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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Polygon said...

Well, since NONE of my comments have been posted, it must be that letter that I sent to President Bush?

The one main thing I would change is be nice, along with corrected procedures.

For examople, my drivers license is 18 years old! If there are no tickets, then I get a blue update sticker to put on the back on my license. Again, 100% legal and correct. But does the TSA know this?



Anonymous said...

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Airport security was definitely lacking before all the new rules. I applaud the efforts taken by the TSA to ensure that all passengers and our airports are safe. I have only one concern. In the recent months I have taken two trips to New Orleans and the other to Ft. Lauderdale. The TSA screeners at the BWI and the Houston Airports probably should go through a customer service and common courtesy class. These screeners should treat everyone with respect. They do not need to YELL at people to get their point across, crack jokes, make comments, etc. No passenger needs to be treated in this manner. I'm sure the TSA screeners have already passed extensive training. My suggestion would be to add a course on Customer Service, as I see a general lack in common courtesy and friendliness at these two sites, and I bet this same behavior extends to other airports as well.
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Anonymous said...

To the TSA screener who attempted to use the lives of those who died on 9/11 and in our overseas wars to justify the behavior of TSA, I say, GO TO HECK.

I worked in the World Trade Center and lived through the first bombing. During the second bombing of course I had to worry about friends and family who worked in various buildings of the WTC complex. I am far from unaware of the consequences of terrorism.

But, I'm also aware that yelling at innocent passengers doesn't stop terrorism. Nor does threatening to prevent us from flying when we ask for a supervisor. Nor does refusing to accept our legitimate ID. Nor does preventing someone from carrying yogurt onto the plane. Nor do most of the rest of TSA's rules and restrictions. As repeatedly pointed out by Bruce Schneier (and many others), TSA isn't providing security, it's performing security theater.

Your attempt to use the lives of the thousands of innocent people who died in 9/11 disgusts me because you're blatantly trying to wrap yourself in the flag - and their dead bodies - to cover up TSA's failings. And your attempt to use the lives of our soldiers who died overseas for the same purpose is also disgusting, not to mention that the Iraq war (where the vast majority of our troops who have recently died overseas gave their lives) has nothing to do with 9/11, as President Bush has publicly stated on several occasions.

This kind of wave-the-flag-when-they-complain nonsense is exactly why so many americans are coming to distrust and despise TSA.

JustAnother said...

X-ray screening equipment often crashes suspended notebooks and other electronic equipment that is using RAM/FLASH.

Please, warn passengers to switch off notebooks, or test X-ray machines more carefully.

Anonymous said...

I fly once or twice a year, and would do it more, but I dread going through TSA here. I find that many of them are rude. Many are also chatting to each other and not helping the progression of the lines.
My last flight I flew out of Mexico. There was constant monitoring of the lines to make things move faster, and they helped prepare people further back in the line to help everyone be ready. The trays were on a table before the x-ray to allow you to be better ready when you got there, they let us leave our shoes on and they were ok with us traveling with water. If I spoke Spanish the trip would have been even easier, but even without it, it was smoother than the States!

surfsup22 said...

I just returned from a trip from Mexico and found the dreaded notecard from TSA in one of my bags telling me they had had to open it. Once again this was the only suitcase in which I found items broken and in major disaray. They never worry about being carefull in repacking or closing the bag back as it once was. The first time this happen a year ago I found a broken hanger cloths wadded up with dirty shoe prints on them etc. So I wrote a letter to complain and just got a form letter back saying there was nothing they could do about it. Typical arrogant government respone. they could care less about others peoples property and actuall seem to flaunt that attititude whenever given the chance.

Anonymous said...

The last time I flew there was a sign posted that clearly stated removing shoes was "optional." Though everyone else was removing their shoes, I chose to exercise the option NOT to remove my shoes. I was instantly ordered, loudly, to remove my shoes, and got scowled at to boot. The experience did nothing to make me feel safer, or freer.

Zachariah said...

Having been only twice to the US, I'm glad to say that there's not going to be a third one. Not if I've got to keep getting morally anal probed each time I want to spend my money in your country. I'm also pretty sure I'm not the only one who doesn't like being abused by a grunt on a foreign country.

