Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Egypt Air Firearms Incident: Differences Between Checked Baggage & Carry On Baggage

PistolThe recent JFK to Egypt incident where a passenger transported firearms and ammunition in their checked baggage has many wondering if TSA missed these items. Firearms, knives, and ammunition are allowed in checked baggage – they’re not on the checked baggage prohibited items list.

When passengers are checking luggage with firearms, firearm parts, and ammunition, they’re required to declare the items with the airline and ensure they are packed properly. TSA has no role in the declaration process. However, if a Transportation Security Officer (TSO) has to search your checked bag and comes across weapons or ammunition that have not been properly declared or packed, they will have to notify a law enforcement officer as well as an airline representative. Depending on the laws of that state you’re in, you may be fined or even arrested.

Ammunition
Unlike the checkpoint where our officers are using X-ray machines to search for a variety of dangerous items (guns, knives, explosives), in checked baggage, our focus is on finding explosives. If you have a gun or knife in your checked bag, you’re not going to be able to go into the belly of the plane to get it (Unless you’re Samuel L. Jackson). That’s why the prohibited items list differs between checked and carry-on baggage.

We have state of the art explosive detection systems (EDS) in many of our checked baggage locations which work like the MRI and CT scan machines you see in the hospitals. EDS machines can quickly determine if a bag contains a potential threat or not. If our machines alarm on an item, we have procedures combining explosive trace detection and bag searches to help us clear those alarms. In locations without the EDS, we use explosive trace detection in conjunction with bag searches.
We have state of the art explosive detection systems (EDS) in many of our checked baggage locations which work like the MRI and CT scan machines you see in the hospitals. EDS machines can quickly determine if a bag contains a potential threat or not. If our machines alarm on an item, we have procedures combining explosive trace detection and bag searches to help us clear those alarms. In locations without the EDS, we use explosive trace detection in conjunction with bag searches.
Our officers find all sorts of things during checked baggage searches. Frozen monkey heads, kitchen sinks, goat heads and yes, guns, ammo, and knives of all sizes. So make sure you properly declare your guns and ammo, or you might incur an unexpected layover.

Advice From TSA.gov on Traveling With Firearms, Firearm Parts & Ammunition

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

Justifying the unjustifiable Bob?

Shame on you and your agency.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...Justifying the unjustifiable Bob?

Shame on you and your agency."

Yet another person who thinks they know what they are talking about but has no clue. Shame on you for shaming Bob. Silly.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...Justifying the unjustifiable Bob?

Shame on you and your agency."

Yet another person who thinks they know what they are talking about but has no clue. Shame on you for shaming Bob. Silly.
------------------------

Worked for TSA very long?

Anonymous said...

Bob, it looks like you got a two-fer today. One theft at JFK and another at Newark. That barrel of apples doesn't look too good.

Anonymous said...

a.) There really are only a couple of people who post here.

b.) The signal to noise ratio continues its decline.

Anonymous said...

Funny thing about this is that with NYC's strict gun control laws this situation should have resulted in the passenger's immediate arrest. Do a google search on hunters flying through JFK and see how often a hunter gets arrested for going afoul of NYC gun control laws. But then a hunter is doing something legitimate, whereas this guy wasn't.

Also thought that guns had to be inside of a secure hard case, separate from the rest of the luggage. Big thumbs down on TSA for failing to find the weapon and ammunition.

Anonymous said...

And a big thumbs down to you for not knowing what you're talking about. Read the post. It is spot on. It has been like this since before TSA was around. What is your solution here? What would you suggest TSA do to find all undeclared weapons? Do they even have any reason to do so? The guns in the baggage area are not a threat to anybody.

dkozisek3 said...

Since when has "not a threat to anybody" meant anything to the TSA?

Shall we revisit water? ID checks? Shoe carnival? Lighters? etc, etc, etc...

Anonymous said...

Lighters are allowed now and it was congress who banned them. TSA convinced the people on the hill to lift the ban. Have fun with your play on words but shoes and water pose a threat. Another case of someone that does not know what they are talking about. I understand if you do not agree with TSA but to act like you know everything about aviation security is comical. And sad.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Lighters are allowed now and it was congress who banned them. TSA convinced the people on the hill to lift the ban. Have fun with your play on words but shoes and water pose a threat. Another case of someone that does not know what they are talking about. I understand if you do not agree with TSA but to act like you know everything about aviation security is comical. And sad.

May 18, 2010 5:14 PM
__________________

Shoes and water pose a threat? HAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Only in your world.

Gunner said...

slightly different topic, but I may have found a way around the TSA-approved padlock conundrum.

The issues are
* theft from baggage occurs.
* TSA says that if you don't use one of their approved padlocks, then they can cut your locks off.
* TSA critics believe the TSA is the source of all thefts.
* TSA fans say that TSA would never steal.
* TSA critics say TSa locks are flimsy and offer no real protection.
* TSA critics say TSa is openign locks and not leaving anthign in the bag to indicate they searched it.
* Airline employess say that the TSA locks get broken off all the time during baggage handling because they are so shabby.

