I was flying home from Las Vegas and I felt I had no sooner blinked than I was through the checkpoint. The crew out there do an outstanding job.
Maybe this is more of a DHS issue, but it involves air transportation and security, so it seems relevant in my mind.In February 2007, my credit card was fraudulently used to purchase an airline ticket from Lagos to Boston on United Airlines. When reporting the fraud to my credit card company, I was able to get the details of the flight and the passenger name that was used when the ticket was purchased. By the time I learned of the fraud, the flight was already in the air.I called the DHS duty number that I found on the DHS website to report the details of what I learned: passenger name, flight details, etc.I explained the situation to the representative and how I had gotten the information. The representative wanted to know what the person looked like and where the police could find this person. I said I didn't know the person and only had what I had gotten from the credit card issuer. He said there was nothing he could do if I didn't know where the person was and that I should take up the matter with my credit card company.I had assumed that the TSA/DHS would be interested in knowing of someone coming from Nigeria to the United States on a fraudulently purchased ticket. Since the flight was still in the air when I called, I thought there would be time for authorities to do something about it.
"I had assumed that the TSA/DHS would be interested in knowing of someone coming from Nigeria to the United States on a fraudulently purchased ticket. Since the flight was still in the air when I called, I thought there would be time for authorities to do something about it.March 31, 2008 5:11 PM"Next time print out the information and tape it to:1) A bottle of water or a 4 oz or larger container of liqiud, gel or paste.2) take it to a check point. Pray that they read it, and take it seriously.
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.
OK,I have complained about a lot of TSA stuff, but the new post at the homepage of this blog got me seriously ruffled. It says you will be installing full body scanners in airport terminals this year. I am stating right now that I WILL NOT BE SUBJECTED TO A FULL BODY SCAN. It is outrageous to put innocent people through such indecency.
or attach a note to yournipple rings and then they would for sure have to notice it
This is clearly not a TSA or DHS issue. Take it up with your CC company.
Over the last day or so I’ve read a couple of interesting comments on FlyerTalk having to do with REAL ID. Now, I know that it is not the subject of this thread, but I’m gonna post it here anyway.For those of you who don’t know, REAL ID, as promulgated Michael Chertoff, Secretary of DHS, is another name for a national identity card in the form of your state’s driver’s license. In order to obtain a REAL ID DL, you will need to produce either your birth certificate or a passport, plus you social security card, plus several other proofs of name/residence. (God help you if the name on your birth certificate/passport is different from the name on your social security card – you will NOT get a DL until that issue is rectified. This means that there are many people who will not be able to renew their DL’s because they don’t have any means of proving who they are.)According to Chertoff, at some point in the future, if you don’t show a REAL ID DL, you won’t be able to get on an airplane or into any federal building for that matter.There are several states that are bucking the REAL ID fiasco – and three cheers to them.Now here is what I find truly amazing about REAL ID: in those states who do cave into DHS and issue REAL ID, individuals over the age of 50 will not be required to provide a REAL ID DL to get on a plane or into a federal building. Why? Because “The over-50 exemption was created to give states more time to get everyone new licenses, and officials say the risk of someone in that age group being a terrorist, illegal immigrant or con artist is much less.”Here’s what I find strange: TSA tells us that they have to screen even the aged infirm because they could be terrorists, but their parent agency DHS tells us that people over 50 are not likely to be terrorists.Totally mind boggling.We know the FBI does not talk to the CIA and the IRS won’t give the FBI the tax payer ID numbers of aliens who wish to file taxes to make the road to citizenship easier, but here we have the parent agency (DHS) telling us one thing about people over 50 and the TSA telling us something different.Inconsistencies abound.
I'd love the TSA to comment on this blog post in which gate agents toss out a tube of toothpaste, fuss over computer speakers, but allow a passenger to board with a folding knife suitable for gutting deer carcasses. Twice.The fact that it happened once could be a sign of bad training or a fluke accident. But it happened again, in the exact same fashion, in a different airport.That story is not unique. It appears TSA agents are so focused on odd electronics (like the MacBook Air or JBL On Tour speakers) that they're missing far more obvious threats, like razor-sharp folding knives.
Wisconsin: gee, you missed the point entirely.Jellyman found out that someone from Nigeria used his credit card, without his consent, to fly to the U.S.. Isn't that terribly suspicious behavior? Doesn't that make the person who bought the ticket a security risk? Shouldn't DHS be aware of someone entering the U.S. under false pretenses?Jellyman tried to be a good citizen and informed DHS of a person who presents security risk. DHS told him to go away.
Here's an idea to help the traveling public communicate with TSA: Put a telephone number for the local TSA organization in the Government section of the telephone book. You might think this has already been done, but when I checked the phone books for Denver and Colorado Springs, there was no listing for TSA. I can imagine the frustration of a traveler who wants to contact TSA, and who is unable to find a phone number to call.
Here is an interesting tidbit from Aero-News:"They chose Burger King for their "solid customer service programs" and had great hopes for the personnel who were to be taught by a leading customer-service-savvy company that 'thrived in close contact with the public.'"You really understand how to work with the public when they've got an empty, growling stomach... lunchtime is crunchtime at Burger King, and decades of dealing with the public has made us experts in meeting them with smiles, professionalism and solid service," noted BK Spokesperson, Brian Smiley.The TSA program ran into trouble early on with an initial allotment of 100 trainees who often showed up late, failed to follow instructions, displayed poor grooming practices, unsatisfactory command of the English language, or just plain got lost on the way to the BK training center... and on more than one occasion (two are STILL listed as MIA and have never quite found their way to BKHQ)."We'd hoped the early results were a fluke but over the course of several months, we came to find that this was, regrettable, the cream of the crop."From there it just simply went downhill."
Wisconsin: gee, you missed the point entirely.Jellyman found out that someone from Nigeria used his credit card, without his consent, to fly to the U.S.. Isn't that terribly suspicious behavior? Doesn't that make the person who bought the ticket a security risk? Shouldn't DHS be aware of someone entering the U.S. under false pretenses?Jellyman tried to be a good citizen and informed DHS of a person who presents security risk. DHS told him to go away.I didn't miss the point. And, please note that sarcasm doesn't solve anything. Do you know what the mission and purpose of TSA is? Or, are you meaning to imply that all thieves are terrorists and mean to blow up planes? Unless your thief/ terrorist notion is credible, whay would TSA pay any mind to it?
Patriot Act, REAL ID ACT, & The RFID tracking passport was bad enough, but full body xray scanning is crossing the line. This is like strip checking customers without their knowing. And to make it worse, the tsa adds all these pretty lights and colors, and murals to control the publics emotions, and to make them think it is some sort of fun cool game or something; when in fact the public is very misinformed on the reality of the Department of "Homeland Security's" real intentions. This x ray machine is to be intended for criminals, not the innocent people of this nation. It is pretty much "strip checking" innocent citizens. Whatever happend to INNOCENT TILL PROVEN GUILTY? This human X-ray scanning machine is infringing on our civil liberties and rights, and is against the law according to the constitution. Since when has the war on terror turned onto war against innocent American citizens? By taking away the People's rights, you are allowing the "terrorists" to win by letting us destroy ourselfs and sense of FREEDOM! And by allowing such to happen is to eliminate the purpose of which our Nation was based off of and that our founding fathers fought and DIED FOR! FREEDOM!! Benjamin Franklin once said "Those who are willing to give up freedom and civil liberties for security deserve neither". - Cannon N. Ciota
Anonymous said... Here is an interesting tidbit from Aero-News:"They chose Burger King for their "solid customer service programs" and had great hopes for the personnel who were to be taught by a leading customer-service-savvy company that 'thrived in close contact with the public.'The article is satire. You know, April Fool's Day...
Wisconsin: you missed the point again.Jellyman didn't call the TSA. He called DHS, which is the parent organization of TSA. It clearly is a DHS issue.And with DHS/TSA being so concerned about people presenting proper identity documents at checkpoints (like the RealID program), it seems perfectly reasonable that DHS ought to be concerned about someone flying into the US using a false name.
Jellyman,Sure this could be a situation of concern, but it falls to the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Customs and Border Patrol CBP and ICE handle all inbound flights from outside the country. TSA only deals with commercial aviation originating at a US airport.
Anonymous said... OK,I have complained about a lot of TSA stuff, but the new post at the homepage of this blog got me seriously ruffled. It says you will be installing full body scanners in airport terminals this year. I am stating right now that I WILL NOT BE SUBJECTED TO A FULL BODY SCAN. It is outrageous to put innocent people through such indecency.Then you don't fly. Simple as that.How is a professional screening staff who doesn't know you from Adam (or Eve, as the case may be) supposed to just magically KNOW you're innocent just because you say so? Pardon the naivite' but if you could be taken at your word, then there would be no need of security ANYWHERE in the world and terrorism as we know it would cease to exist. The point is quite simple, and it is twofold. You obviously have no true understanding of what this machine actually does and sees and who sees it and at what time, and you have forgotten that flying commercial in this country (or any other soveriegn nation I am aware of) is a PRIVELEDGE, not an inalienable RIGHT. One simply does not walk into a courthouse and proclaim what they will or won't do/have done to them. One also does not walk into Wal-Mart and proclaim what they will or will not be subjected to for price. One most certainly does not walk into a school or church and proclaim what they will or will not hear/have told to them. You have the singular RIGHT to not hear those things, Don't go to that institution. You have the singular RIGHT to not pay those prices: Don't go to that store. You have the singular RIGHT to not be screened at a courtroom: Don't be indicted for anything. You have the singular right to avoid questionable or offensive material on your TV- Change the channel.And last, but not least, you have the singular RIGHT to avoid Body scans or other parts of the airline screening proces... you just won't be flying anywhere anytime soon. Enjoy the bus.
I feel the TSA ought to re-think its policy of how it deals with children and those traveling with children. On a recent flight from Bozeman to San Diego my 2 ½ year old son went through the metal detector with me. It alarmed - great. I went through again and it alarmed again. Then I immediately figured out what it was: I had a barrette in my hair, nothing else. I was not given the opportunity to take it out and go through again. Instead they informed me they needed to do the "special screening" on me and my son. I feel the TSA agent pulling my screaming son away from me and patting him down was completely unnecessary. He is only 2 ½!! This got my entire family upset. My 6 year old daughter seeing me standing there like a criminal getting wanded and patted down,and her brother in a total meltdown made her cry and get very scared. My husband was beside himself that it was actually happening and of course was furious. I feel this treatment is extreme and demoralizing. Does this really need to happen to children? Furthermore travelers are intimidated by the agents and the entire process. Who feels like they can object when there is a fear of additional unnecessary searches, missing a flight or worse? Yes I know that I could have made him go through by himself – but he was already scared and didn’t understand why he had to take off his shoes. I was trying to comfort him - silly me.
I was originally going to complain about the water thing, but that got me thinking about the bigger picture.I recently flew from MSP to Singapore via LAX. I went through security in MSP and bought a bottle of water after that screening. I didn't drink the whole bottle on the MSP - LAX flight, intending to save it for the longer flight. It didn't occur to me since I had to change terminals at LAX, I would also have to leave the secure area in terminal 2 and go through security a second time to get to the gate in terminal 4. It would be nice -- in the longer term -- if there could be a method to change terminals at larger airports like that without having to go through security a second time.
I was coming home from Vegas on Sunday with my bum knee. A lady hailed me just as I was getting into the fairly long but still moving security line and moved me over to the gimp line. I showed my ID and said I could take it off and limp through. The guy *smiled* and said, "It's there for a reason. Just leave it on. It'll take a few extra minutes, that's all." I limped through, was promptly given a seat to await my frisking and then did the whole wipe down with have-you-recently-worked-with-explosives Stridex pads. That said, TSA in Phoenix still seems to be a bunch of well, not terribly helpful let's just say.
To the anonymous person who thinks people who do not want body scans should not fly: If body scans are so essential to "keep us safe", why are they not used in other public places like subways or trains? Remember there were terrorist attacks on subways and trains too!The bottom line is that the TSA imposes new and unpleasant tactics without seeing the need to prove they are effective. I would like to see a serious scientific study showing that the policies in place already are effective. Actually, the only studies I have seen to date show they are not.
I was wondering if anyone on this blog ever used the TSA registry to verify if you are on a no-fly list. I was chosen for extra-special security the last 5 times I traveled, with no apparent reason. I would like to understand why, but I am afraid the registry will get me no more than a standard uninformative response message, in which case I would prefer not to send the TSA all my personal data.
"How is a professional screening staff who doesn't know you from Adam (or Eve, as the case may be) supposed to just magically KNOW you're innocent just because you say so? Pardon the naivite' but if you could be taken at your word, then there would be no need of security ANYWHERE in the world and terrorism as we know it would cease to exist. The point is quite simple, and it is twofold. You obviously have no true understanding of what this machine actually does and sees and who sees it and at what time, and you have forgotten that flying commercial in this country (or any other soveriegn nation I am aware of) is a PRIVELEDGE, not an inalienable RIGHT. One simply does not walk into a courthouse and proclaim what they will or won't do/have done to them. One also does not walk into Wal-Mart and proclaim what they will or will not be subjected to for price. One most certainly does not walk into a school or church and proclaim what they will or will not hear/have told to them. You have the singular RIGHT to not hear those things, Don't go to that institution. You have the singular RIGHT to not pay those prices: Don't go to that store. You have the singular RIGHT to not be screened at a courtroom: Don't be indicted for anything. You have the singular right to avoid questionable or offensive material on your TV- Change the channel.And last, but not least, you have the singular RIGHT to avoid Body scans or other parts of the airline screening proces... you just won't be flying anywhere anytime soon. Enjoy the bus."TSA Said:"Our ultimate goal is to create an atmosphere that aligns with our passenger's need to be secure, while ensuring the freedom of movement for people. In doing so, our employees will assure customer confidence and ultimately establish a standard for passenger satisfaction.Our culture provides passengers a secure and pleasant travel experience. We achieve this through highly-competent and dedicated customer service teamwork and respect. We strive to earn the respect and trust of all airline passengers by practicing the following five principles:* Security that is Professional - Service that delivers positive lasting impressions with proper image and effective communications.* Security with Customer Service - Service is efficient while maintaining the dignity of all passengers.* Security that is Attentive - Service that acknowledges the passenger strives to minimize passenger anxiety and put them at ease.* Security that Encourages Teamwork - Service of the highest quality resulting from combined individual efforts.* Security that Protects Civil Rights - Service that is delivered with respect and equity."Measure up or quit....
