I agree entirely with what the TSO above said about it is only as hard as you make it. The rules are very simple to follow and at some most Airports, I know my own does this, but we have constant announcements, TVs are looping the procedure over and over again, and even we the TSOs are shouting out what needs to be done. I get told by passangers alot that they don't have to do this at that Airport and for the most part I just figure they are telling me a lie so they can get their way. I'm pretty sure there are some really rude TSO's out there. Same way I'm sure there are some very rude people in every job in the world. So please everyone, get off your moral high horse and understand that the world has changed and for the worse, and that going through our checkpoints takes only a few minutes and most of that is spent waiting in the line. Get in line, unpack, go through, repack and get on your way. Also the less you bring the less we have to check and the less likely of a chance you have that you will be pulled aside. =D
I am a TSA Screener. I take my job very seriously. Most of the passengers who fly never even know that we find guns, knives and other dangerous material during our screening processes. More people should remember what happened on 9/11. If you are on a plane and a terriorist or whacko happens to get past security and ends up on your plane, you will be the first to wonder why we didn't stop them. All of our policies are in place to protect the passengers. We are not stupid, we are not trying to upset you and we do not want you to miss your plane. We just want to keep you safe. We don't make the rules but we do have to follow them. You may ask for a comment card at anytime or come to our website and post a comment. Please, have a great day!!
"However, I am just as concerned, if not more, by the whiny sucky bottle babies, that write the majority of these posts. It seems most of these people have been spoon fed their entire lives and who knows what they have been fed."Oh, do you have "issues"? Perhaps you should get out more. "I do not agree with a few of the procedures that we must follow, but I do not have a suggestion to repair them and I have not seen anyone offer up any realistic alternatives."Clueless, too.If you have problems with some of the proceedures, speak up, point them out to your superiors, post them here or on Flyer Talk, but please don't ignore them, and then bitch about how you feel you are being treated. Not all TSO's are the same, some care about the job and want to make it better.
I am absolutely disgusted at the treatment that is happening around our great nation. This type of disrespectful treatment, by both the TSO's and the passengers is completely unnecessary. The TSA has been placed in our airports for a reason and I for one fully support the reasoning and hope that we will never have another 9/11 again. Are there instances were a TSO is rude or disrespectful towards a passenger? absolutely, is it acceptable..never. Same goes for the passengers to the TSO's. As a Supervisor for the TSA I promise that any supervisor should/will not tolerate any disrespectful conduct directed towards anyone, this also includes the TSO's who work directly with us. We, unfortunately do not see all of the situations that occur at the checkpoints, but we do try our best. If there is a situation that is wrong, please feel free to ask for the supervisor. They should assist you in satisfactorily correcting the situation. You also can ask for the Customer Service number to also better assist with the resolution of the problem. As a retired military member of 22 years, I thank each and every member of our armed services, past and present. Please understand that just because you are in the military does not exempt you from the same rules and regulations of our other travelers. There are bad eggs in all parts of society and as a former Military police officer, I have met some of them in the military. TSA does NOT have a problem with the military. My FSD and staff are about 75%-80% formerly military or retired military..ranging from the lowest enlisted to a Maj Gen. So I would perceive that as a personal issue with the TSO's alleged comments about the military being terrorist. I have stood there and been berated by the best of them, but I will tell you this, I DO believe in what we are doing and will defend the policies that we have in place. I will also look at the gray areas and make a common sense decision based on the situation at hand. Passengers have pretty much called me everything known to man and a few others that are just not acceptable for anyone, but I will still treat you with more respect than you treat me. The ones who are doing this have come to the airport armed with the perception of negativity and no matter what we do we are blamed for everything, from the traffic getting there to all the other people who got there before them ausing them to stand in line. I have been accused of stealing your items instead of trowing them away. There is nothing..I repeat nothing worth stealing that is worth loosing my job over. I have been asked on many occassions "Do I look like a terrorist?" I can not answer that question rationally, knowing that terrorist come in all shapes, sizes, ages, sexes, and nationalities. I have seen the news on television, just as you have of all of the terrorist attacks that have involved the elderly, women, children and the mentally disabled being used to carry out these attacks. So please understand that we are trying to provide a safe environment for you and your family. I have to ask myself daily, "Would I want my family on one of the planes that I am directly responsible for providing security?" When I answer "NO" then I will walk away from this job and persue other options. If you can actually step back and observe the process with a neutral position, I believe that you will see that we are not as cruel and heartless as we have been depicted. I know that there have been some instances, more than I would like to admit. But I have also seen complaints blown way out of proportion and have been dismissed with the review of the recorded events. By the way, Reasonable amounts of food ARE allowed for persons with medical needs, such as diabetes. I have seen some posting that have related they were refused by TSA to carry these through, please talk with the supervisor. Small, again reasonable amounts of food/juices are allowed for children. Also, shoes for the elderly and disabled can remain on, you will have to have your shoes inspected once you enter the sterile area. Please travel safe and hope all goes well for you on your next trip through the TSA line. Some may be there because they have to, but there are some who are there because they want to.STSO D.P.USAF Ret
The lady who had to remove her body piercings in Texas. She was offered the proper alarm resolution for that area. We, as TSO's are not, or were not permitted at that time to view what caused the alarm in sensitive areas, i.e, the breast area of a female passenger. When you use a hand held metal detector and pass it over a area containing metal, it will alarm. Now the only way to clear that alarm is to either have her remove the piercing and reinspect the area with the metal detector or now we can offer them the option of viewing the piercing to ensure that that is indeed what it is, a piercing and not a prohibited item. We do not want to view sensitive area of our passengers, we want to ensure that no prohibited items get through. Some have stated that their piercings did not alarm when they were checked, well guess what I guess this would throw up a red flag and say there was something more there. Luckily it was a piercing as stated, but it was still cleared.
Nicest ever TSA experience? Asheville, NC. Admittedly there were three screeners to one passenger (me) but it was all very convivial and also the most thorough screening I've ever had (certainly the first time in the US I've had my bag hand-searched because of my key-ring). Worst ever?Consistently Dulles. I was once yelled at because I left on a scarf. As many people have already pointed out all over this blog, the UK and US are the only countries that require passengers to do a little dance at their security checkpoint with their shoes, jackets, sweaters, scarves, belts, baggie of liquids, laptops. As a single male traveller I have my routine down pat (imagining a soft shoe shuffle seems to help) but how on earth do people travelling with small children do it?
knock on wood, so far i have no horror stories flying from SAT,IAH or Aus and back. However, when I read stories like the sippie cup and nipple ring and then the TSA states the employees acted properly. How are we supposed to take you guys seriously? These seem more like poorly trained bullies and perverts.
I think the biggest problem with security is inconsistency between airports. A month ago my mom and I flew from Anchorage to Fargo. She had a knee replaced last year and neither of us were surprised when it set off the alarm at the Anchorage airport. Imagine how surprised we were when she went through the metal detector at the Fargo airport and nothing happened. It doesn't make any sense to me that airports can seemingly have different security standards. If there's anything that endangers passenger safety, that's probably it.
There is gross inconsistency as to how policies are enforced. You can go through one airport in a breeze and then be hasseled at your connecting airport and have to surrender something that went through the first time.I had one screener open my wallet and start going through it for "undeclared liquids." There is no way anyone is going through my wallet and have the opportunity to steal a credit card or cash. Besides, how ridiculous can this be. Give me a break. How could anyone put liquids in a wallet? These people use NO common sense and they act like they are God's anointed people -- acting like big shots just because they are given some power.I purchased water "inside the steril area" only to have it appropriated at the gate -- and the seal wasn't even broken. I've been told I can't enter the concourse with a bag of food purchased in the terminal -- the fries were still hot.A woman who had a mastectomy and was full of staples set off the device and even though she had medical documentation was subject to a humilitating experience. I saw wheelchair bound people being forced to get up and go through the machine. One lady I encountered in Atlanta in a wheelchair was in tears. She had been humilated and someone had removed her shoes but not bothered to help her get them on and she was unable to do so by herself. You people should be ashamed of yourselves. You are totally devoid of common decency and courtesy. My daughter is an insulin dependent diabetic and has problems getting her medicine through screening. We've had bags pilfered and no "TSA notes" put in the bags. Expensive "TSA locks" have been removed and not replaced. Luggage straps have been removed and not replaced. And the traveler has basically no recourse when these things happen.In my own community one screener was stealing medications out of checked baggage.Many of these policies are knee-jerk responses and I'm absolutely appalled at the recent incident involving body jewlery. This is obscene. And I would never submit to a body scan -- that is a gross invasion of privacy and all of your fancy talk can't color it any other way.If there is another terrorist action on a plane, it will not be explosive. It will be biological. Anyone can have anthrax toxin in a container and release it on the plane. There is NO screening for biological materials.I suspect the next step you guys will take is NO carry on stuff at all, strip down to your bare butt, and put on this disposable paper jump suit before you can board the plane.You are ridiculous, rude, overbearing, obnoxious, without common sense (a large bottle of shampoo that has 1/4 of an inch of product in the bottom has to go into the garbage merely because the label doesn't indicate "the allowed ounces" -- can't people figure this out? Or are the IQs so low that can't?), intrusive, tyrannical, and just plain sucky. I'd rather take my chances than have my privacy invaded as you do and continue to push the limits of. I wish you would go away.This probably won't pass your blog author, but at least I've had my say. As someone so profoundly said, I want my civil liberties back. I have to agree with Benjamin Franklin: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
I understand the reasons behind the security measures that we all have to undergo while flying and although I don't agree with most of them, I am willing to jump through a lot of hoops to make people feel safer, but my biggest gripe about flying isn't the regulations, it is the attitude of the TSA officers that enforce those regulations. I am happy to obey rules that I don't understand or agree with when treated in a courteous manner but TSA Officers in large part have stopped treating fliers like people. Can't we adopt the attitude that we are all in this together rather than everyone being treated as a suspect? The security checks would still get done, but I think everyone would be a lot happier jumping through those hoops.
My mother is a frequent flyer and makes trips between Atlanta and New York and every once in a while internationally too. It was one thing when we used to be able to lock our baggage if we wanted to but since the recommended TSA locks came in place, she's always gotten to her final destination with things missing from her luggage. We sometimes overlook the little things that go missing when we travel but her last trip infuriated me because among some of the items stolen were panties, clothing, multivites, vitamines, lotions, and even tampons!!! Are you kidding me? It's bad enough that we can't get on the planes with half an ounce of lotion because it's in a 2 ounce container but we also have to worry about whose hands our belongings are going through as well? Sometimes I tease her and say I hope your stuff make it there in one piece with you but all jokes aside how does one fly with any peace of mind? I'll also say that on a trip through JFK a few months ago, TSA members operating the security screenings were some of the rudest people I'd come across. Everyone has their ups and downs at work but you chose to work with people when you take up this job and I think if they dont feel like it, they can simply stay home or just quit! I'm a healthcare worker and a very patient person. I have also been on the receiving end of tongue lashes which i know will happen as long as you continue to work with people so I''m especially understanding with people in such job positions. I'm conscious of my manners when i travel and make sure I do whatever is necessary to make my journey a safe, pleasant and quick one while allowing others to do their job. but THE THEFT HAS TO STOP!!!! I'd probably have an excuse for it if this was a third world country but we're boasting of being the biggest, baddest nation in the world and the people in whom we trust the safety of our lives and posessions are alse robbing us? Come on! I guess it shouldnt be new huh?
I was very disappointed, and disgusted, with the rudeness and lack of professionalism of the TSA employees at SFO. My family and I recently landed there on a trip from Asia, and, almost without exception, each TSA employee was barking orders, yelling at groups of tired travelers, and they generally acted as if we, as travelers, were getting in their way and disrupting their day. I am an American, and even I was ashamed of how the TSA employees were unhelpful and rude to every customer.I had one upsetting interaction. I had my shoes, laptop, and carry-on ready to go into the x-ray machine. Then a TSA employee jumped in front of me, without even acknowledging me, shoved all of my bags back-- he didn't even ask for my assistance-- so that he could help what appeared to be two young (attractive) female travelers to get through security. He proceeded to put their bags into the machine in front of mine without even as much as saying a word to me.Now, I understand that these women could be in danger of missing a flight, and I want to be helpful to other travelers (because there will be times when I will need help as well). But the TSA employee didn't even say a simple "Hi" or "I'm sorry" or "excuse me" or "These ladies are about to miss their flight". Realizing that the TSA have an important and stressful job, I certainly wouldn't have minded that. But the fact that that TSA employee was rude to me and that all the other SFO TSA employees were rude really really upset and disgusted me.In addition to the rudeness, it seemed that the TSA employee was exercising his authority just to practice favoritism for a couple of young, attractive, female travelers.As an American, I felt so ashamed for the foreign travelers who were subjected to the complete lack of professionalism. But as an American, I also felt I deserved much better treatment.I understand that airport security is an important job for national and international security. But, all airport security employees in other countries seem to do a thorough and secure job while being at least pleasant if not helpful to customers. If the current TSA employees cannot be at least seemingly nice, then the TSA needs to hire more competent employees or the TSA needs to train better their employees to handle stress and not take out their aggressions on travelers, or both.Unfortunately, this was not my only bad experience with the TSA-- it is merely the most recent.I hope my observations and suggestions do not fall on deaf ears. I simply wish the TSA improved performance (much improved).
Most of the TSA employees that I have encountered on my travels have been polite, if not pleasant. However, the "rules" they "are required to enforce" border on the ridiculos. Charleston, SC Airport requires luggage to be searched (ok, I can see that), but to scan each shoe because "it might contain a bomb" (I usually travel with 20-25 pairs), hold up my bra and ask, "What's this?" and then take my neatly packed and layered suitcases (packed in accordance with the "rules") and make it look like a garbage heap - all this done at the curb, outside, in front of everyone. 2 hours later when I was finally allowed inside, then a complete "pat down", then walk thru a scanner, then have my inhalers confiscated (yep, I need them to breathe) with the statement "there's oxygen on board if you need it". I could go on and on and on............Having traveled all over the world, these "rules" make America look ridiculos. Security is one thing, stupidity something else entirely.
I have a gripe. How is it that TSA can take the time to take my locks OFF of my bags, but can't be bothered to put them back on?I pay extra money to get TSA approved locks, only to be told by TSA personnel... sorry Ma'am, sometimes they forget (don't bother) to put them back on. The last time I was home I lost nearly 50 US dollars in locks because people couldn't be bothered.Maybe I will just use sandwhich bag twist ties from now on? At least THOSE I won't mind losing.
What is TSA's policy on rescreening travelers whose plans have changed due to flight cancellations? My last trip through the Indianapolis airport at the end of February resulted in a flight cancellation. I had to exit the terminal and go back to ticketing to rebook on another flight. The sirline instructed me to let security know that I had already been screened and cleared so they may allow me to go through without additional screening. Unfortunately, not only did they rescreen me, I was marked for special screening because my plans had changed (albeit not by my choice). In fact, one of the TSA agents stated to the individual checking my ticket, "You could let her go on through since she has already been screened," to which he responded, "Nah, we'll screen her. It'll be good for her." I'm sure you can imagine how frustrated I was. I'm interested in your comments and explanation of the policy. Thanks.
I really think this is a great idea. its very easy to accomadate a frustrated or angered customer by simply letting them know you are listening and sympathize. i have had various experiences with TSA screeners. From friendly and courteous to down right rude. and the funny thing is they all did thier job well. but which do you think left a bad taste in my mouth. no one likes being treated rudely.You still provide a customer service. why does it seem that so many who work for TSA are so awful they cant even smile or say thank when you tell them to have a nice day? i work for a 911 call center and believe me i know all aobut dealing with callers who cuss at me and yell at me.....but i dont take it out on the next caller who needs my help and is scared. I really think there is a lack of customer service training. cant that be include with the technical aspect of the job?Oh! i really wish that the airlines woudl do something similar to this blog. i really think that the airline workers can be ust as bad or even worse that some of the TSA workers.
Before 9/11, I was bothered by the laxity that I saw in the checkpoints. One day, I watched as this asian gentleman with a language issue repeatedly set off the metal detector while the screener sat there chatting away about her new nails to her boyfriend. (I'm NOT kidding.)But, today, even after the horror of 9/11, I am still shocked at the number of screeners that I see every week that are not focused on their job.STOP TALKING SPORTS!!!!I love College basketball and the NFL as much as the next guy, but it is totally INAPPROPRIATE for screeners to be 'chatting up the scores' while I'm trying to get thru the checkpoint.I realize that we are social beings, and it is part of our DNA to have a conversation with other people, but let's have that conversation be about SECURIY, not about SPORTS!I really wish that the screening lines had was some kind of thing like the emergency pull string on a bus.. If I feel like the screeners aren't paying attention, I could 'ring the bell' and get everyone focused back on the task at hand.Sure, go talk news/sports/weather on your break, but not within the checkpoint!!I watched just last week in Philly as one screener called over and over for "female assist" and every TSO behind the line went about their drone job, ignoring the request completely. It took more than 2 minutes before someone finally responded.======================My other pet peeve is that without fail.. EVERY time I'm in a airport (2-3 times per month), I hear over the loudspeaker.. "Will the person who left (article) return to the checkpoint to retrieve it?"It just makes me want to scream - How DARE you let someone thru the checkpoint without all their belongings?!? Is not the DEFINITION of security that people are not allowed to randomly drop stuff off wherever they want? If you were WATCHING the people going thru security, then how is it that you allowed them to deposit (forget) anything and walk off???======================In fact, how about that "ring the bell" idea?? A number of bars, etc, have a bell that you can tap as you put a tip in the jar for good service... how about a bell at the end of the line where travellers can say "good job" to the TSOs? (and thereby also remind them to stop talking sports...)
I want to know why, on a recent trip one airport, out of the 5 airports I had to go through, made me take the quart size baggies out of my carry on before sending them through, while others did not. I guess I had never had to do it that way for past air travel and just wondered if there was a specific reason for it or are separate airports given free rein over how they have such things put through the screening process. Also, does the airport size make a difference in how the screening process is set up?
