Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Welcome (Commenting Disabled)

Two million travelers come in contact with the Transportation Security Administration every day. It is an intense experience all around -- extremely personal in some senses but also impersonal at the same time.

There is no time to talk, to listen, to engage with each other. There isn’t much opportunity for our Security Officers to explain the ‘why,’ of what we ask you to do at the checkpoint, just the ‘what’ needs to be done to clear security. The result is that the feedback and venting ends up circulating among passengers with no real opportunity for us to learn from you or vice versa. We get feedback verbally and non-verbally at the checkpoint and see a lot in the blogs, again without a real dialogue.

Our ambition is to provide here a forum for a lively, open discussion of TSA issues. While I and senior leadership of TSA will participate in the discussion, we are turning the keyboard over to several hosts who represent what’s best about TSA (its people). Our hosts aren’t responsible for TSA’s policies, nor will they have to defend them -- their job is to engage with you straight-up and take it from there. Our hosts will have access to senior leadership but will have very few editorial constraints. Our postings from the public will be reviewed to remove the destructive but not touch the critical or cranky.

Please be patient and good-humored as we get underway. The opportunity is that we will incorporate what we learn in this forum in our checkpoint process evolution. We will not only give you straight answers to your questions but we will challenge you with new ideas and involve you in upcoming changes.

One of my major goals of 2008 is to get TSA and passengers back on the same side, working together. We need your help to get the checkpoint to be a better environment for us to do our security job and for you to get through quickly and onto your flight. Seems like the way to get that going is for us to open up and hear your feedback...

Thanks for joining us,

Kip Hawley

854 comments:

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Joe said...

Kudos to you for starting a blog. You guys already take a lot of grief from frustrated travelers, so I won't pile on here...but, I do have one question...

It seems like you're as interested in keeping the lines moving as we are. After all, I almost always hear a TSA rep yelling instructions to help make the process as efficient as possible. As a frequent business traveler, I try to get everything in order before I get to the checkpoint (e.g., laptop is ready to pull out of bag, shoes are untied and ready for removal, etc.) So why not offer some consistency from airport to airport? On my most recent trip I was asked to do something I've never been asked to do before (remove a fleece pullover) and it slowed the line down. I've worn one of those (or a sweatshirt) on countless other flights and have *never* been asked to take it off for security. Hey, I'm fine *always* taking it off, but let's not have a guessing game, OK? Smae thing for shoes. Believe it or not, I was chastised last year by a TSA agent for taking off my shoes and putting them on the belt -- he said *not* to do that.

So go ahead and have us do whatever is necessary, but please do so consistently across the country so that we can all help move the lines along, OK?

Anonymous said...

How are we able to respond directly to a specific comment? Please fix the site so that can be done instead of having new comments added onto the end.

Great idea...just needs to be tweaked.

SeaTac TSO said...

As a security officer in SeaTac International, I see lots of people coming through, to be sure. Having just started this job late last year, sometimes it can get a little overwhelming seeing so many people throughout the day, and having to explain the same thing over and over for whatever reason. (Really, the reason we loudly proclaim the rules that are posted on the signs is because people don't read the signs and usually it means someone just came through saying "well I didn't -know- my laptop had to be taken out of the bag.") We do have a set of rules we follow, or we try to. To be honest, there are some of us officers who follow the rules more specifically than others. Some are more lenient, especially on the liquids policy. One may let a 4oz container through, and another will quote the SOP (it doesn't matter if the 4oz container is half full, it matters what the number on the bottle says) and not stray an inch from it. Usually it is up to the descretion of the officer on the liquids - also on shoes, jackets, and whatever else is being questioned.

Having gone through the new employee training somewhat recently, the trainers would always explain to us why these rules were in effect. Someone will probably call BS on this, but we aren't allowed to tell you -exactly- why some of the rules are in place. What we can tell you is that we aren't doing this to invade privacy, or restrict your freedoms, or just to be A-holes.

The group of people that I trained with was a wonderful group of individuals. We all knew why we were there, and talked about it often. We want to do something with our lives, to feel like we are making a difference. We want to prevent another 9-11. Some people say, 9-11 will never happen again because the terrorist would just get beat up by the other passengers. If they had a gun or a knife, that's probably true. But if he said "I have a bomb that will go off when I hit this button" I think people might have second thoughts. I'd go into the technicals of why 3.4oz of liquid explosives isn't enough to really tear open a plane, but I'd rather be safe than sorry on what I can and can't say.

One of my wishes to improve the efficiency of security processing would be to get the information more out there in the public. As of right now, the only way people can know about the 3.4oz rule is if they ask a TSO/someone who has flown recently or look it up (an activity we encourage), which can be misleading because many pages say that the limit is 3oz per container. If there were a spot on the nightly news, 60 or even 30 seconds of up-to-date rules, such as 'this week the TSA would like to see perscription notes for large liquid medications' (this is not a rule, just an example). PS: there is no size limit to perscription medications as long as it has the Rx label. Maybe that's something that could be talked about, too. Even a cheap commercial of that annoyingly catchy-tuned video loop that's played outside the checkpoints.

I've worn out my welcome, I think. I know I didn't answer too many questions, and I apologize if it seems like I should or could have and am just avoiding the questions, but I'm not a moderator of this page and I'll leave the answering to them.
Seconding/thirding that this may be better for Q&A type things as a forum page, not as one post with hundreds of comments.
[I'm aware this post might not get through because of the information in it, if that's what happens I'll try to be less revealing next time; I would still like to get some information and points across, like the news spot to make things easier for the general public.]

sam said...

how's about that... they even screen the posts to make sure no "subversive" material will get through to harm good decent hard working americans... isn't that a freedom loving government for you?

Anonymous said...

Are flight crews exempt from the liquids rule? Flying out of SFO recently, a flight attendant ahead of me walked included a large bottle of drinking water in the plastic bin that she sent through the scanner. I inquired of the TSA agent why they allowed this and her response was "she is flight crew". If that were allowed, couldn't someone posing in a flight crew uniform send through anything they wanted to?

Anonymous said...

I have not flown since my return from Europe right after 9/11. Submitting to a personal search of my body, becoming an instant "suspect" and giving up every one of my human rights is not of my choosing. So I drive instead of fly. For those that do choose to fly, keep in mind that their mental attitude is already taxed because of infringements on their human rights. Kindness and respect seem lacking from the TSA's. Everyone wants to be safe but is it necessary to degrade people in the process?

Anonymous said...

I came through SLC earlier in the week and the 3-1-1 signs were still in place showing liquids at a 3oz limit while the video was showing liquids at the 3.4oz limit. I mentioned it to the TSA person checking ID's and she was pretty short with me and then went on to make up an excuse as to why the signs, video, and requirements were different. I also didn't get the feeling that any initiative was going to be taken to pass along the deviation and get it corrected. My advice - get the information to match the actual requirements so that the traveling public isn't confused by the information.

Anonymous said...

I read some of the comments written by passengers; some happy other’s who are unable to understand that these people are doing the best they can with what they have, "us!" The general public is unaware of the horrors that could be unleashed upon us, and then after something happens, these same people will complain that not enough was done! Some people can not be placated no matter what you do! I travel, am handicapped, have been treated with the utmost respect, and have gone through many of the screenings, also regarding the ones in Milwaukee, to Minneapolis, etc... some smaller airports in between, all TSA/TSO have been friendly, patient and caring, I have not had a situation where my questions or answers; if needed were not given! I don't understand why the complaints unless it is because some people figure they may be above being checked? I am happy to open and to have everything checked, I hope all the airports and travel on the rails is being checked as well, when I think of what has happened in Spain; maybe all transport in this Nation should be checked by TSA members; I for one have never had a poor or bad response, but of course, I am conscientious and polite to all; and that probably does make a difference, after all these people are "people too" and I am sure they put up with all sorts of comments and negative remarks, yet when you come up to be served they smile and ask if you need special service! Give these screeners a break, they are good at what they do, and are tested as was shown on the news a few days ago, unaware of what or who is coming through, and many items are probably small and barely found! If they fail; the tester shows these workers what was not done correctly or was not found! Hats off to these great people; working with a public that most of the time feel they should not be screened at all, and then you have those that are intoxicated and you try to deal with them too! The TSA/TSO personnel don’t seem to be able to catch a break from these complaining people. In my opinion, these workers are at risk everyday, and we American’s need to give them respect for what they do! Thank you to all of these workers!

Anonymous said...

Would the TSA please crack down on AirTran for not following security directives, they do not follow the current criteria for SSSS. They are wasting TSA resources and should pay for that waste but nothing ever happens. Since AirTran will never listen to their customers about a security issue, they might listen to the TSA, probably just wishful thinking though. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I do a long haul flight every month commuting to work. I can not complain about TSA - maybe it's just that way in friendly places (I fly from IAH) - but one should try Paris or parts of Africa before critizing TSA. Thanks guys.

TLW

Anonymous said...

hey, i learnd something already, there's a complaint form. great, i'll fill one out each time i travel. after the first time that i had to take my shoes off, i vowed never to fly again while the idiots are in charge of security. and, since i'm only a pleasure traveler, i've managed to drive whereever in the u.s. most of these security measures which annoy passengers are only a useless show; take off my shoes, belt; next time i plan to take off my pants and undies; and you can all go scratch. and those screeners; oh my god, a collection of minimum wage idiots like you never saw. they couldn't get jobs at walmart, i guess that's why they're working for y'all.

Anonymous said...

What I hate the most is not being able to lock my bags. If I bring expensive equipment or buy alcohol it will get stolen, but I can't carry it all on board with me. It does happen I've seen it. I also hate forcing people to xray everything and not doing hand checks by request. Those xrays ruin film and digital cameras. It does happen I've seen it.

Anonymous said...

As a DOD Contractor for the US Military a couple years ago I passed thru DFW and because of an airline code assigned to my ticket because I was coming from Kuwait, I got searched at every opportunity. Something like 3 times in one day at DFW. I was alos traveling on an Official Passport, So, that should have said my status was a bit above the rest. It appeared to me that they wanted to do the job an hassle someone they knew would pass the test, vice looking for more suspicious characters.

Beaconmike said...

About a year ago, I traveled and the security folks stole my flashlight from my bag..........one of those nice $28.00 long Mag-Lite flashlights. I filled out the appropriate paperwork and sent it in as requested by TSA and they rejected my request.

They made me out to be a complainer and kind of said 'Tuff-Luck' to me.

I just find it interesting that here in KC there is a common criminal who may still be working at TSA who is nothing more than a petty thief........and he is charged with protecting our security.

More important, the TSA whom was charged with reimbursing me for my loss, rejected my claim which was filled out completely, honestly and such............they just didn't want to pay it.

I consider the TSA agency a petty thief as well.

And this is the agency that is supposed to protect us.............as far as I am concerned, they are thieves and nothing but bureacrats.

Judge Rufus Peckham said...

I am appalled by this comment: "So why then does TSA spend so much of its time fruitlessly searching the average parent traveling with little kids; the elderly; females; Asians; etc., etc."

It is absurd to think that the terrorists cannot or will not adjust their tactics to use women, children and people of other nationalities as bombers -- as they have proven time and again in the Mid-east. Race and gender profiling don't work.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know why after going through baggage check in and then through baggage screening the airport set up another checkpoint to randomly hand check baggage before entering the plane itself? It seemed like overkill and interestingly they picked people like a Mom and her child's baby bag, a Grandmother and her purse to go through but didn'tcheck a nervous looking around 30's gentleman with a huge carryon bag. What is the criteria for checking again? Thanks

Anonymous said...

This is a moderated blob ... which logs all of our IP addresses, no doubt. I am willing to bet that EVERYONE who comments in any way on this blog will get put on one of the infamous lists.

Including me.

Dave said...

OK, I doubt anyone with any power will read this, but I've always been one to tilt at windmills, so here goes:

TSA is a federal agency, yes? The workers are paid by the federal government, and not the airlines?

Then why do we have "First Class" lines at TSA checkpoints, at airports such as DEN? Why are my tax dollars going to promote special treatment for those passengers that have an upgraded ticket? Is there some sort of kickback from the airlines for this?

I can see the airlines wanting to keep their first-class passengers happy--which is why they have preboarding, more luggage allowance, etc etc. But the TSA should have NO part in this.

Can someone explain this arrangement?

Anonymous said...

Why do airline crews have to go through security? It seems a bit silly that the people that we are entrusting our lives to on the airplane have to be screened for silly things like bottled shampoo or mouthwash when they are actually flying the plane. Couldn't/shouldn't they be given "security" type badges that allows them to bypass the security line?

Anonymous said...

HEY TSA clowns!! We are "Passengers!" NOT "Prisoners!"

Time and time again I hear some uneducated TSA nit wit barking out orders like we're headed to the delousing chamber.

Get with it! You've ruined the air travel experience with your rude and annoying people.

GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER!!! Frankly, you all suck!

Anonymous said...

Just a bunch of people venting and TSA employees cheerleading!

People ask questions and get no answers. And if the question is addressed, you could never find the answer if you tried.

But most of all, no answer here could ever be printed out and used by a traveler at a checkpoint anyways. So it's completely useless.

What. Is. The. Point?

Mike said...

