Friday, February 29, 2008

Gripes & Grins, Part 3

Have more TSA experiences that you want to share? This is the blog post to share your TSA experiences -- both the good or the bad. (Click here to see Part 2 and Part 1).

226 comments:

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Anonymous said...

I am hoping that someone in TSA Management reads this! My husband and I are over 70. We frequently encounter over-zealous TSA agents who try to rush us through screening. We can move only so fast. We have to set our carry-ons down before bending over and unlacing our shoes. To have a hyperactive agent trying to rush us only breaks into the routine and does not do anything to move us faster. We come through feeling furious! We would appreciate a more reasonable and thoughtful approach to the process.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so I am doing my research paper on Aviation security and I just want to clear up some things about the x-ray back scatters. According to the TSA's website, this security measure would be voluntary, and an alternative to pat downs. However, I completely agree that the use of these backscatters would definitely question our civil liberties and rights.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
On more than one occasion, I have observed uniformed TSOs eating meals in public restaurants and shopping in public. On May 14, 2008, I observed three TSOs shopping at Tuesday Morning (near LAX) in full uniform. One of these women was even wearing a "head rag" in addition to her uniform. These public activities are prohibited and I was personally embarrassed since I am a TSO myself. My companion discouraged me from taking their photos and reporting them to their FSD like I wanted to do. Those of you who flagrantly violate the rules reflect badly on the rest of us who ultimately suffer as a result of your lack of professional conduct.

May 15, 2008 5:55 AM

maybe you feel bad because you are the type that cant seem to keep to yourself. they embarass themselves not you. if thats the case you should hang your head low if someone of your race, job, religion etc did something bad.

David G. said...

I took a flight from GEG (Spokane International) to PHL (Philadelphia) via DEN (Denver) yesterday, May 20th, 2008. I had one checked bag. When I packed, I made sure to put all liquids, creams, and gels into zip-loc bags, for easy screening by TSA agents. Everything in the case was securely packed and all lids tightened.

I picked up my bag and brought it home only to discover that my $75.00 cologne was open and spilled, my $13.00 lotion bottle was popped up and leaking and my body wash had been opened and leaked in it’s bag.
Fortunately, all the items that had been opened were in bags. Unfortunately, the bags had not been resealed!! My electric shaver, although packed in the same bag with the cologne, still works. My clothes still smell of the cologne after 2 washes and my clothes were packed inside a vaccum-packed bag, (SpaceBag) and still smelled of the cologne. I have attached pictures taken from my cell phone camera.

I don’t know at which airport this happened. I am guessing Spokane, although, my flight was delayed for 2 hours out of Denver. All I know is when I got home; I found the TSA Baggage Inspection Notice and everything in poor condition.

I understand the need for these types of screenings, and I encourage them. However, this lack of care must be addressed.

Brian said...

The TSA staff at McCarran's "International Terminal" were not only on the ball, they were polite, respectful, and I was even able to engage in a little friendly banter with a couple of them while they ran me through security.

Anonymous said...

re: Anonymous said...
March 31, 2008 6:34 PM "I WILL NOT BE SUBJECTED TO A FULL BODY SCAN."

1. People that argue with that bull-headed attitude are likely to find themselves talking to a law enforcement officer or not flying.
---------------------------

For what reason would this person likely find themselves talking to a LEO?

They did nothing wrong, the TSA Electronic Strip Search is not required, and they have not refused normal screening?

You TSA types need to understand that many people will not care to be viewed by some GED educated baggage screener in order to fly.

Heck, you don't even check airport workers or cargo on a consistent basis so the security hole you permit would allow any kind of contraband to enter the airport secure areas.

Maybe you need to take one of those Strip Search machines over to the employee entrance. It's more needed there!

Anonymous said...

Relax?

First they took my computer out of its bag. No invasion of privacy, but still an incomprehensible hassle. Then they made me take of my shoes. Another inconvenience, which has privacy and medical concerns for some passengers. Then they make me put all my liquids in a little bag so they can see what kind of ointment I need. Now they want to see through my clothes.

