Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Traveling With Kids

Traveling With Kids Banner
With the kickoff of the summer travel season, I thought I’d talk a little about traveling with the little crumb-snatchers.

Reduce the Stress for Kids: Let’s face it, checkpoints seem like busy and noisy places to children (and some adults too) and the prime place for a potential meltdown. By knowing the procedures and taking a few tips, we can’t guarantee you’ll prevent a meltdown, but you’ll have a better shot at gliding through the hoop with only net. If your child is old enough to understand, talk to them and let them know what to expect. Explain what the checkpoint is for and what they’re going to have to do. For some children, getting an idea of what the security checkpoint is helps to reduce stress and apprehension, so we have posted some videos on our “Traveling With Kids” page.

Family Lane: How many times have you traveled with your kids and you could feel the eyes of impatient passengers behind you? It’s not a comfortable feeling, I know. Good news! You can now go through our family lane and take all the time you need without feeling pressured. Take a look at this quick video on our “self select” lanes.

We Can’t Hold Your Child: Our officers would love to help you out and hold your child, but for liability reasons, they’re not allowed. If your hands are full and an officer doesn’t offer to help (most do), let them know that you need some help and they’ll help you through the checkpoint.

Shoes: Just like adults, infant and children’s shoes are required to be removed and sent through the X-ray.

We Have To Screen Blankies, Etc.: If your child has a favorite toy or blanket that they never let go of, explain to them in advance that it’s going to have to take a trip through the X-ray tunnel and they’ll get it right back. (You may wonder why we have to screen such innocent items? Because people will try to hide prohibited items or weapons in them - we once found a gun hidden inside of a teddy bear.)

Don’t Send Your Kids Through the X-ray: I know the unwritten parenting rule of never waking a sleeping baby, but our officers can’t allow you to put your infant in their infant carrier through the X-ray to let them continue their nap. Yes, we’ve been asked many times, and no, you can’t.

We Will Not Separate You From Your Children (even if you want us to): If your child has to undergo secondary screening, you will go with your child. This may require you to be screened as well, but this works out, because the child gets to see it happen to you and that it’s no big deal. You can also request a private screening if you don’t want your child to be screened in public. We will not ask you to do anything that will separate you from your child or children.

Baby Formula, Breast Milk, Medicines & Juice: Medications, baby formula and food, breast milk, and juice are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces (100ml) and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint. Click here to learn more about 3-1-1.

Snack Time!: Kids love their snacks. Food items that are in the form of a liquid or gel are generally not permitted however, items such as cakes, bread, donuts, ham sandwiches, etc. are all permitted. Here is a list of items that are prohibited at the checkpoint… Creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, jams and salad dressings, jams, jellies, maple syrup, and soups).

Double Check Your Child’s Bag: Your child might want to take their toy gun or sword in their carry-on bag and think nothing of it. In the X-ray, toy hand grenades, guns and knives can look just like the real thing, and will hold you up at the checkpoint. To be safe, you might double check your child’s carry-on to make sure none of these items are in there.

Children with Disabilities: If your child has a disability or medical condition, please read our separate section on traveling with Children with Disabilities.

ID Questions: If your child is younger than 18, they are not required to have ID to travel. They’ll just need their boarding pass.

Advanced Imaging Technology: Just as with adults, Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) screening is optional for all passengers, including children. If you would prefer, you may request alternate screening for your children, which could include a pat-down.

Check out our “Traveling With Kids” page for videos and other helpful information on traveling with children. Also, there are many expert travelers out there in the blogosphere that have some great advice. Seek it out for many more great tips from some travel hardened road warriors. For example, check out Jet with Kids.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

136 comments:

RB said...

"Advanced Imaging Technology: Just as with adults, Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) screening is optional for all passengers, including children. If you would prefer, you may request alternate screening for your children, which could include a pat-down."
................


Institutional Pedophilia brought to your by TSA!

Renae said...

Bob, thanks for the tips! I enjoy your blog very much! My husband and I are getting ready to take our three elementary-school-aged kids on an international journey that will require a stop at LAX. One of my kids has a metal appliance in his mouth--not braces, but something to make his bite wider. Will this cause a problem at security? The orthodontist's office doesn't seem to think we'll need a letter, but I want to be sure. Thanks for your input!

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that in this verbal group the simple question:

"Are TSA agents authorized to use force to take a citizen's property away from them?"

...has gone unanswered except for one response that seemed to support TSA agents using force to take possessions from an elderly woman.

"It's probably better for the TSO to try to handle the situation before the LEO's take care of business their way."