On a recent return trip from Belize, with a layover in Houston, TSA officials Stole a $500.00 digital camera from one of my checked bags. Keep up the good work.

Bob Reyes said...

I do HOPE that this blog site will really be informative, yet SUBJECTIVE.

Anonymous said...

Some people on this blog believe that there is only one ethnic group that can be terrorist. You need to think outside the box. There have been several Americans who have gone overseas to train with the Alquada(sp). I think the TSA is doing a good job, and the majority of the people who fly should know or do know what can be taken on a plane and what can't. Regardless, I think our safety is more important than our inconvenience. I do agree that the TSA needs to be consistent at every airport with their rules.

mike said...

No sane person disapproves of security. But what corporation or business can get away with the incredible rudeness shown by airport security? Or airline employess for that matter. I am a frequent business traveler, and the rudeness I have seen boggles the mind. Towards very small children, people 80 or older. Do you have to be so darn rude? There is no time to give examples...it would take 50 pages.

Anonymous said...

OK. Shoes: It is well known that explosives devices (IED's) placed into shoes are a favorite choice of terrorists. The metal detectors we walk through in airports DO NOT detect explosives, only metal. So placing the shoes into the X-ray system is the only way to determine if an IED has been place into a shoe. Simple.

pfsc said...

Taking off our shoes and jackets has long since past its usefulness - if it ever was useful at all. Because one person smuggles explosives onto a plane, every passenger since then has been inconvenienced to no end, and lines are more excruciating then ever. Why is the TSA always acting in reaction to something, rather than setting realistic policy? And how about updating policy when former threats are no longer a danger?

Anonymous said...

I travel every week. One of my issues is the preferential treatment given to any airport/travel personnel going through security when they are not working. I have no problem with them cutting in when they are working. Who wants to stand in a long security line just to go to work or come back from lunch or whatever. However, when they are not working, they should be treated the same as regular passengers. The preferential treatment under those conditions shows the attitude of all travel industry employees to their "customers". Also, it is obvious that airline employees see their customers as a bunch of cattle. A large group will come up and all cut in a single security line instead of spreading out across the various lines. When I protested one time, one flight attendant informed me I should be grateful she did her job. You know what, I want to get where I'm going but even in today's travel environment, there are plenty of people who would be happy to replace her.

Anonymous said...

You should have a security line for people who fly often and know the rules, and a separate line for people who do not fly often and don’t know about security updates. That way those of us who know what were doing don’t have to stand in line for hours because the people in front of us didn’t know they couldn’t bring water through security or that they have to take off their shoes.

california traveler said...

I travel frequently and have just one concern: standards are inconsistent from airport to airport. The worst ones I've been to are Denver and Miami. I read your website and make sure I'm following the rules, but TSA screeners don't. I was upset when a bottle of saline solution for my contact lenses was taken away because it was larger than 3 ounces.

CyberSchnook said...

Travelling from BDL to WLG in September, 2005, and having spent a small fortune on TSA luggage locks, I'm wondering why three out of eight locks didn't make the same trip I did. In one case, BOTH zipper pulls were gone, making use of that suitcase a real chore.

I'd think neon yellow was pretty obvious, and the special logo is on both sides of the locks.

sam said...

when an agency of the US goverment fails to post my comments... I want you to remeber the ground rules you set... as my lawyer surely will find hundreds of instnces in which you ignored your own policies...

"This is a moderated blog. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain vulgar or abusive language; personal attacks of any kind; or offensive terms that target specific ethnic or racial groups. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly “off topic” or that promote services or products. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted."

Anonymous said...

As was demonstrated earlier this week by the TSA's own investigation team and televised on national TV, it remains relatively easy for terrorists to get weapons, bombs, etc., past the security checkpoints. Reports indicate up to 80% of inspections at some airports fail to find items planted to test security checks. There also is still little if any effective screening of cargo.

This is all six and a half years after 9/11.

Given this lack of effective security measures by the TSA, why should we tolerate the inconvenience and delays? It may make it look like TSa is doing something to protect us, but it is pretty obvious that looking beneath the surface reveals little if any improvement over pre-9/11 security.

Perhaps if there was a real return of truly increased security for the inconvenience and frustration it would be worth it. As things stand now, there are no benefits that can come close to justifying the problems experiences.

My response, BTW, is to no longer fly if there is any reasonable way to avoid it. If that was TSA's true goal, you have accomplished it admirably.

Anonymous said...

I had thought flying inconvenient at best long before 9/11. Now with the advent of the TSA and it's Gestapo tactics, rude and intimidating pseudo-police, and ridiculous liquid policies -- I can't even drink a bottle of water that I didn't spend $4 for at an "approved" concourse vendor -- I avoid flying completely. I have to take my shoes off and hold them along with my coat, carry-on (which holds my medications and a spare set of underwear so when the airline loses my baggage I have at least that much), and struggle through the never-ending lines. I am former law enforcement and have flown armed, and I take umbrage at the TSA's badge-heavy tactics, wannabe attitudes and secrecy. I avoid flying at all costs now, since the only ones who are really benefiting from these tactics are the airlines who have their hands in our pockets even deeper now. And yes, I can see lots of people will be afraid to write on this blog. Gestapo-like tactics tend to make people paranoid, reticent and self-protective. Passengers are afraid to make a complaint or they will not be "allowed" to fly with the ticket they bought and paid for, often weeks in advance, with their money -- money the airlines want, and now have, free and clear of any guarantees of any kind of service. All in the name of security. I didn't see the 9/11 hijackers' shoes making much difference. I doubt they carried 6 ounce bottles of shampoo either.

Mike said...

As an engineer I frequently travel with all sorts of items for expositions or conferences. One time in particular I flew from to a conference and back with a metal working tool in my bag. Later that month I flew to Dallas on the way to Vegas, and through LAX on the way to Philadelphia. After multiple bag screenings, only in LAX was I questioned about this metalworking tool. It was fairly innoculous, but strange at the same time, bulky and blunt, no sharp edges, but I was amazed at the inconsistencies in the various airports.

Also we hear about all of the "controlled" breaches of security, but we never hear about the patches to security. I hope mor is being done than is publicized.

Anonymous said...

On a recent return trip fron Oakland,CA I was patted down as usual (I am a 70 white female with a knee replacement) but this time I also received a neck-shoulder massage. Why was this necessary?

Anonymous said...

The security at the airport is over the wall as I see it. Making me take off my shoes, then searching me is just too much at the wrong spot. Ship the illegal folks home, create a real id system and then get tough with the bad guys. The domestic flights are being hampered with an overzealous approach that is simply unjustified and another example of the government spending tax dollars on wasted efforts.

This AMERICAN vet votes (and blogs) for freedom and our constitution!

Anonymous said...

I want to know why the TWIC program is costing each worker 132.50 to obtain another security card? If 750,000 workers need another ID card where is the Federal government spending the over 100 million dollars it collects from the workers? This is a heavy burden for another un-necessary ID badge. Just another way to tax working taxpayer money from our pockets. Why don't your pay more attention to the vessel crew members who wander off to the shopping malls while in port. Most of the crews are from the Philipines which is predomanently Muslim. Get them to pay for the ID cards NOT US!

Anonymous said...

First, I value my safety... but what TSA does "in Seattle" is steal us blind. I travel yearly thru Seattle and have had items taken every time I travel.... I have place claims and as I live out of the USA (but still American) I am told to "take us to court". When my claim is only for a few hundred dollars and I would again have to travel "thru Seattle and TSA", I have "settled out of court at less then 50% of the value. No one is watching those watching for "terrorists" they are stealing us blind.

Anonymous said...

What is a "Code 83"?

Anonymous said...

Can we please have some consistency from airport to airport? Sometimes my titanium glasses set off the detector, other times they do not. We've been flying for months with milk and ice for our toddler, but in one airport we were told the ice wasn't allowed. And what does all this "security" provide? If I want to hijack a plane, I'm not coming through the front door, I'm going to hop the perimeter fence in the dark dressed like ground crew -- the same way I can get into the country illegally.

I think the terrorists have won this round. Too many folks are scared, we're wasting tons of time and money on security measures that don't provide any, and we're focused on airplanes when they're focused on something far more creative and simple than what we've already reacted to. What a shame...

Anonymous said...

I spent an hour going to pharmacy getting a copy of my prescription as well as going to doctor's office getting a letter why I must carry on 9 bottles of liquid medicine so I would have all the necessary documentation. Not one screener at JFK ever stopped me or asked what was in the bottles. This frightens me greatly.

Thomas said...

I am a retired Navy Captain. During my 30 year career I held one of the highest clearances aavailable: TS-SCI-TK (cryptology). Why isn't this type of clearance data used to speed up security checks.

kellelaine said...

I actually don't have a lot of problems with TSA screenings.

The biggest one that bothers me is taking off my shoes all the time. In the winter, I have to wear shoes that don't come off easily, and it's not only bothersome, I think it is very unsanitary to be walking through that area in my socks or bare feet. There has got to be a better and more sanitary way to check shoes -- but other than that one infamous guy, how many "shoe bombers" have you found? I haven't heard of any.

I thought there was supposed to be some sort of list of people who agreed to be pre-screened and permitted to skip going through security all the time. This should be the majority of American flyers. I mean, come on, 99.999999% of flyers are NOT terrorists, but all of us are treated as potentially being one. You've got to be able to come up with a better way to stop inconveniencing, and even causing damage to, normal Americans, the majority of your travelers, just because one person in zillions may try something. Permit people to sign up for free background checks online or at a kiosk or something, so that you can permit most of us to just get through to our flights without all this rigamarole.

All it's doing is terrorizing normal, everyday Americans.

Anonymous said...

We're allowed to have screwdrivers, knitting needles, and scissors with 4 inch blades. Why are these considered safe, yet a small pocket knife with a 1.5 inch blade is not?

Also, screeners need to be a little more considerate when hand searching bags. I've seen them start walking of with your bag, while you're still trying to gather your other items, including children.

Anonymous said...

Terminals are more likely a target than are planes, assuming cockpits have been reenforced. Same is true for any mass transit--the terminal bomb kills more people.

It might make more sense to have all luggage checked in before entering a terminal--and carry ons checked at point of terminal entry. What your doing now is insane--the plane's not a weapon if a perp can't get into the cockpit.

Don said...

I fly 20 or so trips a year and everytime I go through "security" I am both amused and dismayed at the quality. When flying out of Reno, I have forgotten my cell phone clipped to my belt in the back and yet the metal detector did not go off. It was only after I got to the gate that I remembered it. I have flown with a cork screw (with the foil blade attached) probably 10 times with no issue and then I got "caught" a couple of weeks ago. It is a wine bottle foil blade and not even as sharp as a ball point pen!
I was questioned several years ago for carrying a piece of angle iron (used for testing concrete parts) and yet they ignored the stelleto shaft that is part of a vernier caliper. THAT was way more dangerous than the angle iron.
The problem that I see with TSA rules is that they fail to look at things logically. A pen or even a pencil can be a leathal weapon in the right hands so we allow them to swat at flys while not seeing the hawk hanging over their heads. The sad reality is that this is, has been and always will be the reality of our world. We have a need to catagorize items and fail to see that it both punishes and ignores many items.
A determined suicidal person can still get on board a plane and there is nothing we can do to stop that person. Vigilance by the aircrew and passengers is probably the best deterrent to stopping someone. This country spends millions for prisons, yet prisoners determined to make a weapon in prison still manage to do so...and they are strip searched!

Anonymous said...

I fly once or twice a year, usually for personal reasons with my family. During the battle to give TSA workers Civil Service protections (Bush wanted to privatize y'all), I wrote a letter to our local paper arguing that protections were necessary, reasoning that this would attract more quality personnel and reduce turnover. However, I have been disappointed and even outraged by the results. I have experienced rudeness, inconsistency, and arrogance from TSA employees. I've been in small airports that had as many as a dozen TSA employees just sitting around. I've had to show my ID again and again and again to people who seemed like they could be easily fooled. I've had to almost strip in public to get through metal detectors that were dialed tight one day and loose the next. I've been treatly poorly by overweight fools who assume the same persona that elderly matrons working in the Soviet system famously took on. In sum, TSA is a Kafkaesque bureaucracy designed to give the appearance of security to the traveling public. My feeling is that I am an honest American citizen who pays taxes, is married, owns property, and has children. I am not a criminal or a terrorist, and given the choice, I'd rather drive than fly any day of the week.

Anonymous said...

To me the biggest pain has been the "additional screening" list. I've been flying quite frequently for business the past three years and have never had an issue. Somehow my name ended up on the additional screening list so now I'm unable to check in from home and wasting so much time standing in both a check-in and security line.

Why can't this list cross-reference frequent flier lists to prove that you are not the individual who is wanted? What a waste - it's unlikely a person with bad intentions will use their real name anyway.

Anonymous said...