So, on our recent round trip to Asia, we threw away all the padlocks and went with heavy-duty zip ties. They secured all the zippers, it is impossible for them to break, no one has keys, but if they need to be removed by TSA, they can easily be snipped (of course there is zero probably that after completing an inspection TSA would put a fresh zip tie on). That would be too much like customer service.
They also eliminate the non-TSA employee casually undoing a zipper and rummaging around.

Any comments from TSA-ers. No anonymous comments needed.

Anonymous said...

Correcting "anonymous of May 18, 2010 5:14 PM": Quote: "shoes and water pose a threat.".

Wrong. No cookie. Please attend the nearest remedial TSA passenger training program being offered at 24 hours a day at your local major airport, as you have failed miserably to understand very simple concepts. Your mind will be tested later to see if it actually functions as designed.

It is not shoes and water that pose a threat, it is what can masquerade as water and be carried in shoes that poses the threat. That is why those horriblyannoying checkpoints force you to divest yourself of your precious bottle of overpriced water. That is why you can't wear your foot-fungi laced, bacteria and skin disease infected, stinky shoes through the metal detector or the naughty-bits looker. That's why all the other people in line wrinkle their noses at you. Your feet stink. God man, wash those things.

Some people wouldn't know a clue if it danced naked on their suitcases singing 'I am a Clue! I'm a Clue! How do you do?'.

dkozisek3 said...

Never said I knew everything about anything, but I can spot a logical failure from a mile away. I can spot TSA procedures from as far away as 10 miles. You do the math.

The fallacies and inconsistencies have been well documented. The failures are appearing on a seemingly daily basis. Face it, the TSA can not be considered a success by any metric (unless you count wasted money and expanded bureaucracy a good thing).

BTW, do you enjoy working for TSA?

HappyToHelp said...

Gunner said...
“ So, on our recent round trip to Asia, we threw away all the padlocks and went with heavy-duty zip ties. They secured all the zippers, it is impossible for them to break, no one has keys, but if they need to be removed by TSA, they can easily be snipped (of course there is zero probably that after completing an inspection TSA would put a fresh zip tie on). That would be too much like customer service.
They also eliminate the non-TSA employee casually undoing a zipper and rummaging around.

Any comments from TSA-ers. No anonymous comments needed.”

Love it. Can we say Idea Factory (employee submitted idea program)? Just a heads up, I am going to submit your idea. I’ll wait a few days so other people can add to this idea.

It could be a tough sell. The idea involves TSA spending money when claim payouts have dropped significantly. I think TSA views the drop in payouts as success in this area, and in the past TSA has pushed CCTV to stop and deter baggage theft from TSA employees. However, I am in the crowd that CCTV plus TSA locks are not enough. I like this out of the box thinking. Thumbs up :)

-Tim
TSA Blog Team

HappyToHelp said...

Anonymous said...
“It is not shoes and water that pose a threat, it is what can masquerade as water and be carried in shoes that poses the threat. That is why those horriblyannoying checkpoints force you to divest yourself of your precious bottle of overpriced water. That is why you can't wear your foot-fungi laced, bacteria and skin disease infected, stinky shoes through the metal detector or the naughty-bits looker. That's why all the other people in line wrinkle their noses at you. Your feet stink. God man, wash those things.”

I don’t think I would have said it the same way, but you are right. When critics say that TSA believes shoes and water are a threat, they are just building a straw man argument. Of course, we don’t think shoes or water are a threat. Bags aren’t threats either. They can contain threats so we search them. A shoe could contain a threat so we search it. We began to take a closer look at all shoes when the threat level shifted from yellow to orange. Not in response to Richard the shoe bomber (another straw man that pops up from time to time). Sure TSA could test every bottle of water. We just don’t have the resources of time, manpower, and supplies. Is TSA shifting the responsibility to passengers? I would say yes, but that is debatable and beyond this discussion (a debate I have had many times).

Tim
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

"Blogger dkozisek3 said...
Never said I knew everything about anything, but I can spot a logical failure from a mile away. I can spot TSA procedures from as far away as 10 miles. You do the math.

The fallacies and inconsistencies have been well documented. The failures are appearing on a seemingly daily basis. Face it, the TSA can not be considered a success by any metric (unless you count wasted money and expanded bureaucracy a good thing).

BTW, do you enjoy working for TSA?"

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

Then why don't YOU do something about it? Yeah, I thought so.

Instead of wasting your time posting away on a blog, how about getting a job in government or as a consultant and FIX the issues and flawed logic that you detest so much? Yeah, I thought so.

Whine away! Don't like it? Don't fly.

HSVTSO Dean said...

Gunner wrote:
Any comments from TSA-ers. No anonymous comments needed.

