TSA employees have posted that they will limit medical items at the checkpoint.TSA management has not made statement correcting these poorly trained screeners.How many TSO's are qualified to practice medicine?Why are TSO's so poorly trained that they do not understand the exceptions to the 311 policies.When will TSA make a public statement about this?
As recently as December, 2007, the passenger screening areas at Kansas City International Airport (MCI) had signage that inaccurately states that photo identification is required in order to enter the secure area. Some of the signs bear the TSA seal.I suspect this is in violation of OMB's Agency Information Quality Guidelines.I photographed these signs and have posted them here, here, and here.
I'm not surprised you've been shocked by some of the comments left. I've been pretty shocked too.The thing that is the most shocking to me is that people are posting the most horrific stories of flagrant abuse by TSO's like patients with a medical need, babies and small children being denied water and food! A basic, human right and yet the TSA is confiscating baby food, telling parents just how much food they can bring to feed their children. The TSA is abusing the elderly and the sick by forcing them to remove shoes and belts, throwing away water, confiscating needed medicines or creams and so much more. I'm shocked at how many stories there are of items so commonplace as to be ridiculous being confiscated.Please, post a video of an explosive that can be made to resemble peanut butter (down to the smell), or strawberry jam, or barbecue sauce or any of the other hundreds of thousands of items that people carry with them on a daily basis. I've seen some answers to some of the questions here, but I've yet to see anyone address the liquids ban convincingly. If it looks like peanut butter and it smells like peanut butter, why is it considered a "gel"? It's food, not a dangerous substance! If I'm facing a 2-3 hour pre-boarding time, plus a 5-6 hour flight, yes I want to bring real food with me and so do people who are diabetic, have medical conditions, are traveling with children or have dietary restrictions for any reason. The TSA counters that you can get food behind the security check but for real, when one single banana costs $1.50 or more, a small 16 oz. bottle of water goes for $2-3 and there isn't any "real" food to get behind the security lines besides an expensive, greasy pile of fries or a scone from Starbuck's this is just not an option. And as countless people have pointed out, you can't find baby food or formula behind those security lines. Neither can you find healthy food, vegetarian food, halal food, kosher food, vegan food, inexpensive food, non-wheat-based food (celiac disease), low-sodium food, or any other number of representative dietary restrictions. Flying is an all-day ordeal for many, as there are very few cross-country flights which don't have at least one stop, and yet the TSA expects people not to pack food! Some of the ridiculous items I've personally had confiscated in this specific category: a brick of solid cream cheese (a gel!) a home-packed tub of chunky peanut butter (a gel!) slices of cheese (a gel! how do you slice a gel? It's a mystery!). Not to mention the countless times that I have had to throw out a half a 4 oz. bottle of expensive face cream, even though there was clearly not even close to 4 oz. left in the bottle. The most frustrating part is when you say, "well we can't post our rules, then the "terrists will win"and then you get all upset with us, the traveling public, when we can't follow the rules you won't tell us about! And then, when we run into something like never stopping to consider that something as commonplace and easily identifiable as peanut butter will get taken away, because we've never thought about it as a "gel", well we're just told to shut up and follow the rules! Then we are told we can't see a list that says something as simple as "food items such as cheese and peanut butter fall under the "gel" category, so don't even try" because the the "terrists" would know that peanut butter and cheese were banned substances! Follow the logic on that one for a minute!
Anybody care to comment on this idea from Lamperd which has garnered interest from DHS (Paul Rudwaldt):"A method of providing air travel security for passengers traveling via an aircraft comprises situating a remotely activatable electric shock device on each of the passengers in position to deliver a disabling electrical shock when activated; and arming the electric shock devices for subsequent selective activation by a selectively operable remote control disposed within the aircraft. The remotely activatable electric shock devices each have activation circuitry responsive to the activating signal transmitted from the selectively operable remote control means. The activated electric shock device is operable to deliver the disabling electrical shock to that passenger."That DHS/TSA would even think to consider something like this is an abomination as well as a total waste of taxpayer money.
I am a retired Naval Officer with a hip replacement plus other metalic parts which set your machine off every time I go to the airport. As you have access to my service record of 24 years plus I would pay for a security check for the last 30 years then could I get a chip embedded in my shoulder that eliminate the 10 minute individual check at the airport plus let me keep my shoes on. They are hard to get on without the LONG SHOE HORN that disabled people use. Cliff Woodrick - CDR USN (Ret)
Cliff, make certain that you wear tie shoes and tell the screeners that you are wearing orthopedic shoes and cannot and will not remove them.Works for me every time.
Hey phil, Kansas City Int. does not have TSA employees. They are a private contract company. And no matter where you fly you are required to show a phot ID.To the retired Naval Officer. You of all people should understand why TSA does what they do. But maybe you never seen what an IED or any other weapon can do. Simple solution to all of your problems. Take a bus, a train, or a cab maybe they will feel your pain.
Someone anonymously wrote:"Hey phil, Kansas City Int. does not have TSA employees. They are a private contract company."I understand that. However, they display signage with inaccurate information, some of it bearing the TSA seal."And no matter where you fly you are required to show a phot ID."Sir or Madam, you are mistaken. Passengers on domestic flights are not required to present credentials (to "show I.D.").Please see this letter from Jeffrey R. Sural of the TSA to Senator John Warner confirming that domestic passengers are not required to show any I.D. at airport security checkpoints.Please see also this air travel screening information on the TSA Web site, where they state, "We encourage each adult traveler to keep his/her airline boarding pass and government-issued photo ID available until exiting the security checkpoint." Note: that's "encourage" not "require".I have recently posted related comments to this blog here, here, here, here, here, and here.For more information, see "What's Wrong With Showing ID" at The Identity Project.
"To the retired Naval Officer. You of all people should understand why TSA does what they do. But maybe you never seen what an IED or any other weapon can do.Simple solution to all of your problems. Take a bus, a train, or a cab maybe they will feel your pain."You can also fly through General Aviation at 2800 airports and never even see a TSO.
To the retired Naval Officer. You of all people should understand why TSA does what they do. But maybe you never seen what an IED or any other weapon can do. Simple solution to all of your problems. Take a bus, a train, or a cab maybe they will feel your pain.I sincerely hope that you are in no way associated with either TSA, the inspection process or dealing with people on a face to face basis. FYI TSA is doing inspections on some trains.The retired Navy Officer is disabled. Your flippant attitude reflects what we, the traveling public, have come to expect from TSA/inspectors at airports.
The terrorists do a risk/reward assessment of their attacks. OBL was really amazed at what, with a small investment, they were able to accomplish. That being said the next attacks probably won't involve the airlines since we nailed the barn door shut after the animals all ran into the woods. As to IED and aircraft, they don't give terrorists the reward they seek.
I have noticed at some airports that the security lines will have a person greeting the people coming in and making sure that they have a ziplock bag for the liquid items. These folks are so nice and in alot of cases older. They are alot like the greeters at Sam's. I think this little bit of kindness and preperation up front will keep the rest of the security from being angry and will improve all relations. Stop a person from getting frustrated and offer up something as small as a ziplock bag, a trash can for drinks and a friendly smile. I think you might have a winner.
I have sent the following to TSA and to my state representatives. I would some relief from the problems of being handicapped and getting through the TSA screening. As you will see it is a horrible experience.This is the letter that I sent out: I have had many bad experiences dealing with TSA agents while traveling. Yesterday was just the straw that broke my spirit and patience. I am handicapped, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, and have been treated like a criminal, a child, like I am stupid, and like a terrorists. This needs to stop. I know that I am not alone in this problem I have witnessed people with many different problems treated badly, humiliated and threatened. I need to know a list of persons that I can start to contact. I want the name, phone number, and email addresses of the people that oversee all of the TSA activities and training. I would also like to see the EXACT information that TSA agents are trained to especially in regards to dealing with the handicapped. Since every airport seems to follow different rules, at this point I am assuming that there are NO standard rules. Here are the two scenarios that I am interested in: 1.) Handicapped person can not remove shoes and walk. The person alarms when walking through the detector..What happens now? 2.) Handicapped person can not remove shoes and walk. The person does not alarm when walking through the detector...What happens now? I want to see the EXACT wording in the formal documentation that tells the TSA police what to do. Thank you for your time and effort in clearing up my expectations when traveling the "Friendly" airways of my country.
I need the name, email, and address for the Director of Federal Security at the Albany Airport to notify him/her of the egregious separation of my eight-year-old daughter from my girlfriend while going through security together. Then security patted my eight-year-old daughter down in a manner that I would be arrested for child molestation if I did it, while she was crying for her mother. Standard TSA policy? Does the TSA not recognize that children can be snatched up and away by evil people during such times. If the TSA is so paranoid about security, doesn't the TSA have a policy of accompanying a child they deem a security risk through the security check point when they have separated them from the adult in charge?
"I am handicapped, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, and have been treated like a criminal, a child, like I am stupid, and like a terrorists. This needs to stop. I know that I am not alone in this problem I have witnessed people with many different problems treated badly, humiliated and threatened." (just part of the post).I'd like the blogger staff to take a serious look at what the above poster stated, and give us your best thoughts about how disabled people, the elderly, and childrencan be treated in a more humane and professional manner. I will state again that a Passenger Bill of Rights should be prominently posted before and after every checkpoint, with the names and phone numbers of the shift supervisors.
Gripe:TSOs at Nashville trying to determine my immigration status and not knowing enough to figure out what they are looking at.Grins:The TSOs at Richmond who are so friendly that the entire process becomes virtually pain free. If all your employees acted the way the Richmond folks did, then the complaints section on this site would be dramatically reduced.
Hi.I had an umbrella confiscated by the TSA at the Portland (Oregon) Memorial Coliseum prior to a Barack Obama rally because "it was too long." The woman would not tell me where we could pick up these confiscated items afterwards, and by the time the rally ended the TSA were long gone, and so were the umbrellas. This in a city where it rains and lots of people have umbrellas. At no time prior to the rally was I ever told that umbrellas were too long to carry into the arena.I have two requests: The next time your organization runs security at an event, please make sure to tell the organizers exactly what attendees can and cannot bring (the only warning about forbidden items was about large bags, which are always forbidden at the Coliseum).The second request--please stay around until the end of the event so that people have a chance to retrieve their items. This has lots of problems at an airport where travellers may never come back, but everyone going into the Coliseum went back out of it, so most of those items will be reclaimed. If that can't be done with current staffing levels, leave the stuff in a pile outside... or tell us where to claim it.Thanks for having this blog, I really appreciate it.--Darrick
I would like to start by saying that I believe TSA employees are conducting the job they were hired to do with respect and vigilance. Are there times when a situation is not handled to everyone's liking? Sure. Unfortunately we all tend to remember the uncomfortable situations because of their personal nature rather than the positive experiences. Passengers have and will continue to experience frustating screening situations, as TSA employees will continually be faced with abusive passengers, but this is not the norm. 95% of what I've experienced is security being conducted by courteous and professional individuals attempting to protect us, and passengers that appreciate and are thankful for the protection. Let's correct the issues, but also try to focus on the positive.
"I am a retired Naval Officer with a hip replacement plus other metalic parts which set your machine off every time I go to the airport. As you have access to my service record of 24 years plus I would pay for a security check for the last 30 years then could I get a chip embedded in my shoulder that eliminate the 10 minute individual check at the airport plus let me keep my shoes on. They are hard to get on without the LONG SHOE HORN that disabled people use. Cliff Woodrick - CDR USN (Ret)"Sir;Unfortunately, access to your service record is not that easy to obtain for the screener on the floor. People who already scream that TSA is too intrusive would not be pleased with the idea that we could do some sort of computer background check on each passenger as they came up to our check point.As it stands now I am not aware of any technology in the TSA system that would allow us to make distinctions between passengers based upon some sort of bio-chip. And I very much doubt if congress would be willing to pay to install such a system. We have enough trouble getting them to cough up the money to buy equipment to replace what we wear out.We have no recourse but to treat all passengers as nearly the same as possible. Our SOP has provisions for persons with disabilities, and most airports have local procedures for implementing those provisions. Inform the screeners of your special needs when you arrive at the checkpoint; at most places we can adapt.Yes, I am aware that at some airports the screeners are not as polite or as patient as I would wish. I would ask that you please be patient with us. Most of us are doing the best we can.
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?
Anonymous said... Hi.I had an umbrella confiscated by the TSA at the Portland (Oregon) Memorial Coliseum prior to a Barack Obama rallyI 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.
I have to fly almost weekly and the deal with the TSA is this... They are A JOKE. I went through a Check point chicky in Charlotte NC and had my buddies boarding pass and he had mine. It was a mistake.. But the TSA crackpot checked them thtoughly and then let us both through. I know that checking a boarding pass is bascailly a joke anyway but my issue with this is if you are going to put me through the hassle then do it right. I also want to address the issue of all of us complaining and REMEMBER 911. Here is the deal.. 911 would NEVER NEVER happen again and nothing that the TSA does will change that or not. Could someone sneak a bomb on a plane today I say YES. I am not sure how because I have no desire to but the bad guys are looking and will find a way if they so choose. The only thing that will stop them is the passangers on the plane. That is precisely the reason 911 would never happen again because the passangers would not let it happen and they have locked and renforced the cock pit doors and some piolets are armed. These are better than any TSA regulations. The TSA is there for the IMPRESSION of security and that is all! If you fools believe that the TSA or even your government is saving the world get a life please! I would like some basic common sense at the airports. I want my civil liberies back and I want the TSA is figure out they are not saving the world. And I am sure this will not get posted how is that for censorship!
I am handicapped, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, and have been treated like a criminal, a child, like I am stupid, and like a terrorists. This needs to stop. I know that I am not alone in this problem I have witnessed people with many different problems treated badly, humiliated and threatened.SIR, WE DO NOT CONSIDER ANYONE A CRIMINAL UNLESS THEY ARE ONE - CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT A TERRORIST LOOKS LIKE??...I THINK NOTI would also like to see the EXACT information that TSA agents are trained to especially in regards to dealing with the handicapped. Since every airport seems to follow different rules, at this point I am assuming that there are NO standard rules.YOU WILL NOT HAVE ACCESS TO SUCH INFORMATION AS IT IS DEEMED SENSITIVE SECURITY INFORMATION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITYHere are the two scenarios that I am interested in:1.) Handicapped person can not remove shoes and walk. The person alarms when walking through the detector..What happens now?YOU GO THORUGH THE SCREENING PROCESS (SIMPLY SAID)2.) Handicapped person can not remove shoes and walk. The person does not alarm when walking through the detector...What happens now?YOU GO THROUGH THE SCREENING PROCESS (SIMPLY SAID)I want to see the EXACT wording in the formal documentation that tells the TSA police what to do.AGAIN - SENSITIVE SECURITY INFORMATION (YOU WILL NOT SEE IT)Thank you for your time and effort in clearing up my expectations when traveling the "Friendly" airways of my country.
I find the TSA workers to be so inconsistent that I never know what is expected. In February I flew from SFO to Sydney, Australia-the TSA workers were very courteous and helpful. I am disabled and they were very nice about screening me and making sure that my belongings were in the control of my husband.I faced an entirely different kind of TSA worker in Honolulu flying home to SFO. The TSA woman was so very, very rude to me saying I needed to put all my electronics in a plastic bag-nothing was said about this when I left the country in February (14th). This worker yelled at me that I was being rude-she had me completely off balance and my boarding pass was in one of the plastic containers that had already gone through the xray machine. She yelled at me again and called me ignorant-I am disabled and this rude,aggressive woman was completely out of line. I was crying as she totally humiliated me and I feel that these people are not making us any safer. Some of them just get off telling people they have to do this and they have to do that. TSA you have made flying Hell!!! Get your act together and simplify your inconsistent rules and weed out the workers that are on an ego trip!!! There is no reason whatsoever that should give a government worker the right to harass an American citizen!!!
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.
As an honorably discharged,wartime veteran, as far as I'm concerned, the bad guys have already won. These infringements on my liberties and freedom to move around the country I defended are, imho, overboard.Along with the pre-approved, background cleared folks, how about including veterans. We defended this country, we're not out to blow something up.
You guys are even a bigger pain than I thought you were. Just getting to the point where I could post my comment was a royal pain.Trying again. As an honorably discharged, wartime vet, it's my humble opinion that your restrictions and scrutiny mean the bad guys have already won. When the restrictions begin interfering with the very freedoms and rights I fought to defend and complicate my everyday life, I have a problem with it.How about including active duty and veterans with honorable discharges in the quick lane?
To screener joe.See the note I just posted. I'm a vet., too, with part of a Huey in my leg that occasionally trips the buzzers. While it may be ethnic profiling, there really should be room for us in the mix.
Re Signs in KC Airport - the sterile area is restricted to passengers and individuals with a need to conduct business in the sterile area (airport personnel, DEA personnel, secret service etc). Each individual must be able to demonstrate that they have a legitimate reason for being in this environment. Prior to submitting to screening, a flyer may elect not to show their ID...which is a voluntary decision, and voids your 4th amendment rights. The result of that decision is that the passenger will not be allowed to fly for two reasons;1. cannot verify that fraud is not taking place for the airline (is the person using the ticket who bought the ticket)...as nowadays, if IDs were not checked at the security checkpoint, one could;1. buy online2. check in online3. proceed through security4. board the aircraft ALL WITHOUT HAVING VERIFIED THEIR IDENTITY2. cannot verify that the individual has a legitimate need to be in the sterile area, pursuant to the changes that only allow flying passengers and those with a business need to be in the sterile area.
Are you guys getting the message. Terrorists can not be stopped if they set their minds to it. Stop stepping on my freedoms. I just read the other blog postings, and that seems to be the general gist.Remember who's the bad guy. OK, can't get the airplane, let's just drive a truck where we want it. (Remember, that's how they started.) It's am intelligence issue, not an airport security issue. Let's knock off this overreaction!
Inconsistencies in Appproach ~The regulations loosely state that a Federal Security Director may, at his/her discretion exercise procedures that exceed the minimum requirements. TRANSLATED, this means that any airport can do as they please, and common sense doesn't always prevail. 1. SFO - "please remove your hat when going through the screening process." What? No other airport requires this. Consider the impact on individuals who are going through chemotherapy etc and the potential embarrassment this may cause. Why this is a silly request...A. plastic explosives could be hidden in my hat. Answer - and they could be in my underwear too...or tied to my calf...or anywhere else. Result - dumb practice by SFO2. Las Vegas (good)...most other airports (bad) preparation of the passengers for the screening experience.Example: videos are continuously playing to show travelers what they need to do to be ready for screening...and even done with entertainment value (Elvis characters etc shown going through screening). Imagine how cool this could be for Burbank (Universal Studios or Disney), Orlando/John Wayne (Disney), Vail (skiers) etc...every airport could have unique individuals that are relevant to that geography. What the TSA may say...and my response:1. Space - not all screening checkpoints are created equal and some are very cramped. Answer - TRUE. However consider the impact of a screener saying (often yelling over-and-over) "take off your shoes etc. NO ONE SOUNDS HELPFUL when yelling! * Signs only solve one part of the problem, as a wise friend of mine once said, 'the problem with signs is, you have to read them.' ** Thus video etc are clever and less abrasive ways to address this concern. 2. Cost is excessive. I have a difficult time understanding how this can be a valid answer, as associating 'cost benefit' is simply an exercise of moving funds from one general accounting line item to another...which isn't exactly a new financial practice for any business/organization.
Apparently All Plastic Bags are not Created Equal - True Story (JFK) -On day 1 of a 5 day road trip, I had the audacity to have my toiletries in a bag that was a "quart sized bag." I was told I would have to either;a) throw all of these items away (and no, none of them exceeded 4 oz)b) find a smaller bagWhen I folded my 'quart sized bag' into quarters (yes, 1/4 the size), which is smaller than the TSA 'approved' size...I was still told that I needed a smaller bag. I simply asked "why," as I was now transporting less than the approved amount. I didn't receive a real answer, other than a none too polite, "you can't bring that through the checkpoint."As fortune and karma would have it, a nice woman next to me handed me a smaller bag (that was still larger than my folded one - yes I repeated myself)...so that I could fly that day without dumping my toiletries.