Sorry people, but if this type of behavior wasn't an expected outcome you might want to revisit your policies.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is just commenting on how great this blog is, and I agree; but here is one thing that I experienced traveling from Alaska to New York this weekend. Every time I would try to go through TSA with my liquid's ziplock, I was told something different from TSA employee's. Sometimes they said that the containers couldn't be over 3.5oz, while others said the liquid inside cannot be over 3.5oz. Needless to say; I had a lot of my liquids thrown away after originally being told that they were perfectly fine to travel with. On another note, I was traveling with a puppy and needed water for him to drink. They threw that away also. One person wanted me to actually send the puppy through the x-ray machine, I almost threw a complete fit at this suggestion; luckily someone told him that was uncessisary. I just thing the standards and rules should be taught a little better so that customers do not get different answers at different airports.

bob said...

Please explain to me why I have to pass thru customs AND TSA while exiting Atlanta airport....My luggage is checked 2x and I pass TSA on the way OUT...
While I understand and appreciate teh need for security I think TSA has gone way overboard worrying about things that will never hurt anyone..perhaps more spot checks of persons with pat downs. and let's drop the baby milk stuff..I think commons sense goes a long way with security and it seems that TSA may have lost some of that. I am not offended by the security but I have been offended by some of the employees of TSA..and the system is going to be slow but Ive not experienced very long delays and most are aware of lines and do what they can to keep things moving...

Anonymous said...

I fly out of Hartsfield in Atlanta a lot and it seems that whenever the the security lines are overwhelmed (which is all the time, except for Thanksgiving for some odd reason) there is always a group of about 20 TSA's standing to side having a meeting. Wouldn't it make more sense to have a TSA meeting during a non-busy time and have it before the people's shift start? Is the meeting really that important that you make us, the passengers, suffer because there aren't enough people to run all the security lines? I know Atlanta is the busiest airport but that's not an excuse. The busier it is, the more people that should work there.

perry said...

I travel frequently domestic as well as internationally. There is a stark difference between our TSA agents from those of say Ireland. The agents in Ireland are direct but curtious. They look you in they eye address you as Mr. say thank you, and at no time is there ever a question that they are not in charge. Our TSA agents, not all mind you, do not look you in they eye do not talk to you, demand you to comply. Basically leave doubt they are able to be true agents of security. I'm not asked to toss my deoderant because I didn't "bag it". Instead I'm asked if there is a phone number, or the name of the hotel I'll be staying at, or the company I'm visiting while looking in my eyes to determine if I'm telling the truth.

Big Louie said...

What I do not appreciate about TSA employees is their poor attitude and they think they are so much smarter than anyone else. Just because they know where the traveler is supposed to go, what to do, etc., doesn't mean we do. Especially when each airport is different. I travel each month to Dallas, New Jersey, Atlanta, Dayton, Miami, Cleveland, Monterrey MX, Mexico City, etc. The worst flying back home to was in NJ. There was a TSA guy who must have just gotten out of the military and was trying to corral everyone and "move along" and "if you have something to say I will make sure you wait a long long time". I was in the military so I recognize the attitude, but I am out now so if you feel the need to act in a military manner, go back to the military. I personally do not need the added stress and attitude after starting my journey at 4am in another country and finally reaching my destination 18 hours later. With all that said, the TSA people need to learn how to properly deal with people. If they cannot do that, they need to find work elsewhere.

Mrspoopsie708 said...

I would just LOVE to know why some screener ripped a twist toggle on inside of a perfectly good (albeit older) Samsonite hard shell suitcase. It's one of those that has a fabric covered cardboard divider that latches with 2 toggles to the top half so you could pack items in both halves. Someone during his return trip from Orlando (to MSP to St. Cloud) opened the suitcase, twisted one toggle and COMPLETELY RIPPED the other toggle out of the divider. They must have been too lazy to simply twist the second toggle latch and decided it was much easier just to RUIN someone's suitcase. WHY?????? We live in a rural area and would have to drive 70 miles to St. Cloud to even try to get this now nearly useless (since anything you put in the top half of the suitcase won't stay there)suitcase fixed.

Anonymous said...

I want to vote Boston Logan for most courteous TSA screeners - Portland, Oregon for most rude and Naziesque.

Why such a huge difference in "customer service" within the same organization?