That's actually fairly common, folks using zip-ties rather than locks. On the off-chance I have to actually go into a bag to check it, and the zip-ties have to be cut, I usually look in the outer-top pocket of the bag. For some reason, this seems to be where the replacement zip-ties are.

If they're not there, and I didn't come across them during my inspection, then I can't put a new one on :D

But I've seen everything from them being put into the top-most pocket (toward the handle) on the outside of the bag like I described, to guys checking in big heavy Pelican cases with the zip-ties taped to the underside of the lid, and a little note asking TSA to replace the ties if they're cut.

Adrian said...

Coming back last week from Vegas, I saw a TSO "accept a water bottle voluntarily divested by a passenger". The TSO then walked the water bottle deeper into the "sterile area" and dropped it into a public trash can. After tying my shoes, I (or the original passenger) could have casually fetched the water bottle from the trash can. Just more evidence that even the TSOs realize that the liquids ban is security theater and not a precaution against a realistic threat.

I also noticed that more than half of the passengers opted out of the whole body imaging scanners by choosing the lanes without the scanners (which moved MUCH faster). I didn't see any signs explaining the whole body imaging. Perhaps they're placed so that only the people who choose the scanner lanes get to see them.

Anonymous said...

Any comment on why despite previous statements to the contrary that TSA is moving to make WBI the primary screening method at TPA?

(reference:
http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/body-scanners-take-priority-at-tampa-international-airport/1095879)

TSORon said...

I work for the TSA and am pretty proud of it.
Anonymous has the right of it, but it’s not the water or the shoes that present a danger to commercial aviation. It’s the liquid explosives that may be in the water bottle, or the shoes with TATP in the soles that present the danger. Stop parsing words.
Another thing anonymous has right is that there are far too many people posting here that “think” they know something about the TSA’s job. Obviously they don’t.
In NY one can travel with firearms in their checked baggage with the proper documentation. People do it all the time. But the one’s who get arrested are the one’s who do not learn about the rules before attempting it. Take a few minutes and review the laws of the state you are traveling in before attempting to transport firearms on a commercial aircraft. The FAA has its rules, but so does each state, and responsible firearms owners take the time to do a bit of research before flying.

Anonymous said...

Wow!, what an agency of the US government.

Anonymous said...

I seriously doubt the weapons and ammunition were properly declared, making a TSA issue (see NYC CCW laws and how strict they are).

Randy said...

Bob . . . After reading your spin, I'm still wondering, because the question was not answered. Did the TSA spot the weapons in the checked baggage? Was it properly declared?

GSOLTSO said...

A few posters list the following type of statement - The TSA missed/should have done something about these/failed in identifying a threat.

The weapons were in checked luggage, not in carry-on. Weapons are allowed to be checked under the plane (as long as the items that must be declared are declared), with no problem - this has been in place since long before TSA was in existence.

For those that indicate this was against NY state law, that is something that is between the person with the weapons, and the airline. If the items are packaged correctly and the bag has no other threats in them - it will go through without even being opened. Many folks keep posting that TSA is not a LEO agency, this is quite correct - if this is the case, then why are so many posting that we should be performing NY State LEO duties and verifying the status of firearms being checked? The overriding factor here is that TSA did exactly what they were supposed to do - screened the bags, found no threat to the airplane, cleared them and let them go on their way. Any other problems that arise from this situation are between the passenger and the government at their destination, and possibly at their departure point, but that is for them to determine, not TSA. TSA did exactly what they are supposed to and any other claims are incorrect.

West
TSA Blog Team

Aurora said...

I actually really enjoyed this blog post. TSA blogger, great job! I think it is reasonable that people are allowed to check guns. We are allowed to own them, we ought to be allowed to transport them. If your baggage is searched and they find a gun you are not allowed to own, I think you should get in trouble same way if they find you carrying it around town.

I don't mind the liquids thing, either. Mostly it has impacted my life by making me a better packer and making it bearable to travel with my chronically-overpacked family. When it makes time-wise and hassle-wise sense to pack light, we all fit our bags on our laps. We can take the subway to our destination. We don't have to wait around for the checked bags to show up. For me, a huge win regardless of the reason.

Anonymous said...

@Gunner

Unofficial response here, but the zip tie method works quite well for many people who travel. At the airport I'm stationed at, we keep several sizes of zip ties in stock, just to replace the ones we might have to cut. If you are concerned about people opening your bag and failing to properly place the inspection papers inside, using colored ties or making a mark on them might help you there too.

STSO Ramsey said...

Gunner,
In response to your statement/question. Personally at our airport we like the zip ties. We have to go into the bags, the zip ties make it easy to get into unlike some of the locks. FYI, we do replace every zip tie we cut off with a dark blue one. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

"A shoe could contain a threat so we search it."

Then why has there never been a single instance of a shoe containing a threat, anywhere in the world, since Reid?

"We began to take a closer look at all shoes when the threat level shifted from yellow to orange. Not in response to Richard the shoe bomber (another straw man that pops up from time to time)."

