Friday, April 10, 2009

What to Know Before You Go

All I’ve done here is basically take all of the links for air travelers from TSA.gov and placed them on one page. You can bookmark this or copy and paste it and save it on your desktop.

To stay up to date, follow this link and you can subscribe to an e-mail announcement service that will notify you as changes are made.

What would you like to know that you can’t find in these links? Please take a look and post a comment with your suggestions.

How to Get Through the Line Faster
Step-By-Step Screening (WMV, 3 MB)
Female business traveler (WMV, 3 MB)
Male business traveler (WMV, 3 MB)
Traveling with a baby or small child (WMV, 3 MB)
Travelers with special needs (WMV, 3 MB)
Ad Council 3 Simple Steps to Security Video (WMV, 3.5 MB)
Windows Media Player Plug-in

Liquid Rules: 3-1-1 for Carry-Ons
Why the bag?
Learn more about packing your liquids and gels
Important information on duty-free items

Prohibited Items

Acceptable Identification at the Checkpoint
Click here to view samples of acceptable documents (PDF, 159 KB).

Safe Travel with Batteries & Devices

"Checkpoint Friendly" Laptop Bags

Special Items
Alcoholic Beverages
Batteries and Devices
Camping
Compressed Gas Cylinders
Crematory Containers and Deceased Remains
Currency, Coins, Precious Metals, or Valuable Jewelry
Firearms & Ammunition
Food & Beverages (through security checkpoints)
Hunting & Fishing
Knitting Needles, Needlepoint & Sewing
Lighters and Matches
Medications
Musical Instruments
Paintball Equipment
Parachutes
Pets
Photographic Equipment & Film
Scuba Equipment
Service Animals
Sporting Equipment

Baggage Locks
Safe Skies Luggage Locks
Travel Sentry

Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions
Introduction
Before You Go
Tips For The Screening Process
Mobility Disabilities
Hearing Disabilities
Visual Disabilities
Hidden Disabilities
Pacemakers, Defibrillators, Other Implanted Medical Devices, & Metal Implants
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine
Medical Oxygen and Respiratory-Related Equipment
Diabetes
Medications
Assistive Devices and Mobility Aids
Prosthetic Devices, Casts, and Body Braces
Walkers, Crutches, and Canes
Augmentation Devices
Orthopedic Shoes, Support Appliances, and Exterior Medical Devices
Dressings
Service Animals
Children with Disabilities
Medical Conditions and Special Situations
Military Severely Injured Program

Traveling with Children
Travel Tips
Baby Formula, Breast Milk, Juice, and Other Liquids
Children with Disabilities

Customer Service
TSA Contact Center
Claims Management Office
Discrimination
Lost & Found
Screening Process
Travel Links
Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP)
Got Feedback

Have a great weekend!!!

Blogger Bob

EoS Blog Team

138 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great job-Bob

Signed
Flash

Anonymous said...

Bob, I've been to those links and read most of them. Not a one of them answers many of the questions posters have recently asked you to answer.

Anonymous said...

3.5" scissors ok
6" screwdriver ok
6" wrench ok

but a pocket knife with blade < 3 inches is outlawed? Is this security or theatre?

Aaron said...

After the incident in St. Louis, it seems like the TSA ought to have a section on how much cash one can carry through a security checkpoint.

Does cash pose a security risk on an airplane? Under what circumstances will cash trigger a secondary screening by the TSA?

Anonymous said...

"Is this security or theatre?"

Theatre. TSA has nothing at all to do with security.

Anonymous said...

Yes, sir, I have a question: Given the fact that another 9/11 style attack is no longer possible due to the fact that (a) cockpit doors are reinforced, (b) the CONOPS for flight crews has changed such that they know not to cooperate with hijackers, and (c) passengers have shown a willingness to beat the stuffing out of anyone who acts up on a plane, why then am I still prohibited from carrying a pocket knife?

Anonymous said...

Before I go through all the links-- Is this a comprehensive list of all of the rules and regulations that we are required to observe at the checkpoint? Or are there "secret rules" in order to defeat the bad guys and win the day for democracy?

Anonymous said...

How cool, a one stop listing of all the reasons that I don't travel by air anymore. Can't help but wonder what industries that the TSA will try to kill after air travel.
"Is this security or theatre?"

Theatre. TSA has nothing at all to do with security.

Anonymous said...

Why you wanna be a stinker?

GSOLTSO said...

Anon said - Does cash pose a security risk on an airplane? Under what circumstances will cash trigger a secondary screening by the TSA?

The times that having cash will trigger a secondary screening are

A)if the individual is travelling on an international flight and appears to have more than $10k there is a verification of proper declaration of the currency.

B) The density of the cash creates a situation where the bag it is in can not be cleared simply by looking at the image on the X-Ray.

C) During a bag search, other illegalm items in the bag trigger an escalation to a LEO response (drugs, gun, IED, etc).

There may be other situations that cause a search of the bag that have nothing to do with the money in the bag and the money may be searched to clear the bag. This is NOT an all encompassing list of situations, but it is a good list to operate from.

West
EOS Blog Team

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...
Anon said - Does cash pose a security risk on an airplane? Under what circumstances will cash trigger a secondary screening by the TSA?

The times that having cash will trigger a secondary screening are

A)if the individual is travelling on an international flight and appears to have more than $10k there is a verification of proper declaration of the currency.

......................
West, FICEN Form 105, the document used to declare over $10,000 to Customs, not TSA, does not indicate any requirement for TSA to involve itself at all with the transportation of cash regardless of amount.

This is another case where your agency has overstepped its charter.

RB said...

Bob, since the Liquid Rules you posted clearly state 3.4 ounces or 100 ml why does the signage in airports disagree with your information here?

Don't travelers deserve accurate information?

Anonymous said...

After going over the rules, it seems as easy to go through TSA security as it is to figure out the Internal Revenue Code. What of the made-up rules? Travelers are still required to follow even the made-up rules, aren't they?

Now that TSA is still after that traveler in St. Louis by logging in to blogs to threatening him with jail for carrying cash, it seems one cannot escape TSA. Is TSA worse than the Mafia? At least with the Mafia, you might get witness protection. Whose going to protect you from the government? I pity the poor fellow if he has to fly again. I'm sure TSA has him on the top of a list.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if TSA people had to follow rules?

Anonymous said...

West, why did you provide an uninformative non-answer to a legitimate question about the risk cash poses to air travel?

TSORon said...

RB Said:
“West, FICEN Form 105, the document used to declare over $10,000 to Customs, not TSA, does not indicate any requirement for TSA to involve itself at all with the transportation of cash regardless of amount.

This is another case where your agency has overstepped its charter.”

And this RB is the reason we pass these types of issues on to law enforcement. Its not our concern, but it IS a concern. Its also policy and directives that give us the authority to refer the concern to the appropriate venue.

Anonymous said...

"West, FICEN Form 105, the document used to declare over $10,000 to Customs, not TSA, does not indicate any requirement for TSA to involve itself at all with the transportation of cash regardless of amount.

This is another case where your agency has overstepped its charter."

If it is NOT declared, TSO's MUST notify Customs Officers, once they are notified and have taken charge of the situation TSA does nothing. Its a policy that we have to follow

Ron said...

When I try to use the "Stay up to date" link, I get an "E-mail address is too short (minimum length 6 characters). Please re-enter your secondary e-mail address." message... no matter what I put in the box (even nothing).

kellymae81 said...

RB said:West, FICEN Form 105, the document used to declare over $10,000 to Customs, not TSA, does not indicate any requirement for TSA to involve itself at all with the transportation of cash regardless of amount.

This is really getting redundant, but I'll say it again. TSA does not "look" for cash, nor is it required to be declared to TSA. It is declared to customs for international flights. Our procedures clearly state in our SOP that if cash "appearing" to be over the amount of $10,000, we must notify a supervisor. If this situation arises, we are here as secondary confirmation that money is declared (if it is an international flight) and all is legal. That's it. That IS our procedure.
When a person becomes part of Law Enforcement, they are trained on the procedures they must follow. Does everyone like all the procedures of LE....no. Just b/c we think an agency should or should not have certain procedures, doesn't make it so. Unfortunately, we have to follow, regardless of what we think. If you resist a police officer, guess what, you'll get looked further into. That is THEIR procedures.
So when you repeatedly ask, Why? Why? Why? does TSA concern themselves with peoples cash? B/c it is trained procedure. If you don't like the answer to this question, fine. Argue all you want, the answer is not going to change. Please change the subject!

Kelly
EoS Blog Team

kellymae81 said...

Anon said:Wouldn't it be wonderful if TSA people had to follow rules?

We do, thankyou. But you all just want to assume that when something bad is posted, all of TSA officers are corrupt and act in this manner. That could not be further from the truth. Out of the around 120 officers we have at my airport, I have never seen one act in this manner. Have a bad day and get a little rude?....maybe. We all have our bad days, but you guys see something once and assume we are all some US citizen hating cult. Not so!

Kelly
EoS Blog Team

Anonymous said...

alright guys go to the currancy reporting page of the tsa website

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1848.shtm

you can travel with as much money as you want out of the country as long as it has been declared to US Customs. If TSA finds an amount the looks like it exceedes the amount of 10,000, then the US.TSA must notify U.S Customs to make sure it has been declared.Traveling domesticaly there is no issue

TSA is not looking for large amounts of money but if they are searching a bag and happen to stumble on large amount of money that looks like it exceedes 10,000,drugs,drug paraphenilia then TSA MUST report it.

Phil said...

* Is it unlawful to photograph, film, or video record computer monitors at TSA checkpoints?

* Under what circumstances are passengers who wish to carry medication through a TSA airport checkpoint required to carry a doctor's prescription for that medication? Under what circumstances must passengers present that prescription?

* How does the No-Fly List process comply with the Constitutional protections against trial in absentia, the right to confront one's accuser, the right to a statement of the charges, and the right of due process?

* TSA bars passengers from securing their checked luggage in a manner that prevents TSA and others from opening that luggage. How does TSA ensure that items are not stolen from checked luggage after it is out of passengers' sight? How does TSA ensure that contraband is not inserted into checked luggage after it is out of passengers' sight?

* What does the TSA consider a liquid?

* If a passenger is selected for secondary screening, what provisions are made to secure that passenger's belongings from theft until the passenger rejoins his belongings?

* Why are persons evaluating full body screens hidden from the person being submitted to the scan? How can the person being scanned guarantee that the images generated are not being stored in some form, used inappropriately, or hacked into while being transmitted to the distant location in which they are currently analyzed?

* In checkpoints using MMW scans as primary screening instead of metal detectors, what is the standard operation regarding small children not capable of going through on their own? Are they all patted down? What body parts does the pat-down include? How are parents traveling alone with small children screened? Must they abandon their child in the check point area to go through the MMW?