I'd also like to point out that the "us and them" adversarial mentality (behavior) of the screeners at PDX is counter-productive to the ostensible purpose of TSA - and to suggest that a friendlier more team-oriented spirit would be more likely to engage the public as allies rather than alienating them.

Anonymous said...

I take it you simply don't have the guts to post this, that's why I've submitted it a couple of times and still not seen it? Am I giving away "trade secrets"?

The TSA is really a joke in the eyes of the public and it is because of the overbearing, rude people that they hire. The term "Tackleberry" comes immediately to mind for most of them. I was recently told to remove my belt, but fearing that my pants would fall down, did not, figuring that common sense would dictate that when they waved their little wand over me and got to my belt buckle, they would realize it was just a belt buckle. But alas, common sense and TSA should not be used in the same breath. So they make me take it off anyway, and subject me to one of their new toys which blew air on me to make sure I was not a bomb. Then they proceeded to scan my small belt, telling me "it could be a bomb"....come on. How many "belt bombs" have you pillars of security stopped from going thru?

You know if someone broke a credit card in half, it could cut someone. If they sharpened their watchband or bracelet, they could be used to cut someone too. And do I really need to point out the dangers of pens and pencils!? They could be used to "put out an eye"! And let's not forget the items that could be placed in body cavities. Will that be the next "checkpoint"? Pretty soon we will need to strip down to our underwear to be checked by these beacons of security, all to give the public a false sense of security. Your own people can check bomb material thru (as witnessed in October, "Unsafe Skies? TSA Missed 6 out of 10 'Bombs'" http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=3746204&page=1), what is going to stop a terrorist from putting a bomb in some luggage, checking it and not even getting on the plane?? Do you really think that the majority of the American public is that naive?

The TSA is nothing more than a bunch of rude, obnoxious thugs with self-inflated egos. Even though they fall under an agency of the government now, they are still for the most part the same people who were there "keeping us safe" on 9/11....unqualified rent-a-cops.

Anonymous said...

A Blog for TSA? Really? Hmmm, I get a false sense of action and caring on the TSA part. Just like I get a false sense of security at the airport. Par for the course I guess.

Anonymous said...

I find that allmost everything that has been done does nothing for security and just makes it a hassel for more percieved security.Showing ID does nothing,People should be free to pay cash and travil anonamously.
It would be easy to take real steps to improve security but I doubt this will happen.
#1 remove all cockpit doors there should be a solid bulkhead with no access to or from the cabin.
#2 all travelers should be required to change into paper outfits and allowed to take on the plane nothing,everything must be checked.

Anonymous said...

They don't have the backbone to post real criticism of their methods. I’ve submitted a couple of posts that are very accurate, and they have not posted them. Cowards. But then we already knew that from what these other posts show.

Anonymous said...

All in all I feel the TSA is doing a great job, however!!!! my father is 87, a veteran of WWII, he is very low visioned, hard of hearing, has a generator and two knees replaced, because our airport is so large he goes via wheelchair through security, they practically strip search this man and at times have been down right rude to him. I had to actually speak harsly to a 27 year old man a couple of years ago for being rude to my father. NO ONE is rude to my father, he served his country well and is a wonderful parent. I understand the TSA has a job, but being nasty/rude to an 87 year old man is not necessary.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't even know where to begin. I'm sure everybody has covered most topics by now (security theater, ridiculous shoe & liquids policy, mismanagement of queues, pointlessness of ID, etc).

One thing I think the TSA and airports could implement immediately is to do away with having to accompany your checked baggage to the screening machine. Honestly, what's the point of this? Can't you move this machine behind the ticket counter? I remember the good old days when you checked a bag, it went on a conveyor belt, and that was that.

Those days could make a return. Let me hand off my checked baggage at the ticket counter. Screen it while I'm on my way to wait in the ID line before getting in the metal detector line.

Accompanying checked baggage just adds to further confusion and longer lines when airports are busy.

Eddie said...

Someone asked about insulin pumps. I am curious about that and also insulin in general since this is a liquid that is not addressed on the website

knucklehead said...

My biggest problem with TSA is their lack of consistancy and common sence, specifically with the SEA/TAC airport. We lived in Alaska and along with my 84 year old mother in law, flew down to Washington to visit the kids. She and I both use a cain with an ice gripper on the bottom. On the return trip to Alaska, TSA tried to confiscate her cain. She stands at 4 ft. 8 inches and weights 80 pounds. She's a real first class terrorist, all the way. In order to get her and her cain on the airplane, I got the name of the initial screener and his boneheaded supervisor and explained to them that should she fall on the ice and break a hip or any other bone, they would be personally named in the lawsuit.