(Side note: You have an issue with the ways LEOs conduct their business? lol)

I don't plan to make this a daily, or even every post question, but this simple inquiry remains unanswered:

"Are TSA agents authorized to use force to take a citizen's property away from them?"

Anonymous said...

What about yogurt? I've assumed no, but it would be nice to have that clarified on the "Traveling with Food or Gifts" page.

Anonymous said...

RB - next time you travel, take a look at your fellow passengers. Would you enjoy a close encounter of the uncomfortable kind with them? I doubt it. And PS - Pedophilia is legally defined as an action bringing about a sexual stimulation, arousal, or satisfaction. Your comment is uncalled for an very disrespectful of thousands of TSA's screening officers who are doing their best to make sure you get to your destination in one piece, and not sprayed in a pinkish vapor from 35,000 feet. PS, Bob - on the donuts, you may want to mention to avoid the jelly-filled variety - "Liguids, GELS, and aerosols". And finally - how about kicking the families with the strollers and 20 diapers sacks out of the Diamond Traveler lanes? It annoys me to NO end to have some family pushing the big baby buggy with big black rubber baby buggy bumpers into the Diamond traveler lane because its the shortest, leaving the line clogged for the next 20 minutes whilst they disassemble their traveling gear and sack up all of the sippy cups, diaper wipes, and juice bottles, and then another 20 minutes until the backup eases. Thank you.

Bubba said...

Come on Bob, stop with the puppy posts and address the elephant in the room you have already confessed to be "aware" of: The extensive and detailed article in Nature (the top scientific journal) saying that behavior detection techniques adopted at considerable cost by the TSA have no scientific basis.

Sandra said...

Regarding WBI, Bob wrote (or copied from the TSA website):

"Just as with adults, Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) screening is optional for all passengers, including children. If you would prefer, you may request alternate screening for your children, which could include a pat-down."

"Could", Bob? Don't you mean "will"? Or is there some screening method, other than WBI, that is acceptable? If so, please let us know what it is.

Anonymous said...

Care to address this statement by
Krys Bart, the CEO and president of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority:

"If the TSA says that you have to have an option, and they don't staff for that option, it means that they will not have enough people to do the pat-downs," Bart said. "So, either you stay there and wait a long time or you don't have an option. There needs to be some real clarification on those issues," Bart said. "Do you or do you not have an option? The TSA tells me that this is optional. My colleagues tell me their experiences in some airports prove that this is not optional."

Anonymous said...

"Advanced Imaging Technology: Just as with adults, Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) screening is optional for all passengers, including children. If you would prefer, you may request alternate screening for your children, which could include a pat-down."

And what about those of us traveling alone with infants? With WTMD, it was a simple matter to walk through with the child. Now that you want to take naked pictures of people, what exactly will the procedure be? I can't hand you my child (and never would in the first place) so I can't stand with my arms elevated like a criminal being patted down, nor can my child support herself on her own in your nude-o-scope. How is this in any way an improvement, Bob?

Anonymous said...

Bob wrote,
"Baby Formula, Breast Milk, Medicines & Juice: Medications, baby formula and food, breast milk, and juice are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces (100ml) and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint. Click here to learn more about 3-1-1.


Snack Time!: Kids love their snacks. Food items that are in the form of a liquid or gel are generally not permitted however, items such as cakes, bread, donuts, ham sandwiches, etc. are all permitted. Here is a list of items that are prohibited at the checkpoint… Creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, jams and salad dressings, jams, jellies, maple syrup, and soups).[sic]"

So children can have juices in excess of 3.4 oz to wash down their snacks, but grown-ups can't? That doesn't seem fair.

What about a creamy dip or spread applied to a ham sandwich?

Anonymous said...

RB your cynicism is noted, but must you be so negative all the time? I support your first amendment rights, just as I support any other rights, but it gets really boring seein you whine and cry about pedophiles, and virtual strip searches, have you nothing better to do with your time, perhaps you should find a hobby, or a job? What more can you say about TSA that you have not already said? Have you anyting original?

Trollkiller said...

So your "officers" can't hold a child because of liability fears but can grope a child as part of their duties?

Are y'all high or what?

If a parent hands you a child to hold while they break down the stroller or what not, your "officers" are under no more liability strain than normal. It sounds to me like you don't trust your "officers" to behave properly.

Mr. Gel-pack said...

My doctor says water is much better for my kids than juice. And your site says Liquids including water, juice, or liquid nutrition or gels for passengers with a disability or medical condition;

Can I take some nice OTC water for my kids? Or should I just lie and say it is diluted juice?

Anonymous said...

