Guess which local player stars in television’s latest reality show?
Coming to the small screen next week: Miami International Airport.
MIA is the star of a new series on the Travel Channel: Airport 24/7: Miami. The six-episode series premieres at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2. If you’re a frequent flyer out of MIA, the show may not hold any surprises for you. But the show does underscore the complications and pressures of operating one of the biggest airports in the U.S.
Some vital stats: 38 million passengers a year (that’s more than 100,000 passengers daily moving along the concourses), 36,000 employees, 800 flights a day. Among U.S. airports, MIA is considered at high risk for terrorism and drug and currency smuggling.
In the first two episodes, all that and more make an appearance. A man “forgets” he packed a handgun in his carry-on and is hauled off by police. Another man has a knife concealed in the sole of his shoe; he’s now being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney. A dog sniffs out copious amount of cash ($20,000) on a couple who flew in from Germany — large amounts of cash are often associated with drugs or terrorism, we learn — but the two are determined to be simply wealthy European surgeons on vacation. Another dog gets excited about a load of tractor parts, and after much drilling through metal, cocaine is found in the parts. And an extra-large jar of peanut butter is confiscated from a woman who objects vociferously (but is not arrested).
Which brings us to what we do learn: Some people must have been living in caves since before 9/11, judging by what they think they can get past the security checkpoint. We see a display case with some of the other souvenirs confiscated from passengers: knives, grenades, box cutters, nunchuks, what looks like a crossbow (to bring down that elusive airline meal, no doubt).
So, you may be asking, how does one survive the dangers of a major international airport? The employees of MIA have good advice for you. Click to keep reading their 20 top tips.