Monday, August 10, 2009

ExpressJet Incident in Rochester

Due to thunderstorms, a flight bound for Minneapolis on Friday, August 7, was diverted to Rochester, Minnesota. Passengers were stuck inside the plane for several hours after ExpressJet made the decision not to deplane.

Earlier today, there were media reports that led some to believe TSA regulations prevented the passengers from deplaning.

TSA does not make decisions on whether or not passengers can deplane. We do however have the ability to recall our officers and open a checkpoint at the request of an airline or airport. No requests were made by ExpressJet on Friday or Saturday. The checkpoint resumed normal operations at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Also, passengers did not need to be screened or rescreened to deplane and re-board as long as they didn’t exit past the checkpoint and leave the non-screened sterile area of the airport.

Please note the airline has since publically apologized to the passengers.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob

TSA Blog Team

97 comments:

RB said...

I think TSA is in the clear on this one.

For once!

YDP said...

The story above implies that TSA was not present when this fight arrived. Is that the case? If so wouldn't the sterile area no longer be sterile due to overnight cleaning and maint?

DCA TSO eM said...

I remember a similar story but it happened in DC. If I recall correctly 2 women we're on the airplane that hadn't taken off yet when they started discussing where would be the safest place to sit on the airplane if there was a bomb. I'm not sure whether or not a FAM was invloved but I seem to recall that 1 or 2 passengers did tell flight crew.

The TSA Officers at that terminal dumped the pier & I think the women we're brought in for questioning. However, there was 1 passenger who wanted to sue DoT & AirTran for making them get off the plane.

deadpass said...

I believe nine hours is a few more than several.

Chrystal K. said...

I would hate to have been on that plane.

Anonymous said...

RB, do you think TSA should lead Health Care Reform? Also, Do you feel that TSA is responsible for the thunderstorms due to massive static charges created by Blogger Bob's wool socks while he was scooting around the office without shoes on during his friday dance off?

Anonymous said...

I agree that the TSA has no actual part in this, but it appears that the general sprawl that is the TSA's "Security Net", or whatever you want to call it, scared the airline into not doing something. TSA responsible? No. TSA policies responsible? Yes, albeit indirectly. If this had happened in 1950 or something, they'd have all been camping out under the beautiful starry minnesota skies on the tarmac, but evidently not in today's world.

If *I* had been on that plane, I would be calling 911 to report a kidnapping, and then my lawyer to start a wrongful imprisonment suit. Accepting travel vouchers is a ridiculous compensation.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit, this was a new low in customer service. Express Jet even used TSA as an excuse. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

I read this on MSNBC and in my view the airline screwed the pooch on this one. However, in the story the airport manager said that passengers could have deplaned as long as they didn't pass outside checkpoints since TSA was no longer there. My question is, who is there to keep them on the sterile side of checkpoints that are now unmanned? I think the so called "passenger bill of rights" will probably go through as a result of this fiasco.

Dave Nelson said...

Anyone who has flown and endured the security theater shows at America's airports knows that the TSA doesn't deserve the rap for this one.

But, I think you might think about the public perception your agency has earned that would cause such media speculation and your desire to go on record saying that it wasn't your fault.

Anonymous said...

Your employees are NOT officers.

They are screeners. They have NO law enforcement powers and to use the term "officers" is misleading.

MS/FT

AngryMIller said...

For once TSA gets a walk on this from me as being completely blameless.

Anonymous said...

Dear god, I think ExpressJet may be the only organization in this country more incompetent than the TSA!

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge critic of TSA, but IMO TSA is completely clear here.

The captain of the CO/ExpressJet flight, however, should be terminated for not fulfilling her obligation to look out for the well-being of the passengers. At any moment, she could have demanded a stairway or declared an emergency and ordered an orderly (but slow and deliberate so as to avoid injuries) evacuation of the aircraft.

It would be helpful if TSA would publish some statements as to their (non) role in these situations. It's not at all unusual for airlines to claim that they can't deplane pax during delays, diversions, etc., due to TSA rules. It has happened to me at least 3 times; after one such flight I (nicely) confronted the captain about making up non-existent rules and he insisted that it was a real security risk and TSA violation to let pax deplane during a long at-gate delay.

TSA could help out passengers by refuting that so that airline employees and pilots who make up rules on the spot for their benefit can be corrected, and when necessary, humiliated, disciplined, and terminated.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
RB, do you think TSA should lead Health Care Reform? Also, Do you feel that TSA is responsible for the thunderstorms due to massive static charges created by Blogger Bob's wool socks while he was scooting around the office without shoes on during his friday dance off?

August 10, 2009 7:06 PM
.....................
Not sure what your point is, I clearly said that TSA was not responsible for this event.

However to answer your question, I don't think TSA should be in charge of anything.

Anonymous said...

For once the TSA is telling the truth. They were not responsible for or involved in this cascade of failures. They may indeed be the only entity at the Rochester airport who have the right to deny involvement.

However, the relevant point here is how the airline and the people supposedly in charge of airport management quickly blamed "security" as the reason for keeping those passengers imprisoned first in the plane and then in the airport corral. "Security" seems to be the all-purpose blanket excuse for justifying, evading, and covering up all manner of incompetence, failure, and abuse.

The TSA has taken the lead in employing this pernicious practice, and refined it into an exquisite institutional art. Many people are accepting and forgiving when the TSA sweeps something outrageous under the rug by claiming it's "necessary for security." So it's not surprising that airlines and airport officials would attempt to emulate what the TSA does so well. But I don't think that will work in this case.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: "TSA could help out passengers by refuting that so that airline employees and pilots who make up rules on the spot for their benefit can be corrected, and when necessary, humiliated, disciplined, and terminated."

It's possible that pilots and the airport managers honestly believe that the TSA does not allow passengers to deplane in circumstances like this. I think it more likely that they just desperately use "security" as an excuse to avoid either responsibility or the difficulties of deplaning and reboarding. But the unfortunate reality is that the TSA's actual rules are so murky, so poorly publicized, and so inconsistently implemented and "interpreted" that such a belief is entirely plausible.

As has been repeated (and ignored) too many times here, the TSA could help out passengers in general by promulgating and publicizing clear rules and procedures, and then implementing them consistently. But that apparently would be contrary to the TSA's fundamental operating philosophy that some classified combination of secrecy, obscurity, confusion, and inconsistency (along with the incompetence and arrogance such a philosophy promotes) somehow adds up to effective protection against threats to aviation. The TSA may not have been directly involved in the failures that led to this incident, but they may be indirectly responsible for a lot of needless passenger misery that extends well beyond their checkpoints.

Anonymous said...

"Your employees are NOT officers.

They are screeners. They have NO law enforcement powers and to use the term "officers" is misleading.

MS/FT"

So I have have to call my loan officer a loan screener?

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
Your employees are NOT officers.

They are screeners. They have NO law enforcement powers and to use the term "officers" is misleading.

MS/FT"



soo anon my court officer or my loan officer should be called screeners then?, just because one is not a law enforcement officer does not mean the cannot have the title "officer" what about security officer, they are not law enforcement soo should they be called security screener. Your comment is niave. I refer myself as a security officer not a LEO. any TSO who says they are law enforcement should be penalized. Wether you like it or not SOME TSO's take pride in their job and are here for a reason. Yes we have heard that TSA officers get 2 weeks of training and thats it. Yes you are right in the sense of Basic Training. Training continues every day/week. and National Training is done monthly.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"I read this on MSNBC and in my view the airline screwed the pooch on this one. However, in the story the airport manager said that passengers could have deplaned as long as they didn't pass outside checkpoints since TSA was no longer there. My question is, who is there to keep them on the sterile side of checkpoints that are now unmanned? I think the so called "passenger bill of rights" will probably go through as a result of this fiasco."

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

I can not speak for every airport, but I'm pretty sure its similiar to the one I work at. When TSA leaves the checkpoint is closed by a gate. The exit is open, manned by an airport police officer. The officer can easily let people out, and easily keep others from coming in.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"Your employees are NOT officers.

They are screeners. They have NO law enforcement powers and to use the term "officers" is misleading.

MS/FT"

So I have have to call my loan officer a loan screener?"



Or better yet, what about those who work in courts, who are not "law enforcement", or those who work for other agencies, such as the Treasury Department just to name one agency, who are also not armed, not law enforcement - many of them are called "officers".

In fact, almost all government agencies have "officers" - those who are not armed and not law enforcement. TSA has done nothing unusual by calling screeners officers.

But nice that people single out TSA. Shows their bias, and lets us know they really don't know what they are talking about.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"I'm a huge critic of TSA, but IMO TSA is completely clear here.

The captain of the CO/ExpressJet flight, however, should be terminated for not fulfilling her obligation to look out for the well-being of the passengers. At any moment, she could have demanded a stairway or declared an emergency and ordered an orderly (but slow and deliberate so as to avoid injuries) evacuation of the aircraft.

It would be helpful if TSA would publish some statements as to their (non) role in these situations. It's not at all unusual for airlines to claim that they can't deplane pax during delays, diversions, etc., due to TSA rules. It has happened to me at least 3 times; after one such flight I (nicely) confronted the captain about making up non-existent rules and he insisted that it was a real security risk and TSA violation to let pax deplane during a long at-gate delay.

TSA could help out passengers by refuting that so that airline employees and pilots who make up rules on the spot for their benefit can be corrected, and when necessary, humiliated, disciplined, and terminated."


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

Airlines love TSA for one reason: they can blame TSA for everything.