To Whomever it has concerned.....I have always hoped someone would come up with something like this...My curiosity includes how much of this actually gets read by TSA.and Will they actually do anything about it...or is this just a place for people to vent?Anyway...I am old enough to remember the days when you just bought your ticket ...got on board and went your happy way....Now,,,,I understand the reasons behind it...but my real only BIG gripe on TSA is this....how many of us have bought stuff from other countries ...or anywhere for that matter....got home to find what? IT BROKEN...TSA has gone through your luggage and checked it 3 times for terroroist things LOL...what a joke...This really UPSETS me.This stuff can not be replaced and very dissapointed when you see it....I can get over the long lines and the shoes taken off.,,,but be more careful....what if YOU went somewhere got home and found your PRECIOUS souvenir...busted...just because someone else didnt care ...because it wasnt theres.....I know this will never change because the people who work for TSA dont care.....but at least there is a place to B/////ch about it....Wecoyote Very p???d about it
Just wanted to quickly comment. My husband and I flew minimally before all of the new rules were in place. Since the rules change, we've flown regularly and luckily and thankfully haven't had any problems, nor witnessed any. We've see a few folks "pulled over" and checked more throughly, but anyone I've ever talked to about these new rules and the inconveniences they make are simply thankful that there is tighter security.Honestly, I see thank a lot of folks on this board are mad because their food is being thrown away. While I can understand why you are angry (and even more so because buying anything beyond the checkpoint is, well, like buying gas at any gas station in the country right now), I would much rather pay for an overpriced banana than have some idiot think a device that looks like a banana would be a good tool to use to blow up an airplane, hid a weapon, etc. To me, the extra cost is worth it.Simply, I say Thank You to the security employees. We appreciate all you do.
I fly frequently between Chicago and Paris. I am a young woman and I always dress nicely to fly; I am harassed every time. Not only am I patted down (to the point where I feel violated), but the keys to my apartment have been confiscated more than once.
My family and I recently took a trip from one side of the country to the other and back again, and I just want to say that it was actually a fairly pleasant experience for the most part. No one ever gave us a hard time about the formula or baby food that we carried, and Buffalo even had a line specifically for families. Which was a relief because, between the four of us, we took up what seemed like 25 bins with jackets, backpacks, shoes, a laptop, a stoller and a carseat. Having a seperate line really seemed to relieve some of our stress in holding up other passengers that carry just one bag through security. Hooray to Buffalo, maybe family and handicap lines should be a norm at all security checkpoints in the US!
I understand that delays are going to happen. I also understand that the airlines do what they can to get passengers to their destinations as quickly as possible. However, when delays happen, shouldn't the airline also be responsible for making sure that those inconvenienced people are made comfortable? Or at least given a free meal if they have to wait? I was sending my son out of Nashville on Southwest. His plane got grounded for maintenance. OK fine, glad to see they are taking care of the aircraft. He ended up being changed to a flight that was 3 hours later, and even that plane got grounded. We were sitting for 6 hours before his plane left the ground. Not only was I out for meals because of the time, my parking fee was kind of steep. When I asked about the parking I was told that "We aren't responsible for that". Oh really? And I guess it was my fault I was here 4 hours longer than I should have? I did manage to get a number to customer service, but it was a recording telling me that they would be in a meeting on Thursday and to call back after the meeting. Huh? This is Saturday folks. Bottom line is this: If you get poor service at a restaurant or hotel, you get something either taken off your bill or you get a freebie. I got neither nor did anyone offer the first thing. Folks, take care of your customers. If your customers have to wait, offer them a free cheeseburger, a soft drink, a coupon for a free magazine or something. At least don't make them spend more money along with the time. (Thnak GOD there is a shop with a Wii hooked up or my son would have driven me over the edge)
AIRPORT SECURITYThese words should be comforting to the average traveler. What they really mean is that a rediculus set of rules is being enforced by overworked, under trained and inept so called TSA agents. The fact is that they are always going to be one step behind the bad guy. I fly 4-5 times a year and have been to airports around the country and some overseas. if you watch these agents, they spend more time talking to each other about personel issues than their job at hand. Me or my carry-on bag is searched on almost every flight. Do I fit the profile of a terrorist? Or is it that I travel with a laptop and a breathing machine? In Jamaica, EVERY passenger carry on is checked, not the select few that are profiled. Should USA learn from Isreal? They are the only country exempt from a terriorist activity involving an aircraft. In My opinion, our homeland security has done a poor job since 9/11 in averting another catastrophy. The smoke screen that they have assembled to give us this sense of "security" while flying has given jobs to many that would otherwise be unemployed.
I fly every week-often two round trips a week. While in some airports I can use the "elite flyer" line, they are not available everywhere. Why not have a road warrior line for frequent flyers who complete a background check? A special ID could get us through the line quickly and efficiently, since we all know the drill. I know some airports have special lines like this but the idea that I have to pay a fairly large fee and it's only available in a couple of airports makes it pretty useless when you're headed to a different airport every week.
In regards to the disabled person who has had difficulty traveling. I have found the same difficulty in traveling when pregnant. Why can't they put chairs on the side of the screening area where you are supposed to take your shoes off. Try removing shoes while 7 months pregnant and carrying an almost 2 year old who is throwing a tantrum due to the fact that he is frustrated from having to sit in a stroller forever waiting in a security line. I have pretty much decided that TSA does not like people traveling with kids. We get searched EVERY time we travel with our kids and the only airport I have come across friendly TSA agents is in Tulsa, OK. (Unfortunatley, that is not somewhere I travel frequently.) The other interesting thing I have found is that when I travel with my kids alone I get NO assistance. (You have to put the stroller on the conveyor belt UPSIDE DOWN - to go through the X-Ray along with everything else you own, while trying to hold onto your kids.) However, when my husband has traveled with our kids alone, EVERY TIME, he has someone assisting him getting all the stuff on the conveyor belt so he can keep a better eye on our children. I guess Moms are supposed to be super people and do everything themselves. My biggest complaint from TSA is how rude they are. They should be aware that the rules seem to be different every time you travel and depending on which airport you travel from but they act like you are stupid if you make a mistake. For example, I once tried to bring on a lotion under 3oz so it was okay, but I didn't have a ziploc bag to put it in, so they tossed it. I had pulled the lotion out separately and it was the ONLY liquid item I had, but without the ziploc bag apparently it was dangerous. In general, they are very condescending and rude.
I have simply refused to fly now. I have one friend and one relative that were each required to have a private screening that they were told was random, both white as can be and both timid and non threatening. One was so traumatized she will never forget the humiliation. I know of another who had breast plates and was required to remove her top even though she had a medical note. I will not be patted down, have my luggage opened for no reason, or anything else that is being required of flying these days. I simply will not give my business to the airlines. I think they have gone far too overboard with totally untrained security, it does not make me feel safer to fly. Something needs to be done NOW to make things more consistent through security and to make it less embarrasing.
Who schedules the # of TSA personnel working a given shift? As a business traveler, I have noticed TSA lacks the manpower to handle the large number of passengers traveling on the first flight in the AM from DFW and many other airports across the U.S. I realize TSA does not control the number of flights, but one would think with modern technology, number of flights x passengers per flight would factor in more or less screening lines and personnel for any given shift. We all have seen the red eye land at 10pm and the airport a ghost town and all have seen the 6am travelers in a 50 minute security line due to lack of screeners.Conduct a study, study the study, do an analysis of the results, study the results and maybe add one more post retirement screener to check my boarding pass and ID please.
I fly out of a small regional airport in Bradford, PA. weekly. Every time I go though security no one ever sets off the metal detector, but we still have to go through the extra screening process with the wands and the pat downs. There is no way 5-8 passengers per flight are all selectees. What is up with the over zealous TSO's there?
Flying is convienent, quicker than driving, and, at times a major pain. I have read several of the blogs posted and from where I sit, everything has been negative. I feel the need to add some possitive comments here. I have a physically challenged husband and a mentally challenged daughter. Recently we had to travel from Phoenix to Tampa with a stop in Altanta. I have to say JOB WELL DONE! Both my husband and daughter had to have special handling in order to get through security. We found the TSA agents very personable--they did their jobs but were also very gentle when dealing with my daughter. Kudos to an agent by the name of Gerry Lynn in Tampa!!I am finding the TSA agents owning more "people skills" lately. This is a far cry from the early days of the TSA when everyone was treated rudely.
I have found where the confiscated items go. Not even recently but almost a year ago I was looking through eBay and found knives, scissors, etc. and all advertised as TSA SEIZED. I actually bought some of the Swiss Army Knives on eBay and picked them up personally as they were local. I found a TSA SCREENER who was seling the confiscated items on eBay. I called in to TSA and reported the matter and have heard nothing since. Just to let you know what is being done to you in the name of security.
Wow! I can't believe the blog calling the military member a "liar" was posted and not screened! It is because of the military that anyone in this nation has the right to any freedom of speech (SUCH AS THIS BLOG). The military step up to do what others won't or can't--act to defend our freedoms knowing that it might very well cost them their own life. They pay taxes just like any other citizen, they have families, and yet they believe so strongly in what the U.S. stands for they are willing to work most of their young lives to ensure we remain a great country. They are a very different kind of person than most US citizens--they feel a responsibility to their country. I have seen so many people without a clue that if we didn't have these brave people we could not live the way we do. My thought is if you don't like it then please leave this country and go somewhere else--we don't need you or your dangerous attitudes. That TSA person should be fired. I have a problem with the uneducated, poorly dressed, unprofessional manner of these people--some who can barely speak English. I'll bet they get a kick out of coming to our country, getting a TSA job, and telling us what to do.
The issue that I have with the TSA is the inconsistency of TSA officials from airport to airport. Some airports are very reasonable, they know what a lipstick tube is vs. a dangerous explosive, while at others, people have to unload bags and purses and prove that yes, it really is lipstick. In addition, some TSA officials are downright rude. For instance, flying through JFK this past summer was an absolute nightmare. My family and I had to go through domestic check-in due to a baggage tag error on our previous connecting flight. However, after dealing with fairly incompetent airline agents (not the TSA's problems, but aggravating nonetheless), we had to deal with a group of TSA agents who decided to go on various kinds of power trips. For example, one lady decided that if you happened to be double-file, she would yell at you and make you go back to the end of the line (which wound around the corner and back through the airline counter). Some sort of training in terms of passenger courtesy or pre-hiring screening for personality might help in this regard because this kind of behavior not only reflects badly on the airport and the city, but also on the TSA. I have to say, having gone through security in foreign countries, I have never had to remove my shoes and everyone is treated fairly similarly, unless you look like a suspicious character. And when I say suspicious character, I'm not talking about grandmothers or families traveling together.
To Anonymous at 3/38 10:50 PMTo your post:People, please get your facts straight or at least attempt to do some research before you start throwing stones. I do not agree with a few of the procedures that we must follow, but I do not have a suggestion to repair them and I have not seen anyone offer up any realistic alternatives.The traveling public cannot offer suggestions to peocedures that we do not know, but seem to experience on a regular basis. Since your program are designated as Sensitive Security Information (SSI) they cannot be divulged, so we, the traveling public, can only comment on the uneven treatment we receive. I am glad to have read theat the ASAC is being reborn and hopefully some actual users of the system, i.e. passengers, can make meaningful suggestions. There was a post pon another blog of 19 firearms seized at checkpoints. A question I asked before was how many of these seizures resulted in investigations that the people had terrorist intentions?Americans are more likelty of being killed by another American rather than a terrorist given the murder rate on an ANNUAL basis is almost 10 times as great as the number of people killed be terrorists on 2001.
A recent trip last October my wife and I took from JFK on American we missed our flight. Even though we were at the airport 1-1/2 hrs before the departure time the lines were so long going through security it took more than the 1-1/2 to get to the gate, in the new American Terminal it feels like miles away. There were lines not open, was this because of the shortage of TSA screeners or just poor work scheduling of them? The American Terminal lacks secondary or back-up security screening. TSA should consider using outside sources such as Fly Clear or something similar for added security lines to move the masses through. Some terminals at JFK have this service but American doesn't. To much inconsistency through out the system.
My mom just went from CLE to ELP with a pocket knife in her purse by accident. She didn't realize it was still in her purse when she went through security. What upset her even more is that security didn't find it. How are they supposed to stop terrorists if they can't even find a pocket knife???
I travel a lot for work and must say that I have had very few specific problems. In general the TSA employees don't hassle me much but I have recently experienced two polar opposits.I recently went through the Wichita KS airport. I must say of all airports I have been in the TSA employees here stood out. They were the most curtious and friendly group that I have ever run into in my travelling experience so I definately wanted to give a "grin" to them.On the negative side when flying out of Sky Harbor in Phoenix AZ I came across a very confrontational TSA agent. It was so bad that the gentleman in front of me stepped in.Those of us that travel frequently understand the rules and regulations. I feel that the TSA needs to focus their training on the importance of "customer" relations. When an agent smiles and is friendly people don't mind the hassle. When spending hours in airports and travelling the last thing a person wants is to run into an agent with a bad attitude.I feel that the TSA should look at what Wichita has done and see how it can be implemented across the nation.
TSA Leadership -- I beg of you, PLEASE make it part of standard training nationwide to clearly instruct inspectors who open checked luggage to return the zippers of the checked luggage to a position at the TOP of the suitcase. Every time I have checked luggage inspected, the TSA inspector zips my case shut with the zipper pulls at the bottom -- and one is ALWAYS then ripped off in the baggage-handling process. I am a frequent flyer and have had to take luggage in for expensive repair or simply ditch the suitcase as unusable due to zipper pulls being destroyed by TSA mishandling of my luggage during inspection. If my luggage manages to avoid inspection, my zipper pulls are protected at the TOP of my bag (where I put them) from the vagaries of baggage handling, and I actually have intact zipper pulls when I reach my destination. PLEASE try to have more consideration and thoughtfulness. Travel is hell as it is without this problem to worry about.
It seems that people do not understand that TSA is a government organization and will do what they want. Passangers have no rights. If you read thru the blogs, you can see how easily TSA employees attack or simply ignore the needs of the passangers and use the blanket statement "I am doing my job". One even askes if you have ever "seen what an IED can do" when trying to redicule a handicapped person. As a matter of fact I have seen what an IED can do but I am not sure what that has to do with TSA thinking that they can do what they want, to who ever they want. There are good TSA employees out there who are considerate (an example is one at the Huntington WV airport) but many are undertrained and down right mean to the passangers. The pasangers do not have the time to argue with them and they know it. I would like to see just one supervisor who was on the side of the passangers during a dispute, but that will never happen.
I appreciate the fact that the TSA is doing their jobs. What bothers me the most is the attitude in which they do it to people who come through security and are kind, respectful and comply with every request without hesitation of comment. I recently flew with the mother who was recovering from a car accident. Her arm had been badly broken and after removal of the cast she was required to wear a compression glove. This glove was no different then glove one would wear in the winter. The female officer at the check point was rude and verbally abusive to my injured 63 year old mother. I don't get the point of that. How does mistreatment of american citizens help ensure security at the airports? This is not the first occasion in which TSA officers were rude or verbally beligerant. I flew over 50 trips last year and in almost 50% of the cases, TSA officers were down right mean. I hope that through education this can be remedied. It really is not necessary to treat kind, compliant people rudely in an effort to fulfill the requirements of this job and ensure security. There is no need for the power trip and attitude they display.
I picked up my suitcase form the baggage area only to find it torn open with a "Notice of Baggage Inspection" inside. I completely under baggage inspections but the first thing I read was that the agent was not responsible for any damage or loss. Who is? I did not pitch a fit as the bag is several years old but it was still in good shape. It would, however, be nice if someone would pull me to one side and say "Sorry we damaged your bag and thanks for you patience." As an EOD Technicion who has supported Law enforcement, the Secret Service, etc, I have searched thousands of bags but I never once destroyed on.
First, I would like to thank the TSA for providing this opportunity for feedback. Second, I would state that I object to the fundamental mission of TSA to disarm all passengers. It panders to an objective of terroristic activity which is to disrupt the lives of many through the actions of a few. It also provides a false sense of security to passengers who are unaware of the risks they still face. It prevents a means of effective deterrence to terroristic activity by other passengers who may be inclined to resist. I would prefer to see TSA handing every passenger a Kabar knife as they board the plane; although that plan would be equally ridiculous in the opposite direction.Overall, I must admit that I am surprised and pleased at the general level of efficiency and courtesy extended by TSOs that I have encountered. There are exceptions of course, but I believe you are doing a good job of accomplishing your mission; even though I feel that mission is a misguided attempt to lull the general public into a false sense of security.
I know the American is becoming a minority in the good old US of A, but English is still the primary language. Why can't we get a few more of the TSO's on the floor that speak FLUENT English? It really sucks having to ask them 3 times to repeat what they said because you can't understand it due to a strong accent or the fact that it is broken English.
I haven't traveled much since the 9/11 attacks, and the first since was Mar 2007, and only a few times since. Everytime I've had the utmost polite and considerate TSA inspectors. They've answered my questions and happily guided me through the process, very keen and perseptive I don't do this very often. So my upmost respect and regards for a job well done goes out to a majority of these agents. It is not/would not be an easy job to perform, at least I don't think I could do it and maintain the friendly, helpful and professional attidude demonstrated by most.That was all good, until my last return trip from a Las Vegas business trip. My laptop had been removed and put in a separate bin (as always), my laptop bag open and top/bottom spread apart, and jacket, shoes, wallet, cell phone and other items in a separate bin. The agent was frustrated by others not taking laptops out of their bag, and I'm sure he meant to demonstrate/show what I had done, but he picked up my laptop and put back in the open bag, then picked it back up in a demonstration motion and slammed it back into the empty bin. He then picked up my laptop bag and turned it upside down, all the while opening all the compartments within, dumping the mouse, network card, pens, power cords, and cables all over the place. Then as he proceeded through my jacket, dumping all the contents, such as eye glasses, and my migraine medications onto the floor. He even confiscated the migraine medications, stating they we not allowed when I challenged him that no other TSA checkpoint had confiscated them, and had stated as long as they are in their original packaging and clearly labeled from the doctor/pharmacy it was allowed. No dice on his part, and note these are not liquids, they are dry pills, Imitrex and Fiornal-3. Needless to say, this was a long flight for me back to Charlotte. One of my triggers for migraine is altitude, and needless to about 30 minutes up, I began experiencing the Aura of a migraine coming on, but without my medications to try to stop/end the headache, I was helpless. By the time we landed in Charlotte, I was mostly without vision (flickering lights, spots and lines with loss of sight), numbness (pins & needles) in my extremities (hands, feet) and suffering dysphasic speech. Luckily my wife had accompanied me on this trip, and she could help direct me to our car in long term parking, where she drove home. This was not the end of the story and I spent all of Easter weekend in the bed. On Monday we began trying to obtain authorizations from the Insurance to obtain refills, then contacting the doctor to call in the refills. Of course, Insurance companies don't work swiftly when "you" need something and we ended up contacting my employer benefits to request a refill override. Once complete, I had missed another day (Tuesday) at work due to the stress of this, and it wasn't until Friday, 8 days later I was able to obtain the refills.I'm not one to complain or whine, but when you are following the guidelines and rules, and you end up with some TSA agent having a bad day, his girlfriend left or he's just showing his arrogance that day, something needs to be done. First step, as others have stated, is a course on being considerate, compassionate and caring towards their fellow man. Another would be a course on admitting they are wrong, as no one is always correct. All it would have taken is for this man to go check his TSA guidelines on the medication and he could have admitted he either misunderstood or wrong, but because it was the Thursday before "Good Friday" and "Spring Break" and traveling was heavy, he either didn't want or care to check - he could have even been instructed before shift by the supervisor not to check on questionable issues as not to delay the lines.Please, before someone is seriously hurt or passes away, please get this information out to your agents about medications.Thank you, and above all, keep up the good work and work on the areas that cause frustration, medical, special needs, etc - for both the customers and your agents.