Trusted Traveler Program (explain this please)~If one were to register, pay and be approved for this service, one is supposed to receive "shorter lines and less stringent screening."To clarify what a screener must do, and my inability to understand the TSA's logic on how our experience will be enhanced;1. x-ray carry on bags (NO CHANGE)2. have electronic items removed from carry on bag (NO CHANGE)3. Resolve any alarms from the walk through metal detector (NO CHANGE)4. Randomly and consistently search carry on luggage (POSSIBLE CHANGE)5. Remove shoes (NO CHANGE)6. Resolve any suspicious or unidentifiable images in carry on bags - also known as the 'Screaming BAG CHECK' (NO CHANGE)7. Remove jackets and have them screened (NO CHANGE)So, if someone can actually explain the benefits from a 'security' standpoint, as the only benefit I see is from a practical standpoint of having a separate line to go through with less volume of passengers with the following impact;1. less screening space at that checkpoint for the remaining passengers (vast majority)
TSA Screeners have a thankless job~The job the screeners do is extremely difficult with the limited tools they are provided...under often thankless conditions.Consider this;A. in the majority of airports the most 'private' space a screener can take a break, is usually a coffee shopB. often, when a supervisor needs to have a briefing with their team, they do it in a very public settingC. Being a screener is like being 'on stage' 8-10 hours per day...with every mis-step or frown being noticed D. Screeners are not empowered to effect change - how many times have you questioned a policy and gotten a 'good' answer? In LAS VEGAS, screeners are not required to yell over and over again for passengers to remove their electronics etc. In places like LAX where the screening checkpoints are bottlenecks, the pressure on screeners to move the line along means that they often don't actually stop the belt and examine every bag, as was once the mandatory practice (which was my experience in Austin, TX yesterday as well). * Note - an experienced x-ray operator can easily distinguish when a tub has nothing but a jacket and belt in it (for example), and having to stop the belt in that case is actually silly and somewhat of an insult to their experience and skill level; HOWEVER, when there are briefcases or electronics involved, it is alarming not to see the belt stopped. No one wants their bags checked...wants to take off their shoes and walk on dirty floors...to be treated like a security risk etc...yet these are the realities of the screening experience today. Maybe next time when traveling through the airport, we should all stop and ask ourselves, "is it the screener making these rules, or Washington?" Just maybe, we'll realize the screeners are just doing their job as instructed...and a letter to Washington is better than scorn for the screeners.
Communication Skills Start In Washington~Honest, clear and easy to understand communication can help the screeners work with the traveling public. One would suggest that an area for VAST IMPROVEMENT would be easily understandable communication strategies for the screeners to use when explaining a procedure. These explanations could be easily crafted in Washington and passed to screeners via their daily shift briefings. Examples of questions and TSA 'Suggested Answers' (some tongue in cheek): Question - "Do I LOOK like a terrorist to you?"Answer (tongue in cheek) - "I don't know that I have ever seen a terrorist...so I don't know."Question - "Why do I have to show my ID to get through security?" Answer - "One reason is to help the airlines make sure that the person buying the ticket is indeed using the ticket and the other is because by limiting the number of people who go through security to just those who need to...we HOPE to reduce lines for you!"Question - "Why do I have to throw out my food?" Answer - "Because the consistency of foods can be similar to known explosives. While we know it is terribly inconvenient, it is also our policy to err on the side of caution to try and help keep you safe when you travel."Question - "Why do I have to take off my shoes?"Answer - "Experience has taught us that when terrorists try a tactic, they may try it again. There was once a attempted shoe bomber, so we want to make sure that never happens again."Question - "How come I have to show my boarding pass AGAIN (to the screener working the walk through metal detector)?"Answer - "To double check ourselves, because good security requires back up checks."Just for fun...ask these same questions when you travel next and be prepared for poorly crafted answers...which usually start with the words..."the rules say..."
Checking IDs - At some airports, I show my ID and boarding pass 3x...other times I show it 2x...and sometimes I show it 1x. Problem - I never know what to do with it. First - ID checker at the beginning of the security line Second - screener at walk through metal detectorThird - upon exiting the 'screening area'Suggestions~1. Ask the carriers to add a field in their data base to enable something like (PLEASE KEEP YOUR BOARDING PASS WITH YOU FOR SECURITY SCREENING) to be printed on the boarding pass - preferably near where the GATE # is printed/written2. Ensure coordination between screeners - as I left Austin I was told I didn't need my boarding pass again...only to be chastised for not having it at the walk through metal detector. The Rules - it used to be a carrier responsibility to ensure that ID/boarding passes were checked (and the carriers would employ the most cost effective solution to staffing that position that did not include their own personnel). This is why there was a disconnect between those companies and the TSA...as they didn't work together. NOW, we have the TSA doing it at significant cost...Next step...instead of simply replacing the prior employees with TSA screeners, look at how to consolidate that work in the actual screening process to eliminate duplication of effort and apply those screeners more effectively across the checkpoints.
Neils Post~I agree with you...and offer this bit of information. The TSA is hoping to create a random environment that is difficult to predict for 'would be' bad guys. Everyone knows that the truly skilled bad guys are not fooled by these efforts; however there are others who we don't commonly think about...who are regular folks gone bad...who would do harm. Let's call them the Amateur Bad Guys. The TSA efforts are more akin to stopping these individuals. If one were to talk to the airport police about their day-to-day work day...one would be amazed by all the crazy stuff that they deal with; jilted boyfriend gone mad, failed marriages and ensuing behavior of those folks, people 'testing the system,' Amateur Bad Guys, drug dealers with controlled substances trying to transport them, drug/arms dealers transporting large sums of cash that show up on the x-ray as large blocks of organic material etc. Periodically there are even events that one would never suspect...like the time an airport employee climbed onto the ticket counter and began flapping his arms and crowing like a chicken...just basically losing it and need psychological evaluation. Or another time that an airport empoloyee was found scaling a fence (in uniform) before being apprehended...and was soon found to be mentally unstable and submitted for psychiatric care. All of this brings me to my point...which is that I agree with your assessment that anything that happens on an airplane now will be met by 50 passengers throwing laptops and every imaginable item while pummeling the individual stupid enough to try and take control of the aircraft. As the TSA continues to maintain the illusion of security to keep the Amateur Bad Guy from striking, let's hope that our government focuses on cargo and access to the sterile area by non-screened individuals.
Plastic Bags for toiletries~Suggestion - Opportunity - Companies want advertisingOpportunity - TSA (airport authority) could generate revenue and a serviceHave the TSA (or airport authority) allow businesses to provide 'branded' plastic bags to consumers...Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak/SideStep are just a few that are no brainers...OR, regional identities - * Microsoft for Seattle* Google for San Francisco* Disney for Orlando/Orange County* Ski resorts for Denver ...the list goes on and on!
Thank you for having this blog and for your willingness to post even extremely critical comments. I also appreciate that you sometimes respond to the comments. I hope this blog helps the TSA improve.
quote: Trollkiller said... Anonymous said... Hi.I had an umbrella confiscated by the TSA at the Portland (Oregon) Memorial Coliseum prior to a Barack Obama rallyI 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.The TSA officers in question were on loan to the Secret Service. This has been common practice since at least the 2004 election. We have the training to conduct searches. While working these events we are following Secret Service directions. I would hardly call this practice waste or fraud. If we did not assist our brother agency, they would have to hire outside contractors. These would have to have some sort of background check and training. Instead, the government is being smart and efficient for a change by using its own employees that are already trained and vetted. The employees that do these events are working on their days off so security at the airport is not compromised.
A very upset Anonymous person wrote:And he, along with a great many others, aren't going to be pleased with my answer, but at least I'm trying to give an answer.I would also like to see the EXACT information that TSA agents are trained to especially in regards to dealing with the handicapped. Since every airport seems to follow different rules, at this point I am assuming that there are NO standard rules.You're not going to get it, since I'm fairly certain that would be considered SSI information.However, your assumption would be incorrect. We do, in fact, have a Standard Operating Procedure. The differences between the airports, however, are brought from how any number of various supervisors and managers choose to execute those, and the fact that, while nobody can do less than the SOP requires, they can do moreExample?Shoes have to be removed when going through the walk-through metal detector (I understand there are a couple of exceptions to this, pilot programs and what-not, but that's the general rule). To do less, to not require this (again, in general), is against the regulations. To do more, however, and require that all shoes in a carry-on be removed and x-rayed seperately? I can only imagine that being inconvenient as hell, but it would, technically, be permissable.I want to see the EXACT wording in the formal documentation that tells the TSA police what to do.We're not police, and you're not going to get it. Again, all of that information is considered to be SSI, and cannot be released by any except the.. oh.. I think it is the TSA Administrator himself/herself.Here are the two scenarios that I am interested in:1.) Handicapped person can not remove shoes and walk. The person alarms when walking through the detector..What happens now?2.) Handicapped person can not remove shoes and walk. The person does not alarm when walking through the detector...What happens now?Again, I can't give you the exact wording that you want, but I can tell you, in the scope of those scenarios, what is required:1. The passenger must be sent for secondary screening, and since they alarmed will require a hand-held metal detector screening, followed by a pat-down at the end. The shoes themselves will be tested and screened while remaining on the passenger's feet.(though it behooves the passenger to [while remaining civil, please; civility helps passengers so much] inform the screener that they cannot remove their shoes)2. The passenger will be sent for secondary screening, though since he passed the WWMD without alarming, all that must be screened is his footwear, and in the same method of scenario #1.Now, bear in mind, that's the baseline on what would be absolutely required. Any airport is able to go above and beyond the scope of what is deemed to be minimum - if one of the Powers That Be decided that anyone and everyone being referred for secondary screening had to undergo an HHMD screening, then they would be within their rights to do just that, and the absolute minimum doesn't apply - they're not doing less, they're doing more.I know you're not going to be satisfied with this answer, but it is the best that I personally can give.
"I want to see the EXACT wording in the formal documentation that tells the TSA police what to do."I must say that you will almost certainly not be allowed to see the "exact wording." Please, let me explain.Whether we like it or not, there are "bad guys" out there who do intend harm to the U.S. and its citizens. There have been incidents in Europe. There have been plots broken and people arrested both in Europe and in the U.S. They are out there. As a screener, I would like to believe that my work is helping to keep you safe.The mission of TSA is to make it as difficult as possible for the bad guys to act. To that end a certain amount of randomness is deliberately built into our procedures. And we are modifying and changing our procedures as we are made aware of new or different threats. Most of these changes never reach the publics attention.Any information that the bad guys can gain about our procedures and techniques could weaken our systems. If they know what we do and how we do it, they know what they need to avoid. We don't want them to have that advantage. So, we do not allow the public to have access to our SOP.There is an implication in your post, and others like it, that just because you have a disability, you cannot be dangerous. Well, just last fall, a person with a disability smuggled a hand gun into a prison by hiding it in a wheelchair. Nor is that a new idea. Thirty years ago in a newspaper comic strip, I remember a story line in which a person used a disability to smuggle a hand gun onto a airplane in order to commit an act of air piracy.Screening is very uncomfortable for the passenger with disabilities. It is also uncomfortable for the screener. Good screeners understand how intrusive it is. For that reason it is part of our refresher training program and our annual competency testing.I suppose this is not the answer you were hoping for, but I hope it at least help clear up some of the confusion.
Screener Joe... I was not in any way satisfied with your dismissive response to the retired Naval Officer who has disabilities and trouble getting through screening:"... I very much doubt if congress would be willing to pay to install such a system. We have enough trouble getting them to cough up the money to buy equipment to replace what we wear out.We have no recourse but to treat all passengers as nearly the same as possible. Our SOP has provisions for persons with disabilities, and most airports have local procedures for implementing those provisions. Inform the screeners of your special needs when you arrive at the checkpoint; at most places we can adapt.Yes, I am aware that at some airports the screeners are not as polite or as patient as I would wish. I would ask that you please be patient with us. Most of us are doing the best we can.March 21, 2008 5:39 PM1. If TSA were particularly adept at managing its budgets (it is not, see the 2007 GAO report that excoriates TSA for its uncertain budgeting practices for example in the way it maintains its screening machines, its high turnover rate -- very costly, and its general mismanagement overall -- "Heckuva Job, Kip")2. Your SOP has provisions for dealing with people with disabilities that include forcing people who can't walk to walk, people who can't remove their shoes to remove their shoes, not providing places for these people to put their shoes on again once they've managed to get through the process, and you're telling me that they will vary from place to place? This sounds like a blatant violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. How is it that you haven't been sued yet? Or is immunity from such suits written into your charter (I admit that I haven't had the bandwidth yet to see if that got written into your enabling act)?3. You ask that we, the traveling public be patient with you? No dice. How about you, the government who serves the traveling public, actually serve the traveling public -- especially those who have given so much for this country. We as a people have been patient enough with the lies and obfuscations of the TSA, and every other government intrusion into our lives that has been brought on in the name of "homeland security" since 9/11 to save us from the "terrists" and the other assorted non-christian brown people from overseas. It's time for the government to show us some results.
Most unfortunately, the TSA makes it extremely difficult for the disabled traveler to know that he/she has every right to refuse to remove his/her shoes. All one needs to do is to state to a screener something to effect of "I have a medical condition and cannot remove my shoes." The screener may not ask the traveler any questions about that condition.Those stations that force everyone to remove shoes need to be instructed in the ADA. It is a disgrace to the TSA to force the elderly and infirm (as well as infants) to remove their shoes.I have seen old people in wheelchairs made to get up out of their chairs and walk, shuffle, through the WTMD. That, too, is a disgrace to your agency.The rules need to change.The AARP, the American Diabetes Association, elder care centers, gerontologists, etc. all need begin to instruct their members/clients/patients to refuse to remove their shoes when transiting a checkpoint.
Why aren't TSA staff levels matched to the airlines schedules and capacity levels? Why must there be waits of over an hour at large airports (Atlanta, Chicago, etc)? This would take planning and monitoring based on reservations and the actual schedule. McDonalds, grocery stores, Wal-Mart and others can adjust to the ebbs and flows of volume. Why can't TSA at large airports?
Screener Joe... You make me want to tear what's left of my hair out:Whether we like it or not, there are "bad guys" out there who do intend harm to the U.S. and its citizens. There have been incidents in Europe. There have been plots broken and people arrested both in Europe and in the U.S. They are out there. As a screener, I would like to believe that my work is helping to keep you safe.How many times do we have to go over this? The TSA has not been responsible for finding so many as one of these so called "plots" or foiling so many as one of these would be "terrorists". Plain old fashioned intelligence and police work has been the key to this. You would like to think that you're keeping us safe, but you're not. You're just keeping people afraid in a very visible way. Keep screening cargo -- or keep moving toward screening cargo (uh, how is it that we have to wait til 2010 when the threat is so omenous?????). Keep screening checked baggage (subject to the many good ideas that people have submitted for keeping the theft problem in check on other parts of the blog) and take the checkpoint security back to what it was pre-9/11. Remember, it wasn't the fact that the guys had the boxcutters that made them able to take over the planes -- it was the fact that they were able to get into the cockpits. We got that covered now.Don't p*** on my shoes and tell me it's raining Joe. I ain't buying it, and fortunately, it looks as if a great number of others aren't either.
airport screening is just one example of our society's total over reaction/paranoic collective conciousness. While 9/11 was a horrific event - to put it in perspective: blow up one 747 jet every 10 minutes and that is the rate of how many children under the age of 5 are dying every 10 minutes!!! In the meantime, the terrorists are laughing hysterically and are totally energized by our society's collective psychosis. Does anyone honestly think a plane can by highjacked in this day and age? At least 25% (a guess) of the passengers would be attacking the terrorists...aka...pennsylvania plan heroes on 9/11
TSA does not like screening the disabled and as such want to make the process so disagreable that the disabled will cease flying. Might be time to call TSA about discrimination. Might be time to get the AARP involved as well.
Screening is very uncomfortable for the passenger with disabilities.Yes, and TSA makes it even more uncomfortable for the disabled/elderly to fly.It is also uncomfortable for the screener.Part of doing your job so shut up and stop whining about that part of it.Good screeners understand how intrusive it is. For that reason it is part of our refresher training program and our annual competency testing.Make it so uncomfortable for the disabled that they stop flying and you've won. You won't have to deal with them anymore. You will, though have to deal with their letter writing campaigns.
Yes, I am aware that at some airports the screeners are not as polite or as patient as I would wish. I would ask that you please be patient with us. Most of us are doing the best we can.You're making your problem our problem. Since when should the traveling public be forced to deal with your inability to properly do your job? What if one of your close relatives was subjected to the torture your coworkers regularly subject other disabled people to? Would you tell them that the screener had a bad day and to just put up with a screening process? What would you do yourself?
what's equally disturbing to me is how many people (including me) are reluctant/afraid to post their names. We are choosing anonymous. Even though we have code linking to us, we are "afraid" other people may deem us unpatriotic with potential repercussions. Total paranoid society is developing/has developed.
Consider this;A. in the majority of airports the most 'private' space a screener can take a break, is usually a coffee shopB. often, when a supervisor needs to have a briefing with their team, they do it in a very public settingC. Being a screener is like being 'on stage' 8-10 hours per day...with every mis-step or frown being noticed D. Screeners are not empowered to effect change - how many times have you questioned a policy and gotten a 'good' answer? None of those issues are the traveling public's responsibility. If you don't like your job then find another (sort of like TSOs who've said "if you don't like the screening process then find a different way to travel.")
Does anyone honestly think a plane can by highjacked in this day and age? At least 25% (a guess) of the passengers would be attacking the terrorists...aka...pennsylvania plan heroes on 9/11Terrorist: Remain calm. This plane is being hijacked.Passengers: WTF?Lots of noise and some screams from the hijacker.Passengers: He's pretty much stopped moving. You don't have to stomp on him anymore. No, really, his hands are crushed. Passengers: Just one more kick to the head for inconviencing us?
I love the phrase "I ain't buying it", don't p*** on my shoes and say its raining. thats just gold
Paragraph breaks are mine. BGR TSO said...The TSA officers in question were on loan to the Secret Service. This has been common practice since at least the 2004 election. We have the training to conduct searches. While working these events we are following Secret Service directions. I would hardly call this practice waste or fraud. If we did not assist our brother agency, they would have to hire outside contractors. These would have to have some sort of background check and training.Instead, the government is being smart and efficient for a change by using its own employees that are already trained and vetted. The employees that do these events are working on their days off so security at the airport is not compromised.Sorry I am not buying the "outside contractor, background check" argument. If the Obama rally was a "one of" event I would support your "loaner TSO" plan. The fact is TSOs are being used at rally after rally. According to you TSOs have been loaned out since 2004.Do you really think it is more efficient to use a security team that is unfamiliar with the venue, unfamiliar with Secret Service protocol and changes day to day and venue to venue?Don't you think a more efficient use of resources would be hiring a contract security company, assuming the Secret Service does not have enough of their own people, to screen at Obama rallies day after day? The use of TSO instead of professional contract security brings up a few questions.What budget do the loaner TSOs get paid from? TSA, Treasury Dept., or Obama's campaign?What law or rule allows for the loaning of TSOs? (Just a general answer here is good. No need to make Francine look up all the case law on a Easter weekend)Who paid for the moving and setting up the equipment?Are TSOs allowed to take other off duty security jobs and wear their TSA issued uniform?If a TSO makes rude comment or steals, what department takes the complaint? TSA or Secret Service?The TRANSPORTATION Security Agency needs to stick with transportation security until they can do that right on a consistent basis. If the TSA wants to be the Wal~Mart for all the Govt. screening needs, they need to change the name. How about "The Screening Agency", that way you don't have to change the monogram on the Kip's towels.
Orlando Airport. Friday 10 AM. Tried to report an unattended bag to Burger King staff since it was at their table counter. Nobody cared. Walked to the nearest gate. They told me to use the courtesy phone. TSA isn't an option. Lost and found is. They said they dont have the manpower to go all over the airport and pick up bags. (this was all recorded on the phone call). Why play "report all unattended bags using the courtesy phone" when you cant actually do it?