I work for TSA, have flow alot over the last few years. I have been there when my baggage was screened by the people I work with, and everything was ok. When it got to where I was going, the luggage had damage. Airline blamed TSA. I was able to prove it was not TSA, but thats most likely because I work for TSA and was there when it was screened. I was able to get witness statements. Most passengers can not do so.

I have been on a plane delayed for nearly 3 hours on the runway. The captain said over the intercom that TSA had not authorized us to take off!! What they heck! TSA doesn't authorize anything like that one way or the other.


However, I do not think TSA will refute things the airline says becasue as a government agency TSA can take the false criticism the airlines give it better than private companies can take customer complaints. TSA is not there to make a profit.

I have been there when our FSD has said TSA serves many purposes. We serve the passengers who fly, we try to keep them safe. At the same time we have others we serve, the airlines.

The airline industry is in trouble. Eventually it will pull out. And if TSA can take some of the brunt of the public's displeasure, then thats ok. Without the airlines, there is no need for TSA.

TSA does not confront the airlines when they unfairly blame TSA because in part the airlines are the hand that feed it, and you don't bite that hand.

Should this change? I don't know. What is better, public opinion, or actual performace? Right now, TSA has taken the position that performance over opinion is what is important.

I sort of agree.

Anonymous said...

TSA could provide staff, union permitting, to allow the passengers to deplane. Any airline working with TSA could allow a bus or supply truck to the at least deliver supplies to the plane. This was unnecessary, period.

Anonymous said...

No wonder congress wants to spend $550 million for "VIP" jets. Marie Antoinette said "let them eat cake", but congress says "let them eat peanuts"!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote:
I can not speak for every airport, but I'm pretty sure its similiar to the one I work at. When TSA leaves the checkpoint is closed by a gate. The exit is open, manned by an airport police officer. The officer can easily let people out, and easily keep others from coming in.


I'm quite sure you're correct. Thanks to a great number of delayed flights, I've had the "pleasure" of arriving at a number of airports (mostly small or medium ones) this year between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m. The exit to the airside area is always attended, sometimes by a uniformed TSO, often by a LEO, and occasionally by some contractor-type in typical airport-employee clothing. Often only one exit is left open, but one of them is always manned.

I completely agree with the above statements that TSA's attitude condones the "security as an excuse" for the airlines and airports. So while I stand by claiming TSA is "completely clear" on this incident, that is aside from the attitude issues.

TSO-Joe said...

"TSA could provide staff, union permitting, to allow the passengers to deplane. Any airline working with TSA could allow a bus or supply truck to the at least deliver supplies to the plane. This was unnecessary, period."

Wow! You realize that TSA does not control when/how a plane deplanes, does not care if an airline uses a bus or supply truck (as long as it is screened before entering the AOA). Nice try to spin this into TSA's fault. And we're not unionized in MN yet, although we can join if we want to.

TSO-Joe

Anonymous said...

"The TSA may not have been directly involved in the failures that led to this incident, but they may be indirectly responsible for a lot of needless passenger misery that extends well beyond their checkpoints."

I nominate this entey for the "Best-attempt-to-blame-TSA-for-something-that-wasn't-TSA's-fault-to-begin-with" award for 2009.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous TSA employee: "Right now, TSA has taken the position that performance over opinion is what is important."

Given the TSA's mission, that would be a sensible position.... if the TSA actually demonstrated it was capable of "performance." Every report about undercover testing or audits I've seen suggests that the TSA consistently does a poor job of keeping explosives, bomb components, and hazardous materials off airplanes, despite its acknowledged zealous enforcement of the liquid and shoe "pain points." And that's the public reporting, which I suspect omits classified material that would embarrass the TSA and strengthen calls for reform.

Poor opinion might be inevitable and acceptable for a security agency that must unavoidably hassle millions of people in the performance of a vital mission. But it becomes completely unacceptable when that agency seems determined to earn its miserable reputation while turning in consistently dismal results in impartial assessments of its performance. Their inept attempts to bamboozle the public with glowing reports of false positive "successes" only makes the problem worse.

It's unfortunate that the TSA has become the convenient scapegoat for the failures of airlines that may actually be more incompetent and have more contempt for passengers than the TSA. But the TSA has earned that unenviable position through their "performance."

Since the TSA encourages its "officers" to make up rules on the spot, to compensate for their inconsistent training in vaguely-defined secret "guidelines," it shouldn't be surprising that airlines employ the same tactic to cover up their own incompetence. The TSA isn't solely responsible for what seems to be a systematic effort throughout the air transportation system to make flying as miserable as possible for passengers. But they are leading that effort by example.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: "I nominate this entey for the "Best-attempt-to-blame-TSA-for-something-that-wasn't-TSA's-fault-to-begin-with" award for 2009."

Not quite. I was merely suggesting that the TSA's inconsistent ad-hoc approach to "security" may have led to instances where non-TSA employees of airports and airlines caused passengers needless difficulty by incorrectly assuming "security regulations" out of good-faith misunderstanding or ignorance.

I'm not saying that's what happened here. This incident sounds more like "security" was being invoked as a convenient fig leaf to cover severe incompetence. That probably happens more often than honest misunderstanding, though the result is the same.

But there is a lot of confusion about "TSA regulations," for which the TSA does deserve blame. Even their own "officers" don't always know the rules, which leads to a lot of inconsistency, confusion, and passengers falling afoul of rules that are made up (or "interpreted") by individual screeners. Many of us have personally experienced this unfortunate situation.

And some actual "TSA regulations" are intentionally kept secret. A notable example was the formerly-secret TSA regulation that passengers could only use the bathrooms for the class in which they are booked. That became public when a desperate passenger assaulted a flight attendant who was heroically enforcing the rule while dutifully protecting its secrecy.

The TSA seems to believe that keeping their rules and procedures secret is key to their effectiveness (or at least it's key to protecting themselves from any accountability when a failure occurs). The secrecy is bound to create confusion and misunderstanding for everyone, which is bound to cause passengers needless difficulty. Whether or not that was the case in this particular incident, it is appropriate to blame the TSA for the inevitable indirect effects of intentionally promoting confusion and misunderstanding in the name of "security."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"And some actual "TSA regulations" are intentionally kept secret. A notable example was the formerly-secret TSA regulation that passengers could only use the bathrooms for the class in which they are booked. That became public when a desperate passenger assaulted a flight attendant who was heroically enforcing the rule while dutifully protecting its secrecy. "


hmmm, ironic.

I wet myself laughing at this...

another example of the airlines blaming TSA for something it has no control over. and some people believe this.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"Since the TSA encourages its "officers" to make up rules on the spot..."

What? When did this happen? Why wasn't I told by my bosses at
TSA. I could have used this knowledge!

I feel so left out.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - Your employees are NOT officers.

They are screeners. They have NO law enforcement powers and to use the term "officers" is misleading.

MS/FT"

The official designation at this time is Transportation Security Officer. We are not law enforcement, and have no detention or arrest powers, we are security officers tasked with the checkpoint and baggage security.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

The reality is that the airline did not use "common sense" in trying to exercise all available options. If there were not going to be able to leave in a short period of time, due to weather, crew requirements, or whatever, then they should have deplaned the passengers - sterile area or public area. If they were able to deplane to a secured sterile area, they should have done so. If not, I'm sure the passengers would have been happier to be in the terminal where they could move about freely until security staff arrived to re-screen them. They were probably quarantined at the gate because they had boarding passes from a previous day with a departure / destination that did not fit the airport where they had stopped. The airline could have given the flight a new flight number and reissued boarding passes to these passengers if necessary. Yes, it takes more work, but for a 7 hour delay and the safety, security, and comfort of your passengers, any airline should be able to do this.
In any event, the airline should have been in constant communication with its passengers and providing necessary services such as food, water, and lavatory facilities while the passengers were held on the aircraft.
Depending on the size of the airport, they may have been able to request that TSA send officers come back in to screen the passengers. They could have deplaned and cancelled the flight until the next day when flight crew were available. I'm guessing that for the first hour or two they were hoping to get clearance to take off and continue to their destination. When this clearly wasn't happening, the pilot needed to be more firm with dispatch / airline employees that they could not stay on board any longer. At least once they were off the plane, the passengers could have tried to find their own transportation or again, at the very least, had the freedom to walk around, use the restroom, etc.
Blaming TSA is not going to work on this one. This was laziness and negligence on the part of Continental / Express Jet.

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...
Anon sez - Your employees are NOT officers.

They are screeners. They have NO law enforcement powers and to use the term "officers" is misleading.

MS/FT"

The official designation at this time is Transportation Security Officer. We are not law enforcement, and have no detention or arrest powers, we are security officers tasked with the checkpoint and baggage security.

West
TSA Blog Team

August 13, 2009 4:33 AM
............................
TSA employees certainly have not earned the respect that the word "officer" brings to mind.

Baggage screener should be the correct term.

Jim Huggins said...

Anonymous wrote:

Since the TSA encourages its "officers" to make up rules on the spot...


Another anonymous replied:

What? When did this happen? Why wasn't I told by my bosses at
TSA. I could have used this knowledge! I feel so left out.



Well ... TSA phrases it a little more nicely, but the sentiment is there ...

"(TSOs) may determine that
an item not on the prohibited items chart is prohibited. In addition, the TSO may also
determine that an item on the permitted chart is dangerous and therefore may not be brought through the security checkpoint."

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez - "TSA employees certainly have not earned the respect that the word "officer" brings to mind.

Baggage screener should be the correct term."