Why does a change in a threat level that means absolutely nothing lead to a mandatory shoe carnival?

Do you have to remove your shoes when you go to work to do bin Laden's work for him at the airport?

Ranger11 said...

From the Tampa article on Body Scanners taking priority.

First off in the article priority means that they are the first option. It does not mean they are the only option. Every single person that enters the checkpoint has the option to ask for one of the following;

-To have the screening process done in a private area where no other passengers can see.- (this will consequently get you out of having to go through the AIT)

-To opt out of the AIT (specifically) for your own reasons.-

Both of these requests MUST be honored, and both get you out of the AIT.

Heres an interesting excerpt from the article. Is the Saint Petersburg Times being paid by TSA too? (sarc on)

Air travelers don't seem to mind the technology. In a USA Today/Gallup poll, 78 percent of respondents said they approved of using the scanners, and 67 percent were comfortable being examined by one.

HappyToHelp said...

Anonymous said...
"Then why has there never been a single instance of a shoe containing a threat, anywhere in the world, since Reid?"

Not true. I have posted this link before. It happens. How often? I’m not sure, but to deny it is being a bit naïve in my humble opinion. You’re welcome to your opinion, and thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...
"Why does a change in a threat level that means absolutely nothing lead to a mandatory shoe carnival?"

Good question. From a government point a view, the threat level does mean something, and to a limited extent the level can affect passengers such as mandatory shoe removal. Another example would be, worse case scenario, level goes to red and civil aviation is grounded. This is only a quick touch of the subject. There are lots of pros and cons with such a system. I’m pretty sure you already have your opinion on the subject. I am not going to go into it any further, but you can read all about it in various books and security blogs. Bruce Schneier has written some interesting articles on the subject.

Tim
TSA Blog Team

Dan said...

>Anonymous said..."Whine away! Don't >like it? Don't fly."


Is this the official TSA position? If so, please state this out right. If not, please provide your name and employee id so i can file an official complaint and, as you so kindly suggested, so something to fix it.

GSOLTSO said...

Gunner sez - "Any comments from TSA-ers. No anonymous comments needed."

I love this idea, and many passengers use it effectively. I like H2Hs idea being submitted to the Idea Factory for the workforce to vote on as well. He does have a p[oint that it may be a tough sell due to costs, but I will vote for it and champion it as best I can. We have had many debate teams, Missionaries and several folks that bring technical equipment that have their cases sealed with zip ties. Several of these folks also have a note inside the container with extra zip ties attached asking for the container to be resealed if TSA opens it. Every time I have encountered this setup, I have always re-tied the container and sent it on. I wish more people would do this, it is an easy way to keep the bag closed. Great idea Gunner, thanks for the input!

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "I seriously doubt the weapons and ammunition were properly declared, making a TSA issue (see NYC CCW laws and how strict they are)."

Please identify the process that would make this a TSA issue. If the firearms were properly declared, then there is no other interaction on the part of TSA other than to clear the bag for transport.

If the firearms were not properly declared, it becomes an issue between the passenger and the airline, and local LEOs. There may be a fine associated with improper declaration, but that would be after the fact.

If there is a problem with the declaration in the country this person traveled to, it is an issue between the passenger and the destination government.

I can see no logical reason for TSA to do anything other than what they did - screen the bag, clear it for travel and send it on. This is exactly what TSA is supposed to do, and in this case exactly what they did.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Tim, you should mention that your link is to shoes that were used ON A BUS so no one else will need to click it and see that you were being dishonest. And a "color alert" system that no one pays attention to and has been stuck on orange since 2006 is patently absurd and meaningless.

Anonymous said...

"Then why has there never been a single instance of a shoe containing a threat, anywhere in the world, since Reid?"

I see this argument a lot. It's not logical to think that there is no threat, just because it hasn't happened in years. How long between the bombing of the world trade center, and 9/11? Terrorists have all the time in the world to make their plans. TSA acknowledges a threat has been used, either by FBI, military, or CIA intelligence (among others). To not protect against that possible threat would be irresponsible, and thus TSA would be failing at its duties.
To those that say liquid explosives are too unstable to transport, and do not pose a threat? Collective knowledge of Bomb experts with ex-military and bomb squad experience disagree with you.

Anonymous said...

HappyToHelp said...

Anonymous said...
"Then why has there never been a single instance of a shoe containing a threat, anywhere in the world, since Reid?"

Not true. I have posted this link before.


1) The link is about something that happened in EUROPE.
2) it happened in 2007
3) The shoes in question were transported by BUS, not plane.
4) They were in the equivalent of checked luggage.

So, basically, it bears absolutely no relevance to the TSA in The USA making people take their shoes off.

Kimi said...