While on the surface, this blog seems to make people feel better, I am afraid it's nothing more than a venting forum. I've been reading page after page after page of blatant abuses and mistreatment meted out by the TSA and now what? You get one out of every 100 or so comments responded to by the TSA and then it's usually to defend their current course of action. Are any changes actually going to come out of this forum? I am frankly disgusted with this heinous organization and saddened by the abuses that are allowed against citizens in response to 9-11.
A couple of weeks ago I was going through screening in Baltimore. In my plastic bag was a tube of Desitin. I am 65 years old and was advised that I could not board with it unless I was accompanied by a child. I explained that I had a rash and it was for treatment. They took the Desitin. Seems to me the worst I could do with it was rub it on someones butt.
About the full body scans: I heard they are going to be voluntary, and people will be able to choose if they prefer pat downs or body scans. Is it me or does that kind of defeat the purpose of the process?Second, I was told they have technology to blur out "sensitive" body parts. I wonder how that works given all our different builds. Could the TSA please provide the liturature on this point?
My wife and I flew Sea to Anc with four checked bags and one was overweight. When we unpacked we had a notice of Hazardous Material Removal per 49 CFR 171.2(a) in the overweight piece. I don't know what was taken if it was valuable or not. The worst part is we have been racking our brains on what it was plus we haven't learned what we did wrong. We suggest when something is taken from a bag it would be right that the customer should know what was taken.
Anonymous said at 2:40 p.m."About the full body scans: I heard they are going to be voluntary, and people will be able to choose if they prefer pat downs or body scans.Is it me or does that kind of defeat the purpose of the process?Second, I was told they have technology to blur out "sensitive" body parts. I wonder how that works given all our different builds. Could the TSA please provide the liturature on this point?"It ain't much of a choice is it?However, I wonder how the Ma and Pa Kettles of the world feel about having their young, nubile Daisy Mae either felt up or seen naked by the TSA. We don't seem to hear much from them.
To the person commenting on being selected for additional screening the last five times they traveled. Just wanted to clarify on this issue that the overwhelming majority of these selections are made by the airlines themselves, not by the TSA. When you get your boarding passes from your airline next time compare it to another person on the same airline and you will see the additional marking on it indicating you were selected by the airline for additional screening. Once you have been selected, TSA staff is then required to conduct that screening.
How about actually taking time to thank the government for putting these policies in place to keep us safe? Because last time I checked, Pre-9/11 we weren't doing really anything to keep people protected on airplanes so thank you TSA for making me feel a whole lot safer when flying. Whether you agree with some stupid regulations or not, keep in mind that they are trying to keep you safe not just make your life harder.
Does anyone believe the Delete-O-Meter, stuck on 161 for the last 10 days, at least? I alone had 4 squeaky-clean messages "disappear". I actually think the Delete-O-Meter represents the TSA very well: invented data generating policies that make no sense and everyone complains about, but can´t get rid of.
I use a cane and and wear orthotics (braces) on both legs that start at at the balls of my feet and finish mid calf. Sneakers are the only shoes I wear to accomodate the orthotics. Removing my shoes isn't an option for me so I have to be wand every time. I fly frequently during the year. Couldn't the TSA come up with a system that indicates passengers such as myself do not need to be wand every single time they are going to get on an airplane?
"My wife and I flew Sea to Anc with four checked bags and one was overweight. When we unpacked we had a notice of Hazardous Material Removal per 49 CFR 171.2(a) in the overweight piece. I don't know what was taken if it was valuable or not. The worst part is we have been racking our brains on what it was plus we haven't learned what we did wrong." First, you should know what's in your bags. If you know what's in them, then you can figure out what's been removed. Second, since the note said you had hazmat, go onto TSA's website and find out what is hazmat. Did you have anything flammable in your bag? Lighters? Matches? Flammable aerosols (i.e. disinfectant spray, static guard, etc.) Third, TSA has to inform your airline when they remove hazmat. If it's deemed valuable, the airline has the option to notify you before the item is destroyed.
Responding to the person posting concerning an item removed from their checked bag and finding a Hazardous Material Removal per 49 CFR 171.2(a) sheet in the bag. This is most commonly used in the removal of lighters when found inside a checked bag. Lighters are not allowed in checked bags and removal is required when they are found. Most likely this is the case as you haven't noticed anything missing from your bag. Other items which would be classified as Hazardus Material would be removed also and turned over to the airline for final disposition.
OK, I am not entirely sure where to post this, but hoping it will make it's way through channels for cinsideration. There are a couple additional catagories I would like to suggest adding to the blog. First concerning the possible addition of a question / answer area where people could post questions to be answered by other bloggers or screeners while allowing gripes and complaints to be posted seperately. Secondly would be an area where TSA screeners could post their own coments and stories for others to read and get a view of things from the other side.
"Does anyone believe the Delete-O-Meter, stuck on 161 for the last 10 days, at least? I alone had 4 squeaky-clean messages "disappear". I actually think the Delete-O-Meter represents the TSA very well: invented data generating policies that make no sense and everyone complains about, but can´t get rid of."I don't believe it 'cause I've offered several comments in different threads and only one or two have been published. None of the unpublished comments violated the Comment Policy.
I am 86 years young and a lady TSA frisked me like I was a murderer. I couldn't help myself I just started crying and couldn't stop crying the whole flight.I was crying and crying and crying.I just couldn't calm down. Why are they so mean? What do they think I'm going to do? Maybe I should bring them some cookies next time.
I have a titanium hip replacement and have had problems at airports since it was implanted. I am a slender person and travel in clothing that has no metal parts (other than my bra fastener) so it's easy to detect that only my left hip is setting off the detector.I have a crad showing my hip X ray but no one has ver looked at it. SFO is the worst airport in the world for this. I am treated with discourtesy and like a common criminal. Even at busy times when people are rushing through and no one is paying attention I am NOT ALLLOWED to get my purse and hand luggage off the belt. Every time I go through SFO I risk having my passport, wallet and credit cards stolen and am a basket case with worry when I'm travelling alone.In Australia and the UK screeners are very courteous and allow my personal possessions to be put aside safely while I'm wanded and patted down.Why can this courtesy not be extended to people like me at SFO?In fact why doesn't the TSA have a program that allows people with prostheses to go through a special clearance procedure and background check to avoid this sort of unpleasantness?
Now this is fun: One complaint about the Delete-O-Meter and it instantly goes up from to 209!!
"To the person commenting on being selected for additional screening the last five times they traveled. Just wanted to clarify on this issue that the overwhelming majority of these selections are made by the airlines themselves, not by the TSA."I understand the selections are made by the airline based on TSA issued guidelines and lists. "When you get your boarding passes from your airline next time compare it to another person on the same airline and you will see the additional marking on it indicating you were selected by the airline for additional screening."That is the best part of all. Because I have nothing to hide, when I get my marked boarding pass I sigh and go ahead. If I were a terrorist, however, I would be really happy to have been warned ahead of time of my super-search category...
Someone anonymously wrote:"Whether you agree with some stupid regulations or not, keep in mind that [the United States government is] trying to keep you safe not just make your life harder."This isn't pee-wee football. Our government doesn't get a prize just for trying, particularly when what they're trying is an enormous burden that has yet to be proven effective and has been found in many ways to be ineffective"last time I checked, Pre-9/11 we weren't doing really anything to keep people protected on airplanes"I suggest that you check more carefully. At that time, we were x-raying carry-on baggage, having passengers walk through metal detector, and using a hand-held metal detector on those who set off the walk-through one.What has changed since then? Now, we x-ray shoes, require that liquids in carry-on baggage be divided into portions no larger than 3oz. each, prohibit large hand tools and some (but not all) large, sharp objects from being carried on, and position increasingly militaristic government agents at airport security checkpoints to bark arbitrary commands, enforce secret laws by which we are bound to abide but that we are not allowed to see, and generally condition the public to certain aspects of living in a police state, often misleading people into believing that they must ask permission from their government before traveling.Oh, and we fortified cockpit doors. That's about the only real improvement that has been made.Wow -- who can we thank for all this? I guess we can thank Congress for their lack of oversight. We can also thank people like this anonymous commenter, who were so frightened by a horrendous crime (one that clearly could have been avoided) that they have since sat by idly while our Constitution is subverted in the name of keeping us safe from an overblown threat that is likely to be no more dangerous than was Communism during the Cold War.Thanks!
Anonymous writes:First, you should know what's in your bags. If you know what's in them, then you can figure out what's been removed. Ahh, but if the bags have been out of my control since I gave them to the airline, and the bags are unlocked (per TSA policy), and TSA is not guaranteeing the security of the bags while they're out of my possession, then I don't really know what's in there anymore, do I?
"Now this is fun: One complaint about the Delete-O-Meter and it instantly goes up from to 209!!"There's been more than one complaint, they just haven't been posted.TSA damaged control at it's finest!
I fly frequently, and find the often-changing TSA requirements baffling. I honestly feel that the TSA is looking harder for bottles of water than they are for anything that might actually harm us. I do not feel that this hassle is making us any safer, if any of these new "security measures" were actually important then why would they be changing them all the time?
I agree with Cannon Ciota in his comment he left above, That you can have metal detectors and question suspicious people, but that full body xray machines is crossing the line. I realize that alot of this new technology invading our privacy is not to further protect us, but rather created to ease the tracking of people (for DHS benifit), and was mainly designed to make life easier for the TSA, not us.
Yes, there was security screening at airports pre 9/11. At that time this was done by private companies each with the ability and authority to implement their own security procedures. Each responsible for their own performance standards.We don't enjoy "barking orders" to quote an earlier post, any more than you enjoy hearing them. This is only one practice where decisions are made at the top and the people you see at the bottom are charged with carrying out. Do we enjoy going through your bags for one little bottle of hand lotion? No. However it is something we are required to do.One thing to think about next time you see a person in the security line with a leg brace, cast, prosethetic device or other medical device they may be wearing or carrying with them. Just ask yourself what a person could hide inside one of them to try to get through security.Also it is not that we don't want to answer your questions regarding the screening process and TSA procedures, we simply are not allowed to reveal that information to the public, and doing so would be dealt with very seriously.
>>We don't enjoy "barking orders" to quote an earlier post, any more than you enjoy hearing them. This is only one practice where decisions are made at the top and the people you see at the bottom are charged with carrying out.<<Hey blog team...Can you confirm or deny that "barking orders" is "one practice where decisions are made at the top"?If it is, may I have fifteen minutes face to face with whoever made that decision? I want to dust off my drill field voice, bark a few orders at them, then have them do push-ups until I get tired. (grin)
On a recent trip that my mother took to come see me, her checked bag was searched at ICT airport. I had instructed my sister to purchase one of those TSA-approved locks, so that the lock could be opened AND THEN RELOCKED. The suitcase was opened and never relocked. Thanks for keeping our lock. Don't you reap enough from seizing stuff through security checkpoints?
Why is it some posts are on here more than once?
Only 1 of my 4 comments have been published, and they did not violate the policy at all. Maybe they are overwhelmed with posts.I think that the agents are mindlessly following procedures, mainly because they are not allowed to make decisions on their own. With some additional training, allowing the agents to use some common sense, and having the agents explain your options, TSA could avoid future "Nipplegates".
Just flew back from Guam (US Territory) to Tokyo. This is my third trip in as many years.In 2006, luggage handling and the security checkpoints in Guam were a nightmare. This year, as in 2007, everything was smooth. TSO's at the security checkpoint were professional, efficient and warm. Name badges were clearly visible.Any TSO's from other airports who are constantly whining on this blog about passengers should go to Guam to see how it's done. 95% of the passengers on my flight were Japanese, don't speak (much) English and still the TSO's managed to communicate with them without shouting or any of the other nonsense we read about so often. We're also not talking about little planes flying out of Guam. It's 747's so there are lots of passengers to process.Perhaps it helps that Guam's biggest industry is tourism and all of the TSO's at the airport know that not just their jobs but the jobs of everyone else on the island depend on tourists enjoying their visit and wanting to come back. In 2006 our trip was wonderful up until we hit the TSA on our return. We nearly gave up on going to Guam because of that. If the chaos had continued into 2007 we probably would have. Kudos to the staff in Guam for fixing their problems.
Not only is the Delete-O-Meter stuck, but the last comment on "Shoes" is from Feb. 12. Damage control at its best.
I posted a few days ago in the DFW blog in response to a TSO talking about the number of passengers his area at IAH sees everyday. The comment was posted, then some time later it was removed. The TSO's comment is still there. Is this a change to the SOP?
I am a mid-thirties, white, petite European woman and travel frequently to the US for business purposes. I have never had a problem with immigration. They are always polite and approve my entry quickly and easily.However, I have been selected for "extra-special" TSA security 9 out of the last 9 times I have been in a US airport. I suspect I must be on some kind of risk of flight list.If I am on such a list, why don´t I ever have any trouble with immigration? If I am not, what makes me so suspicious that I am always selected at check-in?The whole system makes no sense.
Anonymous said... Not only is the Delete-O-Meter stuck, but the last comment on "Shoes" is from Feb. 12. Damage control at its best. April 4, 2008 6:48 AMThe delete-o-meter was updated yesterday. It is updated on a weekly basis. It's not real-time. Also, if you look at the bottom of the shoes page, you'll see "Older -Oldest / Newer - Newest." By clicking on those, it will take you to the other comments. BobTSA EoS Blog Team
Bob: the link at the bottom of the Shoes page just takes me back to Page 1 of Shoes, not Page 2 ...