* MMW images are analyzed in a "remote undisclosed location", but are not stored or transmitted in any form, according to TSA information. How do the images get from the scanners to the remote location if they are not transmitted?

* Where has TSA published a list of all the rules and regulations that TSA will subject someone to if that person wishes to cross a U.S. Government checkpoint at an airport en route to the gate from which his domestic flight will depart, not including laws that the person is required to abide by outside of the airport checkpoint (i.e., just those rules and regulations that apply specifically at the checkpoint)?

--
Phil
Add your own questions at TSAFAQ.net

Anonymous said...

So which is it, $10,000 or money that appears to be over $10,000, Kelly? Do you know what $10,000 looks like in all possible combinations of legal tender? Why not just be completely transparent and state that if you don't like the way the person looks any amount of money can look like $10,000 because clearly it did in St. Louis.

Why does the TSA care at all? How does cash threaten the safety of an airplane? Why not be redundant and answer that question Kelly before retreating once again to the safe haven of SSI "policy"?

Abelard said...

Our procedures clearly state in our SOP that if cash "appearing" to be over the amount of $10,000, we must notify a supervisor.

Then your SOP is garbage.

Your carte blanche is throwing the word "appearing" in to give cover to any TSA that calls law enforcement over to detain a person who "appears" to have more than $10K in their possession. How safe. How convenient. How comfortable to know that you can detain an innocent traveler because he or she "appears" to be carting more than $10K onto a plane.

The potential for abuse here is amazing. How is that "appearance" going to work, exactly, if I am traveling with converted currency?

For instance, you do know that Zimbabwe's currency right now is 25 million Zimbabwe dollars = $1.00 US dollar and that Zimbabwe is issuing up to 100 billion dollar notes, right? (Here's a link to see some of their current currency: http://tinyurl.com/djn923 )

To bring it even closer, the British Pound Sterling is at $1.46 U.S. So, I could feasibly have 12,000 Pounds Sterling in my possession but its U.S. dollar value is $8,219. Are TSO's educated enough to know that I am not carrying more than $10K USD out of the country?

And if they don't, why should I be subject to being detained because TSOs aren't currency literate?

RB said...

kellymae81 said...

When a person becomes part of Law Enforcement, they are trained on the procedures they must follow.
.....................

Are you now claiming that your Law Enforcement?


When following "Procedures " you as an individual are held accountable for following unlawful procedures.

Just because some suit in your agency signed off on some Operational Directive, such as the one that makes United States currency contraband, doesn't resolve you from responsibility if that order is unlawful.

In the case of making United States currency Contraband I believe your agency has erred badly.

And as said so many times, the carriage of currency can in no way threaten the safe conduct of a flight by a commercial aircraft.

Transport of currency should not be a TSA concern ever.

Your agency is wrong on this point and I will do everything I can to correct this wrong.

So if it's you or any other TSO that finds a big stack of money in my carry-on plan and says anything to anyone just know I will make an issue of your actions.

TSO Jacob said...

Anonymous said...

“Do you know what $10,000 looks like in all possible combinations of legal tender? Why not just be completely transparent and state that if you don't like the way the person looks any amount of money can look like $10,000 because clearly it did in St. Louis. Why does the TSA care at all? How does cash threaten the safety of an airplane?”

First, figuring out whether or not a stack of money is over $10,000 is not brain surgery. Second, the TSO involved in the St. Louis incident clearly needs to lose his job for overstepping his authority. That being said, I am not sure why so many of you have tuned out the obvious reasons why TSA might turn non-security related events over to proper authorities. Although we do not specifically look for large amounts of currency, a kilo of cocaine, or missing children we are required to alert the proper authorities when we discover one of these items. Just because an object or event does not pose a specific risk to an aircraft does not mean that we as sworn employees of the United States of America should bury our heads in the sand and hope someone else is able to discover the wrong doing. In my opinion, to simply say it’s not my job would not only be irresponsible but also immoral.

Tomas said...

Abelard wrote...
To bring it even closer, the British Pound Sterling is at $1.46 U.S. So, I could feasibly have 12,000 Pounds Sterling in my possession but its U.S. dollar value is $8,219. Are TSO's educated enough to know that I am not carrying more than $10K USD out of the country?

Sorry, worked that one backward. :o(

£6850 (Br. Pounds Sterling) is $10,001.00 at the quoted 1.46:1 exchange rate.

Even knowing the exchange rate it is easy to invert the conversion and get the wrong answer.

Tom (1 of 5-6)

Anonymous said...

TSO Jacob said...
...I am not sure why so many of you have tuned out the obvious reasons why TSA might turn non-security related events over to proper authorities. Although we do not specifically look for large amounts of currency, a kilo of cocaine, or missing children we are required to alert the proper authorities when we discover one of these items. Just because an object or event does not pose a specific risk to an aircraft does not mean that we as sworn employees of the United States of America should bury our heads in the sand and hope someone else is able to discover the wrong doing. In my opinion, to simply say it’s not my job would not only be irresponsible but also immoral.

April 12, 2009 12:09 PM
---------
It's all got to do with probable cause. Do you question every adult with a child that passes though your checkpoint to see if the child has been abducted?

You need probable cause( e.g. Amber alert where the child matches the description).

When you search a bag becuase it alarmed, do you always question the person if white powder is in their carryon? What if it is in a baby powder container?

The problem is that TSOs have broader power than LEOs (a LEO cannot stop and ask questions of just ANYBODY, that pesky probable cause thing again)

Actually, the obvious reason is the fact that TSOs get bonuses for finding contraband. And it is "no skin off their(TSO) nose" to call in an LEO anytime for futher questioning.

"Better safe than sorry" should not be, but is, used as "probable cause".

GSOLTSO said...

Anon said - West, why did you provide an uninformative non-answer to a legitimate question about the risk cash poses to air travel?

That was not a non answer, it essentially told you that cash by itself does not pose a risk, but other items near, under, above or with cash could be a threat. It was a list of times that cash would be searched for certain and also made the disclaimer that there could be another situation that would trigger other screening involving cash that I had not thought of. To clarify cash is not considered a threat, but it can obscure other items in the bag and generate the need to search the bag further. There is also the issue of why we verify the fact that over 10K in cash has been properly claimed on international flights - for that I only have SOP to go by and do not have the reasoning behind it to give you in detail.

West
EOS Blog Team

Abelard said...

Sorry, worked that one backward. :o(

£6850 (Br. Pounds Sterling) is $10,001.00 at the quoted 1.46:1 exchange rate.

Even knowing the exchange rate it is easy to invert the conversion and get the wrong answer.


Thanks, Tomas. I was debating between using Pounds Sterling or Canadian dollars (which are weaker than the dollar) and mixed the two up on applying the conversion when I went with the Pounds.

So, using Canadian dollars (USD $1.00 = CAN $1.22), I could have CAN $12,000 and still be under the U.S. limit of USD $10,000.

Again, am I going to be stopped and why?

GSOLTSO said...

Tomas said - Sorry, worked that one backward. :o(

£6850 (Br. Pounds Sterling) is $10,001.00 at the quoted 1.46:1 exchange rate.

Even knowing the exchange rate it is easy to invert the conversion and get the wrong answer.

Dadgummit Tom you beat me to that one!

West
EOS Blog Team

George said...

@KellyMae: But you all just want to assume that when something bad is posted, all of TSA officers are corrupt and act in this manner. That could not be further from the truth. Out of the around 120 officers we have at my airport, I have never seen one act in this manner. Have a bad day and get a little rude?....maybe. We all have our bad days, but you guys see something once and assume we are all some US citizen hating cult. Not so!

This is true, but it misses a very important point. While the majority of TSOs are (most likely) professional, conscientious, knowledgeable, courteous, and respectful to their customers, a minority are not. That minority of officers who are corrupt, ignorant, arrogant, or otherwise "unprofessional" tarnish the majority who are good people, and damage the entire TSA.

When we personally encounter one of the bad minority, we form a negative opinion of the TSA that is very difficult to undo. When we have several bad encounters, and/or continue to regularly read about "incidents," the inevitable conclusion is the TSA has severe systemic problems with its processes, policies, and culture that encourage and promote corruption, ignorance, arrogance, and "unprofessional" behavior. The pervasive secrecy in everything the TSA does certainly promotes that conclusion, as secrecy and unaccountability are an ideal environment for abuse and incompetence to flourish.

That may not be quite the same thing as "some US citizen hating cult," but it surely contributes to the public relations problems the TSA has. As I have repeatedly said, if the TSA wants to solve those public relations problems they have to make some fundamental changes to their culture. In particular, the have to make it clear to the public through actions and communication that TSOs will be held accountable for meeting "the highest professional standards," and that the TSA has no tolerance for abuse. Their current approach of spinning individual incidents to blame passengers and absolve the TSA only exacerbates the problem. If the TSA's Leaders decide that maintaining the current flawed TSA culture best serves their interests or those of national security (they're not always the same!), that's their decision. But I can't believe that allowing the public to despise and distrust the TSA in any way benefits national security.

Getting back to the original post, I think it's very helpful to have a consolidated set of links to official TSA guidelines. Unfortunately, that still doesn't address concerns that aren't in those published guidelines but get repeated asked and ignored. And worst of all, it does nothing about the problem (acknowledged in the guidelines themselves) that individual TSOs have unlimited authority to modify, augment, or overrule anything in those published guidelines. So an "innocent" traveler (i.e., one who has no intention of committing a crime involving terrorism or air piracy) has no way of being sure that he will emerge from the checkpoint with everything that he brought into it, even if he conscientiously reads and follows the published guidelines to the best of his ability. @KellyMae: But you all just want to assume that when something bad is posted, all of TSA officers are corrupt and act in this manner. That could not be further from the truth. Out of the around 120 officers we have at my airport, I have never seen one act in this manner. Have a bad day and get a little rude?....maybe. We all have our bad days, but you guys see something once and assume we are all some US citizen hating cult. Not so!

This is true, but it misses a very important point. While the majority of TSOs are (most likely) professional, conscientious, knowledgeable, courteous, and respectful to their customers, a minority are not. That minority of officers who are corrupt, ignorant, arrogant, or otherwise "unprofessional" tarnish the majority who are good people, and damage the entire TSA.

When we personally encounter one of the bad minority, we form a negative opinion of the TSA that is very difficult to undo. When we have several bad encounters, and/or continue to regularly read about "incidents," the inevitable conclusion is the TSA has severe systemic problems with its processes, policies, and culture that encourage and promote corruption, ignorance, arrogance, and "unprofessional" behavior. The pervasive secrecy in everything the TSA does certainly promotes that conclusion, as secrecy and unaccountability are an ideal environment for abuse and incompetence to flourish.