I fly a lot, internationally on business. While I like the idea of using the elderly, or in some airports, mentally challenged individuals to check ID's and boarding passes, they hardly provide a buffer from the abrasive, yelling agents at the check points. In no other country I've visited, do security agents exhibit such a loud, angry, exasperated tone. The general impression is 'we don't like you. American or not, you're probably a terrorist.' I do not like feeling that I am the 'enemy' in my own country, as opposed to feeling my tax dollars are going to pay these people to protect me. Again, in no other airport have I felt this as strongly as in the US (I am American). In most countries, security treats the flyers with respect, as though they are paying customers, which we are. Many times I have been pulled out of line, and subjected to a more intense screening, simply because I was standing in line behind foreigners, who were also singled out. Once at Dulles, I was made to stand in a little pen, with clear plexiglass sides. Other passengers would be sent in, then sent through. When I asked why every one else got to go ahead of me (they were all foreigners), the woman gave me a look like she was ready to strangle me. The level of anger in these people is not healthy for them or us.In short, no yelling, less intimidation, and more professionalism and respect. As the American economy continues to tank, less and less people are going to want to deal with us and our BS, and will take their business elsewhere. Thanks for reading this.
I think that TSA is doing a good job. But I also feel that there could be a few more security implements involved. For instance if you go to DFW and check out the loading docks for Sky Chef any one can jump on the dock and put anything in the food carts. DFW is big on hiring people for the middle east, the very groups of people that hate Americans with a passion and want to kill us in masses. Don't forget they are the ones that killed so many of us on September 11. I have no problem with profiling when it comes to weeding out dangers. If you want to do an extra security check on me that is ok. I have had it done simply because of the lottery system with ticketing. I have nothing to hide and if is helps security no problem. I applaude the security at DFW and Love Field in Dallas. I travel with my little boy so much and don't want the unspeakable to happen to him or I. Thanks for doing such a great job.
I have a problem with the policy on laptops. I always travel with my laptop, and I always keep it in a bag that is padded enough to absorb shock that may occur while traveling. Often times, there are rollers prior to and after the conveyor belt in screening at the security check point. Rolling or shoving (as some careless people might do to my bin) the bin on the rollers makes the bin bounce quite a bit. This can cause some of sensitive connections in the laptop to loosen up over time. I'm sure that many travelers like myself have paid quite a bit for their laptops and don't appreciate it when you $2000 being shoved around carelessly. I would like to suggest that if the TSA doesn't allow me to put my laptop on top of a coat or sweater, that they provide a foam padding to place in the bins for the laptops to rest on. If due to the expense this should not happen, I think that it is not unreasonable to allow concerned customers to bring some type of padding.
I have a comment not regarding policy or procedure, but the manner in which these things are carried out.I am a frequent flier and have been to over 9 countries in the past year alone. Most of the world has jumped on board with the U.S. for increased security. But, I have noticed a large difference in the way that these countries carry out their screenings.In each of these nine countries, no agent was shouting "TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES, COATS, HATS!" etc. There was an air of friendliness and peace throughout. Now, I also have many stopovers so the planes I occupy have many nationalities, and yet all are treated with the highest respect.I feel TSA should do a better job of how to prepare the agents to look more professional. It is our face to the world, and I have to say, it is the least courteous and professional I have seen so far, from Japan to Cambodia to France. Please get a better system!
Someone intimated that TSA violates the 4th amendment so I had to read the amendment."The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."Being required to walk through metal detectors and putting your carryons through the x-ray machine is not unreasonable, just a pain in the a**.Having to remove shoes is unreasonable. If explosives were in my shoes and I walked through the airport, (1) my body language would give me away and (2) the dogs that I constantly see would pick up the odor. At least, those are my thoughts. Since I am required to remove shoes (if I want to fly), put out a few chairs so I don't have to do a balancing act or sit on the table or the floor.Anonymous TSO employee wrote "People, please get your facts straight or at least attempt to do some research before you start throwing stones." Give us the facts or at least tell us where we can find them. Has TSA actually thwarted any hijacking attempts? Found any bombs? "Research" by one blogger (www.bmj.com, archive, 2007, Dec 22) provided good solid questions about the validity of "work" done by TSA and no one has answered those questions. So, Anonymous employee, maybe YOU should have done your own research.I have worked as an airline employee and still have friends who do work for airlines. We all admit that we are not safer but, as one friend stated, "The public feels safer". Huh?
Is there a security system in place to record TSA inspections of checked luggage? I fly very frequently and on different airlines. I find the little inspection card in my bags about half the time. The only airport where anything comes up missing is Minneapolis. A perfect 4 for 4 where electronics turn up missing and nothing stating the item was confiscated; just the standard TSA inspection card inside. I've never had anything else missing at any other airport. My brother (using a different airline) has had similar experiences. Being a baggage inspector is probably a thankless job, but what is being done to remove the 'temptations'.
To the TSA Screener,Perhaps many passengers would not gripe so much if the screeners weren't so rude. So I left a bracelet on! I'm sorry, my fault, I'll put it in a bin and then pass through the security, no problem. Why is it necessary for the officer to talk to me as if I just did the most stupid thing a person could do in her life?I support the TSA's role in protecting passengers, however, I also think that respect is earned, and this is not the way the TSA will gain respect. Perhaps a little training in customer service is due? Manners seems like a thing of the past at the security check.
When will TSA resurrect their efforts to "fast pass" people through the security checkpoints by providing a biometric based pass to individuals after a background check has been conducted? In the Washington, DC area many individuals have been cleared for Secret and Top Secret access to classified material, yet they have to pass through the security screening, wasting time and effort. The federal government is spending a fortune trying to develop "sniffers", yet the easiest way to reduce the number of individuals requiring detailed scrutiny at the security gates remains mothballed. Can the TSA management get anymore inept and myopic than they already are? They should be investing in means to focus their efforts the potential terrorist, not on individuals who have already been cleared by the same government the TSA purports to work for.
On a chartered flight from Nome, Alaska, my fellow passengers (almost all elderly tourists) and I were subjected to a three-hour in-depth scrutiny by TSA. The flight itself was less than 2 hours. Why?On one trip I had to make several connecting flights. My checked baggage was checked at every airport. There were notes in it that it had been checked at every stop. When I arrived at my destination, something of little monetary but much personal value was missing. When I arrived back in this country and asked about it, I was told I should have reported it immediately. That's hard to do when you're in coastal Siberia for three weeks.A friend, who is very intelligent and likable, took the TSA test for employment. She thought she did well on it, but was turned down. She has no criminal record. She never mentioned this, but to me it seems TSA is not interested in hiring the best people. I apologize to TSA employees, but that's the impression I get from her experience, and many of mine.Because of TSA and airline problems I will no longer fly, except in emergencies. Even considering the price of gas, I would rather drive coast to coast.
It seems to me that there is alot of Americans that have issues with Fedral Marshal's being on plans and with the TSA. I think that we all need not to forget what event brought this on. I feel much safer flying and with my relatives that fly for their jobs because of the security. It may seems like a pain when you go to travel by air and you have to deal with security features, but just remember that they are their to protect us and to keep us all safe. Since the events of 9/11 air travel has been much safer and I have never liked to fly but when I have to it eases my mind to know that they plane I am riding on is safe. I have all the respect in the world for the one's who put thier life's on the line for this country everyday whether it being in the airports, or on the ground. We as Americans need to stand behind our men and women in uniform and thank them for the work they do to protect this Country that we live in and us as citizens of this Country. So this is my THANKS TO EVRYONE IN UNIFORM.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry about the incident I had last year. The day before my flight I went on line to print my boarding pass. However, I was told that would not be possible as I had been randomly selected for a more indepth security check. If I were a terrorist they gave me plenty of warning, since I am not a danger it did not make me feel very secure.
I think having roaming "greeters", looking for people who seem confused, rushed, with kids, disabilities..etc is a great idea. Approaching those passengers while in the screening line and asking them, in a friendly manner, if they can be of any assistance in explaining the screening process to them, would be a small but hugely effective tool in creating a non-threatening atmosphere. Having two grim looking TSA agents standing by the line with arms crossed staring at everyone isn't really helping, just intimidating. As soon as you enter the screening areas, most people get anxious. Doing things like smiling and being pro-active doesn't take away the ability for the TSA to do their jobs. When the common citizen is treated like a terrorist everywhere they go, the terrorists have won a battle.
Grins: The TSA agent in Atlanta that helped me to find the door of the screening room through my tears. Read on...Gripes: The female TSA agent that left me in that same Atlanta International screening room after thoroughly humiliating me. I am a 41 year old female, injured the night before the flight, with a crushed big toenail from dropping my suitcase. I was bandaged and limping, exhausted from the nearly 24 hour trip, but still thrilled to be back home in the United States.I was singled out and seperated from my 13 year old son, and the 35 other soccer family members that we had travelled with from Denmark, because a sterling "Lord's Prayer" bracelet set off the alarms. The bracelet does not come off. I tried to explain the bracelet, but was told by the female agent to "shut up and move to the screening room", a glass enclosure next to the xray machines. I moved to the room immediately because of her threatening tone. I did not question her authority. I did as she asked. Before the humiliating and invasive rub down, I mean inspection, I tried to ask the woman about my things that were still sitting in the xray area. Most importantly, my son, but also my purse, my passport, my shoes. She told me again to shut up, moved back to the xray area and according to my son, who was left standing at the xray machine dumbfounded, and within earshot, told the xray technician that this "fat white woman thinks she's all that. Where the f... are her things?" My son was scared and quietly moved away from her, looking for our soccer friends to stay safe with. She continued to threaten me, when she returned to the room and threw the bucket of my belongings on the table, telling me to "stand up, hands up, shut up, sit down", nary a please or pleasantry from her mouth. I was always taught that you catch more bees with honey then vinegar, and so I said nothing, despite the tears and sobbing that I could not control. She finished her inspection, said nothing, and left me in the room. I was so shaken I couldn't read the name on her ID tag.Grins again: The very nice man, another TSA employee, who saw my distress and came to help me out of the room. Not two feet out of the room, into the arms of a fellow travelling companion and my son, a man in a dark suit standing next to me yelled "Freeze....everybody freeze! This is a security breach! Freeze, everybody freeze!" After two minutes of total silence in this huge. room, he yelled again, "Great job everyone, thankyou for your support in our security exercise." Grins...the tears of frustration turned to tears of relief!
I have 2 points to comment on, 1. Many complaints I see are about bringing food into a secured area. My wife and I flying from Cleve. OH to Fla. had no trouble or even questions about carrying in 2 large sub sandwiches from Subway, no drinks, but the sandwiches passed through just fine.2. On that same trip however...we checked golf clubs. After opening the soft travel bag, checking it and zipping it back up, the inspector slid the bag off of the table which caused it to fall club heads first against the floor. Would he treat his own golf clubs that way??? NO. Since he just looked at the bag, he HAD to know which end was which. Worse off he knew we were standing right there-it was just one of those " hee hee watch me screw with you" momentsThat type of action gives the inspectors a bad reputation, but they know there is nothing I can do about it at the time.
BEWARE: TSA STOLE A VIDEOCAMERA FROM MY CHECKED LUGGAGE AT CHICAGO O'HARE AIRPORT!!! The videocamera bag was securely in my checked-in luggage upon release to the TSA personnel at JetBlue. No one besides TSA/JetBlue had access to the bag after that point. Upon arrival in LA, we opened our luggage and EVERYTHING had been rifled through. The videocamera bag pockets were all opened, and the camera was gone. They even took all the power cords and our videos. We logged a complaint with the airline and they said they would "look for it" and if w/in 5 days it didn't turn up, tough luck. I thought TSA was designed to protect us, not steal from us. Is there nothing in place to ensure personnel don't steal or that there is any consequence for stealing passenger luggage items??? Seems like stealing is condoned by TSA.
How can you possibly justify forcing a woman to remove her nipple piercings? That is inhumane and moronic. You need to stay serious but also realistic about what kind of person is a threat to your airline security. If a person were to somehow try to use a nipple piercing as a weapon, couldnt said person or a 60 year old lady use an ear ring as a weapon? Yet they dont remove those, wake up and remember safety is as important as respect.
I am 68 years old and had a titanium left knee replacement almost three years ago. I have a large scar on my left knee and a card from the hospital stating I have a knee replacement. The scanner goes off over my knee. I don't mind the search, but I believe with all the elderly people with joint replacements, time could be well spent on other venues.
This is more of a Grin than a GripeDoes anyone else chuckle / wonder about the "PSA Announcements" that seem to run non-stop?Any idea how long we will need to endure hearing that the threat level has been "increased to orange"? Since we have had the whole threat level matrix in place since shortly after 9/11, and we have been at orange for most of this time, is there a time limit on how long we can stick with "increased" as opposed to accepting that orange is now normal.Alternatively, since there have been a couple of occurances where the threat level was increased to red, shouldn't the announcement say that the threat levels have been "decreased to orange"?Just a random curiosity.
So far, we've had two digital cameras stolen from our luggage in the last three years. The first time it happened, I went to the TSA web site, filled out a claim form and waited. One year later, I received a letter in the mail basically saying "you can't prove we did it". It's true that airline luggage handlers would also have had access to the luggage, but without the ability to lock my luggage, I'm completely vulnerable to this type of abuse. About a month ago, I flew from Newark to Phoenix and when I opened my suitcase, I found that EVERY zipper on EVERY item inside my suitcase had been opened -- toiletries strewn all over the suitcase, computer accessories, office supplies that had been neatly organized in separate pouches. Do these people have any adult supervision?
The way in which the TSA conducts business varies from airport to airport. While flying from Pittsburgh to San Francisco, I went through the checkpoint with a large bottle of water and a container of Mandarin oranges. NOTHING was confiscated. However on the way back from San Francisco, I had a layover in another city before going back to Pittsburgh and at that checkpoint, my water and other food items were confiscated. The rules seem to depend on who's manning the checkpoints. In additon, I was very pissed of when my new bottle of very expensive perfume was taken without any way of retrieving it. I'm sure one of the TSA agents made a present of that to a wife, girlfriend, mom etc. And another thing, where does the confiscated stuff go? Who takes it? What happens to it? We are a country running scared from our own shadows. And when it's all said and done, if the terrorists put their minds to it - as proven on Sept. 11th - they can and will get us again and again, regardless of our 'security measures', security alerts, screeners etc. What we need to do is pray for guidance and protection from the God we've forsaken, for the Bible says, "Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." Wake up and smell the coffee - if God doesn't protect us, the TSA and our goofy government certainly cannot!
All of the TSA requirements were made for our safety not for their personal pleasure of torturing fliers. After all riding on a plane is dangerous, you are 10, 000 feet in air if you get hijacked, it's hard to do anything about it. So if you aren't worried for your safety, and still don't like these regulations, then DON'T FLY. It's simple as that. TSA isn't torturing children and elderly and if you believe that again DON'T FLY. Have a I made my point clear?
Why is there not a method of identifying the person(s) who inspect checked luggage? I have had checked items damaged, "removed" and obviously mistreated by the inspectors. When they put the slip stating the TSA has inspected the bag, why isn’t there a spot for badge number or employee ID? There should be some accountability and way to identify good and bad employees. If there is someone who is careless with other people’s belongings they should not continue to be employed in a position where they have access to them. I have had experiences where the sheet of paper is the only way I knew someone had been in my luggage, but unfortunately most of the time it is the opposite. An example: On my last trip to Hawaii, I took my golf clubs. When I arrived I was waiting for my ride and decided to check on my clubs as the case looked like it wasn’t closed properly. I had packed them (clubs in a golf bag) in a hard case which has a foam lining. The case had been opened to be inspected, understandable and fine. What was not fine was that it looked like the bag had been dumped out by a mad child throwing a tantrum, and the items jammed back inside the bag and case. The golf bag has separate sleeve for each individual club, but the clubs had been jammed 2-3 to a sleeve. And my Driver’s head cover was torn. I was also missing a souvenir divot tool/ball marker. The bag with my clothing which I had carefully packed was in the same condition (looked like it was dumped out and “shoveled” back in. I went into the airport to talk to someone, but they just told me that the TSA is not accountable for their actions. They told me to fill out some paperwork and submit it to the airline to be reimbursed for the items damaged, but eh TSA (the inspecting party) was not liable for damage. Ridiculous! I asked if there was a way to identify the person(s) responsible for the damage and mishandling of my belongings. They said no to that also. There should be some way to hold these people accountable for their actions. Save your "breath" This is anonymous because it is easier. I don't have and open id or anything.
Someone mentioned TSO's getting paid $10 an hour, well this may not be what you want to hear, but they start @ 14.10 - I have been here 6 years and my NET income for '07 was 78k - OUCH -It's hard work and hazardous dealing with most of you, but I think i'll stick with it a little longer. See you on the checkpoint :)
Start profiling and quit wasting time on little old ladies. Everytime I see a little old lady getting "extra attention", I can only think how the terrorists must laugh and how much of the tax dollar is wasted.
To the people complaining about their civil liberties, where in the world, in what founding document were you granted "The right to fly on a commercial airliner"? As long as there are people that want to make a statement by hurting Americans I will gladly put up with a little inconvience. And by the way, how do I know or the TSA know for that matter that Your not the terrorist? If you don't like security, drive your car, then nobody can bother you and you can't bother anybody else.
What a bunch of whining babies. Granted, handicapped people do have special needs and they should be accomadated but the rest of you just need to shut up. Yes, there are some rude people with TSA jobs but the major majority of them are polite and just doing their jobs. Thank you TSA employees!!!