"Ahh, but if the bags have been out of my control since I gave them to the airline, and the bags are unlocked (per TSA policy), and TSA is not guaranteeing the security of the bags while they're out of my possession, then I don't really know what's in there anymore, do I?"If you really believe someone from the airlines or TSA slipped something in your bag only to have it removed at no consequence to you, then why do you care what was removed? Are you saying you want TSA to assign someone to personally escort your luggage to your destination? As of now, the bags are first in possession and control of the airlines, then TSA before your bag is even loaded on your plane, and then your bag is in control of the airlines again. By the way, TSA does not have a policy requiring your bags to be unlocked. If you have a TSA lock, TSA can unlock your bag and relock it.
@jim huggins said:Bob: the link at the bottom of the Shoes page just takes me back to Page 1 of Shoes, not Page 2 ...Hi Jim, Bob may be off-line for a little bit -- says he wants to see his family and get a little R&R! Sheesh! ;)Blogger.com recently cut off posts after 200 comments, using a "page break" feature. Unfortunately, the feature only works on Blogger.com hosted blogs. As you can see, we host our blog on our TSA.GOV server. So... you can still see comments above 200, but you will have to view them on the Blogger.com site. Here's how to do it:1) Click on the Post a Comment link (on the Shoes post).2) on the Blogger.com site, click the Newest >> link.3) View the posts above 200. Sorry for the wacky workaround but this is something that Blogger.com has done without considering the impact on those that host their own blogs.-NeilTSA Blog Team
See, I'm not sure that the TSA lock policy is really much of an option. Some suitcases (like my old Samsonite) don't have a way to add an external lock. And this site is chock full of complaints from people who use TSA locks, only to have their luggage returned to them with the locks unlocked, or worse, with the locks completely missing. But back to the point. If the whole point of baggage screening is to make sure that "bad stuff" isn't allowed on a plane, it doesn't suffice to screen the bags when they're dropped off. You also need to ensure that the chain of custody is preserved: namely, that no one has the opportunity to access the bags between when they're screened and when they're loaded on the plane.
With the arrest this week of yet another TSA employee involving porn or child molesting, why do you think TSA has so many of these problems? Is this an epidemic problem at Homeland Security?
I just want to say that I went through security at BDL (Hartford/Springfield) today and was really impressed by the professionalism of the TSA. Granted that airport only had three metal detectors and one of those weird puff things anyway, so there's always less chaos, but I figured it was worth mentioning here in case it affects their wages or something. They were very polite, they greeted me warmly, calmly asked me if I needed any help juggling the five bins I had to deal with, and helped me get all my stuff back together at the end. Additionally the area outside of security at BDL has lots of rocking chairs, benches, and regular chairs for re-shoeing. All of these agents acted exactly how TSA agents ought to.Which brings me to my next question- many commenters have asked about being able to complain about specific TSA agents. I also think that this is really important, as I have had terrible experiences with specific agents in the past. But is there any way to let the TSA know about a particularly excellent agent? In the past I have traveled with wheelchairs and other equipment and once in a while there's been on TSA agent who really goes out of their way to make sure everything goes smoothly for me. Is there a way I can be sure that they will be recognized and appreciated, possibly with a bonus, for their effort?
You people who just want to do nothing but complain you are the real problem secondary to the terrorists. When will you understand that flying is not a right! If you dont like it take the bus, the train, a boat, buy or rent an RV, drive your own car or stay at home. When something tragic happens you same complainers will have the most to say about what needs to be done for prevention and protection. For the mom with the huge metal hair clip and the crying two year old why would you wear that type of clip and how many times do you need to go back to remove something YOU decided to wear? To the crying older lady who received additional screening what were you crying for? If your not a criminal and you have nothing to hide common sense should prevail and cooperation should be the key. You people who have jobs have to follow rules and regulations on a daily basis and enforce them as well. Im quite sure if a subordinate made an attempt to "buck" the system they would be issued their walking papers. What you avid complainers dont realize is that you make your visits to the airport bad. Your attitude as soon as you walk in the door determines how your visit through the checkpoint will be.Try to change who you are before you try to change DHS/TSA. They have a job and a mission to complete whether you like it or not. Unfortunately for me and a lot of other people they are protecting you complainers.
No one said you had to fly. If you dislike TSA so much you can always, walk, drive or ride a bike. There are other ways to get to where you need to go. Also, TSA doesn't decide who gets "extra screening" the airlines do, so you might want to take it up with them, cuz there isnt any thing TSO's can do about it.
"No one said you had to fly. If you dislike TSA so much you can always, walk, drive or ride a bike. There are other ways to get to where you need to go. Also, TSA doesn't decide who gets "extra screening" the airlines do, so you might want to take it up with them, cuz there isnt any thing TSO's can do about it."You can still fly. There are 19000 airports in this country, TSA has their sat at 450.
This is in response to the person asking about submitting comments for specifif TSA screeners (either positive or negative). Many locations have yellow comment cards at the checkpoints which can be filled out and turned in. If these are unavailable , or you wish to inquire about a particular person I would suggest asking to speak with the supervisor on duty at the time. They should be able to provide you with the information you are wanting.
In response to the woman asking about being selected for extra screening at check-in. My suggestion would be to inquire about this with the airline when you do check-in. There are certain triggers in place that would cause you to be selected for the additional screening, and the airline could possibly give you more information than TSA screeners could. I see many travelers come through security on a routine basis who face the same situation as yourself. These individuals often are aware of being selected, and even the reason why they were selected for the screening by the airline.
The great majority of TSA people are courteous, efficient, and quite professional. I like having the TSA versus the former private contractors at each airport. Personally, I have NO problem with more profiling. It is how El Al makes their flights so safe, and there is nothing wrong with the TSA using more profiling techniques - including more screening for passengers in certain ethnic groups or age groups or whatever is important at the time, based on threat levels.
anonymous said:No one said you had to fly. If you dislike TSA so much you can always, walk, drive or ride a bike. There are other ways to get to where you need to go. Also, TSA doesn't decide who gets "extra screening" the airlines do, so you might want to take it up with them, cuz there isnt any thing TSO's can do about it.A right to travel by air exists. In addition, airlines are common carriers and are held to a higher standard with respect to their customers than, say for example, a department store.For many of us, traveling by air is the only practical way to accomplish our business. So for one to say there are other options, that is being incongrouous.For extra screening, you are only talking about that required via your boarding pass. In all other cases, it is the TSA that is making the decision for extra screening.The SSSS (or boarding pass secondary screening) standards are set by the TSA. So you are being quite disingenuous when stating it is only the airlines that cause the problem. By analogy, a criminal says to a person that they are required to kill one of two other people or else both of them will be killed. The criminal can not then say they were innocent since they didn't kill the one person.
Im a TSO and I have seen ALOT of complaints on these blogs and for the most part I agree. I just do my job as I am asked to do so. I recently had the privlage of meeting a women who lost her mother in 911 attacks, she thanked me for eveything we try to do and thats all I need to get through my days here with the TSA. So keep complaining because the people who have been directly effected by these terribal events over the past few years appriciate us, and they know what it is to have a lesser security. Its ten minutes that could save a life or a couple hundred no matter how rediculous taking off your shoes may seem.
"No one said you had to fly. If you dislike TSA so much you can always, walk, drive or ride a bike. There are other ways to get to where you need to go. Also, TSA doesn't decide who gets "extra screening" the airlines do, so you might want to take it up with them, cuz there isnt any thing TSO's can do about it."Or you can fly anywhere you want in the US without being screened by a TSO. Private pilots, charter aircraft, corporate jets, and other aircraft have a different security system in place. If you haven't experienced it, you are in for a VERY pleasant surprise. Often by flying from one small airport to another, you may get less of a commute at both ends. Add to that is the baggage security- you may find yourself carrying it to and from the plane.
I want to discuss the policy of allowing passengers with First Class tickets or with high status on airline frequent flyer programs to have a separate line and to essentially cut the line for security. This is totally unacceptable to be endorced by TSA. TSA is a US Government organization that should not show any favoritism to these passengers. This is America. We should all be treated the same. First Class passengers do not pay a higher fee to TSA or the government than do regular passengers. Many in fact have paid nothing since they are using upgrades or frequent flyer miles to get these tickets. Also, many times, first class and coach tickets cost the same, so again, TSA does not get extra money for these passengers. I have addressed this to the TSA at several airports and have been told that it is an airport policy in order to provide better service to its customers, but again, TSA does not have to go along. I respectfully request that TSA put an immediate halt to this un-American policy. No other government agency that I am aware of provides preferential treatment to rich folks and TSA should cease and desist on this policy now. There is no reason for these passengers to cut the line. I have written to TSA before about this and received no response. Please work to change this policy and treat all Americans the same. I believe your current policy is a violation of the law, violates the Constitution, and is just plain wrong.
I have to share this one. I recently flew for business and on my way back stuck my notes, files, etc in the front pocket of my checked bag. The notes were in a clear plastic envelope with a velcro tab on the top. When I got home there was a card from TSA in the front pocket with the usual junk about "we had to search your bag, blah, blah, blah". The best part was the fact TSA slit open the bottom of the clear plastic envelope to search my notes. I guess velcro technology is beyond the TSA. Classic!!!
I have to agree that first and business class passengers should not get separate lines. They pay more for more comfortable seats on the plane, but that is all.
I was flying out of Cleveland several weeks ago and had the chance to ask at the checkpoint if my TWIC (Transportation Workers Identification Card) would suffice as an ID. Afterall it was issued by TSA. Well to make a long story short none of the screeners knew anything about this card and really didn't know what to do. After seeing the back of the ID and the TSA information they decided it would work.I jumped on the TSA website and hit the "Contact Us" button to send an email. What I got back was a computer generated email that had picked up on the key words and sent me links to the various sites for TWIC. I guess no one actually "reads" an email from anyone.
Once again flying out of Las Vegas I see the same type of stupid minded detailed superscan searches of obviously non-threatening people. I have seen a French Nun searched, an old guy that looked straight out of the Winslow portrait (guy with the pitchfork) A US Army soldier and these are just snapshots in my mind from the few times I have flown. It is stupid to have to take off my birkenstocks also to go through security. Have you people lost all you common sense? Don't waste time and personnel on obvious non-threats. George
The Israelis are correct. The TSA system was not created to and does not provide security. It provides harassment for the traveling public and income for entrenched bureaucrats. The hurdles that obviously non-threating people must jump and the prohibitions against harmless items is completely inane.
For those complaining about the full body scans; there are other (democratic nations) in the world that have implemented this for over a year now. The media does stories on how easy the evaluators sneak items past security; this is one of the ways to correct weaknesses in the system. It does not invade your privacy because you do not have to come to the airport. Invading your privacy would be getting searched once you step out of your house. When you come to the airport and attempt to access the sterile area, you are consenting to security whether you realize it or not.
I have affiliation with TSA, and i would like to say to passengers: Do not give you luggage to porters outside of the airport! These people do not work for TSA, they are usually on a contract with the airport. They can easily take your items and you then you will never see them again! PS. Please do not put valuable items in checked baggage! That is one dumbest things people could do! Remember baggage handlers have access to luggage as well and they do not have cameras! Trust me I know these things happen because I work in Arlington. Just don't be stupid.
Anonymous said:"The SSSS (or boarding pass secondary screening) standards are set by the TSA."Actually, it's DHS, TSA's sugar-daddy, that sets the regulations for SSSS. The airlines are following the directives of DHS.
My wife and 10 month old daughter traveled out of Chicago Midway. I requested and received a "gate pass" (yes, believe it or not, a non-traveling person can still get a gate pass, they are issued by the airline at the ticket counter, TSA has to abide by it). The screener simply glanced at it and handed back to me saying, "this isn't a boarding pass" and looked like he expected me to say "oh, ok" and turn around leave…just get our of his face. I calmly pointed out to him that it was an airline issued "gate pass." He studied it for a moment, said, "huh, well learn something new every day", highlighted my name and the date and let me through. After that we had a surprisingly smooth pass through security, with the exception of a bin being snagged out of our hands before we had retrieved everything. But I wanted to point out to everyone reading that gate passes ARE still available (my wife or daughter neither one have special needs, I just requested it.) I also wanted to say that I have flown by myself out of Midway very frequently over the past five years for work and yet that with my family, a gate pass, a stroller, and baby bag full of what-nots, that was the best experience through security I’ve had in a long time. I haven’t been a big TSA fan…in fact I think “disdain” would accurately describe how I’ve felt. But, apparently at Midway they are showing real improvement. Thanks, please keep it up.
Opinion feedback to the Travel Security Administration Washington DC Website April 7, 2008After three years of regular domestic airline travel across the country it is apparent that the millions spent on TSA operations should be scaled back on average 90%. The system is staffed by good people, but who by their very need for work are not rocket scientists. I have seen policies that could have been formulated by high school phsycology majors. The entire shoe removal procedure is a perfect example. It was quickly cobbled together after the shoe bomber idiot happened to use that form of deceptive activity. Thank God he didn't hide the explosives in his underwear. Should a true terrorist place a device in his checked luggage at curbside and it makes it to the belly of the plane, have we accomplished anything. The last 4 flights I took were with scotch taped latch mechanisms on my Samsonite that were never compromised. Not even opened.What we have is inefective tom- foolery at security check points. It is alienating the traveling public and shows that the TSA is no longer needed. As a Michigan resident I will do my level best to have the entire agency either disbanded or reduced to include only spot checks (based on situations such as used at the Canadian border crossings). Things like eye contact and one simple random question, not shoes removed, not lost cell phones and pens and coins because of the system as it now stands is ripe for loss of valuables and general confusion for the American Traveler. I will repeat: the American traveler phrase again. This is our country, not the Federal Governments paranoid idea of a nefarious group of Richard shoebomber idiots.We can police ourselves and our traveling neighbors by simply sitting amongst them in airports. No national guard required, and look at the airline premium costs now involved, that could go instead for plane inspections and loose aluminum rivets.The TSA has out lived its usefullness. It is now a liability to the traveling public.Larry RossOrchard Lake, Mi
Gate passes aren't given out to everyone that wants one though. The individual airlines have their own criteria for issuing those out. The rules about liquids and prohibs apply to those possessing gate passes as well as ticketed passengers. Most airlines only issue gate passes to spouses of deploying or returning military, parents of minor children flying alone (pick up or drop off), those assisting senior citizens or persons with disabilities through security and to their gates or from their gates. Btw I have a pet peave for some family members of seniors that are flying. It's not the airlines responsibility to assist your family member through security. Dumping a person who has difficultly walking, talking, and/or hearing off at the door is not taking care of your family member. It's dumping them on the airlines, or abandoning them to get through the airport and security on their own.