Anonymous said... Consider this; A. in the majority of airports the most 'private' space a screener can take a break, is usually a coffee shop B. often, when a supervisor needs to have a briefing with their team, they do it in a very public setting C. Being a screener is like being 'on stage' 8-10 hours per day...with every mis-step or frown being noticed D. Screeners are not empowered to effect change - how many times have you questioned a policy and gotten a 'good' answer?***************** None of those issues are the traveling public's responsibility. If you don't like your job then find another (sort of like TSOs who've said "if you don't like the screening process then find a different way to travel.") I disagree, ALL those issues are the traveling public's (read American citizens) responsibility. The TSA works FOR us. They are OUR employees.If we allow poorly trained employees, improper procedures, bad management, or poor working conditions to continue because we take the "too bad so sad" attitude, we will get what we deserve.We are the bosses of our Government. It answers to us, not the other way around. EVERY government employee from the President down to the janitor answers to us, but we must demand answers and not rest until we get them.
"YOU WILL NOT HAVE ACCESS TO SUCH INFORMATION AS IT IS DEEMED SENSITIVE SECURITY INFORMATION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY."Standard operating procedure is now considered SSI? I smell a rat. Why would someone need a security clearance (which, by the way, I have. Are CAC readers so expensive you can't put just one in every airport?) to find out whether or not they need to remove their shoes, and what their basic rights are?Someone later on said something to the effect of "you void your 4th Amendment rights when you travel without photo ID". Though the TSA, through executive charter (which has not yet been reviewed by a judicial body - I'll give it a couple years maximum before it's completely overturned), has "voided" 4th Amendment rights in the first place (who needs probable cause, anyway?), there is no case law or precedent for "no ID = no 4th". In fact, I believe that there's been at least one case that has decided that NOT showing ID is in fact an exercise of one's 4th Amendment rights - which is why the TSA can't require photo ID for domestic flights.Your agency needs to have clearly documented and implemented procedures for every single one of your employees and contractors to follow. There are 43,000 of you total, according to your website. There are three million active and reserve members of the United States military, and we do a much harder job than you much more efficiently. I know you've only been a real government agency for a little under six years, but it's time to pull it together. You often state that "lives are at stake" - please act like it.
I've been reading this blog for a month or so, and what strikes me is that the TSOs who post don't understand that they'll never get the trust they want until the TSA changes its approach. Uneven enforcement of rules and refusal to standardize and disclose requirements has created in the minds of many Americans the impression that the TSA is either corrupt or incompetent. Neither impression inclines Americans to be particularly cooperative or sympathetic, as reflected in the comments here.Terrorists seek to disrupt the normal functioning of society through the use of violence, and I'd say that the TSA is proof that OBL and his gang have succeeded nicely. Personally, I preferred this country when it was less safe and less fearful.
EVERY government employee from the President down to the janitor answers to us, but we must demand answers and not rest until we get them.Want to fly today? Want us to call a LEO over to have you arrested? Go over there for additional screening.Neither the President nor the janitor can have us summarily either detained or arrested. On the other hand a TSO who has a burr under his saddle can do all of those things plus some. They are an agency running open loop and answer to no one, especially the unwashed masses who fly.
winstonsmith said: "The TSA has not been responsible for finding so many as one of these so called "plots" or foiling so many as one of these would be "terrorists"."Do I understand your opinion correctly: you are saying that since we can't prove we're perfect we should quit trying? TSA is not supposed to "catch" terrorists as you seem to challange us to do. We are supposed to create a barrior between the terrorist and the passengers on that airplane. Our job is to make it difficult enough for the bad guy that he does not make the attempt.I cannot prove that the work of the TSA has dissuaded anyone from trying to attack a plane. You cannot prove that we haven't.
Standard operating procedure is now considered SSI? I smell a rat. Why would someone need a security clearance BOY, YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT COMPLETELY - DID IT EVER ACCUR TO YOU DO NOT NEED A SECRET CLEARANCE FOR YOUR JOBS SSI INFORMATION THAT USE MUST USE TO PERFORM YOUR JOB??IF YOU ACTUALLY WERE AWARE OF THIS, YOU WOULD NOT HAVE COMMENTED ON THAT.
Oh Screener Joe... let's look at what you said:winstonsmith said: "The TSA has not been responsible for finding so many as one of these so called "plots" or foiling so many as one of these would be "terrorists"."Do I understand your opinion correctly: you are saying that since we can't prove we're perfect we should quit trying?Joe, you clearly don't understand much. What you don't get is that you can't claim that you are keeping us safe from plots such as the London bomb plot or any other plot that never actually makes it to a TSA checkpoint. You and other TSOs seem to like to support yourselves by saying that "they're out there and we're catching them." Well, "they're" out there, and actual police and genuine investigatory agencies are catching them while you good people at the TSA are busiliy treating innocent travelers as if they were criminals. Not only can't you prove you are perfect Joe, you can't even prove you're effective. So yes, quit. Please. Take checkpoint security back to what it was pre 9/11 and leave the cockpit doors bolted. We'd all be better off for it.TSA is not supposed to "catch" terrorists as you seem to challange us to do.That's your "challenged" interpretation of what I said. I never used any such language. What you are supposed to do as an agency is to keep guns, large knives, and actual explosives off of planes, a job that was done just as well if not better by the private security companies pre-9/11 as you do today and without all the needless and wholesale violation of people's rights and sensibilities.We are supposed to create a barrior between the terrorist and the passengers on that airplane. Our job is to make it difficult enough for the bad guy that he does not make the attempt.And your own agency's audits, as well as audits by the GAO in 2003, and 2006 have shown that your efforts are largely ineffective in keeping dangerous items from going through the checkpoints (in addition to numerous anecdotal items that appear right here on this very blog about missed items that passengers were surprised made it through). So why are you still on the job?I cannot prove that the work of the TSA has dissuaded anyone from trying to attack a plane. You cannot prove that we haven't.March 22, 2008 9:53 PMJoe, it is not up to me to prove anything. Your agency is making the extraordinary claim to be providing us incremental safety, therefore it is up to the TSA to provide the extraordinary evidence to support the claim. I make no claims, but I do point out the demonstrable facts that you as an agency aren't doing anything any better than we had before, but at a much greater cost to the flying public, to the airlines, and to the rights and civil liberties of all people who fly in the United States. The burden of proof is on the TSA and on the government in general to prove that its extraordinary measures have yielded extraordinary results, not on the flying public to prove that governmental claims of "trust me" are all wet.What's that I smell?... oh that's right, you are still telling me it's raining and my shoes are wet yet there's not a cloud in the sky. No sale Joe.
Anonymous said...Want to fly today? Want us to call a LEO over to have you arrested? Go over there for additional screening.Neither the President nor the janitor can have us summarily either detained or arrested. On the other hand a TSO who has a burr under his saddle can do all of those things plus some. They are an agency running open loop and answer to no one, especially the unwashed masses who fly.The President may not be able to but his security team can, or at least Cheney's security can. You are right, at this point the TSA is running in an open loop. It is up to us, to close that loop.I encourage you, do not bow down to threats. Stand up. Refuse shoddy treatment from TSOs. Stand on every one of your Federal Constitutional rights and your State Constitutional rights.
I'm sure the TSA has noticed since they initiated these blogs the repition of how passengers report how they are treated or mis-treated. Despite that the TSA has never officially addressed these complaints. Sure the TSA bloggers have at different times and in different tomes replied to some of those complaints but never a blog decicated to treatment of passengers. Yes there has been a blog on liquid, a blog on the legal foundations of TSA, how the TSA searches bags, etc, etc. But nothing on the basic most common gripes posted here. I find it even more surprising that the TSA Mission, Vision and Core Values does not address this most fundamental aspect. MissionThe Transportation Security Administration protects the Nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.VisionThe Transportation Security Administration will continuously set the standard for excellence in transportation security through its people, processes, and technology.Core ValuesTo enhance mission performance and achieve our shared goals, we are committed to promoting a culture founded on these values:Integrity: We are a people of integrity who respect and care for others. We are a people who conduct ourselves in an honest, trustworthy and ethical manner at all times. We are a people who gain strength from the diversity in our cultures. Innovation: We are a people who embrace and stand ready for change. We are a people who are courageous and willing to take on new challenges. We are a people with an enterprising spirit, striving for innovations who accept the risk-taking that comes with it. Team Spirit: We are a people who are open, respectful and dedicated to making others better. We are a people who have a passion for challenge, success and being on a winning team. We are a people who will build teams around our strengths.
Screener Joe - You said:"I cannot prove that the work of the TSA has dissuaded anyone from trying to attack a plane. You cannot prove that we haven't."The TSA can do better than that. Of all the passengers that have been arrested due to suspicious behavior or fraudulent travel documents, or had firearms found at checkpoints, or artfully concealed prohibited items found at checkpoints, or were involved in a checkpoint closure, terminal evacuation or sterile area breach, or were disruptive on flights, how many actually were involved in a terrorist group or plot?Certainly all of this above issues were further investigated by TSA or LEO. How many were involving a person with terrorist intentions? Any? If some were just "testing" the system certainly the TSA or LEO would have investigated their backgrounds and affiliations. In that case how many were found to have connections to known terrorist organizations?All of the items that were used in the 9-11 hijackings were allowed, then and now, to be brought on a plane. So what is different? The principal difference is that passengers today, like those on United 93 and American 63, will rise-up and defend to the death, any threat to the safety of the aircraft and fellow passengers.It would be totally impossible for an aircraft to be hijacked today and used as a weapon.
Sorry I made one mistake in my previous post. One of the items reportedly used during the 9-11 hijackings were box cutters that were allowed then but are currently not allowed. However one item allowed today, and then, are scissors less than 4" in length. As everyone knows a scissor blade less than 4" length is still greater than the length of the exposed blade in a box cutter.
i would like to just post a grin and a gripe at the same time...just got home from RSW in FL (Fort Myers)and here is what happened, got to the airport at 430 for a 730 flight (ok, early) checked into Delta, and bags checked in too, and then got boarding passes and then went through security, no problem, fast, the agents were nice etc. go through security, FLIGHT CANCELED... have to go back to delta counter (outside security) and have them book us on a continental flight to NEWARK instead of LGA... then new boarding passes, and into security again and surprise surprise, pulled over for random check cause we had left, got new boarding passes and all...ok, the agent who checked my things was really nice, so i am happy about that as were the female agent who did my sisters things and the other male agent who handled my dads. we got our boarding passes stamped cleared by TSA and the date. went to the gate and then when the 630 (full flight) NEWARK left, we asked if we could get seats together, ok, the ticket agents at the desk for CONTINENTAL were happy to change our seats, but took our freshly stamped TSA CLEARED boarding passes and didnt return them...gripe- went to board the 830 flight to NEWARK already 15 min late, a alarm went off when the new agents checked the boarding passes- hmm we were supposed to be checked by TSA and werent, so we have to be again... telling the agent for continental- ummm we were checked, look it up- they said they had to have a TSA agent come and check us again- is it possible to maybe get a computer system where- TSA agents can input the passengers name on a list, with the airline too, so the airline can pull it up, if a seat change has occurred or if, the alarm goes off?grin- two TSA agents came over, and the female one had already checked us, and was like, you again, and told the flight agents that we were clear and stamped us and sent us on our way... whew!!!! that is awesome, and thank u TSA for that!
A couple of recent experienceshave left me deeply troubled about the state of the TSA and airport security in general.In October of 2007, I was returning to Honolulu from Miami International. In the security line, I showed the TSA attendant my photo ID (a Hawai'i driver's licence) and my boarding pass. He told me that my ID was not valid and that I needed a passport. After a moment of stunned silence, I asked why it was valid enough for me to get to Miami but not for the return trip. He once again said that I would need a passport. I then asked him if he realized that Hawai'i was a part of the U.S., at which point he said that he'd "let me go this time" but that in the future, I should have a passport as a valid ID.On another trip between Honolulu and Hilo in December of 2007, my wife and three daughters (ages 4,2,and 9 months at the time) as well as myself were singled out for extra screening. All of us, including my infant, were patted down and thoroughly inspected. I have absolutely no problem being inspected, and I realize there are issues with profiling, but there seems to be a disconnect with reality on the part of many of the screeners. Of the more than 100 passengers on that flight, a couple with 3 young children are singled out for extra screening? Gimme a break!
Lowlights~LowLight 1.~Screener Joe...being curt in your response to the individual with a physical hardship, when they simply asked how they would be handled. Just like the checkpoint...unhelpful at times. * HOW ABOUT THIS - anyone who alarms the WTMD will need to have the source of the alarm identified. If that means taking a sterile piece of cloth and 'tracing' their shoes etc...then that's what will happen. DID THIS JUST VIOLATE SSI...nope...common sense Screener Joe. LowLight 2.~ NO VOTING BUTTONS on TSA posts. You would have an immediate feedback mechanism that tells you how your answers/statements are being received. MAYBE this preponderance of evidence/response would be enough to wake some folks up to how things are being done?LowLight 3.~LACKING FACTUAL STATEMENTS - 1) Testing - has anyone bothered to see the results of the Red Team Testing? WATERED DOWN EXPLANATION - (Red Team Testing) - a bunch of folks from Washington DC hit each checkpoint simultaneously with tests that are meant to measure screening effectiveness. Once the first test is registered, a call goes out to the other checkpoints to be on the alert to testing. Despite this...the results are no better than when private screening companies were working the checkpoints. IS IT THE TRAINING? (IMO) - the TSA screeners receive 5x more initial training than the private screeners before them. TSA screeners receive recurrent training that eclipses what private screening companies were budgeted for...yet the results are the same. COULD IT BE THE EQUIPMENT? - the x-ray equipment etc that is used to screen for IEDs etc are inadequate. If one understands how the machines actually function technically, the ability to thwart them is even easier. WHAT THE ISRAELIS DO DIFFERENTLY THAN WE DO - they do through review of boarding passengers (profiling or what the TSA now calls 'behavior officers' or something akin to that). After all...one could have a 10 lb bomb on an airplane...and unless that person had ill intent...the plane is safe. THE LESSON HERE - it is not 'what' is on the airplane...it is 'who' (with the exception of explosives in cargo).OH, and before we have to read another politely structured statement from the TSA about testing effectiveness...can some writer for some paper use FOIA and get the results, as it is shocking. LASTLY...the comments I posted earlier on these points (copied at the bottom) are meant to highlight that Washington is letting down their own people. When the TSA rolled out, the screeners were promised break rooms, lockers, internet access to be able to manage their payroll accounts, proper anti fatigue mats etc...of which the screeners received none of those things. SCHEDULING...WASTED RESOURCES...how many airports are still using excel by a 'Scheduling Manager' who has no way of tying the passenger loads of the airlines into their manpower forecasts? How ridiculous is that...to be unable to 'forecast' the passenger load when every airline knows their loads in advance? THE IMPACT - 1. tax payer money being thrown away by inefficient practices2. Screener Morale is impacted - consider the impact on the screener who asked for a day off...and is told 'no' only to find a half empty checkpoint because the TSA can't forecast passenger loads. 3. Higher burnout and turnover4. Long lines and not enough resources to handle them or too many screeners manning empty checkpoints (back to point #1)If the TSA was less like a government organization and more like a business, these practices would have been fixed out of necessity. Wasteful practices abound... It makes me sad to see a screener have to sit in a gate area to take their break and eat something. It makes me sad when a screener can't have a moment of privacy to call family or loved ones during a break. It makes me sad that the way the screeners have been let down by Washington has caused some to feel like their behavior to the public is OK...like being rude or impatient or unwilling to explain is somehow forgiven...because of what they were promised and didn't receive. Consider this;A. in the majority of airports the most 'private' space a screener can take a break, is usually a coffee shopB. often, when a supervisor needs to have a briefing with their team, they do it in a very public settingC. Being a screener is like being 'on stage' 8-10 hours per day...with every mis-step or frown being noticedD. Screeners are not empowered to effect change - how many times have you questioned a policy and gotten a 'good' answer? Thanks for listening!
Please fill the trunk of your car with food, drinks, and condiments and drive to your destination!Don't forget your GAS card!
Please fill the trunk of your car with food, drinks, and condiments and drive to your destination!Don't forget your GAS card!I do that if the trip is less than 500 miles.1.5 hours drive to airport2.0 hours early1.5 hours flight0.5 hours waiting for luggage0.5 hours waiting for rental cartotal 6.0 hoursI also get $.51 per mile, tax free, when I drive for business. In flyover country a person can drive at 65-75 MPH.
"Please fill the trunk of your car with food, drinks, and condiments and drive to your destination!Don't forget your GAS card!"What a pathetic comment. If you are a TSO you are a disgrace to the job and your fellow TSO's who are attempting to keep people safe. Your attitude is why you personally are held in such low esteem.Any one in this country that wants to avoid people in the TSA who think like this can easily do so, still fly to thousands of locations in the country, and never run into this joker. It is called General Aviation, you are treated with respect, and you will wonder why there even is a TSA.
"Please fill the trunk of your car with food, drinks, and condiments and drive to your destination!Don't forget your GAS card!"Well you pretty much sum up what is the worst attitude a TSO could possibly have. Do you hate your job? Do you think that abusing the public is a right that comes with your TSA uniform? I hope your fellow TSO's root you out, their workplace would be a much better place without you.
To DuaneObviously I don't have all the facts, but your side was horrifying enough to warrant further investigation. Please don't stop at the Albany FSD. If you indeed believe a crime was committed, contact the local police and file charges. TSA needs to learn that government is "for the people" - and not against them. Maybe if screeners realized that they may have to explain their actions in a court of law, some of this would stop.
At the Kalispell, Montana airport, they did not open the security check line till less than half an hour before flight time. We joined the line in plenty of time, but were at the end. The plane took off before we got through the line. We surmise that the contractors maximized their profit by minimizing the time the line was open.
Anonymous said... "Please fill the trunk of your car with food, drinks, and condiments and drive to your destination!Don't forget your GAS card!"Why do you automatically assume that this was a TSO?It could just as easily not been a TSO who made this post.If it was a TSO, Shame on you, Quit and go to work at a fast food joint!If it was not a TSO, this shows the abuse that TSO's have to deal with when everyone assume it was a TSO making that statement.P.S. Naysayers, (especially winstonsmith) Please consider the following: What if the terrorist plot is to blow up the plane in the sky over a major American city and not a repeat of 9-11? Does this change the equation for you?Well, does it?
The traveling public is comprised of many travelers today that are ignorant to the fact that the world we live in today is not all "PEACHY" and well. I do agree that PEANUT BUTTER nor STRAWBERRY JAM can destroy you. But why make the job harder for TSA or TSO's from doing their job? Because you want to make a point that your hungry and that PEANUT BUTTER won't blow up? If the Dept Of the NAVY would allow me to again volunteer to go overseas and take someone with me to show them what kind of people there are out there. And what they are capable of, I would gladly do so. But in the meantime enjoy your peanut butter and Jelly sandwitch because I will continue to do my job and discard it.
I do not understand the TSA policy by which my identification card/passport and boarding pass is checked by a TSA officer at the head of the line, and then the boarding pass has to be checked 10 feet away as I pass through the metal detector. Why can't the first check enough - there is no place for anyone to go or for anyone to join the queue.
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.
My husband and I are travelers in our 70's. We are so fed up with long lines, humiliating searches and inconvenience that we now skip flying entirely and take Amtrak whenever possible. Good food, nice seats, great scenery. We need more trains!