I am not sure if my comment was ever passed on to the TSA. Because of the luggage rules, I think it falls in their jurisdiction. I just found the TSA link on the Internet and think it's a wonderful idea--provided these letters are actually read and acted upon (perhaps in some small way to alter procedures for the better).I wrote the following letter to US Airways, the Philadelphia airport and copied my Congressman, Dennis Moore. The response I got from the airport was basically, too bad, so sad, it happens. Congressman Moore said he would look into it. US Airways was apologetic.In May 2006 my son, a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps., flew US Airways from North Carolina to Hartford, Connecticut. His connecting flight was through Philadelphia. He was to attend a wedding and was to wear his Marine Dress Blues. As is his custom, he removed his campaign ribbons, medals, and the neck band and placed them in a bag in one of the pockets of his suitcase. His suitcase was lost somewhere between departure and final destination. After numerous urgent phone calls to US Airways, his suitcase was delivered to him late Friday evening. Needless to say, he was relieved to have his uniform. When he opened his suitcase the morning of the wedding though, he found that his campaign ribbons, medals, and the neck band had been removed from his luggage! As there are no Marine bases in New England, he had to scramble like a madman to try to replace the missing pieces of his Dress Blues in time to wear it to the wedding. He was still “out of uniform.” Thankfully, there were no Marine officers at the wedding. Marines take great pride in their uniforms--especially their Dress Blues. It takes two Marines to dress one properly. If one button is turned sideways, they are “out of uniform.” There cannot be so much as a finger print on the brass buckle or the brim of the cap. Needless to say, he was quite dismayed when his campaign ribbons were gone.I know there is a necessity for luggage to be screened and checked. We are no longer allowed to lock our suitcases. To cooperate and to avoid things being stolen from my bags, I have put “TSA approved” locks on my suitcases. If I still lose something, so be it; but I really must draw the line at dishonoring and vandalizing our servicemen! When one sees a crisp, new dress uniform, is it really necessary to go through all the pockets and remove pieces? It is not a costume--it is a tangible emblem of their service to our country and deserves respect. Is nothing safe? Will the security people also go through closed military Orders folios to make sure they approve of what is in there as well? --Laura Feingold
I travel frequently and while the TSA is usually polite and sometimes efficient, the word friendly does not apply. While going through security recently, the TSA hit on something in my bag and asked that I open it. They rustled through and located my cosmetics bag. Inside, there mas a extremely small pair of scissors (the kind from hotel mending kits that are about two inches with rounded edges that honestly barely cuts through thread). I was give a stern look and told that the sign clearly states no scissors. ok...my bad. But-and here is my issue- I was allowed to carry my umbrella through. A metal contraption with a thousand metal pieces that can be broken apart by a two year old and could easily be used as a weapon. If someone came at you with mending scissors, you might die...laughing. My flight was fine -and safer, maybe- sans mending scissors.
To the passanger that had to be "rescreened" Once you leave the sterile area, we have no idea where you went, what you purchased(a knife perhaps?) ect.. Therefore re-screening is neccessary. As for the "extra screening" your second time around, that was the airlines doing. I am not at liberty to explain "why", but please be assured it wasn't you or anything personal
I just have a question. If TSA's job is to screen for possible terroist threat items, then why would they detain you for drug paraphernalia? The last time I checked a pipe didn't pose a threat. Is this TSA's way of disguising as the police?
I fly once a week minimum, and often much more- and amongst the Hawaii airports. I have found that all of the islands provide quick, experienced and polite security with the exception of Kona.I have personally witnessed 3 acts of rudeness that were completely unnecessary to the task of keeping our airways secure. The general atmosphere is often grumpy. The bullying nature of the agents is, in my opinion, a clear attitude issue. One example was an elderly gentleman who was confused by the request of the agent for him to remove his belt. The man was obviously hard of hearing, and the agent was clearly without any patience or aloha.In the coming years of economic downturn, we need to maintain our aloha to our visitors- or even increase it- as we face fewer tourist dollars, and possibly fewer tourists. Do you job TSA- but bullying isn't part of it.
I have a question? Since I work on the water ways. And Am now Required To pay the government a fee to work. referring to the Transportation workers Identification Card(TWIC). Which allows me to enter and roam freely unescorted in chemicial plants. That my boat goes to. And am already the holder of a Merchant Mariner's Document. And have had more Back ground checks conducted on myself than any one of the TSO's ever think about getting. And am entrusted by the United States Coast Guard. to handle any kind or chemical that you can think of. to load and unload at our river and sea ports. I already work on a bomb. Load 28,000 barrels at 42 gallons a barrel.And have 3 or 4 of these at the dock at the same time. and this is what I'm entrusted with. Will this card help me at any airport that I go to? I think the answer is no! But according to the TSA it will make things easier for all of us.
I am a frequent international traveler going back and forth between LAX and several destinations in Mexico. I dread the screening process and take issue with the general lack of professionalism and an obvious lack of a command of the English language on the part of most of the screeners. Most are very rude and condescending. I find absolutely incredible that with today's technology, you still have screeners yelling out orders to a group of people being herded through a line while stripping their clothing off. It is a very belittling experience, especially considering those yelling out the instructions are doing it in less-than-perfect English. Does this whole scenario remind you of a particularly ugly event in the world's history? It reminds me honestly of the Jews being herded by the Germans into the death camps. I know that sounds extreme, but think about it. You have people who seem angry yelling and hurrying people through a processing line while forcing them to remove clothing. Shame on you. Shame on us as a country. We can and should do better for our citizens. Might I suggest that instead of having screeners yelling out instructions, you create an instructional video using a friendly and familiar voice to inform travelers of what is expected of them during the screeing process. Serioulsy, contract with a well know celebrity voice, or preferably several to mix it up a little bit, and play those videos during the screening process. You could even inject a little light humor. Can you image some well-known voices like Mel Gibson or Julia Roberts giving out these instructions? This would bring the stress level way down and greatly improve communication, which I would think is your ultimate goal. You could produce the video using animation technology -- similar to the safety videos you see on board the airplane. I'm sure the celebrities would be more than happy to do it once you point out to them the huge public service they would be performing. This would be the single biggest improvement in the whole unpleasant process. Thank you for considering my suggestion.Joe McKernanLong Beach
It seems as though the screeners are so concerned with liquids, aerosoles, medications, food, eta. that they forget the obvious threats. I made a trip from Seattle to Houston and forgot that I had taken my pocket knife out of my pocket and stuck in my carry-on while on the bus to the airport, intending to put it in my checked bag, and forgot about it. The TSA screener was so focussed on the bag of the person behind my that had aerosole sunscreen in it that they let me through security with the knife (only a 2" blade) and onto the plane. It wasn't until I disembarked the plane that I remembered the knife and shared the info with the people I was travelling with. That may not be a "real" threat, but it shows how gels and liquids are driving the screening process causing screeners overlook obvious threats. What's next? A post of somebody getting a big knife on? or a GUN?Go back and look at the history of airline hijackings......last time I checked nobody took over a plane with peanut butter......
The comments regarding the limits on medical items at the checkpoint stations encouraged me to post my experience regarding medical devices. TSA really needs to educate their screeners on common medical devices. I have asthma carry an inhaler with me at all times. I have a severe allergy to dogs. Dogs can trigger a severe asthma attack for me and having had a bad experience on one flight where I became ill because another passenger brought a dog on board the plane, I am careful to make sure that I always have an inhaler with me when I board a plane. Anyway, in two different airports I have had my inhaler nearly confiscated because the screeners did not know what it was. Since I will not get on board a plane without the inhaler after my previous experience I was forced to spend nearly 30 minutes with different TSA employees explaining my problem until I found an employee who knew what the inhaler was. The problem was that there was no "prescription sticker" on the device (the pharmacy puts it on the box - so carry the box with you if you are in this situation). This is a very common medical device - I couldn't believe that so many people didn't understand what it was. I went through this not once, but twice at two different airports nearly missing my flights both times.
Making 95 yr-old obviously frail women remove their shoes is just plain stupid, and shows an alarming lack of common sense. And then, to pull them aside for individual screening (at least it was by a female) with a wand, again, shows an alarming lack of common sense. The time and money would be better spent by, yes, PROFILING, and doing more frequent in-depth checking of carry-on luggage than checking little old ladies who have approximately ZERO chance of having been radicalized to the degree that they might be in any way dangerous.
TSA is a joke. They check the sick, disabled and children while missing the actual people of importance. They make my severely diabled Aunt move around in her wheelchair and remove her shoes. They let a young mother with a baby struggle with no assistance.We have to worry about how and what to eat while flying, what we are going to feed our children, if we'll be allowed enough, did we go over the limit and will it be confiscated?As far as I am concerned the terrorists don't have to do anything further, they've already won the war on terror.
Greetings, dear TSA folks,I've got a question. I've flown off and on my whole life, and never had any troubles with security. 9/11 did not change this. However, moving to Lubbock, TX changed everything.Since moving here, I have been frisked every single time I have flown. At one point I was told to undo my belt, and the top button of my jeans, and the zipper of my jeans, and then also to hold out the front of said jeans. It was as though the security officer thought I was concealing a bomb in my panties. She also ran her hands much more closely along my chest than other officers have done in the past, and my bra was sans underwire. The previous passenger got through without a problem, wearing a heavily studded belt that wasn't even unbuckled.This happens to me regardless of the airport in question. I've had my bags emptied, swabbed, and left scattered on a table to me to reassemble because of a suspicious notebook. I'm not sure what's so suspicious about a notebook, to be honest. The clipboard I can understand, because the metal clip part could look odd in the x-ray. But a 3-ring binder?I'm just wondering why from 2004 on, I get patted down (skirts), unzippered (jeans and trousers), unpacked, etc. at every security checkpoint I encounter. I can think of nothing I've done differently since 2004. It's just the address.And the address is still a TX address, so I'm still dealing with the same TX airports. I just added the Lubbock one. But the Lubbock one isn't the only airport I use, and the others started this bizarre behavior all at the same time.I'm short, female, young. I'm a graduate student, usually travelling with textbooks and pen/paper combos. I know terrorists don't have a "look" per say, but I'm not sure what it is that's setting this off.Anyway, that's the question. Why am I always (seriously every single time... I keep track in a journal because it amuses me on some level) pulled aside, wanded, patted down, unzippered, unpacked, etc. these days, when before 2004 I was not?Thanks a bunch,FriskyGradStudent
I recently returned from my vacation. I had various transits on my way to NY. My baggage was tagged all the way to NY, so the other airports would not check my luggage. When I retrieved my suitcase, someone had broken the zipper portion where you insert a lock, in order to break it open. Just to make sure my luggage is not damanged, I had used TSA approved locks that we get at Walgreens. I was under the impression that TSA agents have a master key, and would use them to open the lock. But my brand new suitcase was damaged. When I talked to the airport official, they explained their policy that is " damaged zippers are not compensated", besides that any other damage is considered. Now those luggage is of no use. If I had known they would break the lock either way, I would not have gone to the trouble of getting TSA approved locks. I have enough of the regular locs.
I want to suggest that the reason we have limited problems with hijackers/terrorists is because we as a people have installed security. 9/11 gave us two choices, tighten security or continue to be victims. I am glad that we chose to tighten security. I fly frequently and have a knee replacement that requires a hand check each time I enter the secure area. One day alone, I went through the process four times. Is it annoying? Sometimes. Is it inconvenient? Sometimes. Is it necessary? Absolutely. The TSA screeners I have experienced have been very polite and helpful. I have not met many that were rude or indifferent. I think the key is to not give them an attitude while they are trying to do their job. It is human nature to be cautious with someone who is obviously upset or angry, so when I smile and tell them a little joke, it allows them to relax and interact with someone who is not mad at them. It has always made my experiences with TSA a positive thing. In closing, I would pay for a chip or documentation that would let me go through the process without the constant hand searches. Until something like that is implemented, I will continue to smile and tell jokes to make the process more human for the TSA workers and myself.
Each time a new threat possibility hits the TSA radar, we change the travel rules, this causes a new set of delays that hamper both the TSA and the traveler- as a frequent traveler, I say the simple solution is NO carry on bags, you get to carry what will go under your seat- all other bags are checked- this will cause the vast majority of people to wait at baggage claim, but the increase in speed through the security checkpoints and the ability to actually board an airplane in a orderly manner (and take off on time) will eat up the additional time at baggage claim and then some.If you cannot travel without carring your luggage on the plane,pehaps you should be using your trunk- its the wide open space located in the rear of your car- added bonus... you make your own rules when using your own car- but if your flying you follow the TSA's!!!!!!!
I don't know if this issue is from TSA or just from all of the airlines I've ever flown on. Whenever I fly I'm always asked if I packed my own bag, if it has been out of my care since being packed, if someone else put something in my bag, if someone else put something in my bag without my knowledge, etc. Now wait a second, if it was without my knowledge, how would I know? Any time I've asked "if it was done without my knowledge, how would I know to be able to tell you?" the agent gives me a suspicious look and wants to go through my stuff. They don't see the problem with asking that question. I've learned to just grin and say "Nope, nobody has done anything to that bag without my knowledge" and move on. If that is a TSA question, can you please stop asking such a dumb question? If something is done without my knowledge, I can't exactly tell the questioner because, wait for it... it was done without my knowledge.
A few gripes-First, on traveling with children- I have two kids under 3. It is very difficult to travel with them. I don't believe it is necessary for me to take off their shoes and coats and fold up their strollers, however if you must subject me to this, then don't yell at me to move forward and expect that i will do anything less than clog the security line. That's right- it is very hard to juggle two kids, two umbrella strollers, 3 pairs of shoes, my purse, their toys and coats. Parents in my position should receive immediate and helpful assistance. The only people who seem sympathetic are elderly people who stop to help me even though they are struggling themselves!Secondly, the food restrictions for children (and really all people) are ridiculous. There is nothing at an airport for me to feed my kids. I already paid for the overpriced airline tickets and i can not afford to buy junk food for extreme prices. Put a foodstore with reasonable prices in an airport if you think you can take away my home packed snacks. I'd love to hear how wrapped organic baby crackers can be a terrorist tool. And while I understand the need for rules and comformity I think its sad that the security screeners don't use common sense- an old person who cannot walk and a mom with two kids who have food are a little different than a guy wearing sheets with two suspicuous shopping bags full of food.And that brings me to my last gripe. I once got wanded 4 times on a trip from Indianapolis to New York while a man who looked like Bin Laden's twin brother carried on two brown paper bags. No one even opened them to take a look at what was inside. He sailed through the check point and then he ended up being seated next to me on the flight. When he was given his sandwich he started sniffing it and cursing before offering it to me. Then he began eating cherries from his shopping bag and spitting the pits about the cabin. True story. It is NO secret what the terrorist demographic is. I'm sorry but it is not a 25 yr old white woman with 2 small kids, or even a 25 year old black or asian woman with two kids. We KNOW who the typical terrorists are and smart people know who is acting suspicious. It's not that difficult. We are NEVER going to catch the terrorists if we do not use the information we have- we know it is typically Middle Eastern men from 18 to 65. These are the people we should focus on. Sure there may be exceptions but it is unlikely that an old white guy in a wheelchair traveling with his 3 yr old granddaughter is a terrorist. Let's get smart here! This political correctness is ridiculous. If I were in the demographic that most of the terrorists were in(my brother in law is and he agrees), knowing that and knowing that I am not one, I'd gladly submit to screening because I'd have nothing to hide. Meanwhile, other people would not have to get harrassed. I'm sorry if it singles out a certain demographic, but it is stupid to ignore the facts just to pretend to not offend anyone. If you were looking for the person that killed your loved one and the cop asked you to ID the suspect I doubt you'd refrain from telling them it was a 30 yr old short white bald guy to not offend anyone because saying it could be anyone will not point the cop in the direction of the guilty party.
I have no problem with having my carry on toiletry items limited. I have no problm with having to remove my shoes prior to going through security. I understand that these procedures are in place to protect me and my family. What I DO have a problem with is the rudeness and poor attitudes of many of the TSA personnel. Yes, dealing with the public can be a real trying experience, especially when doing this day in and day out. However, this is your JOB! If you can't stand it, get out. Realize that the forced procedures the public is having shoved down their throats to protect their own security is an inconvenience and annoying as well. A smile and an understanding word can go a long way towards making the whole demeaning process more bearable. I get riled up myself when having to pass through security with a TSA employee who clearly shoves their authority down your throat with a holier than thou attitude. Raleigh/Durham in NC is a prime example. Train your personnel in customer service as well. You might be surprised how much it might help!
The TSA agents at SW Florida International (Fort Myers) have a serious problem with people who are not easily racially identifiable. Personally, I know of four different incidents where racially mixed people were taunted, harrassed and unnecessarily searched by TSA agents. The last time it occurred, I happened to glance back and saw the two main perpetrators "high-fiving" each other and howling with laughter. I get nowhere with TSA; they don't even acknowledge that I complain. My stomach starts to churn whenever I approach these surly, unpleasant, obviously bored and not too bright "defenders of our liberty." At the very least, they need to understand that the flying public, not George Bush or some other Federal Bogeyman, is the reason they even have a job. My suggestion: Start a no-muss, no-fuss, no X-ray, bypass TSA, present ID, pay cash, walk-on airline and call it "Take Your Chances." I'd fly that any day.
My brother is a soldier with the United States Army. He was recently home on leave and when we took him to the Lincoln, NE Airport so he could return to his unit, my family and friends witnessed disrespect towards him by the TSA bag screening crew. He of course was checking a military duffel, and his flight was due to leave before the other flight being screened by that particular group of TSA employees. My brother's duffel was continuously ignored at other customer's put their luggage in line to be screened. The most outrageous sign of disrespect was the point at which one screener picked up his duffel and put it behind a bunch of other luggage, even though his had been waiting to be checked first. What was even more upsetting was the fact that the screeners did not show any signs of caring when we asked them to please check his duffel. It was already a stressful day for our family, and sadly the TSA employees just added to that stress. I would, however, greatly like to thank the woman that did finally check his bag. She was our family's hero that day!
I travel weekly and I have to say the the TSA staff at Sky Harbor International Airport (Phoenix, Arizona) has the rudest personnel staff. They seem to have different rules from every other airport. Someone really needs to check into how they are handling the customers and why they are making up their own rules.
On December 31, 2007, I flew from Orlando airport. I had spent 5 days at Disney World and had bought a bottle of wine. I had the bottle wrapped and boxed and sealed before I left the shop. I wrapped the box with clothes, put it inside a bag, and secured it in the middle of my checked luggage. When I returned home and opened my luggage, it was obvious that the box was opened and the bottle examined. However, it was not replaced in the middle of my luggage and it is a miracle that it did not break in transit. Are we so parinoid that we mistrust Mickey Mouse?
The TSA needs to be privatized. Or dissolved completely, leaving transportation security to private companies like it used to be.