That may not be quite the same thing as "some US citizen hating cult," but it surely contributes to the public relations problems the TSA has. As I have repeatedly said, if the TSA wants to solve those public relations problems they have to make some fundamental changes to their culture. In particular, the have to make it clear to the public through actions and communication that TSOs will be held accountable for meeting "the highest professional standards," and that the TSA has no tolerance for abuse. Their current approach of spinning individual incidents to blame passengers and absolve the TSA only exacerbates the problem. If the TSA's Leaders decide that maintaining the current flawed TSA culture best serves their interests or those of national security (they're not always the same!), that's their decision. But I can't believe that allowing the public to despise and distrust the TSA in any way benefits national security.

Getting back to the original post, I think it's very helpful to have a consolidated set of links to official TSA guidelines. Unfortunately, that still doesn't address concerns that aren't in those published guidelines but get repeated asked and ignored. And worst of all, it does nothing about the problem (acknowledged in the guidelines themselves) that individual TSOs have unlimited authority to modify, augment, or overrule anything in those published guidelines. So an "innocent" traveler (i.e., one who has no intention of committing a crime involving terrorism or air piracy) has no way of being sure that he will emerge from the checkpoint with everything that he brought into it, even if he conscientiously reads and follows the published guidelines to the best of his ability.

kellymae81 said...

Anon said:Why does the TSA care at all? How does cash threaten the safety of an airplane? Why not be redundant and answer that question Kelly before retreating once again to the safe haven of SSI "policy"?
I have already answered these questions numerous times as has other TSOs. I can't help if you don't like the answer. And not once did I go to the "safe haven" of SSI on this issue. Like I said before, you all like to blow things out of proportion. Are you reading all comments? B/c we have repeated our answers several times.

Kelly
EoS Blog Team

Phil said...

Someone anonymously asked:

"So which is it, $10,000 or money that appears to be over $10,000, Kelly? Do you know what $10,000 looks like in all possible combinations of legal tender?"

TSO Jacob responded:

"figuring out whether or not a stack of money is over $10,000 is not brain surgery."

Jacob, that's a straw man. No one here said that figuring out whether or not a stack of money amounts to over $10,000 difficult, so there's no reason for you to refute that point other than to distract people from the issue at hand.

We're asking how a TSA bag checker would recognize a set of bills as something that appears to be more than $10,000 without counting them. Can you answer this?


West, would you please address my assertion that white powder or a roll of cash don't "have the appearance of being illegal" any more than a digital music player, a pet, or someone with brown skin do? In each of those cases, there may be wrongdoing, or there may be a perfectly legal explanation for the item or person. I'm very curious how you determine which things that might indicate wrongdoing are worthy of stopping from doing your job of searching for dangerous things and initiating an investigation, and which things are not.

Have you received training on estimating the total amount of cash in a roll of bills simply by looking at the roll in the process of searching for weapons, explosives, and incendiaries?


Kelly, in the comments for the "Incident at St. Louis International post, you wrote:

"If while in a bag check for our primary focus items (i.e. liquids/weapons etc) and we find things such as drugs, it IS our "procedure" to inform supervisors and Law Enforcement.

"No matter how big or small, illegal is illegal and we can't just overlook it, sorry. We can't just hand back your kilo b/c it's not a "threat"."


In response, I noted that barring the result of specialized training that I suspect you have not received, you could not in that situation identify "drugs" by sight any more than you could identify unvaccinated pets, information on digital music players that came from unauthorized copying, or people who are not in the country legally.

I asked, "In each of the above scenarios, do you feel that it is congruent with the United States Constitution to stop someone who is carrying something that might indicate wrongdoing, question that person, then "if all is kosher" let that person go on his way?" Do you?


Bob, could you tell us whether people are prohibited by law from photographing computer monitors at your airport search stations? First you told us that it was discouraged, then you told us that it was prohibited, but you have not responded to multiple requests for the source of your information.

When your new partners Kelly, Tim, and West post comments here now, will they be speaking on behalf of TSA?

Why does TSA count people's money when they find it during a search for weapons, explosives, and incendiaries?

Are people required by law to answer questions from TSA staff about their money?

--
Phil
Add your own questions at TSAFAQ.net

Irish said...

kellymae81 said...

" ... So when you repeatedly ask, Why? Why? Why? does TSA concern themselves with peoples cash? B/c it is trained procedure. If you don't like the answer to this question, fine. Argue all you want, the answer is not going to change. Please change the subject!"

Kelly, hon . . .

You're a TSO I think everyone's got it that you do things because you follow orders like a good little soldier. You gave a very good answer about why (at least some) TSO's do what they do. However, that wasn't the question.

The question is, why does TSA concern itself with cash IN ANY AMOUNT on any flight? It's not a danger to the aircraft. It's not illegal. It's not the business of TSA. EVEN IF I'm going overseas, it isn't TSA's mission to assure that I comply with Customs regulations.

So, Why? Why? Why? does TSA concern themselves with peoples cash? And, Kelly ... Don't Don't Don't tell me about your rulebook as a TSO. That's Not Not Not the question.

Irish

Irish said...

TSO Jacob said...

"I am not sure why so many of you have tuned out the obvious reasons why TSA might turn non-security related events over to proper authorities. Although we do not specifically look for large amounts of currency, a kilo of cocaine, or missing children we are required to alert the proper authorities when we discover one of these items."

Okay, Jacob, I understand why you'd call in an LEO if you found something actually illegal (say, I key of cocaine). Doesn't take the TSA; any good citizen should do that. And I certainly understand why you'd call in an LEO if you saw a missing child.

What I do not understand, and no one has been able to explain to me, is WHY TSA would even think having a procedure to call in an LEO if I'm in possession of something PERFECTLY LEGAL.

Irish

Anonymous said...

RB wrote:

"Bob, since the Liquid Rules you posted clearly state 3.4 ounces or 100 ml why does the signage in airports disagree with your information here?

Don't travelers deserve accurate information?"

_______________________

Yes, they do deserve accurate information, but now your just a broken record. Bob has already answered this questions, you just don't seem to like the answer so you keep asking the question. I should note that I am not saying you have to like Bob's answer - that the signage will not change - but give it a break RB. It was answered; you don't like the answer; move on.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

"Now that TSA is still after that traveler in St. Louis by logging in to blogs to threatening him with jail for carrying cash, it seems one cannot escape TSA. Is TSA worse than the Mafia? At least with the Mafia, you might get witness protection. Whose going to protect you from the government? I pity the poor fellow if he has to fly again. I'm sure TSA has him on the top of a list."

If you were really afraid of TSA, if you really believe TSA went after people, I doubt you would post on a government web-site, or any other web-site for that matter. Your IP address is easily tracked...

And for those of you who seem to believe the U.S. has become a "police state", as I have seen posted throughout the various topics - oh yeah, this is a police state. The government provides a forum for everyone to complain - and those who do complain don't have to worry about government agents coming after them in the middle of the night to take them away to detention centers. Try talking to people who have lived in nations like that. Maybe you should stop insulting people that have had to do so, and start being a little bit realistic.

Jim Huggins said...

Kelly writes:

But you all just want to assume that when something bad is posted, all of TSA officers are corrupt and act in this manner. That could not be further from the truth.

I've said these things before, but it's been awhile, so I'll say it again.

1. This blog is supposed to be about, among other things, making TSA better. Kip Hawley said in the post that kicked off this blog:

We need your help to get the checkpoint to be a better environment for us to do our security job and for you to get through quickly and onto your flight. Seems like the way to get that going is for us to open up and hear your feedback...

We can't make things better if we don't talk about TSA's shortcomings. Are those shortcomings isolated incidents or systemic problems? We won't know unless we talk about it.

(Having said that ... yes, everyone needs to approach this dialog with respect and courtesy. Not every TSO is a demon; not every passenger is, either.)

2. TSA demands that every passenger follow the rules (written and unwritten) absolutely perfectly, every time. The fact that I've transited the checkpoint without difficulty the last 20 times means absolutely nothing when I approach the checkpoint the next time. If TSA is going to demand that passengers be perfect, every time, then TSA needs to hold its own employees to that same standard.

Anonymous said...

RB said:

"In the case of making United States currency Contraband I believe your agency has erred badly."

Currency is not "contraband". It never has been, and as far as I know never will be.

The United States, many years ago, before TSA (gasp!), decided that to protect our currency, money leaving the nation had to be declared. If you can't seem to figure out why, sorry. To me its self-explanatory... (hint, to protect our currency).

By the way, many nations require this as well of their currency.

You also wrote:

"Transport of currency should not be a TSA concern ever."

TSA does also not look for lost/kidnapped children. What would you have us do if we encounter such a situation? Let the child go? Or would you complain if we alerted the police that we found such a child, saying how does that help fight/stop terrorism? We are not tasked with ensuring people declare certain money as they leave the nation. TSA is not tasked with protecting the currency. But if we encounter a situation like that we are tasked with alerting LE.

Anonymous said...

Pushing hard to get the STL event off the front page, aren't they?

So why can't I use my TWIC card to go through the checkpoint, but someone without real identification can use their Costco Membership card?

Robert Johnson said...

Quote from KellyMae: Argue all you want, the answer is not going to change. Please change the subject!"

I think you inadvertently gave us TSA's MO towards the public and how it reacts to the public.

If this blog isn't here to facilitate change, then why is it even here? I thought that was TSA's entire point of having a place to question/cheer/argue about its actions.

Quite honestly - I don't care if it's TSA's "procedure" or not. It has no business even asking, even if it's to "refer" it to LE. To do so goes beyond the TSA's charter and is a way to skirt the 4th amendment. LE couldn't legally search those bags, but if TSA finds something "unusual", it can call LE over. You ever hear of the silver platter doctrine? Ask Francine to Google search it for you if you haven't.

Secondly, change the subject - that's exactly what TSA does when a topic it doesn't want to discuss comes up. Sweep it under the rug.

The more I read this website, the more I become convinced that TSA really isn't about engaging the public and fostering change based on the public's feedback. This is clearly a propaganda organ. As you state, Kelly, nothing's going to change so we should just change the subject.

Robert

Robert Johnson said...

Quote from TSO Jacob: "That being said, I am not sure why so many of you have tuned out the obvious reasons why TSA might turn non-security related events over to proper authorities."

How about 1) It's not your job. 2) You doing it on questionable legal authority. 3) It falls outside the mandate of TSA's charter. 4) It's of questionable consititutionality.

While it can be argued that some searches have been upheld, it can also be shown that TSA has been sued when it has gotten in wrong, despite being a "do gooder." Check out the girl with the flour filled condoms - she got a nice check for around $200k.

Quote: "Although we do not specifically look for large amounts of currency, a kilo of cocaine, or missing children we are required to alert the proper authorities when we discover one of these items."