I took an oath when I took this office and do my best to live up to it every day at work, as well as away from work. When you disagree with policies and the parent organization it is easy to heap disparaging remarks on the front line personnel, easy and cheap. When a TSO fails to uphold the integrity of the organzation, then the organization must take steps to correct that (and contrary to a lot of what is posted here, they do). When you make a blanket statement like this one, you are showing a narrow view of things and an unwillingness to realize that the vast majority of the workforce come to work, do what they are supposed to do and do so well. Just because you have disagreements with HQ and policy, does not mean that the Officers at the checkpoints have not earned their position, it means you disagree with policy and specific actions by specific personnel.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

RB: you stated: TSA employees certainly have not earned the respect that the word "officer" brings to mind.

Baggage screener should be the correct term.

Well, I have seen Police "Officers" who have been convicted of incest, rape, murder, and child porn. Border Patrol "Officers" who have been convicted of bribery, smuggling, and various other charges. Correctional "Officers" who were convicted of bringing drugs and weapons into a prison. So does that mean that all of those "employees" who are in those proffesions have not "earned" the right to be called "Officers"? I don't think so, because for all the bad ones, I also know alot of very good Officers in all those proffesions and then some.

Maybe we should just get rid of the title of Officer for everyone. Strike it from the Engligh language. Would that make you feel better?

There are bad "employees" in every profession. There happen to be alot of "employees" in TSA who have EARNED the right to be called "Officer" regardless of what job they may work.

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...
RB sez - "TSA employees certainly have not earned the respect that the word "officer" brings to mind.

Baggage screener should be the correct term."

I took an oath when I took this office and do my best to live up to it every day at work, as well as away from work. When you disagree with policies and the parent organization it is easy to heap disparaging remarks on the front line personnel, easy and cheap. When a TSO fails to uphold the integrity of the organzation, then the organization must take steps to correct that (and contrary to a lot of what is posted here, they do). When you make a blanket statement like this one, you are showing a narrow view of things and an unwillingness to realize that the vast majority of the workforce come to work, do what they are supposed to do and do so well. Just because you have disagreements with HQ and policy, does not mean that the Officers at the checkpoints have not earned their position, it means you disagree with policy and specific actions by specific personnel.

West
TSA Blog Team

August 13, 2009 10:42 AM

....................
West you may disagree with what I think or say but my experiences with TSA employees have developed my beliefs.

Anonymous said...

That is fair enough RB. Your attitiude on this blog has led me to beleive that you have probably instigated any problems you have had with the TSA and made them worse/

RB said...

Anonymous said...
That is fair enough RB. Your attitiude on this blog has led me to beleive that you have probably instigated any problems you have had with the TSA and made them worse/

August 13, 2009 11:58 AM
..................
You would be wrong West. I enter each checkpoint prepared based on the information that TSA provides.

Secret rules, checkpoints making up rules as they go and the inability to get TSA to admit that they are wrong on a point is what creates problems.

TSA is disfunctional in my opinion. TSO's are poorly trained and do not have the common sense to apply your secret procedures properly.

TSA waste time looking at ID's, making people remove shoes, confiscating water and other liquids when 100's of people enter the secure areas daily with no screening what so ever and cargo is loaded onto aircraft without being screened.

TSA needs to go back to square one about transportation safety because whats being done now is a complete waste of time and effort.

Anonymous said...

Your employees are NOT officers.

They are screeners. They have NO law enforcement powers and to use the term "officers" is misleading.

MS/FT

***********************************
Well then, according to that logic, I guess we better tell the banks to change the title of their "loan officers" as they don't have law enforcement powers either.

Anonymous said...

There are bad "employees" in every profession. There happen to be alot of "employees" in TSA who have EARNED the right to be called "Officer" regardless of what job they may work.

-------

Absolutely correct. Unfortunately, the TSA has enough bad employees to tarnish the majority of good ones. Once a passenger has had an encounter with one of the "bad apples," she will acquire a negative opinion of the TSA that will be difficult to change. She will have valid reason to expect future encounters to be negative. She will view even the good encounters through that lens, focusing on the inevitably unpleasant aspects of the "checkpoint experience" rather than the good officer's courtesy, professionalism, and dedication.

The failure of the TSA to eliminate the bad employees, along with the culture of secrecy and unaccountability that only encourages and promotes those bad employees, is an important reason so many people despise the TSA. The TSA's so-called leadership has had ample time to recognize and weed out the "bad employees," but the seem to have chosen not to do that. The risk of encountering an arrogant bully whose favorite words are "Do you want to fly today?," or an "officer" whose inadequate training causes unnecessary forfeiture of property (or worse), remains a fearsome and "unpredictable" part of the TSA "screening experience."

It also doesn't help that even the good employees are maddeningly inconsistent about knowing, implementing, and "interpreting" the TSA's vaguely-defined and secretive rules. And even when they are well-informed and doing their job professionally and courteously, TSOs are still stuck with imposing rules and restrictions that many passengers consider arbitrary, pointless, and even stupid.

I do have to admire the dedication of those officers who truly believe that what they impose on people is valuable, effective, and necessary to protect against horrible threat, and who enforce those rules fairly and consistently, with respect and courtesy even for passengers who clearly don't share that belief. I can also understand the stress those officers are under, dealing with so many people who despise the TSA and the hassles it imposes. But that doesn't excuse the behavior of some of them.

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez - "You would be wrong West. I enter each checkpoint prepared based on the information that TSA provides.

Secret rules, checkpoints making up rules as they go and the inability to get TSA to admit that they are wrong on a point is what creates problems.

TSA is disfunctional in my opinion. TSO's are poorly trained and do not have the common sense to apply your secret procedures properly.

TSA waste time looking at ID's, making people remove shoes, confiscating water and other liquids when 100's of people enter the secure areas daily with no screening what so ever and cargo is loaded onto aircraft without being screened.

TSA needs to go back to square one about transportation safety because whats being done now is a complete waste of time and effort."

Not my comment RB, I take credit for all of mine. I have mentioned several times that I disagree with the inconsistencies as they cause confusion and difficulty for the travelling public and TSOs. I agree that sometimes we as an organization do not do a good enough job of getting out in front of issues as they develop and it makes us look defensive instead of proactive. I disagree with you on the training, we train more than any other organization than I have ever been associated with EXCEPT for the military. I agree that there are tech advances that we could be using, BUT there are testing programs that have to be completed prior to deploying them into a checkpoint or baggage enviornment. There are always going to be areas that offer room for improvement, but I think that the organzation is moving the right direction and will improve steadily over the next few years. Shoes, and LAGs will continue to be screened as is until we can come up with a better method to clear them, because they are a viable threat source. I do not consider keeping threat items off of planes to be a waste of time, it keeps all people flying safer, even you RB! I agree that there is room for improvement and that we need to grow and learn as an organization. We need to devise more and better ways to screen people and their items, and apply them uniformly across the board.

West
TSA Blog Team

D.Ramsey said...

RB, have you ever been in a position were you had to disseminate information to thousands of employees in minutes? Can you imagine the mass confusion this can create? This is exactly what TSA HQ is faced with when they make an immediate change due to a credible threat assessment. No, TSA may not be perfect, show me one organization that is and I will concede to your point.

I don't understand your position of "secret" rules at the checkpoint. If you don't think you are being treated fairly ask for a supervisor, if that does not work than ask for a manager. You really do have that right. However do be prepared for a slight wait since in larger airports it may take a small amount of time for one of them to get to the checkpoint that you are at. If you don't ask for them when you feel you are being "mistreated" than nothing will ever be corrected at that particular airport. You know when I go to a fast food restaurant and they give me the wrong order (happens allot) I don't go online and complain I call the restaurant manager and let them know. If they don't know they can't fix it. It is all well and good to complain to HQ about thing but it is the supervisors and managers at the airports that are the ones who get things corrected at the airports. Not someone sitting at a desk in Washington.

I know that you may not like or understand having to take your shoes off to go through the checkpoint, or having the liquids limited. You know, I may not like having to drive 75mph on the interstate but it is the law and is designed to keep me safe. So think of the shoes and liquids the same way, it really is designed to keep you safe. If you want to take larger liquids put them in your checked bags. Want to take your knife, put it in your checked bag; just don't take it through the check point. No, we can't explain everything to you in the detail that you may want, we are not allowed just as police, detectives, and others are not always allowed to explain everything to you in as much detail as you would like. It is not because we would not like to, it is because we can't.

I know that there are "bad apples" in TSA. I wish there weren't but you always have some that are just rotten and they always seem to get all the press. However, there are allot of very good, very competent, very professional people who work for TSA in the screening workforce. They take pride in their honesty, integrity, and competence. They train hard every day they are at work and are recertified every year at their skills. It amazes me that the only time TSA makes the news is when it fails but when it successfully passes nobody hears about it. Why is that? Perhaps because nobody wants to hear about the successes?

So, you can go ahead and complain all you want, it is after all a free country. However, I just had to finally put in my two cents worth. Because even with all you have to say that is negative about TSA I have been with TSA for almost 8 years and I take great pride in my work. I take the time to talk to any passenger who has a question or complaint. I take the time to explain why we have to do what we do to the best of my ability, and to the best of my knowledge have never had a complaint at my checkpoint and I am a STSO (Supervisor Transportation Security Officer).

RB said...

We need to devise more and better ways to screen people and their items, and apply them uniformly across the board.

West
TSA Blog Team

August 14, 2009 4:36 AM

................
West I did not attribute my comments to your statements. I just explained where I was coming from.

I agree that keeping threats off of airplanes is a desirable goal.

Threats are WEI, not water, Pepsi and such.

Threats are not denying accomodations to people with disabilities, even if they are unseen.

Threats are not treating people poorly because they challenge some TSO's authority.

Threats can enter from areas of the airport that are not screened completely, yet TSA allows this practice daily.

