My wife and I arrived at SLC [Salt Lake City International Airport] for a late evening flight. We both are Clear and TSA PreCheck® users.
We were required at the late hour to show ID, and my wife discovered that she forgot her ID. As one might expect, this was an embarrassing and frustrating moment for her, and the ante is upped with the pressure of others in line.
At exactly the moment when the ID screener [TSA officer] was doing his job, giving a fairly stern, “You need to have an ID to enter,” Lead TSA Officer Judi Espinosa happened to be walking by, back from a break. She was clearly tired, but she saw the emotions that my wife was experiencing and immediately jumped to her aid. [Officer] Espinosa dropped her things and whatever her plan/errand was to help my wife get on the phone to a contact center in DC to attempt to verify her identity to clear her for travel.
Things worked out, but the experience could’ve been so much worse. It wasn’t, because TSA Officer Espinosa took a little extra time to help resolve an emotional moment.
It’s clear to me that these officers are subject to a fair amount of abuse in their jobs, and I suspect it requires a large dose of self-discipline to reach through the fortress walls to help.
I have no idea what TSA Officer Espinosa is getting paid, but I can confidently declare it is not enough given the skill and capability she brings to the job.
Please pass along the gratitude of Scott and Samantha Simpson for TSA Officer Judi Espinosa in Salt Lake City.
Scott & Samantha Simpson
By Wayne Carey, Strategic Communications and Public Affairs