Michael wrote:In October of 2007, I was returning to Honolulu from Miami International. ...He told me that my ID was not valid and that I needed a passport. ...I should have a passport as a valid ID.Oh.. my.. God..Far be it for me to rag on my own organization, or one of my fellow coworkers that work for that organization, but God-Almighty that is just stupid.On another trip between Honolulu and Hilo in December of 2007, my wife and three daughters (ages 4,2,and 9 months at the time) as well as myself were singled out for extra screening. ...Of the more than 100 passengers on that flight, a couple with 3 young children are singled out for extra screening? Gimme a break!Yeeeeeah... about that...See, the airline does this thing called selectee designation, which, so I understand, is done through a computer system known as CAPPS - Computer-Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening. While the ins and outs of this system are above my pay-grade, and are probably SSI, I can tell you that the reasons for being so selected number into the small thousands. Everything from a flight being cancelled and being rebooked on a different airline (as far as the computer is concerned, you just walked up to the counter and got the ticket) all the way down to good, old-fashioned random selection.It's one of the more common questions I've been asked over the course of the past six years - "Why was I selected?" - and that's the best I can tell them. I really, really don't know all of the things the airline associates with designating people as selectees; I only know that we have to screen them.And there's not a choice in it for us. One time, an entire flight of 12-year old girls flying home to China after a week in Space Camp got designated as selectees, and the only option we, as the TSA, had was to screen them and perform the bag searches on all of their carry-ons.And, on a final note, the way an airline designates people as selectees is not the much-maligned no-fly list nor even the "terrorist watch list" - it's something seperate from the two of those. It's more like a coding requirement in computers.If (this) is (that[+the other]) then (X), else (Y).
The TSA does not make me feel safe at all. I was travelling on business out of BWI and when I was in the line to go through security, the "child" that was screening the bags had his head turned away from the screen and was having a conversation with his girlfriends. What is the point of screening bags when noone is watching?
Anonymous said: All of the items that were used in the 9-11 hijackings were allowed, then and now, to be brought on a plane. So what is different? The principal difference is that passengers today, like those on United 93 and American 63, will rise-up and defend to the death, any threat to the safety of the aircraft and fellow passengers.This statement is entirely untrue. The items used in the hijackings on 911 are not permitted items any number of them or even all of them being caught by xray would have taken the tools used out of the hijackers hands. This includes the boxcutters, playdough/clay used in the fake bombs to control the passengers, and knives. Also those hijackers would be on no-fly lists as known terrorists and stopped while trying to purchase tickets. If they managed to get tickets a ticketchecker or BDO most likely would have picked up the very obvious signals and body language and sent them for extra screening. One or any number of these scenarios should have prevented 911 and the great loss of life.I have just mentioned the things the TSA does to prevent another 911. I'm not talking about the cockpit doors, the passengers being aware and willing to stop hijackings as that has also changed post 911. TSA screeners
I would like to see what would happen if the tsa stopped working for 1 week. I assure you that after 20 plus firearms, god only knows how many knives, and maybe even an ied or two, gets onto an airplane then youll be a little less likely to complain about losing your 2 dollar toothpaste.
In regards to the comments about the retired naval officer with the hip replacement, there is nothing in our policies at TSA that says that all passengers must remove their shoes, no exceptions. If a passenger states for any medical reason they are unable to remove their shoes then we are to do additional screening on the shoes and allow them to leave them on. No passenger can be forced to do anthing, we can only make suggestions. I am under the understanding that the whole screening process is done through passengers decisions. And to the people making the comments that the passenger should take a bus or train, that is not what TSA is about. Security may be number one priority but customer service follows close behind that and as a TSA officer it is our job to work with person's with disabilities and medical requests.
I have no idea who some of these TSO's are, responding to some of these "Anonymous"idiots who post here.But as far as I am concerned, my greatest fear is that someone will walk in amongst people waiting in line and detonate a IED! The second fear I have is that I miss a IED that goes on a plane and blows up not only killing the "Anonymous" TSO haters here but those beautiful people who I swore to protect.Here is a few facts...first of all the late flights, the cancelled flights, the over booked flights are attributed to the Airlines and not the TSA. Our job is to do our best to protect you according guidlines set by the Department of Homeland Security.....Long Lines? One of the problems we have is that passengers do not understand or follow the instructions for the screening process. THE LESS ON BOARD BAGGAGE THE BETTER. Follow the 311 rule. If you pack a bag full of electronics and wires, its going to be search. Do you know what a detonator looks like? I do, but when you insist on bringing a bag on board with items that you won't need on the flight, there will be bag searches.Do you know what the latest intel is on IEDs being made to blow up a plane? We do and you won't be happy to know what they are doing. Someone say Peanut Butter earlier? We go to class and learn everyday. We are tested on our job knowledge and capabilities on a daily basis constantly. I am extremely cordial with passengers and go out of my way to greet the passenger, smile at the passenger, give helpful hints to the passenger, and wish them a great day and a happy flight, no matter what duty station I'm on. If you have a situation with a TSO, talk to the STSO and a Complaint form will be filled out. It will be submitted for review.This week I received three written compliments which made me very appreciable. Have you ever tried either one?In closing I see some legit complaints and I see others that are so off base it is pathetic. I thank you very much and if I can be of further service, let me know and folks, you have a great day!!!!
I would like to post a complaint. Last week after picking up my checked bag, and getting to my car in long term parking, noticed that the TSA lock on my bag wasn't mine. Had to drive to the terminal, lug the suitcase into the counter, then was told to go to security, where they had to try 5 different keys to get the lock off my bag. Thank goodness they only switched the locks, my clothes were still in my suitcase. Don't think I'll bother buying another TSA lock...
Patting down a child is disgraceful. Patting down a 9-month old is beyond belief.It's my suggestion that all parents teach their kids to scream for help if someone from the TSA touches them. They would just be putting into practice what hopefully they are already being taught - that you never let a stranger touch you and if someone does that, you scream.
On a direct flight from Memphis to Detroit, jewelry was stolen from my suitcase. The jewelry was packed inside of a box, which was packed inside of a zipped up bagged. The jewelry were the only items taken, and no card was left to indicate that my luggage had been searched. I know that my suitcase had been tampered with, because the zippers were in a different location than where I put them. The only time my suitcase was out of my possession was when I turned it in to the TSA people at the airport in Memphis. The only way someone could have known that the jewelry was there was via Xray. My claims with TSA and the airlines were denied. Now, you tell me - who could have pulled off this theft? It MUST have involved a TSA employee, perhaps in cahoots with someone from the airlines. In any case, DON'T TRUST ANYONE with TSA. They're human beings and not all of them are honest!
As one with a replacement knee, I am set aside for "special" treatment. Some TSA employees follow the necessary procedures pleasantly; others go far beyond the minimum procedures.For example, I have been asked to empty my pockets completely, even of items such as handkerchiefs and dollar bills that are clearly non-metallic. In one instance, my wallet was taken to be put through the detector, and was left unattended in plain sight for anyone to steal.
I flew from Detroit to Amsterdam in early March. I normally carry a fair amount of tech toys; I get pulled over about half the time, which is understandable. However, this time the TSA official explained I had to remove my portable DVD player ahead of time. I remembered reading this, and pulled up the site on my iPhone; sure enough, it said 'full-size DVD players'. I explained this to the rep, explaining that's what you hook up to your TV at home. His response? "There's no such thing as a full-size DVD player." Since he had been quite polite up to that point (and thanked me for putting all my power cords in a bag), I didn't push the issue, but obviously at least one rep @ Detroit isn't quite familiar with what 'portable' means.
How about training ALL TSA inspectors to recognize basic medical devices? I can't believe I still run into TSA inspectors who act like they have never seen nor heard of a CPAP machine. The last time I was at ELP the inspector obviously did not only know what a CPAP machine was, but became downright twitchy when the smear he ran on my CPAP machine came back positive. I explained to him that CPAP machines such as mine have air filters that trap organics and, thus, can give false positives in devices that test for explosives. It was clear to me that he had no idea what I was talking about.
....Long Lines? One of the problems we have is that passengers do not understand or follow the instructions for the screening process. THE LESS ON BOARD BAGGAGE THE BETTER. Follow the 311 rule. If you pack a bag full of electronics and wires, its going to be search. Do you know what a detonator looks like? I do, but when you insist on bringing a bag on board with items that you won't need on the flight, there will be bag searches.The only reason I fly is for business reasons. I fly at least 2x a week for 49 weeks out of the year. I carry lots of computer equipment with me (again job related), no liquids in carry on luggage, and have dealt with snotty TSOs (quite often) and professional TSOs (rarely). I know the routine (empty pockets into laptop bag, shoes, belt and glasses off, coat off, laptop out of bag and into a bin). I've arrived at an airport at 0430 to catch a flight at 0630 only to discover that neither the airlines nor TSA have opened up (what about the 2 hr rule?), have been rousted by a cop (MPLS) for standing at an empty line waiting to be first in line when they opened up the counter, and have been subjected to excesses by TSA hirlings.Your organization has a long way to go before I would consider it professional. I recently traveled through Amsterdam and Helsinki and was pleasantly surprised by how those security types handled passengers (both passport and gate screeners). Why can't TSA learn a lesson from those guys (who've a much longer history dealing with terrorists than the US)? I wince when seeing little children and the obviously disabled getting the 'treatment' from TSO's and have refrained from commenting. No more will I do that. Outrageous conduct, witnessed by me on the part of TSA will be reported to the local FSD and TSA hqtrs. I usually have lots of time on my hands while at the airport (arrive two hours early for check in and security screening).
My family and I just flew from Phoenix today. The TSA folks were helpful and friendly through the security checkpoints. When we got home though, it was a big surprise to find all of my husbands sampoo, body wash, toothpaste and cream medicines with caps off leaking all over his clothes. My daughters suitcase had similar issues. I don't see why it has to be this way. It seems as though the people we are trusting and paying to secure our baggage are taking advantage of us.
Here's an idea. Seal off the captain's cabin from the rest of the airplane. Give the cabin a separate entrance. Terrorists will not be able to enter cabin. Terrorism problem solved. We go back to reasonable (vs. excessive) precautions at our airports.
Another anonymous poster said:P.S. Naysayers, (especially winstonsmith) Please consider the following:What if the terrorist plot is to blow up the plane in the sky over a major American city and not a repeat of 9-11?Does this change the equation for you?Well, does it?So what if the terrorist plot is to blow up the plane in the sky? Is the TSA equipped to catch these terrorists any better than the private screeners were pre-9/11? Nope. They are not. They are certainly no more capable of capturing things going through the checkpoints. Cargo is not yet screened 100%, so we can't claim that. We were already checking for explosives pre-9/11. People's ability to create actual explosives on planes has been debunked thoroughly on this blog and elsewhere, so no, this does not change the equation.Any other questions you want to ask me?
I have to agree with retired navy man Cliff Woodrick and others with disabilities who have posted with similar complaints. To the wag who told us to take a bus or cab or train or drive instead, many of us already have chosen to do so.I’ve given up flying until more sane accommodations are made for people with titanium prosthetics. I had both hips replaced ten years ago and since 2001, flying has become an exercise in humiliation that I refuse to participate in any more. I was issued cards following my surgery that are useless. TSA personnel have pointed out that they can be forged and even if they were legitimate, I could still be carrying a weapon. So I understand the predicament. I just don’t like it. Every time with absolutely no exceptions, I have been singled out for searches whenever I fly. Every time it is embarrassing. 80-90% of TSA personnel have been professional and courteous about the situation; but I’ve had enough of the finger pointing and snickering by other passengers. The Denver airport was the worst and the straw that broke this camel’s back. I was put in an elevated plastic cage in full view of all arriving and departing passengers and left there for ten minutes while passengers streamed by and made fun of my situation. Finally being searched in the cage was even more embarrassing. I can now appreciate how fish in a bowl and caged zoo animals must feel.I consider myself a professional in my field, I am civic-minded and active in my community, and outside of a few minor traffic tickets, have a spotless record. So I naturally resent the fact that my country’s security personnel constantly consider me a potential criminal. All because I have fake hips. I wish I had a simple solution for this problem, but alas I do not; but until one is found, I’m driving no matter what the cost of gas or distance.
Hi -I fly 1-3x / week and know airports pretty darn well.The TSA is one of the most poorly-run organizations I have ever encountered. Coupled with the significance of their role, it's shameful that we sit still for it.Screeners make under $10 an hour? No wonder I have an awful feeling of "lights on, absolutely no one home ... for years ..." when speaking to many of your employees.Your QA systems - if they indeed exist - are inadequate. Screening is haphazard, rules are not only enforced inconsistently, but there is a constant thrum of belligerence in many of your employees. When I spoke my mind about the intrusiveness of one TSA screener in McCarran (Las Vegas), he followed me into the terminal, yelling at me as I walked away. He was eventually told to stop by a police officer (blonde man, about 30, working the first-class lane in Terminal B). While perhaps more noticeable, this is not an isolated incident. TSA staff are often uneducated, hostile and simply unintelligent (another favorite: having a bracelet of rhinestones mistaken for "drill bits," also at McCarran's first-class lane - wowzers, the stupidity!).This is a problem about which you not only CAN do something, you owe it to us, as well as to whatever shred of personal dignity you folks have left: teach your employees to be fair, rational, and courteous. You are NOT 'doing us a favor,' and the constant sanctimony about "thuh terrorists" sounds like so much self-justifying drivel.As it is now, I get more intelligent and polite service at Del Taco drive-throughs than TSA. What does it take for you to finally become embarrassed to the point of improvement?
"But as far as I am concerned, my greatest fear is that someone will walk in amongst people waiting in line and detonate a IED! The second fear I have is that I miss a IED that goes on a plane and blows up not only killing the "Anonymous" TSO haters here but those beautiful people who I swore to protect."So it is them or us again. FYI the beautiful people mostly fly through General Aviation, so they never get the benefit of your "protection".Passengers don't hate TSO's indiscriminately, they just have no liking for the unprofessional behavior that some of them exhibit. Once those few bad apples are eliminated, things will be more pleasant.
Anonymous said..."Please fill the trunk of your car with food, drinks, and condiments and drive to your destination!Don't forget your GAS card!"Why do you automatically assume that this was a TSO?Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck....
"Anonymous said... I have no idea who some of these TSO's are, responding to some of these "Anonymous"idiots who post here."Let me see, you are posting anonymously, and complaining about anonymous idiots. Hmmmm...
What items are clearly allowed as carry-on food?wrapped Candy/nutrition/fruit bars?homemade sandwiches?bagged nuts/fruit/trailmix?chips or crackers?boxed items- what sizes are permitted?I think that it is fair to say that the guidelines are very unclear about these items and permitted quantities.
hi sandrayou commented on child screening and i though it would be nice to explain this process a bit.i am sure u are aware of the fact that profiling is ineffective since a terrorist can look like anyone and be from anywhere. If you’ve read any newspapers there are countless atrocities reported oversees where women and children are harnessed in killings.Given these bleak truths the TSA is trained to screen everyone acordinglyTSO's are not looking to screen your 9 moth old or your 5year old... they are merely insuring that there is nothing prohibited being smuggled in via covert means.Having your child scream at the top of his/her lungs while being patted down... is a bit cruel and excessive and will lead to a bit more of a delay as you explain this disruption to a supervisor.The child will not be screened without an accompanying adult present, so of course you will be briefed on what will occur and you will be watching.if anything you can always complain to the STSO if you feel something was done wrong during your screening.It is never the TSA's intension to cause you anguish. Obviously screening is not something we do for fun but rather to clear any alarms or solve any selectee designations. It is a matter of security and we will not take the risk of assuming.I'm sorry this bothers you but it’s always important to maintain "better safe then sorry" sincerelyTSO :)
My gripe is at Kansas City International Airport (MCI) the TSA will not allow a passenger to take drinks into the secure area. Although everytime I fly out, early especially the flight crew are allowed their Starbucks in as well as bottle water. Why as there is no decent place inside the secure area to purchase something are the flight crew allowed? Are they special? The rule should be one rule if it is dangerous then it is dangerous for all. If the captain needs his Starbucks in the morning let him get up early and get it just like the rest of us. Stand in line like us and no you do not have special "Cut in Line priviledge!" As a very frequent flyer this practice is not allowed in larger airports.
"I am extremely cordial with passengers and go out of my way to greet the passenger, smile at the passenger, give helpful hints to the passenger, and wish them a great day and a happy flight, no matter what duty station I'm on.If you have a situation with a TSO, talk to the STSO and a Complaint form will be filled out. It will be submitted for review.This week I received three written compliments which made me very appreciable. Have you ever tried either one?"Both good advice and a great attitude. I hope that you continue to post, and that you mentor other TSO's in your method of dealing with the traveling public.Thank You.
To Phil, Please ensure that if you post a link to letter that you want everyone to read, you read the letter yourself. It is true that it is not required to show ID, however if you do not show ID you will be subject to secondary(additional) screening. That letter that you refer to was also published 2 months before TSA began checking ID's and boarding passes in place of the contracted company doing so.
I may be wrong but it seems to me that there is alot of anti-TSA "spam" here.I'm still waiting for the "anonymous" poster to "school TSO's" about the exceptions to the 311 rule. What are they?I applaud the Navy Veteran with the two replaced knees for his service! However if you walk through the MAG and it alarms you will be asked to exit and reentered. If you set the alarms off again you will be "wanded"! Thats everyone.The poster who has a reason for his CPAP setting off alarms when it is tested....clean it! I've seen filters on CPAP machines co crusted, it is a wonder air gets through. Secondly, TSO's are not trained to accept your excuse why, they have to test to be sure.Ah yes, the DVD player. The rule is that it comes out of the case.Sandra is the best though. Appalled at children being patted down!! I guess we are the only country in the world that does it? BTW, the correct name is a "Process"! The reason that the child is being processed 99% of the time is because the Airline you purchased your tickets from....called for it!!So if you have a gripe against TSO's, at least know what you are talking about.
TSA Carry-on Regulations Update — August 4, 2007 As of August 4, 2007, the TSA is requiring travelers to remove full-size game consoles (examples include Playstation, X-box, and Nintendo), CD and DVD players from their carry-on bags for separate X-ray screening at security checkpoints. They will be handled the same way laptops and larger video cameras (that use cassettes) have been for some time. The TSA states that “Small electronic items, such as cell phones, MP3 players, iPods and portable video game systems do not have to be removed from their carrying cases.” Bear in mind, however, that since this is a new regulation, there may be some initial confusion or misinterpretation on the part of the TSA inspectors. Be prepared to remove any and all electronics from your carry-on bag, and allow a little extra time for screening.Also new as of August 4th, the TSA has relaxed the ban on lighters in carry-on luggage: “In an effort to concentrate resources on detecting explosive threats, TSA will no longer ban common lighters in carry-on luggage as of August 4, 2007. Torch lighters remain banned in carry-ons.Lifting the lighter ban is consistent with TSA's risk-based approach to aviation security. First and foremost, lighters no longer pose a significant threat. Freeing security officers up from fishing for 22,000 lighters every day (the current number surrendered daily across the country) enables them to focus more on finding explosives, using behavior recognition, conducting random screening procedures and other measures that increase complexity in the system, deterring terrorists. The U.S. is the only country in the world to ban lighters – all other nations, including Israel and the U.K., do not.”In addition, the TSA has modified the regulations on carrying breast milk through security checkpoints: “Mothers flying with, and now without, their child will be permitted to bring breast milk in quantities greater than three ounces as long as it is declared for inspection at the security checkpoint.Breast milk is in the same category as liquid medications. Now, a mother flying without her child will be able to bring breast milk through the checkpoint, provided it is declared prior to screening.”Travelers will not be asked to taste the milk to prove it is not a liquid explosive.
"BOY, YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT COMPLETELY - DID IT EVER ACCUR TO YOU DO NOT NEED A SECRET CLEARANCE FOR YOUR JOBS SSI INFORMATION THAT USE MUST USE TO PERFORM YOUR JOB??IF YOU ACTUALLY WERE AWARE OF THIS, YOU WOULD NOT HAVE COMMENTED ON THAT."Don't be silly. If information is classified, you need a clearance - even if it's only a garden-variety FOUO (For Official Use Only) clearance, which requires no background check. If SSI material is unclassified in your organization, I would call it "SBU" (Sensitive But Unclassified). We call this "open source". It is restricted, but unclassified, which means that it technically can be released to those who have no clearance. The exclusion categories for this include "national security". Good luck fitting that category to include the specific criteria for taking your shoes off in an airport security line.The funny thing about what you said is, not only do you need the SSI information you alluded to in order to perform your job; but travelers need that information to know how to get through your checkpoints. It would be like us setting up a checkpoint in Iraq, not posting any procedures, and then shooting people for violating the procedures that we didn't post.Oh, and would you mind writing using lower-case? All-caps is considered rude on the Internet.