Threats could enter from cargo that is not fully screened yet TSA does not screen all cargo.

Threats can be introduced by an airport worker who has access to checked baggage but TSA will not provide a means to ensure baggage is secure when it leaves the hands of the traveler.

A false ID or no ID is not a threat. Not knowing a persons name is not a threat if they are properly screened.

Now about training.

Having $4,700 dollars is not a threat. Was this the action of a well trained TSO?

TSO's prove on a regular basis that they don't know what are acceptable ID's. Passport cards, Military ID's and other supposedly accepted ID's have all been rejected at various airports.

TSO's questiont people about rental car contracts, credit card issuers and other none security related topics. (Bangor) Is this the actions of a well trained TSO?

FLL TSO's requied all Video cameras to be removed from cases reqardless of of media storage. (Only full size cassette types require removal)

Some airports require shoes on the belt even though Blogger Bob clearly said that is not a requirement. If a person place shoes in a bin then expect a retalitory secondary screening because you have just violated some secret unpublished rule.

TSO's require ID's to be removed from document holders yet again nowhere is there a law or United States code requiring that action. Or is this another secret rule that TSA expects people to just fall in line and comply with?

And do I have to mention the reports of TSO's playing with toys confiscated from child? Yeah, that's well trained TSO's!

No West, I do not accept your claim that TSA employees are well trained.

Every day TSA proves otherwise.

RB said...

D.Ramsey said...

Read your comments.

Supervisors are not at the checkpoints? How can they supervise what they do not observe?

Can you please show me where all of the rules that I must comply with are available in one place with no deletions? I am not asking for rules that apply away from a checkpoint, just those that I must comply with when moving through the checkpoint.

For example, what law requires me to remove my ID from an ID holder?

Where does it say that I must do so.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

D.Ramsey said...

I don't understand your position of "secret" rules at the checkpoint. If you don't think you are being treated fairly ask for a supervisor, if that does not work than ask for a manager. You really do have that right. However do be prepared for a slight wait since in larger airports it may take a small amount of time for one of them to get to the checkpoint that you are at. If you don't ask for them when you feel you are being "mistreated" than nothing will ever be corrected at that particular airport.


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

These comments surely represent a well-intentioned supervisor who most likely is among the majority of TSA employees who are conscientious professionals. However, they (perhaps unintentionally?) illustrate a serious problem that the TSA has so far been unable to solve.

I have no doubt that somewhere in the TSA's documented regulations and procedures is a provision giving passengers the right to escalate complaints. There may even be a formal procedure for doing so. But how many passengers know about it? Is it published anywhere that's available to the public, or it it buried in some SSI document?

It's very nice that whoever writes your (SSI?) procedures has checked all the "due process" boxes that senior management requires. And it's even nicer that qualified TSA representative can cite this provision on a blog when it's necessary to neutralize a critic. But if I hadn't read this blog post, how would I possibly have known about it? A "right" nobody knows they have is not a right at all!

Along with the rules and SOPs that are secret for "valid national security reasons," the secrecy-obsessed TSA seems to have developed another category of "quasi-secret" rules that may be revealed selectively when the need to neutralize critics overrides the obsession with secrecy. The existence of a "right" to escalate complaints revealed here is one example. Another is the "right" to request a change of gloves before a bag check, along with (perhaps) the right to request that the TSO keep valuables in your sight during the virtual strip search.

If you happen to be among the few passengers who know about these "rights," TSOs are supposed to honor your request. But of course, we all know that just because a TSO is supposed to do something doesn't necessarily mean that he will. But most passengers will never know that they have the right to request these things, and thus will simply accept "Do you want to fly today?" or having their belongings pawed through with dirty gloves without uttering a peep. They may believe that complaining will only lead to retaliation, or that the "Got Feedback" form they fill in will just go into the recycle bin-- assuming they even know about "Got Feedback," and that they have time to fill in the card.

From a practical perspective, the TSA really would prefer that passengers remain ignorant of their "rights" and uncomplainingly accept whatever the TSO decides to do in the name of "security." Passengers knowing the rules and asserting their rights when they're violated would slow down screening and make the TSA's job much more difficult. So the TSA's valid interest in efficiency is best served by the "quasi-secret" approach of not publicizing "rights" that would cause too much inconvenience, except when revealing them serves the TSA's interest. It's easiest for the TSA if passengers act like docile sheep, so that's exactly what they seem intent on conditioning us to become.

As you note, there is a disconnect between the checkpoints and the rest of the TSA hierarchy. Things that aren't supposed to happen do happen with distressing regularity. But most of the public either don't know they can complain about it, fear the consequences of complaining about it, and/or have reason to believe that the bureaucracy has no interest in what the "enemy" has to say. And for the reasons I mentioned, I don't see the TSA leadership doing anything to change that.

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez - Part 1
"West I did not attribute my comments to your statements. I just explained where I was coming from."

The way you quoted someone else and then referred to me in the first sentence was confusing, so if you were not attributing the comments to me, I apologize for thinking that.

"I agree that keeping threats off of airplanes is a desirable goal."

Will wonders never cease! We agree on something out right!

"Threats are WEI, not water, Pepsi and such."

Water, sodas, baby formula, any LAG is a possible threat and has to be acted on. The current rule is over 3.4 ozs = not allowed.

"Threats are not denying accomodations to people with disabilities, even if they are unseen."

I have never condoned NOT giving any assistance to those that need it in any way shape or form. As a matter of fact, I have chastised those employees that I have heard of denying this type of assistance. This does not indicate that persons you give assistance to should not be screened properly.

"Threats are not treating people poorly because they challenge some TSO's authority."

If a person challenges authority for a valid reason (the person with authority is abusing their power) then there should be some recourse available - I have always stated this. People challenging the process because they dislike it is not a threat, but it is also not someone we should make an allowance for. I have always stated the rules have room for improvement, but they are there and must be enforced until better processes can be installed.

"Threats can enter from areas of the airport that are not screened completely, yet TSA allows this practice daily."

The persons entering those areas have undergone a background inspection, and according to the organization that allows them this access.

"Threats could enter from cargo that is not fully screened yet TSA does not screen all cargo."

We are lucky at our airport as all cargo here is screened. HQ states that the organization is still on schedule to meet the congressional mandate for 100% screening.

Continued -

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez - Part 2

"Threats can be introduced by an airport worker who has access to checked baggage but TSA will not provide a means to ensure baggage is secure when it leaves the hands of the traveler."

True, and a fellow soldier can mow down a platoon if he organizes well and plots his actions efficiently. The fact is that ALL employees are human and are subject to the same weaknesses and temptations, to argue this fact is moot and senseless. The security protocols that make exceptions for those with access like you indicate are decided at a higher level than me.

"A false ID or no ID is not a threat. Not knowing a persons name is not a threat if they are properly screened."

A false ID could be a threat if the person that is in possession of it has ill intent and is using it to gain access for said ill intent.

"Now about training.

Having $4,700 dollars is not a threat. Was this the action of a well trained TSO?"

Having $4700 is not a threat, having large sums of cash and travelling to a foriegn destination without claiming it is against the law. If the cash "appears" to be $10k or more, then the TSO has a duty to report it up the chain if there is a foreign destination. The incident you are obviously referring to had a TSO that was wrong in the way he went about things and his language and was addressed by the organization.

"TSO's prove on a regular basis that they don't know what are acceptable ID's. Passport cards, Military ID's and other supposedly accepted ID's have all been rejected at various airports."

And on the other hand a much larger amount of TSOs get it right all day every day. People will make mistakes, ALL of us make mistakes. I messed up on my first passport from a country that still uses handwritten information - I then learned what I had done wrong and studied to make certain it didnt happen again.

"TSO's questiont people about rental car contracts, credit card issuers and other none security related topics. (Bangor) Is this the actions of a well trained TSO?"

These TSOs may have been looking for a solution to things that are not disclosed in the FT post.

"FLL TSO's requied all Video cameras to be removed from cases reqardless of of media storage. (Only full size cassette types require removal)"

That could have been a miscommunication or misunderstanding. I have no info on that particular incident so I will reserve comment until I am better informed.

Continued once more -

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez - part 3!

"Some airports require shoes on the belt even though Blogger Bob clearly said that is not a requirement. If a person place shoes in a bin then expect a retalitory secondary screening because you have just violated some secret unpublished rule."

There is no retaliatory search for ANYTHING, it is not recognized by HQ, the SOP or the TSOs. If a retaliatory search is discovered the organization should take proper steps to address the situation and discipline all involved.

"TSO's require ID's to be removed from document holders yet again nowhere is there a law or United States code requiring that action. Or is this another secret rule that TSA expects people to just fall in line and comply with?"

I have always been instructed to have the passengers remove the ID from the document holder. I was unaware that some locations were not doing this.

"And do I have to mention the reports of TSO's playing with toys confiscated from child? Yeah, that's well trained TSO's!"

I have no further information on that incident other than the one person in a tv interview stating that she saw it happen. I have no other corroboration on that so I am inclined to let it go until we have some other verification as the person making the statement has a personal involvement.

"No West, I do not accept your claim that TSA employees are well trained."

It is a well documented fact that TSA has more training than most organizations. TSOs have receurrent training, new training, and practice training that is ongoing all year. I have done more training as a TSO than I did as an undercover CID agent in the military. So I will stand by the point that we are indeed well trained (despite my propensity to misspell words while typing fast).

"Every day TSA proves otherwise."

