it appears that your not actually on the plane so we get sent down to make sure that you actually are on the flight.. Haha nothing to worry about


Amile February 17, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Sure that occurs among different passengers, but why would it happen to the same person so often?


Oswald February 20, 2012 at 2:39 am

Maybe he does things to his boarding pass. Like kissing his name printed on it 10 times before every flight, causing the boarding pass to get wet. Maybe it is a conspiracy indeed, maybe there´s a perfectly logical explanation…


Kat February 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Paranoid much, OP?


Myname February 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Megalomaniacal much, OP?


Kat February 16, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Very nice. 😀


Maggie February 17, 2012 at 5:24 am

Your implanted chip wasn't functioning properly. Technology has since advanced, so has GPS.


TheBrit February 19, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Dear Internet: I am so awesome. To prove how awesome I am, here is a laundry list of things that I think should- I mean, totally are happening to me.


Josif S February 20, 2012 at 2:34 am

Say hello to Napoleon, Napoleon #2 and Einstein from me. They should be already waiting at the loony bin. (Sorry, Mr. Future Kennedy, but with your story, you were just begging for all these comments, haahaa.)


Edward February 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm

If you are as you said a "political dissident" you totally deserve it. Oh and by the way, you really do sound like an arrogant jerk.


Jokid February 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Why don't you just ask the FA why she is checking???


Drive by March 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I always heard that smoking too much weed could make you kinda paranoid.

As to your other Master and Commander of the Universe comments – "my friends also believe I am one of the smartest people they have ever met"; "believe that I am a real threat to our government/establishment" ; and "I should run for political office because of my ability to clearly articulate, and more importantly unify people against the political establishment" – certain other "non-prescription" drugs will give you delusions of grandeur.


PC4CAB March 8, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Wow! What a tool this guy is….


Kyle April 6, 2012 at 1:03 am

Guys. If you are not going to post serious answers please just quit!

There are far more scary stuff going on behind the scenes then the mainstream media is allowed to tell you due to political correctness so get off your high horse and take off those rose-colored glasses that the government will never spy on their own people.

DYOR (Do Your Own Research) instead of listening to the Liberal CNN or Republican Fox.

I heard it on CNN so it must be true!!!! :X



greuben April 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Sorry to blow your ego. If you were a political threat, TSA would be questioning you. Not the agent. I also work for an airline and the reason- your boarding pass didn't scan. Or maybe you are just so wonderful the agent had to get a better look at you. I would stick with the boarding pass issue.


Cat June 26, 2012 at 6:52 pm

or lemme throw some logic on this…he most likely knows someone in the airline industry who cares about his well being and has him on the "request check" list…


Ruby March 15, 2014 at 12:12 am

Are you vegetarian? It might be related to your meal. I have had this happen to me when I have ordered a vegetarian meal.


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