What it comes down to is how you discovered the item. Being observant for a missing child does not violate someone's rights.
Turning over items to LE that could not be legally searched for by a LEO does.

Quote: "Just because an object or event does not pose a specific risk to an aircraft does not mean that we as sworn employees of the United States of America should bury our heads in the sand and hope someone else is able to discover the wrong doing."

So are you pretending to be a cop or not?

If it's not germaine to aviation security or if it does not put anyone in immediate danger of life or limb, leave it alone.

Cash and drugs fall into this category.

For the record, I support laws against illegal drugs. That doesn't mean I support TSA playing wannabe DEA.

Quote: "In my opinion, to simply say it’s not my job would not only be irresponsible but also immoral."

Not all government employees agree on this one. I have been employed with the US government and still do work for them as a contractor. Sometimes I'm directly involved in the mission, other times I'm not. In those capacities, I saw a lot of opportunties to "do good" and potentially nail a bad guy. I had to ignore those. Why? Because acting on that information would have violated the constitutional rights of those people. Not only could I have lost my job, I could have been prosecuted under federal law and been held civilly liable as well. Acting on what I saw would have required a warrant.

Nothing that I saw put anyone in any danger. Shady for sure, but no one was being hurt. Ignoring it wasn't being immoral or irresponsible, but the right thing to do. Otherwise, I would be trashing the very freedoms and constitution I cherish in order to "protect" someone from rather insignificant.

You could argue that getting a kilo of coke of the streets would be a good thing and I would agree. However, if it comes at the cost of trashing the constitution and the freedoms we cherish, then it's doing more harm than a kilo of coke would ever do.

Also, keep in mind that when you put on your uniform and you are performing your duties as a screener, you're a government actor and a being a citizen takes a back seat. There's different rules that government actors must play by that a citizen doesn't have to. The roles can't be traded back and forth at will.

The constitution was written with he knowledge that some people would get away with bad things occasionally. However, the writers also saw that having those rights in place would also protect the innocent. If getting a drug dealer is more important than preserving the rights of every other passenger that passes thru those checkpoings (and yes, this means SecureFlight too ... a HUGE violation of constitutional rights), then you're really not seeing the forest for the trees.

I hope you have one of those personal liability insurance policies that government employee associations sell.

Robert

Robert

Jeff said...

Aaron asks, "Does cash pose a security risk on an airplane?"

Indeed it does! Just think of all the malfeasance one could accomplish with $10,001!

- If that were in 100 crisp new $100 bills and one crisp new $1 bill, you could dish out 101 paper cuts to the other passengers!

- You could slide that money under the cockpit door to bribe the captain to open it. BAM! HIJACKED!!

- At $7 a drink, you could order 1428 drinks and get really, really drunk and belligerent.

- You could throw the money over to one side of the plane. In the ensuing scramble of the other passengers to get the bills, the delicate balancing might be upset and the plane could fall out of the sky.

- Little-known fact #137: The ink used to print money contains nitrates. By soaking the ink off $10,001 in US currency (this can be accomplished with ordinary dandruff shampoo), you can create a powerful explosive. However, you need 4 ounces of shampoo (in a single bottle) to accomplish the terrortastic feat. The TSA are protecting you two ways with this one!!!

Thanks TSA, for keeping me 100% safe on the 0.3% of the year I'm travelling by air!

Anonymous said...

"If it is NOT declared, TSO's MUST notify Customs Officers, once they are notified and have taken charge of the situation TSA does nothing. Its a policy that we have to follow"

Since citizens are only obligated to declare cash to Customs, and only if traveling out of the country, why is this TSA's concern at all? Cash has no impact on safety, period.

Kelly Mae, given the recent confusion demonstrated by multiple TSOs in this forum about the laws regulating travel with cash, what steps has TSA taken to ensure its employees are properly versed in the law?

RB said...

Bob, since this thread is all about what we need to know at a checkpoint will you please take the time and resolve the misinformation you provided regarding pictures at the checkpoint.

In one statement you said that TSA asks people to not take pictures of xray monitors and some other equipement and later you said taking such pictures are prohibited.

So which is it?

What does the law state?

TSO Jacob said...

RB - United States Currency is NOT contraband. It never has been, and no one (except for you) has ever claimed it is contraband. If myself or any of my fellow TSOs find more than $10,000 in your carry on bag when you are taking an international flight it will take you about 30 seconds to show our supervisor your Customs form of declaration and be on your way. You are free to make as big of issue as you want, my supervisor and I will be more then happy to listen to your complaints.

Mr. Gel-pack said...

kellymae81 said...

Anon said:Wouldn't it be wonderful if TSA people had to follow rules?

We do, thankyou. But you all just want to assume that when something bad is posted, all of TSA officers are corrupt and act in this manner. That could not be further from the truth. Out of the around 120 officers we have at my airport, I have never seen one act in this manner. Have a bad day and get a little rude?....maybe. We all have our bad days, but you guys see something once and assume we are all some US citizen hating cult. Not so!

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

Kelly, I don't assume all of the TSA screeners are some US-citizen hating cult, I just think the TSA itself is so poorly managed that the inevitable small percentage of bad apples really ruin lots of people's days, and it doesn't do jack squat to effectively address the problem.

Take a 0.1% of your ~100K employees--that is 1000 bad apples. The 0.1% will do their interact with 0.1% of 2,000,000 people per day and maybe misapply their poor training and behavior to 2,000 people each day. Some of those incidents might really ruin people's day, (Like mine, where the STL TSO supervisor made up a rule and wrongly confiscated a gel-pack that was intended to keep 13 oz of my wife's breast milk from spoiling. Now, my wife avoids air travel when she can, and when she can't, she dumps her breastmilk instead of the hassle of trusting in the "judgement" of TSA.)

If TSA had real rules, (not merely the easily misinterpreted SSI guideline SOPs to enforce those rules,) and published them so the passenger had some recourse to them at the checkpoint, then passengers could defend themselves from the few bad apples and actually "play a part". As it is, TSA's management policies defend these bad apples with secret SOPs and mushy passive-voice "general rules" and PR "editorials" that let screeners play their "Law & Order-TSA" security theatre unchecked.

In STL, "The tone and language used by the TSA employee was inappropriate." wasn't the only thing that seemed inappropriate. Publish the darn rules that state Steve Bierfeldt can be detained for carrying $4710 in a metal box.


The popular TSA catch-all crime of "suspicion" is one that only exists in the mind of the TSA agents.

Anonymous said...

In the case of making United States currency Contraband I believe your agency has erred badly.

And as said so many times, the carriage of currency can in no way threaten the safe conduct of a flight by a commercial aircraft.

Transport of currency should not be a TSA concern ever.

Your agency is wrong on this point and I will do everything I can to correct this wrong.

So if it's you or any other TSO that finds a big stack of money in my carry-on plan and says anything to anyone just know I will make an issue of your actions.
___________________________________

Great RB thanks for your opinion. I guess we will discuss this and give you the answer over and over until we are blue in the face. That is great that you think that TSA has erred badly. But currency is not contraband.
And good job everyone is glad that you understand that currency is not a threat to aviation. Very smart!
Transport of currency will continue to be TSA's concern. Like it has been stated a million time before, TSA does not go looking for things such as money. But if they come accross it, they ask a couple of questions. No harm done. TSA is a government agency that will work in accordance with other government agency to make sure that the law is not being broken. If you don't like that, then you are going to have a sad and disappointing life. Because there are so many other things in this world that actually matter that you are also not going to agree with or like. Get over it!
You keep on doing whatever it takes to correct this so called wrong. Power to ya, RB! You make issues of these things, you will probably get somewhere with that!

Anonymous said...

* Where has TSA published a list of all the rules and regulations that TSA will subject someone to if that person wishes to cross a U.S. Government checkpoint at an airport en route to the gate from which his domestic flight will depart, not including laws that the person is required to abide by outside of the airport checkpoint (i.e., just those rules and regulations that apply specifically at the checkpoint)?

--
Phil
___________________________________

OK right here, this question shows that you do not care to recognize an answer when it is given to you. I would not ever answer your questions if I was in charge of this blog! You do nothing but waist space on here. The entire answer to this question is this blog. And yet you over look that and repeditively and annoyingly ask the same questions over and over when the answer is right in front of your face. Phil, go bother another blog!

Ayn R. Key said...

Nice. You forgot many questions.

Such as how on the spot fines issued by TSOs square with the Administrative Procedures Act, and how doubling the fines for those who wish to contest them violateds the APA.

BlognDog said...

Kellymae:
You can give us the irritated, impatient act all you want, but the fact is that BOB himself previously posted TSA operations directive OD-400-54-2, in which the TSA officially declared cash to be "contraband," contrary to the law (see below and https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=2336044328955501444&postID=1533952864631007299&pli=1). So it is not YOU that should be giving US the condesceding, impatient act when you are contradicting your own statements and breaking the law. Cash in any quantity is NOT contraband and you have no right to harass people for carrying it.

Operation Directive: Discovery of Contraband During the Screening Process OD-400-54-2 May 9, 2005

Expiration – Indefinite

Summary - This directive provides guidance to ensure nationwide consistency in the appropriate referral or initiation of civil enforcement actions for incidents involving discovery of contraband during TSA screening procedures.

Procedures - When TSA discovers contraband during the screening process that is not a TSA Prohibited Item, the matter should be referred to the local Law Enforcement Officers as appropriate. An Enforcement Investigative Report should not be initiated.

Examples of such contraband include:

- Illegal Drugs
- Drug Paraphernalia
- Large Amounts of Cash(10,000.00)

The OD was signed by TSA's Chief Operating Officer at the time, Jonathan J. Fleming

For the rest of the document, (contact numbers and e-mails) please use the FOIA process for OD-400-54-2

Anonymous said...

What a sad state of affairs (and indicator of how USSR-like the USA has become), that in order to exercise their right to travel without government hindrance in their own country, Americans are subject to such a lengthy and convoluted list of bureaucratic rules, which don't even cover the "actual" secret rules.

The massive set of text Blogger Bob posted could be replaced by the following, with no loss to aviation security:


"Passengers are not allowed to carry weapons, explosives, or incendiaries onto a commercial aircraft. Weapons include blades greater than 2 inches in length, firearms, and other items whose primary purpose is to be used in attack/defense.

Passengers will be screened for prohibited items using metal detectors and their property screened with x-ray/CT machines. Items may also be screened by explosive trace detectors. Items suspected of being weapons, explosives, or incendiaries may be subject to additional inspection. Items will not be confiscated or destroyed unless it can be verified that they are a weapon, explosive, or incendiary, in which case the would-be passenger and item will be turned over to law enforcement for arrest and prosecution. Passengers will be compensated for items mistakenly damaged, destroyed, or confiscated by screeners.