Now that a TSA-certified flight deck officer's gun has accidentally discharged during a US Airways commercial flight, who is going to protect us from those who are protecting us?Can one request "handgun-free" flights from the airlines?
To the lady, Sandra, with the comment on the patting down of infants. Unfortunately you are not seeing all sides to the enforcement of security at the airports. In your eyes it may seem that the patting down of children is absurd but the TSA is unable to make assunmptions about any individual coming through security and all persons who alarm or children being carried by sn adult who alarmed must get screened.If you did research and thought about the logic behind TSA screening infants you would find that there have been multiple incidents where children and infants have been used as suicide bombers and terrorists. Children are vulnerable and for a suicide bomber they may be a prime choice to try and get past the security process.Unfortunately as absurd as it may seem, it is what our world has come to and it has to be done or the U.S. will be compromised again.
While it's unfortunate that we need security checkpoints, I feel that TSA employees have a thankless job. Perhaps if passengers knew what they were doing before getting in the security line TSA personnel would treat people better. When we go through the line we do what we're supposed to do, TSA treats us fine, and we say "Thank You" to each that we have contact with.As with everything in life, acting properly and politely goes a long way.So, we say TSA is doing an adequate job given what they're dealing with. We prefer screening rather than dangerous objects going onto a plane we're riding in. THANK YOU TSA.
Hello Anonymous Person:To the following:In your eyes it may seem that the patting down of children is absurd but the TSA is unable to make assunmptions about any individual coming through security and all persons who alarm or children being carried by sn adult who alarmed must get screened.If you did research and thought about the logic behind TSA screening infants you would find that there have been multiple incidents where children and infants have been used as suicide bombers and terrorists.It is theoretically possible to wire a baby as a bomb, true. Can you cite a single incidence where this has been tried (since you claim multiple incidences, just one will do)? No, strollers don't count. We're talking baby here. Similarly for children -- there have been documented cases where people have blown up children as part of a suicide bombing (i.e. leaving them in a rigged car perhaps to make the car look less suspicious to passers by -- an incident that was reported recently coming out of Iraq comes to mind for that) but it was the car, not the kids who were rigged to blow. The children were no less the victims of this than anyone else who may have been unfortunate enough to be in the immediate vicinity of the exploding car.All kinds of crazy things are theoretically possible. It is impossible to guard against every micro threat that comes along. The kid does not understand why a strange adult is patting him or her down and why Mommy and Daddy can do nothing but watch it happen. All the kid understands is that he's scared. So are the parents. So is everyone else who watches this -- is it going to be my turn next?Leave the kids alone. They have enough to worry about with the mess the people in power are leaving to them to clean up without the TSA's help.
I'm still waiting for the "anonymous" poster to "school TSO's" about the exceptions to the 311 rule. What are they?Medications?Food/drink for diabetics?OTC medications?We, the traveling public are tired of dealing with made up on the spot rules and regulations. Many of us fly on a weekly basis and know when we're being fed a shovel of used bull food.Oh, and please someone define the term 'reasonable amounts."
I applaud the Navy Veteran with the two replaced knees for his service! However if you walk through the MAG and it alarms you will be asked to exit and reentered. If you set the alarms off again you will be "wanded"! Thats everyone.Wanded is one thing. Being frisked like a criminal suspect is something else. 99.99% of the people who fly aren't in any way criminals. TSA treats people (i.e. elderly and disabled) as if those folks were hardened terrorists/criminals on the level of Karlos the Jackal.
"I may be wrong but it seems to me that there is alot of anti-TSA "spam" here."Spam? I don't see ads for stuff we neither want nor need. I do see lots of very displeased people complaining about TSA abusing the traveling public.
"In your eyes it may seem that the patting down of children is absurd but the TSA is unable to make assunmptions about any individual coming through security and all persons who alarm or children being carried by sn adult who alarmed must get screened.If you did research and thought about the logic behind TSA screening infants you would find that there have been multiple incidents where children and infants have been used as suicide bombers and terrorists. Children are vulnerable and for a suicide bomber they may be a prime choice to try and get past the security process."How many children suicide bombers have there been in the US? Why wasn't this procedure put into place in the 60's when VC used children as bomb delivery systems? How do the Europeans handle infants and children? Do they make the assumption that all infants and children are nothing but wanna be bombers or do they assume innocent until found guilty?
I wrote two posts related to a specific question that were barred by the administrator. None had fowl language, and the question was perfectly pertinent (won't post it again to see if this message gets through).I do not believe the Delete-O-Meter! Much more is being deleted!! Considering how many negative posts are here, that thought is rather scary!!
In response to my previous comment, someone anonymously wrote:"Please ensure that if you post a link to letter that you want everyone to read, you read the letter yourself."I've read that letter many times. I'm very familiar with it. In fact, I quoted the entire thing in the comment thread of another post of this blog."It is true that it is not required to show ID"Right. That's what I stated that the letter confirmed, and indeed it does. (As does the TSA's Web site.)"however if you do not show ID you will be subject to secondary(additional) screening."I never suggested otherwise. You are not required to present any credentials (to present documents which can be used in the process of identifying you; to "show I.D.") when flying domestically in the United States. Many people incorrectly believe otherwise.For more information, see "What's Wrong With Showing ID" at The Identity Project.
re: "If you did research and thought about the logic behind TSA screening infants you would find that there have been multiple incidents where children and infants have been used as suicide bombers and terrorists."Please enlighten us and list some of your several incidents of children being used as suicide bombers and terrorist that you refer to. How many in the Northern Hemisphere?TSA is a larger threat to freedom than any terrorist!
"Sandra is the best though. Appalled at children being patted down!! I guess we are the only country in the world that does it? BTW, the correct name is a "Process"! The reason that the child is being processed 99% of the time is because the Airline you purchased your tickets from....called for it!!"You really have missed the point, in less of course you don't think child abuse is a problem. Sexual abuse of their children by strangers is a concern of every parent. TSO's are not immune to arrest for child abuse. Sandra's concern is understandable, your comment shows a blatant disregard for human rights. If the TSO next to you is a pedophile, are you going to cover for him? Do you really think child abuse is a subject for your mockery?
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.March 23, 2008 11:44 AM I work in bags and I see locks that have fallen off via the belt system all the time. Sometimes they don't lock all the way (even tho we think that they do) sometimes they pop open, sometimes they get ripped off. I'm sorry that that happened to you but it is not always TSA's fault. Anonymous said... On a direct flight from Memphis to Detroit, jewelry was stolen from my suitcase. The jewelry was packed inside of a box, which was packed inside of a zipped up bagged. The jewelry were the only items taken, and no card was left to indicate that my luggage had been searched. I know that my suitcase had been tampered with, because the zippers were in a different location than where I put them. The only time my suitcase was out of my possession was when I turned it in to the TSA people at the airport in Memphis. The only way someone could have known that the jewelry was there was via Xray. My claims with TSA and the airlines were denied. Now, you tell me - who could have pulled off this theft? It MUST have involved a TSA employee, perhaps in cahoots with someone from the airlines. In any case, DON'T TRUST ANYONE with TSA. They're human beings and not all of them are honest!March 23, 2008 3:45 PMGuess what? After a TSA personell gets done checking your bag (which at least at my airport is ALWAYS under a camera) it gets handed off to an airline worker. I would not risk my job for some jewlery most of my co-workers would not either.
i am a photographer who still shoots film. when i travel i usually take 60-80 rolls of 220 film with me. since all the new rules after 9/11, tsa employees routinely open every single plastic packaging of each roll of film, exposing the paper-backed film to the air (roll film is different from 35mm - it is not protected by a metal cannister). because i do not want to put 800asa roll film through the x-ray machine (film ends up with xray lines crosshatching the film) all of my film becomes exposed to the elements, causing the film to take in moisture, which can in turn ruin the film. is there anything i can do to protect my 800asa 220 roll film in the future?
Comment-curious as to whether or not spurs on western boots pose a possible weapons threat. Did I also mention knitting needles of various number sizes. Anyone with any knowledge of close quarters contact know that either of the above mentioned items can and will do serious or fatal results. Yet I consistantly see these items being passed through security w/o as much as a look at. Want to witness unqualified, untrained TSA officers, try Fairbanks, AK. I travel through there two to three times a month. One never knows what to expect. Of course, neither do they. Just roll your eye and wonder how these folks were selected for this highly sensative position. Makes for a good time passing conversation with other travelers. Thank you.
It is so easy for people to bash TSA and what they do but in all reality the people who are making comments about TSA and how unprofessional they are and how they treat people like criminals (especially elderly, children and people with disabilites)are the ones who are on the outside looking in and have no idea what they are talking about. Bottom line is that there will never be a time when all persons are satisfied with how the security process is. Right now people non-stop complain that TSA does too much and takes away too many items and screens people who should not be bothered with so they think security should be lessened.But the second something happens and the nation is put in an uproar then TSA will be blamed because they did not do enough. TSA is in a lose-lose situation but continues to do their job day in and day out despite all the negativity made about them.TSA as with any company is always trying to improve but nothing in life can ever be 100% error proof. People are so quick to judge TSA and blame them for anything that goes wrong with flying, whether it be their flight being delayed, showing up late, something is missing from luggage, items are broke, what have you. TSA is not the fault of everyones problems and a sensible person would sit back and think about it for awhile and realize that TSA screeners are human just as anybody else.
To the lady complaining about the lotions and shampoos leaking all over her daughters clothes, it is called ZIPLOC bags and they sell them at stores so you can put your spillables in them and they will not leak. I am not sure if you are familiar with an airplane and flying but there is such a thing called air pressure and unfortunately when a plane gets high in altitude containers and such tend to expand and burst. The same thing would happen if you brought a bag of chips on a plane unopened, the bag would expand. Just thought i would help you out.
This is in response to the person whose jewelry was stolen. I am sorry for your loss, but the TSO's are not the one and only people who have access to your baggage after you check it with the airlines. After the TSO's screen your luggage, there are at least three other people who handle the property. 1. the person who loads the bag on the tug to take it to the plane. 2. the person who unloads from the tug and onto the conveyor into the plane itself. and 3. (most likely of the three) the person in the belly of the plane loading and stacking the luggage where there is no (that I know of) cameras to keep watch on them.
I am a scientist, and as such I would like to see factual analysis of the efficacy of TSA screening.The only scientific evaluation of TSA´s work I have found to date is published in the last issue of 2007 British Medical Journal (you can download it at www.bmj.com, archive, 2007, Dec 22). The article (Screening programme evaluation applied to airport security, by Eleni Linos, Elizabeth Linos and Graham Colditz) is very well put together and brings up important questions. Could a TSA person on this blog please answer the questions in that article? Better still, could the TSA please publish a serious, peer reviewed work showing that its policies are effective?
First time to the Blog, SHEESH - nothing constructive just a bunch of crybabys with no common sense, venting their frustration about rules and regulations now that they consider themselves adults, I just see the 3rd graders complaining about having to remove their shoes to take a nap. As far as food and such thru the checkpoint for babies, I don't see any under fed kids out their in the lanes, on the contrary. just feed your kids b-4 you fly and use the drinking fountain inside security (poor baby)I always thought the proper terminolgy was "handy capable" stop using your old age or military background as a crutch to skate security. You will be playing golf when you land anyway.GET OVER IT and FACE THE FACTS this is the way it is going to be from now on when you travel the friendly skies. You all probably yell at the McDonalds attendant TOO!
"This is in response to the person whose jewelry was stolen. I am sorry for your loss, but the TSO's are not the one and only people who have access to your baggage after you check it with the airlines. After the TSO's screen your luggage, there are at least three other people who handle the property. 1. the person who loads the bag on the tug to take it to the plane. 2. the person who unloads from the tug and onto the conveyor into the plane itself. and 3. (most likely of the three) the person in the belly of the plane loading and stacking the luggage where there is no (that I know of) cameras to keep watch on them."It is TSA that created the opportunity for theft, however. Not properly resealing luggage, cutting off TSA approved locks, and doing nothing to prevent theft is the problem. Handing over the luggage in a non-secure condition just aggravates the situation, as well as annoying the public. Blaming the airline baggage handlers does nothing to make the situation more palatable to the public. The baggage security issue is the TSA's problem, if you wanted to resolve it you could. A tamper proof seal of some description together with a tag that stated that the bag had been searched, a time stamped tag inside the luggage, all would help resolve the issue of responsibility for theft. Some TSA employees have been let go or prosecuted for this very issue of theft.
On a direct flight from Memphis to Detroit, jewelry was stolen from my suitcase. The jewelry was packed inside of a box, which was packed inside of a zipped up bagged. The jewelry were the only items taken, and no card was left to indicate that my luggage had been searched. I know that my suitcase had been tampered with, because the zippers were in a different location than where I put them. The only time my suitcase was out of my possession was when I turned it in to the TSA people at the airport in Memphis.Memphis is rather infamous for baggage thefts. I've had more things stolen from there than at any other airport. It is possible, also, that a TSA type was working in conjuction with one of the ramp rats. This doesn't bring back your jewelry. Next time carry it with you to keep the theives at bay. The airlines don't allow for claims for expensive items (jewelry, laptops, medications, etc)in checked luggage because they know that they have both theives working for them and customers who file claims for non-existing items.
To the person whose jewelry was stolen - don't pack valuables in your luggage. This is written on just about every piece of travel literature. Either wear them or don't take them. Any many people have access to luggage, not just the TSA.
"First time to the Blog, SHEESH - nothing constructive just a bunch of crybabys with no common sense, venting their frustration about rules and regulations now that they consider themselves adults, I just see the 3rd graders complaining about having to remove their shoes to take a nap. As far as food and such thru the checkpoint for babies, I don't see any under fed kids out their in the lanes, on the contrary. just feed your kids b-4 you fly and use the drinking fountain inside security (poor baby)I always thought the proper terminolgy was "handy capable" stop using your old age or military background as a crutch to skate security. You will be playing golf when you land anyway.GET OVER IT and FACE THE FACTS this is the way it is going to be from now on when you travel the friendly skies. You all probably yell at the McDonalds attendant TOO!"Maybe you can get a role in TSA Gangstaz,(watch it on You Tube) Part2.... Seriously, you are guilty of the very whining that you complain about. Got a problem with "traveler envy"?Do YOU have a problem with parents being concerned with the health, safety, and wellbeing of their children? Are you a parent? A good parent?
"I wince when seeing little children and the obviously disabled getting the 'treatment' from TSO's and have refrained from commenting. No more will I do that. Outrageous conduct, witnessed by me on the part of TSA will be reported to the local FSD and TSA hqtrs. I usually have lots of time on my hands while at the airport (arrive two hours early for check in and security screening)."It is abuse, and should be stopped! The more that this issue is brought to the attention of the blog,and to the public through the media, the more likely it will be addressed by TSA officials, hopefully before it becomes crisis management.
To me its the same neurotic anti-TSA posting here. What a waste of a valuable information tool for people who use the Air Ports, Ports and Railroads.Never mind what the truth is, this mal-content is going to jam this blog with garbage.To other TSO's who post here, do what you wish, but don't waste your time on this "passenger"!
Mr. Anonymous Scientist:Thanks for posting the following:The only scientific evaluation of TSA´s work I have found to date is published in the last issue of 2007 British Medical Journal (you can download it at www.bmj.com, archive, 2007, Dec 22). The article (Screening programme evaluation applied to airport security, by Eleni Linos, Elizabeth Linos and Graham Colditz) is very well put together and brings up important questions.Could a TSA person on this blog please answer the questions in that article? Better still, could the TSA please publish a serious, peer reviewed work showing that its policies are effective?March 25, 2008 6:56 AMI have been asking the TSA now since I started posting to this forum to produce some kind of documentable proof that the tradeoffs they force upon the traveling public in terms of dollar cost and lost liberty in exchange for what appears to be effectively illusory security are worth it. One of the central themes of the many things that I have posted is that some security is necessary, but the extremes to which the TSA has gone, particularly with checkpoint security, are ridiculous; constitutionally questionable; morally repugnant; and sickening to anyone who values their rights and the sacrifices people have made to protect those rights in the past.To date, no such proof has been offered. I doubt any such proof exists. There will be plenty of people who will respond in knee-jerk fashion to this by saying, "well prove that it hasn't." It is not for us to prove a negative. The TSA makes the claim that it protects. Let them prove to us that it has succeeded in its mission.
I don't like the new lanes TSA are making to get people threw faster.What you are doing is giving blue print on how to figure out how and when to get something threw. This is by having a routine for the family lane or the business lane etcThe TSO's will fall into a routine and when that happens there will be problemsDT
"The TSO's will fall into a routine and when that happens there will be problems."Not hardly, if the routine that they fall into is a routine of thorough, professional checks made to the best of their abilities and those of the equipment they use.
"To me its the same neurotic anti-TSA posting here. What a waste of a valuable information tool for people who use the Air Ports, Ports and Railroads.Never mind what the truth is, this mal-content is going to jam this blog with garbage.To other TSO's who post here, do what you wish, but don't waste your time on this "passenger"!"This blog is an open forum. The moderators decide what gets posted.What passes muster might not be for the thin skinned, especially people who are unable to accept and learn from the information shared here. It probably isn't a very easy job being a TSO, but there are some who do it well. My own concerns are about the ethical, fair, humane and non-abusive treatment on both the passenger and TSO sides of this debate. The elderly, the disabled, children, and TSO's all have the right to the same fair treatment.Unfortunately, it begins with the TSO community. It is part of your job description to be courteous and professional. Barring some heroic action, your job probably won't get many accolades. Sadly, many people see what you do as an intrusion in their lives. This dialog might seed some changes. Who knows, but we can hope.
Dear Winstonsmith,Thank you for supporting my petition for hard data from the TSA. Let us hope that more people read this and force some kind of information (which I also doubt exists) from these people.Don't miss the British Medical Journal article. It is great!
This is the conclusion of the British Medical Journal article:"ConclusionOf course, we are not proposing that money spent on unconfirmed but politically comforting efforts to identify and seize water bottles and skin moisturisers should be diverted to research on cancer or malaria vaccines. But what would the National Screening Committee recommend on airport screening? Like mammography in the 1980s, or prostate specific antigen testing and computer tomography for detecting lung cancer more recently, we would like to open airport security screening to public and academic debate. Rigorously evaluating the current system is just the first step to building a future airport security programme that is more user friendly and cost effective, and that ultimately protects passengers from realistic threats."
A few of my favorite parts of the BMJ article:"With such high value attached to airport security, the details of efficacy, precision, and cost effectiveness of screening methods are easy to ignore. Protection at any cost is a reassuring maxim for us jetsetters. But preventing any death—whether from haemorrhagic stroke, malignant melanoma, or diabetic ketoacidosis—is surely an equally noble cause. In most such cases, screening programmes worldwide are closely evaluated and heavily regulated before implementation. Is airport security screening an exception?""Since 1969, only 2000 people have died as a result of explosives on planes, yet the US department of homeland security spends more than $500m annually on research and development of programmes to detect explosives at airports. Even the devastating 11 September 2001 attacks caused around 3000 deaths, which is similar to the number of deaths attributed to high blood glucose each day13 or the number of children dying of the human immunodeficiency virus every three days worldwide.""Furthermore, the cost of airport security ($9 per passenger) is 1000 times higher than for railway security ($0.01 per passenger), even though the number of attacks on trains is similar to that in planes. This is analogous to committing mammography resources to screening only the left breast, and ignoring the right side, even though cancer can affect both breasts.""We systematically reviewed the literature on airport security screening tools. A systematic search of PubMed, Embase, ISI Web of Science, Lexis, Nexis, JSTOR, and Academic Search Premier (EBSCOhost) found no comprehensive studies that evaluated the effectiveness of x ray screening of passengers or hand luggage, screening with metal detectors, or screening to detect explosives. When research teams requested such information from the US Transportation Security Administration they were told that evaluating new screening programmes might be useful, but it was overshadowed by "time pressures to implement needed security measures quickly."