The measures add up, all unproven to be effective, and we suffer. Someone has to complain. Someone has to set limits. The madness has to end.

A TSO said...

So over the past few days I have been skimming through the seamingly countless "Gripes" the great majority of you seam to have. I would like to take a few moments to try and clear up some things.

First, to the woman who posted about her and her 2 and a half year old son having to go through additional screening. Seeing as you carried your son through the Walk through with you that would in essence make you one person at the time of screening. How are we to know that the machine alarmed due to your hair barrett and not because of a gun or knife you had hidden on your son hoping we would just dismiss him as a 2 yearold who could never possibly be hiding a prohibited item. I myself witnessed a fellow TSO perform a full body pat down on a 4 yearold because he had a pacemaker. To think that a person would use an innocent child as a "mule" so to speak to get prohibited items through is disturbing but the simple fact is that it HAS happened before and due to that fact, EVERYONE, not just adults and those over the age of 12 must be screened.

Second, to the poster who said he will not be subject to a full body scan. I believe someone has already made a comment about your post in which he stated that you "Won't Fly" and that is entirely true. If you don't feel comfortable subjecting yourself to a body imaging scan then ask for a full body pat down or a hand wand to be preformed in lieu of that procediure or simply choose to fly out of an air port that does not use millimeter wave imaging or simply dont fly at all. There are many other modes of transportation other than air planes that can get you from point A to point B such as the train or even your own car (although with rising gas prices that may a bit out of the question)

In closing I would just like to say that I love my job and I love what I do. Securing the transportation system for the nearly 2 million passengers utilize it every day is not only challenging but rewarding. I have been called every name in the book while preforming my screening duties but as long as there is that one person in a thousand that takes the time to stop and thank me and my fellow officers for the work we do I will continue to preform my job with pride and make sure you all reach your destination safely. Thanks for your time and happy travels.

Anonymous said...

Where is the comment I posted last Friday?????

Will Heid said...

Anonymous wrote:
"Secondly, the suggestion. I always carry a knife with me in everyday life, partly for security and partly for a tool. When I fly, obviously, I can't do that. Would it be possible to come up with a way for carry-on only passengers to bring knives on planes? For instance, you could issue a TSA-locked box at security with your knife in it that you carry on the plane with you. When you land, someone could unlock the box as you leave the airport. Just an idea, and it would make air travel much more pleasant for many of us."

I agree, as an Eagle Scout, I too carry a knife, not for reasons of "protection" but as a tool, and in case of disaster, ala be prepared. I digress.

I feel that there should be some way of having a TSA lockbox issued to me at an airport, and "checked in" when I leave the secure area. Something that only the TSA can lock and unlock.

thus my 2 cents.

Jason said...

I was flying out of HHH yesterday, wearing very thin sandals. I will never understand why I must remove my sandals for TSA. What could I possibly hide in there? Also, I was very furious when they told me they didn't have the protective socks to wear at this airport. It's very unsanitary to make someone who isn't wearing socks to walk barefoot on a carpet without giving them another option, like sitting down after the screening and handing the sandals to the agent then.

Jason said...

I think spending all this money on TSA is a bit ridiculous. I, being a young adult, can think of a handful of ways to get anything I wanted past TSA. Anyone who has taken a basic physics class knows that non-ferrous metals such as titanium will not go off in a metal detector. Therefore, if someone had a blade or gun made of titanium in their pocket or attached to their person somehow, no one would ever know, because TSA wouldn't find it. The same thing is true for other materials, such as ceramic knifes found in fine kitchen stores. Terrorists are smart and have lots of resources, and I'm sure they know about these things.

If anyone is actually reading this, TSA should hire me to test employees by trying to sneak things in. The fact that I took two round trips this past winter with a 4 inch knife in my pocket (which I forgot was there because it was a sleeve pocket) is insane. I went through security FOUR TIMES and not a single agent ever saw it on the x-ray. Are they even looking for stuff???

