Well, he was being a dick and throwing his weight around, that’s for sure. The guard overheard my exchange with the ID checker (she couldn’t find the date in my passport and I had been traveling for 18 hours and was in no mood to deal with incompetence) and decided to retaliate, I guess. He was very belligerent and after he tore the bag open he took my pen, just a regular disposable I picked up from a hotel. Said he couldn’t allow me to bring sharp objects on the plane. I know that’s BS because I travel for business about every month and a half and I’ve never had a pen confiscated before or since. When I did get to the terminal I saw everyone had pens, and there was even a Mont Blanc store there. But what could I do? One wrong move and he could keep me off my flight.
However, I thought the TSA had the power to do whatever they wanted when it came to opening bags. If you had a locked bag, they will destroy it to get it opened and it’s your fault that it was locked to begin with. It was a cheap little duffle bag (the reason it had a hole was due to it’s shoddy quality) and not worth my time to pursue a claim if I could. The worst part was now my carry-on was spilling itself all over and I still had another 5 hour flight ahead of me.