This post reminds me of my trip to my home country in Indonesia, just because i went to a country which most populations are muslims, they really checked everyone strictly. Even my scissor was gone. So lighters and those stuff are definetely dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Zip Ties are great. At my airport we keep extra zip ties in stock as well and replace every one we have to cut. Much more efficient than locks.
Also, passengers often leave a little note stating where extra zip ties are located, or they just place them in the outside pockets or tape to the inside lid or tops.

We are also fortunate to have a banding machine (it uses thick plastic strapping) that we use on a lot of boxes, odd shaped bags, and often instead of wrapping tape around the item a million times.

Also, you can tell when TSA has opened one of your checked bags if you just look for the Love Note (aka Notice of Inspection Card).

Anonymous said...

Guns and ammo are allowed in checked baggage if declared to airline and properly packaged. That is T.S.A. regulations.Gun must also be unloaded.
If these requirements are met the gun goes on plane.
In Egypt the laws are different than in U.S.
T>S.A. only deals with U.S. laws.

Gunner said...

Anonymous said...
"Then why has there never been a single instance of a shoe containing a threat, anywhere in the world, since Reid?"

Happy to Help then passed on the 'Big Lie'...
Not true. I have posted this link before. It happens. How often? I’m not sure, but to deny it is being a bit naïve in my humble opinion.

---

The 'Big Lie' in this case is not unlike the Bait & Switch one encounteres at unscrupulous retailers. The anonymous post clearly refers to a Reed-like shoe bomb. Happy's Orwellian reply talks about shoes (in checked baggage) that were hollowed out to smuggle blasting caps.

A disingenuous response, to say the least.

Happy, you were welcome to your views, but the fact is there has not been another documented case of a shoe bomber to justify the ongoing shoe carnival.

Anonymous said...

A shoe could contain a threat so we search it."
Then why has there never been a single instance of a shoe containing a threat, anywhere in the world, since Reid?
*******************************
no threats in shoes???? really?

lets see a week ago i checked a pair of shoes that had a knife stuck inside them...thats a threat

i also checked a pair of shoes where the person had stuck razor blades in the soles because they wanted to get them thru security...
thats a threat too...

next..of course your not giong to hear about the good things we do!!! because the news in this country only focuses on the bad things that happen.. so of course your not going to get a nationwide story on the TSO who found 6 razor blades, a taser, a cell phone stun gun, and a real gun in somones bag... good things dont sell papers and good things dont up the ratings of the news stations

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Guns and ammo are allowed in checked baggage if declared to airline and properly packaged. That is T.S.A. regulations.Gun must also be unloaded.
If these requirements are met the gun goes on plane.
In Egypt the laws are different than in U.S.
T>S.A. only deals with U.S. laws.

May 23, 2010 4:28 PM
....................
Not TSA regulations.

FAA regulations.

The same people who should be responsible for all aspects of commercial aviation including security.

Anonymous said...

Shoes are searched by law enforcement officers all the time. It is an easy place for someone to place items that they dont want anyone to find. TSA is continuing the "shoe carnival" so that a Richard Reid type event can be prevented. They are taking a pro-active approach to stop the proven threat of using shoes as a storage device for an explosive.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the events of 9/11 have shown that the private companies did not work. The government stepped in to take protect its infrastructure and citizens. Sure there are bad employees in the TSA but look at every other job around and you will find bad apples as well including all levels in the government. If TSA was to go away and replaced by private screeners again would you think that they would do a better job. Look at the amount of money that the govenment spends on the TSA for the current equipment and such, do you expect a private firm to spend even a fraction of that money. Do you think that they would be constantly looking at new technologies to stop what is going on? The private companies (pre 9/11) used the same equipment for decades and failed to bring in new equipment until it stopped working. I want the people taking care of screening whether it be govt or private to have the best equipment available to keep me and my family safe. Plus if the private companies take over again they will be paid for by the airlines so tickets will be going way up to handle this expense. I prefer to have the govt handle the situation. How about thanking a TSO once in awhile for doing what they do no matter what your opinion is of the Agency.

HappyToHelp said...

The title of your post should be fallacy. LOL ;)

Gunner said…
“The anonymous post clearly refers to a Reed-like shoe bomb.”

The original post said “since Reed”. This indicates a time period, and does not define the word threat that I used previously. The post used the word threat in reference to my original post which I used to mean prohibited items. TSA uses three terms. No threat, possible threat, and threat. Threat meaning prohibited item. This is you using a straw man (fallacy).


Gunner said…
“Happy's Orwellian reply talks about shoes (in checked baggage) that were hollowed out to smuggle blasting caps.

A disingenuous response, to say the least.”

Not disingenuous at all, and I see you have a thin qualifier for Orwellian. Look at the response I answered. The three requirements the poster gave was “threat” (as defined by my previous post), a time frame (since Reed), and location (anywhere in the world). Denying the antecedent (fallacy) much?!? How does “hollowed out to smuggle blasting caps” = disingenuous post? It meets all requirements of the poster. Why assume that I am trying to justify the current shoe policy with one link? You are making too many assumptions Gunner.