Consistency Consistency Consistency Consistency, I fly every week from PHL to airports all over the US, I do not mind all of the BS that you have to go through to get to the plane but I do mind the lack of consistency from airport to airport. As any frequent flyer will tell you we like to be prepared when we arrive to the screeners, everything out of pockets, no liquids in the bag, laptop out and so on. But what is most frustrating is to get up to the screener have everything ready and then have the screener tell you to remove your belt, well my belt (and yes it’s a normal belt with a small buckle) has made it through the screening process at 15 US airports in the past 5 weeks but this screener insists that it must be removed. I will say that their have been improvements, flying since 1986, I have seen the level of the screeners rise. It at least on the surface appears that they are now educated and have some respect for the traveling public (at most airports). I think that in most cases if you treat with respect you will get respect in return. I think that the most frustrating thing for me is the toothpaste thing. I travel for a week and a 1.6oz tube of toothpaste does not last, cant buy a 3oz tube and a 4.6oz won’t make it through, so I find myself buying a new tube of toothpaste every week! What is most confusing to me is when I made my (frequent) trip to Germany from PHL before I went through screening I tossed my toothpaste in the trash, then once on the other side I went into a store and purchased a 4.6oz tube of toothpaste to take with me? My understanding is it can not go on the plane, do they think that people are going to use a 4.6oz tube of toothpaste in the hour before the flight, every tube of toothpaste that is purchased from that store is carried on a flight. The best part is when before the flight boards the airline makes the announcement that that tube of toothpaste must be discarded, now think that through the super honest person will take that toothpaste they just purchased and throw it away. Do we think that terrorists are super honest? Oh yes and on the Germany side I can take my lighter through both checkpoints the German and the US, and when I arrive at my US destination I have my lighter that I can now board any other flight to anywhere in the US. Not that it matters though go into the smoking area in the airports that still have them and the airline, TSA and airport personnel that are in their all have lighters, now how did they get them through security? And yes I have my lighter too!

i don't fly any more said...

Cowards at TSA won't post my comment. They can't stop me from speaking the truth, though. Carol Gotbaum, Carol Gotbaum, Carol Gotbaum.

kdewechter said...

The most frustrating part in this post 9/11 world is the lack of common sense in security. My husband and I, along with our 3 children (3,5&7) were flying Philly to Orlando with a connection in Atlanta. It was September and still very warm. Upon boarding the connecting flight, I was stopped for the full security check, along with another "blond" mother with an infant. Both husbands were forced to board with the children and we were told the TSA was not responsible if we missed our flight due to security checks. While we were being searched, 3 middle-eastern men, wearing long winter, wool overcoats with backpacks were allowed to board. My husband later told me two of the gentlemen entered the lavs immediately upon boarding. Obviously, since I'm still here to talk about it, nothing happened, but this could have been a terrorist practice run. This is not meant to be politically incorrect, just an observation--mothers flying with their children did not fly planes into the WTC. Until we stop sidestepping the profiling issue, we will NEVER be safe. The FBI employs profilers for a reason--it works!

tsaisbs said...

I stopped flying aftern the Carol Gotbaum incident.

swisso said...

It looks like that TSA has realized that should be with the public and not against the public.

I have some questions from historical issues with TSA
1)What happened with the Chinese cook who travelled with knives on Sep 12 2001? Was him a terrorist? His case was on CNN.
2)What happened with the TSA screeners ( in MIA) that used their positions to steal jewellery?
How many TSA employees have been prosecuted due to inconduct in the job?
3) How many terrorists has TSA caught from Sep 11?
4)How many US citizens were caught by TSA and then released?

I like to see statistics showing the efficiency of TSA .

regarding travelling

what are the guidelines regarding precious metal transportation?
Case scenario

I have a heavy gold bracelet which I forgot to remove. what is the weight limit for detection ? is it a crime to be detected? the same with a necklace.

A Soldier's Father said...

With all of the things that are confiscated at the airports such as mouthwashes, shampoos, deodorants, etc. why can't something be done to get these things to our sons and daughters in Iraq?

These kids would love to receive things like this instead of them being sold at outlets or thrown away.

Anonymous said...

TSA is a joke in our area. The line is VERY long, the "agents" are terribly over-weight so they couldn't use any force if they had to; most have a highschool education AT BEST, incredibly lazy. TSA in the "big" airports is a joke; 3-6 people checking 10k passengers a day per station; invest in better technology; the GE scan machines are doing all the work anyway. Like most everything else, you pay someone $7 an hour, you get $7 an hour kinda help. Adding the "quality" of people we currently have at TSA is not an "investment" into our country nor our safety; typical goverment waste. The technology is available for efficency and accuracy and safety it just needs to be use; but I'm sure there's lobbiest everywhere preventing this from happening because most of the TSA agents I have seen have been from a minority sector. We can send a man to the moon, but we can't get efficent TSA, we can't allow cars to get 50MPG... it's all "politics"... the land of "opportunity" has blinded the public - do you REALLY think this is the America of our forefathers. You want safe air travel.. buy an airplane - but the govt. will bugger that up with fees eventually too... but I digress... in closing, the current TSA situation is window dressing that actually thwarts no real dangers.

Anonymous said...

Kip, you said you'd like to "get TSA and passengers back on the same side..."

We are on different sides, and that is as it should be. TSA was created to provide a service to the traveling public. You are paid to do your job of serving the traveler. We passengers pay in order to receive travel services.

There are two sides; yours those being paid to serve, and ours those who have paid for service.

From top mgt down to the screener we passengers "feel" the TSA culture-of-authority right down to our toes.

You folks deliver service like the "Soup Nazi". Passengers are constantly being reminded by TSA to behave, and comply, or else we hear; “You no fly today!”

You do not have to treat us the way you. I understand your desire for us to be on the same side.

You want us to learn how to behave, comply, and move along.

Anonymous said...

Evolution Blog Team Member: I have three questions:

1. My TSA approved locks have been broken several times. Were are TSA keys to open them? I pay taxes, and follow the rules, why does TSA do whatever they want?

2. Why is each airport rules different? McDonald's hamburgers are all the same in each state (in the beef).

3. What does TSA do with all seized items?

lookslikeaterroristbutisnotone said...

I fly about 2-3 times a year. I am in my 40's, have a beard and darkish skin. Many people think I "look like Osama". After 9/11 I expected to be hassled more often than others....to my surprise this was totally not the case. I have always been treated very courteously. I am actually pretty impressed with how friendly and efficient the TSA people are. Makes me all the more proud to be an American. We do many things wrong, but we also do many things right in our country. Way to go TSA!

Anonymous said...

This may help, but I doubt it what with the current political madness to be politically correct and your censorship which is contrary to the 1st ammendment and the right to free speach.

Sometimes I Wonder...

Please pause a moment, reflect back, and take the following multiple choice test. The events are actual events from history. They actually happened! Do you remember?


1. 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by
a. Superman
b. Jay Leno
c. Harry Potter
d. a Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40



2. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by
a. Olga Corbett
b. Sitting Bull
c. Arnold Schwarzenegger
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40



3. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by:
a. Lost Norwegians
b. Elvis
c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40



4. During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
a. John Dillinger
b. The King of Sweden
c. The Boy Scouts
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40



5. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
a. A pizza delivery boy
b. Pee Wee Herman
c. Geraldo Rivera
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40







6. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by:
a. The Smurfs
b. Davey Jones
c. The Little Mermaid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40



7. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by:
a. Captain Kidd
b. Charles Lindberg
c. Mother Teresa
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40



8. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
a. Scooby Doo
b. The Tooth Fairy and The Sundance Kid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40



9. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
a. Richard Simmons
b. Grandma Moses
c. Michael Jordan
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40



10. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
a. Mr. Rogers
b. Hillary Clinton, to distract attention from Wild Bill's women problems
c. The World Wrestling Federation
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40



11. On 9/11/01 , four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by:
a. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
b. The Supreme Court of Florida
c Mr. Bean
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40



12. In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
a. Enron
b. The Lutheran Church
c. The NFL
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40



13. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
a. Bonnie and Clyde
b. Captain Kangaroo
c. Billy Graham
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40



Nope, .I really don't see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you? So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people. They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret agents who are members of the President's security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winning and former Governor Joe Foss, but leave Muslim Males between the ages 17 and 40 alone lest they be guilty of profiling. Let's send this to as many people as we can so that the Gloria Aldreds and other dunder-headed attorneys along with Federal Justices that want to thwart common sense, feel doubly ashamed of themselves -- if they have any such sense. As the writer of the award winning story "Forrest Gump" so aptly put it, "Stupid is as stupid does."



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Anonymous said...

First off, I think for the most part your people have a difficult job to do, and receive little to no thanks for doing it. I have a coupla questions I have been wanting to ask but did not know how or who to ask.
I travel with a CPAP machine, and it is always searched and checked for explosives. Most screeners are polite about it. But sometimes I get screeners who will yell at the top of their lungs " Hey, we got a CPAP here" and proceed to have a group of screeners surround me while my machine is checked. This happens at the same airports ( Chicago Midway mostly )while at the same time, my laser tape measure that I carry everywhere I go has never been checked. I would think that this poses a greater security risk than my CPAP. Questions are 1) Why is the CPAP considered such a special item and 2) why would my laser tape never be questioned? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I think this is an unfortunate and wasteful use of my tax dollars.

I'd rather see my tax dollars go toward TSA hiring more screeners in high-traffic areas (those 2 hour lines of people holding their shoes are ridiculous) and train the ones you have to stop the jibberjabber and gossiping with each other and actually DO their jobs, and do them more efficiently.

But, as with much of the government lately, we get posturing and PR, instead of anything that will actually improve our travel experience or safety.

Call me NOT IMPRESSED.

Gary Scott said...

I flew into Miami International on 6 January 2008, and went through screening for a connecting flight.

The woman sitting at the x-ray machine saw *something* she needed to ask a question about, and I got to stand in the blocked line for over 5 minutes as various of her peers/supervisors came to see what she was talking about.

The problem was, no one could understand her. She couldn't speak enough English for one out of maybe half a dozen coworkers to understand what she was talking about. I'm conversant in three languages and couldn't understand her, either.

If you hire people with such marginal English skills, how thorough is the rest of your vetting process? How well could she have understood her training? At any rate, it could have been a suitcase nuke and she couldn't have told anyone...

Do better.

vtkingc said...

I have a common name. I am stopped every time I fly because it is on the no fly list. Can't you link my address and name to a good guy list and get me off the bad guy list?

Anonymous said...

TSA is a joke. Are you telling me in THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, the planet's technology leader, that our security depends upon some minimum-wage worker staring into a fluoroscope screen for 8 hours at a time?

If Google or Apple or Oracle were in charge of security, all passengers, luggage, and cargo would be screened with 100% reliability, completely surreptitiously, without any resulting delays.

Instead, we have Denny's rejects inspecting our shoes whilst containers of uninspected cargo are put aboard.

Useless idiots.

Anonymous said...

I am an infrequent flyer and am well pleased with , what I see an a huge and thankless job that you folks do in difficult circumstances. Thank You
Dave Stanley, stanfish@wildblue.net

rep4amerpublic said...

As a 15 year road warrior, it is so frightening to say the U.S. is spending all of our money in the wrong places. The things that are taking place, the lines, the scans, taking away of multiplepersonal items, etc., is just so very hard to watch, and even harder, to have watched it evolve since September 11th. Every time the U.S. begins a new TSA campaign, doesn't our National Security team and our President know that "they" are likely researching everything they can, to find, develop and use a method that clealry no one could ever comprehend? Just like we all could have never comprehended the events that took place on that day...never could we have imagined what someone could be capable of doing...on our own soil!! We are spending billions of dollars inscreening, when our intelligence could be spending billions to uncover who and where, and take care of the problem. What ever comes next will be the unconsionable for US citizens.

And I must comment, the knife and weapon case at Ohio, Cleveland or Cincinnati (I don't recall), is laughable.

Anonymous said...

I USED TO FLY ALL THE TIME. NOW I FLY AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. IT IS OBVIOUS TO MOST PEOPLE THE TSA IS ONLY THERE FOR 1 REASON...TO MAKE THE FLYERS LIFE MISERABLE AND TO TRY TO SCARE PEOPLE...

Bryan T - St. Louis said...

My number one complaint, and I travel 10 times or more a year dealing with security both ways -- Rude TSA people. I know the drill. I come prepared. There is absolutely no call for rudeness. I have had TSA people be rude just because they can be. Yet I have never been stopped, had a bag further inspected, etc. despite travelling with my laptop. I understand the seriousness of the job, but the attitude has to go. If I come prepared, treat you professionally, you need to do the same. After all, you are the one inconveniencing me. I am not inconveniencing you -- it's your job!

Anonymous said...

Many issues with TSA:
1) no consistency from airport to airport..i.e. some airports make me take my shoes off some don't
2) if liquids are dangerous why can we by bottled water past security in gift shops...i.e. if the bottled water can be screened in gifts shops why can't they screen passengers water bottles

Anonymous said...

Chairs should be made available outside the security line for people who have difficulty bending and stooping so that they can more easily remove their shoes. These are folks who do not need a wheelchair but who sometimes opt for one because they can't balance themselves well enough to remove their shoes while standing. In addition, disposable booties should be available at every security checkpoint. It is not healthy to walk through an unsanitary area in barefeet or sockfeet and then put your shoes back on.

Anonymous said...

I know the TSA screeners have a very difficult important job. I recently traveled to Atlanta. The screeners in Omaha and Atlanta did a wonderful job of moving the lines through as quickly and safely as humanly possible. However, I think that they should change the rules and discontinue confiscating obviously new un-opened water or soda.