I had a extremely unpleasant encounter with the TSA officers while traveling through the San Diego airport SAN last saturday (March 22, 2008). How it happened was that I somehow set off the metal detector alarm, I have absolutely no idea how that is possible because the ONLY metallic thing on my body was the underwire in my bra, and other people that I was traveling with were able to walk through with belts on, change in their pockets, jewelry, ect without setting off the same exact metal detector's alarm. So, I was pulled inside and put into the "box" that is on the other side of the metal detectors. As I was standing in there, I politely asked if I or possibly one of the officers could retrieve my stuff which included a brand new laptop, a purse with cash, cellphone and bag, because other passengers were knocking my laptop around and moving it while retrieving their own bags, also I was concerned that my things could be stolen (since airports are one of the highest theft areas). The officer rudely snapped at me "You cannot leave here, and don't worry about your stuff." While I waited, my laptop was knocked onto the floor, and upon turning it on I found that the screen is now damaged. I was treated like a criminal and told to stand in the "box" and not allowed to even place my objects in a safe place. Then they used the wand and patted me down as if I were a criminal. That wouldn't have been so bad if the security officers would not have been complete jerks (There other words that describe them much better). While the officer was waving the wand over my chest area it kept going off, and it was mysteriously going off while passing over my shoulder. The officer rudely asked if I had anything metallic in my shoulder or chest area, and I told her maybe underwire in my bra, but I have no idea why it would be going off while passing my shoulder. Then the officer became even ruder with me. The she patted down my shoulder/chest area, and I was already wearing a skin-tight shirt, it was pretty obvious that there was nothing in this area of my body. Then while searching my bag, the officer asked me if I had anything 'round' in my bag. I had a confused look and said "I'm not sure", and then the officer began to yell at me. I'm sorry that I did not take an inventory of the various shapes of the items that I had packed in my bag. "Do you have anything round?" is such a vague and off-hand question that my only quick on the response could be something like "I'm not sure." Then the officer opened my jewelry bag, and a piece of jewelry fell on the floor and the officer just stepped on it like it was nothing. When I reached to pick it up to place it on the table she yelled "DO NOT TOUCH THAT."I really hate being treated like a criminal and my personal possessions treated like garbage. The saddest thing is that my story isn't nearly as bad as other stories of read on this blog or reports that I have heard on the news. My heart goes out to all of the people who have been harassed and abused by TSA people. Thank you TSA for allowing my brand new $2,000 computer to be broken. (I could not have it retrieved when I asked POLITELY, and of course laptops have to come out of their protective padded bags.)Also, thank you TSA for treating me like a CRIMINAL. The terrorists are getting what they wanted. Our civil liberties and freedoms are being chipped away one by one, and the Bill of Rights is being thrown out the window. I hope these TSA officers enjoy their jobs of treating innocent people like criminals and pieces of crap.
Hmmm, I suspect that the SOPs governing the day-to-day operations were written by career paper pushers with little thought given to the what-if senarios that engineers would have discussed. Grammar correct?Spelling correct?Okay we're ready to use this as policy. I suspect that little thought went into reactions of US citizens, or the much longer lasting repercussions for a slip-shod, half baked, SOP. Homeland security and TSA have me shaking my head and wondering just what were they thinking when they put pen to paper. From the TSA's own website: 3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3 ounce bottle or less (by volume) ; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3 oz. container size is a security measure.The rule limits the volume of liquids, gels and aerosols to bottles 3 ounces or smaller (or 100 ml), in 1 quart-sized zip top bag, and 1 bag per traveler.All liquids, gels and aerosols must be in three-ounce or smaller containers. Larger containers that are half-full or toothpaste tubes rolled up are not allowed. Each container must be three ounces or smaller.So just what is allowed? You lack consistancy even on the place, we fliers use. You wonder why you get so much grief over things like this. FYI 3oz doesn't equal 100mL.Fix the minor details like this and your jobs will become easier.
The last few years my wife and I have traveled internationally. We had not traveled just with in the USA until this month.We made a quick 4 day weekend trip and packed two small suitcases. One we checked and one we carried on during the out bound trip, as we were taking some Tequila to my brother in law to try.On the way home we decided to carry both suitcases on board, something we have not had the opportunity to do for years. We did not think about some of the liquids that tend to stay in the suitcase we normally check. The TSA people a John Wayne Airport were extremely nice in requesting permission to check our bag, and in explaining why. We knew better but had a brain fade as we were out of our normal routine.I did have to remove my belt and watch, and go through the metal detector again. I was wearing the same belt and watch on the out bound trip, and did not set of the metal detector. Other wise I would have removed them to start with.I understand different machines can have different levels of sensitivity.I do not understand why there are different procedures from one airport to another. Most require shoes removed, a very few do not. This must be training and monitoring issue and should be corrected. Overall we have no problem meeting and complying with the requirements. We have had very few TSA agents who were unfriendly, or difficult. I must say however, that the John Wayne TSA agents were the most pleasant I have ever meet.
re post by Duane on 03/21/2008 3:18 PM.It has been mentioned in another blog that multiple attempts were made to respond to the post made by Duane.TSA block all post advising Duane to contact local police for 1 1/2 days, a delay that could prevent an effective investigation of the incident.I have to wonder if TSA places its agenda above the 8 year old citizen that went through the TSA checkpoint? What does TSA have to hide?Smells like an attempt to cover-up the actions of a TSO.TSA continues to disappoint!
Here's another horror story from FlyerTalk about the TSA's treatment of a 2 year old child:"I flew out of PHX Saturday March 8th with my wife and 2 year old and they seperated* my son from us and patted him down. I have filed a complaint with Office of Civil Rights which is part of TSA, but have not had any response in almost two weeks. I am spending time today writing my Congresswoman and Senator and trying to find some way to get this addressed. There were two people who wound up being very helpful, but two were hostile and had our 2 year placed on a chair against a wall and had us stand four feet away and turn our backs on him while they decided who was going to pat down my son.I have heard repeatedly that people are horrified by this experience and they recommend I contact legal counsel."*The TSA's website says they will NOT separate you from your child.Among comments to the above were:"This seems cruel. I know that there are many *$&%*##$ TSA types, but surely they don't condone cruelty to children. Is there any sort of logic or justification for isolating a 2 year old and making his parents turn away from him? Are there really TSA staff who are that sadistic, and others who would let such behavior go on without comment or correction?""A situation such as .....'s child endured could very well produce signs of trauma: not sleeping well, nightmares, fear of airports, clinging to parents, not wanting to go to nursery school/day care. What happened to him was despicable and it seems to be becoming the norm rather than an aberration.""....consider filing an abuse complaint with the Phoenix PD"The flying public, as others have said, must start to speak up. If you see the TSA treating a child or a disabled person with disrespect or in an abusive manner, speak up so that other people in line can hear you, point out the abusive treatment, call a police officer, call a supervisor..... don't wait until such things happen to you, take a stand for your fellow travelers.I would love to see a coordinated day of civil disobedience at our airports, where thousands of people join together and say WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH.
I had an umbrella confiscated by the TSA at the Portland (Oregon) Memorial Coliseum prior to a Barack Obama rally because "it was too long." only a few of us were tsa the were secret service. they were having tsa do their bag checks. their uniforms look really similar to ours. next time look around.
While traveling from Detroit with TSA approved locks---the fastening hole for the lock was snipped thereby making the lock useless. Looks like someone needs glasses. We were following the "directive" for having TSA approved locks. Hmmmm.
TSA needs to train their employees to THINK on some passengers. My Dad is in his 80s, has had bypass surgery, wears a pacemaker, has congestive heart failure, and walks slowly, and has to stop to rest. He brings his medical records to the airport, to no avail. He has put up with the indignity of an employee putting their hands inside his belt. Come on! THINK --this is a church official who travels on church business, never had a speeding ticket or parking ticket--Hands off my Dad! This is clearly invasive --and absolutely not necessary. THINK --this is not a 'bomb-carrying' individual--and the medical papers should be enough to let him pass without the indignities in the extra search. He doesn't complain, but I travel with him, and think you should change your policies to include some common sense.
Anonymous said... only a few of us were tsa the were secret service. they were having tsa do their bag checks. their uniforms look really similar to ours. next time look around.The use of TSO instead of professional contract security brings up a few questions.What budget do the loaner TSOs get paid from? TSA, Treasury Dept., or Obama's campaign?What law or rule allows for the loaning of TSOs? (Just a general answer here is good. No need to make Francine look up all the case law on a Easter weekend)Who paid for the moving and setting up the equipment?Are TSOs allowed to take other off duty security jobs and wear their TSA issued uniform?If a TSO makes rude comment or steals, what department takes the complaint? TSA or Secret Service?The TRANSPORTATION Security Agency needs to stick with transportation security until they can do that right on a consistent basis.
As a traveler with a defibulator, I understand that I must get a patdown everytime I go through security. While inconvienent I understand this. What I do not understand is why some locations require me to leave my belongings and go behind enclosed walls to get to the patdown checkpoint. This happened just 2 weeks ago in San Diego. I was forced to send my belongings through the scanner but since I could not go through the metal detector I had to go around to the exit area while my belongings went through the scanner.After getting to the patdown area I was asked which tubs were mine. However this was AFTER I had them out of sight for about 2 minutes. The people behind me could have easily taken my wallet, phone, keys, etc. What's funny was after I got to the gate area there was an announcement that you should not leave your belongings out of your sight.TSA could easily have escorted me and my belongings to the patdown area and then sent the tubs through the scanner. They could have asked before I left which tubs were mine and made sure they were safe, or at least have special color tubs for these instances so that the agents could monitor the situation.By the way, it doesn't even matter who you are. I am a DHS (not TSA) employee with a top secret clearance and credentials. I was still treated wrong.
From TSA's own website:3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3 ounce bottle or less (by volume) ; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3 oz. container size is a security measure.Just for grins I went to take a look at my tube of toothpaste and deodorant. Funny thing is that both of them list the contents by weight instead of volume. FYI TSA weight often doesn't equal volume. How can you possibly state that 3oz of displacement (volume) equals 3, 4, 5 oz of weight? The misaplication of simple mathematics, science, weights and measures calls to question your confiscation of passenger belongings.
By the way, it doesn't even matter who you are. I am a DHS (not TSA) employee with a top secret clearance and credentials. I was still treated wrong.Please tell them that you get very excited when separated from your belongings and want them to be visible during your screening process.Good to see someone with some credentials (DHS, TS, ect) complain about the excesses of TSA. Does that mean the rest of us unwashed fliers are now vindicated when we complain?
By the way, it doesn't even matter who you are. I am a DHS (not TSA) employee with a top secret clearance and credentials. I was still treated wrong.Just wondering if you took any action after the fact to report this problem to the TSA Chain of Command? Regular civilians only get corrective screening when attempting to voice a concern with TSA!
"TSA could easily have escorted me and my belongings to the patdown area and then sent the tubs through the scanner. They could have asked before I left which tubs were mine and made sure they were safe, or at least have special color tubs for these instances so that the agents could monitor the situation."I know it may be hard to do, but next time insist on getting your things before you are screened. This IS something the screener should have did for you. It happens at my airport as well.
Here's my two cent's worth on experiences at several airports, in a fair bit of detail. I'm hoping that my describing each situation in some length that the TSA can see where things went wrong and how the experience can be improved.These comments expand on comments I've made previously about Flint MI, Orlando FL, Atlanta GA and Pensacola FL. More gripes than grins, unfortunately....The recent stories are all gripes. These unfold from August of 2007 to February 2008.Flint MI, Story #1My girlfriend (hereafter referred to as Heather) and I are going through security. Bags go through x-ray, and I hear the infamous call for "bag check". We walk up to the tail end of conversation between another passenger and the screener. Both are rather brusque with each other in their tone. Passenger leaves. Screener comments loudly to another screener about how rude that last passenger was to her. (I'm thinking that the screener's tone with that passenger set no example of politeness. Neither did loudly making that comment in public.) Screener starts to look in my girlfriend's carry on, and here's the dialog from there. Screener: Are any "liquids gels or aerosols" in the bag?Heather: noScreener: Is there anything metal in the bag or anything I might poke herself on?Heather: (holds hand above bag, and points to rear pocket) There's a nail file in that back pocket. Screener: (yelling) DON'T TOUCH THE BAG WHILE I'M SEARCHING IT !Heather: I not touching the bag. I'm just pointing to the pocket where my nail file is. I don't want you to get stuck.Screener: (yelling louder) DON'T TOUCH THE BAG WHILE I'M SEARCHING IT !Heather: Fine, whatever. (puts her hands at her side.)Screener: (after encountering a tube of lipstick, yelling) THIS HAS TO BE IN YOUR ZIPLOC BAG.Me: (thinking to myself -- a lipstick has a fixed volume and shape. From what I learned in school, that makes it a solid. No point, however, in arguing semantics of states of matter with a power happy ignoramus.)Heather: Fine, I'll put it in there. (Starts to put lipstick in her ziploc, which was pretty full.)Screener: (no longer yelling, but with smug satisfaction) Your ziploc has to be able to close. (obviously thinking "gotcha")Me: I've got plenty of room in mine. (I place lipstick in my ziploc, close the top, and hold it up for screener to see. My turn to think "gotcha".)Screener: (Walks away without saying a word.)Two major comments:1. The yelling was totally unnecessary and unprovoked. We were being cooperative and trying to play the game by the rules.2. Heather was concerned by for the well-being of the screener, as evidenced by wanting to make sure she didn't get poked by the nail file. The screener reacted by yelling.3. As I have said in prior posts, the TSA needs to stop throwing "liquids, gels and aerosols" around like a catch phrase and define what this means in real world terms. I have yet to find a definition on the TSA web site, and have yet to see a link to an official definition on this blog. (TSO NY has posted his thumb rules, but has yet to provide a link to where they may be found for all to see.)4. If the screener is done with you, they should yet you know that in a definitive manner. (Similar to the phrase LEO's use, "you're free to go.") Just walking away is rude.5. Less cattiness at the checkpoint, please.Flint MI, Story #2I was the first of four passengers in line. The screening area at this airport has very little background noise. I already had my plastic bins on the table, my notebook PC in a bin, my regulation ziploc in the bin and was starting to take off my shoes. The people in line behind me were doing similarly. Obviously, we all "knew the drill." The screener / wannabe drill instructor started barking orders. "TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES AND PUT THEM IN THE BIN. PUT ANY NOTEBOOK COMPUTERS IN A BIN. KEEP YOUR BOARDING PASS AND PHOTO ID IN YOUR HAND AT ALL TIMES."Comments on this one:1. Did the screener really expect people to remove footwear, pull out notebook PC's, pull out ziploc bags, handle bins, etc. one handed in order to keep their boarding passes and photo id in their hand at all times? What is that supposed to accomplish, anyway? 2. What's wrong with a simple request to "please have your boarding pass and photo id in hand as you approach the metal detector"? 3. How about passengers with mobility, strength, or balance issues? For example, there's absolutely no way my Dad could take his shoes off one handed, standing on one foot. I see no accommodation at this checkpoint (or others for that matter) for the elderly, infirm or physically challenged in getting in or out of footwear. Can't the TSA afford a few chairs?4. Is it necessary to yell at four people in a fairly quiet area? The screener only needed to be heard over a distance of ten feet max. A normal conversational voice will carry that far.Orlando FLScreening area is a large open space, and acoustically, it's an echo chamber. PA is blaring endlessly saying to "keep control of your luggage to prevent introduction of prohibited items", interleaved with announcements of the terror alert level de jour. Screener is shouting something in such heavily accented English that passengers couldn't understand a word being said. We could see her gesturing and pointing in an angry manner, presumably trying to direct traffic, obviously irritated that the passengers weren't doing what she wanted.Comments on this one:1. Why do the announcements have to go non-stop ? Put some space in between announcements to lessen the overall noise level.2. What difference does it make to me whether it's a yellow day or an orange day, anyway? What's the point of the announcement, anyway, since we're supposed to just "be about our lives"?3. If a TSA person can't speak English clearly, they have no business getting irritated with passengers who don't understand whatever she's shouting. Time for ESL and / or accent reduction training.Pensacola FLHeather and I are going through security together. I start the bags through the x-ray, and screener #1 calls for a bag check on one of Heather's carryons. She goes on through the metal detector to resolve the situation, while I hang back to make sure our stuff gets into the x-ray OK (especially not wanting to let my notebook PC out of my sight). Here's the dialog from there:Screener #1: (pulls a tube of mascara out of carryon, starts yelling) THIS HAS TO BE IN YOUR ZIPLOC BAG. Me: (I'm through the metal detector and join Heather. Screener #1 has left to go look at the x-ray machine as more bags come through.) Are we done?Heather: I'm not sure. She made it sound like they want to re-xray my bag without the mascara. I don't want to just walk away if they're not done.Me: Yeah. Don't want to give them any excuses.Screener #2: (Walks behind us, and bellows out) THE LINE IS BACKING UP. EXPEDITE GATHERING YOUR BELONGINGS AFTER THEY GO THROUGH THE X-RAY MACHINE. (He shoots a look of contempts at us and continues to where screener #1 is at the x-ray machine.)Me: (I catch the eye of screener #3, who is standing to the side wearing blue gloves and doing nothing. He immediately looks away and stares into space.) Me: (Quietly to Heather.) Let's get out of here. That guy wants people to expedite gathering their stuff, so I'll take that as our cue to leave.Me: (Projecting my voice straight at screener #3) Since he left, I guess they're done with us. Let's get out of here. Screener #3: (No response. Continues to stare into empty space.)Comments: 1. Again, no effective definition of "liquids, gels or aerosols".2. Screener #1 yelled when a normal tone of voice would have gotten the job done. I could hear her yelling from the other side of the metal detector.3. Screener #1 gave no clear indication that we were free to go, and we didn't want to look like we were trying to sneak away. The thanks we got for trying to cooperate was screener #2 yelling orders, when he could have asked us if there was a question or problem. You don't have to yell when you're standing beside us, and spare me the dirty looks. 4. Screener #3 was less than ten feet away when Screeners #1 and #2 were yelling, so he had to know what was going on. By avoiding my gaze, he gave the impression that he did not want to help.5. When I got home and was looking in my bag, I found a 1 oz tube of sunscreen in my carryon that Screener #1 had missed. So much for their self-righteous attitude. If minimal contents of a tube of mascara is such a threat to aviation security, that's nothing compared to a 1 oz sunscreen tube. 6. Again, the yelling was totally unnecessary and unprovoked. We were being cooperative and trying to play the game by the rules.Atlanta GAAcoustics similar to Orlando -- noisy echo chamber. Same announcements going nonstop, too. Big crowds -- it's a few days after Christmas.I walk up to the person checking id's. She doesn't say a word, and just glares at me with a major league scowl on her face and a look of utter hatred in her eyes. (Don't have to be a BDO to detect that.) I say hello, then hand her my passport and boarding pass. She looks at them and silently hands them back. Thinking "if you see a person without a smile, give them one of yours", I wish here a happy new year. No response, and no change from scowl.As I head towards the screening lines, there a person there attempting to direct traffic. He looks pretty frazzled, but I couldn't blame him, under the circumstances. At least he isn't yelling. I wish him a happy new year, and he smiles.In line, there's a screener shouting at the passengers, but I couldn't understand him over the general bedlam. Since the people in front of me were doing the usual drill with shoes, ziplocs and computers, I did the same. Screener at metal detector checks my id and boarding pass without saying a word. I wish him a happy new year -- no response. Talk about being treated like cattle.Get to concourse, and there's a lengthly pre-recorded announcement playing about the 3-1-1 requirement. Comments:1. This is the typical "treat passengers like cattle" situation. Even if you're going to have a distant manner, don't look at me with a look of utter hatred. If you don't like checking ID's, get another job. If I greet you, respond -- that's ordinary courtesy.2. Same comments as Orlando regarding terror alert de jour announcement and keeping control of your bags.3. Seems silly to have an announcement going about 3-1-1 after everyone has already been through security. Talk about shutting the door after the horse has left the barn !And now on a positive noteFlint MI, Story #3This was one of my first flights post 9/11 and before 3-1-1. Still a bit nervous about flying again. (I didn't fly for two years after the attacks.) I get to the checkpoint, empty my pockets into my carryon, take off cell phone, etc. Here's the conversation from there:Screener #1: (Leans across the table, and looks at my footwear.) Sir, you should probably take those boots off so we can x-ray them. They might have metal shanks.Me: They don't have metal shanks -- I've seen them with the soles off at the cobbler shop.Screener #1: It's easier if you go ahead and take them off. If you set off the metal detector, we'll have to x-ray them anyway.Me: Makes sense. No problem.Metal Detector: BEEP.Screener 2: Sir, do you have anything metal on you? Me: Nothing that detaches. (I grin widely to show my braces.)Screener #2: Sir, if you'd step over here please. (Points to mat with two yellow footprints on it.)Screener #3: Sir, if you'd stand on the footprints and hold your arms out to either side.Me: Sure thing.Screener #3: (Starts wanding me. As he goes over my right shin, wand give off a little "beep".)Me: I've got a surgical screw in that shin. It helps hold my knee together. Screener #3: (Keeps wanding.) OK, thanks. We may have to come back and hand check that.Me: No problem.Screener #3: (Keeps wanding. As he goes over my left wrist...)Wand: BEEEEEEPMe: That's my bone-headed mistake for the day -- I forgot to take off my wrist watch.Screener #3: (Pulls my sweater sleeve up and sees it's a watch, and smiles.) No problem. (keeps wanding.)Screener #3: (Finishes wanding.) Thanks for your cooperation, and have a good flight.Me: Thanks. Have a good evening.Comments:1. First and foremost, note the courteous and respectful tone in the screeners' manner. No yelling, and I hadn't been addressed as "sir" that many times in one conversation since getting out of the Navy.2. Despite my dumb mistake, the screener was nice about it. No public ass-chewing in front of everyone else.3. Note that when I questioned the need to take off my boots, the question was answered politely.4. All in all, a very positive experience. The screeners had a job to do, no doubt, but were able to do it cordially.Flint MI, Story #4Another post 9/11 and pre 3-1-1 flight. That trip, I decided to fly in a polo shirt, walking shorts and sneakers. Nothing metal in my footwear, and my right shin is in the open in case that screw trips the metal detector. Remembered to take my watch off that time. I'm approaching the metal detector. Here's the conversation from there:Screener: Sir, you should probably take those sneakers off.Me: There's nothing metal -- they won't trip the metal detector. Screener: True, but you'll have to go through secondary screening if you leave them on, and then you'll have to take them off there so we can x-ray them.Me: (In a puzzled tone.) OK, but what's the issue with my sneakers?Screener: It's the thickness of the soles. Me: The Richard Reid scenario? Screener: Exactly.Me: Aha! Makes sense. Thanks for explaining.Screener: You're welcome.Comments: 1. Again, note the courteous and respectful tone in the screener's manner and response to my questions.2. I learned something about the requirements that day. 3. Notice what was missing from the response to my questions -- no authoritarian attitude, no threats, etc. Summing UpIn the pre 3-1-1 world, the screener's seemed like decent people trying to a difficult job. Post, 3-1-1, though, it seems rudeness and suspicion have become institutionalized. Unfortunately, the 3-1-1 rule is implemented in typical bureaucratic fashion. “Liquids, gels or aerosols” becomes quite the catch phrase with the TSO’s, but the flying public is not knowledgeable of all the nuances of exactly what is a “liquid, gel or aerosol”. In the absence of good operational definitions, the TSO's implement their own interpretations of what is a “liquid, gel or aerosol”. Each TSO expects the traveler to know their particular interpretation of the rules. The TSO's treat a passenger who violates their individual interpretation like they are stupid at best, probably uncooperative, and have criminal intent at worst. The TSO's appear to be inventing requirements, such as the "requirement" that one's 3 oz bottles have to be "labeled" (such as TSO NY's posts), but don't specify in what manner. Hey blog moderators -- can you confirm or deny the "label requirement".Because of the continued confusion, the TSO’s become perpetually irritated with the flying public as a group. They assume the worst of the passengers, feel the need to shout instructions, bark orders like drill instructors, etc., instead of dealing with passengers as individuals. Ordinary civility goes out the window.Is it any wonder that the relationship between the TSA and the flying public can be a little acrimonious? Though the TSO’s are tested frequently for their skill at detecting prohibited items by the TSA, there is little or no accountability for their interpersonal skills. Supervisors seem to pay no attention to the way that passengers are treated. The TSA relies on passenger complaints to deal with heavy handed TSO’s, instead of taking the proactive approach and evaluating the actions of the agency in general and the TSO’s in particular from the point of view of a law-abiding passenger.What about the security camera footage from the checkpoints? Also, I would presume that the checkpoints are also "wired for sound". Why not review camera footage to see how the checkpoint experience can be improved?Why doesn't the TSA do some secret shopper missions with the express purpose of looking at the security experience through the eyes of the public?