My three young children and I went to the Burbank Airport (Bob Hope Airport now?) in Los Angeles to drop off my mother, who was flying home. Since she's elderly, my kids helped her with her luggage from the car and took it to the nearest luggage check-in, about 20 feet away from me. I was waiting about 8 seconds before the traffic security guy (not a uniformed police officer) ordered me to leave the area. I told him I have three young children 20 feet away and they're helping my elderly mother with her bags and they'll be back in 30 seconds. He ordered me to leave NOW or he'd have the police issue me a ticket. As Bugs Bunny used to say, "What a maroon!" I had NO intention of leaving my children and as a spot near them had just become free, I drove up about 20 feet, they got in, and I saw the traffic guy pointing at me and complaining to the policeman, standing near the outside baggage check-in. I mean, GET REAL, PEOPLE!!
Last summer I was "randomly selected" for screening. And so they took me and my mother to a section for screening. First, they took my laptop and wiped it with some sort of cloth and put it into a "chemical sniffing device". Next after having us take off most of our external clothes and checking us, they left our stuff and simply left, and never told us we could leave or that they were done. The entire time the TSA security seemed to treat us like criminals, always with a grim face and rude body language. I do think the TSA is good and is protecting us and I do not mind being searched. But I do not understand why the staff has to be rude and treat passengers like criminals.
While going through Kansas City Int (MCI). They examaned my ID with an LED black light and a jewlers loop. No other airport I've been through have done this, of course they all have been run by the TSA also.
TSA does not choose the "selectee" status which indicates additional screening. The airlines do. As for the liquid policy, we merely follow rules that come from headquarters in Virginia. Do not take it out on us as individuals. If you do not like and/or want to follow the rules and regulations...don't fly. It's as simple as that. I come to work with a smile on my face everyday and find myself getting yelled at and rideculed all day long. We fly also and when we do we have to follow the rules just as you do. I was at work one day and had a firefighter from NYC who was on Ground Zero on 9/11 thank me and became very emoional with me. To have a hero like this fine gentlemen thank me, that was worth all of the putdowns I get all day long. Remember....we're humans too.*TSO*
While angelo doesn't identify which other airports he has been to, black lights and magnifying loupes are being deployed to airports across the country as part of TSA's checking of travel documents.JonTSA EoS Blog Team
Thansk for the response John. Airports I have been in regularly over the past 6 months have been BNA (home base), MCO, ISP, DEN, HOU, MCI, FLLJust so everyone doesn't thing I'm hanging out at KCI for fun :)
As a frequent and vocal critic of airports and the screening process in general I just flew out of MPLS this morning. That airport has it's act together. I attempted to enter what I thought was a small line, only to be directed to another check point that had just a few people in line. Good deal. TSOs were both polite and professional. You guys are doing good. Will report back on the return trip on Friday.Thanks for the effort and very visible improvements.
anonymous said:I have to agree that first and business class passengers should not get separate lines. They pay more for more comfortable seats on the plane, but that is all.This has been asked and answered before. First, these high paying passengers are in essence subsidizing your cheap coach ticket. Without them, coach ticket prices would be higher.Second, the TSA does not control the lines until the bin rollers are reached. Up until that point it is the airport authority and/or the airlines. As such, the airlines are treating their better customers better.The first class customers receive more than a better seat. They receive better service on the plane, many times are entitled to access airline clubs and are entitled to other priorities. It only makes economic sense.If you want access to the elite lines, fly more often and accumulate enough miles to become elite. Simple as that.
I was flying though the Seattle airport with just my infant son (10months) in tow. He was asleep in his carseat/stroller when we were going through security and I was asked to remove him from his carseat and to carry him through (I had no problem folding up the stroller but was hoping to carry him through the detectors in his carseat so he could remain asleep). This process, of course, woke him up and made for a miserable and sleep-deprived baby (and consequently, made for miserable passengers on our flight). I was livid that I had to wake him and couldn't carry him through in his carseat. What is the policy on this and why is this necessary?
Please how does a person get off the no fly list without sending them all your personal info. With the way identify theft is today, Idon't want to send it. When you are on these list you cannot check in on the internet..it tells you to see ticket agent. my husband has been on this list foryears..it is ridiculous!!
Anonymous said... I feel the TSA ought to re-think its policy of how it deals with children and those traveling with children. On a recent flight from Bozeman to San Diego my 2 ½ year old son went through the metal detector with me. It alarmed - great. I went through again and it alarmed again. Then I immediately figured out what it was: I had a barrette in my hair, nothing else. I was not given the opportunity to take it out and go through again. First things first, you say you were not given the chance to remove the barrette...then how did you walk through the metal detector a second time? It's hard to believe the officer did not advise you to divest any metal you may have had on your person or your sons person prior to walking through again. Second, sometimes the most innocent looking are the most dangerous. Ever hear of Ted Kaczynski? He was considered a genius with an IQ of 170 and seemed entirly innocent until his bombing spree. Not only will a mathematician cause harm to individuals but children are used in attacks all the time. Many of your soldiers in foreign countries have perished because of innocent children detonating an Improvised Explosive Device in their vicinity. Granted, the screening process can be a bit intimidating, especially to a 2 1/2 year old boy, but the screening checkpoint was simply doing their part of ensuring everyone on every flight, including your sons, was not a threat. Now truthfully because you were the cause of the metal detector alarm, you should feel terrible for forcing your child to experience what he had to and quit blaming the screening officer(s) and the Adminstration for your inability to follow simple procedures.
The new uniform design, use of metal badges and "Officer" normenclature is a dangerous precident. I hope that citizens of this country continue to speak up and demand that TSA (and Homeland Security) be more respectful and responsive. I suggest a new uniform consisting of pale pink, green, orange, yellow or other pastels. Perhaps that would lead to a calmer environment for passenger screening.
An anonymous TS"O" person said:"TSA does not choose the "selectee" status which indicates additional screening. The airlines do."I shall repeat my previous post on this subject:"Actually, it's DHS, TSA's sugar-daddy, that sets the regulations for SSSS. The airlines are following the directives of DHS."Please don't try to dump it on the airlines - or don't you understand from where the edict derives?
Has the Defense Academy for Credibility Assessment ever done a study of TSA? I'd love to know your ranking!
Just returned from a band trip with 175 high school kids and chaperones. We sat on the plane for 2 hours while TSA inspected our 17 boxes of band uniforms, individual garment bags inside those boxes, and numerous band instruments. Such a waste of time, money, and energy!!!!!!! Once they saw they were simply band uniforms, why the need to open 17 garment boxes which were barely holding together for our trip home? Why the need to hold up 175 people who arrived home 2 hours LATE thanks to this idiocy. How likely is it we would want to blow ourselves up on a band trip to Disney???????? We were on a charter flight out of Sanford/Orlando airport coming home to Ohio. The TSA agents at the inside security were great, but it's hard to believe our government is spending time and energy inspecting high school bands when the REAL terrorists are out plotting to do us more harm. There needs to be an END to this senseless choice of "screening" and I use the term loosely. It does no one any good at all and is a TOTAL waste of time, energy and money.
I love it how everyone is so quick to criticize TSA, but at the same time offer no constructive solutions. Yes, no system is perfect, but instead of resorting to abrasiveness and name-calling, would it be so hard to turn the frustrations into a more positive outcome?It's hard and stressful enough of a job as it is, but people who don't have faith and don't have any interest in changing things for the better don't make it any easier.
I travelled through Athens, Georgia last weekend, and the TSA team did a great job. The line moved quickly, and the agents were helpful with those of us who forgot to take electronics out of our bags. Kudos to the team!
Granted, the screening process can be a bit intimidating, especially to a 2 1/2 year old boy, but the screening checkpoint was simply doing their part of ensuring everyone on every flight, including your sons, was not a threat. Now truthfully because you were the cause of the metal detector alarm, you should feel terrible for forcing your child to experience what he had to and quit blaming the screening officer(s) and the Adminstration for your inability to follow simple procedures.Arbeit Mach Frei was the sign at the front gates. Children were separated from their parents. The elderly, infirm, women and children were all told to disrobe and to go to the showers. Re-read what you wrote. I hope you're ashamed.
"Crutahn said... I love it how everyone is so quick to criticize TSA, but at the same time offer no constructive solutions. Yes, no system is perfect, but instead of resorting to abrasiveness and name-calling, would it be so hard to turn the frustrations into a more positive outcome? It's hard and stressful enough of a job as it is, but people who don't have faith and don't have any interest in changing things for the better don't make it any easier. April 9, 2008 1:33 PM"Sorry, but nothing will change until enough fed up people voice their critical concerns. Many posters have made valid suggestions, and some of those suggestions have actually caused changes to be implemented. If you want a pat on the back, you'll have to earn it. Faith really has nothing to do with the TSA, the TSA is NOT a higher power. For you it is a job, for the average passenger it is a bearable intrusion.
Crutahn:This particular blog entry is about "gripes and grins", not "suggestions for improvement". I hardly think it's inappropriate to complain in an entry that's dedicated to complaining ...
This is my story of my brother and I receiving what seemed like retaliation for his need to have his medical supplies hand checkedID gets checked, sort our stuff out on the table heading up to the xray. My brother is in front of me, ready to go, and informs the TSO at the MD that one of his bags (quick guess on size, without looking at it maybe 12x15x7 inches) needs hand checked. The lady there tells him to tell the Xray operator, which he does, and she gets the person who does bag inspections (I didn't get any info other than a description, I'll name him Bob)Bob: Why Does it need hand checked?My brother: It contains medical supplies which can't be x-rayed.Bob: We can't hand check a bag that big.Lil Bro: Well it can't be x-rayed.Bob: I need a supervisorSupervisor: What's the problemBob: He wants this bag checked by hand, its too big.Supervisor: Why does it need hand checked?Lil Bro: It contains medical supplies which cannot be x-rayed [as an aside, the medical professionals said that it's not that the x-ray damages it, but that they don't know what/if the x-ray does to the medicine and supplies]Supervisor: For what kind of medical condition?Lil Bro: [Complex medical jargon, which even needs to be explained to some non-doctors/nurses]Supervisor: Blank stare, followed by "What?"Now, I sort of viewed the question as a personal question, just like as I tell the screener that I've got prescription-camouflaged liquid explosives, she doesn't ask (especially aloud) what kind of medicines I'm sending through. By now, our bags have made it through, so they're now sitting out in the open, esp my brother's laptop.I ask the MD operator if I can go through, while they sort out the mess, and the supervisor is pretty much standing in the way. She allows me through, and I continue hearing them argue, and the apparent problem is the bag itself cannot be hand checked, because its "too big," but that all the contents can be. I begin putting my belt and shoes on, when the supervisor comes through, grabs my bag, and throws it down the belt (albeit softly, but now I'm mad at how she's treating my brother), and I tell her not to touch my stuff.Supervisor: I can touch whatever I want to touch. I'm just moving stuff down the belt.Me: Well either ask me to move it, or move it gently, it's my stuff, and I'd like you not to touch it.Supervisor: [no response]She then tells Bob (the original guy called over) something along the lines of make sure all of those items get checked, and "this could take some time"Bob: Is this your stuff [directed at me]Me: No, it's my brother's, but you can inspect it.(So now, he asks, to make sure it's being observed by the owner, and I allow him to go ahead, I'll watch it.)Supervisor: No. You wait for him (my brother)My brother comes over, and he's arguing with her, especially about the way she talked to him. She starts yelling, so he proceeds to start yelling, and I'm in the little roped-off area where they do the bag checks (or in this case, the bagless stuff check) with them. She asks me to step out, so I do, and things are getting pretty heated, as they argue while Bob looks at each item and swabs it. As this is going on:Me: Lil Bro, I'm...Supervisor: [looks over, begins to say something to me, and is glaring at me]Me: [ignoring her] I'm going to the gate to let them know whats going onTell the GA at airline, says we're ok on time, return, still arguing.He has had enough, and he asks for her badge number. She (as I'm sure you all can predict) turns away quickly so he can't see it. He tries to grab her so he can get her badge number, and touches her arm, and she flips out. Starts yelling at him for touching her arm. He starts arguing back about getting her badge number, and then she walks away. I got the badge number, and then she calls for a guy, I'll call him Brad (I hadn't seen one around, but I was kind of afraid she was calling for STL PD). He comes over, wearing a suit, not TSA uniform, and is able to diffuse the situation, as my brother explains that he doesn't "have a problem with the fact that the stuff needs to be screened, in fact I want a secure airport, but it's the way she handled it, I don't need to be talked to like that..."Eventually it's all taken care of, we're free to go, so to speak. Supervisor comes over with my brother, towards me, and my brother asks him for his name, which he freely gives. I then ask him if he’s a SPOT or a Supervisor, and he replies supervisor, not SPOT. I thank him, and then made what was probably a rude comment to the lady supervisor, something along the lines of “you have a pleasant day, lady.”Epilogue: walk down to gate, get our place in line, and get on the plane, making it to destination on-time, with our bags.Also, at our home airport a few days prior, it was a quick and painless process, the bag was handed around to for a bag check, my brother clears MD and x-ray of his other bag, and the guy swabs it, apologizes for the delay, and we’re off.
