I Made a TRAGIC MISTAKE at Brightline Train Security, and I’m Still Paying For It (Literally)

It’s no secret that I love the Brightline Train.

Outside the Brightline Miami Station

It has been about six months since this new option for travel to south Florida opened up its Orlando route, and I have taken 12 train rides — 6 roundtrip journeys to and from Orlando. But I just ran into a problem that was totally my fault, so I’m going to embarass myself and talk about it here so that you don’t make the same mistake I did.

Last week, I took the train from Orlando to Aventura, because I was flying with friends from Fort Lauderdale to Las Vegas. (Yes, I know I went a little out of my way on this journey — keyword here is “with friends.”) It was in packing for this trip that my TRAGIC mistake began.

Brightline Orlando train station

I packed a small suitcase, and a purse/tote that is big enough to hold my laptop. One of the things I like best about Brightline is that there is free wifi throughout the train station AND on the trains — and plenty of outlets and tray tables at your seat. The train ride is a great time for me to get some work done.

You have power outlets and USB outlets at each seat!

But. BUT. The tote I packed does not zip closed. I usually travel with a backpack, but went for *fashion* this trip — and as you already know, many of those cute totes do not zip. And here’s the problem with that — at Brightline stations you send your bags through a security scan on a conveyor belt just like you’re accustomed to seeing at any airport. Except, there are no bins or trays for smaller items.

Brightline Station at the Orlando Airport

I have been to four different Brightline stations so far, and have not had these bins to use at any of them, so it’s not just an Aventura station thing. And, as you’ve probably guessed by now, my bag tipped over and some of the contents spilled out. I was embarassed and grabbed everything to stuff back into my bag. However …

Brightline train

I had taken my driver’s license and bank card out of my pockets and shoved them into the bag loose before I put them on the belt. And they didn’t make it back into my bag. UGH. The “bright” side of this Brightline story (see what I did there?) is the customer service I received — employees found my driver’s license, and the station manager called me while I was on the train. When I noted my bank card might also be there, they were able to find it, too.

Brightline train

The manager assured me that my cards would be locked in the station manager’s office. My problem, of course, is that I don’t live in Aventura and won’t be back there for a few weeks. AND I had another trip coming up and needed to replace my license right away — so now I am out $35 and an hour of my time at the DMV for my replacement license. And I have had to call my bank to issue a new debit card, and change all the places you never realize you have a debit card number saved until you have a new number!

Orlando Airport

So I’m quite literally paying for this packing mistake I made. I DO hope that Brightline starts providing bins at security, because I know I’m not the only one who has had small items they needed to send through, but I was super impressed with the customer service they provided when I lost these items. They found my driver’s license before I even knew it was lost!

Brightline Train

My best advice is to carry bags with zip closures if you’re traveling Brightline! And, you know, put your important cards back in your wallet — that would’ve helped, too. 🤦🤦🤦

I still highly recommend the Brightline train if you’re traveling between Orlando and south Florida — it’s a great way to get to the Miami and Port Everglades cruise terminals. And I can’t wait for the NEW Brightline service to Cocoa to start — it will be such a convenient way to get to Port Canaveral for a cruise!

Here’s more on the Brightline expansion to Cocoa!

Keep following us here at AllEars for the latest travel news — and we’ll keep making mistakes so you don’t have to.

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