I recently had to suffer through boarding a flight at the Orlando Int'l Airport (MCO) a few days after a new policy of pre-sorting passengers into 3 categories was put into place: Family, Casual Traveler, Seasoned Traveller. This might have been a good idea, but its implementation was flawed beyond belief. For example:1) passengers sort themselves. there was no enforcement.2) it was so crowded and there were no TSA employees to help guide the flow of people nor rails to handle the long lines.3) as you get closer to the gate, you do see 3 checkpoints, each manned by 2 i.d. checkers. However, beyond the checkpoint, the lines all mix together again! People just naturally went for the shortest line they can see. I got stuck behind a poor mother traveling with her 3 children.What is the point of segregating passengers at all if you are not going to enforce the separate flows all the way through?Why bother segregating passengers if they end up getting the same treatment anyway? I did not see the TSA assigning more personelle to help the "Family" travellers or provide wider entrances or ....It was clear that very little thought went into implementing the idea.
Anonymous Sandra said... "Patting down a child is disgraceful. Patting down a 9-month old is beyond belief. It's my suggestion that all parents teach their kids to scream for help if someone from the TSA touches them. They would just be putting into practice what hopefully they are already being taught - that you never let a stranger touch you and if someone does that, you scream."Man walks up to the check point with his family, and suddenly remembers that he still has his four inch blade hunting knife on his belt. He thought it was too much trouble to go back to the counter to try to catch his luggage or make other arrangements. So, he slid the knife down the shirt back of his eight year old son in order to sneak it through screening.Yes, that really happened.A little girl was given a stuffed animal by someone at the motel a few days before the family was due to fly out. When the family went through check point, TSA found a pistol hidden inside the toy. The person at the motel was using the child to dispose of evidence of a crime.Yes, that is a true story also.
I was hoping that someone from the Blog Team or TSA would have been a standup guy and addressed why the responses to poster Duane were blocked for 1 1/2 days.Did TSA communicate with Duane during that period?What was the TSA motivation for blocking Blog participants from commenting back to Duane?Was there an effort (this appears to be the case) by TSA to block an investigation by any Law Enforcement Agency of this incident?How about it TSA, would you care to respond?
Anonymous said... "Now that a TSA-certified flight deck officer's gun has accidentally discharged during a US Airways commercial flight, who is going to protect us from those who are protecting us? Can one request "handgun-free" flights from the airlines? March 24, 2008 3:47 PM"Oh no! Haven't you been reading the blogs? That armed flight deck officer and the locked cabin door are all the security you will ever need! With them in place all of the TSA and all the things it does can all go away!
joe screener said:""Patting down a child is disgraceful. Patting down a 9-month old is beyond belief.It's my suggestion that all parents teach their kids to scream for help if someone from the TSA touches them. They would just be putting into practice what hopefully they are already being taught - that you never let a stranger touch you and if someone does that, you scream."Man walks up to the check point with his family, and suddenly remembers that he still has his four inch blade hunting knife on his belt. He thought it was too much trouble to go back to the counter to try to catch his luggage or make other arrangements. So, he slid the knife down the shirt back of his eight year old son in order to sneak it through screening.Yes, that really happened.A little girl was given a stuffed animal by someone at the motel a few days before the family was due to fly out. When the family went through check point, TSA found a pistol hidden inside the toy. The person at the motel was using the child to dispose of evidence of a crime.Yes, that is a true story also."March 27, 2008 10:04 AMAnd 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?Three cheers to Sandra, winstonsmith, Marshall and all those anonymous posters who are fed up with the TSA and are not afraid to say so.
I have a close relative who works for TSA as a Security Officer.She attributes most of the ill treatment of passengers,poor training,and inconsistancies to the high turn over rate at TSA. According to her, many of her coworkers are brand new or on the way out the door. This would lead me to believe that this is the heart of the problem. There has to be a reason why people would run away from a federal job advertised as a career in such high numbers as reported by many news sources.What's going on behind the scenes is my question.
What ever you do don't post a comment on how much TSA's turnover rate is responsible for the inconsistancies and poor performance of the workforce because it will be censored. The truth hurts I see. Our tax dollars hard at work.
I have read every single comment on this post. Some were hysterical, especially about passengars pummeling a hijacker. I think it's true. Save one of them having a gun, they wouldn't last with annoyed mothers who raised 6 boys, ticked off business men who's secretary won't come in for private meetings anymore, and the guy who's girlfriend cheated on him.Some are a tad off beat, like the one about children screaming if someone touches them. I think it's important for children to be educated about strangers, but in this case I think it's important for children to know that they parent will be there and that there is a law that says some people get searched and others don't. And that this isn't "bad" touching.I just want to say, I hate TSAs. Honestly, I could care less if you're just doing your job. You picked a nasty job. There is a reason I do not have your job. Because I don't want to be the one people are posting comments about on the TSA blog because I am enforcing rules I may not agree with.When I hear them say "We're just following the rules" or "We may not agree with them but we have to follow them" I feel like saying "Then get a job that has rules and regulations you agree with"Same for soldiers. Don't state that you think this "war" is ridiculous and then join the Army/Navy/Marines, etc.That being said, no I don't like you, but *I* put up with *you* because I'd rather not sit on my plump rump for sixteen hours just so I can have my very own sammich made by my grammy.I take off my belt, remove my laptop from the case, take off all my outer layers, so I am left in a tank top or t-shirt.On Tuesday, the 25th of March I flew from JFK to SFO. We got non-stop flights with one weeks notice, and checked in online. My boyfriend and I checked our luggage both under my name, that I was checking too. The agent at the counter didn't even look at his boarding pass but required my ID and boarding pass. Fair enough, he didn't have baggage.We get to the security line and I think for sure we'll be singled out for selective screening. I would much rather go through selective screening!1. It's often a shorter and quicker line!2. The TSA personnel are often nicer because they aren't dealing with hoardes of people. Their human interaction is much less.When we weren't selected we moved on. I always wear flip flops to go through security. Recently I found out I suffer from an overarch in my feet and even walking short distances, or short amounts without the support of my shoes is very painful. I recently found very supportive flip flops and was excited, thinking I would be able to wear them and not be in pain (flip flops often aren't supportive and for someone like me, it is painful to wear them). I was told I needed to remove them. My bin had already gone through so they were simple tossed on the belt.And then I had to walk, BAREFOOT on that dirty skeevy floor where all the TSA personnel walk with their chunky black shoes.Ew.I just wanted to wash my feet.Yes, you're just doing your job. Blah blah blah - if you don't have enough faith in the job you do to say "This is why I am doing this" and not "The rules say..."Don't be a robot. If someone asks "Why?" they are most likely genuinely curious because it's something they haven't encountered yet. Answer the, politely, don't act like they are a criminal.My mom get's visible upset and frustrated, and ornery and nasty, when she is singled out for a search or they want to look inside her bag. I believe it's justified, albeit embarassing. One time the woman, while my mom watched, knocked open my mom and brothers pill holder that she had in her carryone and proceeded to unscrewed a bottle of lotion and not rescrew it.M-o-r-o-n. That's uncalled for. And some may say "That was on TSA official, not all are like that" but it's those one's that people remember.I smile and keep my mouth shut because I prefer to spend less time traveling to a destination and more time at that destination.
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.
I've got a major GRIN based on a news story I just read about a woman being forced or asked to remove her nipple rings with pliers.If the story is true, my reaction (besides being titillated) is that TSA workers went too far, the really funny part of the story is the official response by TSA spokesman Dwayne Baird: "I'd be really curious to know what this woman had in her nipples. Sometimes they have a chain between their nipples, or a chain between their nipples and their belly button. It would have to be made of heavy metal to be detected."Why is this funny to me? At first blush, it seems a case of TMI. But when one thinks about it, one realizes just how much weird information someone like Dwayne is required to know. I'm sure this is a relatively minor example of bizarre human behavior, too.Anyway, if Mr. Baird reads this, thank you for the laugh. You're handling this with grace and wit. If Mr. Baird's superiors read this, give the man a raise!Lastly, when can we expect to see a video by Bob on this subject? I seriously want to know which genital piercings are allowed! =)
Thank goodness my airport has camera's at each screening area so we can no longer be accused of taking items out of bags!!!!!!!!!
To the nice Anonymous person who wrote: Three cheers to Sandra, winstonsmith, Marshall and all those anonymous posters who are fed up with the TSA and are not afraid to say so.March 27, 2008 1:40 PMIt is I who thank you for reading and taking your civil rights seriously. It is only when more people start to do the same that we the people will restore actual freedom to our great country. The TSA is only a symptom (albeit a very visible and painful one) of a much larger problem we have in the US. My mom is just about to turn the corner to 70 years old. I took her out to lunch about a month ago and we were talking about stuff in general and she came out with the pearl of wisdom, "I'm glad I'm on my way out. This is *not* the country I grew up in."That's why I write. And that's why I'll bet Sandra writes, and Marshall writes, and even Trollkiller -- a man with whom I don't always agree, but for whom I have great respect because he gets it -- there are legitimate questions to debate here.Please everyone, take it to the next level and start to write your Congress Critters and everyone else in Washington who will or won't listen. Write letters to the editor. Write blogs. Talk to your friends. Get and stay informed from sources you can actually trust. You can make a difference.
"Thank goodness my airport has camera's at each screening area so we can no longer be accused of taking items out of bags!!!!!!!!!"Phase one of check-in baggage security, partially complete. At least at one of 450 airports....Now we just need you to do one more thing, secure the bag with a tamper proof seal. Violation of that seal should be a Federal offense....
"The TSA is only a symptom (albeit a very visible and painful one) of a much larger problem we have in the US."Thanks, winstonsmith.As we have seen over the past two months on this blog, the bloggers are opening a channel of communication. To a degree we have some insight into the bottlenecks, issues, and problems that the TSA is facing. It is important that both TSO's and passengers report problems, and work towards resolution. We can only hope that positive dialog will continue.I have been posting anonymously since the beginning, but that is one thing that I can change. I would still like to press for a posted Passenger Bill of Rights.I urge all of you to vote in November. Your voice matters.
We use to have TSA zip ties and also TSA cavalar ties but we are no longer able to get them. We loved them so why they are not available any more is sad.
"We use to have TSA zip ties and also TSA cavalar ties but we are no longer able to get them. We loved them so why they are not available any more is sad."Lets work on getting them back. With RFID tags if necessary. It is a TSA issue, but affects your credibility, secure check-in baggage and theft is really serious issue with passengers.
I recently returned home from overseas thru DTW, most of the TSA employees were polite enough except one who was so rude and crude that anywhere else they would have been fired. If I was not in a hurray to catch a connecting flight I would have asked to see a supervisor. What happen to the comment cards that were available? TSA you need to train your employees to be polite also and remember you are goverment employees paid by the people so technicaly being a tax paying citizen you work for me.
I'd be really curious to know what this woman had in her nipples. Sometimes they have a chain between their nipples, or a chain between their nipples and their belly button. It would have to be made of heavy metal to be detected.Mr. Baird's statement is quite accurate. Unless these piercings were of a heavy gauge -- and based upon the photo I've seen in the media where the woman and her lawyer demonstrated the removal with a mannequin, they apparently were not -- they shouldn't have set off the wand. I speak from experience here, as I have the same piercings (and one below the belt, so to speak). I used to give the TSA screeners a friendly warning before they'd wand me -- just because I realize this type of thing makes some people uncomfortable -- but I stopped because the jewelry simply would never trip the metal detector. It's really been a non-issue.
"When we weren't selected we moved on. I always wear flip flops to go through security. Recently I found out I suffer from an overarch in my feet and even walking short distances, or short amounts without the support of my shoes is very painful. I recently found very supportive flip flops and was excited, thinking I would be able to wear them and not be in pain (flip flops often aren't supportive and for someone like me, it is painful to wear them). I was told I needed to remove them. My bin had already gone through so they were simple tossed on the belt.And then I had to walk, BAREFOOT on that dirty skeevy floor where all the TSA personnel walk with their chunky black shoes"You sound more angry that your pretty little feet had to touch the dirty floor. if you had work orthopedics and you said you had a medical reason why you cant take your shoes off, they wouldnt have made you but flip flops, you cant be serious. "they simply tossed them on the belt" is there a point to this? i travel 3 times a week and i love how every moron wastes a bin that i could use for their pair of shoes. its like their shoes will get dirt on them by going through the machine . i find this even more redundant seeing they are ya know shoes.Its people like this who make the lines as long as they are, people who think they are special and deserve special screening
Don't you people get it? The public is angry because of the extreme lack of transparency, inconsistent policies, and a complete lack of any and all civil liberties once you walk into that TSA checkpoint. The bad guys have already won. Thanks to you, Big Brother. Glad to see you treated this woman fairly, without unnecessarily invading her privacy (hint: sarcasm)Nipple rings? Come on now, you can't be serious. News flash: terrorists are not currently and will never use nipple rings as a weapon. What really gets me is the oh-so-common line "We can't tell you, national security and all." Half of the general public would be satisfied at this point if the TSA just released some honest to goodness information and not more doublespeak. I will admit, I think this blog is an amazing idea - but it is still in a sad state of affairs. How many times have questions been asked and responded to without any real content being contained in the so-called answer? You can practically hear the TSA squirming in their seats as they dodge providing complete answers to many if not most questions asked here. I would love to hear someone try and argue why security through obscurity is a valid model in the TSA when it has proven a failed concept in every other application ever imagined? Keeping secrets doesn't provide any ACTUAL security... it only provides the illusion of security. Of course given the ability of many people to succumb to illusions and doublespeak, how can it possibly surprise me anymore that we as a society tacitly accept this thought process?
Someone really ought to officially inform the body modification community that body piercings are not prohibited items. I have worn large gauge steel and titanium nipple and genital piercings for many years and have passed through many US and foreign airports without ever being detected by the metal detectors. Unless she had little razor blade jewelry, you really need to explain yourselves over this one.
The worst part about my service in Iraq was not my time there, but the trip home. Thanks, TSA. Upon leaving Fort Dix, I had to take a commercial flight from the Philly airport to get back home on the West coast. Upon reaching the security gate, a Army COL. in uniform who was a Silver Star awardee, was being made to empty all his pockets; he complained that he was not a terrorist, but the screener cut him short and snapped at him "You military folks ARE the terrorists!" I received similar treatment, and when checking my briefcase, her assistant dumped it upside down, mixing up the paperwork and damaging some items in there. The TSA lady told me "If you want to catch your flight, you're going to do nothing about it." I ended up having to put my stuff away without the screeners help, which only delayed me. Several men of Arabic descent behind me were able to pass through without even being given a second look-over by the screener (scared of profiling?). When I got to San Diego, I checked out of my temporary command, and went to fly back home to Seattle a week later from San Diego airport. I was in uniform at the ticket counter, when a TSA official had me step out of line with my seabag, and in front of the other passengers, empty out the entire seabag, whilst she inspected it's contents. She asked for my military ID, because she said my name was on some sort of 'Terrorist Watch List' and she had to look up to see if I was that person (I wasn't). I was told I have the same name as someone else on that list, but there was nothing I could do about it because "That's just the way it is" as she put it. So now I'm 'flagged' for special treatment everytime I fly! Every TSA person I talked to on my return home from Iraq made it clear directly or suggestively, that they had a problem with me and some of my fellow travellers for no other reason than that we were military personnel. I remained courteous and polite to the TSA folks even though I got nothing but attitude and unprofessional behavior from them in return! This type of discrimination against military personnel by TSA screeners happens every day in our airports. This is how TSA welcomes our heroes home.I filed a complaint on the TSA website about my mistreatment over a year ago, and they have not bothered to respond to my complaint, or even apologize. That only shows TSA knows about it, and they care to do NOTHING about the problem, otherwise they would have responded to my complaint!