On March 31, 2008, I wrote:"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.[...]"On March 28, 2008, I received a second response from TSA.[...]"I suspect that these signs are in violation of OMB's Agency Information Quality Guidelines."see also: “Although airport security tells passengers they must show ID to board planes, they really don’t,” Scott Canon and Mike Rice, Kansas City Star, April 9, 2008
Cruthan said "I love it how everyone is so quick to criticize TSA, but at the same time offer no constructive solutions. "Offer no constructive solutions? Try reading this blog a bit more closely. Plenty of posters have offered quite a number of very specific suggestions. While it is true that plenty of people (myself included) have described the problems we have encountered, even problem descriptions can be useful if properly analyzed. It's not that hard to see what went wrong and look for better ways of doing things.Borrowing from one of my earlier posts, here's a set of suggestions I put forth:- Give TSO's the same amount of training on people skills as they get on detecting prohibited items.- Evaluate TSO's equally as often and as rigorously on people skills as on detection skills.- Hold supervisors accountable for what happens or fails to happen on their watch.- Use the existing surveillance camera footage to look for situations that were not handled well, and look for ways to improve.- "STOP THE YELLING. Ahem, stop the yelling." (Wish I could take credit for that one.) There's a concept in human relations called the "minimum effective response." It boils down to use the least level of response that gets the job done. IOW, don't yell when a simple explanation in a civil tone of voice will get the job done.- Train the TSO's to seek to de-escalate a tense situation instead of seeking to inflame it further.- Give the public the same set of thumb rules for "liquids, gels and aerosols" as has been given to the TSO's. Stop playing "gotcha" based on local interpretations.- Secret shopper missions to evaluate the checkpoint experience. Use some people that are elderly, frail, handicapped, have children with them, etc. to test the known rough edges of the system.- Install a dedicated "passenger advocate" at the checkpoint to bring some balance to the checkpoint experience.- All TSA personnel must wear name tags in plain view at all times when on duty.- Resecure any searched luggage with a zip tie that clearly shows the TSA was in the bag.- The "we looked in your bag" notice must show the location, date, time and identify the TSO who searched the bag.- Bring the belongings of anyone selected for additional screening to that location. - Establish a list of things that "never should happen", such as separating a child from their adult guardian, yelling at a passenger to hurry when they plainly need assistance, etc. Make violations of the "never should happen" list cause for immediate termination.If that's not "constructive solutions", what are they?
Dear Larry Ross,Thank you for your post. Very well put.
This was posted under "shoes", but since the blog is not working properly there, I am answering here:"I am a screener and you make a good point about it being easier to hide explosives on your persons. But we try to limit the possiblity of that by asking passangers to take off all outer wear including blazers, suit jackets, sports jackets, sweaters, and coats. And if a person is wearing a shirt or sweatshirt, with nothing underneath, that is too baggy and we can't see the conture of their body, we send them in for additional screening, which is a patdown."This is scary! We will soon have to travel in our bathing suits! I certainly was not aware that wearing baggy clothes (in which you can´t see the contour of my body) made me susceptible to additional screening. I actually have a pretty good body, but tend to wear sweats on board for comfort. From now on I´l make sure I wear something form fitting and inappropriately sexy.
I wanted to know if I could take a tripod (used in photography) aboard in carry on luggage. It is not on the list of prohibited items, but as a business traveler I know that means nothing. I tried to use the "Contact Us" link on the TSA web site, but it does not work. (at least today, 4/9/08). I would rather be told that it is not allowed now rather than have the surly TSA checkers at IAD confiscate it and then subject me to a full body search, like they did the last time, when I asked to be allowed to wait until my computer went through the x-ray machine before going through the metal detector.
Crutahn said "I love it how everyone is so quick to criticize TSA, but at the same time offer no constructive solutions."Here is a list of suggestions:- Give us solid evidence that the system works, so we feel better about going through with it.- Use puffers and other technology to determine if liquids are OK, instead of arbitrary limits.- Only have people who set off puffers or metal detectors take off shoes.- Be nice.
With reference to Anonymous's post on 4/9 at 9:16 p.m., we learned on FlyerTalk that the TSA website says this about medications:"To prevent your medication, associated supplies or fragile medical materials for contamination or damage, we will ask you to display, handle, and repack your own medication and associated supplies during visual inspection. Any medication and/or associated supplies that we can’t clear visually will be X-rayed. If you refuse, you will not be permitted to carry your medications and related supplies into the sterile area."But then a poster who is allegedly with the TSA says this about the above quote:"Well this is a case of the TSA media department blowing it again. The web site information you quote is not in the TSA SOP. This is yet another example of the public being told to expect one thing, but not sending the same info to the screening workforce. Shame on us!"Yet another poster says:"But if this is the only written policy that I can see as a passenger, from your official website, I'm going to take it as carte blanche. Anything you tell me I'm going to consider false, unless you can show me in writing contradictory evidence."Which is it TSA?
Anonymous quoting a screener:"I am a screener and you make a good point about it being easier to hide explosives on your persons. But we try to limit the possiblity of that by asking passangers to take off all outer wear including blazers, suit jackets, sports jackets, sweaters, and coats. And if a person is wearing a shirt or sweatshirt, with nothing underneath, that is too baggy and we can't see the conture of their body, we send them in for additional screening, which is a patdown."This is scary! We will soon have to travel in our bathing suits! I certainly was not aware that wearing baggy clothes (in which you can´t see the contour of my body) made me susceptible to additional screening. Why is a 15-20 patdown scary? If you aren't hiding anything it's completely painless.
Anonymous asks:Why is a 15-20 patdown scary? If you aren't hiding anything it's completely painless.The issue isn't pain ... it's invasion of privacy. If I walked up to clients in my workplace and started patting them down, I'm pretty sure that saying "this is painless, why are you complaining?" wouldn't get me anything ... other than a swift trip over to the HR office for some remedial counseling (or worse).Some people have a high sense of a need for personal space than others. That's natural. Wanting to be free of such contact should not be seen as unusual.
Why is a 15-20 patdown scary? If you aren't hiding anything it's completely painless.I associate pat-downs with suspects/criminals. I am neither just because I chose to fly. I find pat-downs demeaning and intrusive. How would you like for some stranger to feel you up and you had to either grin and bear it or risk having your travels further interrupted? When I was in the military I accepted that my both my property and person were subject to searchs. Even those searches had limits to them and the individuals doing those searches had better follow the regulations. I don't see that with TSOs who operate pretty much open loop and when confronted by someone use the 'do you want to fly today' or 'I'm following orders' or 'do you want me to get a LEO' or just resort to retaliatory screening measures.
Why is a 15-20 patdown scary? If you aren't hiding anything it's completely painless.What is scary is not the (invasive and inappropriate) pat down, it is the fact that wearing baggy clothes makes you a target for special screening.
About the jellyman post: It is a concern that someone uses a stolen credit card to purchase a ticket but why would it have anything to do with TSA? If the person stole a credit card and purchased a ticket they can put the ticket in any name. When that person comes to the airport and checks in, their name matches the ticket so why would there be any suspicion? Anybody can purchase a ticket with any credit card, it has to do with the name the ticket is put in. If the person stealing the credit card uses their real name then there is nothing anybody can do.
Anonymous said:"I associate pat-downs with suspects/criminals. I am neither just because I chose to fly. I find pat-downs demeaning and intrusive. How would you like for some stranger to feel you up and you had to either grin and bear it or risk having your travels further interrupted? When I was in the military I accepted that my both my property and person were subject to searchs. Even those searches had limits to them and the individuals doing those searches had better follow the regulations. I don't see that with TSOs who operate pretty much open loop and when confronted by someone use the 'do you want to fly today' or 'I'm following orders' or 'do you want me to get a LEO' or just resort to retaliatory screening measures."When you submit your property and person for screening, which is what you do when you go through a checkpoint, screening is what you will get. What type of screening you get depends on a lot of things including some randomness as well as clearing those who for medical reason cannot go through the metal detector and those who because of implants alarm the detector. Of course a few airports have the new image scanner that can eleviate some of the extra screening that goes on, but certainly not all. Patdowns are a routine element of the screening process. It's not that we think you are all criminals but that we must do our best to be that one level of security in the checkpoint that works together with the other levels to prevent another airline terrorist attack. Doing our best means many things and one of those things is patdown searches.
I may have figured out why I always get selected for special screening - I have a very long name (nothing middle eastern or "suspicious") and always use just my first and last name, omitting the middle names.So this time I tried to buy my ticket with my full name. Unsurprisingly, it did not fit on the boarding pass and I was pulled aside by the chap checking IDs and passes for a "no match".Is there anything short of legally changing my name I can do?
Remember the days when you just walked up to the X-ray machine, put your bag on the belt, walked through the metal detector, then claimed your bag on the other side and proceeded to your gate? None of this taking your shoes off, taking your jacket off, putting your laptop in a separate bin, removing your shampoo and toothpaste for separate screening. Why does the screening process have to be such as hassle? The other day I was flying out of SAT and a woman was pulled aside for "additional screening", and the TSO ordered her 4-5 year old son to go back through the metal detector. The woman was hysterical from being separated from her son, and the little boy almost wondered off had not a couple of passengers waiting in line stopped him. Why does common sense always have to go out the window when the government gets involved?
I have often come to this blog and read and left feeling somewhat angry about how people have been treated on both ends (travelers and TSA officers) I took it upon myself to do some research. These are my findings: Yes, there are some rude officers that work for TSA with this being said... Complain to his/her supervisor if this gets you no where ask for the Floor Manager or Chief Supervisor. Next there are some great Officers and they should be commended again I say ask for their Supervisor. Now on the issue of the rules and our freedoms being infringed upon... Yes it is a hassle, yes when you have small children or you know you are not someone that is looking to something horrible to innocent people, or you are a military person just trying to go and fight over where people are being killed...etc...etc. 1st let me say give yourself enough time that way you are not rushed just in case you do have to go through additional screening, 2nd remain level headed, if you start to get upset and angry it only draws negative attention to yourself, 3rd Try to put yourself in the other persons shoes, whether it be the TSA officer or the passenger, Listen, communicate try a little empathy. Whether any of us like it or not there are REAL THREATS out there... ie. the gentleman recently arrested in Orlando with bomb making materials in his bag. I think everyone should watch the movie Kingdom... which has to do with all of this but over in Iraq.. which shows men stealing Military uniforms and getting past the base and drives through shooting innocent men, women and children because of the belief and mission they have. Also remember the pregnant women with the suicide vest strapped to herself filled with explosives but failed to go off. Remember because you do not have the mentality to do harm to other people does not mean they don't. They will use babies, elder men and women (Russian planes that were taken down by 2 elderly women with suicide belts), etc. Next time you see a military person in uniform that has been over there ask them and if they had seen any action I am positive they saw children with semi-automatic weapons shooting at them. We all have to realize that this is a different world than we all knew and unfortunately things aren't changing for the better. Let's all do our best to try to treat each other how we would like to be treated.
Hey you know what I think is hilarious? That these people that are soooooo...... inconvienced by airport security that they spend all this time writing and posting on the blog to complain, when they could take 5 minuets and go to www.tsa.gov to educate them selves on what they cannot bring on a plane anymore. Help your selves out people stop trying to blame us for your own stupidity. All the information you need to know is on the web site!!! And clearly if you post or read this you have access to the internet so it should not be hard to go to www.tsa.gov to look at the rules and regulations.Oh and everytime you think that what we do is pointless imagine that you or someone you love was on one of the planes from 9/11 then think of how what we do has prevented that tragity from happening since then.
I am wondering whether there are TSA staffing issues at Orlando (MCO) airport.I arrived there two weeks ago from a BA flight originating at London Gatwick. I understand also that Virgin Atlantic also fly to Orlando daily.Out of 26 available desks at Immigration there were only 4 such desks open to process pax from both these flights which arrived at around the same time. I feel this is poor planning on the TSA's part; they know in advance what flights are coming in and should plan accordingly.
trvlsmrt, the man in Orlando was NOT a threat in that he had no intention of trying to bring down an airplane. What was in his suitcase would have been seen while it was being x-rayed. Let's see a list of people who have been tried and convicted for trying to bring down an aircraft. The "threat community" says they are out there - prove it. Kip Hawley said in an interview with Bruce Schneier "...we have identified more people of counterterrorism interest than all the people combined caught with prohibited items."If you believe that statement, then I have a bridge I would like to sell to you.
Anonymous said, in part,"All the information you need to know is on the web site!!! And clearly if you post or read this you have access to the internet so it should not be hard to go to www.tsa.gov to look at the rules and regulations."The TSA website says this about medications:To prevent your medication, associated supplies or fragile medical materials for contamination or damage, we will ask you to display, handle, and repack your own medication and associated supplies during visual inspection. Any medication and/or associated supplies that we can’t clear visually will be X-rayed. If you refuse, you will not be permitted to carry your medications and related supplies into the sterile area.However, on FT, a screener has said this about the above paragraph:Well this is a case of the TSA media department blowing it again. The web site information you quote is not in the TSA SOP. This is yet another example of the public being told to expect one thing, but not sending the same info to the screening workforce. Shame on us!So apparently, the website is NOT the authority as to procedure. Of course, we all know that you can't disclose the SOP because it's SSI.Now, if a screener would like to tell me otherwise and discredit a fellow screener, I'm all ears.
From an Anonymous post April 12, 2008 6:31 PM:The other day I was flying out of SAT and a woman was pulled aside for "additional screening", and the TSO ordered her 4-5 year old son to go back through the metal detector. The woman was hysterical from being separated from her son, and the little boy almost wondered off had not a couple of passengers waiting in line stopped him.From the TSA web site at the following address:http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/children/index.shtmWe will not ask you to do anything that will separate you from your child or children.Sounds like the TSO's didn't know basic procedure for dealing with children.Question for the blog teamOver time this blog has become laden with examples of procedures that are not followed (see above), passengers perceiving that TSO's make up their own rules, examples of improper TSO behavior, etc., etc. Many of these examples refer to specific airports.Does the TSA capture this sort of information for analysis? Do they relay these sorts of examples to the proper authorities to let them know that something is going wrong at a particular airport?If the TSA stepped up to the plate and acknowledged that they had noted a given problem and undertaken corrective action, there'd be less cynicism relative to the TSA. Though certain actions have been taken as a result of this blog, this smaller number of high profile situations addressed is vastly overshadowed by the huge numbers of day to day problems that don't get addressed.