Anonymous said...

I think that screeners, especially at international airports, could use some additional training on dealing with people who do not speak English. I witnessed a poor man who cleary spoke no English get yelled at by a screener. She seemed to think that the louder she told the man to dispose of his water the more he would understand. I know these screeners have a tough job, but they need to remember that they work in the screening process all day but others may not be familiar with it and it is confusing. Treating passengers like idiots for not knowing the process is not the right way to handle a situation.

Anonymous said...

It seems that every 15 minutes, a friendly voice over airport intercoms declares that unattended luggage will be confiscated. Have any seized luggage EVER yielded tools or weapons useful to would-be “evil doers”?

Anonymous said...

Why do the TSA Screeners make parents remove shoes from toddlers? Adult's I could kind of get due to the likes of Richard Reid, even though I think at large having to remove a persons shoes is nonsense.

Why not profile those who are the highest risk such as those of middle eastern descent? Those in our goverment forgot it was Muslims that crashed those planes into the WTC not your every day American. I am a fan of profiling in the name of national security, I do not believe it is racist or unfair in the least.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem abiding by the TSA rules but shouldn't all airports use the same rules? Some airports require all liquids in a plastic bag be taken out of carry-ons and some don't. Some require sweaters be taken off and some don't. A rule is a rule and all airport should be standard to the flying public knows and is ready and doesn't hold up the line.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe we're such an idiotic nation that we prevent 4 oz bottles of contact solution from entering the plane. Where's the security common sense?

Anonymous said...

Consistently courteous TSA employees and rules that make sense would go a long way. I don't travel often, but I seem to recall that at some larger airports, I must leave my luggage to be checked in an open area until TSA gets around to screening it. What is that? Also, the overzealous patrols of the passenger loading and unloading areas. What do you think can happen in that loading/unloading zone that can't also occur a lane or two over in the parking garage? Upon waiting for an arrival, my wife and I, along with many other people also waiting for the arrival, were told to step back approximately 15 feet from where we had been waiting for 20 minutes, so that we could be behind a line that had a mesh chain gate that I guess could be closed. But as I mention, it was a mesh gate, with large openings. Exactly what was that intended to stop and why after waiting 20 minutes were we told to step back all of 15 feet?
Rules that make sense would be nice.
TSA employees, remember that for some of the people you see, this may well be their first flight ever. They are unfamiliar with the entire process. Others travel infrequently and may not recall everything.

Anonymous said...

I believe you are doing a great job in the ratio of passengers and time restraints. There is no perfection in any agency and I dare any other federal agency to prove otherwise. You are in the spotlight. Each staged (intentionally planned caper to catch you in error) event is publicised and aired to make you look bad. That is unjust and unfair

Anonymous said...

It's time that elderly flyers with joint replacements and persons wearing insulin pumps, for instance, not be isolated, separated from the line. Is this being worked on?

Anonymous said...

The background check for bag checkers must be more stringent.

I find it unbelievable that I am scared to check my bags in at the airport because I am afraid that the TSA bag handlers will steal items from my bags. It has happened to me more than once.

TSA never takes responsibility. TSA claims they have no idea what is going on. TSA claims to protect national security, but cannot protect my 50 dollar bottle of cologne from its own employees.

Complaints to the airlines fall on deaf ears as they claim that they do not handle the bags once they are checked, that is TSA's job.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, the TSA employees I have encountered at airports in the USA present an overbearing, uncompromising attitude toward the public. They also appear to be an unpleasant sort of individual, and present an aire of incomnpetence. These are the the reasons that I have essentially quit using commercial aviation for travel. I have resorted to using my own aircraft, rater than tolerate the long lines and un pleasant atmosphere one finds in commercial airport terminals these days.

Anonymous said...

Passing through a checkpoint with a group of Boy Scouts, I was asked for my id. I presented my FAA id card hanging around my neck. The screener responded, "You need a government-issued form of id." I thought it was a joke, so I made the unfortunate mistake of chuckling and asking if he had ever heard of the FAA. "Do you want to fly today?" So I dug out my drivers license and was "allowed" to pass.

I know that it can be tough dealing with the flying public all day long, but none of you were forced to take the job, right? This kind of rude and arrogant behovior does nothing to advance your cause; it only makes you look like a bunch of idiots.

Anonymous said...

Quoted: "Each Airport (LA, Vegas, Tucson, San Francisco, Phoenix, Salt Lake City...etc) seems to choose which rules to enforce. Some what the plastic bags out, shoes on, some don't care.

Consistency is what everyone is asking for.

We're tired of guessing what airport will enforce which rules."

The easy answer is: instead of worrying about which airports enforce which rules, go to the TSA website, look at the rules and follow ALL of them. Done. No problems at the checkpoint.

For the moderators... Great site but really disorganized. Took me 10 minutes to figure out how to post and where the links were. Then I find the "Post a comment" link at the top of the page. Since most people read from the top to the bottom, the link should also be at the bottom of the page instead of having to go all the way back up. When I did click the link I'm sent to another page which has more comments that weren't even on the main page.... What's up with that?

Anonymous said...

well if people would only read and no what not to bring along they wouldnt be frisked some people i really dont under stand they think ther god of something they can do what they want i think your doing a good job i never have any problems i read to see what i can bring on.

Anonymous said...

Why does the TSA keep people form flying if they just dislike the president?

I feel sorry for Naomi. A true Jewish american at heart and she isn't even a real terrorist and she is on your list just because she exercises her freedom of free speech.

Anonymous said...

TOURCHARED AT AIRPORT SCREENING, watch the video by requesting at copy at http://www.nfta.com/foil.asp . The video time you want is 10:33-11:01 am on Monday 10/29/2007 . I do not think their is any chance that TSA will actually post this. Nevertheless, here is the truth, if you want real security at the airport then fly Southwest, the rest is Security Theater.

On 10/29/2007 I tried to fly to California for much needed medical attention for a very rare and extreme painful medical condition. I went to the Southwest ticket window, ask to see a supervisor, and ask permission to fly their airline.

The Southwest Manager (in the nicest, most professional way) looked over my medical documentation, asked the needed questions, and escorted me to the security area with her boss, the head of operations for Southwest at Buffalo international airport because TSA personal “are not required to read medical documentation” before screening a passenger, TSA Manager.

The Southwest representatives spent a lot of time going over everything with TSA and the NFTA police. Then I went for my screening which they video taped. My medical condition was trigger; the police (which I can agree was a misunderstanding) handcuffed me.

I was screaming in extreme pain, all anyone had to do was open a medical book I thoroughly went over with the Southwest representatives "The concise book of trigger points" turn to page 93 to see that it recommends trigger point release, then look at page 92 to see where to put the trigger point release device and press down.

My extreme pain would have been lowered to where I would have stopped screaming. One police offer at least tried, but did not open the book. She was within inches, but could not find the right spot (could have very easily if she just looked at the book).

Anyway, I am screaming my head off for well over 12 minutes, the TSA Manager knows that my device would greatly reduce my pain; he even looked it up on the internet, but did not say anything to the police or EMS people.

If you really want the truth about how people with disabilities are treated at the airport watch the video.

Anonymous said...

What does TSA really stand for? Certainly not Security. Your model is designed to catch the crazies and innocent victims with the wrong ethinicity, not the intelligent with bad intentions.

Anonymous said...

I wish TSA could be more consistent across the board. I fly 3x a week and NO ONE airport is the same. It drives me nuts. At many airports, you keep the boarding pass out and many you put it away. Alot of times they tell me that I can keep my conact solution away because its medicine and other times its liquid that must come out and cant be over 3 ounces. What drive me the most nuts is on two conseutive days when I will wear the same thing and at one airport they make me take it off and at another they dont.

My last comment would be, why do they not have a "business person" screening lane? For those of us that know we need to take our lap tops out, shoes off, etc...Might make it alot easier for the TSA and us. Just a thought

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that we are approaching this the wrong way. The citizens are being overly checked and the illegals are getting in and out as they please. If we took as much time and effort and money and used it to seal or borders, the checks on citizens could be a lot less. Take care of the illegal problem and the job will be a lot eaiser...

Anonymous said...

As a flyer with a knee implant, I am always checked with a handwand. I recently flew with my hubby and 7 year old grandson who had never been through security before. We flew out of MHT into MCO and back. We were all treated with the utmost respect and courtesy and I cannot say enough about how little trouble we had. Thank you folks for all that you do (and for the gripes you have to put up with!)

Anon, but one very satisfied air traveller!

rckoch said...

As a regular traveler, I would be interested in learning how TSA deals with the occaisional employee who has bully tendencies and "wants to be in law enforcement". I recently had a very unpleasant screening experience with a young man who was clearly on a personal power trip and enjoyed tearing my computer bag apart, swabbing it, and leaving the contents in a messy huge pile. Is there any internal personnel process that can identify these few rogue empoyees?

Anonymous said...

My 2 cents on the issue is that TSA officers tend to use bullying language and manners in order for you to comply with non-regulations. The example I offer is that one day I was travelling with mobility devices (walking sticks) to assist since my L5 was out and I couldn't walk and stand straight. The screener first stated that the sticks would not be allowed, to which I said that I just read the web site, and countered that they were allowed. He countered back by stating that he could pull out the regs and show them to me... to which (and this is a quote), as I began to reach into my back pocket to pull them out I said, "Oh really? So can I. How about we compare them and see what they say?"

His response was a gruff snort, and waved me on rudely.

My interpretation from this was that he was attempting to bully me into compliance, but once he realized that I was going to hold him to the rules, he quickly gave up. This attitude seems to pervade the "inspection process"... and I urge the TSA to "remove the attitude". This would go far in improving your customer service (IMHO).

disgrutled American said...

Taking off your shoes is ridulous and ludicris. It should be stopped. Because some nut had a shoe bomb doesnt mean we should be embarassed and incovienced. I believe it is fruitless. We should revaluate the security measures and go back to customer service and satisfaction. There has got to be a better way.

Anonymous said...

I bought a special TSA approved lock at Brookstone in bright yellow that wrapped around the outside of my suitcase. It worked fine for the first two trips...but when I left Philadephia airport and arrived in Austin, Tx, it had been cut and dumped inside my bag. Why?

Mexican said...

I fly mainly through two airports: MSP and MCI. They have VERY different TSA people there. MSP are extremely rude, actually yelling at people and acting as if the people they serve and pay their salaries are 3 year olds. I have never seen such a sight when a 30something year old (TSA screener) get into a 80 year old gentleman's face and light him up like he was an infant misbehaving. Not only did no one do anything about it, the rest of them condoned it and his supervisor backed him up. He wasn't acting suspicious, there wasn't a security threat, there was no reason to do what he did. I am a trained military officer, so I too am trained to pinpoint threats and suspicious behavior. They were all extremely rude and enjoyed it. As for MCI, they are very friendly and cooperative. They know we don't want to take off our shoes, belts, give up our wallets, etc but they are smiling and friendly about it, so no one seems to mind the inconvenience. They even thanked me for my service and shook my hand. No there is something that the MSP folks could learn from.

Anonymous said...

To the idiot above who said "I would gladly give up 30 minutes of my travel day to feel safer," you are what's wrong with this whole process. You only FEEL safer. The goons working for the TSA have no idea how to actually MAKE us safer, so they need to create the illusion of safety.

I cannot wait until the TSA is disbanded and Kip is locked up.

Does anyone who works for the TSA actually have the stones to stand up to your gang?

Glen said...

I look forward to some sort of expedited screening process for people who travel a lot.

I also look forward to TSA adopting basic customer service attitude. If people are treated kindly, not as cattle, they most often will respond in kind.

lonm said...

I understand the need for higher security due to the terrorism. I have absolutly no problem with it. But my complaint is that I bought those 'special TSA locks' (twice) and when I received my luggage at the end of my trip, either the locks were broken or were missing. As a frequent flyer, I'm not going to spend $10 every time I fly (about once a week) to have my locks mishandled. They have enough time to unlock the locks, open and search the bags, why do they not have enough time to put my locks back on. These locks appear to be nothing but a scam.

Anonymous said...

Please put in carpeting at the screening points where the passengers cannot wear shoes. It is cold, hard and often slippery walking through the metal detectors in socks or barefoot.

Anonymous said...

I am a citizen from the European Union, of pure European decent (no "foreign"-sounding name) with 2 passports and 2 citizenships (common in Europe). I am a business traveler bringing business to the US.
Every time I fly to the USA I get stripped down like a terrorist, as all my flight tickets bear the "SSSS" mark.
Why ?

Ben said...

First, I want to thank TSA employees for their hard work and service to the law enforcement community. I know your jobs are not easy and that travelers sometimes forget their brains at home.

With that said, what concerns me about the TSA is the level of professionalism and attentiveness displayed by some (and I emphasis the word "some") of the agency's employees. I won't get into specifics, but I've encountered more than a few TSA employees who, based on my experience with and observing them, should not be working in any type of security capacity. In fact, I believe some should actually be considered threats to security due to their attitude and lack of awareness.

I don't know if it's a screening, training or management issue, but TSA needs to do something about workers who act as if their job is some sort of punishment. It concerns me when I see how little some TSA employees actually focus on their job.

Good luck and safe travels.

frequent flyer tx said...