Gunner said…
“Happy, you were welcome to your views, but the fact is there has not been another documented case of a shoe bomber to justify the ongoing shoe carnival.”

Begging the question (fallacy). Again, you making a conclusion based off of your own premise.

I’m not trying to pick on you Gunner. All I did was disprove a crazy claim. I stick by my post. Shoes can contain threats so we search them. I was not making commentary on mandatory shoe removal vs. profiling shoes (now I am). Either system involves screening of shoes. Shoes need to be screened, but using either system is debatable as both have pro’s and con’s. I am not in favor of a system where there is absolutely no screening of shoes (via metal detector, shoes scanner, or x-ray machine).

Tim
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

lets see a week ago i checked a pair of shoes that had a knife stuck inside them...thats a threat

i also checked a pair of shoes where the person had stuck razor blades in the soles because they wanted to get them thru security...
thats a threat too...
-------------------------

No, neither of those things are "threats," at least not if we define that word as a real and immediate risk to aviation security. They no more threatened the integrity of the aircraft than any of a number of allowable items, including human bodies.
next..of course your not giong to hear about the good things we do!!! because the news in this country only focuses on the bad things that happen.. so of course your not going to get a nationwide story on the TSO who found 6 razor blades, a taser, a cell phone stun gun, and a real gun in somones bag... good things dont sell papers and good things dont up the ratings of the news stations

---------------------------
Cry me a river. The reason why you aren't getting any good press is that you haven't done anything. Do you seriously believe that if the TSA actually managed to thwart a plot that had any chance whatsoever to succeed that they wouldn't be publicizing it in every possible venue?

Anonymous said...

"Shoes can contain threats so we search them."

And yet, countries without a shoe carnival have suffered not a single negative outcome as a result. TSA's shoe fetish remains an hysterical overreaction to a "threat" whose risk is so infinitesimal it may as well be nonexistent.

We know it. You know it, too, which is why it's so funny to watch you get all wound up trying to defend something you know is pointless.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
A shoe could contain a threat so we search it."
Then why has there never been a single instance of a shoe containing a threat, anywhere in the world, since Reid?
*******************************
no threats in shoes???? really?

lets see a week ago i checked a pair of shoes that had a knife stuck inside them...thats a threat

i also checked a pair of shoes where the person had stuck razor blades in the soles because they wanted to get them thru security...
thats a threat too...

next..of course your not giong to hear about the good things we do!!! because the news in this country only focuses on the bad things that happen.. so of course your not going to get a nationwide story on the TSO who found 6 razor blades, a taser, a cell phone stun gun, and a real gun in somones bag... good things dont sell papers and good things dont up the ratings of the news stations

May 24, 2010 2:16 PM


///////////////////////////////

TSA Week at a Glance: 05/17/10 to 05/23/10

0 artfully concealed prohibited items found at checkpoints
5 firearms found at checkpoints
6 passengers were arrested after investigations of suspicious behavior or fraudulent travel documents
///////////////////////////////

So a week ago you found two artfully concealed items yet TSA reports that NO artfully concealed items were reported.

Anon, you calling TSA HQ liars?

Anonymous said...

Happy, the fallacy you were looking for was "moving the goalposts," not "straw man"

Of course, selecting definitions other than the common language ones, without stating as much in advance, is... disingenuous at best, but whatever.

Anonymous said...

"I believe that the events of 9/11 have shown that the private companies did not work."

And I am confused about the post 9/11 system.

I thought that private contractors were still delivering these services. Just under the TSA banner.

Any accurate information is appreciated.

HappyToHelp said...

Anonymous said...
“Of course, selecting definitions other than the common language ones, without stating as much in advance, is... disingenuous at best, but whatever.”

I certainly used a poor choice of words. Threat is so broad when it comes to discussing aviation security. The fact that it is a broad term, does not mean I was trying to be disingenuous. In the end, it doesn’t matter. I hope I clarified my position.

Tim
TSA Blog Team

HappyToHelp said...

Anonymous said...
“TSA's shoe fetish remains an hysterical overreaction to a "threat" whose risk is so infinitesimal it may as well be nonexistent.”

Is it a reaction to Richard Reid? That happened in 2001. Shoe removal happened in 2007. What reaction do you speak of? Did something happen during 2007? Ohhh yeah, threat level for aviation changed from yellow to orange.

I get it. You don’t like to take your shoes off, and you think it is stupid. Why not just say that? You don’t need to justify your statement or position. I believe you feel that way. :)

Anonymous said...
“And yet, countries without a shoe carnival have suffered not a single negative outcome as a result.”

LOL… To use that same train of thought as you have (which is bad logic). One could say “countries that have mandatory shoe removal have not suffered a single negative outcome as a result of instituting said polices.”