Nipple piercing? Are you serious? This has to be a hoax. There is no way the TSA is this bad.http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8VM3DT00&show_article=1&image=largeWhat is next. I have to remove the metal plate on my hip?
Litigation is the answer. Sue 'em more. Get names from badges and, by god, sue 'em. If they lose enough bling in court they'll come around to acting like humans again.
Some snippets posted on FlyerTalk recently:"So this morning I'm flying CO from NJ (EWR) to Denver, & I packed a backpack instead of my normal roller. To deal w/ liquid regulations I bought plastic bottles @ Walmart & carry my own shampoo, shaving cream etc. Toothpaste however I've always just bought smaller sized tubes & tossed it in the bag. This morning, I failed to bring my plastic bag & had to put the toothpaste in my dob kit. Of course they pull out my toothpaste telling me it's over the limit - TSA agent stated the limit is 3.5oz - TSA website says 3oz by volume which I knew, & my toothpaste was w/i that limit. I asked the agent if she knew what the limit represented, volume or weight..... blank stare. I asked her again pointing out that although the weight was greater than 3.5 oz, the volume was closer to 2... blank stare & a repeat of "the limit is 3.5oz." In the end I walked away, but just another example of the TSA's utter incompetence."From a recent Patrick Smith column:"In Latin America, for example, our TSA requires local security personnel to set up gateside screening tables exclusively for flights to the United States. After passing through the standard metal detector and x-ray station, which does not enforce a liquids ban, passengers get in line to have their carry-on bags hand-searched for any oversized containers. Those headed elsewhere are exempt from such nonsense. These gateside checks are not only tedious, but useless. In South America recently I was sitting in a crowded gate and witnessed something hilarious -- or maybe sad is the better term: At the screening tables, a handful of contract guards were ransacking carry-ons, but there was no frisking or pat-downs of passengers themselves. So, as the line snaked forward in agonizing slow-motion, people would simply reach into their bags, remove any toothpaste or other personal effects they'd rather not forfeit, and slip them into their pockets!Over the past six years I have written upwards of twenty columns on the airport security and the TSA. Through it all I've found myself searching for a word -- a single word that might possibly encapsulate the nonsense that we go through, from the pointy-object confiscations to the shoe removals to the childish folly I just described. Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, there is no single word that can simultaneously account for things wasteful, pointless, humiliating and immature. Neither is there a word to describe the level frustration some of us feel when we are demanded, at the risk of confrontation and hollering, to treat obviously silly rules with unmatched seriousness.What we're dealing with is, to some extent, human nature. At this point the TSA is the kind of self-perpetuating beast that inevitably results when a bureaucracy is granted lots of power and little actual purpose. But also, we have also spent six years living in a state of institutional denial. Our government, willfully or otherwise, refuses to admit a basic and irrefutable premise: that the attacks of September 11th were not, in fact, caused by a failure of airport security."Re: episode where woman was forced to remove her body piercings with a pair of pliars. Rather than address the issue directly, the TSA continues to maintain that its screeners are properly trained and further adds to the fear-mongering in order to justify its existence:"TSA is actively investigating Ms. Hamlin's allegations to ensure procedures were followed appropriately. Our security officers are well-trained to screen individuals with body piercings in sensitive areas with dignity and respect while ensuring a high level of security.TSA is well aware of terrorists' interest in hiding dangerous items in sensitive areas of the body, therefore we have a duty to the American public to resolve any alarm that we discover. Incidents of female terrorists hiding explosives in sensitive areas are on the rise all over the world. This scenario must be addressed at our nation's airports.To the right is a prototype training device that TSA will use to simulate a bra bomb in training and testing its officers."A comment on suggested "overreactions", i.e., child screaming while being patted down:Any attempt to change a bad situation, such as this country is dealing with at this time, needs to start with outrageous actions in order to garner the attention of the general population, in the case of the TSA, the "SHEEPLE" who just go along with the agency's demands. Most know the rules serve no purpose, but most people are scared to death to speak out. (Thankfully, the phrase "anything for security" is heard less and less these days.)In order to embolden the general flying public to speak out, we must ourselves be willing to say in a very loud and a very clear voice: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
As a former TSO, let me help clarify the mystery of liquids, gels, aerosols, etc. This information is available at the TSA.gov website and I will include the link. It seems that many passengers have forgotten much of the science they learned in school, but . . . if you can POUR it, PUMP it, SQUEEZE it, SPREAD it,SMEAR it, SPRAY it or SPILL it; then you are carrying a liquid, gel, or aerosol and those items are subject to the 3-1-1 restrictions. Link -- http://www.tsa.gov/assets/pdf/311-insert.pdfIn general, TSO's are not trying to be difficult, but they are required to follow the standard operating procedures.
"We use to have TSA zip ties and also TSA cavalar ties"Cavalar???Is that anything like Corbomite? (Ask the nearest Trekker if you're not familiar with that substance.)Presumably you mean Kevlar, which would make a darned strong zip tie. Interesting that the TSA did make an effort at one point to resecure bags they searched, but no longer.
TSA IS A JOKE. All they do is make it more expensive and more of a hassle to travel. Air travel is not fun any more. It is not any more safe than it was before 911.
Texas woman claims TSA forced nipple ring removalLOS ANGELES — A Texas woman who claims she was forced to remove a nipple ring with pliers in order to board an airplane called Thursday for an apology by federal security agents and a civil rights investigation.Hamlin said she was trying to board a flight from Lubbock to Dallas on Feb. 24 when she was scanned by a Transportation Security Administration agent after passing through a larger metal detector without problems.The female TSA agent used a handheld detector that beeped when it passed in front of Hamlin's chest, the Dallas-area resident said.Hamlin said she told the woman that she was wearing nipple piercings. The female agent then called over her male colleagues, one of whom said she would have to remove the body piercings, Hamlin claimed.Hamlin said she could not remove them and asked if she could instead display her pierced breasts in private to the female agent. But several other male officers told her she could not board her flight until the jewelry was removed, she said.She was taken behind a curtain and managed to remove one bar-shaped nipple piercing but had trouble with the second, a ring."Still crying, she informed the TSA officer that she could not remove it without the help of pliers, and the officer gave a pair to her," said Hamlin's attorney, Gloria Allred, reading from a letter she sent Thursday to the director of the TSA's Office of Civil Rights and Liberties. Allred is a well-known Los Angeles lawyer who often represents high-profile claims.
I work at MSP airport. So I travel often. I cant honestly say that I have had a lot of good security experiences with the TSA. The last time my husband and I flew, I was harrassed by the TSA agents for wearing a button-up hoodie that they were convinced was a jacket. They tried to force me to take it off in front of everyone that was also waiting in line to go through checkpoint. Even though I let 3 male and 1 female TSA agents know that I did not have anything on under my sweatshirt they insisted it come off NOW! They were incredibe rude. The worst part of it was when I told one of the male TSA agents that I did not have a shirt on under my sweatshirt he smiled. They are incredibly rude and have no sense of customer service. They Just dont care!
I'm confused by the "squeeze and smear" comment. I can squeeze a block of cheese or a bean bag. I can squeeze my backpack. I can squeeze an empty plastic bottle. I can smear crayons and pencils onto paper -- that's how they work! These are all solids, aren't they? What about candles? And chocolate bars?And technically, some would consider glass (eye glasses) to be not solid. Look it up.So do all of these have to go in that tiny bag as well?And pens, which do contain liquid, do not need to go into the bag.This is why the general population is confused. Lipstick is a solid at room temperature and so is peanut butter (Google it) and therefore does not need to go into the baggie.Maybe we need a chemistry professor at each TSA checkpoint to confirm whether various objects are solid or liquid. Or maybe a printed list at each checkpoint that the TSA can point to. If it's not on the list, and you cannot pour it, it's not subject to the 3-1-1 policy.
"You military folks ARE the terrorists!" There are liars, and dam liars and you are one. Philly TSO!
We flew from Milwaukee to Phoenix and the screeners in Milwaukee have no respect for personal belongings that have to be screened. They were unnecessarily rough with my son's expensive, delicate camera which he had placed carefully in one of the bins to go through the X-ray. The agent made an exasperated noise as if we weren't supposed to put the camera bag in a little gray bin. Where, pray tell, are the instructions for what goes into the bins and what doesn't? There aren't any posted, and not everyone flies on a regular basis. We fly once a year, perhaps twice a year, and this kind of rudeness and rough treatment of expensive equipment is unwarranted. There is not one sign that states what we need to remove and what we need to leave on...from shoes to jewelry. We've had agents refuse to hand-inspect exposed film; when we have had to dump water out of a Nalgene bottle, there's no place to dump it but into a trash can. Why? This whole security routine is nothing new by this time, yet every time I have had to traverse its labyrinth, there's no improvement in the communications, no improvement in the efficiency, and highly variable attitudes on the part of the screeners. In Phoenix, the screeners were uniformly polite, kind, willing to make the process go as smoothly as possible, and were more than willing to answer questions for us as well as hand-screen exposed film. Every one of our possessions was handled carefully and we were treated kindly. This was not true in Milwaukee. We flew into Indianapolis and found the same incredibly rude attitude on the part of the TSA team there. They wouldn't budge to put a sign on a vending machine that was taking money and not dispensing water...."not our job." These people were standing (sorry, leaning) around with nothing to do while we struggled to find a piece of paper, pen and possibly tape to post a sign that the machine was out of order. This was within 3 feet of the TSA people. Is kindness prohibited? To a person, every TSA employee that we encountered in Indianapolis was surly, rude, and unhelpful. Not a good first impression of Hoosier Hospitality. As far as shipping items to yourself, that's impossible. There is no way to do that when you find that you cannot transport something. By that time, you have no option but to hand the item over to be dumped in the trash. The kiosks for shipping are well-hidden...I looked in Phoenix, Indiapolis, and Milwaukee. As a parent of a child with Celiac Disease, I am constantly worried that we won't be able to travel with the food that my son needs. It's expensive, cannot be checked, and cannot be replaced easily ANYWHERE, least of all in the "secure boaring area." I have comforted myself with the hope that I could possibly ship the food home, but that's not possible from what I can see at the airports. So, TSA, we need uniformity of rules, communication of rules, kindness, clarity, respect for our belongings (no matter what age the passenger), and follow-through on what you tell the public (make the mailing kiosks visible and accessible in every airport). How can we comply when we don't even know what we're expected to do?!
Well this should be interesting. I've been following the articles written about the TSA since 9/11. All they have done is provide more fact to Homeland Security and the bush babies that they don't know what they’re doing, don't care and someone is pocketing the money that may make a difference. I cannot believe the ignorance of the TSA at airports and the attitude of superiority these junkie monkeys display. COMMON SENSE is not in any of their vocabulary. I'm guessing someone else filled out their employment applications. It's like Homeland Security went out and hired every thug they could find, slipped them some money, put them on the bush dole and said hey just do this and if this happens, act like a "jack" that never had an intelligent thought in their life. COMMON SENSE. The latest posting... TSA has posted that they "followed procedure" at the Dallas airport with the poor woman and the nipple ring. If any of the agents had any kind of decency or COMMON SENSE they easily could have checked the woman's piercing and not have HARMED her in anyway. But no, the female TSA agent, showing no sense on her own (she deserves the exact same treatment at every airport for the rest of her life), asks a bunch of "jack" males who instead of using COMMON SENSE used their nether regions and FORCED her to hurt herself when a look was all that was needed. It's like the hill, the airports need to be cleaned out of the ignorants as soon as possible and decent people with common sense need to be paid well and establish real protocols that they are RESPONSIBLE for. The TSA lawyers are constantly answering questions with we have establish this or that policy, it just isn't in effect yet, but since we established it, we did our job. NO, YOU DID NOT. I think every TSA agent should be forced to go to another airport, lead to the head "jack" and see what it feels like. People, if you can't do your job, if you're some sicko enjoying the torment of Americans, if you don't like your job, if you're stealing from your job - stop and get out; YOU ARE NOT WANTED. And if you stealing directly from Americans like Homeland Security and the bush babies, I hope your job gets cut, airports shut down because you don't deserve a bailout with your shitty service, and all of you can't find a job for a 2 years. TSA agents, hope you like being a bush baby Americans.
I travel extensively through the US and all over the world and i have to admit my experiences with security in US airports is inconsistent. I can't imagine it is a fun job by any means but I have to say that it would be a better experience for all involved if the screeners realized that MOST travellers are innocent and not terrorists. A smile, a courteous manner, a sense of humour would go a long way in getting people through the screening process without feeling like they are in the movie midnight express!I am okay with high levels of security if it makes sense and is consistent. I find the whole no liquids thing ridiculous. I am concur that peanut butter and lip glass are far from explosive. I would also appreciate it that if you have to pat me down you ask my permission first and do so in a gentle, respectful manner. TSA employees would be wise to remember this especially if you are patting down, women, children and elderly. Think about how you would want your mother to be treated. I have been manhandled by TSA agents in both Hawaii and North Carolina airports.I would also show more patience and understanding if some of the security measures made sense. I understand the need to screen laptops and electronics and am happy to oblige. I am also more than happy to take off my shoes, i always travel with shoes that are easy to remove. What doesn't make a lick of sense to me is to screen the bottoms of my bare feet (Hawaii airport). If you can clearly see that there is nothing on the bottom of my feet nor are there any fresh surgical scars that would suggest something had been implanted there. Why waste my time making me go through that only to be sent on to be manhandled by the next screener? I have been dying to ask that question for ages. (BTW this happens every single time i go through the Hawaii airport)At the end of the day i think you would find the general public is grateful for the attention to security but it would behoove the TSA to spend some time with their screeners to teach them how to not only maintain homeland security but do so respectfully and kindly without evoking the ire of the public. Consistency across all airports would also go along way to building confidence with the public. An innocent person shouldn't come away from security feeling, violated, humiliated or like a criminal. The public needs to understand the role of TSA and be prepared to adhere to their regulations. They need to anticipate and prepare for screening in advance to make things go more smoothly by getting there early, being patient, being prepared to remove shoes, electronics etc. and remembering it is for everyone's safety.
It has been scientifically proven that an observer will not find what they are looking for accurately if they do not find it fairly frequently (see Wolfe JM, Horowitz TS, Kenner NM. Cognitive psychology: rare items often missed in visual searches. Nature 2005;435:439-40).Considering that, the lack of science behind TSA screening methods and the distractions the officers have (assuring that liquids, laptops, shoes, etc all follow regulation screening procedures), I seriously doubt the ability of this whole process to protect us.The system, however, is a major victory for terrorists, since it created the havoc and mania they always wanted.
Regarding the occurance with the woman in texas required to remove her nipple piercings prior to entrance into the airport's secure area.Now, i fully realize the reasoning and necesity of identifying all detector alarms, however this is a case where TSA has overstepped its bounds, and has shown a clear abuse of power. Yet they claim the incident was handled properly as noted in the update on tsa's website.As quoted:March 28, 2008It appears that the Transportation Security Officers involved properly followed procedures in that incident.Yet, if the news article is accurate The woman involved identified them and offered to privatly display them to another female TSA officer, which was refused.She said she heard male TSA agents snickering as she took out the ring. This is proper procedure? She was scanned again and was allowed to board even though she still was wearing a belly button ring.A belly button ring is less dangeous than nipple piercings?Since, i see nothing in TSA's list of prohibited items relating to this sort of jewelery as being not allowed was she then allowed to keep them or required to dispose of them?This entire incident is not only unprofessional, but excedes any authority allowed by security regulations, once it was determined she possessed no dangerous or prohibited items. It also raises the question(s) of what adornments then are allowable?Is it Because of her body being pierced? if so then why was the belly button ring allowed? What then about ear rings that are inserted in ear piercings? or some of the other piercings seen today such as nose, lips, eyebrows? Are only specific adornments at question here?This then brings another question to mind. What about a womans bra that contains underwires, and metal adjustment or fastening devices? Is a woman then going to be required to remove her bra because said metal is hidden?And whats next? "I'm sorry sir (or ma'am) you'll have to remove that artificial joint (knee replacement for example) we cant allow that." or "we're sorry sir, the zipper in your trousers is too long, you'll have to leave your pants here."Its time TSA takes responsibility for its actions, and if a person is informed they are in violation with a prohibited item, then TSA should if necessary be required, and ready to document that with written copies of said violation.Sadly this appears to be nothing more than abuse of power on the part of the TSA officer(s), as well as a lack of understanding of regulations in general, and i sincerely hope this woman pursues this through legal channels as necessary.Based on personal experience, this isn't a totally isolated incident either. Firsthand experience with my spouse, who has BOTH hips replaced, (and again i fully understand the necessity of identifying unknown alarms) When even a pat down discloses no hidden property some airport security employees are at a loss about what to do. The worst airport for this we have been in is Memphis. and on more than one occasion we have been detained long enough to almost miss a flight which was 2 hours in advance of our arrival.Denver on the other hand, seems to have a good handle on problems such as joint replacements and has a procedure in place to deal with these issues.
1. I have a high-level security clearance.2. I am a contractor for DHS (since I am not on site in DC, though, I have no badging).3. I have a Registered Traveler pass(good only at a few airports).I think it would be much more efficient - not to mention a good PR gig - if government or contract employees with security clearances were granted some sort of TSA clearance or consistent access to a speed lane. I have no idea on the number, but I am sure that would speed probably hundreds of thousands of people through security lines.
I travel almost weekly, and it irritates me to no end to have an arrogant, ill-trained, ill-mannered screener treat me like I am something he scraped off his shoe.
Anonymous said..."You military folks ARE the terrorists!" There are liars, and dam liars and you are one. Philly TSO!March 28, 2008 12:39 PMThank you Anonymous for serving my purposes! But I wasn't lying, it really happened. You see, the fact that you were able to make that baseless imflammatory comment and the TSA Blog Moderator(s) DID NOT see a problem with it and posted it, only proves my assumption (posted in my first comment) that TSA has a problem with military folks like myself. Otherwise, they would not have condoned the above comment like they did at 12:39PM.I can only imagine what kind of treatment they find acceptable for the civilian community? If they screen for the bad guys at the airport as well as they moderate their discussion board as shown above...The we should ALL be worried!
I have been reading this blog off and on since its inception. As a Transportation Security Officer for almost six years, I have worked in the smallest airports in Alaska to the largest airports on the east coast. I am amazed every day, of the things that happen and that I see. Certainly, I am concerned about the possibility of a terrorist getting through the TSA checkpoint and onto a plane with an IED. 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. Granted, some of the concerns brought up are valid, but by and large... bogus. 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. Getting through the screening process is only as difficult as you make it.
At which Airports have they said they will limit the amounts of Medical items? If the medical item is over the 3.4oz limit and is a liquid/gel/etc then it should be simply tested and go from there. And as for them being poorly trained...do you know how much they have to go through for each person? Especially that guy stuck on the x-ray machine? He's gotta scan each image and look for components of an IED in a matter of seconds. I'm sure he'd love to take longer but we, the passangers, start to complain over it takeing to long without remembering that they are being thorough for our benefit. And as for them being rude or what have you, I feel we should cut them a bit of slack. Of course they are professionals and should act better but they are people too. They will bite back like any of us would in our own professions.
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