How many kids can we put through the xray scanner at one time?

Should they go through in a bin, or without?

/joke

Bubba said...

Bob,

It has now been a full week since Nature, the leading scientific journal, published an extensive article criticizing the lack of Science behind the SPOT program. You have stated you are aware of the article, but have not responded to it. Instead, we get posts on completely unrelated subjects.

It the TSA going to continue to rampantly ignore all scientific research? Don´t you think ignoring this particular article, in a venue that all top scientists in the World will read, is way beyond acceptable? Until when do you think you can keep this up?

Anonymous said...

Blog posts: ID Questions: If your child is younger than 18, they are not required to have ID to travel. They’ll just need their boarding pass. is this accurate? I've had discussions with folks that said they had to get some form of ID (Passport) for kids traveling domestically.

Liz said...

Thanks for this blog post. My family is traveling in about a week and I have been jumping from link to link through the website trying to figure out everything I need to know not only for my husband and I, but our toddler as well. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Don't like it RB? Then don't fly.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Don't like it RB? Then don't fly.
.......................
That's your answer to a government agency gone wild?

I think I will continue protesting for awhile yet.

http://www.rupture.co.uk/Self_portrait.html

JamoramaGuitar said...

My son and I traveled down to Florida last year for fun in the sun and I tried to convince him to leave the studded belts and bracelets at home, but he wouldn't listen and assured me not to "be anal" as he so delicately put it.

Sure enough, on the way down, we had to transfer on the ground once and he was asked to do a random search in both instances of boarding the plane.

On the way back up, his mail bag was searched once. I think after the trip, he appreciates my advice that I gave. haha

Nice post!

Robert Johnson said...

Quote from Anonymous: "Don't like it RB? Then don't fly."

Hey Anon! This isn't China, North Korea, or any other communist place. We don't have to like it and we can work to change it. And this blog is theoretically for designed for that.

That's like me saying "Don't like what RB says? Don't come to the blog." And you'd rightly tell me to go fly a kite.

This is still America, you know, and we still have rights. Just because you're willing to give up yours doesn't mean that everyone else should, or at least be quiet about it.

Robert

Dan said...

Anonymous said...

Don't like it RB? Then don't fly.

June 3, 2010 1:28 PM


Is this the official TSA position? If so, then state that in writing. If not, please provide your full name and employee number so a proper complaint can be filed.

Anonymous said...

Latest art for airports:

http://rupture.co.uk/SculptureforAirports.html

TSO Tom said...

"Are TSA agents authorized to use force to take a citizen's property away from them?"
***********************************
NO we are NOT authorized to use for anything concerning screening of property or persons.

Scott Lewis said...

Pssst: it's not a puppy post every time it doesn't address the very vocal minorities constant rants. This blog seems to serve many purposes, including travel tips. Some of you think it's something that it's not, like a soap box for you to talk directly to tsp brass and have every issue on your mind addressed and change lots of things specifically important to you.

Patrick (BOS TSO) said...

Anon said...
Are TSA agents authorized to use force to take a citizen's property away from them?


No. No. No. And again, no.
And we wouldn't have to anyways, because when searching the bag, the bag and any items are under our control and the passenger is not allowed to handle items under the TSO's control.

However, it's highly, highly unrecommended at the same time that you not try to grab an item out of the TSO's hand.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but I was traveling a lot this month and everywhere I went the TSA agents were really cool!!!! Especially when my husband misplaced his boarding pass right before final screening to Israel ... the most amazing TSA agent grabbed his passport and got him taken care checked in (I didn't get the agents name, but she was a middle aged black woman with extremely short hair in Newark working the Continental flight to Tel Aviv on the afternoon of May 14th, I would like to see her rewarded for her greatness).

GSOLTSO said...

Renae sez - "Bob, thanks for the tips! I enjoy your blog very much! My husband and I are getting ready to take our three elementary-school-aged kids on an international journey that will require a stop at LAX. One of my kids has a metal appliance in his mouth--not braces, but something to make his bite wider. Will this cause a problem at security? The orthodontist's office doesn't seem to think we'll need a letter, but I want to be sure. Thanks for your input!"

The netal device should cause no problems at all. If the item alarms, the TSO will have to clear it, but this can be done by visual inspection. I hope you and your family have a great trip and I hope that you can find your way through LAX fairly easily! Take lots of pictures whiloe you are there and have FUN!

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Are TSA agents authorized to use force to take a citizen's property away from them?"