Tim
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

"I get it. You don’t like to take your shoes off, and you think it is stupid. Why not just say that? You don’t need to justify your statement or position. I believe you feel that way. :)"

Typical willful ignorance on your part. The point is not simply that the shoe carnival is inconvenient and unpleasant and unhygienic; the point is that it is all of these things and does nothing to make anyone safer. Shoes are not dangerous; we know it and you know it and we'd like you to stop lying about it.

Anonymous said...

H2h spewed:

LOL… To use that same train of thought as you have (which is bad logic). One could say “countries that have mandatory shoe removal have not suffered a single negative outcome as a result of instituting said polices.”

On the contrary the shoes policy instituted by TSA has harmed the country. When your agency insists on doing things that only have a 1 chance or less in a billion passengers, you've lost. Stop using Hollywood to come up with threat scenarios.

Adrian said...

>I believe that the events of 9/11 have shown that the private companies did not work.

The private companies worked just fine. The "weapons" brought through security on 9/11 were allowed back then.

>The government stepped in to take protect its infrastructure and citizens.

The politicians reacted by doing something that sounded good but mostly made no difference. It's security theater to try to make
us feel safer. They effectively fired thousands of airport security workers, many of which were not able to apply for the new jobs because only citizens can join TSA. Note: pilots do not have to be citizens.

>Sure there are bad employees in the TSA but look at every other job around and you will find bad apples as well including all levels in the government.

The problem is, we've created screening jobs that bump right up against the limit of what's legal and constitutional. That empowers
bad apples to infringe on people's rights. I don't want to lose my rights to security. I especially don't want to lose them for the illusion of security.

>If TSA was to go away and replaced by private screeners again would you think that they would do a better job.

Yes. It's not the screener themselves. It's the policies.

>Look at the amount of money that the govenment spends on the TSA for the current equipment and such, do you expect a private firm to spend even a fraction of that money.

No, a private firm would not waste incomprehensible amounts of money like the TSA is doing. Private firms have to compete, so they'll find ways to be effective for far less money.

>Do you think that they would be constantly looking at new technologies to stop what is going on?

I don't think we agree on what is going on. I see politicians and the media helping would-be terrorists by fanning the flames of fear. Richard Reid failed. Mr. Sizzly-pants failed miserably. We should have laughed, not cowered in fear and written blank checks for WBI.

The fact of the matter is that it's hard to get a significant amount explosives and a detonator onto a plane. It's hard to get into the cockpit. It's hard to ignite your bomb without other passengers or crew noticing. Most people who want to do these things aren't very smart, making it even
harder. We don't need to waste hundreds of million dollars on privacy-invading set-pieces that look impressive but do virtually
nothing to reduce an already infinitesimal risk. We could save more lives putting lightning rods on golf courses.

>The private companies (pre 9/11) used the same equipment for decades and failed to bring in new equipment until it stopped working.

It didn't stop working. Pre-9/11, the main concern was hijackers. The failure to recognize the new threat of terrorists trying to crash planes happened in the White House. The correct response would have been to start securing cockpit doors *then*, to give flight crews updated advice on how to react to a hijacking, and to increase the list of items that were prohibited. Box cutters were not prohibited, nor are they invisible to xrays and metal detectors. We don't need new technology to protect ourselves. We need intelligence and investigation.

>I want the people taking care of screening whether it be govt or private to have the best equipment available to keep me and my family safe.

If you want to be safer, then that money should go to things that are vastly more likely to kill you or your family: safer cars, medical research, reducing dependence on imported oil, lightning rods on golf courses, ...

>Plus if the private companies take over again they will be paid for by the airlines so tickets will be going way up to handle this expense.

We're already paying far more with the government solution. Our tickets already include security fees. The rest comes from taxes and borrowing. I'd rather pay today for the services I use than have everyone and their grandkids pay for security theater.

Anonymous said...

Anon said
Typical willful ignorance on your part. The point is not simply that the shoe carnival is inconvenient and unpleasant and unhygienic; the point is that it is all of these things and does nothing to make anyone safer. Shoes are not dangerous; we know it and you know it and we'd like you to stop lying about it.
-----------------------------------
You think it. You don't know it. You think it and so do the other 40 posters on this blog. But the other 2 billion that travel don't seem to have a problem with it. You have bored most of the regular readers with this continual argument over shoes. You believe it's stupid. The experts that the government relies on don't. And don't give me this they are hired by the government to say what the government wants them to say. No one is making money off of you having to take off shoes so why would anyone lie. No conspiracy. A viable threat. Even if someone only conceals a ceramic knife to go through it's a threat. I talked to a State politician last week who told me that everytime he flies, he notices that the cockpit door is left open and the only stopping someone from getting into the cockpit is a flight attendant standing outside of it. If there is only 1% chance something could happen then it's viable.

Anonymous said...