Screeners sole purpose is to check for weapons, explosives, and incendiaries. Like any good citizen, screeners will report obvious evidence of crimes (e.g., human head in luggage, obvious drugs) to law enforcement. However, screeners will NOT make judgment calls about things that might be drugs, concern themselves with cash or other items, etc. Screeners are not trained to look for or specifically report anything other than weapons, explosives, and incendiaries.

Outside of the scope of weapons, explosives, and incendiaries, the benefit-of-the-doubt will go to the passenger.

Passengers with special needs will be treated with respect, dignity, and care. All passengers can be appropriately screened for weapons, explosives, and incendiaries, without being subject to public or private humiliation, physical discomfort, or unreasonable delay.

Sandra said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dave said...

TSO Jacob,

Then why the heck did this TSO bring law enforcement in for well under 50% of your so called limit? This implies that he was either improperly trained, making his own rules up as he went along (all too common in your organization), or there is a different limit in your SOP than what you are posting here.

Which one is it?

Anonymous said...

"If myself or any of my fellow TSOs find more than $10,000 in your carry on bag when you are taking an international flight it will take you about 30 seconds to show our supervisor your Customs form of declaration and be on your way."

Customs is the only government entity to which citizens are obligated to declare cash, and that only if citizens are traveling outside of the country with more than $10,000. Ergo citizens are not obligated to answer any questions whatsoever that TSA asks about cash, and the only proper and legally obligated response to that question is, "I decline to answer any questions about my cash unless Customs is asking those questions."

RB said...

TSO Jacob said...

Although we do not specifically look for large amounts of currency, a kilo of cocaine, or missing children we are required to alert the proper authorities when we discover one of these items.

.......................
Of the three situations you mention above which ones are likely to involve illegal action?

Which one is different?

Seems the problem is that TSO's cannot tell the difference between the three.

Anonymous said...

" Like I said before, you all like to blow things out of proportion."

All of us do?

Just like all TSA folk are bad?

Deep breaths.

GSOLTSO said...

Phil said - West, would you please address my assertion that white powder or a roll of cash don't "have the appearance of being illegal" any more than a digital music player, a pet, or someone with brown skin do?

I have already addressed that, and am not going to repeat the answer in yet another blog. Go back and read closer.

Phil also said - Have you received training on estimating the total amount of cash in a roll of bills simply by looking at the roll in the process of searching for weapons, explosives, and incendiaries?

I can't speak for everyone else, but if the passengerr is on an international flight, and the "roll" or stack of money is big enough to make me suspect that there could be more than $10k, then you had better believe that I am calling an STSO over, and we are going to count it in front of the passenger so there can be no question of what is in the bag. If there is a declaration issue then the STSO will make the proper notifications from there.

abelard said...

Dadgummit Tom you beat me to that one!

West
EOS Blog Team
Yes, West, I flipped the currency conversion and you get your point.

Conspicuously absent, of course, is your response to the actual question about TSOs knowing the currency exchange if I have a wad of Canadian or Zimbabwe dollars in my carry-on.

Care to address the actual question?

Dunstan said...

TSO Jacob said:

"If myself or any of my fellow TSOs find more than $10,000 in your carry on bag when you are taking an international flight it will take you about 30 seconds to show our supervisor your Customs form of declaration and be on your way."

In the situation under discussion the $4700 was not leaving the country. No declaration form was needed. This incident was brought about by a lack of training and supervision, and by the childish need to turn a boring job into a heroic incident that instead became a media circus.

TSM, been... said...

Quote:
"While it can be argued that some searches have been upheld, it can also be shown that TSA has been sued when it has gotten in wrong, despite being a "do gooder." Check out the girl with the flour filled condoms - she got a nice check for around $200k."
--------------------
Can you post a link validating this assertion? I'd like to read up on it.

Robert Johnson said...

Quote from Jacob: "RB - United States Currency is NOT contraband. It never has been, and no one (except for you) has ever claimed it is contraband." Actually Jacob, you should really read what's posted on this board.

Bob published a directive that listed large amounts of cash as contraband that should be investigated.

So RB's only "claiming" what TSA has openly stated.

Robert

Mr. Gel-pack said...

Are these actual rules? Or just editorials and press releases?

For example, "Currency, Coins, Precious Metals, or Valuable Jewelry" says nothing about interrogating a person for $4710 in cash.

Where's the rule against "suspicousness"?

And on an issue dear to my heart, How do you travel with frozen breast milk? http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/children/index.shtm has a broken link anbout formula on the top, and seems to indicate that you should only bring as much as is neccessary for your itinerary. As does Important Information on Traveling With Formula, Breast Milk, and Juice. There is a "Now, a mother flying without her child will be able to bring breast milk through the checkpoint, provided it is declared prior to screening." header, but that conflicts with the "You are encouraged to travel with only as much formula, breast milk, or juice in your carry-on needed to reach your destination" language.

Specifically, if my wife has 2 weeks worth (that is 44 5oz bags) of frozen breastmilk, is it and the gel-packs to keep it frozen, prohibited from carryon? Or must she "collaborate" with a medical expert like TSORon and negotiate some sort of agreement?

These particular web pages are unclear, and the uncertainty in their interpretation and applicability caused spoilage of 13 oz of my wife's breast milk after a TSO supervisor in STL told us and his screeners that gel-packs were "allowed for medicine, not infants" as he confiscated our gel pack.

RB said...

Great RB thanks for your opinion. I guess we will discuss this and give you the answer over and over until we are blue in the face. That is great that you think that TSA has erred badly. But currency is not contraband.
.....................


Well anon, first who is we?

OD-400-54-2 May 9, 2005 does in fact make United States currency contraband. As you know when something is designated as contraband there is no lower limit. It's an all or nothing proposition.

I have to believe your a TSO based on your condescending attitude.

Typical of people from your agency.

You should be proud.

Anonymous said...

Examples of such contraband include:

- Illegal Drugs
- Drug Paraphernalia
- Large Amounts of Cash(10,000.00)
___________________________________

The contraband part of this is amounts of cash that are over $10,000 when someone is traveling outside of the US and has not declared the money. Period. Stop arguing, its been explained numerous times!

Mike said...

* Where has TSA published a list of all the rules and regulations that TSA will subject someone to if that person wishes to cross a U.S. Government checkpoint at an airport en route to the gate from which his domestic flight will depart, not including laws that the person is required to abide by outside of the airport checkpoint (i.e., just those rules and regulations that apply specifically at the checkpoint)?

--
Phil
I agree 100%. I don't know how you can expect us to follow all of the rules if you won't tell us what they are.

Mike

NoClu said...

Could you please outline the policy regarding the MMW, aka Full Body Scan Imaging machines for children under 18. I've read that the TSA wants to make these the primary method of scanning people, not using the magnetic portals available today. I really don't want anyone looking at a virtually naked image of my daughter (currently 4 1/2).

Tomas said...

Sorry for simply repeating this, but I felt the need to give it every possible chance to be read by the largest audience.

QFT! (Quoted For Truth):

An Anonymous poster presented...What a sad state of affairs (and indicator of how USSR-like the USA has become), that in order to exercise their right to travel without government hindrance in their own country, Americans are subject to such a lengthy and convoluted list of bureaucratic rules, which don't even cover the "actual" secret rules.

The massive set of text Blogger Bob posted could be replaced by the following, with no loss to aviation security:


"Passengers are not allowed to carry weapons, explosives, or incendiaries onto a commercial aircraft. Weapons include blades greater than 2 inches in length, firearms, and other items whose primary purpose is to be used in attack/defense.

Passengers will be screened for prohibited items using metal detectors and their property screened with x-ray/CT machines. Items may also be screened by explosive trace detectors. Items suspected of being weapons, explosives, or incendiaries may be subject to additional inspection. Items will not be confiscated or destroyed unless it can be verified that they are a weapon, explosive, or incendiary, in which case the would-be passenger and item will be turned over to law enforcement for arrest and prosecution. Passengers will be compensated for items mistakenly damaged, destroyed, or confiscated by screeners.

Screeners sole purpose is to check for weapons, explosives, and incendiaries. Like any good citizen, screeners will report obvious evidence of crimes (e.g., human head in luggage, obvious drugs) to law enforcement. However, screeners will NOT make judgment calls about things that might be drugs, concern themselves with cash or other items, etc. Screeners are not trained to look for or specifically report anything other than weapons, explosives, and incendiaries.

Outside of the scope of weapons, explosives, and incendiaries, the benefit-of-the-doubt will go to the passenger.

Passengers with special needs will be treated with respect, dignity, and care. All passengers can be appropriately screened for weapons, explosives, and incendiaries, without being subject to public or private humiliation, physical discomfort, or unreasonable delay."

Anonymous said...

"While it can be argued that some searches have been upheld, it can also be shown that TSA has been sued when it has gotten in wrong, despite being a "do gooder." Check out the girl with the flour filled condoms - she got a nice check for around $200k."

You statement is erronous. The payment was $180,000, and the payee was the city of Philly, NOT the TSA. Nice way to spin the truth to make TSA the fallguy.

Bob said...

I apologize that Sandra's comment to Kelly was posted. We do not support personal attacks and the comment should never have been approved. After posting this comment, I will delete it.

Bob

EoS Blog Team

Bob said...

abelard said... Conspicuously absent, of course, is your response to the actual question about TSOs knowing the currency exchange if I have a wad of Canadian or Zimbabwe dollars in my carry-on. April 14, 2009 10:24 AM
-----------------------------
I was working in the Ops center once at CVG when a supervisor called me about a large amount of Iranian Rials. It looked like a lot, but I after I went to an exchange calculator on the web, I figured out it was only equivalent to about $400.00. That's how I handled that one. I don't know what's going to come of it, but I have proposed a training aid for the workforce providing photographs of what $10,000.00 looks like in various denominations. I have also suggested that a link be provided to an exchange calculator.

Bob

EoS Blog Team

Phil said...

West, you didn't answer the question. You have repeatedly dodged it. You're an official blogger now, so if you think I'm wrong, please just link to your previous answer.

To recap:

Please address my assertion that white powder or a roll of cash don't "have the appearance of being illegal" any more than a digital music player, a pet, or someone with brown skin do. In each of those cases, there may be wrongdoing, or there may be a perfectly legal explanation for the item or person. I'm very curious how you determine which things that might indicate wrongdoing are worthy of stopping from doing your job of searching for dangerous things and initiating an investigation, and which things are not.

Have you received training on estimating the total amount of cash in a roll of bills simply by looking at the roll in the process of searching for weapons, explosives, and incendiaries?


Kelly, in the comments for the "Incident at St. Louis International post, you wrote:

"If while in a bag check for our primary focus items (i.e. liquids/weapons etc) and we find things such as drugs, it IS our "procedure" to inform supervisors and Law Enforcement.