Please stop requiring passengers to remove their shoes at security checkpoints.

Please also stop confiscating my toothpaste and deodorant if they happen to exceed 3 ozs.

Procedures like these add no measurable security benefit. They serve only to confirm that TSA is performing "security theater." Well get a clue, the reviews are in and your performance is still getting panned.

Kitty said...

Although I appreciate the efforts of the TSA to defeat threats, I learned at Christmas of 2006 not to put anything of value in my CHECKED baggage.

After going to the TSA web site at that time and registering a complaint about the disappearance of my video camera, I never even received an acknowledgment.

Forgive my cynicism, but I seriously doubt this web site will accomplish much either.

Anonymous said...

I'm a pilot and go through security often. You're treatment of flight crews is terrible.

Mike said...

Why are certain messages not appearing? I have not cursed, or named names, or insuklted anyone. I have only expressed an opinion. Shouldn't all commenst be shown? Assuming they abide by the rules? Why are you screening som, and not others?

Anonymous said...

Screening is a joke and the level of incompetence is staggering. Why are there different standards at different airports? Who are we kidding with the "take off your shoes" gimmick? Why enact the "no large amounts of liquid" policy after it is PROVEN that you cannot create an effective explosive device out of them. This organization is designed to provide the appearence of security through the method of hassle. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the story of the cat mistakenly placed in a suitcase and brought on a trip--http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22841493/ - How did this happen with TSA security checks? I'm assuming pets are not permitted to be placed in one's luggage, so how, or why, did the TSA fail to find this cat? If they can miss a live animal, what else are they letting through?

Anonymous said...

Well, I vividly recall not to long ago, as I was going through phase I of the screening process at JFK on a Thursday morning around 7 am, the TSA genius asked for my ID and my plane ticket. Now I am one of the lucky few with an IL driver's license, which I think more or less stumped the TSA representative - not only did he look at my license like it was written in another language (chinese or arabic or something), he held up the line and called someone over to look at it as well. Now, in Illinois, when driver's licenses expire, if we have clean records, we are given the option of renewing our licenses via the mail or online. After we pay the requisite renewal fee, we have a renewal sticker mailed to us which we then affix to the back of our licenses. Now, I know this process sounds extremely complicated and could throw even the most intelligent of 12 year olds off track, but this TSA representative just could not fathom such a concept - after showing him other items that could identify me (including my California State Bar Card, a credit card with my picture on it, and another form of identification), this genius still did not believe that I in fact should be permitted to pass with my NON-expired license (that's right, he told me my license was expired, even with the affixed sticker and explaining to him that IL had a special system whereby this is how it renewed licenses), TSA representative told me I would have to go speak with someone else. After speaking to that person and ensuring them that short of calling the Illinois DMV (which I'm pretty sure was not open at that hour), he finally let me pass. I then proceeded to take the slip of paper I had been given identifying me as a miscreant to the TSA podium where I told them I would like to file a complaint against the screener. Little good that did - TSA manager took the sheet of paper, told me he would have a word with the individual, walked away, came back two minutes later, and told me it had been resolved. ? I then asked for the sheet of paper back but he told me there was no need, that it had been taken care of and for me to go on my way. I had wanted that sheet of paper to send it in to the TSA offices in order to express my disbelief that they were training people who had knowledge of apparently how IDs and licenses work in the other 49 states (and territories) of this great country.

Talk about a pathetic experience - oh, by the way, the screeners at JFK for some reason never catch people carrying liquids exceeding 3 ounces in their carry-ons - I have done this three times and each time have not had issues until I fly back, at which point those airport screeners always catch me with liquids and in fact, one of the TSA screeners at an airport on the West Coast was kind enough to help me transfer items from one plastic bag to two (apparently we didn't know that the size restrictions regarding plastic bags was heavily enforced).

Can someone please train these TSA screeners to recognize the IDs and licenses of each state and territory of the US - I know its asking for much to have our TSA screeners have to train to be able to recognize IDs and licenses, in addition to having to screen for weapons and lubriderm?

Poop said...

I hate how you guys hate your jobs and screen unnecessary people. I fly standby and I am 20 year old, white male. You tell me why you have to check through my carry ons and not smile. Like I am going to try to do something crazy...get over yourselves. If you don't like your job, quit and give it to someone who can enjoy it and be nice to people.

Anonymous said...

I'm an Airline Pilot. I was passing through the security line in DEN, when a sharply dressed man without an ID behind me just walked through the detector setting it off - "BEEP". He said hello to the bag screener, and continued on his way. Somewhat aghast, I politely inquired 'WHO' that was?. "He's the TSA supervisor here in Denver", the screener replied.

While I'm sure there was no security breach (and the Supervisor politely addressed my concern) - it still leaves me a bit miffed.

Airline Pilots with full ID credentials, IN uniform, must remove their shoes and belts for security screening but actually have the controls of the aircraft behind a bullet-proof door down the airport concourse, yet, other parties are not subject to the same high level of screening - even after setting the detector off. Further, what was he carrying that made the detector go off, and where were his picture ID credentials?

I respect the mission of the TSA everyday I go to work. They do a great, great job. I just wish the standard of screening is applied to everyone - Pilots, Flight Attendants, and TSA supervisors alike.

Ibraheem said...

I fly frequently back and forth from the Middle East because I have family there and I like to visit them. However, every time I go there I get stopped and put in a room for 15-30 minuets until they can call the Pentagon and clear my name. This has happened six times! I'm not doing anything illegal and I do what I can to respect the law of the land. I don't even speed on the highway! What's even worse is that the people are REALLY rude sometimes. Thank you for reading this and I hope these problems are remedied.

jc said...

Thank God somebody wants to do the TSA's work. I wouldn't want that job in a million years BUT ... for whatever reason you chose to take the position, you also take the responsibilty of doing it RIGHT. I fly quite a bit and out of the country several times a year. I am a seasoned veteran. For the most part, I know what I can bring onboard. I know that I have to pull my laptop out. No Lighters ... Unfortunately, I have to carry a C-PAP Breathing Machine for sleep apnea and for reason always sends me to the top of the harrass list. Coming back into the USA last March through Philadelphia, I was totally taken aback by the rude, loud, and self-important attitude of the screener when he thought I was trying to sneak my CPAP into the country. To be honest with you, this was the first time I had travelled with it and had no issues leaving the US with it. Maybe because it was in my luggage. I had know idea what I had done incorrectly to be escorted into another area. As stated earlier, I do quite a bit of travelling and consider myself travel savvy. As I begin pulling things out of my backpack to assist this man with his duties, I am yelled at to not touch a thing. He wants to know what this thing is and starts checking it for explossives. I am further checked and humiliated by the terse language of this screener. I now know how to avoid this is the future. DO NOT FLY THROUGH PHILADELPHIA, PA. I have not had any issues anywhere else in the US with this machine. Overall, apart from having to wait extremely long times to pass through initial screening before a flight, I think most of us understand what to bring on board. No matter what your job, being rude is never a part of it! This is what you should learn the most!

mikey said...

OK, this is a good thing but I can't possibly understand how anyone at the TSA is going to be reviewing this thing, and categorize comments, to become worthwhile. I agree that there should be categories, not just an open blog to post. While some of the comments read are rhetoric, some are extremely useful. I think the most beneficial are the comments about having every TSO at every airport operating with the same rules and guidelines and enforcing them the same. That's why passengers are so frustrated. It's not the rules per se, it's the manner in which they are enforced.

Anonymous said...

This is a great link that highlights the need for better security measures. http://techdirt.com/articles/20080124/17341363.shtml

If the security was effective, we'd be able to travel anonymously. They'd catch dangerous stuff and everyone else would go through easily. Who someone is shouldn't matter.

Also, being a frequent traveller I can say that for every customer-driven TSA agent there seem to be 10 who don't care, are rude, are mad with power, etc. There needs to be a better system of accountability for the TSA. It's not a transparent organization. It should be. We should know why we have to do things like take off shoes (they don't in Canada) or have little baggies full of liquids.

Anonymous said...

I understand with the large amount of passengers, the are some irritated passengers and security. but please, the TSA works for us. When i travel with my wife she goes through first and her purse goes thru with her, it contanins all our money, credit cards and the like. I stay behind until the purse has cleared and she has it. The security gets mad at me and demands that I come thru. I have refused and have been subjected to searches. They accuse me of holding up the line, yet i let peole go ahead of me until my wife has her purse. The told me they will watch the purse, yet i witnessed an incident in Detroit where a woman put het purse on the table and walked thru and someone syole her purse before it go to the xray, TSA told the woman it was not their problem. I will not allow it to happen to us. I dont care it they get mad. I simply take care of my own..

jharpilot said...

I am aa retired US Navy captain who held a Top Secret security clearance. I am also a retired airline captain, who for 30 years was required by my airline and the FAA to carry some small tools, including an electrician's knife with a 3" blade. After 9/11, going through security in my airline uniform, my 1 1/2" Swiss army knife with the scissors,toothpick and tweezers was confiscated and I've never been allowed to carry one since.Why,since you allow sharp pointed scissors up to 4" and metal knitting needles, can't some small knives be carried? Are you seriously afraid that your highly trained and qualified screeners can't tell the difference between a Bowie knife and a gentleman's accessory? Also, do you claim that you have prevented even one actual highjacking attempt by disallowing and confiscating such small items or by having elderly people remove their shoes. I know you can cite thousands of instances of such confiscations, but that won't answer the question, will it? Retired captain.

Dave said...

On one particular return trip home, a pair of my boots were stolen from my luggage, and my hand-held mirror was broken, but instead of disposing it, taped a message of "sorry" across it and WRAPPED MY TOWEL AROUND IT and placed it back in my luggage. When I unpacked, glass was everywhere.

I appreciate this forum, and hope for an obvious was of reporting stolen property from luggage that doesn't make you go through a lot of red tape.

Daniel M. Perez said...

My initial reaction is that this is too little, too late, and that it's merely a token gesture, nothing that will actually make a difference in the long run.

I hope you prove me wrong, however. The TSA began with a noble intent, but it has degenerated into little more than a boogeyman that rules by instilling fear and intimidation, not by empathy and respect. If you can change that, we'll be on the right track for sure.

Anonymous said...

I travel a lot for work, mostly internationally, so I have a lot of questions/comments/gripes about airline security. Still, I'll try to keep my comments civil.

One thing I encountered a few years ago was that the 'increased scrutiny criteria for passengers seemed to be heavily weighted against passengers with one-way tickets. I found this out during a work trip which had multiple legs, requiring a series of 5 one-way tickets. Imagine my irritation when I was stopped for a full luggage search on each leg of the trip. It was the first and only time this has ever happened to me.

As a frequent traveller, however, my irritation wasn't due to the perceived insult of having to endure this treatment. In fact, I wouldn't mind if all passengers had to go through a full search before every flight. Rather, my anger was due to the decreased security that resulted from this apparently poorly-thought-out policy.

"Decrease?" you ask.

Sure: TSA only has a limited number of resources to spend on searching passengers, so only a subset are selected for intensive search. It appears that having a one-way ticket puts a passenger at the top of the list -- as if a real terrorist lacked the money for a round trip ticket or lacked the foresight to buy a round trip ticket to avoid the extra scrutiny. Other factors, like the fact that my tickets were purchased through a major U.S. Defense Contractor's travel agency, appeared to have no significance in this equation. So, while the TSA was busy searching one way ticket holders, the wily terrorists could just breeze through security with their round trip tickets.

Good strategy? No.

I seriously hope this has been corrected.

Randy Petersen said...

Question: News has arrived that you are shutting down one of the security lines at Las Vegas D Gates. Since this appears to me as one of the most crowded airports for security in the world, why would you consider ever eliminating and line for security?

This information from FlyerTalk.com:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=783553

seems to indicate that the closure of the lane is not being well met from travelers.

Your comments please and your solutions for nothing less than a 5-minute wait.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"Click Here To Post A Comment"
Should be larger and in a different colored type.

Also, there should be a way to come in whre you were at last time you were on so you don't have to scan through all the blogs to find out whre you left off.

Anonymous said...

TSA is just another of the myriad of government boondoggles: It employs a lot of people to do an unnecessay task. No hijackers will ever be successfull again because the passengers won't be complacent after what happened to them on 9/11. The airlines should be responsible for passenger safety. They will do a good job of it because they could be held liable. The government is immune from all liability; therefore, they do a lousey job (at everything they do).

Anonymous said...

I fly quite frequently for my job (basically on a weekly basis) and I have encountered nothing but problems everytime I fly. On a repeated basis I am asked to take off my suit jackets, sweaters leaving me standing in the airport in nothing but a tanktop for all to see. Pretty soon all clothes will be forbidden. On a few occassions I have been reprimanded by TSA employees and had the privilege of one employee explain to me (in an aggressive tone) why my sweater was considered an "outer garment".

I also enjoy being singled out as I am about to get on the plane for a random frisk. Because traveling as a business woman in a suit really makes me look like I am going to do anything bad.

I am tired of the attitude expressed by these TSA employees. And as someone who travels a lot, I can tell you that this is occurring at airports all over the nation.

Mary said...