HiI think this is a fantastic initiativeI am an Indian married to an american.When I go thro security,I am almost always checked...its not a problem as you have to do your job but can you get your employees to treat us better,they greet my husband very warmly and dont respond to me,they treat me like I am a suitcase,in a very inconsiderate manner.Can they be trained to treat people like human beings ?
After reading in our local newspaper that TSA welcomes our gripes,here goes.A few months ago, passing through security at Sea-Tac Airport, the line was approximately 200 people long and moving very slowly.As we got closer, we could see eight checkpoints, but only two were in service. No wonder the line moved so slowly. As we got to about 50 people from the checkpoint, one of the TSA officers let a group of TSA officals through directly to the checkpoint without any waiting in line. I was so chagrined, I wnated to yell out; but realized it would have been counterproductive and would have probably ended up with my expulsion of arrest. Several other in-line people were also very unhappy. Maybe if the TSA officals had to stand in line the 45 minutes we did, all eight stations would have been in operation.
I too frequently travel across the country and have found inconsistencies in the screening policies. I don't like taking my shoes off, I hate being hand searched and I am livid when they take items away from me, but the thing that gets me the most, having to leave my personal items on the belt, while I'm hand screened. TSA there has got to be another way- You ask us to empty our pockets into the trays and then ask us to leave it unattended while you hand screen us! We should be able to pick up our personal belongings.
I've asked this question many times, but have never received an answer: Why do TSA staff shout at passengers? What specific contribution to our security does yelling provide? I am shouted at in most of the airports I travel through; the exceptions are outside the US, where I have never been yelled at by security personnel. I daresay security is a lot better in Paris DeGaulle and Tel Aviv than anywhere in the US, and the security staff there are always calm, professional and courteous. When I arrived at PHL recently with a planeload of foreign visitors, I was appalled at the way we were treated. It is actually scary for people who don't understand English perfectly to be loudly harangued by someone in a uniform. It's not necessary, and would simply request that you stop it.
I travel about every two or three months and I am always amazed at this "inspection" process. It is a charade that is supposed to make us feel safer and that we have the upper hand over the terrorists. I have metal in my back, shoulder replacement and two knee replacement. I've learned to wear slip on shoes with no socks and tank tops. I am wanded and patted beyond good sense. I have bare arms and feet and they still wand me and pat me down. My arms were totally visible and the TSA lady told me to remove my watch! I guess she was afraid I had a hidden explosive device. These are regular folks that have been given a bit of power and they mean to exercise it as often as possible. As for checking the ID, they give my driver's license a cursory glance but practically strip search me! Are we safer? No way! We are more inconvenienced and this is the Bush Administrations way of distracting us from the real issues. Just as the war in Iraq was a war on terror which now has exploded into a civil war, while Afganistan's Taliban are actually growing in strength our country's infrastructure is falling apart because we are spending millions and millions on "Homeland Security" to strip search old disabled people. How silly of us to believe for one minute that just because some guy with a wand is searching the flying public that we are safe. I am sure that a terorist is going to be stupid enough to pack his explosive device in his carry on luggage whether it be in toothpaste, face cream or baby formula! Historically no airline terrorist has ever used an explosive device. They made the airplane the weapon! I bwet they didn't even have carry on and what need did they have for luggage? So I go back to my original thought and I will declare it out loud:It is a sham and a charade and the Emperor is naked!
I realize that TSA personnel screening and eximining bags see hundreds of people a day. But there was no excuse for the arrogant, snotty, behavior of TSA personnel at JFK on March 8, 2008. As a US citizen I did not appreciate the treatment I received from an TSA individual who was obviously enamored by her position of "authority". Other countries do not have these problems why should we have them or allow them here?
On a recent trip, I had my ID and boarding pass out, showed them to the agent, and asked if I would need them again when I got to the next phase of screening - all of 15 feet away, and was told no. I placed everything into trays, removed my shoes and prepared to walk through the metal detector. Just as I was entering it, another agent demanded my boarding pass which I had returned to a pocket in my bag along with my ID. I told the agent I had replaced it in my bag as I was told it would not be needed at this stage of the screening. WRONG. They demanded to know where it was and I tried to tell them, but it's sort of difficult to communicate when you're referring to a part of your bag as one thing and it's being interpreted in another way by the person doing the actual looking. Finally, the bag was thrust at me, and I was told to get the boarding pass out and go back through the x-ray and metal detector. It took me all of a second to locate the boarding pass but by then there was a line and going back through took longer. All the time I'm standing around in my stocking feet, my belongings have already gone through the x-ray and other people have gone through ahead of me. No one apologized for the misunderstanding, my belongings were just sitting at the end of the x-ray ramp underneath the belongings of others and I'm grappling to gather my things and get my slip-on shoes back on without losing my balance. All the time I'm thinking and the point of this is?? Why one agent tells a CUSTOMER (and that is what we are) one thing and 15 feet away we're told something completely different and NONE of them even bothers to listen is beyond me. How is this supposed to make people feel safer?? If common sense can't be expected, how on earth are we supposed to expect the kind of sense it takes to stop someone from committing a crime??
STSO DP: I totally see what you're saying. I'm not upset that I was searched, and I agree military personnel should not be exempt from it. TSA has many fine employees just like anyplace else.What I'm upset about is that we're often unnecessarily singled out in a crowd of passengers, and the screeners who are usually rude, arrogant and act with impunity go out of their way it seems to publicly humiliate us. (Examples include Joe Foss and his MOH, or the Marines at Oakland airport, and so many other related stories). This is a real problem. Me personally, coming back from 9 months of almost solid combat, and an 18-hour flight, all we wanted to do was get home to our families. We shouldn't have to deal with TSA thugs (as just those people were) the way I did as I mentioned in my first post. The TSO's behavior(s) by all government standards was totally unacceptable. Does TSA even have a UCMJ? If they do, I hope it works better than their official complaint system, because it's a joke that does not seem to resolve the complaints, including mine. Otherwise, those bad TSO's would have been held accountable for what they said and did to me and my fellow soldiers a long time ago! STSO DP: Please read my post from the other day (2 days ago, late night)and tell me what I SHOULD have done, putting yourself in my shoes that day. Maybe I'm going about the complaint process the wrong way; What could I have done differently?Thank you.
I do not fly any longer due to a bad TSA experience. My 80-something year old father and myself went to Denver to visit my sister and her family. We came back a day or two early and I guess this set the bells ring for the TSA. We were forced to go through the extra security lane. TSA agents in the same age bracket as my father manned this lane so the line wasn't exactly moving fast. We had to take our shoes off, had our bags sorted through, the broke my Dad's camera and lost his belt and I had my chest prodded. I guess an under wire bra is a dangerous item. They made us miss our flight. I've never been so angry and insulted in all my life and I no longer fly because of this. Yep, we were real security risks. I am a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and currently work in the aviation industry. My father served 14 years in the U.S. Navy, 19 years in the US Air Force and retired from Wright Patterson Air Force base. He served in WWII and had a security clearance while he was in the AF. My brother-in-law served in the Air Force and he is flying/instructing for a major airline. Most of the TSA checks are reactive and more than likely, no one will ever try again to use the same methods for evil behavior. Even if our shoes weren’t being checked, I’m sure the bad guys are smart enough to know that people are paying attention to shoes. Speaking of security risks, I find it really funny that the flying public is treated with such scrutiny when it has been made public that some TSA agents have been employed and later it was determined that they had a criminal record.
I like the TSA and I like the job they do, but I do not like being rushed through security with my two children at San Jose airport in CA. The TSA people could see that I was the only adult traveling with an infant and a toddler so naturally I need more time to break down the stuff and put it into the bins. That is just going through the xray and then I have to put my stuff back together again on the other side. Please give moms more time to get through and why don't you help a little more? If you think I am moving too slow then you put the stroller through the xray. Don't tap your foot waiting for me to get all of my things and handle my two kids because I will take my time to ensure I have all of my stuff. It is not a tragedy that I hold the line up because you don't know how to get families through nicely and efficiently.
2 majors areas of concern.... First is our inability to get off the plane when setting for mechanical proglems. This has to be changed. Second.....we really need to quit the very stupid way of selecting people and get to who really is a terrorist. Yes, we have had a couple of americans do it, but the threat is from non-american folks. Profiling has its place in this work and should be enforced. Profiling is necessary and needed. We are Americans and need to be treated as such. If you aren't American, then go to another line and strip down. As for preventing anything, there hasn't been a single case of anyone caught smuggling explosives aboard. If I were given full immunity to prosecution I could get most anything aboard you would need to do damage or harm. The flaws are readily apparent to anyone who looks hard enough. For that matter a simple radio controlled plane can do the same damage from offsite. Not a threat, just an observation many who travel discuss, just not at the airport, for obvious reasons.
I would like something to be done about the TSA people in LAX who work at the entrance to the passenger screening area in the Northwest terminal. (This is located at the base of a set of stairs leading to the screening area. Boarding passes are examined and stamped here.) In this particular location, certain TSA employees are acting in an extemeley hostile fashion towards passengers, and seem to actually be going out of their way to cause incidents. Examples of bad behavior would be: Asking for a second form of identification after a US passport has been presented, asking for a second form of identification after a valid US driver's license has been presented, taking a long time to 'read' a valid US passport, and then stamping the passenger's boarding pass with a red stamp so that they have to go through additional wanding and searching.
Look up the bio for Mr. Ernest B. Tremmel. Tremmel has/had top security clearances, flown on AF 1;google him, go on. He's on AEC/NRA sites. Why should a person with his kind of background be subjected to pure medical humiliation? In a TSA line he had to explain he'd had a hip replacement, knee surgery, the rest I didn't hear clearly enough to post here.I watched as he stood in physical painas a fellow I guess was maybe 21 yrs. old asked and asked again what was it that was really wrong and why shouldn't he be searched by 'the team.'Perhaps you could get together with the Department of State and when one's passport is issued or renewed, a clearing card could be enclosed so thatdisabled, or surgical passengers, can be passed along such as do airline staff?I read Mr.Tremmel's bio on Google. You should too! He deserves awards for his service to the USA, not embarrasments.
In April 2002 she was seriously hurt and had been laid up ever sinceIn Dec 2005 my wife and I flew from Austin TX to Vegas. My wife is an invalid and uses a wheel chair which we take with us on the plane. We had flown many times to Anchorage with no trouble, at that time she was in good health. At the Austin airport was our first time going through security and had no trouble with the security people. BUT coming back from Vegas my wife was told to get out of the wheelchair and sit on a different chair and while I was going through the screeners with my shoes off, they removed hers, at this point I will say that her shoes were soles and a few straps to hold them on, this was not done at Austin and I didn’t have go through the scanners, the security fellow put all our things in a basket and he took them thought the scanner. My wife, while still in Vegas wanted me to help her put her shoes back on but I was not allowed to go near her which at this time I told security to get a supervisor over as I wanted to talk with them. I told her how we were treated in Austin and they were playing the same game but with a different set of rules. We got back to Austin and had no trouble there, I would park my wife in her chair just inside the exit door, get the car, and then go back just inside the door and get her to the car.In Sept. 2007 our daughter, who lives in Michigan invited us to her home for our 60th wedding anniversary. We left Austin, again no trouble, had a good time in Michigan and had no trouble in Grand Rapids.Arrived back in Austin and used the same procedure with my wife, went out to the “long term” lot to get the car and when I came back I parked just outside the door where my wife was and this so called ‘Security” guy came up and said “you can’t park there” I told him I was just going in to get my wife and he said I could not leave the car unattended, I said “fine” you go in and get her, she is just inside the door and he said he could not get do it. I said OK you watch the car, get your supervisor and I walked in and got her. The fellow threatened me saying he was going to write me up, at this time Le Roy, the supervisor showed up and we had a little talk. The whole jist of this is that the security agents should be a little more helpful and help the people that have a disability. I did service work for 40+ years and there were many times I would do things to help the customer that I was not supposed to do.
i have never had any problems with a TSA officer. They have always been more than kind. I appreciate that a lot!!I do have a question, however; the last 4 or 5 times (in a period of 3 months) I have flown I have been tagged with a "SSSS," meaning I frequently get checked out. I just would like to know why? I kind of feel like I've been tagged, or something. I've gotten used to it, and I don't mind, really I'm just curious!Thanks for keepin' us safe to the best of your ability.
I would like take a moment just to comment. March 2007, My son (a Lnc Cpl., in the United States Marine Corps.) had to experience while on his way to war. He entered Bishop International Airport. He had 3 teenagers in front of him. They went through the process, their case breifly open then closed and went on. When it was his turn, they completely emptied out his sea bag. That was boots on the bottom, and neatly, folded laundry clothing on top. The TSO unfolded all the clothing, stuffing everything back into the bag unfolded, boots, and running shoes, on top. I know that for me, and others like me that it is required to search through our belongings. And for me this is fine. I'll go through this and not complain. But for what I saw that day, A Military personel being treated like this, was totally improper. The attitude of that TSO Officer was completely wrong. The Marine Corps. Lance Crp. was treated with no respect at all. In this case who is really fighting war on terrorist? He will soon being leaving for his second deployment, and I fear of this same disrespect to happen again. Considering he was shot while on patrol last june. What is he truely fighting for?Thank you for allowing me to air what has bothered me for more than a year.
nMy in-laws are from France; they are elderly and do not speak much English. When we are at our regional airport in Pellston, Michigan after they have visited us, inevitably both of them are singled out for a luggage and body search. Their passports are French, obviously. It seems incredulous to me that we are expected to acquiesce and accept that this selection is passed off as random, and the agents "can't do anything about it." "Won't" is the correct word here. It is clearly, clearly harrassment. Nobody working for the airline or TSA has ever tried to explain to them why they are subjected to these extensive indelicate searches, and they absolutely will not tolerate any attempts on the part of me or my husband to do so. The last time this happened, my husband, quite understandably, became upset, because the man in charge refused to talk to us, or to let him talk to his parents. When I calmed him down and tried to talk to the same man myself, he called airport security and the police on me, claiming that I was a troublemaker. All the while, my in-laws were being treated like criminals, having received no notice that they were to be searched, no reason as to why they were chosen, nobody with whom to speak about it, and having to watch helplessly as their relatives were accosted by security personnel for trying to help them get fair treatment. Come on!!! An elderly married couple who just happen to be from a foreign country, chosen at random????
I have never had a bad experience with TSA screening. While I'm sure that there are a few negative incidents, I think that many of the negative comments come from people who have deceived themselves about the strong risk of terrorist attach.Because I have metal implants, I have to be "wanned". I have been treated with respect and in a reasonable timely manner.I would rather be slightly detained and would rather surrender a little of my privacy than to be trapped on a sabotaged aircraft that is falling out of the sky.Bottom Line:I would rather be slightly delayed than totally dead.Jim Winter
While traveling to NYC from Ontario, CA last Christmas, my girlfriend and I were screamed at by airport security for having liquid makeup (this just after the no liquid policy was put into effect). I honestly saw no signage, nor were we being hard to get along with. I realize that TSA is trying to do their job, but the unprofessional ego trip some employees go on when they're stressed is inexcusable. My girlfriend cried for 4 hours after we were belittled for not reading the non-existant signage, watching her $100 makeup bag be thrown in a dumpster (while the employee locked eyes with her smirking) and for holding up the line and ruining everyone airport experience. I'm still so confused by the whole thing.After attempting to calm my girlfriend, I approached a TSA service person and explained that I was upset that we had been yelled at and humiliated in this way and asked politely if there was a way to file a complaint or if I could speak to a manager. I was told that no one would speak to me, that I could try the TSA website, but that Ontario was the "best of the best - better than LAX" and it was my fault that I had been yelled at because I had liquid make-up. Again, I realize you all have a tough job, but I bought a ticket to fly to NYC safely...I didn't pay to be screamed at, humiliated, or made an example of. I used to fly alot, I avoid it at all costs now due to this experience.
I am 20 years old and have physical diasabilities. The first thing TSA needs to realize that being physically diabled does not make me retarded. If anything people with disablities are usually more aware of what is going on around them and thier rights.Most of the time I am able to walk with asstaince (orthotics and leg braces) but I also travel with my crutches fairly often. I always state that I am wearing metal knee braces, orthotic shoes that I cannot walk without, and that my cary-on contains syringes for one of my medications.On one trip I have had both my best and worst experiences with TSA. I was flying from Indianapolis to Houston three weeks after having surgery to realign my leg (it had been broken and set with screws). On the trip there I had a very nice agent who took me to the seperate area and brought all my stuff for me to have near me while I went through additional screening. She helped me to remove my shoe from the broken leg while I removed the other and then took them both to be screen. She did pat down my imobilizer but was very plesant about it and told me to tell her if she was pressing to hard. she also helped me get my shoe back on since I could not reach the foot that was in the imobilizer.On the way home my trip could not have gone worse. My crutches were taken from me at the walk through metal detector and I was expected to hop to the seperate screening area instead of allowing me to get to the side area and then taking my crutches for screening. The agent also insisted on removing my imobilizer, even after I explained that it was doing the same service for my leg as a cast and could damage my leg if removed. I was 16 at the time and flying alone and was more worried about getting home at that point, but my doctor was livid when I told him it had been removed while I wasnt under supervision of him or my physical therapist.This summer I will be part of a group of about 400 people with a condition called Ehlers Danlos Sydrome trying to fly to Houston for an Education confrence and I can only hope that Houston has improved its disablity services accordingly.It is one thing to be inconvienced and another when TSA is risking your health and safety.
I have several issues to comment on from my travels in December. The first part of the journey, traveling from Denver to Akron with my 2 year old daughter, was piece of cake. All of her milk, OTC medicine, etc. went through the scans quick and easy and security was very helpful.Traveling from Akron to Denver was an annoyance. First, one security person asked my daughter what her name was. Keep in mind that she is two and does not talk to strangers. Then, the security lady told my daughter that if she did not say who she was that she couldn't go on the plane with her mommy. What kind of threat is that? It was utterly ridicously. Thankfully, my daughter identified herself, but what would have happened if she did not? What about my non-talking three year old niece who visited me last summer? Crazy! They need some training about how to act around kids who are already nervous.Then, at the next checkpoint the security screener scolded me for leaving the medicine in my bag, although I had done that from Denver. How was I to know that the milk and medicine had to be in the plastic tub? Seems strange that it is policy in one place and not the other. And, in Akron, they treated me very condescendingly because I hadn't removed them from my backpack. A nice reminder would have been nice, especially with me toting around winter coats, my daughter's stuff and my stuff too. I only have so many hands and at least one of them had to carry my tickets and ID.I would love to hear back on training for security personal and children.