"No matter how big or small, illegal is illegal and we can't just overlook it, sorry. We can't just hand back your kilo b/c it's not a "threat"."
In response, I noted that barring the result of specialized training that I suspect you have not received, you could not in that situation identify "drugs" by sight any more than you could identify unvaccinated pets, information on digital music players that came from unauthorized copying, or people who are not in the country legally.

I asked, "In each of the above scenarios, do you feel that it is congruent with the United States Constitution to stop someone who is carrying something that might indicate wrongdoing, question that person, then "if all is kosher" let that person go on his way?" Do you?


Bob, could you tell us whether people are prohibited by law from photographing computer monitors at your airport search stations? First you told us that it was discouraged, then you told us that it was prohibited, but you have not responded to multiple requests for the source of your information.

When your new partners Kelly, Tim, and West post comments here now, will they be speaking on behalf of TSA?

Why does TSA count people's money when they find it during a search for weapons, explosives, and incendiaries?

Are people required by law to answer questions from TSA staff about their money?

--
Phil
Add your own questions at TSAFAQ.net

Anonymous said...

Bob said:

I don't know what's going to come of it, but I have proposed a training aid for the workforce providing photographs of what $10,000.00 looks like in various denominations. I have also suggested that a link be provided to an exchange calculator.Good luck on that one since it could be anywhere from 100 bundles of $1 bills to one bundle of $100 bills.

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...


Phil also said - Have you received training on estimating the total amount of cash in a roll of bills simply by looking at the roll in the process of searching for weapons, explosives, and incendiaries?

I can't speak for everyone else, but if the passengerr is on an international flight, and the "roll" or stack of money is big enough to make me suspect that there could be more than $10k, then you had better believe that I am calling an STSO over, and we are going to count it in front of the passenger so there can be no question of what is in the bag. If there is a declaration issue then the STSO will make the proper notifications from there.

April 14, 2009 9:58 AM

................
Your going to do what?

Remove my money from my bag?

Under what authority?

Try it, I'll yell thief so quick that the hit and run lawyers will be lined up waiting for payday.

Go ahead, make my day!

Jim Huggins said...

Bob writes:

I have proposed a training aid for the workforce providing photographs of what $10,000.00 looks like in various denominations. I have also suggested that a link be provided to an exchange calculator.I don't mean this to sound snarky, Bob. But wouldn't it be simpler to propose that TSA drop the emphasis on currency in the first place?

From what I've read here, there is only a very limited circumstance where the issue is even relevant (i.e. carrying over $10K internationally) --- and even in those situations, passengers can make a Customs declaration inside the sterile area to fulfill their legal obligations. At that point, I'm not sure what purpose the TSA check serves, since an international passenger can approach a checkpoint with over $10K and no paperwork, fully intending to legally complete the required declaration once inside the sterile area.

Tomas said...

Well, here's another traveler who followed your rules (you even have them listed in your list) but somehow at my local airport (SEA) her mother's ashes vanished from the sealed plastic urn in her checked luggage (the urn remained) and instead she had a love note from TSA.

According to local news, TSA is investigating and attempting to find the screener who inspected the checked luggage to see if "anything was removed."

Yeah, good luck on that.

Any further TSA comments on this incident?

Tom (1 of 5-6)

Irish said...

Blogger Bob suggests:

"I don't know what's going to come of it, but I have proposed a training aid for the workforce providing photographs of what $10,000.00 looks like in various denominations. I have also suggested that a link be provided to an exchange calculator."No offense, Bob, but that's about the silliest thing I've ever heard of.

$10,000 in $100 dollar bills looks just like $100 in $1 dollar bills. If they're crisp new bills it's a pretty small stack. If they're well circulated, it's a bigger stack. $10,00 in $20's is a pretty big stack of bills. There simply is no way to tell how much money is in a stack of bills (large or small) without counting the money, the remarkable abilities claimed by some TSO's here notwithstanding.

So what I'm reading is, it's TSA's policy to demand surrender cash to be counted if it looks like a traveler is carrying "a lot" of bills. (If the traveler wants to fly today.) Excuse me? The basis in law for this fishing expedition would be .... ?

Suppose by some bizarre conjunction of the stars I take leave of my senses and say to you, "Oh, it's $9,950 I'm going to use to buy a wonderous objet d'art." Sill going to count it, or are you going to take my word for it? Suppose I'm en route to Australia and I say "Oh, it's #11,500 I'm going to gift my dear gray-haired mother during my layover in LAX so she can pay off her cute little seaside house." Still going to count it? Why? Going to insist I fill out a Customs form? Why? Suppose I say, as politely as I possibly can and with a charmingly sweet and appealing smile, "I really prefer not to discuss my finances but, just to set your mind at ease, it's certainly less than $10,000." Still going to count it?

Irish

Mr. Gel-pack said...

You ask: "What would you like to know that you can’t find in these links? Please take a look and post a comment with your suggestions."


The link at the top of Travelling with Children which points to the anchor for Baby Formula, Breast Milk, Juice, and Other Liquids seems broken.

That section points to
Important Information on Traveling With Formula, Breast Milk, and Juice which says both "Now, a mother flying without her child will be able to bring breast milk through the checkpoint, provided it is declared prior to screening," and "You are encouraged to travel with only as much formula, breast milk, or juice in your carry-on needed to reach your destination."

How much breastmilk is "reasonable" when traveling without an infant? My wife dumped more than a gallon of breast milk during her last trip (XXX-CHL-LAX-SYD(baggage handler strike lost her luggage for 4 days)-GIS & back). After our miserable experience clearing breastmilk & gel packs through a TSA checkpoint, my wife doesn't trust TSA enough to even try to save breastmilk during a trip.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

The link you posted with regards to identification ID Requirements for Airport Checkpoints include: DHS "Trusted Traveler" cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST) near the very top of the list, and well ahead of driver's licenses.

I have been attempting to use my "Trusted Traveler" SENTRI card at multiple airports for numerous months, and at least 50% of the time, it is refused as ID. A recent snippy comment from the TSO in DAY was "What is this? Why don't you just make it easy and use your driver's license?"

I am confused. This is supposed to be a much more secure form of ID than the current mish-mash of driver's licenses. I have passed a background check, been fingerprinted, and paid a chunk of change & personal time to get this, yet it seems to cause nothing but trouble.

Is there something awry with the current level ID training? I assumed that the TSO checking ID's would at least be familiar with preferred federally issued IDs.

This has definitely been a pattern and not a one-time occurrence.

HappyToHelp said...

Anonymous said...I have been attempting to use my "Trusted Traveler" SENTRI card at multiple airports for numerous months, and at least 50% of the time, it is refused as ID. A recent snippy comment from the TSO in DAY was "What is this? Why don't you just make it easy and use your driver's license?"This is a very important issue. Could you post the offending airports?

If you can, please send the offending airports this information using the Got feedback.

Seems like a break down in training. If this ever happens to you again, if time permits, request a supervisor. That way the training department can target individuals who need more training. The supervisor will except your SENTRI card.

Thanks for posting,

-Tim “H2H”

EoS Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

RB said - Your going to do what?

Remove my money from my bag?

Under what authority?

Try it, I'll yell thief so quick that the hit and run lawyers will be lined up waiting for payday.

Go ahead, make my day!


No way! I would not remove the money from the bag. If the amount in the bag upon initial inspection appeared to be more than 10K, I personally (this is just me) would ask you and the supervisor (and LEO if you requested for your protection) to move to a private screening area so neither you/me/STSO or LEO would be flashing your spending money around! I would then have the STSO evaluate and if he/she concurred that there appeared to be more than 10K, we would check the declaration form. If no declaration form is found, the STSO would be in charge, but for the sake of clarity a count of the money (in front of you) would be the simplest resolution to the situation. If the count comes up less than 10K you get a "thank you for your time, have a good day". If there is more than 10K then the fact that you are on an international flight and have not declared the 10K properly, we would have to contact Customs per SOP.

Oh yeah, if you were on a domestic flight, and I could clear whatever possible threat would be in the bag, there would be no other followup.

West
EOS Blog Team

RB said...

No way! I would not remove the money from the bag. If the amount in the bag upon initial inspection appeared to be more than 10K, I personally (this is just me) would ask you and the supervisor (and LEO if you requested for your protection) to move to a private screening area so neither you/me/STSO or LEO would be flashing your spending money around! I would then have the STSO evaluate and if he/she concurred that there appeared to be more than 10K, we would check the declaration form. If no declaration form is found, the STSO would be in charge, but for the sake of clarity a count of the money (in front of you) would be the simplest resolution to the situation. If the count comes up less than 10K you get a "thank you for your time, have a good day". If there is more than 10K then the fact that you are on an international flight and have not declared the 10K properly, we would have to contact Customs per SOP.

Oh yeah, if you were on a domestic flight, and I could clear whatever possible threat would be in the bag, there would be no other followup.

West
EOS Blog Team

April 16, 2009 7:47 AM


You said in an earlier post that you and your supervisor would count the money.

Also, I have no reason to show any customs form to TSA, it's not your job or my responsibility to do so.

If I have reason to declare something to Customs I will do so with the proper agency.

Remove money from my bag and I will press charges of robbery.

Mike said...

"You are encouraged to travel with only as much formula, breast milk, or juice in your carry-on needed to reach your destination."

How much breastmilk is "reasonable" when traveling without an infant? My wife dumped more than a gallon of breast milk during her last trip (XXX-CHL-LAX-SYD(baggage handler strike lost her luggage for 4 days)-GIS & back). After our miserable experience clearing breastmilk & gel packs through a TSA checkpoint, my wife doesn't trust TSA enough to even try to save breastmilk during a trip.
Amen to that. We have two 3-month olds who go through formula faster than anyone could ever imagine. Add in the possibilities for delays and I can assure you that there is no way to measure a "reasonable" amount. We'll take as much as we can carry.

But glad to see that you guys have so many excess employees that you have time to search baby formula, provide gate searches, etc.

Mike

TSM, Been here... said...

As far as the "Flour filled condom case" - man do you guys drag stuff out of the ether!
The case was filed in 2005: "The suit was filed at the very end of the two-year statute of limitations" which means the actual event happened in Dec 2003! Almost 6 years ago! And it wasn't even the TSA that caused the issue, it was the failed drug testing methods of the cops!!

At least come up with something current to back up your assertions!

"FLOUR-FILLED CONDOMS MEANT JAIL
Friday, December 30, 2005 - FreeMarketNews.com

The drug warriors must be so proud: they captured a college student over the holidays two years ago, analyzed her belongings, and concluded she was carrying a mixture of opium and cocaine, wrapped up in three condoms. According to a Miami Herald story, she spent three weeks in jail while they were sorting out the mess.