And every day TSA proves their worth by doing the job, doing it well and preventing threats from getting on planes. There are TSOs that help save peoples lives on a regular basis (CPR, First Aid, volunteering, etc). There are TSOs that give world class service to customers all day every day and obviously you fail to see them. Instead you focus on the 1% of bad apples, bad experiences, and bad customer service that occur and the agency addresses on a regular basis. Sorry you don't see it RB, but it is there if you care to look for it.

Whew....

West
TSA Blog Team

Jim Huggins said...

RB writes: A false ID or no ID is not a threat. Not knowing a persons name is not a threat if they are properly screened.

West replies: A false ID could be a threat if the person that is in possession of it has ill intent and is using it to gain access for said ill intent.


In that case ... the problem is not the false ID, but the ill intent. And I'm not sure how the presentation of a valid (or invalid) ID tells the TSA anything about my intentions aboard my flight.

---

Continuing, RB writes: I do not accept your claim that TSA employees are well trained.

West replies: It is a well documented fact that TSA has more training than most organizations.


Technically, the two of you are discussing different things. Knowing the quantity of the training doesn't say anything about the effectiveness of that training. I've sat in "training sessions" held by my employer, and walked out of the room knowing less than when I walked in. (I suspect all of us have had that experience at one time or another.)

Note that I'm not taking a position on the effectiveness of TSA's training, one way or another.

TSM, Been here...... said...

Quoted:
""TSO's require ID's to be removed from document holders yet again nowhere is there a law or United States code requiring that action. Or is this another secret rule that TSA expects people to just fall in line and comply with?"
--------------------
I have always been instructed to have the passengers remove the ID from the document holder. I was unaware that some locations were not doing this. "
----------------
As we all have. - Let's be realistic, how do you expect us to thoroughly examine (wether you agree with the policy or not) an ID if we can't see/feel both sides?
Some states put a renewal sticker on the *gasp* back. So, if we did not have it removed to examine, we would have to assume it was expired and would create a huge hassle for the passenger.

Also, anyone with a good color copier can make a facsimilie of just about any id that when put in a clear plastic holder would pass for the real thing. However, there is a huge difference when you actually have it in your hand and its obviously a color copy on paper as opposed to being a heavy plastic card with lamination / embossing / microprinting, etc. I have a color copy of each of my IDs in my files in case they are lost and I need to use the copies to submit for loss prevention and let me tell you, if I put them in a holder and wore them, no one would question them as they look perfect. they would not stand up to close scrutiny though.
Do we really need to explain why we require it to be out or are you that naive?

D.Ramsey said...

RB, you are asked, nicely to remove your id from the id holder for inspection. The same way that a police officer will ask you to remove your id from a holder for inspection. There are security marks on most id's that can not be seen if they are in a holder. Besides, if your id is in a holder in your wallet do you really want some stranger holding your wallet?

Personally were I work I am always at the checkpoint when I am at work. If you were to come through my airport you would see me. However, I understand (and I may be wrong) that at larger airports they sometimes have one Supervisor overseeing two or three checkpoints and depend on Leads to run the checkpoints while the Supervisor is at another lane. Make sense?

I can not tell you were to find a set of written "rules" for the checkpoint other than what is on the TSA web page. I can however tell you what I tell my friends and family before they fly.
1. Be POLITE
2. Put your shoes on the belt
3. Don't pack any liquids over 3.4 oz (100ml) and make sure they
all fit into one (1) quart size
zip lock bag
4. Put your prescriptions and
jewelry in your carry on
5. Make sure you take your lap top
out of the bag
6. If you are selected for
additional screening be polite,
you can always ask for a
private screening if you feel
uncomfortable
7. If you are wearing a jacket
make sure to take it off
And last but not least for my mother who has a metal plate in her leg and always sets off the walk through. Yes, she can tell them she has the metal plate however they are still going to screen her. If they took her word for it they would have to take EVERYBODYS word. Than what would happen if just one person was the actual bad guy that said he/she had a metal plate in their leg and we took their word for it? I know this is probably not what you wanted but it really is the best I can give you RB, it is the best I can give my family so it will have to do for you.

RB said...

West, in the interest of saving a bit of space I will not repost are respond to everything you said.

FLL: I was there. I asked the TSO who made the statement if he meant video recorders that use full size cassettes. He said no, all video cameras had to come out. I spoke with the 3 stripper after clearing the checkpoint and he repeated the same information. I did not get it wrong, TSA got it wrong.

Background checks: How many TSO's have proven just how worthless background checks are to determine future behavior? Lets see, thieves, drug dealers, a HQ person with child porn. Yeah, those background checks are gonna keep WEI off of airplanes. Not to get into the other people working at airports. Like the one that had a weapon in their truck that was inside the secure area. Or the one that bypassed security for someone else so they could get a handgun inside the secure area. Yeah, those background checks make me feel safe.

TSO's playing with confiscated toy sword: It was reported. A statment from an eyewitness. As a CID did you ever rely on a statement from an eyewitness? Refute the report.

ID's out of ID holders: Where is the law that requires the removal of ID? The information I have seen just says to show ID. Is this another secret law? One of those I must comply with but cannot read?

$10,000: None of TSA's business! In the case of traveling out of or into the country a declaration is made to the Customs Agent at the border, not TSA. The DHS/TSA person who declared that $10,000 was contraband just like cocaine or other illegal drugs made an error. Cash in any amount is legal. Traveling with cash is legal. Not declaring the large sums when entering or leaving the country is the only legal requirement. TSA is wasting resources when looking for things that do not concern them and I believe violate the law when extending an Administrative Search for things other than WEI. Seems the courts agree.

And then we get to stuff like its ok if some TSA employees get it wrong because most of them got it right. I disagree! If I must comply with regressive to freedom TSA rules then by gosh I expect you guys to get it right each and every time.

And to claim that retaliatory screenings don't happen is just silly. You know they have and continue to happen when someone challenges a TSO about some point.

You can stick your head in the sand and play otherwise but I suggest that helps no one.

I don't need a three part post to say that; West, you need to wake up and look at what is going on in the TSA world. It ain't pretty!

RB said...

D.Ramsey said...
RB, you are asked, nicely to remove your id from the id holder for inspection. The same way that a police officer will ask you to remove your id from a holder for inspection. There are security marks on most id's that can not be seen if they are in a holder. Besides, if your id is in a holder in your wallet do you really want some stranger holding your wallet?
...............................
The last time I was asked to remove my ID was anything but nice. I keep my ID in an ID holder. Nohing else but ID.

Where is the law that requires removal? The TSA information that is available says to just show ID.
.............................

Personally were I work I am always at the checkpoint when I am at work. If you were to come through my airport you would see me. However, I understand (and I may be wrong) that at larger airports they sometimes have one Supervisor overseeing two or three checkpoints and depend on Leads to run the checkpoints while the Supervisor is at another lane. Make sense?
........................
I was questioning your comment. You said it might take some time for a Supervisor or Manager to make it to the checkpoint.

So my questions to you or other TSO's is who is managing the checkpoint if no supervisor is present?
............................

I can not tell you were to find a set of written "rules" for the checkpoint other than what is on the TSA web page. I can however tell you what I tell my friends and family before they fly.
1. Be POLITE
2. Put your shoes on the belt
..................................
Don't you think people who must comply with TSA requirements should know what those requirement are?

Is being POLITE a TSA requirement that a person must comply with to get through a checkpoint? If I am not will TSA prevent me from traveling? Can you please provide the law that states this requirement.

Shoes on belt: Blogger Bob has stated that shoes do not have to be on the belt.

Are you saying that Bob is wrong?

Why can't TSA get just one simple thing like this right? Is this policy or not?

I am confused as are many other people, and none of use caused this problem. TSA DID!

So once and for all just what is the policy about shoes? Please post relevant information so we all can know what is required.

It's not another secret rules is it?

Anonymous said...

Response to some of West's comments:

If a person challenges authority for a valid reason (the person with authority is abusing their power) then there should be some recourse available - I have always stated this.

Yes, there should be recourse. But is there actually recourse that's publicized, known, and readily available to passengers? And with so much of the TSA's operating procedures SSI and subject to inconsistent arbitrary "interpretation," how can any passenger know whether a person with authority is abusing their power? As is too often the case with the TSA, what should happen doesn't always coincide with what does happen at the checkpoint. That's a major source of complaints here that are consistently dismissed or ignored.

The incident you are obviously referring to had a TSO that was wrong in the way he went about things and his language and was addressed by the organization.

How was the incident "addressed by the organization"? For that matter, how do we even know that the TSA did anything to either discipline the TSO or ensure that such incidents don't happen again?

I know that even your "bad apples" enjoy an absolute entitlement to privacy no matter how egregious their offense. But somehow a "trust us" statement rendered in the passive voice gives no reason to believe that any improvement resulted from it. For all we know, the incident was "addressed by the organization" when the TSO's boss told him "Good catch. But next time, just make sure you take the smuggler to a place where nobody can record it, OK?"

That could have been a miscommunication or misunderstanding.

It obviously was. I've had a TSO order me to remove a still camera from my camera bag. He cut off my protest with "DYWTFT?" Is that miscommunication, misunderstanding, faulty training, or just the "inconsistency" that's supposed to protect us from terrorists?

I won't doubt that the TSA spends a lot of time training its people. But that doesn't mean that the training is adequate, understood, consistent, or "interpreted" in any consistent fashion. Quantity of training matters less than quality and effectiveness. And many of us repeatedly comment about how the training seems to be less than effective despite the quantity of hours.

If a retaliatory search is discovered the organization should take proper steps to address the situation and discipline all involved.

Again, what should happen isn't always what does happen? To your knowledge, has any TSO ever been caught and disciplined for a retaliatory search?

