Monday, June 22, 2009

St. Louis Incident Update

In April, I blogged about an incident in St. Louis where a passenger’s cash box was searched.

Since this is in the news again, I thought I would write a quick recap with some updates.

On March 29th, a metal box containing a large amount of coins and cash was flagged for additional screening. Any large amount of metallic objects in one place (loose change or rolls of coins) appear as opaque images and are difficult and sometimes impossible to clear without being searched. I blogged about this type of search last October. If we can’t see through something on the x-ray, we have to take a closer look by opening the box/bag. Due to the contents, the passenger was taken to a private screening area which is customary when screening money or high dollar value items such as jewelry.

While it’s legal to travel with any amount of money you wish to carry when flying domestically, movements of large amounts of cash through the checkpoint may be investigated by law enforcement authorities if suspicious activity is suspected. As a general rule, passengers are required to cooperate with the screening process. Cooperation may involve answering questions about their property. A passenger who refuses to answer questions may be referred to appropriate authorities for further inquiry. When traveling internationally, a passenger must file a report with U.S. Customs when flying with amounts exceeding $10,000. (or its foreign equivalent)

A TSA employee and members of the St. Louis Airport Police Department can be heard on the audio recording. TSA holds its employees to the highest professional standards. The tone and language used by the TSA employee was inappropriate and proper disciplinary action was taken.

Blogger Bob

TSA Blog Team