Re: Mission: ImpossibleForbes March 10While TSA administrator Kip Hawley said that the purpose of this blog is to get passengers and TSA on the same side, that truly is an impossible mission.TSA is the prototype of an inefficient bureaucracy created to perpetuate the fear factor upon which the Bush administration bases its rule. Nothing that the TSA does makes the US or the flying public any safer. Its tactics have made Americans more suspect of their government and more frustrated with its activities. The whole DHS budget is mostly bureaucratic waste.There are many example of how poorly TSA implements its programs but nowhere is the contrast more eye opening than at the Orlando airport. The contrast of lines within DisneyWorld and at security at McCoy is proof positive that TSA does not have a clue how to manage their activities.TSA should hire Disney to plan at least how it handles lines if not their whole operation. Outsourcing security to a private American company could only improve the operations.In general TSA employees from the top down are typical of most government employees today. Poorly trained, poorly dressed, impolite with an entitled attitude. TSA fails to recognize that we are the customer. It assumes that it knows best.In fact it has proven that it doesn't.Music and pleasant surroundings won't solve the fundamental problem - gross incompetence and fiscal irresponsibility by a bureaucracy staffed by people with no experience at the task assigned.by Hubbs Apr 15
First, I appreciate the efforts of the TSA to keep the skies safe. The fact that there has not been a single terrorist attack since September 11th is partial evidence of the efficacy of the TSA.However, I do have one complaint and one suggestion.First, the complaint. Every single time I fly, my checked baggage has the "random" search notice in it. Fine. If you wish to root through my dirty underwear, be my guest. However, I would like to see some more care with how they repack after tearing it apart. I was in Mexico last summer, and purchased a ceramic wall hanging. It was carefully swaddled in clothing and placed in the middle of the bag to prevent it from breaking. When I retrieved my bag, it had been searched. The delicate ceramic decoration was laying ON THE BOTTOM of the bag, broken in half. How stupid does someone have to be to repack a bag like that? How much extra effort would it take to pack it back the way I had it? Probably 10 seconds. I attempted to file a claim, but I didn't have a reciept (it was purchased in a street market), and it was only a 10 dollar item...not worth the asinine process required. In the future, please, please be more respectful of other people's belongings when searching bags.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.
Anonymous said: Hey you know what I think is hilarious? That these people that are soooooo...... inconvienced by airport security that they spend all this time writing and posting on the blog to complain, when they could take 5 minuets and go to www.tsa.gov to educate them selves on what they cannot bring on a plane anymore.I never take anything I can´t on board. I am well informed. I travel light, and ship luggage. I am also a target of special security every time I fly, for no obvious reason. I am tired of being puffed, patted, wanded and having my carry-on personal items put in public display. I am also tired of having my checked luggage ransacked and delivered in a complete mess. I am tired of dealing with moody TSOs. I am tired of this security theater the TSA is putting on, when all independent tests have shown that they miss more dangerous items than they find. I sincerely think that if they spent less time looking for shampoo and making sure everyone is barefoot they would find the concentration necessary to see real threats.
Keep in mind folks, you don't even need to be able to graduate high school (in the US, where the standards are now incredibly low) to work for the TSA. If you have experience as a mall cop, that's all they need.You get what you pay for, and they're not paying for much. Sometimes you get a screener who is intelligent and competent, and sometimes you get one who makes fun of the medical supplies in your carry-on while searching for a nonexistent water bottle.
wow trvlsmrt! I thought your post was great!
"Sandra said... An anonymous TS"O" person said:"TSA does not choose the "selectee" status which indicates additional screening. The airlines do."I shall repeat my previous post on this subject:"Actually, it's DHS, TSA's sugar-daddy, that sets the regulations for SSSS. The airlines are following the directives of DHS."Actually Sandra, it's NOT the DHS that's in charge of the SSSS process, it's the Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration that regulates it. It's also the FAA that is in charge of the No Fly list.
"Actually Sandra, it's NOT the DHS that's in charge of the SSSS process, it's the Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration that regulates it. It's also the FAA that is in charge of the No Fly list."The FBI transferred responsibility to the FAA for the list in 2001; after that, the FAA's responsibility for the list was transferred to DHS/TSA by the Aviation and Transportation Security Act.
I would like to know it your "non-invasive" full body scanning technology can determine if I am wearing a tampon.
I wonder if everyone knows how lucky they are in comparison to other countries in the world. Complaining about a 15-30 second pat down. Shameful! If you were else where that pat down would never happen because you would be stripped while having a gun pointed to your head. I am not saying the entire process is excellent but it could be MUCH MUCH worse, possibly more effective but then everyone would be complaining. Catch 22.
I wonder if everyone knows how lucky they are in comparison to other countries in the world. Complaining about a 15-30 second pat down. Shameful! If you were else where that pat down would never happen because you would be stripped while having a gun pointed to your head. I am not saying the entire process is excellent but it could be MUCH MUCH worse, possibly more effective but then everyone would be complaining. Catch 22.Oh, yes, recently at Schiphol I saw a passport control officer, sitting there, armed with a nightstick, pistol, and a pair of handcuffs. I was terribly frightened at the thought of a bored public servant going on a rampage. I saw their version of gate screeners smiling, what are they smiling about I thought. Are they smiling about the passengers who are about to be detained so they miss their flights? Are they smiling about the armed to the teeth passport control officers going on a murderous rampage? No, they were, unlike some gate checkers here in the US, pleasant people. FYI, Europe has had to deal with real terrorism for many years before we were hit. Perhaps we could learn a thing or two from them.
How about fixing the "shoes" topic, which hasn't shown new messages in over a month?
To the Anonymous Person Who Said:I wonder if everyone knows how lucky they are in comparison to other countries in the world. Complaining about a 15-30 second pat down. Shameful! If you were else where that pat down would never happen because you would be stripped while having a gun pointed to your head.Can you name one country in which this is standard operating procedure? In fact, have you ever even been outside the United States? Other countries' security procedures make the TSA look like the pathetic joke that it is. It is fools who still believe in US exceptionalism that can be convinced otherwise.
The people of this country have become so complacent. Such a shame.
anonymous said "OK,I have complained about a lot of TSA stuff, but the new post at the homepage of this blog got me seriously ruffled. It says you will be installing full body scanners in airport terminals this year. I am stating right now that I WILL NOT BE SUBJECTED TO A FULL BODY SCAN. It is outrageous to put innocent people through such indecency." Every single person that steps foot into the aiport has the potential to do something negative so where do you come from calling yourself and others innocent? No one is hurting you by scanning your body...TSA is trying to make sure you make it to where you're going in 1 piece. U must have not lost any loved ones on 9/11...
jellyman said "I had assumed that the TSA/DHS would be interested in knowing of someone coming from Nigeria to the United States on a fraudulently purchased ticket. Since the flight was still in the air when I called, I thought there would be time for authorities to do something about it."You're just mad because you got your credit card # snatched up...it's not the TSAs responsibility to handle fraud cases and as for the guy being on the plane with that ticket...so what? He was cleared by security so obviously he was no threat, all he was when he stepped on to that plane was a theif, no more no less so why should the TSA care? Thats your problem...
Comment in respect to US screeners learning a thing or two from the passport control officers who carry guns and are armed to the teeth. Did you ever think that maybe TSA officers would be a little nicer and smile if the american public was. You didn't think twice about talking back when you were over there did you? Think about that.
In comment to Marshalls MO to trvlsmrt. Marshall get a clue... the man in Orlando wasn't a threat why because he "said" that he wasn't planning on taking down the plain with the bomb making materials in his bag. Yeah like any of the people that have looked to do harm have said oh yeah thats a bomb in my bag I plan on detonating it while we are in the air. You keep believing that and you have fun sitting next to the person with the belt filled with explosive strapped to himself and TSA let them through because he said he isn't planning on using it to take down the plane. Get a clue... Real threats are people testing the system and trying to get stuff through, not just people that actually do harm.
Comment in respect to US screeners learning a thing or two from the passport control officers who carry guns and are armed to the teeth.I've seen weapons before and wasn't in the least bit intimidated by the passport control officer having them on his person. Remember the Bader Meinhof Gang? Those were real nasties that several EU governments had to deal with.Did you ever think that maybe TSA officers would be a little nicer and smile if the american public was.TSA sets the tone. Screaming like a drill sergent wanna be isn't a sign that TSA wants anyone to be friendly to them. Try again.You didn't think twice about talking back when you were over there did you? Think about that.I was a guest in their country. Why should I crap on their carpet by having a nasty attitude towards them? I wasn't the least bit intimidated. All of the officials and airlines people I dealt with were quite pleasant. Think about that. You don't travel much do you?
To Anonymous on April 21st at 5:42 p.m.First, if you're going to comment on something another poster wrote, at least please get the poster's name right.Secondly, you wrote:"the man in Orlando wasn't a threat why because he "said" that he wasn't planning on taking down the plain with the bomb making materials in his bag." (I think you meant plane instead of plain.)By writing that you imply that I wrote that the man said he wasn't planning on taking down the plane. I never wrote any such thing.If you're going to quote someone, please quote correctly.
Just went through security at JFK Terminal 8. No lines, no pressure, and absolutley no assistance whatsoever from TSA staff. I had to find an empty tray myself for my laptop etc.; had to ask whether shoes should come off (no sign posted), to which I got a mere nod from the guy sitting behind the x-ray; after screening, my bag and tray were stuck on the roller bed behind the plastic screen which is meant to prevent passengers from reaching the bags before the designated collection area. No one was there to push the bags forward. I asked the guy behind the x-ray how I was supposed to get my stuff back, and he simply motioned to me to reach over the plastic barrier. At no point was a word of courtesy used, or any word for that matter. The whole experience made me feel like someone checking into prison. I know it's small stuff compared to some other complaints, but that's exactly what made it so frustrating -- it would take so little to make this one a civilized experience.
TSAguy said in regards to what jellyman had posted... "You're just mad because you got your credit card # snatched up...it's not the TSAs responsibility to handle fraud cases and as for the guy being on the plane with that ticket...so what? He was cleared by security so obviously he was no threat, all he was when he stepped on to that plane was a theif, no more no less so why should the TSA care? Thats your problem..."So TSAguy, your point seems to be that as long as the thief was cleared by security as having nothing dangerous, then the TSA should no longer be concerned? This is clearly not the TSA company line now is it? Otherwise, why would TSA do the ridiculas document checking and then trumpet on their website how many bad documents they found? Whey would the TSA do their little SPOT number? By your logic, it doesn't matter how weird a passenger is just as long as they don't have anything dangerous on them. So SPOT is therefore unnecessary, correct?
TSAguy said: "Every single person that steps foot into the aiport has the potential to do something negative so where do you come from calling yourself and others innocent?"What happened to presumed innocent until proven guilty? Does that not apply to airports?
Every single person that steps foot into the aiport has the potential to do something negative so where do you come from calling yourself and others innocent?You are correct in saying that everyone who comes to an airport has to potential to do something negative, including TSA employees. Who made you cop on the beat, judge, jury, and executioner? What ever happened to a trial by peers? Are you all seeing, all knowing , omnipotent? You sure act like it.No one is hurting you by scanning your body...TSA is trying to make sure you make it to where you're going in 1 piece.Ah, security at any cost. Sorry, but any cost has been reached and won't work. When the bad guys nuke (probably the next big terror attack) us will your 'security at any cost be proven a failure'?U must have not lost any loved ones on 9/11... What does 9/11 have to do with today? You can't keep waving 9/11 around and expect us to do anything but move on. You're fighting the last war.
You're just mad because you got your credit card # snatched up...it's not the TSAs responsibility to handle fraud casesSo what is with checking driver's licenses? Isn't that fraud as well? Why do you bother to check anyone's documents with that attitude?and as for the guy being on the plane with that ticket...so what?Yep, so what? So what that he may have been a terrorist running a dry run to see if he could come into the US without any problems. You're disgusting and should quit working for TSA.
It is not the job of the TSA to catch all criminals that happen to fly on airplanes. We do catch them on occasion due to them getting tripped up in the process of being screened, but that's an incidental catch. Our job is to keep bombs, guns, knives, and other prohibited items off of airplanes by screening passengers, personal property, and checked baggage. The screening of passengers involves making sure that the person with the boarding pass is the person they are claiming to be using the tools provided to us (Travel document checking).
Several people I've spoken with over the years agree that disposable slippers/foot covering should be available if we are required to remove our shoes. What about having a tissue box-like dispenser at each security line for those of us who do not wish to dirty our socks or soil our bare feet on the filthy floor? Perhaps something like the ones hospital staff use?
Like the baggies that are required to carry liquids the TSA doesn't provide the footcovers. I suggest bringing them yourselves or requesting that the airports provide them. To get the airport to provide them takes a little ingenuity and activism but contacting your airport board is a good place to start.
My wife recently returned from europe with two bottles of very good wine. Since she was not allowed to carry them onto the plane she was forced to pack them in her checked bag. She wrapped them very carefully, and packed them securely so they would not shift and bang against each other. Unfortunately TSA chose this bag to open and examine. The examiner evidently pulled things out of the bag, then repacked them carelessly. To make the bag easier to close, the examiner expanded the bag, leaving the contents loose and able to move around. the result was that both bottles broke! Thanks a lot, TSA!
I have a gripe about travelling through Orlando on 4/24. First, the carpet was disgusting. Second, I removed my wallet, keys, cellphone, change, etc. and put it in one of the small bowls at the metal detector. I tried handing the bowl to the screener but he directed me to put the items on the X-ray conveyor, as he did to everyone putting their valuables in a bowl. Previously we handed these items to the screener and they passed it behind the metal detector, then they handed it to us (travelers) after we walked through.Basically anyone waiting at the end of the conveyor can take whatever they want out of these bowls. Anyone could have taken my wallet, watch, cell phone since no screener was at the end of the conveyor. My family has already had a necklace and camera memory cards taken from checked luggage inspected by TSA and now it seems the TSA is creating more opportunities for theft at airports.
I was in a huge rush to fly home from Gulfport/ Biloxi airport and the TSA empolyees were amazing with helping me get through the security line. I had liquids without a zip-loc and they found a zip-loc, bagged it, and got me on my flight. It would have been very easy to tell me it wasn't their problem, but they hustled, helped, and really showed they cared. Please make sure the Gulfport/Biloxi TSA is recognized because they truly deserve it. I travel frequently and have rarely had good experiences with the TSA
At the Des Moines, Iowa airport, one TSA clerk decided to "check out" the video projector I use for business. She did the wipe with white pad thing, and re-packed the projector. When I had to give a presentation the next day, the leg that pops up to change the height of the projector was broken. What the TSA clerk did, was to hit the button that releases the leg, and then she jammed it back in, without dpressing the button. I had to send my projector back to the manufactureer to get it fixed. This is what happens when you employ ex-housewives that have no prior experience working outside the home. She should have asked me how to get the leg back in the projector, instead she broke it.