TSOs are not allowed to use force to remove an item from a passenger. However, if the passenger takes something that has not been cleared for travel into the sterile area (whether forcibly removing it from a TSOs grasp, or simply picking it up from the table and walking away), it is a LEO referral - minimum. TSOs are to maintain control of an item until it is cleared for entry, it is given back to the passenger outside the sterile area, it is given to a family member or friend outside the sterile area, or it is surrendered to the TSO. If the passenger forcibly removes the item from a TSO, it can be considered interfering with the screening process (hence the reason for calling the LEO). I hope this answers your question Anon!

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "What about yogurt? I've assumed no, but it would be nice to have that clarified on the "Traveling with Food or Gifts" page."

Yogurt is not allowed unless it is in a 3.4 oz container, or unless it is medically necessary.

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

TrollKiller sez - "So your "officers" can't hold a child because of liability fears but can grope a child as part of their duties?

Are y'all high or what?

If a parent hands you a child to hold while they break down the stroller or what not, your "officers" are under no more liability strain than normal. It sounds to me like you don't trust your "officers" to behave properly."

Welcome back TK!

There is no groping involved, it is simply clearing the passenger (child or adult)to make certain that they have no dangerous items on them (we can save the argument until later on whether a dirty diaper is considered a dangerous item!!!).

The liability is much higher than you think. If I take a child from one of the parents, and something happens (the child squirms and I lose grip and whoops baby falls and is injured - liable, if the baby begins to squall and bites me - now the parent is liable, baby has a seizure or other medical condition and something happens and I do not know what to do - I am liable.... this list could go on for hours) I can be held liable and TSA can be held liable as well. Some of our employees have been around children their whole lives and know exactly what to do with them, some of our workers - not so much. It is just not something that TSA should sanction on a national level - it opens the agency up to lawsuits, and it places some of the employees in a position to be sued as well.

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Blog posts: ID Questions: If your child is younger than 18, they are not required to have ID to travel. They’ll just need their boarding pass. is this accurate? I've had discussions with folks that said they had to get some form of ID (Passport) for kids traveling domestically."

Children under 18 do not need an ID to enter the checkpoint area or fly domestically. Internationally is a different story, they have to have a passport to travel outside the US. Internal travel does not require a passport for passengers under the age of 18.

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Liz - sez "Thanks for this blog post. My family is traveling in about a week and I have been jumping from link to link through the website trying to figure out everything I need to know not only for my husband and I, but our toddler as well. Thanks!"

You are quite welcome Liz, I hope you and your family have a great trip and have some fun!

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Renae and Liz, what is your relationship to TSA?

Phil said...

Bob, isn't it true that neither people under 18 years of age nor those who are at least 18 years of age are required to show ID to TSA in order to fly? Doesn't showing ID simply earn people a less-thorough search of their belongings and avoidance of questioning?

--
Phil
Showing ID only affects honest people.
What if the people with the power to secretly put your name on a "no-fly" list didn't like the reason for which you want to fly?

Raju said...

This is nice information for me .I have some doubts,can you clarify me ?what about those of us traveling along with infants?

Anonymous said...

Blog posts: ID Questions: If your child is younger than 18, they are not required to have ID to travel. They’ll just need their boarding pass. is this accurate? I've had discussions with folks that said they had to get some form of ID (Passport) for kids traveling domestically.

** no, children under the age of 18 DO NOT need ID, just their boarding passes, if they are old enough they will more than likely be asked their name and age.

"Just as with adults, Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) screening is optional for all passengers, including children. If you would prefer, you may request alternate screening for your children, which could include a pat-down."

"Could", Bob? Don't you mean "will"? Or is there some screening method, other than WBI, that is acceptable? If so, please let us know what it is.

** there will never be just the WBI lane open, there will ALWAYS be an additional lane available. If you don't want to be screened with the WBI then open your eyes and look at the checkpoint. The metal detectors don't look anything like the WBI. Choose a different line.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Advanced Imaging Technology: Just as with adults, Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) screening is optional for all passengers, including children. If you would prefer, you may request alternate screening for your children, which could include a pat-down."

And what about those of us traveling alone with infants? With WTMD, it was a simple matter to walk through with the child. Now that you want to take naked pictures of people, what exactly will the procedure be? I can't hand you my child (and never would in the first place) so I can't stand with my arms elevated like a criminal being patted down, nor can my child support herself on her own in your nude-o-scope. How is this in any way an improvement, Bob?

June 1, 2010 8:10 PM

Geez
A week has gone by and no TSAer/blogger has responded to this quite reasonable question.
What is a parent traveling solo to do?

Anonymous said...



I've had discussions with folks that said they had to get some form of ID (Passport) for kids traveling domestically.