I travel very frequently (about 40 trips a year), and I have tons of stories like this if anyone at TSA wants to know more of them. Feel free to contact me.

Anonymous said...

When traveling through O'hara Airport yesterday afternoon from Hong Kong to Orlando I had my CPAP machine inspected by an agent (or whatever they are called). He was wearing rubber gloves with which he did inspections. Upon the beginning of the inspection of my machine I asked him before removing my CPAP from its protective plastic bag to change the gloves I observed him using while inspecting other persons belongings. He bowed up and said that did I know how many CPAP machines he had inspected today. I said, then he would understand my concern regarding sanitation. He made a joke of my request to me and his fellow TSA workers and then made a dramatic production in front of everybody of putting on a clean pair of gloves after making comments that appeared to be derogatory towards me while addressing his fellow workers. I asked to talk to his supervisor in charge about his lack of respect for my medical equipment and my person and he said he was the supervisor. I think this is unexcusable by any government employee. We are all under duress now-s-days when traveling and courtesy and respect is important to all.

Anonymous said...

I carry a CPAP when I travel. Each time there is a call of "bag check on line ?" and then everything comes to a halt until a TSA employee comes over. I would like to suggest that there be a table for the screener to put the object on while waiting for the bag check person so that everyone behind me doesn't get stuck. either that, or get more people to do the bag checks.

Anonymous said...

Expert Travel lanes: Great concept; poor execution. Have been flying out of MDW every week for a year now - trust me, I already knew the best lanes to go to. The new system fails because there are not have enough ID screeners for the Experts, and when you finish the xray process, you're the farthest away from the gates! It amounts to being punished. Last week, my co-worker and I tested the system by getting in separate lanes. I had already re-packed my liquids and laptop, "gotten dressed" and walked clear around to the Expert area before he was through screening. Fix it or stop it.

Anonymous said...

I would like the TSA to train all employees the same. Why is it the TSA in one state is more knowledgeable about IDs and temporary IDs than those in another state. More importantly the TSA employees in San Diego are very very curt and rude and treated my wife's belongings with no respect, leaving her carry on a mess and treating her with absolutely no respect because she was using her temporary paper ID with her new name.

Also, you might be interested in this site.

http://www.tsacomplaints.com/

On a more positive note, all TSA employees should strive to be more like the employees in Salt Lake City, other than their process of which passengers to choose for "random" searches. On a previous trip I belive I was racially profiled but was told it was random when I inquired what was the selection process.

Anonymous said...

wisconsin,

Please explain how somebody coming into the US illegally is not the concern of the TSA or DHS.

Anonymous said...

Is there any history of the TSA helping avoid another disaster? I'd really like to know whether or not they have actually made a significant difference in our safety now as opposed to pre 9/11.

Ed said...

I am a road warrior always travelling (AA Executive Platinum). My wife and I just had our 2nd child, who is 3 months. We live in Chicago, and constantly fly out of O'Hare and are always baffled on how TSA's policy keeps changing on taking water on a plane. Our infant is formula fed, and we always fill up a thermos with hot water to be prepared to feed him (we use ONLY bottled water ) on the plane, delays, etc.

We flew to Florida from O’Hare on May 9th, and we were not allowed to take our thermos of water citing it was a security risk. We flew from Orlando on May 17th and WE WERE allowed. We than went to the Bahamas on May 25th and again we were stopped by TSA security at O’Hare and the supervisor made us dump the water out of the thermos in the bathroom. We than flew out on May 29th from Ft. Lauderdale with no problems.

What is frustrating is each airport has different rules. If I go to Starbucks and buy a bottle of water, with receipt in hand, and attempt to go through security at O’Hare I am stopped and asked to throw away the bottle. If I ask why, I am advised by TSA to pass security and buy that exact same bottle water from the gift shop after security. That is just asinine!

It has become quite difficult to travel with an infant and very frustrating. When will these rules change so they can be more accommodating for our younger travelers?

Ed

Anonymous said...