Reading the info on the TSA page is fine. On more than one occassion, I have printed the information out on the same day as traveling, only to show it to them and have it ignored. Their response: It's not the most current, it doesen't apply, or they aren't required to follow it because it's only a guidline.

In Alaska, you knew where you stood with TSA. They had signs posted, before you got in line, as to what you could or could not carry on board. This wasn't true at SEA/TAC. When I asked the inspector why there were not signs posted, His reply was they didn't have to, it was the passengers responsibility to know what was/was not allowed. I had a lighter with a cigar cutter built into it, back when lighter were legal. I thin he wanted it. When my wife and I travel, we carry a couple of small bags with us for the overflow we buy while on vacation. I took a bag out of my carry on, put the lighter in it and checked as an extra bag. The airline thought I was nuts but he didn't get my lighter. He threatened to keep me off the plane. When I told him I didn't care, I was retired hand had all the time in the world to get back to Alaska, he tried further intimidation. It didn't work either.

We moved down to Washington but I still fly back to Alaska to fish. Last year when I got to my hotel roon in Anchorage, I found I had forgotten to remove my 10" fillet knfe from my carry on. SEA/TAC missed it.

To all you folks who want to know what happens to those items confiscated fron you, I think the TSA folks probably go through them at the end of the day and take what they want. The rest gets sold.

Lets face it, If you want to be safe, the airport (any airport) is the last place you want to be. You have a huge number of people standing in a line that winds around and around in a big circle. Hundred of people packed together. Imagine a bomber in the middle. If the government/TSA was serious about protecting you, security would begin outside the main building, before you are all congregated together. Think about it. Also think about the items you wear that can be used as a weapon.

So the solution to the problem.... No carry on, no suit cases. Leave all your clothing, etc. at home and when you get to the air port, you can run like hell for the airplane. You can hide much in your birthday suit. No security check points, no lines at the baggage counter, etc.

As for me, I don't fly anymore. Too much hassel. Trains or a car for me. Besides, my arms get too tired.This was fun!!

blong3000 said...

Thanks for doing a good job!

It is a monster and there is no perfect solution while maintaining our freedom.

I personally do not mind a little inconvenience for the sake of better security.

I am confident there will be some good suggestions offered here. I hope some of them are considered carefully.

Anonymous said...

I AM MORE THAN HAPPY TO MAKE MY TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS ALLOWING FOR AN EXTRA HOUR SO THAT THE TSA CAN DO WHAT EVER IT TAKES TO SEE THAT MY FLIGHT IS AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE. I UNDERSTAND THERE ARE SOME PROBLEMS WITH INADEQUATE SCREENING AND THIS I AM CONCERNED ABOUT....I HOWEVER FEEL THAT WHATEVER THE TSA DEEMS NECESSARY FOR SAFE FLIGHT TRAVEL IS WELL WORTH THE EXTRA TIME. IF I AM NOT SCREENED IN A WAY THAT ALMOST SEEMS "TOO MUCH"...I DON'T FEEL SAFE!!!
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND DON'T LET PEOPLE TELL YOU THAT YOU HAVE INCONVENIENCED THEM.....!

Anonymous said...

I have to comment on the negative comments that a person made about TSA at MKE.

I've gone through TSA in at MKE countless times, and continue to marvel at the experience relative to other airports. However unlike the previous poster any negative experiences at MKE have been fe and far between.

I've found the staff to be polite, professional, and efficient. Far more so than at other airports (I do quite a bit of air leisure travel, all out of MKE). I have also received comments from other frequent travelers about their pleasant interactions with MKE TSA (and how it surprised them).

Whatever is different at MKE.. bottle it and send it to other cities, and I've got more that a couple gripes about Newark, Ft Lauderdale, and a couple other cities I'll be sharing.

Anonymous said...

Funny how the government stresses 'anti-bullying' in schools but promotes bullying by the TSA.

nelbuts said...

I am going to make this as short as possible. I think that some of the security policies such as taking shoes off and liquids are not needed.