There's no requirement for anyone to possess a passport to travel domesticaly.

Anonymous said...

Renae said...
Bob, thanks for the tips! I enjoy your blog very much! My husband and I are getting ready to take our three elementary-school-aged kids on an international journey that will require a stop at LAX. One of my kids has a metal appliance in his mouth--not braces, but something to make his bite wider. Will this cause a problem at security? The orthodontist's office doesn't seem to think we'll need a letter, but I want to be sure. Thanks for your input!
___________________________________
No the piece of metal in your kids mouth will not set off any alarms.

Dunstan said...

Anonymous said...

Don't like it RB? Then don't fly.

June 3, 2010 1:28 PM

Hardly helpful. Don't shoot the messengers- even though they are telling you a point of view that you would rather not hear. Sooner or later the truth about the effectiveness and safety all of TSAs equipment, attitudes and procedures will be revealed. Right or wrong, RB at least has the courage to speak up.

Anonymous said...

"There is no groping involved, it is simply clearing the passenger (child or adult)to make certain that they have no dangerous items on them"

And you do this by groping the child. Please tell the truth in the future.

angelMt said...

"Geez
A week has gone by and no TSAer/blogger has responded to this quite reasonable question.
What is a parent traveling solo to do?"

REALLY????
Read the other comments!
I posted the following:

"** there will never be just the WBI lane open, there will ALWAYS be an additional lane available. If you don't want to be screened with the WBI then open your eyes and look at the checkpoint. The metal detectors don't look anything like the WBI. Choose a different line."

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...
Anon sez - "What about yogurt? I've assumed no, but it would be nice to have that clarified on the "Traveling with Food or Gifts" page."

Yogurt is not allowed unless it is in a 3.4 oz container, or unless it is medically necessary.

West
TSA Blog Team

June 4, 2010 9:24 AM
................
So why is 4 ounces of yogurt safe if it's medically required but not safe if a person is just planning on eating something on the airplane?

Everyone needs to eat and that could be construed to be medically necessary.

RB said...

Patrick (BOS TSO) said...
Anon said...
Are TSA agents authorized to use force to take a citizen's property away from them?

No. No. No. And again, no.
And we wouldn't have to anyways, because when searching the bag, the bag and any items are under our control and the passenger is not allowed to handle items under the TSO's control.

However, it's highly, highly unrecommended at the same time that you not try to grab an item out of the TSO's hand.

June 4, 2010 2:44 AM
............
So you agree that once a traveler submits property for screening that TSA has full custody of those items until screening is completed and TSA has returned the items to the owner.

I agree with you!

TSO Tom said...

An anonymous poster talked about how a TSO from Newark helped her husband get checked in quickly, and how nice the officer was. The poster said she'd like to see the officer rewarded for her kindness. With that said, a word of advice to all who travel through our airports:
when you have an experience with a TSO that is considered in your opinion to be outstanding service, please call it to the attention of a supervisor so that a compliment card can be completed and that officer can be recognized. Likewise, if you have a not so pleasant experience, I urge you to do the same so the officer may be corrected. And to those who do not believe that complaining to a supervisor is productive, just go n your merry way. Anon, thank you for recognizing this unknown officer in this forum, it means much to us who take pride in our jobs.

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez - "So why is 4 ounces of yogurt safe if it's medically required but not safe if a person is just planning on eating something on the airplane?

Everyone needs to eat and that could be construed to be medically necessary."

I can give no answer other than that is what TSA has designated on their page and what is in the SOP. All medically exempted LAG items undergo additional testing for explosive elements.

I can find no further info on it RB.

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez "And what about those of us traveling alone with infants? With WTMD, it was a simple matter to walk through with the child. Now that you want to take naked pictures of people, what exactly will the procedure be? I can't hand you my child (and never would in the first place) so I can't stand with my arms elevated like a criminal being patted down, nor can my child support herself on her own in your nude-o-scope. How is this in any way an improvement, Bob?"

Anytime you are travelling with an infant, you are always going to have a bit harder time than the average traveller with a backpack and sandals. I have screened adults with their infants many times, it is a fairly simple process, and all you have to do is let them know when you begin processing your items through the xray. You have the option of not going to the AIT (whether you have an infant with you or not), there is a patdown involved for both you and the infant, but it usually doesn't take but an extra couple of minutes to do this with the infant (as opposed to just doing the pat down on the adult). The reason all passengers are screened is to make certain that no dangerous/illegal items are on the passengers coming through. It is a sad fact that infants have to be screened as well as adults. If we stop screening a certain group of people, a couple of things will happen:

1. Members of every other group of person NOT included in the exclusion group will raise Cain because they are not getting the same treatment (which will result in roughly 1.8 billion lawsuits overnight - jk!).