Flew from Dayton,Ohio to Grand Rapids Michigan. Had tools I checked at the plane and in the bag was a large 8" screw driver (cost $9.00) that I needed to fix a machine I was working on in Grand Rapids. The Screwdriver made it to Grand Rapids no problem, but was confiscated at Grand Rapids on the trip back to Dayton by the Female TSA clerk. She said I could not transport a tool longer than 7" inches. I responded, "I thought longer than 7" was good?"What do you guys do with all the valuable stuff you steal from airline passengers?
I have plenty of things I dislike about airports, airport security and what I have to go through to get on a plane. BUT...I keep it to myself. I realize you are trying all you can to keep me and my family safe. I love to fly and I fly a lot. Some of security process might seem tedious, but I'm willing to give a little extra time and laugh it off later if it is keeping me safe. So those that are frustrated and those that say they will NEVER be subjected to a body search, someday you might be thankful they have these body searches. I think its worth it.
While attempting to go through security at Boston’s Logan International, I encountered who I thought was the most incompetent TSA screener that I have ever met. This woman could not read English! This woman could not pronounce my son’s name on his boarding pass and continuously insisted that it was misspelled! How on earth can you have someone working security in the United States of American who can not only speak the language, nor read it in a possession of authority for our national security?! I could not believe this woman. We almost missed our plane (and if we hadn’t grabbed our shoes and run barefoot through the airport we would have). When I returned, I asked to speak with a supervisor but no one ever returned my calls to address this concern. At least if you are going to make lay abiding American citizens remove their shoes after spending hundreds of dollars to travel through US skies, AT LEAST MAKE SURE THAT THE SCREENERS ARE AMERICAN AND CAN READ AND SPEAK ENGLISH!!!!!
My recent experience going through Airport Security went better than expected. I haven't been on an airplane for travel in over 8 years. By choice, I really do no like to fly, But I had to for business this month. The TSA did a great job listing what I needed to be prepared for and what to do when I got there. I did think it was going to take longer, but it went smoothly and the screening process went by quickly. I was glad to see this there and running as well as it does. It did help that I got there early. I felt safer.
On a recent trip with my uncle and handicapped (in wheelchair) mother, we were "chosen" at Detroit Metro Airport for additional screening. We were already running late because our flight in Flint was cancelled and then overbooked. The TSA agents had my mother get out of her wheelchair to walk through the explosives air machine and metal detector. She was instructed that she could not have her cane or touch the sides of the machines. When I asked if I could assist her, I was told absolutely not. Though I don't normally gripe about security, even though I seem to be always chosen for additional screening, this was uncalled for. So after spending 45 minutes in security (it is difficult for a handicapped person to walk through security, not to mention having to practically strip, and asked to do things that are almost impossible) we missed our flight by 5 mintues. Because we missed this flight, we spent an additional 9 hours flying this day and missed my grandmothers funeral in Florida. A simple 6 hour trip turned into a 16 trip.
I travel a lot and carry a tool case with me all the time. I under stand that they have to look into the case at time but what gives them the right to NOT close the case back up the way they found it. I have put extra latches on it to prevent it from opening. When I get my case at baggage claim the case is open and I have lost many tools that way including a $500 meter.
"The screening of passengers involves making sure that the person with the boarding pass is the person they are claiming to be using the tools provided to us (Travel document checking)."And what, pray tell, does that do for security? Any self-respecting terrorist is going to make certain that the travel documents match and the TSA will never know the difference.For that matter, family members who look a lot alike could switch documents and you'd never know.
About two months ago, I had a 95% empty tube of toothpaste confiscated because the label said that the tube was 4oz...When I pointed out the obvious to the screener (in Bozemann, MT), she pointed at the label and said that it was their policy to take anything above 3.4 (or whatever) ounces.I could have folded up my toothpaste tube (the particular brand is fairly inexpensive but is hard to find) and plopped the whole thing, packaging and all, in a 100mL beaker. They could have put it on a scale/balance and seen that it weighed less than 100g/3.4oz.Don't you think terrorists are capable of changing the labelling on a tube of toothpaste to reflect fewer ounces than their explosives really weigh? Why not just plunk everything on a scale and verify the weight (and allow a few more grams for the weight of the container) rather than just looking at the label.After having my toothpaste tossed - I wasn't done. My shoes apparantly didn't match - one had a "shoe shank" the other didn't. They questioned me about this in depth - suffice it to say, I've never seen a "shoe shank" and don't know what the heck it is, nor why my boot manufacturer would choose to make one with a shank and the other side without one...This was my last flight of 5 in a one week period, and the first time I had been questioned. I was surprised that no other scanners found the "shoe shank" issue.
What eats at me evey single time I fly, is the TSA! I have been employed by a major airline as a mechanic for 22 years. I have been through many FBI background checks, and have never had any problem arise. But go to the airport to fly and I am treated like just another ticket. I have had my background torn into deeper than most of your people and should be able to flash a valid airport badge at ANY TSA location and be granted a pass through the TSA security checkpoint. Why would I do anything to screw up my life blood....but then again, your security nazi's would have to have more than a 5th grade education to understand that my badge is valid. While I understand the threat to this country....It is sure nice to know just how secure we are with the glorified securtiy guards that you employ....
I have to say I have travled quite frequently in the last two years (every other month to two months) between Florida and Illinois. I have never had anything but good experiences. Yeah sometimes the security lines are a little long, but that's why it is recommended to people to get to the airport a little early. Its like this---would you rather not go through security, jump on the plane and 39,000 feet in the air have it blow up? Or maybe just slowly crash because some terrorist hijacked it? Or maybe like 9/11, crash into some building? Then shut up, get to the airport on time and go through security. I'm sorry, but I would rather have all my stuff searched, shoes, bags, whatever and know that the guy next to me and everyone else in line is having the same thing done because I get on that plane and I know I'm safe. I know barring some unforseen freak of nature, I'm going to get from point A to point B and I'm safe from terrorists, the plane blowing up, and pretty much anything else that freak people come up with to do. I thank the TSA for a job well done, and I would rather have a little hassle in security and know I'm safe. Anyone who doesn't like it can find some other mode of transportation. Florida and Illinois are doing excellent jobs in security. Thanks guys!
And to all the people who complain about getting their stuff such as toothpaste and make up confiscated, YOU KNOW THE RULES SO STOP BRINGING THE CRAP! Get to your destination and buy what you need. For crying out loud, all you do is tie up the lines after you know you are not supposed to have the stuff, and thats why they take it. DUH! Shut up and follow the rules and you won't have your stuff confiscated. Its really stupid to complain about the stuff you have control over. And to the people who complain about TSA not being friendly, are you? Do you smile or say hello or attempt to talk to them? They're people too. I smile, say hello, make small talk. It opens people up. Try it before you complain. You are 50%of the proble so start taking some responsibility before you complain about everybody else. They're not there to entertain you. Try taking the first step before you jump on other people because, "Oh, they took my stuff I knew I wasn't supposed to have," or "they're not nice to me"...what have you done to try to rectify the situation. If nothing, then shut up.
I truly can't believe that anyone would complain about security checks - after September 11th - all anyone did was complain because there wasn't a security check. I guess you all have forgotten what it was like to watch those planes hit the towers or listen to the last phone calls from the planes to their loved ones or watching people jump out of the towers to their deaths because they didn't want to burn to death. Obviously it would seem to me if you are complaining about the security - you didn't lose someone in 9/11 or EVER lose anyone you loved knowing the feeling of loss and pain, I personally did not lose a loved one in 9/11 but I have the common sense to know security as long as it takes is a necessary evil in this world today. These people are trying to protect lives and since there hasn't been another attack or tragedy - everyone is letting their guard down - but you are the same one that will be the first to want answers when no one was looking. I sincerely hope that day never comes - again.
I flew out of Manchester, NH on 4/8/08 and as I waited to go through security the security guard stopped the man before me and said wait a second the arch is stuck. He banged his hand on the arch way and said ok it's clear, go ahead and step through. It really didn't make me feel confident that the arch was catching things, if they have to beat on the unit to make it work. Thanks, Amy
Someone wrote Anonymously:They questioned me about this in depth - suffice it to say, I've never seen a "shoe shank" and don't know what the heck it is, nor why my boot manufacturer would choose to make one with a shank and the other side without one...Unsurprising. The shank is a flat piece of steel (though newer shoes sometimes have fiberglass instead of steel) used to provide arch support in the shoe. It's somewhere between the bottom of the insole and the top of the outsole.It's odd that they made your shoes with one and not both, but at best it's a production flaw.However--I was surprised that no other scanners found the "shoe shank" issue.I'm not surprised at all. The first time I saw a pair of shoes without shanks that matched, I also gave them very close scrutiny. It might have very well been that screener's first encounter with such a flaw.Incidentally, people have been known to remove the shanks from their shoes, sharpen one end, and to make a weapon out of it. It is very stout metal, after all. There's a reason why stabbing someone is sometimes called "shanking" them.:)Hope it helps!
I have to say I have travled quite frequently in the last two years (every other month to two months) between Florida and Illinois.Hehehe, every other month 'frequent'? Try flights 2 or more a week. Witness some of the excesses people talk about on this and other sites then get back to us.I have never had anything but good experiences.Good for you.Yeah sometimes the security lines are a little long, but that's why it is recommended to people to get to the airport a little early.I time my arrival so that I am at the airports at least 2 hrs before wheels up.Its like this---would you rather not go through security, jump on the plane and 39,000 feet in the air have it blow up?Do us all a favor and stop watching Hollywood action adventure movies. Clue, they are all fantasy and is many cases violate basic science.Or maybe just slowly crash because some terrorist hijacked it? Or maybe like 9/11, crash into some building? Recently a passenger (drunk) become uncontrollable. His fellow passengers duct taped him into his seat for the duration of the flight. The security measures put into place are equivalent to shutting the barn door after the livestock have all run off into the woods.
I have the common sense to know security as long as it takes is a necessary evil in this world today.Could you tell me how often in the 10 years prior to 9/11 how many aircraft were bombed, hijacked, etc?These people are trying to protect lives and since there hasn't been another attack or tragedy - everyone is letting their guard down - but you are the same one that will be the first to want answers when no one was looking. I sincerely hope that day never comes - again.The next biggie most likely will be a nuke and it probably won't be on board an aircraft. Components could be smuggled in, assembled, then placed. So all of the security theater would be for naught.
Incidentally, people have been known to remove the shanks from their shoes, sharpen one end, and to make a weapon out of it. It is very stout metal, after all. There's a reason why stabbing someone is sometimes called "shanking" them.Where do you find people 'shanking' each other? Clue it isn't at airports. Come on, isn't that a bit extreme? If I wanted to stab or slash someone it sure wouldn't be with a homemade weapon when there are much sharper, much smaller, comercially produced cutting tools. You find people shanking each other in prisons.
At terminals with security setups that involve Huge lines of people confined in one room (like Oakland's Southwest terminal) the problem is that you get terribly hot and sweaty standing in line with hordes of people. The big fans set up in the room are useless.By the time I get my belt off, my shoes off, separate all my stuff for the conveyor belt, and then get myself re-dressed and re-packed I'm a hot, sweaty mess.Then I have to get on a plane that is typically over air conditioned. Then get out and drag my bag, getting hot and sweaty again.No wonder I almost always come down with a cold after returning from a trip.Also -- note that the word verification on this site is nearly impossible to read -- you can do better
I think it is ridiculous that every time I go fly somewhere, just because I have a total knee replacement I am always pulled aside. for a screening.I really do appreciate the security, but it sure seems ridiculous, that old men, and women with Knee replacements and hip replacements , and Mostly our Veterans with the same types of injury's are run through the screening with the wand and have to be patted down like a criminal. I am 61 Years old and a Veteran.
"Why not just plunk everything on a scale and verify the weight (and allow a few more grams for the weight of the container) rather than just looking at the label."How long of a wait do you think the security lines would be then? Could you imagine TSA wasting time weighing every liquid every passenger (thousands of passengers a day) brings in carry on?!? Get real! Just comply and bring your stuff in a clearly marked 3.4 oz. or less container or bring bigger stuff and check your luggage.
"What do you guys do with all the valuable stuff you steal from airline passengers?"They don't steal your crap. You surrender it. You don't bother to check the rules. You always have the option to check your baggage. If the tool was an important part of my job, I'd make sure it was allowed and not risk losing it.
larry said... Opinion feedback to the Travel Security Administration Washington DC Website April 7, 2008Who is the "Travel Security Administration"? Before making a complaint, it would be a good idea to make sure you get the name right.
An Anonymous person, who I will assume to be a different one from the anonymous person whose question I answered in my original post, wrote:Where do you find people 'shanking' each other? Clue it isn't at airports. Come on, isn't that a bit extreme?Yes, it is. However, you will note that there isn't an all-consuming policy regarding shoes with missing shanks. There isn't any, and I really, really doubt that there ever will be specifically because of that reason.The gentleman to whom my own post was directed at was wondering why his shoes, one of which was missing a shank, got the attention that they got. I provided a hypothetical answer (not being the screener that did the screening, I can't give anything but a hypothetical answer) based off of my own experience and knowledge of what happens there at the security checkpoints.As I said, the first time or two that I saw such a pair of shoes come through the x-ray, I took an extra four or five seconds to verify that the shoes didn't look tampered with, and asked a couple questions of the passenger to whom they belonged, and then I sent them on their way. Now, it doesn't even warrant that much from me; it's one of those things that are common enough, if not exceedingly so.The anonymous person also said that he didn't know what one was, so I went out of my way to explain it to him as best I could, as well as possible uses for a shank that had been intentionally removed from a shoe or boot specifically for the purpose of creating a weapon.Just trying to answer the man's question as best I could. I'd like to think of that, at the least, as an attempt at customer service. :P
Orlando is a great airport for TSA people who don't speak english...How many terrorists work for TSA? Hum.....Are checked out by the FBI,CIA,DEA????