The one thing that really concerns me is the new REAL ID you are proposing. I refuse to do this. It is just like the Communist did when people wanted to travel within their own country. There you needed government issued ID papers. This is the same thing and it will be used to track our movements. This is wrong and I hope once the American people realize what is happening they will stand up and beat this down.

You have truly gone too far with Real ID.

Anonymous said...

I have been traveling for many years. Sense 9/11 I have noticed that not only is security getting less convenient, but those who are doing it have become less courteous. I am not saying that Airport Security is doing a bad job; all I am asking is that they would be a little more understanding and more courteous.

Anonymous said...

Generally, I think that the TSA's checkpoints are run as efficiently as possible, and the personnel are largely professional and polite -- even friendly in many instances -- especially in my hometown of Tampa. Of course, I do understand that the security screening is almost completely illusory and ineffective, despite best efforts, as was recently proven by the test that was run at Tampa International Airport, wherein a "terrorist" was able to sneak an "explosive" past the screening checkpoint in a plastic back brace. I have a couple of suggestons, one of which may enhance security, and one of which may ease passenger discomfort at security checkpoints:

1. Security: why not allow holders of state concealed carry permits to carry their handguns on flights? These folks have been carefully investigated by appropriate authorities so that it is fairly safe to say that they are not out to hijack an aircraft or to commit a terrorist act. If they were admonished to load low-penetration ammunition, such as the Hornady 9 mm luger 124 grain TAP rounds, then the possibility of cabin penetration would be minimized. I'll bet that terrorists would be absolutely cowed by the thought that armed citizens may be traveling on an airplane that they have chosen choose to target.

2. Convenience: Allow passengers to take an I.Q. test and issue an I.D. card to those who pass that certifies that they meet a minimum intelligence requirement. The passengers meeting the minimum requirement should be allowed to pass through a separate "smart" line, through which they would be whisked with minimal delay, because they are bright enough to empty their pockets and place the offending metallic objects in their carry-on luggage in advance, doff their easily-removable shoes that they planned to wear when they left their house, knowing that they would have to pass through security, remove belts and other items of clothing that might set off the detectors well before they reach the checkpoint, and manage their carry-on baggage so that it does not take them 15 minutes to place their baggage on the belt. Women would either not wear an excessive amount of ostentatious jewelry, or remove it in advance. Doddering old men and women, along with flight attendants, pilots, teenagers, and other simpletons, would pass through security in a separate "stupid" line, allowing them to miss their flights, grow old(er), and very possibly die, while they fuss incessantly with their belongings, much to the amusement of the fine security personnel who man the detectors, and to the relief of those of us who are inconvenienced by them.

Thanks for your consideration.

Anonymous said...

Security is of the utmost importance. I travel alot for business, and I would say that most of the time, the security people are unnecessarily rude, and arrogant. Why do they have to be that way ? Being rude does not make the flight safer. And it makes for a terrible begging to a flight. many times I get in my seat, and think, wow, what a terrible start to this flight.

Anonymous said...

While I do understand the decision to delete posts that contain profanity or that are off-topic, I think you go too far with your moderation. All this categorization of complaints and deletion of "political rants" seems highly suspect to me. If you're going to solicit comments from the people, then publish them.

My own opinion on your efforts at our airports and elsewhere is that you are practicing "security theater" that does nothing to make us more secure. You are wasting our tax dollars and annoying us as individuals... but worst of all, you are violating our Constitutional rights with wanton abandon, constantly. This opinion is shared by every reputable security expert in the business, with Bruce Schneier being a shining example. So far, you seem to have ignored entirely his voice of reason in pursuit of increasing your budget and your grip on our freedoms.

Benjamin Franklin had some choice words about those who would give up essential liberties in exchange for security. What a national disgrace we have on our hands that the TSA not only wastes their substance on trying to protect against an attack that already happened, but that they apparently think the Constitution, Mr. Franklin, and the other founding fathers of our nation are just quaint, irrelevant relics of a bygone era, to be safely ignored.

The problems with the TSA cannot be categorized into neat packages like "Liquids" and "Shoes". The problem with the TSA is that it violates our freedoms to an extent that makes the TSA one of the main mechanisms by which a free America has been sliding steadily towards Fascism. You people need to either totally restructure what you do and how you do it, this time in accordance with the Constitution, or you need to stop existing.