2. People with nefarious intent will have an easy access way to deliver dangerous/illegal items into the flights.

I hope this response helped you some and I hope you have a nice trip the next time out!

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

For me, it was all about timing. Luckily I had a really good agent named Lamont that new how to deal with children. My son, Dennis began throwing a tantrum just as we approached. He had just seen something on TV about planet9productions and wanted to continue watching but we had to go as our flight time was drawing near. Lamont simply approached and asked everyone to step back so he could talk to Dennis. He very gently explained why it was important for Dennis to cooperate and give up his toy for screening. He then gave him a piece of paper that he drew a Smiley Face on. Funny how something so simple did the trick. The other agents said Lamont just had 'the gift' for that sort of thing. Now when Dennis and I travel he always asks the TSA agent if he can have a Smiley Face. (I carry pen and paper and am very great full when they oblige) I used to think we needed a lot to occupy his time when we travel. Thanks to Lamont, now I know all I need is my pen and pad... and an understanding TSA agent. I truly appreciate them. Not only do they have to keep aware and keep us safe but they also have to deal with soooo many different walks of life. I'm sure this is very hard to balance. Dennis and I Thank You.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
RB - next time you travel, take a look at your fellow passengers. Would you enjoy a close encounter of the uncomfortable kind with them? I doubt it. And PS - Pedophilia is legally defined as an action bringing about a sexual stimulation, arousal, or satisfaction. Your comment is uncalled for an very disrespectful of thousands of TSA's screening officers who are doing their best to make sure you get to your destination in one piece, and not sprayed in a pinkish vapor from 35,000 feet. PS, Bob - on the donuts, you may want to mention to avoid the jelly-filled variety - "Liguids, GELS, and aerosols". And finally - how about kicking the families with the strollers and 20 diapers sacks out of the Diamond Traveler lanes? It annoys me to NO end to have some family pushing the big baby buggy with big black rubber baby buggy bumpers into the Diamond traveler lane because its the shortest, leaving the line clogged for the next 20 minutes whilst they disassemble their traveling gear and sack up all of the sippy cups, diaper wipes, and juice bottles, and then another 20 minutes until the backup eases. Thank you.

June 1, 2010 5:32 PM

......................
If you and the rest of the tsa screeners don't want to be classified with a bunch of perverts then I suggest not looking at naked images of little kids.

You know it's wrong!

For the rest of you whiners I don't plan on leaving anytime soon.

TSA needs my input!

Sandra said...

An anonymous poster wrote, regarding parents traveling alone with children and WBI:

"Read the other comments!

there will never be just the WBI lane open, there will ALWAYS be an additional lane available......"

Perhaps it is you who should read the other comments:

"Krys Bart, the CEO and president of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority:

"If the TSA says that you have to have an option, and they don't staff for that option, it means that they will not have enough people to do the pat-downs," Bart said. "So, either you stay there and wait a long time or you don't have an option. There needs to be some real clarification on those issues," Bart said. "Do you or do you not have an option?.... My colleagues tell me their experiences in some airports prove that this is not optional."

Sandra said...

Looks like TSA has yet again lied to the citizens of this country (and at the same time, spat in the face of the House of Representatives):

http://www.wtopnews.com/?nid=25&sid=1974715

WBI mandatory at BWI.

RB said...

Is this how you want TSA to see your wife and children?

http://rupture.co.uk/Terminal%204.html

Just Say NO to TSA Strip Searches!

Marshall's SO said...

Bob, NBCWashington.com shows that 89% of individuals who visit their website are "furious" over making WBI primary screening at BWI.

Even if you take into account that some people probably voted more than once, it certain does seem to knock holes in the "acceptance rate" that you people tout.

As more and more people are forced through WBI and truly begin to understand what it does, your "acceptance rating" is going to drop even further.

Ayn R. Key said...

Uh-uh Bob. According to the complaint that was filed, and the response received, if standard metal detection is available it is a valid alternative to WBI and you don't need to punish anyone with aggressive pat-downs.

Kyle said...

You know what? It can really suck sometimes when you have to give up your bag for a search. It really does, but if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to worry about!

When the time comes that government officials can come into your home and start rifling through your pant pockets, that'll be a good time start raising a ruckus.

As far as I'm concerned, when you're in someone's house, you follow their rules. The same thing goes with the airport.

RB said...