There are TSOs that give world class service to customers all day every day and obviously you fail to see them. Instead you focus on the 1% of bad apples, bad experiences, and bad customer service that occur and the agency addresses on a regular basis.

Tolerating even 1% "bad apples" is unacceptable. Given the large number of passengers the TSA screens, even if 1% of the encounters are arrogant, bullying, abusive, or incompetent that will add up to lots of people who despise the TSA and aren't content to keep quiet about it. It takes just a few seconds for a "bad apple" to undo all the "world class service" the good TSOs give, leaving the affected passenger with a negative view of the TSA that would be difficult to repair even if they wanted to. (And I suspect that at least some of the TSA's leaders want the public to hate and fear their agency, since it proves they're "tough on terrorism.") I would suppose RB's "focus" is the result of one or more of those bad encounters.

Acquiring a negative view of the TSA doesn't even require a "bad apple." The maddening inconsistency in the way rules are "interpreted" is enough, and that's built in to the way the TSA operates. I guess the TSA has its own definition of "world class service" that differs from the rest of the world's definition.

Anonymous said...

@ D.Ramsey

"1. Be POLITE"

Does that mean that if we are not polite and nice to you, you will retaliate against us?

Sounds that way to me.

Anonymous said...

@ D. Ramsey:

"credible threat assessment"

TSA never saw a threat that it didn't like and didn't think was credible.

Hence, all the nonsense that goes on at checkpoints.

Ranger11 said...

RB,

The rules are posted in the Code of Federal Regulations. Prior to that in The Federal Register, where the public is allowed to comment on them and have their input voiced so that all opinions are posted, and then, it goes through the process of becoming a law.

If a regulation (law) states that TSA must ensure that no person may enter a sterile area without first complying with the measures, or procedures being applied to control access to that area.(49 CFR 1540.105) The Security program written by the Airports, and approved by TSA, then states how and what measures are applied. So when a TSO asks for you to take your ID out of the ID holder, it is coming from the Regulation that is the Law and how the Airports have seen best fit to apply those laws to keep its passengers and employees safe. Failure to do so is a violation of law, there is no question about that. I am an Inspector/Investigator, and I deal directly with the violations of the law.

Really, it's that simple.
Please feel free to peruse the Code of Federal regulations. Part 49 Section 1507&1510 are the Enforcement Regulations for Investigations, and Civil Penalties. I deal with those every day. Section 1540 is Civil Aviation Security; General Rules.

These are all laws being applied by the airports through TSA.

TSA is only trying to follow their Security Program in order to apply the laws it has been tasked with applying at the checkpoints and baggage in order to meet the requirements that has been set forth in the laws as they are written.

Another thing, I don't know where you get that information on cargo screening, but Congress has mandated that all Cargo being transported on passenger aircraft be 100% screened by August 3,2010. Right now, at most airports’, including mine, the 100% screening of cargo is already being done.

Other facts related to cargo are that 96% of all passenger aircraft are narrow body aircraft. 100% of all narrow body aircraft cargo is screened as of October 1, 2008. So TSA and the Aircraft Operators are at the very least, following the requirements that have been set forth by Congress. I know that more than the minimum is being done across the entire country because I get to travel to other airports and see that they do more that the minimum, and I can report that in every airport that I have visited in my duties 100% of all cargo being transported on passenger aircraft is being screened. The last little bit of information in regard to the cargo issue is that TSA does not screen cargo in most airports. The aircraft operators or their agents do the screening of all cargo. Just an FYI so you know who you griping at in the future.

Ponter said...

D. Ramsey:

1. Be POLITE
...
6. If you are selected for
additional screening be polite,....

-------

Obey all orders unhesitatingly and with your full, unquestioning cooperation. Present your papers exactly as the officer orders. Immediately and unquestioningly surrender any items the TSO determines to be prohibited. Answer all questions fully and respectfully, but only when the TSO officially engages you in conversation. Remain polite and respectful even if the officer is neither polite nor respectful. There's always a good reason for everything an officer does.

If you are selected for a bag check, maintain a respectful distance from the table and the officer. Speak only when requested to do so, and then unhesitatingly provide complete, truthful, and respectful answers to any questions. At the conclusion of the bag check, gather up your belongings as quickly as possible, and promptly vacate the screening area to avoid delaying other passengers. You can re-pack your bag outside the screening area.

If you are selected for a secondary screening, respectfully allow the officer to touch any part of your person or belongings that he or she deems necessary. Remain silent until the officer asks a question, and then unhesitatingly provide complete, truthful, and respectful answers to any questions.

At all times maintain a respectful demeanor that clearly demonstrates your full and unquestioning support for the TSA, the Government, and the Global War On Terror. Remember that airport security is a cooperative team effort between the passenger and the TSA, each of which have specific roles on the team. The TSA's role is to make and enforce the rules and to do all the thinking. Your role is to obey the TSA, without thinking and without questioning or challenging them. If you keep all of this in mind as you enter the checkpoint, screening will be more efficient and pleasant for everyone involved.

Trollkiller said...

D.Ramsey, you forgot number 8

Pray that you do not get a TSO that is more concerned that you are polite than if you have a weapon on you.

The emphasis and the placement of your "be POLITE" rule speaks volumes. If you feel the need to lord over people get a job in a daycare.

Anonymous said...

D.Ramsey said...

I can not tell you were to find a set of written "rules" for the checkpoint other than what is on the TSA web page. I can however tell you what I tell my friends and family before they fly.
1. Be POLITE... 6. If you are selected for
additional screening be polite,

-----------
Why should it matter to you in the least whether passengers are "polite." You're at work-- you are the one who always must be polite. Are you implying that a passenger who, say, muttered under his breath would be exposed to retaliatory measures? Why don't you just do your job? And why don't you work to weed out colleagues who would act to punish impolite passengers? I doubt that your terrorist profile identifies surliness or rudeness as red flags.

For the record, I've always been polite in my interactions with the TSA, but that is a courtesy that I offer, not a "rule" that I submit to.

GSOLTSO said...

Jim Huggins sez - "In that case ... the problem is not the false ID, but the ill intent. And I'm not sure how the presentation of a valid (or invalid) ID tells the TSA anything about my intentions aboard my flight.

---

Continuing, RB writes: I do not accept your claim that TSA employees are well trained.

West replies: It is a well documented fact that TSA has more training than most organizations.


Technically, the two of you are discussing different things. Knowing the quantity of the training doesn't say anything about the effectiveness of that training. I've sat in "training sessions" held by my employer, and walked out of the room knowing less than when I walked in. (I suspect all of us have had that experience at one time or another.)

Note that I'm not taking a position on the effectiveness of TSA's training, one way or another."

Hiya Jim! I agree that the true threat is the person with ill intent and anything they may use to hurt, damage, etc. There are several layers of security that deal with this threat (BDO, interpersonal interactions with the TSOs, etc). The ID check is simply designed to make it easier to determine that the person in front of you is who they say they are, and to limit the opportunities of known threats to gain access. I know there will be several posts on here saying something like "terrorist x is not going to use his real passport, so it is ineffective". This may be the case, but by making "terrorist x" obtain fake/altered IDs, you expose them to the LEO system (they have to get them somewhere and LEOs bust fake ID shops all the time), and you have a physical item in hand at the TDC that is a fake that would possibly generate further scrutiny. That is the part of the system incorporated in the ID check program.

The training aspect is actually pretty good here (and nationwide). A vast majority of the training done for all of the members is interactive and requires participation by all members. Recently we all had Engage! training and that was one of the most interactive programs I have ever been in. Some of the training is simple online courses and reading, but a great deal of it requires the participation of the students. I will still stand by the statement that we are the (or at least ONE of the) best trained work forces in the world. That being said, I still recognize that there is room for improvement in all aspects of what we do. Customer service? check. Consistency of application? check. Better methods? check. We have all these areas that we are constantly developing new ways of doing things to improve the efficiency and customer service aspect of the screening process, while keeping the same security level. Will all of these kinks work out over night? Of course not, but we are making progress steadily. I wish I could wave my handy dandy *Tink* wand and fix all the areas we could improve in, but that is not realistic (although it WOULD be uber cool to see wouldn't it?).

West
TSA Blog Team

D. Ramsey said...

RB, this may not be exactly what you are looking for but I think it may help you with your search for the "rules" of the screening checkpoint. http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/screening/index.shtm
I must admit the videos are a little lacking but hopefully this site will explain the process a little more. If you have not explored the site in depth please do so. Hope this helps, I know it is not what you want but it is all I can give you at this time.

Anonymous said...

"1. Be POLITE"

No. TSA does not deserve politeness from citizens, and whether a citizen is polite or not to one of TSA's functionaries should have no impact whatsoever on how that citizen is screened.

"2. Put your shoes on the belt"

No. TSA policy does no require this, and I would rather have my shoes safely in a bin than at risk of getting caught in the works of a conveyor belt.

"3. Don't pack any liquids over 3.4 oz (100ml) and make sure they
all fit into one (1) quart size
zip lock bag"

Please cite any independent, peer-reviewed research that supports TSA's contention that liquids present a viable threat to air travel.

"6. If you are selected for
additional screening be polite,
you can always ask for a
private screening if you feel
uncomfortable"

Once again, there is absolutely no need to be polite to anyone associated with TSA. Citizens who are being haraSSSSed by TSA should demand the clerk change his or her gloves and loudly criticize the process while it is happening.

"7. If you are wearing a jacket
make sure to take it off"

Why?

Irish said...

D.Ramsey said...

"1. Be POLITE"

On the rare occasions I fly anymore, I am neither polite nor impolite. I ignore y'all to the maximum extent possible. If a TSO makes a polite inquiry, (s)he'll likely get a polite (if non-informative) response. Otherwise, I just ignore them.


