I’m going to dedicate this post for my somewhat unpleasant experience with the US security controls when going to the PDC :-)
As some of you might know, I changed my last name from “Johansson” to “Alsing” when I married my wife. (ye ye I’m whipped).
So, this summer I had to get a new passport with the new name, so I ordered a new one and reported my old one missing (I couldn’t find it fast enough for our booking).
The police officer that handled all of this told me that I didn’t have to care about finding the old one since it had my old name on it.
The PDC booking was completed and the months flew by and suddenly it was finally time to go to the PDC, my first trip to the US.
So off we went, me and 6 colleagues.
16 hours after liftoff from sweden we finally arrived in the LA Airport.
We lined up for the passport controls.
My colleagues just walked though the control without any problems.
And then it was my turn….
Suddenly I heard the lady behind the counter say:
“Sir, have you lost a passport?”
Somewhat surprised I replied “Ummm no I haven’t? or well I have reported my old one missing”
The response to that was: “Step aside sir”
So, I thought I would just have to explain the situation and everything would be OK.
A police officer approaches me: “Follow me sir”
Officer: “So you have lost a passport?”
Me: “Well yeah, I lost my old one”
Continued by me trying to explain about my changed last name and the reason for reporting the old one missing.
Officer: “No no, THIS passport is reported missing”
Me: “Umm no? I have reported my old one missing, this is the new one”
Officer: “NO! this is a stolen passport, this is not your passport”
Me: “uuh, yes it’s my passport”
Officer: “So when did you find it?”
Me: “What? I didn’t find it , it’s my new passport, it’s the old one that is reported missing”
Officer: “No, this one is stolen!, wait over here”
And I escorted to a waiting room.
So it was me and a few Mexicans waiting there..
Some 30 minutes later he got back to me and escorted me to the police office at the airport.
He also explained that I had to walk on his left side all the time, so I wouldnt grab his gun(!!!)
After this I had to spend about an hour in the police station beeing interrogated by two other officers, luckily, those two were friendly and tried to understand what I was saying.
Eventually they said that they didn’t know if passport notifications from Sweden was assigned to the person owning the passport or to the actual passport in their system and they let me go.
If their system would have been corrrectly modelled, they would have been able to see that it was an old passport that was reported missing.
And they would have saved themselves alot of work and I wouldn’t have had to spend one and a half hour trying to prove that I didn’t do anything wrong.
If this had been a commercial company, they would have lost money trying to figure out what was wrong and they would also have one seriously unpleased customer.