I am a road warrior always travelling (AA Executive Platinum). My wife and I just had our 2nd child, who is 3 months. We live in Chicago, and constantly fly out of O'Hare and are always baffled on how TSA's policy keeps changing on taking water on a plane. Our infant is formula fed, and we always fill up a thermos with hot water to be prepared to feed him (we use ONLY bottled water ) on the plane, delays, etc.

We flew to Florida from O’Hare on May 9th, and we were not allowed to take our thermos of water citing it was a security risk. We flew from Orlando on May 17th and WE WERE allowed. We than went to the Bahamas on May 25th and again we were stopped by TSA security at O’Hare and the supervisor made us dump the water out of the thermos in the bathroom. We than flew out on May 29th from Ft. Lauderdale with no problems.

What is frustrating is each airport has different rules. If I go to Starbucks and buy a bottle of water, with receipt in hand, and attempt to go through security at O’Hare I am stopped and asked to throw away the bottle. If I ask why, I am advised by TSA to pass security and buy that exact same bottle water from the gift shop after security. That is just asinine!

It has become quite difficult to travel with an infant and very frustrating. When will these rules change so they can be more accommodating for our younger travelers?

Anonymous said...

I hope TSA reads this because there is an internal problem in Memphis, Tennessee. I traveled on flight 954 at 9:05 am from Memphis, Tennessee to Orlando, Florida for a family vacation to Disney World on May 24, 2008. My bag was searched by TSA as indicated by the card left inside. Items that were prohibited in my carry-on (large bottles of shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen and aloe)were taken from my checked bag and kept by someone, i.e. stolen. Be aware that if there's something you really don't want to part with, you shouldn't take it.

Anonymous said...

ARRIVAL at IAD from Frankfurt, Germany: UAL flight 5/31/2008:
After arrival at the gate, we stood inside the plane waiting for gate personnel for over 20 minutes. When finally released from the plane, we were the first passengers (we were in First Class) walking down the corridor toward Immigration. During this time, two other flights were loading passengers in the same corridor. Gate personnel began running everywhere and shouting at each other, knew there was a problem, but didn’t know what to do about it. At the end of one corridor a door was open into the departures lounge and no airline staff in sight. We could have avoided Immigration completely!!! Instead, we closed the door (to keep other passengers from “escaping”) and continued on to Immigration. Immigration went relatively smoothly.

The baggage claim area for customs was a disaster . . . the worst I’ve seen in 35 years of international travel in over 30 countries. The area was under construction. It was approximately 60 ft x 170 ft. While we were collecting our baggage, 12 other international flights had also arrived. People were pushing and shoving and stepping on each other. The loudspeakers implored passengers to stop pushing and surging to avoid injuries that were occurring. Lines had formed in an attempt to exit the arrivals hall. It took us only 10-15 minutes to collect our luggage, but over an hour for the line to snake its way to the exit where we handed over our US Customs form. (Usually a 1-2 minute process.) In the meantime, we observed an elderly woman knocked over by the surging crowd, and a stroller with an infant knocked over by a suitcase being heaved over obstacles.

We assumed that after we exited the US Customs hall our ordeal would be over. Not True. The slow exit from Customs was due to a backup in TSA security screenings. After exiting Customs, we dropped off our baggage for rerouting to our final destinations (or in our case, to UAL to lose our baggage). Then the line slowly snaked up to TSA screening.

All of these passengers had just disembarked from international flights. Many spoke no English and had never previously encountered TSA rules (since foreign security doesn’t involve shoe removal, plastic bags for liquids, etc.). However, there was no preparation for these individuals. There were NO signs (in any language) about shoes, liquids, etc. Instead, TSA employees stood by the machines YELLING at passengers in English about sweaters, shoes, computers, liquids, etc. Non-English speaking passengers were confused and upset. The lines moved VERY slowly with significant non-compliance of the yelled rules. Ultimately, the English speaking passengers followed the rules and others were allowed through without following the rules. Finally through this debacle, we were on to our next flight . . .

Anonymous said...