"2. Put your shoes on the belt."

No. It is an option, not a requirement. The shoes I wear when I travel were deliberately chosen to be as obviously incapable of artfully concealing anything as possible. Given their construction, placing them on the belt exposes them to a fairly high probability of damage.


"4. Put your prescriptions and jewelry in your carry on."

I haven't put medications or valuables into checked baggage in forty years.


"5. Make sure you take your lap top out of the bag."

Make sure you allow me the time to retrieve and repack it without dropping it and without having to juggle it along with my carry-on, my shoes, my jacket, and whatever else you choose to divest me of on that particular day.


"6. If you are selected for additional screening be polite, you can always ask for a private screening if you feel uncomfortable."

See my response to suggestion #1. I'll be as polite as the circumstances dictate. D[I]WTFT? Doesn't matter to me. There's nothing in the world so important that I'm willing to kowtow to a schoolyard bully. Since my first distasteful experience with TSA, I allow myself an extra day.

And, no, thank you, to the private screening. If TSA is going to subject me to a secondary, they're going to do it in public, right in front of God and everybody.

I wouldn't trust you guys in a private screening room. No offense intended.

Irish

Jim Huggins said...

West writes:

The ID check is simply designed to make it easier to determine that the person in front of you is who they say they are, and to limit the opportunities of known threats to gain access.

Again, though, there is a tenuous link here between identity and security. If there are people who present a clear and present danger to aviation, why aren't they simply arrested when they present themselves at the checkpoint? If they aren't a danger, then why not simply screen them for dangerous items --- which TSA does for everyone else anyways --- and forget about the ID check?

I will still stand by the statement that we are the (or at least ONE of the) best trained work forces in the world.

Again, this is equating the quality of the training program with its effectiveness. The highest quality education program in the world is useless if the people sitting in the room don't take that education and put it to use. How does TSA measure how well its training efforts yield results on the field?

Please understand ... I'm not necessarily disputing your contention here. But as a professional educator, I sometimes fall prey to a trap: namely, that if I teach something, my students will have learned it. Much to my dismay, those statements aren't equivalent. TSA can have the best educational program in the world, but that doesn't mean that TSA employees are --- or aren't --- the best trained. One needs some sort of measurement tool to back up that contention.

Anonymous said...

Much earlier, while coming through airport security in Phoenix, I saw things go my son (7) way in a most unexpected manner.

He'd removed his belt and shoes and had placed his wheeler bag through the X-ray machine when he spied a stash of TSA officers' candy on a desk off to the side.

Before dressing he'd ushered the officer (the one who had just patted him down) to the candy.

When I next saw Nate, after my own run through security, he and the officer were carefully fishing out the exact pieces Nate wanted.

Gosh. I love America. Try and getting candy from an airport security officer in Romania, or anywhere else we've traveled. I don't think so.

Rod Smith
www.soloadoption.wordpress.com

RB said...

I wish I could wave my handy dandy *Tink* wand and fix all the areas we could improve in, but that is not realistic (although it WOULD be uber cool to see wouldn't it?).

West
TSA Blog Team
....................
I suspect your *Tink* wand would get confiscated by some TSO because it looked like a replica of a weapon.

Besides, TSO's need toys to play with while at work.

RB said...

"3. Don't pack any liquids over 3.4 oz (100ml) and make sure they
all fit into one (1) quart size
zip lock bag"

Please cite any independent, peer-reviewed research that supports TSA's contention that liquids present a viable threat to air travel.
..........................
I bet TSA would have gotten that information out ricky-tic if they had anything to support their position.

As TSA seems to be fond of saying when it benefits TSA's version of events, all they have is heresay evidence.

Anonymous said...

To MS/FT: No, the TSOs don't have law enforcement authority. Neither do airline First OFFICERS, and yet - that's their title. First OFFICER. Commander Riker wasn't a cop, but he WAS First *OFFICER* of the USS Enterprise. O-F-F-I-C-E-R.

Trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

To MS/FT: No, the TSOs don't have law enforcement authority. Neither do airline First OFFICERS, and yet - that's their title. First OFFICER. Commander Riker wasn't a cop, but he WAS First *OFFICER* of the USS Enterprise. O-F-F-I-C-E-R.


Bonus for the Star Trek reference but Riker did have law enforcement authority.

D.Ramsey said...

To everyone who made some comment on what I said on my list. As I clearly stated they were not "rules" this was simply what I have told and continue to tell my family and friends when they ask me what they need to know when they are going to fly! I also tell them to PLEASE check out the TSA website for any additional information! As far as the "be polite" comment, I tell all my FRIENDS AND FAMILY that. It is a simple common courtesy not a "rule". If you don't want to be polite, don't, if you want to be impolite than that is your choice, if you want to be indifferent than be so. The only thing I have found out is that no matter where I go or who I may interact with if I am polite I am normally treated with politeness back. If I am pulled over by a law enforcement officer and am belligerent it is pretty safe he/she is not going to have any patience for me were if I am polite they may be a little more forgiving. If I go to a restaurant and am rude to the wait staff it is a pretty safe bet that my food is going to be either wrong, cold, or have something unspeakable in it or done to it or all of the above. So while it is not a rule it is common courtesy if you want to be treated the same. I hear almost everyone on here complain about how they have been mistreated. In almost 8 years, it will be 8 years in October that I have been with TSA, I have been yelled at, spit on, and had things thrown at me including having one gentleman kick a pair of shoes at me. This was years ago simply because I informed him that his shoes had metal shanks in them and would alarm the walk through metal detector and he should probably remove them. Is it fair that I have to put up with this type of treatment from the traveling public when in all of these instances I have been unfailingly polite, never raised my voice, and was in fact trying to help the passengers? If you had to face this type of treatment five days a week for years how would you feel?

No, you don't have to put your shoes on the belt. I tell my FAMILY AND FRIENDS to do that because it is easier. If you want to put them in a bucket than feel free just please put them in there with nothing else.

As far as medications and valuables, as I said this is what I tell my FRIENDS AND FAMILY, these are not frequent fliers by any means. They may take a flight once every few years not once a week and all too often while I am responding to checked baggage there is someone who has packed their medication in their checked bags and needs to retrieve it. It happens all the time.

If you don't know why you need to take your jacket off why should I have to explain? Go on UTUBE and look up the video of the kid who pulls out something like 20 guns from his bulky clothes. You would never know he had them on him. No you may not be a criminal but what about the guy in front of you or behind you?

I hope this clears up some of what I said. As I stated in the beginning and many failed to read it or conveniently bypassed, my "list" was and is what I tell my FAMILY AND FRIENDS when they travel to make it easier for them to navigate through the checkpoints. It is not a set of "rules" and they are by no means meant to be rules.

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez - "I suspect your *Tink* wand would get confiscated by some TSO because it looked like a replica of a weapon.

Besides, TSO's need toys to play with while at work."

I would be smart enough to stand outside security and wave it, not try and take it through...

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez - "I bet TSA would have gotten that information out ricky-tic if they had anything to support their position.

As TSA seems to be fond of saying when it benefits TSA's version of events, all they have is heresay evidence."

I have posted ad nauseum the independent sites that list the validity of liquid explosives threats. I hope that you are not so narrow minded that you will not glean some information from them. Post some links here that refute the ability to use liquid explosives and I will be happy to look at them. I really love how we have hijacked this thread to a completely different topic... Nice!

West
TSA Blog Team

RB said...

I really love how we have hijacked this thread to a completely different topic... Nice!

West
TSA Blog Team

August 20, 2009 10:52 AM

I wouldn't call it a hijack. What more could have been said about the original topic? TSA was not at fault, case closed.

Liquid explosives are possible, but making them work for the purpose of taking down an aircraft has limited success potential.

Mixing while in flight, controlling the temperature while mixing and several other issues make this a fairly unlikely method.

However, a 6 pound notebook computer, shoe lace, guitar string, Bic pen, knife out of F cabin, heavy belt buckle and who knows what else provide plenty of weapons to create havock in the cabin.

When will TSA stop all potentail weapons from getting on the aircraft?

Anonymous said...

RB, if TSA were to take away every "potential" weapon off of the plane.. then planes would be empty because its easy enough to kill someone with your bare hands. so no belts, shoes, shirts, pants, or people. Have a nice flight

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez - "I wouldn't call it a hijack. What more could have been said about the original topic? TSA was not at fault, case closed.

Liquid explosives are possible, but making them work for the purpose of taking down an aircraft has limited success potential.

Mixing while in flight, controlling the temperature while mixing and several other issues make this a fairly unlikely method.

However, a 6 pound notebook computer, shoe lace, guitar string, Bic pen, knife out of F cabin, heavy belt buckle and who knows what else provide plenty of weapons to create havock in the cabin.

When will TSA stop all potentail weapons from getting on the aircraft?"

This is soooo a hijack, next thing you know one of us is gonna demand to be landed in a neutral country with no extradition policy. As for the weapons, anything is a weapon in the right hands. A sheet of paper, a paper clip, anything! The focus of sreening right now is to remove most objects that are primarily identifiable to the public as a weapon (read - guns, boom, heavy objects that can be used as a club, knives, etc). This is A) to keep people from having those weapons and doing damage to the crew, passengers or the plane itself.
and
B) to keep someone from using something that can be percieved as a weapon from
1) doing damage to the the crew, passengers, or plane
2) Taking something out innocently and "playing" with it while the 4 Joe passengers(or one FAM) two rows back freak out over the "percieved" threat and stomp the life out of the person playing

It is a balance, some of the items that are replicas are clearly something that should be allowed to go through, some should not be allowed. If it appears enough to the TSO that it could be confused with a real weapon then it should not go, period. Many people will post here that I am being ridiculous, but I am being realistic - if it can be reasonably confused with the real thing then it should not go.