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/specialneeds/index.shtm



"Additionally, we are continuing to permit prescription liquid medications and other liquids needed by persons with disabilities and medical conditions. This includes:

All prescription and over-the-counter medications (liquids, gels, and aerosols) including petroleum jelly, eye drops, and saline solution for medical purposes;
Liquids including water, juice, or liquid nutrition or gels for passengers with a disability or medical condition;
Life-support and life-sustaining liquids such as bone marrow, blood products, and transplant organs;
Items used to augment the body for medical or cosmetic reasons such as mastectomy products, prosthetic breasts, bras or shells containing gels, saline solution, or other liquids; and,
Frozen items are allowed as long as they are frozen solid when presented for screening. If frozen items are partially melted, slushy, or have any liquid at the bottom of the container, they must meet 3-1-1 requirements."



When will frozen items be allowed for people without disabilities/medical conditions?

RB said...

TSA says a person who cannot provide ID or answer TSA questions about ones identity may not be allowed into the Sterile Area.

Why is TSA's screening for WEI not adequate to ensure a person is safe to fly?

Can I take it that TSA has no confidence in its screening process?

Ayn R. Key said...

Anonymous said "Don't like it RB? Then don't fly."

Don't like liberty? Move to North Korea.

Anonymous said...

Boy, it sure is taking you guys a long time to respond to the article in Nature that demonstrated the pseudoscience at the core of your vaunted (and, I might add, rather expensive) SPOT program...

Anonymous said...

Renae said, "Bob, thanks for the tips! I enjoy your blog very much! My husband and I are getting ready to take our three elementary-school-aged kids on an international journey that will require a stop at LAX."

Renae, you do realize that you have essentially two choices: For your elementary school aged children to either be viewed in the body scanner, or patted down, genitals and all?

Oh, or, don't fly, I suppose, is the third choice.

RB said...

GSOLTSO said... snipped


2. People with nefarious intent will have an easy access way to deliver dangerous/illegal items into the flights.

I hope this response helped you some and I hope you have a nice trip the next time out!

West
TSA Blog Team

June 7, 2010 6:30 PM
.................................

So could any of those people with "nefarious intent" perhaps be airport workers who do not get screened by TSA on a 100% basis?

You know the ones with easy access to airplanes, cargo, baggage and such?

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...
RB sez - "So why is 4 ounces of yogurt safe if it's medically required but not safe if a person is just planning on eating something on the airplane?

Everyone needs to eat and that could be construed to be medically necessary."

I can give no answer other than that is what TSA has designated on their page and what is in the SOP. All medically exempted LAG items undergo additional testing for explosive elements.

I can find no further info on it RB.

West
TSA Blog Team

June 7, 2010 6:20 PM
.............
Everyone has to eat. It is a medical requirement to live.

So anyone could truthfully state that yogurt is a medical necessity and should be exempted in every case.

Anonymous said...

"TSA needs my input!"

RB you do realize that this forum is NOT a good place to have meaningful input to the TSA?

I strongly doubt that anything posted here will ever affect TSA/DHS policies.

I am sure this blog is used to generate some sort of metrics/reporting for Bob and his boss(es).

It may be used to form talking points to rebut and refute the very real concerns presented here.

But I doubt much more comes of it.

Bob, am I pretty much correct on that? An actual reply would be appreciated, as you are one of the few people who are really in a position to know.

RB, if you want to change things try your legislators, or better yet...

Increase the awareness of your fellow travelers and citizens. It can be very effective. Knowledge empowers and creates desire for change.

Notice how 'approval' of the new scanners plummeted once the public had real facts, not the TSA propaganda.

Anonymous said...

TSO Tom if only what you said was true and would not get us harassed.

"if you have a not so pleasant experience, I urge you to (report it) the same so the officer may be corrected."

A recent poster reported that a reasonable, level headed inquiry into why their eye cleaning solution was suddenly prohibited earned them retaliatory screening.

Your jobs could be at stake and you use the extraordinary power you have over us to make us fearful of complaining.

When I was growing up examples of gov't agents having such arbitrary power as you have over citizens were used to show that those gov'ts were evil.

I have met the enemy I was told to be wary of.

Periculosa said...

Glad to hear that TSA doesn't send kids through the X-ray machine during screening. However, TSA does use full body scans on pregnant women who have been selected for further screening. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) recently submitted a Freedom of Information Request and obtained complaints of this nature against TSA. These women were not told that they could have requested a patdown. They were understandably upset that their developing babies were subjected to needless X-ray radiation:

http://epic.org/foia_1/gov20/WBI_Complaints_Highlights_1.pdf

Anonymous said...

RB said, "Why is TSA's screening for WEI not adequate to ensure a person is safe to fly?