I am an airline pilot. It is ridiculous that I am required to go through security in the first place (seriously, if you don't trust us to be safe, why in the world do you put us in charge of flying the plane???) but my real complaint is with the way I am hassled because I require a CPAP machine (due to sleep apnea) and must bring this through security. TSA officials do not put on fresh gloves before opening the case, pulling out the accessories, handling the mask and hose which touch my face and swabbing parts of the machine with a chemical to test to make sure my CPAP machine isn't really a bomb. I feel this is incredibly unsanitary, an invasion of my privacy, not to mention time consuming. I am an airline pilot wearing my uniform on the way to do my job. I take my CPAP machine with me through security somewhere in the country 3-10 times a week. Could you possibly come up with a letter of exemption for air crew carrying a medical device so I could avoid this treatment in the future?
My only real complaint with the entire airport screening process is the speed. If a trip is within 4 or 5 hours, I choose to drive now because I don't want to deal with airport security and the absolute incompetency of the airline industry. I have never had a negative experience with a TSA agent (I fly about once every 3 weeks, usually to or thru O'Hare). My only complaint is how God-blessed slow the entire process can be. You just never know how many TSA agents will be working and how many lanes will be open. To everyone complaining about the TSA, they're saints compared to the airlines. At least the TSA has the brass to create a blog like this. I wish the airlines had one. For that, I congratulate the TSA. In my last 4 flights, not once has any leg of a flight been on-time and my luggage has been lost twice. What's worse is that the airlines don't even apologize for their incompetence anymore. What's even worse than that is people have come to accept and expect that atrocious level of service from that industry. If I have to listen to another pilot tell me "Thanks" on the way out of the airplane after a two hour delay, I'm going to lose it. They should be saying, "I'm sorry", not "Thank you".
I wish all individual "hands-on" screens would be done behind a privacy curtain or screen. I think it is rude to pull that person out of the line and have them screened in front of everyone else for no other reason than because it's part of the system to randomly check people. Yes, I know someone can request a private screening, but how difficult would it be to put up privacy curtains as the rule? And why does this even need to be suggested? It should be self evident as far as I am concerned. You're frisking someone, for goodness sake! Who wants to be frisked in front of a group of strangers?!Even worse are airports like the Springfield/Branson airport (SGF), where there's a window in the giftshop that looks out at the screening area. During a recent flight, I was looking at the magazine rack in the giftshop. A grandma brought her two grandkids into the giftshop so they could look through that window and gawk and laugh at the people taking off their shoes and having their carry on baggage dug through.It's bad enough to have an audience of my fellow travellers, but to also have an audience of people who just happen to be in the airport? I don't need that.
The flying public are customers, but are treated like cattle going to slaughter everytime we fly.The color-coded alert system is ridiculous. Nobody knows what the difference is between a code yellow and a code orange and a code anything else, so these announcements are meaningless. We are overwhelmed with security, such that everyone has begun to disregard it. I was in the airport in New Orleans in January, when an announcement came on telling everyone to evacuated the airport. Not a single person moved from their seat -- people did not even look around, even though the power had gone out in the airport. It was a false alarm, as we were notified after about 15 minutes, but for that 15 minutes all of the customers and airline employees simply disregarded the announcement telling everyone to evacuate.The lines are excessively long to get through security at all of the major airports, and the security personnel regularly scold passengers for not being quick enough with removing their jackets and shoes and electronics and jewelry and liquids and getting all of that into 3 or 4 separate buckets that must then be maneuvered along unwieldy tables onto poorly aligned conveyor belts. For people travelling with children, the process is nearly impossible. For older people, the process is very hard to accomplish. And it is as unpleasant as it could possibly be for everyone.It would help a lot if: (1) the lines were shorter; (2) the rules were consistently applied at all airports; (3) ridiculous rules were eliminated; (4) uninformative security announcements were discontinued, so that when you tell us something we really believe we need to listen.
I was just wondering if it was common practice to pick out military in uniform. Everytime i go through checkpoints in the airport I am pulled off for the secluded screening even though i am in full dress white uniform trying to catch my plane. Its not easy to get in and out of uniform items and stay clean. Its a pain in the butt to be pulled off and remove all metal articles AGAIN after we just dealt with them once.
While travelling through Port Columbus airport, where the TSA agents are notoriously aggressive, I was pulled out of line and searched due to the metal detector going off. I was repeatedly patted down, emptied all my pockets in front of three agents, and was run over with the metal detector wand countless times. The beeps kept going off in the same place. The coin pocket of my jeans, which like all jeans, has a metal rivet. I told the TSA agents it had to be the rivet. No, no, no - I was hiding something. This went on for twenty minutes. Time and time again they found nothing but the metal detector wand went off by the rivet. After twenty minutes of finding nothing, I was allowed to leave with the stern warning that I had better not bring whatever it was I was hiding in again or I'ld be arrested. This is what is supposed to protect us? Give me a break. Your agency is a joke, your agents are clowns and rules are asinine. Every chemist in the world of note says that the liquids, cosmetics, toiletries, etc ban is a joke. Can't make a bomb out of the stuff - just a myth. Plus, if it WAS dangerous how moronic that you keep it there in a bin with all of us around. If it's REALLY dangerous, get it the hell out of the airport! Also, removing my toddler's shoes? Her foot isn't BIG enough to contain any explosives that could be dangerous. It's moronic, it flies it the face of science and fact and it harasses honest law biding people while the people that load the planes aren't screened at all. TSA is a joke, a farce, and a complete waste of taxpayer money and a huge detriment to our economy. Any politician that ran on the platform of disbanding the agency would win in a landslide. I sincerely hope that if there's an afterlife, each of you will spend it in an airport being screened. That would be heaven for all of us that have to put up with all of you.
I have an artificial knee (chromium cobalt). Thus, I will always set off the alarm and require a "pat down". My complaint is that the "pat down" is absurdly done. The same area (my left knee, as an example) is patted down 4-8 times in a single search. Why?
I fly on business roughly once a month. I would say that I've been through a pretty representative cross section of airport security screening. From my experience I have to say that Seattle/Tacoma International Airport is the absolute worst airport to go through security screening. They are slow and behave like they are just going through th motions and trying not to snore.Did the TSA hire the stupidest and slowest to work at Sea/Tac? My travel regimen is pretty well unchanged (except for the changes imposed upon us by TSA)since after 9/11, yet Seattle can't seem to screen my carry on items and get me through the checkpoint in a reasonable amount of time. Essentially all of the other airports I have been through do not exhibit the kind of ineptitude that Sea/Tac does. At Sea/Tac I show up two hours before my departure time and get through security with a minimal time margin to spare. Other airports get me through screening and I end up sitting around with nothing to do.Now when I fly out of Sea/Tac I arrive two and a half hours early. When I fly out of everywhere else I arrive an hour and a half before departure and get along just fine.In addition to their obvious lack of proficiency, the screeners at Sea/Tac are sure an unfriendly lot. I really do understand that they have a job to do, but there isn't any need to be pissy all of the time. If you hate your job that much, find some other line of work.In a nutshell, flying out of Sea/Tac SUCKS! Going through security there is a form of torture.
Last summer TSA went through my bag and totally disassembled my CURLING IRON. The circuitry was exposed, the cord detached from the wand, it was in pieces. This did not happen from mishandled luggage. I sent an email to customer service and NEVER received a response. That is why I am so surprised to see a blog for passengers. I never get so much as a form notice and now you have a blog..which is a move in the right direction, but don't your customer service people ever read email?? Probably because they are too inundated. Here is a copy of that letter written last summer. July 30, 2007On 7/1/07 I flew from Dallas to Phoenix on Southwest Airlines. Upon my arrival at home (in Tucson), I opened my suitcase and found a cursory note from TSA. It explained that TSA had examined my suitcase after x-raying it. I've had my bags examined on previous trips; I have no problem with these examinations. However, this time as I was unpacking, I noticed my curling iron had been totally dismanteled and left in pieces. With THIS, I have a problem. I would have thought that if you dismantle a personal item it should be reassembled. It was damaged beyond repair. I was forced to purchase another one. I understand I should have been given a TORT claim form to file with TSA. I never received one nor was one placed in my suitcase. I am very upset about this situation. Even though it may not have cost a lot, it was the principal of the matter. I would appreciate your attention to this matter.Sincerely, Maybe this time someone will respond. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I am a school teacher in Tucson, AZ and am not one to carry bombs, especially not in my curling iron. I need it for my HAIR.Thanks in advance for hopefully reading this this time.
We are an English family of 5 who live in St.Lucia West Indies. Everytime, and I mean everytime we fly anywhere in the USA we are issued with boarding passes sporting SSSS which means we have to go through the extra special security check. This seems discriminatory to me and I have commented many times to TSA agents, the airlines, and even to the TSA website. Noone will take responsibility for getting us off this list. We travel in and out of the States at least 3 or 4 times a year and it is the same each time. What can we do?
Personal Insight from a New TSOAs someone new to the TSA (less than 2 months), it didn't take me more than 5 days on the job to understand the gripes and complaints issued by people on this blog. One word can thoroughly describe the TSA: INCONSISTENCY!!!For all of you passengers who have taken the time to write your thoughts and ideas, I sympathize with you. Being on the other side, I have personally witnessed and taken part in some of the ridiculous policies outlined by the TSA for proper passenger security. While I get most of what is required of me and know a lot of the basis for reasoning of these policies, there is absolutely no consistency within even the multiple checkpoints of an airport, never mind between airports.You have to relaize 1 thing; TSA / DHS is a GOVERNMENT AGENCY. Therefore, it is an inherent, innate characteristic to not make sense to even those employed by it.While there is no excuse for rude people taking the little power given to them by the TSA, the policies and procedures taught to us are constantly being updated, interpreted differently by individuals instead of groups and we are forced to work under different situations every day.I wholeheartedly agree there are ignorant, mean, rude, small-minded, and even less intelligent people working for the TSA who really should not be employed in such a capacity. There needs to better weeding-out procedures put in place before a person is ever offered a job and stricter reprimand penalties enforced for the deleterious behaviour being witnessed and endured while going through security.Here's the problem: The TSA is so hard up for help that many flags are ignored so as to have a warm body at the metal detector. A person with intelligence, experience, and education is actually frowned upon because they actually question the system from within. The standard response from an immediate supervisor has been: "It's my checkpoint and I want it that way, that's why." An answer from a few levels up the chain of command goes something more like this: "You've got to understand that TSA is still a very new agency compared to other agencies and there is going to be some growing pains along the way."Those pains are being felt every day by not only the passengers but the actual TSOs hired to do a specific job that is changing all the time. Mis-communication, under-communication, and no communication is the norm of the TSA despite the real underlying true desire of a lot of employees to do the right thing, help people out, and discourage any would be criminals from taking over an aircraft.It is a sad note that I have wanted to quit nearly every day because of the frustration encountered with my "supervisors". What has kept me coming back is the interaction I have with the majority of the traveling public who understand there are certain rights or privileges that get taken away or modified in order to fly as safely as possible. I enjoy helping other people and trying to alleviate their stress as much as possible but my desire to do this is tempered by my own frustrations with my employer.All I can say is, you are not alone . I would encourage people to continue to vent for at least a little satisfaction of getting it off your chest. I would like to think it will get better for both passengers and employees.Good Luck!
Recently, my companion and I experienced a 2-hour departure delay due to weather, meaning we would wait 3 hours minimum until departure. Frustrating, but unavoidable…the situation offered time to visit, watch news or play a game. Unfortunately, most of that was nearly impossible due to a loud announcement regarding unattended luggage every 3 minutes. (I timed them.) This meant 60 announcements interrupting conversation every 3 minutes. This announcement is made at every airport, but I don’t recall it that often or that loud. Therein lie my concerns.First, are there TSA guidelines as to how often, how loud and where this announcement must be made? Could the frequency and volume requirements be reduced? Second, why is this announcement being made in the departure gate where everyone has already passed through TSA screening? Finally, frustration level is high at most airports these days, due to unavoidable delays and cancellations. Two airports visited recently were making an effort to diminish these feelings. MSP (Minneapolis/St. Paul) played light, classical music through their P.A. system intended to calm people. ATL (Atlanta) had a live pianist in the main area playing light, calming music. Perhaps more of this could be encouraged at all airports along with less frequent and quieter necessary announcements to help everyone’s frayed nerves during these difficult days.
Anonymous said... Hi.I had an umbrella confiscated by the TSA at the Portland (Oregon) Memorial Coliseum prior to a Barack Obama rally"I thought TSA = Transportation Security Administration. Why in the world is the TSA providing security for Barack? Does the Portland Coliseum have an airport, bus or train station? Providing security for anything other than transportation is CLEARLY NOT YOUR JOB.Who approached the TSA with this idea?Who authorized this outside work? Who paid for the TSA's time and equipment?I think this falls into the category of GROSS mismanagement, GROSS waste, and fraud."TSA was there (and in many other states) by request of the secret service. Secret Service sets all the rules and pays for it at many political functions; not just rallies for Mr. Obama. It IS TSA's job because we are part of Homeland Security. Homeland= everywhere we need to be.
"Anonymous said... Figure this one. I have a TSA approved lock (i.e., one for which the TSA has a key) for my suitcase, although I usually carry on. On one flight recently, however, I checked my bag .. but forgot to lock the suitcase. Thus, the lock was attached and secured, but not preventing the suitcase from being opened. When the bag arrived, the lock was removed, gone. Only a TSA person could have removed the lock."Right; had to be TSA since those highly paid, thoroughly checked, baggage handlers couldn't have got there hands on a bolt cutter. Why would TSA waste there time removing your lock if they didn't have to? Why would anyone? Perhaps you forgot to secure the lock and it fell off in the "gentle" baggage handling. TSA only handles you bags once per trip. The airlines handle it as often as they need to; like when you have connecting flights or they just need to move it around to make space.
Passenger Multilanguage Check Point Instructions (Protocol). In the NEW Check Point video I saw panels (flat panels) that could be used to inform foreign passengers in their native language instructions to go through the check point. I am a TSO working in the Miami airport in check point H where the destinations are Italy, France and the Middle East and when I am announcing to divest shoes, computers and so on, most people don’t understand me and the check point back up tremendously.
I agree with the need for security at the airport and have no problem following TSA guidelines. I am concerned about my flight from BNA to DFW today when I forgot to remove the full baggie of liquids from my carry on suitcase and my bag cleared security with no comment. While I appreciate the generally polite treatment from TSA, I would prefer more attention to detail and safety.
We were leaving Orlando on 12/24/2006, and had arrived at the checkpoint, where I was waiting for a tub to put my coat, etc, in. The security person told me that I didn't need a tub, and made me put my things directly on the belt. Well, my coat has drawstrings with round metal slides on the ends. These made the coat get stuck on the rollers inside the X-Ray machine. The security man promptly crawled inside the machine and fumbled around for what seemed like 5 minutes trying to get my coat unstuck. I'm sure my camera and film got a extra dose of radiation, as he sent my suitcase through at least one more time as it got stopped in the machine by my coat. There has got to be a copy of this on video somewhere, as I know checkpoints are monitored. We were leaving on Delta to catch a connecting flight in Atlanta going to Dallas.
I've read through much of this blog and the people that are so angry at TSA keep saying that TSA isn't catching or stopping the bad guys, but on the home screen for TSA.gov they list all the weapons that have been recently confiscated. I'm happy to be travelling,knowing that all those guns, knives, concealed weapons, etc are not on the airplane travelling with me. I commend the officers for the job they do if they have to deal with such angry people at the checkpoints on a daily basis. They also talk about picking people that look like terrorists or state that they don't look like a terrorist, but Timothy McVeigh did not look like our normal thought of a terrorist and yet he took many lives. The people that we do picture as terrorist don't hesitate to use children, mentally retarded individuals or the disabled. My husband is serving in Iraq as I type this and his soldiers have had people roll up to them in wheel chairs that were loaded with explosives. They've put explosive vests on mentally retarded children and sent them into markets. They do not value human life at all and they don't have all the political correctness stopping them from fulfilling their intentions. I guess my main thought process is that there are still attacks in England, Europe, and the middle east, but none have occurred here since 9/11 so our government is doing something right. I think all airports should have the same equipment and that would go along way to streamline the screening process.
What do you expect to get from a person that you pay $12.00/hour. TSA screeners make 24,000-$30,000 per year. How is a person supposed to live on that. If you want intelligent, qualified people you must pay enough to attract them to the position. training only works if the person is trainable. how can we put the security of our country into the hands of people that are making $12.00/hour. Honestly, what do you expect to get for $12.00/hour
anonymous said: "And those two items were going to bring down an aircraft how?By the way, are you a/k/a "screener joe" who has been ripped a new one so often on this blog because you don't know what you are talking about?"Of course you missed the point. And posted your response in a fashion that encourages others to miss the point.The point was, that we cannot assume anyone is safe, just because they are disabled, or very young, or any of the other vague complaints posted on this blog. In order to be complete we must treat everyone as nearly the same as we can.You know, you were very rude in that post. And personally insulting to me. In order for anyone to have "ripped a new one" they would have had to be right and me wrong, and that simply hasn't happened.Let's see... three years enlisted military police, bachelors degree in history, nine years as an infantry officer, including a tour in special forces, post graduate work in history and education, ten years experience in security work, and five years with TSA. Don't know what I'm talking about? Suuuuure...
"I would like to see an itemised account of the TSA's expenditures for the lenth of it's existance. Can we say scandal! This is our money paying for this monstrousity."If you want to accurately complain about the cost of TSA, then ask the airlines why they charge you a "9/11 fee" but have never paid a dime of it.
There are several people who come onto this blog to troll. These people trolling begin to bother me. It is not just the trolling. It is not the arrogant self righteousness. It is not the naive approach to world and national problems. It is not the constant repeating of the same half truths, assumptions and urban myths, or the strident claims that those misstatements must be true because they are said so often. (I think it was Himmler who said that if a lie is repeated often enough people will begin to accept it no matter how foolish it is.)No the thing that bothers me about the trolling is simply that they make it so hard for anyone to use the blog for the intended purpose. I come here maybe once a week or so. The people trolling seem to come here two or three times a day. The blog was created to open an informal line of communication between passengers and screeners. I post when I think I can make a comment that will help someone better understand what we are doing. The trolling is insulting, misleading, and generating such a volume of hatred that I fear passengers and screeners who might benefit are intimidated away.I generally make it a point to avoid arguing with trolls. It is a waste of time.
anonymous said: "Speaking of security risks, I find it really funny that the flying public is treated with such scrutiny when it has been made public that some TSA agents have been employed and later it was determined that they had a criminal record."When TSA was created five years ago, the Department of Transportation was tasked with the job. They hired a contract human resources company to do the job. That company hired vast numbers of temporary employees and set up recruiting and testing stations around the country. But in their hurry to ensure that they met the time requirement in the contract, the corporate office put a great deal of pressure on those branch stations, and some of those stations cheated.At some stations they hired people who simply were not qualified. And at others they failed to finish the required paperwork. TSA as a functioning organization didn't even exist yet. But as TSA began to operate, these problems surfaced. TSA had to fire several score people who were unqualified; the commercial headhunters created the problem, but TSA got the black eye. TSA had to resubmit background checks and other paperwork on many good screeners; again it was the contract outfit at fault, but again TSA got the black eye.