West
TSA Blog Team

Trollkiller said...

GSOLTSO said...

It is a balance, some of the items that are replicas are clearly something that should be allowed to go through, some should not be allowed. If it appears enough to the TSO that it could be confused with a real weapon then it should not go, period. Many people will post here that I am being ridiculous, but I am being realistic - if it can be reasonably confused with the real thing then it should not go.

West
TSA Blog Team


I agree if it can reasonably be confused with a real weapon it should not go. Disney toys are not usually so real looking as to need confiscation but they still get taken.

Do TSOs need a refresher course in toys?

Anonymous said...

RB said...

"Mixing while in flight, controlling the temperature while mixing and several other issues make this a fairly unlikely method."

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

Ok, I think I am beginning to understand why we (TSA) and you disagree. After you post this statement, it became clear.

Do you really think anyone is worried a terrorist will set up a chemist lab in their airplane? No one at TSA is.

Liquid explosives will already be "compiled" by the time they get to the airport. They are made at home.

As example, the Bojinka plot was discovered because of the lab found by police and firefighters when a terrorist apartment caught on fire and he ran out of his apartment screaming and flapping his arms because he knew his building was about to go sky high (You are correct, this is a difficult process, and it will NOT happen on an airplane).

As a test run to the Bojinka plot the terrorst in question planted a liquid bomb on a plane. It was a bottle of contact solution. All he had to do was stick the lightbulb into the fluid, set the timer, and walk away when the plane landed. The bomb killed one person, but was not large enough to bring down the plane. Such were his plans for Bojinka, to make larger liquid bombs. Again, all the liquid explosives would be made at his apartment, brought in bottles like large soda or other large containers, and put together on the plane - meaning attaching 4 or so wires here and there, actually really simple stuff.

I showed your quote to 2 of our BAO's, and not to be mean, they got a chuckle. Between these two men they have over 50 years of EOD experience. They informed me they would never attempt to make an IED in the way you described.

As a side note, they also told me many solid explosives (actual solid masses to powder explosives) can be liquidized, like in a bottle of water or can of soda, and once on the inside of the airport before they boarded the plane, they would goto the bathroom, strain the liquid with a shirt, put the substance into their bag to dry, and within 30 mins to an hour have a working solid explosive again, while they sat at the bar having a drink. I asked how many solid explosives this can be done to. They said most.

But they did stress it might be easier simply to manufacture the liquid explosive at home, put into a container, and attach the wires on the plane. As simple as that. No monitoring anything on the plane, as you seem to think is necessary.

I always wondered why people such as you said it would be too hard to make a liquid bomb on a plane. From the training I have gotten over the last few years, I knew it would actually be very easy. I had thought we were on the same page, but now realize we were not.

I have said before, the BAO program is one of the best things TSA has ever done. I wish you and others had access to them like I and other TSO's do. They are a fountain of information concerning IEDs and what is and is not possible, and what is likely.

But does this answer what you stated, even though you did not ask a question?

RB said...

Anonymous said...
RB, if TSA were to take away every "potential" weapon off of the plane.. then planes would be empty because its easy enough to kill someone with your bare hands. so no belts, shoes, shirts, pants, or people. Have a nice flight

August 21, 2009 7:40 AM
....................
I fully understand that many common things can be used as a weapon.

It is TSA who does not grasp that fact.

Resveratrol said...

whatever you want to call it, scared the airline into not doing something. TSA responsible? No. TSA policies responsible? Yes, albeit indirectly. If this had happened in 1950 or something, they'd have all been camping out under the beautiful starry minnesota skies on the tarmac, but evidently not in today's world.

Anonymous said...

""3. Don't pack any liquids over 3.4 oz (100ml) and make sure they
all fit into one (1) quart size
zip lock bag"

Please cite any independent, peer-reviewed research that supports TSA's contention that liquids present a viable threat to air travel."

This is irrelevant. The current rule, whether you agree with it or not, is as stated above your request. What do you say when you don't do this at a checkpoint:

"I'm not going to bacause I want any independent, peer-reviewed research that supports TSA's contention that liquids present a viable threat to air travel."

Please don't be in front of me.

MonaLisa562 said...

TSA screeners are in fact federal officers for the simple fact they have all authority to conduct "administrative" searches on anyone and their belongings at the checkpoint that is passing through security to fly. Law enforcement doesn't have the authority to conduct "administrative" searches as they must have probable cause to go through a persons belongings at the airport.

GSOLTSO said...

TrollKiller sez - " agree if it can reasonably be confused with a real weapon it should not go. Disney toys are not usually so real looking as to need confiscation but they still get taken.

Do TSOs need a refresher course in toys?"

I think that in some situations you could probably make a case for that. I think that sometimes common sense is not used, in some cases it could be miscommunication between TSOs and in others, it is inexperience. I think that the TSO in some of these situations is in a no win position - take the item, and you are ridiculed and abused by the persons travelling and the other passengers around them - let the item go and the LTSO/STSO will jump on you for letting a replica go (this would be in the case of a fairly exact replica or something easily confused with a real weapon). I would hope that the TSOs involved in this type of situation moving forward would use common sense and communicate with the people involved throughout the process.

West
TSA Blog Team

King Air Charter Plane said...

It would be interesting to know if this was due to ExpressJet not understanding the rules or if they decided to leave the passengers stranded on the plane for their own benefit.

Anonymous said...

Resveratrol said...

"whatever you want to call it, scared the airline into not doing something. TSA responsible? No. TSA policies responsible? Yes, albeit indirectly. If this had happened in 1950 or something, they'd have all been camping out under the beautiful starry minnesota skies on the tarmac, but evidently not in today's world."



I doubt that would be true. We also live in a world of law suits we didn't have in the 50's. I can imagine an airline fearing being sued by a passenger who hurt themselves on the tarmac, so they refuse to let people out of their seats.

But the problem I have with this story is whats not being said. All airports have a TSA coordination center, which is manned 24 hours, which can contact ANY TSA employee at ANY time of the day, including the FSD.

All airlines know this, they contact the coordination centers often when they have a question regarding TSA policy.

Why didn't the airline employees at the airport not contact the TSA coordination center with their concern about whether or not they could allow the passengers to exit the plane? All they had to do was pick up a phone, could have had it solved in a minute.

No the airline didn't even bother to pick up the phone, didn't bother to ask one or two simple questions.

I've said before, the airlines love TSA because they can then use them as a scape-goat for everything and anything that goes wrong.

Confusion about TSA's policies didn't cause this problem - that could have been so easily solved, if there actually was confusion, which I doubt there was.

Lazy airline employees caused this problem.

Anonymous said...

Now that everyone has finished fueling this situation with comments unresearched and unsupported by facts earlier unavailable to the public, maybe you should all take a moment to read the NTSB findings on this case. You will find that many, many calls were made and that the crew's requests to deplane were again and again refused. The equiment necessary to deplane without injury was withheld as well. The equipment necessary to service the lav was apparently requested from 3 seperate sources. The crew endured the same conditions as passengers, and tried repeatedly to get the passengers deplaned. The crew also did not bow to pressure to take off into dangerous weather conditions. TSA had little to do with this situation. The reality of the situation is an error by persons working at the airfield left the express crew little option. Take time to read the full findings now available.

Anonymous said...

***And some actual "TSA regulations" are intentionally kept secret. A notable example was the formerly-secret TSA regulation that passengers could only use the bathrooms for the class in which they are booked.***

Lord, help us!
There was NEVER a TSA policy on bathroom assignments! Are you nuts???

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Your employees are NOT officers."

Your government says they are federal officers, and has clearly defined the scope of their responsibilities.

Anonymous said...

does a parent travelling with a child who has different last name need extra id, if both have passports that share same address. this is for domestic travel from one state to another?
Thanks
EH

Red Wine said...

I was merely suggesting that the TSA's inconsistent ad-hoc approach to "security" may have led to instances where non-TSA employees of airports and airlines caused passengers needless difficulty by incorrectly assuming "security regulations" out of good-faith misunderstanding or ignorance.

It Career said...

I think you might think about the public perception your agency has earned that would cause such media speculation and your desire to go on record saying that it wasn't your fault.

Rick said...

I am a very frequent flier and understand that the airline itself has control. However there is a point where the government must step in for passenger safety. Is it TSA's responsibility - probably not. I would say the FAA must insure actions such as this are dealt with and the airlines given huge fines.

male ok said...

Ok, can it realy even take this long to get off the plane when it deplanes? can it take 20-30 minutes, THATS TOO LONG!!! like when I go to Miami from Boston teh plane leaves at 7 pm and lands at 10:15 pm (I DONT HAVE MY SEAT ASSIGNMENT YET!), if I am near the back what time will I get off the plane

Retta said...

I would think part of the thinking in deplaning is to find an open gate, they are probably scheduled in time frames, just like doctors offices.

Gyat said...

A few months ago a news report alerted TSA officials that a flight school in Stow Massachusetts, a rural community about 25 miles west of Boston, was operated by an illegal immigrant who somehow got a U.S. pilot’s license. Enrolled in the school (TJ Aviation Flight Academy) were more than 30 illegal aliens who were actually cleared by the TSA to train as pilots. Several of them had entered the U.S. legally but their visas expired, just like several of the 9/11 hijackers.

I somehow disappointed that TSA has failed to implement better security controls to prevent a similar atrocity...