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My Near Crisis at the Airport

I arrived at the airport today feeling super excited to fly home for the long weekend. However, right when I walked into TF Green and got in the security line, I realized I had made a huge mistake. I forgot my ID. Somehow while I was getting my stuff together for my trip, I managed to leave my wallet on my desk in my bedroom. 

Before going into full panic mode, I considered my options. I had my student ID and a photo of my driver’s license and passport, so I figured I’d try my best to get through with those cards. Not feeling super confident that those identifiers would suffice, I called my roommate. She had just dropped me off at the airport and was on her way back to Brown, so I didn’t think she’d be thrilled when I called to ask her to get my ID and come back to the airport. Being the extremely kind person she is, she offered to bring it to me as soon as I told her what happened. The only issue was that she was still 15 minutes away from campus, so she probably wouldn’t make it back to the airport for at least another 45 minutes. My flight was scheduled to start boarding 30 minutes from then.

We agreed on a solid game plan. She would go get the ID and come back to the airport as fast as possible, and I would stay in the security line and try to plead my way through when I got to the front. I told her I’d call her as soon as I finished talking to the security guard checking IDs. 

When I got to the front of the line, I immediately explained my situation to the officer. I told him I had messed up and forgotten my driver’s license but could give him my student ID and show him photos of other government-issued identification. He said the pictures wouldn’t help at all (I had a feeling), but he took my student ID and checked the name on my credit and debit cards. As soon as he said, “We’re gonna make this work. We’re not really supposed to, but we will,” I knew I was in the clear. I thanked him profusely, and he told me to have a safe trip. I got incredibly lucky that he was the officer I talked to because he couldn’t have been nicer. I think there’s a good chance I’d still be in Providence right now if there was a different security officer controlling my fate. 

I’m definitely going to learn from this experience and never forget my ID again when flying. Luckily, my passport is at home so I can use that in the DC airport on my way back to Providence. Though this experience was super stressful and entirely my fault, the kind security guard made my day and reminded me how important it is to be nice to others and show people understanding – especially when they are in a moment of panic!

Hannah is a sophomore at Brown from the D.C. area in Virginia. She is concentrating in public policy.
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