"First, are there TSA guidelines as to how often, how loud and where this announcement must be made?"No. TSA provides the text for the announcements about security, but the airport puts them up."Could the frequency and volume requirements be reduced?"Sorry... Again that is up to the airport."Second, why is this announcement being made in the departure gate where everyone has already passed through TSA screening?"Not the airport where I work, so I can only guess; but I suspect that the Loud Speaker system covers the whole airport, not just selected portions.
anonymous said: "We are an English family of 5 who live in St.Lucia West Indies. Everytime, and I mean everytime we fly anywhere in the USA we are issued with boarding passes sporting SSSS which means we have to go through the extra special security check. This seems discriminatory to me and I have commented many times to TSA agents, the airlines, and even to the TSA website. Noone will take responsibility for getting us off this list. We travel in and out of the States at least 3 or 4 times a year and it is the same each time. What can we do?"The airlines have a piece of software in their computers that puts the SSSS tag on passengers when boarding passes are printed. The software predates TSA, and was approved by DOT at the time. It is designed to pick out elements of ticket purchase that may indicate some risk.It is not a "list" that you could be removed from. And I am not familiar enough with the criteria to guess why it might select you.Sorry.
"TSA has a problem with military folks" Bill, you couldn't be more wrong. TSA has a very high number of current and former military in its ranks. I don't think they've hired them just to fill a quota. At my airport, out of 82 officers, I know we have at least 6 VietNam vets, 4 Iraq vets, 2 currently deployed, and 2 dozen or so former military members who did not serve in a War. TSA has the highest respect for military; past and present. If you receive screening you don't think you should have to, remember that it is fairly easy to aquire a military uniform. The IDs are easy to replicate in appearance as we do not have the technology to "read" your ID's microchip. If you have quad S's on your boarding pass (SSSS) meaning your selected by the airlines for additional screening, you are exempt if you are on orders and in uniform. If you have those S's, ask to speak to a supervisor.I sincerly thank you for your service to our country.
Wisconsin: Thank you. I know there are many former military personnel in TSA, and we do have many supporters with-in the agency. I can appreciate that. But did you read about my experience though with TSA at Philly/San Diego in my first post a few weeks ago?I know people can pose as one of us, and our ID's are less than desired; but what about when it's established as fact that this is indeed a military person, and the said individual is getting grief for it, like I did by the screeners?I know enough fellow servicemen who had their orders stamped 'Do not screen', only to have the order ignored (often intentionally) by the screener and supervisor. I worked for a Chief once who even had his diplomatic passport ignored and he and his party were threatened at gunpoint in Atlanta when they refused to show the screener/supervisor their secret documents and the contents of their weapon cases the Navy authorized them to carry on their official business (if you don't have a Secret clearence, you don't get to view secret documents)! I don't have a problem with the fact I was searched; but HOW they went about it, and their attitude torwards me and my travel companions. These screeners made it clear to us they had a problem with us because we were military. As I mentioned in my first post, why else would the screener have barked "You military personnel ARE the terrorists?"I know there are bad apples in every group, but it hasn't helped that the complaints I submitted to TSA have totally fallen on deaf ears, and they've done NOTHING to apologize for or correct what happened that day. I wish I could agree with you, but it's true, like that day, first impressions are everything.
I travel almost every week and I hear the same old announcement at airport after airport "the homeland security threat condition has been raised to ..." - I can't tell you how many times I would prefer to hear "Welcome to "city or airport name" we are glad you are flying with us today and wish you a pleasant trip"...the current policy is fear based and does nothing to unite our citizens or our country. I would suggest it actually has the opposite effect. Are we the "United" states, or have you redefined what this country really stands for. Shame on you TSA for your fear based policies...they create division not unity and are doing nothing to uplift and encourage the millions that travel by air. I submit that this country will only be stronger when we return to compassion and sensibility for each other.
This is a very minor, but annoying, situation. I handed my bag to a TSA employee at the Las Vegas Airport on 4-7. He looked at it and said, "Oh good, a TSA-approved lock." Well, I no longer have that TSA-approved lock. They apparently opened my suitcase (which was not done for my flight to Las Vegas) and didn't put the lock back on, so I am now out about $10 for a TSA-approved lock.
I was aware after reading on the tsa website it would be possible to lock my luggage with a special lock approved by tsa. They have a key to the lock. The trouble was they didn't want to unlock it. They just decided to cut it. Guess it was easier for whoever it was that decided to cut it. The locks are not cheap and I sure did not appreciate it being cut. I traveled out of the Charlotte NC airport on 4-1-08. I know of at least one other person that had the same problem. I'm sure there are probably more. Robert
Sorry this is a year old complaint, but just recently learned of this website.Returned from Paris in May, 2007, connecting through Chicago O'Hare to DFW. The TSA locks on both of our checked bags were broken, and a very expensive bottle of cognac was stolen from my husband's bag. Of course, no one is accountable for theft. TSA needs to monitor the baggage handlers to prevent theft. If was a big downer after a great trip! We're flying on direct flights this year so we can at least carry on our cognac from the duty-free shop.
Why isn't the TWIC being used as a form of Frequent Traveler or Safe Traveler identification? The TWIC is proof that the holder has been through extensive background, immigration checks and fingerprinting. It should be accepted at airports as a 'pre-screened' passenger credential.
I really do applaud the TSA's thought in hosting this blog......if it really is used as a tool for change then it has served its purpose. I have noted an increase in the professionalism of the TSA staff at various airports (St. Louis, DFW to name a couple). If your compatriates in the industry, such as American Airlines, would follow suit in attempting to solve their abysmal customer service relations abilities with 98% of their ticket staff instead of concentrating on their management staff doing great PR but not being able to solve problems, then they could also go a long way in solving some major issues.DebbieIllinois
At OAK there was a line for "expert travelers." In actuality, this was used by whomever stumbled upon it, and in fact was more likely to be used by those not paying attention (and were therefore rewarded by a shorter wait). Not a good idea.
On a recent trip (April, 2008), I had a silver bracelet stolen at the Dayton, OH, airport. When I tried to walk through the security metal detector, I was sent back through when the alarm sounded. I was asked to place my bracelet in a "doggie bowl" to pass through on the conveyor belt. It did not go through with the rest of my belongings, which had already passed through. When I did not immediately pick up my bracelet on the other side (I was hurriedly trying to put back on my shoes), it was taken. I explained to the TSA employees what had happened and asked them to help look for it, but they were totally unsympathetic and even disinterested. One gentleman did try to play back the security cam video tape of the last few minutes, but stated, "It's not letting me rewind...I don't know why it's not working right now." Hmmm...sounds like that was planned. Boy, did I learn a valuable lesson...hope you also learn from my story. Very disappointing way to begin a vacation!
I would like to read the official statement on TSA employee Alvin Crabtree in Denver. Nothing came up in a search of the site.Thanks
I have read many of the blogs posted and couldn't resist commenting. I have to congratulate the TSA for this blog idea. Strategicly, it is important for two reasons. First is allows customers to blow off steam and secondly it lets TSA employees know that they are being watched. Both have great benefit to TSA Management. As to most of the comments posted. Many remind me of comments from a two year old. It is disappointing how Americans grip about the littlest things and throw out how their "rights" have been violated. We have such an entitlement mentality. Have people forgotten WHY the TSA is doing this? I for one am happy to stand in line an extra hour at the airport, take my shoes off or give up my precious water bottle if it means my fellow Americans don't get blown up in a plane! Come on people....get a clue! Obviously you don't have enough drama in your life to keep you entertained. You certainly haven't managed a large initiative like this which requires consistency across multiple locations with employees that have varing skill levels. OH yes...and on a tight budget. If you complainers think you could do a better job....then step up. Having said all this, it is appropriate to post comments where policy may have been abused. These comments are most appropriate. In doing so I don't think all the attitude and superior comments are necessary.
Please explain why a procedure cannot be developed to address travelers with medical conditions like joint replacements, especially middle-aged and elderly who clearly are not in the profile of a terrorist. I was in the hospital recuperating from total hip replacement surgery on 9/11 and was given a card to verify this. I have had several experiences when I felt violated because of a TSA screener groping my breasts. The metal detector did not go off during the physical screening why do they have to handle my breasts? I am for airport security however it seems to me alot of time and effort is wasted on over screening people with legitimate reasons for setting off the metal detectors and are the least likely to be terrorists. Some screeners are rude while some are understanding and considerate.
I heard about this blog this morning on the news, and I was shocked that you have given people the opportunity to complain about bad experiences. You have opened Pandora's box- but I think this is a good opportunity for people to express their concerns.I for one don't care that I have to remove my shoes, my belt my hair clips, my liquids/etc- if it is going to keep me and others safe than so be it. What I do hate is the "flyers" who show up late for their flights and get crappy towards all the TSA people who are just doing their jobs. Next time show up early like the rest of us that way you wont need to be mean and nasty towards the employees.
Saw the piece on GMA this morning. I've wanted to comment on airport security for a long time. Here's the thing that disturbs me the most.You go to an airport, and it's as though you've left America. It looks and feels like we live in one of those countries we've always thought of as inferior, less free, in which even citizen movement is government-controlled.I find the military-style, overbearing government presence disturbing. I find it disturbing that you cannot even express displeasure. It looks and feels, for all the world, like an old-style communist country.I fly only when I have to now. I hate to think of America this way. You know what I hate even more? I hate that I thought twice about posting on this blog, because I can no longer trust our government not to track down anyone who criticizes it. I'm posting anyway, and I sure hope that I don't end up on one of your "no fly" lists. You know, the ones that innocent people are placed on and can never get off because the bureaucracy just doesn't work that way.So, I'll post this anonymously, although I am certain you could get my name, address, political affiliation, and underwear size if you wanted to.
Last summer I was bumped on a flight from Indianapolis to Minneapolis and wound up taking an alternative flight which connected in Kansas City. Once in Kansas I went out of our secured gate in order to get a Starbucks. I had no luggage, purse or anything except two coffees. Going through the security at the gate I did not cause an alarm yet I had an overzealous TSA agent whose sexual orientation became questionable as she pulled out my waistband and looked down the front of my pants - UNACCEPTABLE! As I watched from the sidelines I saw this female TSA agent feel women's breasts, look down more pants and behave inappropriately to many women. I have traveled all over the world and never received treatment as poor as this. Maybe someone will file a class action lawsuit that I can get in on?
I am a frequent traveler out of EWR (Newark Airport) Terminal B and everytime I go through TSA I am treated like a criminal. The employees there are always on their phones, downgrading you, screaming at you, don't seem to care and just want to make there money and go home. It doesn't seem that "US" meaning the passengers are the only ones being treated like this as well as I have seen airline crew and pilots being screamed at and put to shame as well which is uncalled for. They have no manners and it doesn't kill you to say please or thank you once in a while. Mentally when you get through the process of TSA at Newark Terminal B you are so mentally drained, tested and upset that some of the times you don't want to fly. The employees at Newark Terminal B TSA are just trouble waiting to happen! I think that this should be one of the airports that should be looked at next. And of course when I go through any other airport (not all but some) it is so relaxing and a pleasure to go through TSA check point.Just don't understand why all the TSA employees at Terminal B are so nasty and unhappy people?
I shake my head at the throngs of people who complain about the TSA. If taking my shoes off at the airport allows me to safely get back from another trip and see my kids than I am happy to comply. The system may not be perfect but I prefer this system to the alternative that is to scary to mention. Next time you are miserable, think of everyone who didn't make it back from the fateful 9/11 flights and then let me know how you feel.The TSA is doing a thankless job that is part of stressful air travel for all of us. Get there early, be patient and be thankful when you land at your destination safely.
Why are people who are members of airline "elite" programs permitted faster access to TSA airport security checks? Does TSA work for the airlines, or am I paying for TSA through my taxes?
I think the TSA agents at Henal Montana Airport are number one. They are very efficient and friendly. Thanks from a frequent flyer.
As a very frequent flier (2-4 planes a week), my greatest concern is the lack of any critical thinking, or judgement on the part of TSA folks. A couple of weeks ago I flew out of Rhinelander Airport a tiny regional airport and boarded a small (16 passenger) jet to Minn. The idea that this airport is a staging area for terrorists is far fetched at best. Out of the 12 people boarding this flight one - an elderly gentleman at least 80 yrs old with a metal hip replacement was pulled out of line, had every bag thoroughly searched wanded several times, and basically was given the complete search treatment. The idea that this elderly man in rural northern Wisc. boarding a small jet was any type of threat is abdolutely ludicrous, a nine-year old girl could have taken this poor old man out. Over and over again I see the elderly, mothers with children as the most frequent passengers that end up being searched. This lack of basic COMMON SENSE on the part of TSA officials suggests that either TSA screeners are too tied to a policy to use any discretion or they lack the intellegence to identify a real threat - in either case these rules/people do nothing to keep us safe.
I just heard about this blog on an ABC sunday morning news segment.I travel about 75,000 miles per year, all domestic travel.1. THANK YOU for creating a blog to hear from real passengers.2. THANK YOU for keeping us safe. At the end of the day, no US planes have gone down since 9/11; the most important thing is the outcome (no "successful" terrorist attacks).3. I find TSA screeners to be professional, courteous and I'm glad they are there.4. I have a titanium "rod" inside my Tibia with several titanium screws. Titanium is not a ferro-magnetic metal, and as a result, it does NOT trigger the metal detecters at the airports. Why then don't the "bad guys" try to fabricate a handgun out of titanium? And a bullet/shell casing out appropriate non-ferro-magnetic metals?5. The place I do not feel safe: San Francisco and San Jose, California. Why? the security people seem to be contractors rather than TSA, and they are all Chinese nationals who are NOT citizens of the USA. 6. Some times, it seems the amount of time each screener at the X-Ray machine spends on each bag going thru the conveyer belt is about 5x the average. I'm VERY GLAD they are taking the time to sceen everything carefully... but maybe that means the faster screening isn't as thorough. 7. Really, you don't make anyone safer by doing in depth searches of blonde haired, blue eyed 9 year old girl scounts flying to the mid-west. You really should focus on people who look like the last 2 dozen terrorists. It is OK to profile "terrorists" based on what they look like.
Retraining needed at Seattle-Tacoma airport ASAP! TSA racially profiles at this location. Why do 2 TSA "officers" need to see a boarding pass before I even check in my bags? Why does TSA need to follow me as I check in my bag? These people would probably open my bag on the sidewalk and spread it's contents on the ground if they had the authority. I have also had the experience of extremely slow lines at this location. The entire airport was filled with people waiting to be checked through security. Not until upper management in suits talked to the screeners, & then watched from above, did the line actually move. Perhaps the upper management should watch from above 24 hours a day so they may see the mismanagement of this airport!
I had a knee replacement in Oct 2007 and flew for the first time after that in Jan 2008. Even though I showed the TSA agents in both airports (PHL and MCO) the scar, I was still wanded. The area around the incision is very tender and even though I asked that my skin not be touched, the agents ran the wand over my skin anyway, causing me great discomfort. Because I was being hand-searched, my bra area was also wanded (I wear an underwire). None of this was done in a private area and I found the whole experience extremely humiliating. I will be flying again in two weeks between PHL and RAP (first class this time). How can I avoid being so embarrassed and hurt?
This happen in the first week of march 2008. We were flying home from Orlando Flordia back to Michigan, we were on my daughters make a wish trip. My daughter is 6 years old who has down syndrome, severs asthma and other health issues. She is in a wheelchair, on oxygen always and cognitively inpared her mentaily age is about 2 to 3 years old. The TSA people in Detroit were wonderful with us, we have never flown before so this was all new so they walked us throught all of that because we had special machines we needed to take with us. But flying home from Orlando airport to Metro airport was a trip i will never take again! First of all we were not allow to take the oxygen we were renting past the security check point. My daughter was already sick and having really bad asthma attacks and needed the oxygen. we were told that because be had it on the plane that the airport would supply it for us and they did not. We told to Tsa person at the check point and they did noting about it but say ya she is in respitory distress. And then the second part was to check my daughter who is already in respitory distress they take her away from me and out of my site. I do not care if you have to check her i can follow rules but to take a minor and a disable minor out of a parents site is not right. They made me go back in the line and wait for all of our bags to be checked. So durning that time when my daughter was out of my site i have no clue what happend to her and the scary part is she can't tell me. Then they leave her in her wheelchair all alone waiting along the side, no one watching after her in this day and age someone could have just come behind her and started pushing her and she would not know what to do she would just go along with it. Oh yes i almost forgot all the yelling thats was thrown at me because i didn't say that i had medal in the machines i was carrying on. An to say anything to anyone is a joke because they just kept telling me to you want to fly today. Yes i needed to because my daughter needed to seek medical attention we knew that we had to get back to her doctors. But just a little fyi know that when we landed in metro my daughter was rushed to the University of Michigan Hospital and was put on life support and we almost lost her she had to be put on ECMO which is a heart and lung bipass machine and i am writiing you this letter from her hospital room because today is day 55 and we are still here. Just because i could not get oxygen in the airport! I am also following up with the complaint department and will take this as far as i can be heard so this does not happen to someone else!
Please show some consideration for handicapped passangers. I turn my walker in at the screening point, then I simply ask for a hand to help me get through the metal detector. Screeners say, "No, I can't do that!" Then they put me into a thorough screening group where they put their hands all over my body. Too often, I get preselected for thorough screening just because I have a walker. Now, this is very painful because I have multiple ruptured cervical disks with associated fibromyalgia and pinched nerves. I now only fly when I absolutely have to do so.
We have to take our shoes off because someone put a bomb in their shoe. We have to use 3oz liquid bottles because there was a plan to use liquids as a bomb. We have to stand through metal detectors because 9/11 hijackers used box cutters. So why then is everyone placing the blame on the TSA and their screening process? Its the terrorists fault that we have to go through all this. If the govt WASNT trying to protect us then people would be complaining about that too. Americans, we want it all yet its never enough.