Hi one and all,

I have no complaints. My recent flight to NYC found everyone being searched/screened, right down to my cat's carrier. Lines are long, yea yea, so what..lines are long on Guam too for something as simple as picking up one's mail. So while some will be disgruntled I say THANK YOU.

MBrand

Anonymous said...

Two questions;
1. Why the inconsistencies between airports?
2. Atlanta and the necessity for international arrivals to pass through security in order to get to the parking lot and pick up my old buick?

I hate your computer said...

I went flying in August 2007. I flew out of JFK, and I must say that you have hired some of the worst screeners. There needs to be an age limit and a competency minimum. When I was going through the screening, there were no trays available for me to put my items in. WHY? Because all of the TSA screeners were to busy joking, and texting on their cell phones. The only person doing her job was the girl looking at the X-ray screen.
Don't let your employees even look at their phones when they should be making sure OUR FLIGHTS should be SAFE!! BAN CELL PHONES ON THE JOB!

Anonymous said...

Why does the TSA not follow their own policy? I had a TSA approved Lock with the TSA emblem on it. It has been used at many airports. The Syracuse, NY cut it off. I understand the need for security, but if your telling people to buy TSA approved locks then use the master keys. I filed a complaint, was told the TSA airport mananger would call me back. I never expected someone would actually call over a lock and of course they did not. The TSA people are rude, yes I work customer service and I know how people can complain about policies. I take the train everywhere that I can, its cheaper and I don't have to deal with rude security.

Anonymous said...

Your policies are a big waste of time and stupid. Who cares about a small tube of toothpaste being in my bag vs. the little plastic bag. The whole process is a waste of time and doesn't do anything. If someone is really going to do something "bad" then they will find some way, and you are just spending time harassing normal people trying to go about their business. If you see a mom and her kid do you really need to mess with her formula. What about a small bottle of water. Do you really think our shoes are going blow something up. I doubt there are many Richard Reids around. The whole security process is ill advised and poorly run and completely stupid.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know if there has been any training to help screeners excercise better common sense, when warranted. My husband, who was active duty at the time this incident occured, was being hand-searched, and, when the screener tried to disassemble- yes, DISASSEMBLE- an irreplacable and very valuable musical instrument, he offered to take the horn apart himself, because he know how to do so without damaging it. The screener replied, "Touch that horn and I will slap you." I was there, and heard the whole exchange. This incident happened in Nashville, where you would think there would be some working familiarity with musical instruments. Thankfully, a supervisor overheard this exchange, and stepped in, but it gives you cause to wonder....

Anonymous said...

As a frequent business flier, I feel it fair for me to make a couple of comments based upon my observations.
1. It seems to me that that TSA artificially inflates the size/length of security screening lines thru the inefficient use TSA personnel. I frequently see multiple TSA personnel either routinely just standing around “smokin’ and jokin’” or outright disappear from the security area at what seems to me to be a most inopportune time. Part of this could a staffing numbers issue, and part of this could be a union thing (“When it’s break time, it’s break time”). However I ask all TSA personnel to put yourself in the travelers’ shoes and maybe delay your break by ten minutes and keep that additional screening line open just a little longer.
2. By far and away, the most frustrating thing, probably not only to me but also to yourselves, about airport security delays is the number of individuals that still have no clue about how pass thru said screening efficiently. This, to me, seems like an education issue, and as such, I’m not certain how you would rectify it. I realize at most airports you do have a video and/or audio tape explaining the 3-1-1 concept and also detailing prohibited items, but for some reason it seems your messages are just not reaching everybody. Possibly the creation of “Frequent Flier Only” lines would allow you more time to educate those travelers while minimizing the inconvenience to the rest of us. I realize it has been proposed before, but I am not suggesting a special ID card or pre-approved status class. All I’m asking is that, since a frequent flier’s ticket is imprinted with said flier’s account number and status, you send that person to a different, segregated line dedicated to and for frequent fliers. As the frequent flier line should more efficiently, possibly requiring maybe one to two less TSA screeners, I would think this would give the remaining TSA personnel more time to address the “problem children.”
Thanks for listening…

Anonymous said...

thanks for stealing my new tube of toothpaste

Anonymous said...

Thank you for spending my (taxes) money to pay for this great website. Now I can complain about something that wastes more of my tax money. I just traveled overseas with a small gym bag as carry on and found the 3 inch knife in side pocket when cleaning out bag. Glad your people are up on job.

Anonymous said...

I have a military background and this blog is a potentially terrible idea. Yes, it will be informative for both the public and the screening force, but it will also be informative for would-be terrorists. It is known that terrorists read myspace pages to get intel about our soldiers and missions overseas. Now we have a blog detailing our aiport security. Every message has to be analyzed with extreme scrutiny before posting to make sure it does not give terrorists an idea that otherwise would not have had. Ever think about how dumb terrorist plans are? 9/11 happened because of box-cutters, think about how much damage could be done if they actually had good intel on us. Be very careful of what you post on this blog.

John Hamre said...

I understand that this blog had been mainly been set up to hear the complaints people may have about the service that the TSA supplies to travelers. It is a great idea and I appreciate having a forum where people can voice their concerns. But this is not a complaint; rather it is a post to commend the great service I received at the Minneapolis Airport. The TSA personnel there were extremely efficient, very friendly, and wonderfully personable people and I wish that every TSA representative could learn from their example. I was dealt with in a respectful manner but at the same time they did their security checks in a manner which made me feel safe in knowing that potential threats were being minimized. I am not one to dish out praise easily but when a commendable job like the service I received at the Minneapolis airport is found I felt compelled to make my experience known. Thank you TSA for making me feel safe without making me feel violated.

Soldier said...

I am a federal employee with the Department of Justice. I travel often and with DOJ credentials, which I always show at each airport. TSA personnel do not appear to have been trained in what other government credentials are, and what they look like. I am more often than not still checked as if I am a potential terrorist. One TSA employee even had to ask me what the Department of Justice was, I responded, call your supervisor. I do not feel secure when I fly on business or pleasure. I am also retired military, I feel more tense at a TSA checkpoint than in combat. Is this the best that our country can do, to provide security at airports?

I hate your computer said...

Evolution of security is right...the people you hire to screen baggage haven't evolved yet.

Anonymous said...

Ok here is my beef we have TSA which is doing it's job at the airport but we have NO SECURITY on the rails or on the borders.. It's kinda of usless because a smart terrorist would land in Mexico or Canada and walk accross the border.... So yeah we are safe in the airport but nowhere else

Anonymous said...

I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU TO ALL THE TSA EMPLOYEES OUT THERE!! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK...If it takes me all day long to get through the airport and I can fly with a peace of mind knowing I am safe, than do it. AMERICANS NEED MORE PEOPLE LIKE YOU!! Thanks for paying attention to details and help keep our skys terror free....what ever they are paying you, they should double it...no amount of tax is high enough to shoulder the reponsibility that you do. I, again, say thank you!

matt said...

I complained in writing a few weeks ago about a guy at the Santa Rosa Airport being unduly harsh with older women. Really harsh. It as embarrassing to watch. I received two response letters, and an assurance from the manager of the Santa Rosa Airport that it was being dealt with. I expected NO RESPONSE. I was amazed that they responded quickly to my complaint letter. It is not necessary to treat the routine flying public like criminals. That should be steered away from very, very strongly. Just because of 9/11, doesnt mean we want any hints of Marshall Law in our daily lives. Be courteous, TSA. Be friendly. Regardless of what a few passengers say to you. They are the few. Most people just need a little smile.

Anonymous said...

The right to travel is protected by the U.S. Constitution and has been expressly so held by the Supreme Court. In the 1968 case of Shapiro vs Thompson the court stated: "Freedom to travel throughout the United States has long been recognized as a basic right under the Constitution." Yes, you have the freedom to travel, it’s your right. By automobile: follow rules or you will go to jail or get ticketed. By airplane: follow RULES or you will not board the flight. Flying is a privilege, not a right. TSA was formed for your protection, these rules are for your protection. I assure you the TSO who gave the guy in front of you a hard time won’t be on that flight with you, (s)he does this for your safety. TSA is still evolving, improving, making your travel safer. For everyone’s sake take your shoes off, put your liquids in the containers specified, follow the rules and find something else to complain about.
Keep up the good work Mr. Hawley and all of the other TSA members!

Fly way too much said...

Quote: ... " 3. Why do TSA employees have to loudly yell to no one in particular exactly what is posted on several signs around the screening area and announced on the airport PA system regarding security rules? A little bit of politeness and respect for travelers seems to be needed."

!!! THIS !!!

FIX THIS !!!

Fixing this issue will cost NO additional funds, and will greatly reduce the contempt held for your organization, and the stress of the travelers.

WE are your PAYING GUESTS !!!

While I understand that some of these TSA "gatekeepers" feel that they are doing a service by barking out the obvious, it is ABSOLUTELY RUDE to be yelled at and treated like cattle.

If people are unsure of policy, post signs. If there are concerns of illiteracy or dyslexia, offer assistance one-on-one. For foreign visitors this irreprehensible TSA behavior is an example of the collapse of our culture.

If you yell at travelers that you "process" they you dehumanize. That leads to abuse of power.

FIX THIS !!!


Sincerely,

1,000,000 + mile frequent traveler

Anonymous said...

My wife, who is Hispanic, got flagged every time we got on a plane. I could print out my ticket and boarding pass beforehand, but not hers. Finally, I had had enough. I got a phone number and called, and, in typical governmental fashion, was put on hold forever. Eventually called back, and told whomever was on the other end to quit harassing my wife. I was told "there is a person with your wife's name who is a 'person of interest'". I responded that I doubt an Hispanic would be a terrorist, but in any case, this person did not have my wife's social security number, or her driver's license number...so leave my wife alone! Eventually, they did! From what other government agents tell me, the TSA is incredibly inefficient, and is not very well respected. I can see why.

Anonymous said...

As a TSA screener I have a few comments for people out there. Please, read signs as you enter a screening check point. Some people that are "seasoned travelers" seem to think TSA is going overboard with the signs and the announcements made over the intercom. The "seasoned travelers" may know what they are doing and think these are pointless and rude but, other travelers have no clue what is really going on and fail to read any signs nor do they listen to the announcements.

As for screeners being rude, I can speak for a lot of them in saying, most travelers are not all that respectful to us either. We have a thankless job. We don't get paid enough, if you ask me, to do what we do and put up with what we put up with. Also, the screeners are not the ones making up the rules in which passengers must abide by. We have no control over these rules and are simply trying to do our jobs.

If you have a problem with how things are done or the whole process itself. Take it up with someone higher up than the screeners or their supervisors. Neither of them can change how things are done nor do they appreciate being yelled at for it.

Anonymous said...

As a frequent traveler with over 100,000 miles per year, I pass through many airports. For the most part, the TSA screeners are pleasant and try to do their best. But, as we all know from personal experience, a few bad apples are always floating around and earn a bad rep for the entire TSA.

I have been pulled for screening a few times and am always polite and cooperative. They're just doing their job. However, I ask that they treat me with the same respect I give them...not the disrespect someone showed them before me. Most of them do and they try to make the process as quick and painless as possible.

We have whistle blowing programs in the corporate world, why not allow an anonymous system where TSA screeners can report misconduct and the unacceptable behavior of their peers? When I had an extremely rude screener once, I asked to speak to the supervisor...his first comment was "I saw the whole thing and you are wrong." He wasn't even there...they radioed him to come to the area. When he walked away, refusing to take a complaint or hear me out, one agent told me that it wasn't me and it was not acceptable. Sad...your own people don't support your power trips and conduct.

As for the liquids, be consistent. 3.4 oz is on your site and guidelines...but the agents yell out "3 oz or less". NO, YOUR GUIDELINES STATE 3.4oz or less. If it fits in my quart size bag, it's really not all that big of a difference anyway. Let's do away with this one because terrorists can pool their bottles once they clear security anyway. It wasn't a single terrorist on 9/11...and if they each had a few bottles in their bag, it would add up pooled together.

End of day, TSA agents are people and want us to remember that...but please remember we are people as well. Treat me as you would have me treat you.

OK putting the soap box away now.

Anonymous said...

I recently flew from Detroit to Miami and back again for a business conference. I decided to wear "el cheapo" flip flops to go through Detroit security figuring that I wouldn't have to remove them and could just show my feet to the TSA agent. WRONG! I had to remove the flip flops and walk barefoot through the security checkpoint.

When checking in for my return flight in Miami, I decided to wear tennis shoes and just walk through the security checkpoint in my stocking feet. WRONG! I was told NOT to remove my shoes and just walk through the metal detector.
So which is it? 1/2" thick flip flops on bare feet need extra scrutiny, but regular athletic shoes on stocking feet do not?

I'm not too terribly optimistic about this blog. I hope that some good will come of it, but I have the feeling that it is just so much hand waving. "Gee... Look what we've done to improve things!" Something to pacify the unwashed masses while no policies or procedures actually change and no problems are actually addressed.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious the TSA is nothing more than a poorly planned federal jobs program. Most TSA agents were either on welfare, or working at McDonalds before they were hired as federal transportation and security agents. Brilliant.

If I get some foot disease from taking off my shoes - I'll sue your incompetent asses.

Anonymous said...