Jeff said...

I would like to point out a serious theft concern. I have a metal hip and therefore will always be searched. However, when the x-ray beeps I get guided into a separate area away from all of my items that I just ran through the x-ray machine. Some one could easily walk off with some of my items. In all cases a TSA agent retrieved them, but often times not until after numerous people have walked by my items. Essentially my items for a period of time are out of my control and out of my sight, as others block my view while they grab their items. Meanwhile I stand in the glass box answering questions and being searched. What can be done to address this? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

The problem with TSA is the incentive structure for your screeners, a problem that is common to all goverment workers. Employees need strict incentives to learn the rules and apply them fairly, consistently, and politely. Passengers need to be able to report screeners (they should wear id tags and there should be online report forms) and screeners need to actually see getting *fired* as a real possibility. That means TSA will lose the training hours, yes, but in the long run it will result in better screeners.

Kip is surely aware that he is not hiring the best and brightest as TSA screeners (no offense intended, people just have different abilities). These employees need strong incentives to do their job right.

Ah, but what is the point of this blog? Another TSA illusion. Nothing will every got done within TSA; the agency problem abounds.

Thomas Jefferson said...

Why is Blogger hosting a government-sponsored blog?

Anonymous said...

Traveling through Detroit Metro Airport I found it funny that the employees of the stores and restaurants located within the security checkpoint were able to bring water bottles and other food products through the security checkpoint. However, us travelers are not able to bring anything over 3 ounces of fluid through the checkpoint. What prevents these airport employees from passing a dangerous liquid to a traveler in a bathroom or airport store past the security checkpoint? The screeners did nothing to check the fluids that were located in the employees food and/or beverage.

Anonymous said...

TSA stands for

(T)emporary (S)tupid (A)ction. Lot's of people's luggage in the country gets robbed because TSA employees are also former inmates.

Funny! Besides that the owner of privat planes don't have to fear TSA or other crazyness.

Jack said...

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...,

Kip, I suggest that you, TSA, look first into the mirror and see that in the overwhelming majority of the cases, that your organization holds the lion share of the responsebility for the bad reputation you currently own. I may have had some tools stolen either by a TSA agent actively stealing them or by that TSA agent failing to relock my tool chest properly. I will place very caustic messages into my luggage for the TSA baggage checkers to read. Your people brought this about.

Anonymous said...

How do I check if my name is on the No-Fly List? Oh, wait. I can't. I have no criminal record and still get hassled for this EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Anonymous said...

You talk about security, but it seems like even the people in charge don't seem to have a clue about real risks vs perceived risks.

Its trivial to disable the flight crew with just 1 oz of the right liquid and stuff already in the 1st class section of most planes yet you don't do anything about those risks and your not about to outlaw first class.

The seat pitch in economy is so tight that three people working together could easily cook up their own chemistry experiment without being noticed and you don't do anything about that either.

Why do first and business class passengers get better treatment from you, a government agency, than others? The 1st and business can to be treated differently by you without violating discrimination laws and you get paid by the government, not the airlines so they should have an authority to dictate treating some of their passengers differently. It also is a typical novice security mistake to think the guy in the suit isn't trying to con you since most con men do wear suits.

Your Administration is the worst of any group I have ever seen. Why not work with the FAA and airlines so you put the check in time on the tickets so that people who are at that time will make their plane based on all scheduling issue. The current system of printing when the plane takes off only matters to the pilots and any terrorist that need to know when a specific plane will leave.

You claim there is nearly no risk for foot fungus and other issue and compare it to gyms. Well gyms are a major source of problem but they don't expose people with weak immune systems to fungus that they may never be able to get rid of leading them to a life of pain that could become crippling.

You claim the shoes must be removed to detect tampering yet you fail to give a second look to any pair of beat up tennis shoes I know have gone through your fine screening program.

The numbers are starting to show up and reports of flying related phobias, psychological disorders, panic related issue, heart and respiratory stresses that can be directly related to TSA procedures now exceed the total number of American ever injured by terrorist involving aircraft. You can add in medial related issues involving people being afraid to take their medicines and enough drinking water on planes and your looking at hundreds of thousands of people with complications that you caused under the guise of your fake security.

Bruce Anderson said...