I sent the following complaint July 07 to Edward Gomez and James W. Adams of TSA. I received no response. That's right: no response. Not even a "thank you and get out of here." I am a federal government employee, with a diplomatic passport. It is a sad statement of the times if even I am treated with such contempt, I who toil for my country overseas in often difficult conditions.Dear Mr. Gomez:I am writing, unfortunately, to share with you my feelings about an incident recently that left me feeling very unhappy. This incident took place as I was departing San Francisco in late May. I had flown from my home in Madrid, Spain to San Francisco to take care of a medical emergency regarding my teenage daughter. I spent a very stressful week with my ex-wife consulting various medical professionals and trying to decide on my daughter's care. I was therefore unprepared for what happened next: I ran into a security shredder at SFO, a system that seemed to actually pick me out of the crowd and give me more intense treatment specifically because I carried a diplomatic passport. I was run through a gauntlet of various additional security measures that involved a lot more waiting, blowers that searched for bomb residue on my person, and ultimately, a full open-bag search of my luggage. I was treated with, at best, cavalier disregard and arrogance, and at worst, contempt. And this extra security took roughly another forty-five minutes. As I said, I was already stressed because of my daughter's condition and operating in a different time zone; the singular treatment of the security personnel at SFO only made it worse. I would like to add that I am a loyal and patriotic American. I work for my country, representing our American values daily on the front lines. I have been a Foreign Service officer since 1988 and in that time I have served in such difficult assignments as Kathmandu, Africa and Syria. I have endured hardships ranging from strange illnesses to actual assault to long periods away from my family. When I first began my career, I was always touched that when I returned to the United States from an overseas assignment the passport control officer usually greeted me by saying "Welcome home, Mr. Michael." I cherished that little bit of acknowledgement that I was serving the American public in out of the way places.Times have changed, Mr. Gomez. I don't need to tell you that. But I am more than saddened that one of the first casualties of the times is a coarsened and disrespectful attitude towards Americans by our own countrymen. I am also angered that even bearing a diplomatic passport, a clear sign that I am a federal employee who works in the diplomatic corps of the same government as the TSA folks, I am given not one modicum of respect. In fact, what's worse, I seem to have been singled out for additionally rough treatment. I don't ask to be allowed special privileges. I don't think my passport should allow me to circumvent regulations. But I do think we should be able to dispense with additional security procedures for our fellow federal employees. I will also be asking the Department of State to look into this, but I would appreciate your thoughts. I do hope my complaint will have a positive effect in changing the procedures exercised by your officials at airports in the United States. If we cannot develop alternative screening methods for federal employees, I hope at least that your employees and the contractors we hire to conduct security screening at our domestic airports can treat American citizens, and especially those like myself and others working for our country, with a certain minimum of respect and care.Thank you in advance.Sincerely,
My husband has a hip replacement. We have been treated carefully as well as rudely depending on the screeners and the airport.Our main problem is one of having me keep track of everything that goes through the scanner while he is off being wanded. I have it down to a science now but it is still difficult. Once I am passed thru the screening process I have to try to gather up everything belonging to both of us and often wait for my husband. I have been in airports where there was no place to sit or help to get our things. Other airports where everyone has been so nice and helpful and not rushing you to get out of the way. The last airport we flew from like that was Charleston, SC where they handled everything with much care. It is a small airport and that seems to be where I have seen most of the difference. Larger busier airports create more problems for us then the smaller ones do. Perhaps, just like setting separate lines for families who require wand screening or other additional screening, there could be separate lines or help for gathering everything back together.
this comment is to mr. airline mechanic who is so bothered by being treated like everyone else. Hmmm. How about those of us who have Top Secret Security Clearance who show there ticket and government ID or those of us who go to IRAQ and give our lives. He bud... stop whining and get a clue, there are rules, like your badge is not a crew member badge or an airport member badge so deal with it you big baby!!!!!!!!!!!
Last Friday at approximately 0730 at IAH Terminal C, Elite line, my carryon bag was subjected to additional examination, which is perfectly fine.After the TSO couldn't find what she was looking for, she picked up the bag and the other little bags that were inside and started to take them back to run them through the x-ray. I asked her to please zip up the bags there so nothing would fall out and be lost. She refused to do so and stated that she would only do it when she placed them through the x-ray machine. She then walked away and I was told I could not follow her. As such, I lost sight of my bags and was unable to see what she was doing. My request was not only for my protection, but also for hers so that nothing would be lost. I requested a supervisor and explained the situation to him (a three-striper).At the end of the search (after she found what she was looking for, which was not prohibited), I requested a complaint form. Your GC has said that they are available at all checkpoints. The three-striper said they were not, so all he gave me was a number with a local number to call. I did so even prior to boarding my plane and received only a recording to leave a message. I gave my name and telephone number twice. That was Friday morning and I have yet to hear back.Any thoughts?And if you want to make the security lines a little less stressful and quiet, you might suggest to Covenant at SFO to have their security employees lose the bullhorn they are using.
Anonymous said... Last Friday at approximately 0730 at IAH Terminal C, Elite line, my carryon bag was subjected to additional examination, which is perfectly fine. After the TSO couldn't find what she was looking for, she picked up the bag and the other little bags that were inside and started to take them back to run them through the x-ray. I asked her to please zip up the bags there so nothing would fall out and be lost. She refused to do so and stated that she would only do it when she placed them through the x-ray machine. She then walked away and I was told I could not follow her. As such, I lost sight of my bags and was unable to see what she was doing. My request was not only for my protection, but also for hers so that nothing would be lost. I requested a supervisor and explained the situation to him (a three-striper).At the end of the search (after she found what she was looking for, which was not prohibited), I requested a complaint form. Your GC has said that they are available at all checkpoints. The three-striper said they were not, so all he gave me was a number with a local number to call. I did so even prior to boarding my plane and received only a recording to leave a message. I gave my name and telephone number twice. That was Friday morning and I have yet to hear back. Any thoughts? April 30, 2008 4:39 PM Anonymous,I contacted Karen Knapik at IAH for you. Here is the reply.We have checked our records and found no messages on our log of incoming calls speaking of a similar situation. Without a name or contact information, I am not sure how we can address this blogger's concerns. I have also communicated with the checkpoint supervisors and no one can recall such an incident. I sure would like to talk to the individual if they would call again, or perhaps provide an e-mail contact info. I am also not sure which telephone number he called. If you are so inclined to respond, please provide the following number along with my name to call; 281 848-2957.Thank you.Karen A. KnapikCustomer Support & Quality Improvement IAH Anonymous said...And if you want to make the security lines a little less stressful and quiet, you might suggest to Covenant at SFO to have their security employees lose the bullhorn they are using. April 30, 2008 4:39 PMI also contacted the Customer Support Manager at SFO. I received this reply:Thank you for forwarding this comment. The Covenant Aviation Security workforce at SFO does not use any sort of amplification aid when speaking to customers waiting in the security line. The email does not say which checkpoint or which air carrier the customer used, however there is a company called Prime Flight, which is contracted by the air carriers in Terminal 1. Prime Flight employees are in place to prioritize the passengers, and provide wheelchair service. The do not do passenger security screening. One of their employees does use a bullhorn at the checkpoint to make announcements. It’s possible that the customer who wrote in, encountered this individual. I will pass the comment on to the Terminal 1 air carrier management.Thanks,Bob TSA EoS Blog Team
Bob,Thanks for following up on the above. I left a message for Karen this evening at the number you listed, which is the same number I called previously. Her logs do not indicate a similar situation since the recording (unless you have a lost item) state that you should only leave your name and telephone number, which I did last Friday morning.As for SFO, that would comport with my experience. What is interesting is that employee is situated after the TSA document checking station and before the WTMD, so one would naturally believe he is part of Covenant. (And you have the CLEAR personnel going back and forth as well.)
Anonymous said... "I have safety concerns about the TSA work force. Is it true that there is a high rate of TSOs with cancer working at TSA. If so what is TSA doing to address this issue?"April 30, 2008 10:40 AM"So what is the TSA going to do to help these people that suddenly get Cancer after 5, 10, or 20 years of working near all the TSA's "safe" equipment"
How do I join the 'trusted traveler' program? I'm tired of always getting the dreaded 'SSSS' just because most of my business travel is on last-minute one-way tickets. Furthermore, I can't ever print my boarding pass at home, creating the extra hassle of having to arrive earlier to the airport to check in.
I am very upset with TSA handling of travelers’ checked in luggage’s and CTA (cover their a**) in the name of security when questioned. I am sick and tired of their lame answers.I fly every week on business. Previously, my most expensive suit went mysteriously missing. TSA and the airline company fought on semantics for a while and eventually I was left unanswered for my loss. TSAs final incompetent answer was; "security" and things happen. Well, how about; when things happen, learn to compensate! This week I was carrying rtd (ready to drink) cans with my checked in luggage, packed inside two plastic bags with draw strings. My luggage is spewed with liquids. All my clothes and the suitcase are destroyed. I have to buy a new suitcase and pay a hefty charge on my laundry. The cans were clearly popped open and taken out of the plastic bags. TSAs answer, we have to ensure your checked in luggage is secure enough to make it to the airline. Fair enough, if you pop open a can have the decency to chuck it out. LAME,LAME, LAME!!!! Shame on you TSA, you are in business because of the people and for the people. IMO, you guys are just a bunch of incompetent idiots. The other countries seem to have this system down to a science. Especially, countries like Israel. What a waste of my tax money!!
Please include a hot topic on full body scans.
Comment to the Seventh Dawn... send your dry cleaning bill to TSA and if their was a TSA paper in your luggage it means they were in it. If there wasn't they weren't. But if I were you and there was I would put the claim in. If your denied it least you tried. I don't even fly with them anymore I just by them when I get there and the things that are special needs like liquid nutrient shakes as I go through regiments as I had cancer before... I ship it before I leave... not because of TSA but because this is the world we live in today and there are people out there that are willing to do harm to others.
After almost two years of living and flying in this country I received my first ever SSSS and then my second three days later.Happily, in both EWR and PWM the TSA agents assigned to me were exceptionally polite, efficient and explained every step of the process as they went. I find it interesting that my 'SSSS experiences' were a far more pleasant checkpoint experience than I usually have.
I am still waiting for those front and back, male and female, MMW images. While I wait, can someone please explain to me why my arms were patted on my last trip. I was wearing a sleeveless shirt and the wand detected nothing (as usual), but the officer still saw the necessity to pat down both my skinny, bonny, arms. Did he think I had fake skin on?
Flying from London to Seattle on United, you have to collect your bags and then recheck them when changing planes in Chicago. That's not a problem.However, when two bags are checked at the same time (in Chicago) and only one arrives at the destination because some TSA employee held it up for inspection causing the bag to miss the connecting flight, that is a problem for a couple of reasons.The traveler must wait a day or two to receive their luggage and the airlines have to pay for delivery of that luggage.Ultimately, the airlines will jack up ticket prices to cover for delays in inspection by the TSA.
comment to person complaining about paying extra because his bag was missing because of TSA checks "London - Chicago"OK well then you fly on all the flights that no bags are checked just so you save some cash, but I will continue to fly on the flights that TSA checks any possible or potential threat to keep the flying public safe no matter how stupid you think it is... I value my life and limbs.
The D.H.S. is lying to you, people. I am just so sick of all this propaganda being released by the DHS to make the public unaware of this new technology. On the public available DHS website, the DHS has released a single photo of what they say is taken by the millimeter wave machine. The photo the DHS released is not in its original format, the DHS had purposly blurred the photo and edited it to make people think it is not that big of a privacy intrusion when in fact it is. In the links below, I have REAL photos of what these millimeter machines really take pictures of. This first link shows a side by side comparison of the DHS Edited photo along with an unedited millimeter wave photo: http://files.ciotaenterprise.com/Millimeter%20Wave%20Photos/millimeterwave1.JPG This second link shows a 3D photo of a male taken by a millimeter wave machine in an airport. Please note that this is just the low resolution version: http://files.ciotaenterprise.com/Millimeter%20Wave%20Photos/millimeterwave2.JPG
When it comes to airport/passenger security and checkpoints, I have mixed feelings. I concede the need for protecting the public and resources of the airlines - what I don't abide with is the methodology of TSA checkpoint staff that you are "guilty until proven innocent".Last year on a flight from Kansas City to the west coast, I stood in line like everyone else, "stripped" (coat, shoes, etc.) like everyone else, and tried as best I could to be cooperative with the agents. Every single one of them had looks of complete disdain on their faces, no smiles, and "barking" orders to everyone in line. At the point where I went through the metal detector, I was dreading the moment to hear the "beep" from the machine saying it had sensed something, when I knew darn well I was "clean" (except for some metal fillings in my teeth which HAVE set some machines off before!). The machine did NOT beep this, time but the rather robust lady agent glared at me and gruffly said "Hold it!" stopping me in my tracks. No reason was given, nothing was said, then she released me to get my things. The next agent saw that I was (by this time) showing a little disgruntlement at the whole situation and asked "Are you having a good day?", I replied "No comment!" and moved on. He followed me along the line and repeated "No comment?", I said "Yes, no comment", collected my things, returned the grey cartons to their stacks - like a good little boy - and went to find a seat. From that moment until the flight was called, I couldn't help but notice that there was one TSA guy standing at the end of of the container line - periodically "checking me out" while I sat there reading my paper. This whole idea of treating people like they are "suspect" until something or someone proves that they are not isn't my idea of customer service. Like most people, if treated with even the slightest bit of respect, I'll return the gesture. But when treated like chattle and looked upon and verbally subject to no common respect at all, you can be darn sure that I'm not going to like it. Hey TSA agents: when someone treats you with "disrespect" you don't like it do you.....well do us all a favor - remember that - and put the shoe on the other foot next time. All of you need booster shots in Customer Courtesy
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.
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.2. People are freaking out for no reason... Despite the fact that these will be installed in some airports and quite possibly all over the span of time, this will not be the only option for screening. Relax!!!
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