On December 17, 2008, my sister and I left for Costa Rica from Chicago O’Hare Airport. I had broken my wrist one week previously, and had a metal plate inserted in my wrist, so was not surprised when the beeper went off. However, I was surprised at the treatment I received. Before I went through the metal detector, I was in line and picked up a bin in which to place my belongings. One of the TSA employees moved the bag away from me. I said, “Excuse me,” and moved it back to me. She replied in a defensive manner, “I was just moving it!” I wanted to say, “Yes, but it’s my bin and I don’t want you to move it!” Instead I gave her the evil eye.So I took off my shoes with my one available arm, put all my belongings in the bin, and then took of the brace on my arm and put that in the bin. I then went through the metal detector, and the beeper went off. I was placed in a glass cage and was stuck there for 15 minutes. It was explained to me that a female employee would be over soon to finish the process. 20 feet away were two female TSA employees talking to each other. One of them was the rude person who moved the bin. I was informed she was the supervisor. I was upset because all of my stuff was still not in my possession and I had no confidence that someone else would not walk off with it.In the meantime, my sister (who was also recuperating from a broken wrist suffered 6 weeks earlier), had gone through another line, and had no idea what had happened to me. She could not see me from where she was. She looked and looked for me, but finally gave up and walked to the gate for our flight, deciding I must have gotten through quickly and was down the hall.I saw a man placed in the glass cage next to me who was seen immediately by a guard and got through. I, on the other hand, was waiting, and waiting, and waiting for someone to come over the finish the security process. No one came. The female employee guarding me was trying to get the attention of the supervisor, but without any means of communicating with her - other than leaving her post and risking me walking out of the cage - she had no way of getting attention. She tried to be nice in spite of me asking her too many questions and expressing my anger. When I banged on the glass trying to get someone to notice, she gave me the impression that I had better stop before something more dreadful happened that I wouldn’t like. So I continued to wait and be totally frustrated. I didn’t have the brace on my arm (that was back with my stuff to which I couldn’t get access), I didn’t know where my sister was, and I couldn’t get through this awful process.Finally some nice female employee came out of nowhere and finished the process (which turned out to be fairly simple) and I continued on my way. I couldn’t find my sister anywhere, so I finally went down the hall to the flight gate where I found my sister.I hope that you find a better way of processing seniors suffering from physical ailments – or anyone else for that matter. The next time I have to fly (in August) I will call ahead and see what I can do to avoid a recurrence of that procedure. In the meantime, perhaps your new efforts will make a difference for people who travel by plane.
down's mom said... This happen in the first week of march 2008. We were flying home from Orlando Flordia back to Michigan, we were on my daughters make a wish trip. My daughter is 6 years old who has down syndrome, severs asthma and other health issues. She is in a wheelchair, on oxygen always and cognitively inpared her mentaily age is about 2 to 3 years old. The TSA people in Detroit were wonderful with us, we have never flown before so this was all new so they walked us throught all of that because we had special machines we needed to take with us. But flying home from Orlando airport to Metro airport was a trip i will never take again! First of all we were not allow to take the oxygen we were renting past the security check point. My daughter was already sick and having really bad asthma attacks and needed the oxygen. we were told that because be had it on the plane that the airport would supply it for us and they did not. We told to Tsa person at the check point and they did noting about it but say ya she is in respitory distress. And then the second part was to check my daughter who is already in respitory distress they take her away from me and out of my site. I do not care if you have to check her i can follow rules but to take a minor and a disable minor out of a parents site is not right. They made me go back in the line and wait for all of our bags to be checked. So durning that time when my daughter was out of my site i have no clue what happend to her and the scary part is she can't tell me. Then they leave her in her wheelchair all alone waiting along the side, no one watching after her in this day and age someone could have just come behind her and started pushing her and she would not know what to do she would just go along with it. Oh yes i almost forgot all the yelling thats was thrown at me because i didn't say that i had medal in the machines i was carrying on. An to say anything to anyone is a joke because they just kept telling me to you want to fly today. Yes i needed to because my daughter needed to seek medical attention we knew that we had to get back to her doctors. But just a little fyi know that when we landed in metro my daughter was rushed to the University of Michigan Hospital and was put on life support and we almost lost her she had to be put on ECMO which is a heart and lung bipass machine and i am writiing you this letter from her hospital room because today is day 55 and we are still here. Just because i could not get oxygen in the airport! I am also following up with the complaint department and will take this as far as i can be heard so this does not happen to someone else! April 27, 2008 2:58 PMWe would like to look into this further, but will need more information to do so. Please post a comment with your flight itinerary, air carrier, departure time, etc. Also, if you can remember the lane you went through or a description of the officers, that would help as well. If you like, you can also leave your name and contact info. We will not publish your info. Thanks,BobTSA EoS Blog Team
My wife and I are in our eighties and have done considerable traveling over the years. She now has had hip replacement and uses a wheelchair in the airports. We are appreciative of the help offered by mosty of the airports but she is quite disturbed by the requirements for her security checks. Being scanned is not a problem for her but being asked to stand for a lengthy time, being patted down along with the scan does cause her some consternation. Most TSA workers are polite and often seem uncertain just what they are supposed to do with this eighty year old who rings the bells. She does carry a card from her doctor with the information about her hip. My question is always what is there about an eighty year old woman in a wheelchair that is so threatening to airport security? Rev. Frank M. Burch
We now are able to carry on one bag and one personal item. Since I have to carry a computer, I carry a small, soft handbag that I can put in my carryon bag before I board. On occasion a TSA agent will remind me "two bags", but when I tell them it goes in my larger bag after I clear security (so I can put my ID away, and possibly buy a meal near the gate) they are generally OK with it since it's clearly nylon and stuffable. Not so last week in Oakland, when the agent pulled me out of line and made me put the bag in my rollaboard before entering the security screening area. I told him I would onkly have to pull it out again after clearing security, but he had his little power thing going and made me do it anyway. I do this every week-I know how to manage getting on a plane and don't really need a babysitter.
I have one question: why are we so paranoid as a country to have such ridiculous screening? What is the point of living in the country of the "free" with all these rights, when they really don't exist at all? I'm not saying that other countries don't have it rougher, but let's be realistic! Why do we give up so much for a little security? There is absolutely no privacy anymore... Packing my luggage has now become a "process," just so I can make sure that I don't have anything in my carry on that would be deemed "explosive!" The days of overnighters with a carry on are practically gone... unless you're gonna buy a whole bunch of stuff on the other end. What has the world come to?Come on now are you kidding me! I think we have forgotten about that terrible day of 911 and richard reid. You people wouldn't be saying that if you were sitting on a plane and someone stood up and had a bomb vest on. Get real!! Wake Up!!! This isn't the 1960's anymore!! We are at War!!!
On Monday April 28th at about 5:45a, I went through BWI's new Checkpoint Evolution. The new look was interesting and they had some nice technology. It seems like there were a ton of TSA employees around. The difficulty was that my normal 5 minute trip through security (which was great!) turned into 20-25 minutes. 20-25 minutes doesn't sound bad, but when you have it timed for 5 minutes it makes things a little tighter. Hopefully everyone is just learning the new system and the speed will improve soon. It looked like they might have less lines open which I don't really understand.
We travel to New Orleans annually, one of the reasons being that we love the food. Last week we wanted to bring home some of the delicious olive salad made by one of the local delis.Standing in line to show our IDs, have our boarding passes checked, etc., we were behind a young man who only had a photocopy of his driver's license as ID. After some back and forth the agent let him through.We put our carry-ons containing two sealed quarts of olive salad ($13 each) through the scanner. When the agent asks us what it is, we explain and ask them to unwrap it and see for themselves. TSO: "This is a liquid. It has to go in a three-ounce container."Me: "It's olive salad, fer godsakes, It's food. Here, I even saved the receipt."TSO: "It's liquid. You can check it in your bags [already on the plane] or leave it here."My wife: "OK, I'll pour off the little bit of liquid in this garbage can and we'll take what's left."TSO: "That's not going to happen."Me: "This is moronic."TSO: "Blame it on Washington. They make the rules."Me: "Yeah but aren't you allowed to used some common sense?"TSO: "Keep it up sir and you won't be flying today."End of discussion.Someone posts here as "WinstonSmith." Your average American probably has no idea that he's taken the name of the main character in Orwell's "1984," who refuses to knuckle under to Big Brother. Sure, something like olive spread may seem trivial, but it's more evidence that we are already living in Orwell's nightmare society. America is saved from the deadly threat of olive salad. Somewhere a real terrorist is grinning and thinking "We've won!"
Just as a follow-up, when I related the olive salad story to a friend who traveled to New Orleans a week later, she responded:"They never batted an eye at my little container of leek salad fromthe farmers market on Magazine St. It was drenched in olive oil and in aflimsy little plasitc container."
My husband and I just returned from a cruise in the Carribean and a few days visit in South Florida. Our return flight was out of Ft Lauderdale International. We checked in two hours early and the TSA agents definitely had plenty of time to go through our stuff. And go through our stuff they did. Not only was everything shifted and moved, pockets were rifled through and personal items that were in the upper compartment (KOTEX pads)were removed and put into to clothing. Needless to say these were tossed as they had been handled. (How gross is that.) Also left behind were two dirty kleenexes (YUK!!). Aside from the mess they left with the lotions and shampoo bottles opened and in our clothes (these were packed by me in plastic) the most disconcerting thing was that the agent rummaged through a closed envelope of reciepts and specifically pulled out was our reciept for car rental in Antiga that had bee placed with our books. (My bad...yes, but it never occured to me that they would actually take the time to look through these. That certainly won't happen again.)And we are supposed to trust these people because they are protecting us. Give me a break!Let me tell you I would rather fly out of Mexico where your bags are checked in front of you and then sealed in front of you before check-in. It might take a few more minutes but the way I look at it is I can have the confidence of knowing that the inspector is not going to pilfer anything or potentially ruin my clothing. The TSA agents should be required to do all checking under duel control when done out of passenger view and be in area where they are being filmed...no ifs ands or buts. In addition they really should be checking the bags upon check-in in front of the passenger. I would rather get to the airport spend a few extra minutes at check in than to find out 6-10 hours later that something had been taken out of my bag or that a bottle of shampoo had been removed from the plastic bag and left on my clothing. The sad thing is that the majority of what they went through was dirty clothes and our toiletry items. We had a few books but all valuables we had on our person. You cannot tell me that going through dirty clothes and bottles of toiletries we are required to put in our bags necissitates bags being rifled through when they can see those items on their equipment. Makes me as a passenger wonder whether or not we are truly being protected. And going through pockets and envelopes....gee I wonder what that agent was looking for? Money perhaps, credit card numbers...Plus they did not leave the required paper in our bags indicating they had been gone through, just a red TSA dot on our luggage tag. Ipacked these bags myself and unpacked them as well...just to make sure they had not taken anything. While it appears nothing was taken I am concerned that the agent may have pilferred our credit card. Which has been cancelled.That is why when my son marries in Mexico this summer we are driving our truck the 1600 miles one-way. I wouldn't want them to disrespect the wedding dress and bridemaids dresses we will be carrying like they did my dirty clothes that I had carefully packed and layed according to their directions. Not to mention the possibility that they just might decide to do a little side pilfering of wedding presents.I find it incredibly hard to respect what these people do and even more difficult to believe they really are protecting me as a traveler. It is a joke that we cannot carry water or food with us and we are expected to try and consume the garbage food found in most terminals. Next we will be expected to purchase disposable cameras and throw out our electronic devices...which I happen to think are more potentially dangerous than the liquids found in most carry-ons. The TSA could solve the distrust many travelers have by making sure to hire educated professionals to inspect on site at check-in luggage being checked then sealing in front of the traveler to assure that the bag will not be further opened. This would deter people trying to sneak through contrabanded items and they could arrest those people on the spot carrying bombs, illegal drugs and substaces, in addition to articles that can be made into items of mass destruction. It seems to me we are protecting ourselves from ourselves instead of really focusing on the real problem. Instead we are just making traveling more difficult for the masses and seriously wasting our tax dollars that could be better spent.
One of the biggest gripes I have is the need to show ID at 3+ checkpoints, some often times a mere 2 or 3 steps from the last. Instead of wasting TSA resources with such petty ID checks why not post one of those TSA agents to walk through the line asking if anyone has questions before they get to the checkpoint. Many people may think they know what to do (or are afraid to ask) only to find out that once they are at the checkpoint they must do something else. If the TSA would be more proactive in assisting rather than standing back and reacting maybe some of the problems could be prevented before they happen.
I have had two incidents of missing items from my suitcase while flying out of LAX. One of my friend had his video camera stolen from his checked in luggage.Recently, my daughter flew in from Hong Kong to LAX. Upon reaching home she found that her TSA lock was missing. To make matters worse, her expensive Chanel sunglass was also missing from the suitcase. It is extremely annoying to see such pilferage from checked luggage. Who does one blame for such losses and where can one lodge a complaint? No passenger is going to sit and comb through each and every item inside their luggage at the airport to see what is missing. The fingers can be pointed towards either TSA or the luggage handlers. In the past, when we could keep our luggage securely locked, there were very rare instances of lost items but now it seems to have become more common. I travel frequently and its a pity to see such losses. How can I claim such losses from my insurance company without any proper proof?
There simply has to be a better way for the TSA to inspect the checked in luggage instead of having to either use TSA approved locks or keeping your suitcase unlocked. If they want to randomly inspect any such checked in luggage then they should point it out in front of the passenger and do a thorough check up and then seal it so that everything is in order and there is less likely chance of pilferage.
To speed up the xray process, why not post a sign at the conveyor that tells the people to PUSH there baggage onto the belt, instead of just standing there waiting for instructions wondering why the bags aren't moving. We should see at least a 20% improvement in processing. And speaking of improving the speed of the xrays, instruct the person sitting at the screen to stay focused on the job and not chit chat the the other Tsa employees whoile our bags are just sitting there or while we wait for the bags to come out the other end. Disney has monitors which explain how the process works, so consider a screen with a loop tape that tells newbie travelers how to proceed efficiently through the line.Hi Bill,At my airport we have numerous signs and monitors with instructions on how to handle various items when coming to the check point.And they're all a useless waste of money... everyday I have to point out the sign that somebody claims doesn't exist.
On May13, 2008, at 08:40 -07:00, someone anonymously wrote:"One of the biggest gripes I have is the need to show ID at 3+ checkpoints, some often times a mere 2 or 3 steps from the last."Although TSA would like you to believe otherwise, you are not required to show ID to government agents in order to fly domestically in the United States.After I filed a complaint with TSA about the incorrect TSA signs at the Kansas City International Airport, Jeanne Oliver, Associate Director, TSA Office of the Executive Secretariat, wrote to me in response, confirming the lack of ID requirement, but providing no indication that the signs would be corrected.
Thursday at ATL, with every line jammed, our line ran out of bins. The man 4 in front of me politely asked for more. No response from the TSA. The man asked a little louder. Crickets could be heard chirping. Another man asked even louder for more bins. The TSA guy at the x-ray screen stared intently at a display under which nothing had passed for 90 seconds. The guy at the magnetometer stared at the arch through which nobody had passed in 90 seconds. Crickets chirped. Nobody made eye contact. Nobody acknowleged that any request had been made. Finally, I yelled as loud as I could that perhaps those of us who paid the taxes might get some response from our employees. See if we had bins we could all then load our explosive shoes and incendiary shampoo into bins as required. Only then did the TSA respond, and only then to finally announce that they would be working on it shortly. Maybe the TSA could hand out numbers and then they'd be exactly like the DMV, where the customer is scorned and each employee does only the minimum necessary to make it through the day.
My guess is this won't even get read...since I'm not traveling in one of the selected feedback airports.I would like to express my concern of the care taken of luggage during my recent baggage inspection experience at LGA airport in New York. I carefully tucked the baggage straps and handles for all 4 luggage pieces from my family into the side pocket of a pricey duffle bag. This bag was inspected and the side pocket was left completely unzipped! During the flight 3 of the 4 handles/straps were lost. This is quite disappointing as now all 3 of these bags are basically rendered useless for future traveling as I have no comfortable way to carry them. I took the time to carefully stow them to avoid the straps being caught during the flight. Of course I am grateful that TSA checks bags, but please have the decency to finish the job you have started. I am now left with almost one thousand dollars of useless luggage that I do not have the money to replace.
I was very unimpressed with the quality of service at the Detroit Spirit Airline gate a few weeks back. The TSA agents were rude at best. I, like many others am frustrated by the liquids ban and the fact that if you screw up and try and take of cup of coffee through the gate, you may get mauled. I appreciate what they are doing and why they are there, but they are paid to do a job and the fact is they work for the public and I therefore insist on good quality service with a smile.
I just returned from a visit to the midwest for graduation ceremonies. I found my bag had been searched, which typically does not bother me. What bothered me tremendously, was that they failed to place things back in the zipped section of the suitcase, or at the very least they left the zipper un-zipped. Then they failed to reattach the elastic holders which connect together to keep the clothes from being tossed about in the suitcase (they were connected when I packed my case). Because of this, my clothing was a mess, smelled like perfume (this was in the zippered pocket so it could not get on my clothing if the cap should dislodge), and was covered in lotions (also in the zippered pockets). If you are going to go through people's baggage, please respect their items, their packing, and make every attempt to return it to prior. This is blatant disrespect.
Like many other frequent travelers, I consider myself a "road warrior". I spend quite a bit of my week traveling by plane. I have to carry a tool case as part of my job. I don't mind the additional time required for screening. My complaint is the condition of my case after review (as I pick it up from the baggage carousel). Most of the time, my box is in dis-array, the hinges are broken and the last visit, my TSA approved lock was broken. There is never anything missing, but it takes me about half an hour to re-organize it only to have it messed with on my return travel. Can I file a claim for the hinges and the locks? Thanks for the time to read this posting.
As a frequent traveler (2-3 times per week) I wanted to make a couple comments. 1. I recently used the "ski lane" approach at the Oakland airport (I normally fly out of SFO). I think this is a great idea especially for someone who travels so much. My problem was that most people did not notice the signs. They looked for the shortest line and there was no one from the TSA directing people. I was in the expert line and there were people in the line who did not even have their ID out or know they need to take their computer out of their bag for screening. This is a great idea but I think people need to be made more aware of what line they are in. The expert line should move quickly and was the slowest line.2. Since I travel so much and am female it is extremely annoying dealing with the liquid inconsistencies especially mascara and lip gloss. Most airports let it through but some catch it and make you separate it. If there could be a consistent message on this, that would be extremely helpful. I hate having to go through my make up bag to pull out one lip gloss I easily forget is in there. Also, my bag is brought out to be checked a lot of times for having powder makeup. Sometimes, I am also told I can't have powder makeup or deoderant in my plastic bag for liquids. This sounds like a TSA training issue to me and consistency would make things a lot easier for frequent travelers, especially women.
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