Adrian said
I don't think we agree on what is going on. I see politicians and the media helping would-be terrorists by fanning the flames of fear. Richard Reid failed. Mr. Sizzly-pants failed miserably. We should have laughed, not cowered in fear and written blank checks for WBI.
-----------------------------------
And had they succeeded do you think the families would be laughing.
We definately don't agree. I believe the loss of even one life to terrorism is when the terrorist win. People should be afraid. But they should use that fear to stay one step ahead not hide. By putting safety procedures in place we are staying one step ahead for the most part. Face it you put your seatbelt on to keep yourself from being splattered all over the road in case of an accident. I took the government to make that mandatory. By your theory anyone who wears a seatbelt has cowered in fear.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the last few times I've traveled, with no 'TSA note' or anything, checked bags have obviously been invaded. Expensive, foolishly brought along because I USE them, cosmetic items were clearly opened, poorly resealed, spilled, damaged, taken apart, etc. I'm left w/ items that WERE full, now half empty or unusable. One might suggest taking sample size items instead, except for the fact that I should have every right to travel w/ the products I use, not poor substitutions, as long as I fully comply w/ TSA travel requirements, which I do, to the letter. One might otherwise suggest that these damages have occurred by the nature of travel, except that I am well traveled, prior to 9/11 & the advent of TSA. These are 'new' problems. It remains unclear to me what has justified the invasion of the luggage or inspection OR the lack of notice of inspection (I have found 'notes' before, w/o the damage). The only thing obvious is that it has occurred and the damage that has resulted. I am utterly appalled and sick of replacing things after every trip!

Hailey said...

Just disappointing..gun control laws should be enforced securely regardless of legitimate reasons or excuses.

Ranger11 said...

Every day incidents are generated from all the airports throughout the country. Each airport has their local inspectors investigate each and every incident that takes place at the airport they are assigned to. I can state that it is a matter of fact that very few, sometimes none, of the incidents that are generated and investigated are put on the main TSA website for all to see. Why? I don't know. I also don't really care. I can count over a dozen incidents at our airport alone that were not listed and in many cases, are never listed.

TSA does not put everything,and lately, nothing, on the main website. Each and every inspector in the TSA workforce will tell you exactly what I am saying. We have incidents every day. Every day there is an artfully concealed item somewhere in the US at an airport. Every week here at my airport, there is a dangerous weapon. (at a minimum) I don't know what the standard is the HQ uses to report these incidents to the public, but a whole lot of things happen that the public is not aware of. I also don't care if you believe me or the anonymous TSO. I just happened to be working on an incident when I read this thread. A dangerous/deadly item report. We had several in the last few days.

Sometimes these reports can take a while, and maybe they don't put them on due to the fact that all the facts are not in order. I don't know. I do know that it is part of what I do every day, and I do a lot of these reports.

Anonymous said...

"So, on our recent round trip to Asia, we threw away all the padlocks and went with heavy-duty zip ties. They secured all the zippers, it is impossible for them to break, no one has keys, but if they need to be removed by TSA, they can easily be snipped (of course there is zero probably that after completing an inspection TSA would put a fresh zip tie on). That would be too much like customer service.
They also eliminate the non-TSA employee casually undoing a zipper and rummaging around."

This is absolutely an acceptable measure and a lot of airports, although admittedly not all, will attempt to re-zip your bags if possible. Many airports still have a stock of small zip ties just for this purpose. Or, as mentioned by another poster, if you place some replacement ties in a convenient locations such as the external pocket or somewhere noticeable, we will replace the ones we had to cut off. A few years back, TSA actually had these blue zip ties with numbered tags on them that were put on every bag that we opened. They were easy for the passenger to break off once they arrived at their destination, but if they were missing, it was a good indicator that someone other than TSA had been in your bag. Not sure why we stopped using those.

CJ said...

With regards to the zip ties - it sounds like a great idea, but how do you open your own luggage when you get to your destination? Since you're not allowed to carry even a small pocket knife in your carry on luggage, how do you cut the zip tie?

mbattery said...

Anonymous said...
Correcting "anonymous of May 18, 2010 5:14 PM": Quote: "shoes and water pose a threat.".

Wrong. No cookie. Please attend the nearest remedial TSA passenger training program being offered at 24 hours a day at your local major airport, as you have failed miserably..............

Now I say,
Are you like this in real life? Sarcastic, arrogant & presumptuous.
Why are so many so anxious to be so critical of TSA & Bob?
Do you know a better way? Please! Go do your own job. How well do you do that!

marine battery said...

Dear Bob, So sorry if I was being presumptuous. Here I am accusing one blogger of that and doing the exact same thing.
Thanks for posting my comment. It is much appreciated.
Now I can get that out of my mind and concentrate on the real issues.
Sincerely,
Robin

Anonymous said...

I can't get over the repetitive ignorance of this arguement... simply put OBVIOUSLY no particular EVERYDAY object or piece of clothing(like a shoe) stands alone as a THREAT.

However, MOST every day items can CONCEAL threats. And most THREATS can be made to RESEMBLE everyday items. Period. Ugh.

beptucaocap said...

Yet another person who thinks they know what they are talking about but has no clue. Shame on you for shaming Bob. Silly.