France’s Version of the TSA is Much More Polite

The APR blog is just back from a trip to Paris where we got a chance to research airport security and some other aspects of international travel. One thing that was very pleasant about experience in France was being able to board a high-speed TGV train from Tours, a city about 200 miles outside Paris, and be wisked right to the Charles de Gaulle airport.

One other pleasant surprise is how calm the security line is in Paris. Instead of huge long snaking lines and long conveyor belts for each passenger to place their items on, alone, here an attendant greets each traveler and asks for the passport and boarding pass. Then she dutifully passes along a basket for a laptop, and another for your jacket and backpack, but it is done one by one.

Not having that line queuing up of travelers all fighting for the bins and fumbling with their shoes makes the experience better. Plus, in the US, the employees of the TSA are frankly, not that friendly, and often have a chip on their shoulders. How many of you have been rudely yelled at to “take that laptop out of the bin, put it on by itself,’ or curtly told to hurry up.

In France the women who take care of the TSA duties are calm, attractive and treat you with respect. Bonjour, monsieur, merci, bon journee. Like many things in Europe, it’s just a little more civilized.