I sweat alot (especially in San Antonio), but because of that, I am always taken aside and patted down. They act suspicious like "Why are you sweating? You should be used to this weather." It's profiling.

That said, there is plenty of technology to scan all passengers, similar to what you see in the movie "Total Recall". The current technology can do it, but it's expensive.

Anonymous said...

We had items taken from our luggage and received no help from TSA. We had a digital camera, memory cards, extra batteries, battery charger and a carrying case taken. The claim process was not difficult but it did require a lot of documentation that one may not have (receipts,current value of the property, etc). After waiting about 6 months for a response to our claimm, we received a letter stating that our claim had been denied. The letter than advised us that to proceed, we would have to file a suit against TSA in FEDERAL COURT. Imagine that, us suing the TSA in fedral court - incredible. Since we knew exactly where and when we went thru inspection, TSA must have known who was performing the inspections, a little detective work would have uncovered the thief(s). So our national security and safety rests in the hands of people more interested in personal gain that security.

Anonymous said...

On a flight from Detroit to Chicago, I didn't have anything stolen from my bag, but additional articles were actually placed INTO my checked luggage (7 or 8 articles of clothing that did NOT belong to me). When I arrived at my hotel in Chicago and opened my luggage, at first I thought I had somehow collected the wrong bag. But my clothes were there, underneath someone elses shirts, pants, and sweatsuit. I tried calling TSA right away, because I felt so badly for whomever the articles of clothing belonged to. The person I spoke with didn't seem to know what to do, and said I could just throw away the clothes that weren't mine. But they belonged to somebody else who's bag they had searched in Detroit, and that response was just unacceptable. On my return flight, I gave a TSO at the Chicago Airport a shopping bag full of the clothes that weren't mine and explained the situation. Who knows what that person did with it (I hope some effort was made to return the clothes to their rightful owner)?

Anonymous said...

The policy for no liquids or gels is being taken to an unacceptable extreme. I carry healthy food on each weekly business trip due to the lack of choices of food offered by the airlines and airports. My sealed, clear, see through 4 oz container of applesauce was determined by TSA to be "not allowed." Applesauce is NOT a liquid or a gel, its a food. Security should stick to their posted regulations.

Anonymous said...

I fly only 2 or 3 times a year but each time I do, I end up getting the full search. I am a 47 yr old very white female of Irish descent and red hair. I look NOTHING like the racial profiling of a terrorist. I have voted in every election since I turned 18. I am a natural born citizen as were both of my parents. I have a daughter in the US Army and do volunteer work for troop support charities. I don't understand how I always get singled out. They have never found anything on me that had to be confiscated. Is there some list that flags people to be searched? Why am I being singled out?

Anonymous said...

I am in in-frequent flier. I normally carry a small swiss army knife which contains a scissors, tweezers, toothpick, file/screwdriver and a knife blade about 1.2 inches in length. Whenever I forget to leave them behind, security is kind enough to confiscate them. They do allow me my belt buckle with a two inch belt holder and a far more dangerous weapon the the tiny swiss army knife though. I guess this makes us all more secure. But I sure can not understand how.

Anonymous said...

O'HARE AIRPORT,CHICAGO:
TSA IS CONSTANTLY HIRING,TRAINING AND LOSING SCREENERS DUE TO INCOMPETENT MANAGEMENT. TAXPAYERS ARE PAYING FOR THIS UN-SUPERVISED MESS. THE WORKERS ARE TREATED LIKE GESTAPO TROOPS AND EMULATE THEIR HANDLERS. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS DANGEROUS AND THREATENING GROUP OF UNHAPPY GOVERNMENT WORKERS?

MeMyselfAndI said...

On a recent flight, I learned that there is a policy in place since the last time I flew that required me to take off my slip on shoes. In the past I was able to keep on my simple shoes because they are obviously no threat. No problem, I put them on the conveyor belt and they got scanned. It sure would be nice if they'd clean the floors though. I thought about my feet and the feet of every single person that passed through there. TSA has an obligation to security *and* health. If you require us to do something for security that poses some health risk then you need to mitigate those health risks.

More importantly, I was required to take the shoes off of my infant. This was absolutely retarded. Not only are his shoes so tiny, but they cause an undo burden to a traveler and all the travelers that had to make their way around me.

Worse than this, the TSA publishes guidelines that I looked up before my travels to find out what I could take on the plane for my infant son. It said that I could take food/formula. However at the security checkpoint they made me get rid of the water I brought to make his formula. WTF??? Either we are allowed to bring food or not, stop pussyfooting around here. Buying water at an airport is NOT an option unless they are going to provide it to us for free or for actual cost. I'm not paying $2 for a bottle of water. I can almost buy a case of water for that. I understand if you want to stop us from bringing water, but at least make an exception for 1 bottle of water for a baby. Formula only lasts for 2 hours from the time it is made, and that is if it is kept in proper conditions. TSA has an obligation to the health of its passengers, even the smallest of them. Without health, security is meaningless.

I got sick a day after this latest mini-vacation. My wife got sick, and now my son did. I've flown a lot and have never gotten sick from just being on a plane, but these new regulations need to be evaluated for cleanliness and health. For that matter, let's evaluate them for sanity. What could you hide in an infants shoe while their feet are in there? What could I hide in flip flops or sandals?

Anonymous said...

I have 3 pounds of metal (rods, screws & discs) in my back. I fly out of DCA and I am never stopped by the screening. Yet I fly in/out of Dallas and get stopped every time. Since DC is supposed to be top of heightened security, how can this be?

Also on 2 separate occassions I forgot to remove my "bear" mace and an 11 blade swiss army knife from my purse. The purse went right thru at Dulles (IAD) never got stopped. My husband took his shaving kit which had metal finger nail clippers, he got pulled aside and every part of his carry on and body was searched.
I think we are so over worried about liquids, shoes, batteries, etc. that the human body is being over looked for hiding places.
Thank you for this blog.

Anonymous said...

As a frequent flier, I would like to thank TSA for providing me with a laugh every time I go through security. I stand watching people trying to take off shoes, put laptops into bins, remove jackets and isolate liquids, while pushing belongings along tables, carefully placed so that each one is several inches higher than the preceding one. I realize that I too am one of those idiot dancers, pirouetting with a plastic bag in one hand and shoes in another.

To be serious though, I grew up in an African dictatorship which was similar in many ways to a TSA security line. We are giving away our freedoms fo a false sense of security.

Anonymous said...

The TSA should not profile anyone, i.e single out those of middle-eastern decent. . Don't forget about the Oklahoma bombings. Until the September 11, 2001 attacks, it was the deadliest act of terrorism on U.S. soil. The attack claimed 168 lives and left over 800 injured.

Anonymous said...

Why do TSA screeners treat people that fly all the time and know what they are doing like they are stupid and have no idea how the system works? Why not be thankful that they are making their jobs easier!

Anonymous said...

As a person who flies semi-frequently for business and for personal trips, it's very rare to find a nice, INTELLIGENT screener. For some reason many of the screeners feel they get to throw their weight around just because they are the "make it or break it" as to whether you get to pass through security to get to your flight. My entire family took a flight to visit family out East. My sister-in-law approached security with my one and a half year old niece, but my sister-in-law's belt set off the alarm. They sent my niece threw security with no one to watch her (we got stuck behind my sister-in-law) and told my sister-in-law to get back behind the line. My sister-in-law tried to get security to at least grab my niece to bring her back to us so nothing would happen to her. But the screeners on their high horse would not help and said that she had to stay on the other side. So, my niece started crying because she was scared and when she tried to run back to her Mom, security stopped the little girl and pushed her back. Seriously, it's a one-and-a-half year old little girl!! Please start hiring screeners with half-a-brain... situations like this should NEVER happen.

Anonymous said...

Why is it if I get a complimentary 1 quart bag for my liquids from LAX or somewhere else, but then use that same bag on the way back from somewhere like Madison WI, they say it is not an approved 1 quart bag. Just because It doesn’t look like a Zip Lock or Glad Bag, doesn’t mean it is any smaller or larger than 1 quart. Plus the fact that the TSA gave it to me in the first place. This goes to not having standards at every airport, or the lack of training for TSO’s. This is the kind of stuff that makes the every week traveler very upset. We tend to know how to fly the simplest of ways, but we still come across TSO’s that want to argue or threaten you with not letting you fly. I have had to throw stuff away on one than more occasion and it does not make me too happy.

Anonymous said...

We are told to keep our bags with us and not to take or leave our bags with people we do not know.

Yet, many times we are told to drop our bags off in a roped section & then proceed to the counter/gate area. The bags sit there until they are screened and loaded onto the plane. Anyone can easily grab or tamper with a bag.

Also, when people bring one carry-on on the plane, they should be able to put it the overhead bin for their row. Yet, other people bring excessive items on board and then others have to put their ONE carryon in an overhead bin several rows away. How safe is that?

Anonymous said...

TSA has no credibility whatsoever. There is no consistency in the "security" rules from one airport to another (some require you to take off your shoes, some don't; some allow you to bring your own transparent plastic bag for your toiletries, others insist that it be a very speicif type of ziplock; etc). Get it together, PUBLISH the rules, and TRAIN the security guys at the airport!!!

Anonymous said...

Why have approved TSA locks for your luggage when they are disreguarded by security? The inconsiderate personnel did not cut the lock off (which they should have had the code to open) they cut through my luggage pulls instead. How rude, damaging my expensive luggage. I don't think you have license to destroy or disrespect what belongs to someone else in the name of security.

Anonymous said...

What an amateur effort by the TSA to put together this blog. This will be impossible for them to maintain and follow. By the time you read one blog entry, there will have been 100 more posted. Like all things government, it will be inefficient, bloated and useless in no time at all.

And I'm very thankful that the security of our airports is left to the most lazy, overweight, rude, and uneducated of the populace. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

As a private citizen who has done their best to stop traveling since the TSA was started but has found it just plain impossible, I have a simple question. My now 10 yr old daughter just made it past screening for the first time with out being pulled over for a body search. At 4 she couldn't even put her feet in the foot prints without falling over. Your own people get through with "bomb" making supplies and you're busy pulling over children. Is it any wonder why we try not to fly any more?

Anonymous said...

I travel once or twice a year. I can no longer lock my luggage but frequently twist a pipe cleaner through the zipper holes where a lock would go. This is done to keep my bag from coming unzipped during handling. Why can't the TSA Screeners ever replace it. Is this how they treat luggage with "TSA Approved" locks? Every time I have had my luggage screened they also don't reclip the internal tiedowns in my suitcase. With the pipecleaner gone and the tiedowns unclipped, it's a wonder my belongings aren't all over the belly of a plane.

Anonymous said...

I would have to say, I really don't feel any safer on the planes now as I did before 9/11.

I have had 2 instances now with the TSA that just scares me. During security at two different airports, I've had screeners mouth "What the F*ck?" as my bag with a PDA, Some DVD's, a Sony PSP, and some minor other electronics go through the carry-on x-ray and then shake their heads and let the stuff go through and me onto the plane.

Not once did any of them ask to open the bag, which I would have been more than happy with. Instead they call another person over, that person can't figure out what their seeing and let me go on my way.

If your not sure of what you are seeing on the X-Ray, check the damn baggage.

This happend at Kansas City, Kansas and LAX.

I felt safer going through security at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai than I did in the U.S. because they actually asked to see what was in the bag.

Anonymous said...

I just want to commend the security personell at Jacksonville Florida International Airport (JIA) for their professionalism and patience. I do not fly very often, but when I have they have been very kind to me as on one trip I was wearing a wlking cast and they were patient with me as I could not move very fast. I have found that if you follow the rules and arrive early the tension and anxiety is much reduced. Also a sense of humor helps. I do not know why people do not make it easier on themselves by following the rules. It such a simple thing to do. I noticed women getting frustrated at having to take off their shoes as they were wearing knee high zip and lace up boots (in summer no less)when it would have been much easier to wear slip on shoes. I guess I just want to say keep up the good work.
Catherine M. Hunsuck

nld_coder said...

I first read about this blog at Yahoo News via my e-mail and think it's a great idea.

I'm not certain whether or not it stems from the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, where, on 9/11 there was obvious confusion regarding NORAD and the FAA, particularly relative to a governing protocol that might have stopped the attack, but in the future, particularly in a case where there may be actionable intelligence in the system, or where such intelligence might be gathered from the public, a blog such as this will serve more than a useful purpose.

Certainly Director Tenet was warned of the attack via French Intelligence as early as January 2001, in turn reporting that intelligence to the National Security Advisor when threat reporting began to increase as late as July, 2001 in a way that would substantiate French Intel, but to no avail. Attorney General Ashcroft wanted to know why the FBI didn't know ( " At The Center of The Storm," George Tenet). But Minneapolis FBI had been warned about Moussaoui, only to be mysteriously told that they might have mistaken him for another Moussaoui that had been in Paris. Then General Arnold, after the towers had been hit, on 9/11, was given an order, via Dick Cheney, by a Lieutenant Colonel at the White House to shoot down a civilian passenger aircraft which he seemed to hesitate or linger upon, but most of us would probably agree for good reason: engagement alone would probably have sufficed to divert the aircraft.