As it turned out, once they did a retest on the substance, they found it to be ordinary flour, as she had told them it was. Janet Lee, then a freshman at Bryn Mawr College, was exhausted from exam-week and trying to get home to California for the holidays. She is now suing Philadelphia police for the false arrest, seeking damages for pain and suffering, financial loss, and emotional distress. The flour-filled condoms were a sort of joke at the all-women's school, a stress-reliever to squeeze during exams. But the initial police field test showed opium and cocaine, so the jackboots came out big time.

The lawsuit now seeks answers to the basic question of why the field test had initially found drugs. Her lawyers are contending that there are only two possible answers: the test was faulty ... or someone fixed the results. In either case, there is liability to be determined. The suit was filed at the very end of the two-year statute of limitations, the lawyer said, because Lee needed time to to back up your assertions!process what happened. - ST

"

Anonymous said...

Responding to GSOTSO, who said "...a count of the money (in front of you) would be the simplest resolution to the situation."

Actually, the simplest resolution to the situration would be for screeners to just mind their own business regarding passengers' perfectly legal behavior; and for TSA as a whole to abandon its "guilty until proven innocent" mindset.


T-the-B at flyertalk

Anonymous said...

Responding to TSM Been There who said, "... And it wasn't even the TSA that caused the issue, ..."So TSA didnt cause the issue? Did the cops just decide to grab a passenger's bag and search it with no probable cause at all? Or did some TSA cop-wannabee call the police over because he had just (in his own mind) gotten a big drug bust?

Do you think that the day the incident took place the screener said to himself, "Wow, good thing the cops caught that!" or was it more likely he thought, "I helped catch a druggie." You and I both know the answer. If there was any credit to be had, TSA would be claiming it. Since it turned to be much ado about nothing you want to claim TSA had no responsibility.

Spin it all you want, that particular incident was initiated by TSA against a passenger who was doing absolutely nothing illegal.

T-the-B at flyertalk

Anonymous said...

RB said - Your going to do what?

Remove my money from my bag?

Under what authority?

Try it, I'll yell thief so quick that the hit and run lawyers will be lined up waiting for payday.

Go ahead, make my day!
___________________________________
EWWW, I love how you people threaten with law sutes all the time. It is so humerous!

Jim Huggins said...

TSM-Been-Here writes:

The actual event happened in Dec 2003! Almost 6 years ago! And it wasn't even the TSA that caused the issue, it was the failed drug testing methods of the cops!! At least come up with something current to back up your assertions!
Well ... only if everyone else agrees to play by the same rules.

When TSA critics complain about 3-1-1 rules, TSA defenders drag out the Bojinka plot, which happened 14 years ago. Or when critics complain about having to take off shoes, TSA defenders drag out Richard Reid, who made his attempt seven years ago. Or dare I mention that 9/11 happened on ... um, 9/11/01, 7.5 years ago?

If we're going to disagree, let's agree on some ground rules. How far back in history is each side allowed to gather examples?

Anonymous said...

OMG did I really just see what I think I saw?

The video for Female Business Travler has her removing her Freedom Bag of Toiletries, and nothing else.

The video for Male Business Traverler has him remove his "liquids" AND a laptop.

Also, the poor guy is shown removing his shoes, but not the woman.

You have gone to a great deal of trouble to post incorrect, incomplete and SEXIST information on this special compilation of ALL THE RULES.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
OMG did I really just see what I think I saw?

The video for Female Business Travler has her removing her Freedom Bag of Toiletries, and nothing else.

The video for Male Business Traverler has him remove his "liquids" AND a laptop.

Also, the poor guy is shown removing his shoes, but not the woman.

You have gone to a great deal of trouble to post incorrect, incomplete and SEXIST information on this special compilation of ALL THE RULES.

April 16, 2009 7:03 PM
___________________________________

You people are great! All you want to do is argue, everything. I watched the video's and apparently they did not do a very thorough job with the female business traveler. Its like they didn't finish it or something. It is not incorrect. The information shown is correct information, it is just not complete. And to cry out sexist, give me a break! I laugh.

TSORon said...

Jim Huggins said...
“If we're going to disagree, let's agree on some ground rules. How far back in history is each side allowed to gather examples?”

The problem with your statement Jim is that each of these types of attempts on aircraft are still viable plots. We get intelligence reports every now and again stating that there are terrorists still trying to figure ways to get these things past screening.

A bow and arrow is a very old technology, its can still kill, and we still will not allow someone to bring it through the checkpoint. Your argument lacks logic from a security point of view.

Jim Huggins said...

TSORon, with all respect, you're missing the point again.

This particular thread started with the usual debate about the proper limits of TSA's administrative searches. As an example, Robert Johnson brought up a case back from 2003 where such a search was deemed overreaching (to the tune of a $180,000 payment to the plaintiff). TSM-Been-Here objected to the use of that case as too old. I responded that TSA uses old events all the time to justify its current policies, such as the Bojinka plot, Richard Reid, or 9/11.

You respond:

The problem with your statement Jim is that each of these types of attempts on aircraft are still viable plots.So, old events are still legitimate examples, because they're still viable plots. Then old TSA failures also need to be considered as legitimate examples, because those failures could still easily happen today. Fair is fair.

Besides, it's not like it's hard to find examples of recent TSA problems with administrative searches gone awry ... like the St. Louis money incident last month, or the Sea-Tac missing cremated ashes last month.

Again, all I'm saying is this: everyone here should argue using the same rules. Either all of us can talk about the past, or none of us can.

Anonymous said...

"A bow and arrow is a very old technology, its can still kill, and we still will not allow someone to bring it through the checkpoint. Your argument lacks logic from a security point of view."

Ron, your example demonstrates the absurdity of your argument. A bow and arrow is CLEARLY A WEAPON. Shoes are not weapons. Shampoo is not a weapon. Cash is not a weapon. No one is trying to bring down airplanes with their shoes, or their shampoo, or their cash, and these objects have purposes OTHER THAN BEING WEAPONS. You, Ron, do not actually know anything about security, as you demonstrate again and again and again.

Anonymous said...

The TSA must mean something by making two different videos, one for each gender, rather than simply one for the "business traveller". TSA made a special effort to go through the trouble of producing and publishing the two different videos, it should be called out on the difference.

Why is pointing out that the female business traveller, as compared to the male, needs no computer or shoes to pursue her profession, perceived as sexist? (Is recognizing the obvious and rude sexism worthy of censorship?)

Dunstan said...

"If we're going to disagree, let's agree on some ground rules. How far back in history is each side allowed to gather examples?"

Hmmm... back to the first person who was detained for artfully concealing items in his loin cloth?

Anonymous said...

TSORon said...The problem with your statement Jim is that each of these types of attempts on aircraft are still viable plots. We get intelligence reports every now and again stating that there are terrorists still trying to figure ways to get these things past screening.


A bow and arrow is a very old technology, its can still kill, and we still will not allow someone to bring it through the checkpoint. Your argument lacks logic from a security point of view.


... and without evidence that TSA accountability towards TSO shennanigans has changed, the poor behavior and random rule of the day interpretation of some portion of the TSO workforce will continue create a viable expecation in the traveling public that there are TSO's still trying to harrass PAX at screenings.

Sorry, but the couple of rotten apples in the barrel still leave a stench on the majority of the good ones.

Anonymous said...

This comment is an excellent, concise and thorough summary of everything that is wrong with TSA and its inability to post rules for travelers:

"I watched the video's [sic] and apparently they did not do a very thorough job with the female business traveler. Its like they didn't finish it or something. It is not incorrect. The information shown is correct information, it is just not complete."

Thanks, TSA!

Anonymous said...

For all those who doubt the TSAs ability to estimate the total value of a stack of bills of unknown denominations: Calm down. Don't you realize that this is an agency that can train people to become human lie detectors capable of completely filtering out any subconscious racial/ethnic/etc. profiling?

Incidentally, how many training hours does it take to become certified as one of these Orwellian "behavior detection officers?" Who provides this training? How much are they paid to provide it? Have theories of visual "behavior detection" been peer reviewed?

And they wonder why someone might have an expression of fear or anger at the FreedomPort...

Mr. Gel-pack said...

Dunstan said...

"If we're going to disagree, let's agree on some ground rules. How far back in history is each side allowed to gather examples?"

Hmmm... back to the first person who was detained for artfully concealing items in his loin cloth?

############

That's for the TSA side. For the TSA skeptic side, we may only use information as old as the first page of the blog--"change the subject!"

GSOLTSO said...

T at the B said - "Actually, the simplest resolution to the situration would be for screeners to just mind their own business regarding passengers' perfectly legal behavior; and for TSA as a whole to abandon its "guilty until proven innocent" mindset."

That is one of the problems that I see in a lot of responses here, is the attitude that the old, infirm, young or certain types of people are not a threat. Threats come in all sizes, shapes, and wearing all kinds of clothes and a lot of the people here don't seem to understand that. I have seen children have things strapped to them, in their strollers, in their baby seats and in their diapers that should not be there. I have seen groups use peopole that were learning disabled to carry large amounts of illicit drugs/explosives/illegal items because they were subjected to less stringent security methods. I have seen groups use elders that were sick, dying, in a state of delusion (to the point of being stark raving mad) to carry out bombings. If you stop screening someone based the fact that they are a child, a grandmother or because they a learning disability then you have lost the security battle before it began. There are people in this world that will stop at NOTHING to get what they want, and I for one am going to screen every person that comes through my checkpoint the exact same way, the only exceptions I make are I will help someone that needs help, and I will take a bit more time with children becuase they tend to be upset fairly easily in the checkpoint. There are rules I disagree with at work (for one the LAG rule, that is a recipe for conflict, I personally agree with the all or none rules), but they are the rules and we have to follow them. This is not a "guilty until proven innocent mindset", this is a "screen all people equally approach".

West
EOS Blog Team

Fergie said...

Very interesting and useful post. Thanks for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

I came by looking for a link for "food I *can* take to the airport" since I have two legs coming up that total 7 hours in the air. I know I can buy food at the airport, but I really just wanted to bring a cheese or peanut butter sandwich, and I'm guessing I'm not alone. Help us out, post some things we can do that are not prohibited! Fruit? Bread? Crackers?

Bob said...

Anonymous said...I came by looking for a link for "food I *can* take to the airport" since I have two legs coming up that total 7 hours in the air. I know I can buy food at the airport, but I really just wanted to bring a cheese or peanut butter sandwich, and I'm guessing I'm not alone. Help us out, post some things we can do that are not prohibited! Fruit? Bread? Crackers?
July 1, 2009 9:30 PM
---------------------------

Hi! Everything you mentioned is just fine. Just follow the 3-1-1 rules and don't bring any liquids over 3.4 oz.

Thanks!

Bob

TSA Blog Team

Jim Davies said...