As a Canadian who has travelled through the U.S most of my life I was insulted by the behaviour of the custom officer at the lewiston queenston bridge last week. She was rude, mean and insulted my family. I have never had a negative experience until then. With an attitude like that it will turn away many tourists. No one has the right to speak to people like that.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering what is going on with the Bin Return System that is installed in Terminal A at Logan Airport. The system is great and it really streamlines the checkpoint operation. I know that the TSA has purchased other units and I'm wondering where and when we will be seeing more of these units in other airports. It really helps!

Anonymous said...

Shame On

I came in through the LA terminal three days ago and was shock to see the mishandling of my lap top. I'm in a wheelchair and my on-board baggage included a lap-top which was damaged by your handlers or secuity. I came in from London and was travelling on to Hawaii where I live. I have the expense of fixing my lap-top alone with down time on a very important project. Please inform your handling to treat equipment as if it were their own in regards to computers etc... out of respect for OPP.

How do I recover lost timje and money from this seriosly upset custmer. Security is important but I also witness a very rude agent treating a older women who could have be his grandmother as if she were a eight year old girl. It a reflection on your management and is very embassaring to see the complete disregards for personal interchange for the sake of safety. There is not excuse for rudiness.

Anonymous said...

Phil said...
In December 2007, I noticed signs at Kansas City International Airport that state, inaccurately, that presentation of photo identification is required of people who wish to pass the airport security checkpoint. I have posted pictures of these signs here, here, and here.

On February 17, 2008, I submitted a complaint to TSA by submitting a form on their Web site. I wrote:

"While traveling to and from the Kansas City International airport during the past two years, I have repeatedly seen posters bearing the TSA name and seemingly its seal that wrongly state that passengers must present photo identification prior to crossing the security checkpoint. It appears that security is handled by a private contractor at this airport. Is the TSA aware that this false information is being presented to travelers in its name? What can I do to have these corrected?"

I received an acknowledgement of my submission via e-mail shortly thereafter.

On February 28, 2008, I received a second e-mail in reference to the complaint. This one stated:

"Please accept our appreciation for you taking the time to share this information with us. Your email has been forwarded to the appropriate office for action as required. Your help and support are important contributions to ensuring the safety and security of the Nation's aviation security."

On March 28, 2008, I received a second response from TSA. This time it was a scanned paper document converted to PDF then e-mailed to me. In that response, Jeanne Oliver, Associate Director, TSA Office of the Executive Secretariat, wrote (emphasis added):

"Thank you for your e-mail of February 21,2008, regarding your observations of security screening posters at Kansas City International Airport (MCI). Specifically, you expressed concern that the private contractor performing security screening at MCI uses Transportation Security Administration (TSA) posters that indicate travelers are required to present photo identification (ID) at the security screening checkpoint.

"At the direction of Congress, TSA established a program at some airports using private contractors instead of Federal security officers. MCI is one of these airports. Although MCI is not staffed by a Federal workforce, it is still regulated by TSA.

"TSA and its contractors have a series of measures in place which work together to reduce the risk of a terrorist being able to carry out a terrorist act. One of these measures is to limit access to the secured area of the airport to travelers who have the proper travel documentation, such as a boarding pass. In addition, TSA requires travelers to produce a valid form of government-issued photo ID to verify that the name on the travel document matches the ID.

"If a traveler is unwilling or unable to produce a valid form of ID, the traveler is required to undergo additional screening at the checkpoint to gain access to the secured area of the airport. Access to the secured area of the airport will be denied to any traveler who refuses to undergo the additional screening."

Ms. Oliver did not address the problem of display of inaccurate signs at MCI. Though she first wrote that TSA requires travelers to present I.D., her proceeding sentence clarifies that such action is optional, and simply allows travelers to pass an airport security checkpoint with a less-rigorous screening procedure than would be performed if they presented I.D.

I suspect that these signs are in violation of OMB's Agency Information Quality Guidelines.

March 31, 2008 6:02 PM


i dont think your information is accurate. you try to fly without your government id and see if its less of a hassle

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