My own story is somewhat complex. I was told of the attack in 1987 by way of what I believed to be a psychic. I wanted to report it and eventually did, but felt uncomfortable having to explain that the intelligence might have originated with a psychic because it seemed that it might diminish or undermine its believability when, in fact, it might actually be credible. But the threat had to do with an event that might occur 14 years into the future. So there would be time to analyze it even where it had originated with a psychic.

I called FBI Headquarters which promptly informed me that I had to call " local FBI," which I did, explaining that I had been told that there might be an attack on the U.S., but in 14 years. There were also specifics related to certain airports like Boston Logan and numbers that might be symbolic, like 93. In summa, it was sufficient to stop an attack if it was true, but again, I could not have been sure whether or not it might have been something that Nostradamus predicted: because it had no immediate or imminent relevance it was impossible to disambiguate notwithstanding a more intensive, rigorous analysis.

Over the next 14 years, I never told anyone, believing that doing so might jeopardize the ability of the FBI to stop it in a case where the intelligence might be credible. In other words, I did not want to report it and than try and stop it myself, thereby undermining the very purpose of reporting it.

The desk agent told me that there was someone there who handled matters of national security. Mind you, this was late on a Sunday night in late September, 1987. So she left to find him but to no avail. He had already left for the night. She asked me whether I wanted her to call him at home. I said that I did because I thought it important enough to report immediately. So she said that she would have him call me, which, no more than 20 minutes later, he did.

I reported all of it to the agent which, again, included very specific information that, in retrospect, should have stopped the attack. And he wasn't just any agent. He was an intelligence agent who spied on the Soviet Union during the Cold War, before the Berlin Wall had come down. He was the director of the most clandestine intelligence unit in existense, a unit called the " Special Collections Service," or "SCS." It was widely considered inside of the intelligence community to be our nation's most valuable intelligence asset. And there's no doubt, particularly now, that this was nothing short of a " special collection. "

I told him everything, saw him the next day and that was it.

But at the time SCS was connected to NSA, the Congressional Intelligence Committees, and the State Department; it was a veritable MI-6. I wasn't aware of any of that. I had literally no idea I'd reported a potential attack to someone who spied on the Russians.

Who was the agent ? His name is Robert Philip Hanssen

The whole purpose, in fact, of SCS, during the Cold War, and dating back to the Manhattan Project, was to intercept Russian diplomats who might be affiliated with the KGB - might be trying to steal our nuclear secrets. And it was, of course, the Russian Embassy, which, merely months prior to 9/11, tipped off the FBI to the notion that Hanssen had been a " double agent " during the Cold War - had sold secrets, perhaps recently, perhaps decades prior. In ay case it wasn't in violation of international law and yet the Russians insisted on circumventing Hanssen, ultimately implicating him at the State Department.

But why did the matter suddenly become relevant, again, just months months prior to 9/11, an attack about which Hanssen had been informed more than a decade prior ?

Again, I simply assumed that the intellgence had been reported and that, if true, an attack would be stopped. I had no idea that I'd reported it to an agent who could stop it himself. Moreover, I had no idea that the agent might be accused of being a double agent right before the attack.

So how, in fact, as was the question posed by AG Ashcroft to Director Tenet, could the FBI have not known ?

That's the million-dollar question.

Anonymous said...

Why do TSA people accept a Drivers licanse, that can be gotten almost anyware, and many are fake, and they won't accept a RETIRED MILITARY ID from now on I will not accept a TSA ID and will call for a supervisor.

RW RETIRED USAF

Anonymous said...

Recent traveler, THE BEST-Orlando Airport..No wait, organized, efficient. THE WORST-Phoenix..understaffed, rude, long wait...Average-Chicago

Anonymous said...

As a US Citizen I would like to say that TSA is the NAZI youth of the 21st century! They have failed every fack bomb smuggling attempt and are an unnessacery burden to travel and the US economy period! I felt safe flying before 9-11 I felt less unsafe flying after 9-11. TSA is careless while snooping through baggage, they remove things from bags like cameras which then break and when you file a claim against them they will not take responsibility for anything, do away with the TSA NOW!

Anonymous said...

I have flown 8 times in the last year, to and from 5 different airports in the U.S. and I want to say thanks to all the TSA folks out there. I learned the rules, came early enough, and had not one problem moving thru an airport. I was once even singled out for a thorough personal search in a private room, and found everyone to be proffesional and courtious. If more people were willing to educate themselves and stop believing these folks weren't just human like them, trying to do a very important job, I think the process would be much happier. Seems everyones bothered till something goes wrong... Who will be blamed then I wonder? Anyway, thank you.

AF Retired said...

I want to know why US troops deploying back into the Iraqi or Afghan operations areas are almost strip searched going through security? All were boarding an ATA flight in Dallas to return to war to defend us.

Major Benson
Retired AF

Anonymous said...

My 89 year old mother-in-law is wheel chair bound and has an expired driver's license. Why is this big deal? Why does this raise such incredulity? Why so much security hassle for old ladies? Having said that, the TSA folks at St. Louis and Denver were very understanding and helpful after we got past the ID checker guy.

mom of 6 said...

Because my family lives in Indiana I frequently fly there from my home in Florida. I work at Port Canaveral and have a port security badge so I have been cleared by many agencies. My uncle died recently an I immediately booked a flight home for the next day. I was tagged for special screening. As I waited to get to the initial screener, I oticed the lady in front of me in a flowing burkha. She was traveling to Paris on an Iranian passport while I was traveling to South Ben Indiana as an American citizen. I was pulled for special screening, she was passed. This seems a bit of a strange way to insure safety an made no sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Could TSA do a better job, sure, but it has been my experience that the screeners are courteous and professional and polices are well publicized and explained. There is simply no comparison to the private screeners who provided “security” before 9-11. My worst screening experience since TSA came online was in Kansas City, where, guess what, a pilot project brought private contractors back. Bad idea! The screeners were rude and some spoke English so poorly that they could not be understood.

Anonymous said...

My wedding ring was stolen, apparently out of my bag during the search process behind the scenes. Why didn't I wear it? Wanted to speed the process through metal detector. Shows me.
Seattle airport, April, 2007.

Anonymous said...

I see "Comment moderation has been enabled. All comments must be approved by the blog author".

I hope this author is not a TSA employee. If he is, the comments will queue forever and have to remove their shoes before being published.

Anonymous said...

I fly out of Logan airport in Boston. I can assure the TSA manager that we have not forgotten so naturally, it is disconcerting to find security continues to be lax here. I flew out of Boston on American on MLK day. I was traveling with a CPAP for the first time so had no clue I had to bin it for security. I also forgot a 7 oz jar of lotion in my bags and was just too lazy to remove my GPS. I did take out my computer. I sailed through security thinking 'cool, I guess I don't have to unpack that CPAP.' Totally different experience in Denver. They made me unpack everything that had an on/off button (computer, GPS, CPAP) and told me CPAPS have been on the unpack list for almost a year now. Why did Denver catch all of this and Boston not? See, I remember 9/11 and the fact that 2 of the planes were highjacked from here. If anything, Boston should be leading the nation in security— not trailing it.

Texas_Dawg said...

Kip,

Can you please add KipHawleyIsAnIdiot.com to your links section?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you do motion studies to design more efficient processing of passengers. For example placing benches prior to entering the metal detectors to make it easier to take off your shoes and speed processing??

Also there are many off your employees that that just plain rude. It's bad enough to wait 40 minutes to process.

Anonymous said...

Hello, TSA:

I've travelled a lot in my life before and after 9/11. I'm surprised at how much complaining people do about TSA and security. It's like they think you're responsible now for the weather, sick pilots, cancelled flights, inattentive flight attendants, just about everything. My experience has been uniformly positive. I've been in over a dozen different airports with TSA and never had a problem.

And, I think we're safer for your efforts.

Dustin said...

I work in Baghdad. This summer I came back to the states for a funeral and my luggage was treated fine through the countries I crossed until I came back to America. My TSA accessible combination lock was taken off and lost. I was told I'd have to contact homeland security. Does anyone know what WTF stands for? On the way out, on my way back to Baghdad from OKC, my carry on bag was dumped on the table, that screener walked away while another one patted me down and gave me a speech about terrorism. By the way when's the last time a plane has been hijacked with a bottle of water? Ever heard of deep vein thrombosis TSA? In fighting that your supposed to drink a glass of water every hour. No problem I have a bottle oh wait its not aguafina its al-qadea. (Sarcasm in case you didn't get it)

new23home said...

Airports should be designed to allow passengers on connecting flights to remain within the security envelope when transfering from plane to plane. One checkpoint should be sufficient.

Anonymous said...

Slightly ramp up the walk through so we don't have to remove our shoes. In this way. nothing is missed. I wear suspenders and removing them almost causes embarrassment each time I walk through. Remedy this. Attitudes of staff may be fine, but this duty is overkill.

Anonymous said...

On flight from charleston SC to Rochester NY my camera and laptop were stolen from my suitcase. Since I am not able to lock my suitcase when I turn it over to airline / TSA then I would expect them to have adequate cameras personnel to be able to prevent items- especailly as large as a computer from being removed from a passangers luggage.

swparkerrealtor said...

I've only had one TSA employee (in Las Vegas) that acted with a Holier-than-Thou attitude. For the most part I think that every TSA employee has done an awesome job of making sure we are safe while traveling. THANKS! : )

Anonymous said...

great idea. i just hope these comments dont fall on deaf ears or blind eyes. some responses from TSA would let us know this blog isnt a waste of time

Jon said...

I purchased an expensive suitcase after 9/11 and have never once locked it, though it does have a combination lock. The tumblers are covered by a flip-up panel that prevents the lock from becoming accidentally engaged. Nevertheless I was contacted once at the boarding gate and informed that my bag could not be opened (it was not locked), and twice it has been opened with a crowbar, which of course breaks it (once TSA had to cocoon it in tape just to keep it closed). The case is made by a well-known luggage manufacturer and has not been modified in any way.

I am asking earnestly why this might be happening and what I can do to help ensure that my regulation-compliant property is not abused by my government.

bandit said...

As a frequent flyer who took over 110 flights in 2007 I thank the TSA for giving us a chance to comment.
I commend the TSA for doing what they do to keep us safe BUT the inconsistancies from airport to airport really make people irrated and cause most of the complaints. In 2007 I flew in or out of 27 different airports in the USA and can honestly say the rules for TSA screening were differnt in many of them. One makes you take off your belt, others don't. One will let my large bottle of Malox thru, others don't. On the same day one airport litterally dumped my brief case upside down on a table then just shoved everything back in while the next airport let it go thru. I can walk thru one metal detector and not set it off yet go thru the one next to it after I leave the secure area and it goes off with the exact same clothes on and nothing in my pockets. Finally - the rudeness of some of the TSA employees is just beyond belief when you ask them a question. One person actually told me to shut up or I would be going to jail when all I did was ask these same questions about lack of consistancy from place to place and sometimes even in the same airport. Thank You.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading some of these comments and it is not surprising that people are complaining about taking their shoes off and all the silly rules that we have. I personally think we should enforce a one bag rule or no carry on's. But then the public would be outraged by the limitations. That would make the lines go faster and less bag checks.
People wonder why we are making announcements over and over again. It is because no one listens or reads any signs. We are here to help you get through the process quickly and safely. Most of us care about what we are doing and are here for a reason. And that is to protect the flying public.
For almost six years now, we haven't had anything happen. Is it dumb luck or are we actually doing something right? So in the long run does it really matter if we ask you to take your shoes off or follow the rules? It might help if people start to educate themselves before they fly. Instead of yelling at us because you don't know the rules.
I also think that for the most part people have forgotten what happened on 911. First off because it was devasting to all of us and we want to forget. So maybe the next time you want to knock TSA remember that we don't forget what has happened. It is our job to remember and try to prevent it from ever happening again.

Anonymous said...

Was it really in the best interest of our national security to pry a snow globe from the fingers of a crying 6-year-old girl because it contained liuid?

Michael Shue said...

The good folks at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles are more efficient and do a better job than ANY TSA employee I've seen, and that is saying alot given the job the VA DMV does... The screeners at National Airport here in Washington are laughable. They would prefer to talk about what is going on tonight after their shift rather than moving passengers through to catch their flights. I can't tell you how many times my SRT pocketknife that I keep in my bag (to open boxes and stuff like that) has gotten through security.

Anonymous said...

Why do all TSA employees treat all passengers as criminals? As a whole, there is not a more unfriendly group of employees in the world. Is it a part of TSA training that TSA employees should be hostile and antagonstical toward all passengers?

Anonymous said...

I would join a registered traveler program if it was available at more airports and supported by TSA.

Anonymous said...

Why can I take an empty water bottle through a checkpoint, but not an almost empty tube of toothpaste, clearly wound up to contain a very small percentage of the original capacity? It is still in my 1 qt. bag.

Have you really accomplished anything at all positive here?

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea but I am concerned about the format here. Wouldn't it make more sense to have a threaded discussion forum so you could organize the comments?

Anonymous said...

In Atlanta it is very frustrating when people working at the airport push their way to the front of the security line at x-ray screening. Most of these people are rude and act as if it is their privilege to cut in front of everyone. They slow the lines down. They need to get to work earlier or have a separate line for these rude line cutters. It seems that you forget that the passengers are the customers not the workers

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