I have to travel on business quite a lot and though post 9/11 regulations demand more waiting time than before, I would be happy to wait twice as long as long as the safety is ensured.

Anonymous said...

I am a photographer, and part of my gear are a group of radio remotes, that trigger a flash using radio transmissions. Are these allowed in carry on, or should I pack them, or should I just ship them out before I go? Do I leave the batteries in, or take them out?

Bob said...

Anonymous Said… I am a photographer, and part of my gear are a group of radio remotes, that trigger a flash using radio transmissions. Are these allowed in carry on, or should I pack them, or should I just ship them out before I go? Do I leave the batteries in, or take them out? 7/23/09
---------------------
All of the above options you mentioned are OK, but you CAN take these items through the checkpoint. The batteries can stay in. There is always the chance that your remotes (or any other item) could warrant some extra attention depending on how they appear on the x-ray. If you want to go the extra mile, you could remove the remotes or any other gear you think might cause a problem and send it in a bin instead of being packed in your bag. That way our officers can get a really good look without any clutter, and if they do need to be inspected, the officers won’t have to go into your bag. I hope this helps.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

I have a question that hopefully someone can answer. My brother is flying home this weekend but he has an outstanding bench warrant for an unpaid speeding ticket. Should he use his driver's license or Passport for ID purposes. He is planning on taking care of the matter when he gets here but is wondering if he will be prevented from boarding the plane because of this.

Anonymous said...

Bob, I am a Hunter traveling w/ a weapon...What is the maximum amount/weight of ammunition that TSA allows boxed up in a checked bad?

Bob said...

Anonymous said... Bob, I am a Hunter traveling w/ a weapon...What is the maximum amount/weight of ammunition that TSA allows boxed up in a checked bag? August 29, 2009 3:36 PM

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

Hi Anon. We don't regulate the amount of ammo, we simply screen it. Upon checking in with the airline, you have to declare your ammunition and each airline may have their own policies. It is recommend that you contact the airline first and ask them about the permissible amount of ammunition.

As far as TSA goes, we have no problem with it as long as it's
packed in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging that is specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
You can't use firearm magazines/clips for packing ammunition unless they completely and securely enclose the ammunition (e.g., by securely covering the exposed portions of the magazine or by securely placing the magazine in a pouch, holder, holster or lanyard).
You may carry the ammunition in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as long as you pack it as described above.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

I currently fly out of FAT on a weekly basis and when I use my registered traveller (NEXUS) card as my form of acceptable identification I am rejected by the screening checkpoint agent and the supervisor on duty. I filed a complaint with the contact center who says it's acceptable, but the Fresno airport checkpoint team insists they will not accept it as a form of Identification for domestic travel. They are adamant it can only be used for travel to Canada-what can I do?

Bob said...

In reference to FAT... I suggest you use the got feedback program. Click Here

It will allow you to contact the Customer Support Manager at FAT and they will be able to address this for you.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

I sent an e-mail to the TSA Contact center to get some answers about what to expect when going through the metal detectors with knee replacements. The answers I got back were the generic answers that required no thought on the part of the replier (i.e. copy and paste the stuff out of the disabilities area that doesn't answers the questions I posed). I asked specific questions that were ignored (i.e. would the ability to show the scars help in the screening process) and ended with what I think the scenario would be. None of my questions were answered nor was the scenario confirmed. So I'm disappointed with how TSA handled this request. What I wanted to know is if there was anything special to be done to make the process easier (i.e. being able to show the scars, etc.) and if the following is what is expected:
1. get in line and set off the metal detectors.
2. go to the screening area and get wanded. Any areas that set off the wand will need to be patted down.
3. go through the pat down
4. collect the bags and get on the plane.

Anonymous said...

great!

Arbee said...

So TSA Blog Team, Can you help me understand my experience at FLL on 9 Nov., 0915 at Checkpoint for B gates?

Supervisor Lupton did not follow the process described in the TSA website that TSA will not require a person to remove orthopedic shoes.
I wear orthopedic shoes and, according to the posting on the TSA website, wore them throught the WTMD without alarming. During secondary, Blakely swabbed my shoes and hands according to protocol. He then said they had alarmed and my shoes had to be xrayed. I asked him to do a second swab as the positive was likely to be a false positive. Blakely said Lupton, the supervisor, told hime to x ray the shoes. I repeated my request for a second swab to Lupton who refused it by saying I didn't know it was a false positive and that the only way I would clear the checkpoint was by removing my shoes for an xray.
In addition, despite the fact that I did not alarm the WTMD, Blakely conducted a full pat down as well as "wanding me."
I would like to know just what the process is for screening a person who wears orthopedic shoes.

Mike Jones said...

Bob, great job! I knew a lot on this list, but learned of a few new ones that are helpful.

Fat said...

our safety is very much important then anyother thing.so to be safe i'll be happy to wait for some time.

Anonymous said...

The full body scanner your organization is implementing in airports is a complete violation of personal privacy and a dangerous radiation exposure to everyone. Any radiation no matter how small an amount does damage to DNA and I will not subject my family to this nonsense. I will fly less and avoid airports using this ridiculous technology. If you spent more time profiling the people who have consistently been most responsible for terror attacks, you would be more effective in preventing them as well as not jeopardizing civilians going on vacation/business trips. This will definitely have a negative effect on airline economy as people learn the danger and loss of privacy they are exposed to with the body scanners.

Anonymous said...

Rather cool site you've got here. Thanx for it. I like such topics and anything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more soon.

Truly yours

Anonymous said...

Quick question. I haven't flown in awhile, so don't laugh. In carry on, can i pack a shaving razor?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

is a problem, if my clothes is compressed, with a "Space Bag"???

YH-O said...

Is a can of tuna packed in oil considered a liquid subject to the 3-1-1 rule? Thanks in advance.

mrsdnoble said...

My friend took Play-doh on a plane for her child and was pulled aside for questioning, testing, etc. Is this going to happen to me if I bring Play-doh for my 3 and 5 yr old to play with during our 6+ hour flight to NY!?

I bought a tube of 10 party size Play-dohs (1oz ea) and planned on taking that with their Play-doh toy boxes (2) which contain TWO 2oz containers of Play-doh in each box. I was going to split the Party size Play-dohs between my two kid's roller backpacks along with their Play-doh toy box and their other travel activities and snacks. So that's 8 - 1oz Play-dohs and 4 - 2oz Play-doh containers.

We are also planning on taking Wikki Sticks, hand held electronic game, a mini kid's computer, leapfrog learning electronic book board, lots of books to read, plain paper pad, crayons, pencils, Dumb Dumb lollipops, small raisin boxes, fruit leather strips, cheerios in snack zip bags, powder juice to add to water bottles in small plastic tube-like containers, peanuts in snack zip bags, perhaps some other snack items, and I know to buy water bottles after passing through TSA Security screening.

Can you tell me if anything that I mentioned above would be confiscated at the TSA check area? I'd prefer to not bring items that I will have issues with!

We are flying from SFO to LGA and will be in NY for 2 weeks until we return from LGA to SFO. Does each airport have their own regulations in addition to the TSA restrictions?

Thanks for all you help!

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I'm flying from DC to Chicago tomorrow and would like to bring fresh fruit on the plane - blueberries, strawberries, and mango. Am I allowed to bring them?

Thanks!

Lynn said...

@ Anonymous:

I'm flying from DC to Chicago tomorrow and would like to bring fresh fruit on the plane - blueberries, strawberries, and mango. Am I allowed to bring them?

You sure can. All we ask is that they're in some kind of package like a bag or container so none of the fruit spills out on the X-ray belt.

Lynn, TSA Blog Team

flyingsteve said...

Thanks Bob.. really good list,,and all the comments are helpful.
Although annoying..Airport safety is a huge concern for me and i don't mind waiting longer if need be.

Tran Quang Vinh said...

Hello, the website says that we are required an acceptable form of identification. However, when I went to fly internationally, I was asked for my driver's license in addition to my passport. This was no problem for me since I readily had that form of identification. My brother however is flying international in a few weeks. He does not possess any form of state issued identification because he is too lazy to get a drivers license or go to a DMV. Would he have trouble getting through security with just a passport?

Big K said...

What about fishing tackle? Hooks and such?

Cathy Davis said...

Great! Having them all in one location makes it a lot easier to get ready for a trip!

Doug said...

When I travel with my paintball sniper marker, I always include my receipt of purchase and my user manual taped to the side of it, just to be clear and sure.

Abby said...

I agree with Mr. Davies. I'll wait twice as long just to be sure the flight is safe. I also don't care about scanners and such. I don't understand people who would allow a crack for a terrorist to slip through because they're afraid an xray might see their underwear. And no, allowing knives would be bad because we don't need hostage situations, either.

Anonymous said...

I would like to carry on a blender, it has a plastic jar with the dull blade welded in (cannot be remove without breaking the unbreakable plastic jar) and it has the normal electric motor base? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

"Why the bag?" Under the 3-1-1- rules is a dead link.

Angela Ward said...

My hint for travelling which saved me alot of hassle was carrying a photo-copy of the Info page of my passport. (Have this in a separate bag!) My handbag was snatched in Bangkok but I was able to go straight to the Embassy and get a replacement Passport because the copy of my Passport info was in my hand luggage!

Anonymous said...

I will be traveling with baby. Am I allowed to take his special water w/ flouride, prefilled in his bottles, in his carry on? He drinks 6 oz at a time every 3 hours and we have a connecting flight. Traveling from Sea-Tac to LAX.

Anonymous said...

I'm traveling in a few days, and I have a question. I am traveling overseas (international) and I was wondering, I am planning on bringing a few bottles of perfumes and cologne for family back home. They will of course be in my "Checked-in" baggage, NOT carry on, now I was told that items like those were not permitted? Also, I was thinking of placing these items in a plastic storage bin and having this bin checked in, but someone told me that A storage bin is also unacceptable as far as baggage goes? Am I just hearing a bunch of lies? Please help?

TrackerNeil said...

It's disturbing to see the way the TSA mission has undergone "scope creep." Personally, I don't care if my seatmate on a plane has cash, a pound of blow or a bag full of child pornography; as long as he doesn't have a bomb or a gun, we're five by five. Check out this article, please:

http://articles.philly.com/2010-08-18/news/24973352_1_tsa-police-officer-checks

I thought the TSA's job was to make certain no one hijacked or blew up planes, but now I see the agency is now simply the airport division of the FBI and state and local police. Great googlymooglies.

Sean Duggan said...

Your link regarding the necessity of the baggie does not resolve. I don't know enough about the site to track down where it's supposed to point to, but I wanted to let you know that you have a dead link.

Anonymous said...

Do not forget you can have with you maximum of 100ml of Paul Mitchell tea tree oil shampoo on plane.