Some anonymous coward who claims to work for the TSA said: "Flying is not a right granted under the Bill of Rights"

I suggest you (and everyone else here) actually READ the Bill of Rights. Amendments 9 and 10 read as follows:

#9: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

#10: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

It seems to me that means we have the RIGHT to fly. What's next, are you going to tell me I don't have the right to drive across country to see my family and friends in the Midwest? You seem to forget who wears the pants in the relationship between the government and the people, anonymous coward. I'm standing up and I'm saying NO! to you because YOU'RE WRONG.

fieldsg999 said...

Does TSA have an ETA on the return of the 4th Amendment?

Anonymous said...

Bottom line...TSA violates our civil rights. Boycott flying. I have. If you have to fly, buy your own small cessna and take flying lessons. Then you can fly from an FBO and not have to deal with these idiots. If enough of us do this, it will force change. End of story.

Anonymous said...

As a U.S. citizen, passenger, military veteran, and taxpayer, I can only say I'm dissappointed.

If this blog is simply a quest for information so you can then generate answers to us telling us what we've misunderstood and how we can better aim you in what you continue to do wrong, then you've played us for suckers. Maybe some of us are. Maybe the rest of us are just losing faith in our government's ability to serve us after we've served so honorably ourselves.

Want to win me back? Restore my faith in the government I served. You can redirect yourselves. Stop the theatrics. And intimidation. Quit playing on its citizen's fears. We don't really need to tell you this stuff, do we?

sasishe said...

While traveling from Raleigh, NC to Orlando, FL, a TSA screener looked at my passport and then asked for another form of ID. Since this was a new passport, I was surprised. I thought a passport was a universal preferred form of ID. Our screeners are well trained???

happyexnwamech said...

Considering the way aircraft are supposedly given "security searches" for first flights of the day and for international travel, some of the policies being imposed upon the flying public is ridiculous.
I for one like the feeling of being safe and thinking that everyone has been screened appropriately, but the fact is there are a wide range of screening policies around the country.
I am a former aircraft mechanic who worked international flights during the day and then had to exit and return through security screening before flying in the afternoon. Most people think this is ridiculous, however, in order to preserve the sterility of the terminal this type of action is required, and I do support it.
But i would like to see more in the way of Aircraft Inspections than just a form that is shoved in front of an overworked employee to "sign off" a security check that, more often than not, was NOT performed; or was performed poorly.
With mostly third party vendors servicing and catering aircraft and low paid security guards to keep tabs on them the whole process is more like lip service to what we really should be doing.
And as far as the flying public and all their whining, I say "Get over it"...you want everyone to serve you for no wage at all, including TSA screeners who start at a low (for their responsiblity level) wage, yet you expect to be treated as if you were celebrity flyers at every point in a trip. You are all sheep....now Baaaaack in line!!

Ted said...

Very much looking forward to keeping up with another great example of Government 2.0 collaboration and constituent-enabling technologies in the Federal Government.

Anonymous said...

Well we (TSA) asked for it, comments that is. As a TSM I get these comments all day - good and negative. Mostly good, however I always get the passenger to admit security is a good thing. Passengers who believe that they were treated badly should see a manager or ask for a supervisor. Let the manager listen to your complaint, but don't stand there and yell at the manager it won't help get your point accross. We travel as well and see the difference at other airports it is a problem. However we all have to do our best each day each passenger. Instead of complaining regarding the process help us do a better job with constuctive ideas. TSA is tasked with a very public job, How many of you have a job where each day each task is so important as ours is?

Anonymous said...

I'm refusing to fly anymore. After 4 out of the last 5 trips I've taken have been nightmarish, I realized that for whatever fun I was flying to, the quirks at airports now are just not worth my time or energy. If I can't drive to it, I'm not going. I'm an average person and just flew for vacations. Always have and sure, in the past a few glitches. Now it's out of control. What are the odds that 4 out of 5 flights just random trips turn out to be horrors? The staff is not trained properly at all to handle these new rules and regulations. As a default, they end up treating the public like cattle with no brains. Who needs that?

Anonymous said...

Well this has turned out to be worthless.
The only TSA replies here are either self-serving or defensive. Not one of you TSA flunkies has addressed the common theme running throughout this blog:rude, arrogant, and clueless agents who have open contempt for the public.
Not one has addressed common sense suggestions, such as if you're going to require people to remove their shoes, then at least have a bench where they can sit and put them back on. Wow, what a concept!
Common sense escapes you...and despite the obvious fluff postings, the majority of the public flat out thinks you're incompetent.

Anonymous said...

Getting through security is a slow and clumsy process. If the security checkpoint were a business, say the local burger barn, you’d run things differently. Then you address the flow of the “customers” and the education of those customers, so you could get the most burgers sold (people through the checkpoint). In addition you don’t have special customers, rather you treat everyone on a first-come first-served basis. In the end everyone would benefit.

Anonymous said...

I didn't have the willpower to read all the prior comments, so I will end up repeating some of their complaints, I'm certain.

1. I know the TSA's PR is that they are making us more secure. You are not. I have seen report after report on the news how easy it is to break through your security. Furthermore, it takes just one person smarter than the government workers to get by the policies. I've venture to say the population is vastly capable of doing that. Your reactive and not proactive.

2. The liquids - I really don't care why the TSA thinks this is a good policy, it isn't. It is an illusion of protection and does absolutely NOTHING. 3oz of gas in several bottles is just as flammable as 6oz of gas in one bottle. Likewise, I believe a screener should be able to tell the difference between drinks in clear bottles (like water and soda) and chemical mixes. I don't like being forced to buy airport price drinks all in the name of false security.

3. Random screening protects absolutely NO ONE. Learn to profile, figure out the demographic that has blown themselves up and start screening 100% of that demographic. (hint, middle eastern, young, male) I know it offends people to profile - it offends me to be treated like a person who'd blow up a plane and have my rights tossed out the window. While the TSA has someone here saying "flying isn't a constitutional right" - well, "unreasonable search and seizure" IS IN THE constitution. It is unreasonable to search someone who is not a suspect for a crime, no criminal past, no evidence they have any criminal intent and no evidence they have any criminal means for a criminal purpose. I understand the need to balance the safety of the plane verse the rights of the people, but we've gone WAY too far.

4. Chain of command. This is the biggest pain. The TSA workers should have clear and defined, written and public policies on exactly how they can handle a situation. They should NEVER have the right to remove someone from being able to travel. That should be someone else who listens to both parties, investigates and makes a decision. This should be a group outside the TSA, a watchdog group, who will publish what the TSA does to threaten and lord over the passengers by publishing a report on all the claimed reasons and how many were valid.

5. Create a national concealed carry permit and let citizens carry firearms on planes (concealed so as not to freak people out) - the explosive decompression is a myth, for all those people freaking at the thought of someone in a plane firing a gun, don't believe what you see in hollywood... - even if they are only, quietly, given to law enforcement, military and select highly trained people, this alone would, imo, stop any on board terrorism. The planes are a target because even getting simple mundane weapons on board gives you power over everyone else, the thought that you may face guns makes the challenge that much harder, more planning, etc to pull off.

Of course, none of this will happen, the knee-jerk response on the shoe bomber shows that the only thing the TSA and government will do is react to past threats, giving the illusion of protection and security at the expense of rights.

While I have no respect for the TSA and their tasks - as I find it useless, utterly completely useless - it is offensive, but in perspective, only moderately annoying. Now, it is part of planning to travel if it is impractical to drive instead, leave early, check baggage instead of carry on, put all things questionable in the baggage and just don't talk to any TSA agent beyond what is required, treat them like McDonalds workers, there just to fulfill the process set before them as their job.

The worst they can do is deny me the ability to travel or leave behind something mundane and harmless because they aren't entrusted to use common sense or reason in determining what can and can't be taken with someone.

Now, the IRS, there is an agency I fear and loathe and would love to see disbanded (preferred tar and feathered too) before the TSA.

Anonymous said...

Why does the TSA continue to screen the Captain and the co-pilot of the jet while non-flight crew ramp personnel by-pass security screening? There is no bigger joke in aviation than this and no one in the TSA will address this. I have a plastic badge that any good computer can copy and this is the technology we use to protect us? It is harder to gain access to our corporate building than it is a 767. Will someone with some common sense please address this in the name of true saftey.

Ron said...

Dear Mr. Doctor Anonymous said..

Ever hear of binary explosives? Not the James Bond ones, or the MI4 one's, but the real one's?

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