Can I take it that TSA has no confidence in its screening process?"

That also raises this question:

Why is it still necessary to prohibit entry by a non-passenger into the secure area of the airport for someone who has already been screened? I think opening the airport back up would be a boon to businesses in the secure area and families parting or reuniting at the airport. If the TSA can certify that a person has no hazardous items, why not let them through?

Anonymous said...

"Anytime you are travelling with an infant, you are always going to have a bit harder time than the average traveller with a backpack and sandals. I have screened adults with their infants many times, it is a fairly simple process, and all you have to do is let them know when you begin processing your items through the xray. You have the option of not going to the AIT (whether you have an infant with you or not), there is a patdown involved for both you and the infant, but it usually doesn't take but an extra couple of minutes to do this with the infant (as opposed to just doing the pat down on the adult)."

West, that's really NOT helpful. How is this in ANY way an improvement over the WTMD, which did not require me and my infant child to be molested by a TSA employee?

TSO Tom said...

RB said...
TSA says a person who cannot provide ID or answer TSA questions about ones identity may not be allowed into the Sterile Area.

Why is TSA's screening for WEI not adequate to ensure a person is safe to fly?

Can I take it that TSA has no confidence in its screening process?

June 9, 2010 4:41 PM
***********************************
You can "take it" anyway you want to take it, RB.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
"TSA needs my input!"

RB you do realize that this forum is NOT a good place to have meaningful input to the TSA?

I strongly doubt that anything posted here will ever affect TSA/DHS policies.

I am sure this blog is used to generate some sort of metrics/reporting for Bob and his boss(es).

It may be used to form talking points to rebut and refute the very real concerns presented here.

But I doubt much more comes of it.

Bob, am I pretty much correct on that? An actual reply would be appreciated, as you are one of the few people who are really in a position to know.

RB, if you want to change things try your legislators, or better yet...

Increase the awareness of your fellow travelers and citizens. It can be very effective. Knowledge empowers and creates desire for change.

Notice how 'approval' of the new scanners plummeted once the public had real facts, not the TSA propaganda.

June 10, 2010 9:27 AM
...................
You'll have to take my word on this but I use every means available to me in my attempt to legally bring about change at TSA.

Handing out the Backscatter images available on the net to people waiting in line should really open up some questions regarding TSA's claim that these images are safe for school children to view.

I have also offered my services to TSA to be screened by WBI, view the images and then state publicly that the images are as TSA claims or if they are not to state so.

TSA has not accepted my offer.

Why do you think TSA would choose to not take an opportunity to show the public that WBI images are suitable for the cover of Readers Digest?

I think I know!!

RB said...

TSO Tom said...
RB said...
TSA says a person who cannot provide ID or answer TSA questions about ones identity may not be allowed into the Sterile Area.

Why is TSA's screening for WEI not adequate to ensure a person is safe to fly?

Can I take it that TSA has no confidence in its screening process?

June 9, 2010 4:41 PM
***********************************
You can "take it" anyway you want to take it, RB.

June 10, 2010 1:35 PM
...........
Yes, another fine example of a TSA employee showing personal contempt of the public.

Good job there Tom!

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "RB you do realize that this forum is NOT a good place to have meaningful input to the TSA?

I strongly doubt that anything posted here will ever affect TSA/DHS policies.

I am sure this blog is used to generate some sort of metrics/reporting for Bob and his boss(es).

It may be used to form talking points to rebut and refute the very real concerns presented here.

But I doubt much more comes of it.

Bob, am I pretty much correct on that? An actual reply would be appreciated, as you are one of the few people who are really in a position to know.

RB, if you want to change things try your legislators, or better yet...

Increase the awareness of your fellow travelers and citizens. It can be very effective. Knowledge empowers and creates desire for change.

Notice how 'approval' of the new scanners plummeted once the public had real facts, not the TSA propaganda."

I disagree with you on some of the things you listed here.

1. RBs input is always welcome regardless of whether it is agreed with or not. Some of the things I have learned from RB and others have helped me to be a better employee and to help coworkers become better employees (by extension).

2. Your input is always welcomed here (again regardless of agreement or disagreement).

3. This site has had impact on many things in policy - it gives HQ a passengers point of view in many cases (you may never hear about the impact it has, but it does).

4. We have had the opportunity to assist many people in specific questions - some in this very thread. (before you go off the handle, not all questions will be answered for a variety of reasons - SSI, research or other groups are working on the issue asked about, there are investigations ongoing, etc)

5. It gives YOU the chance to raise awareness of your point of view, opinions and ideas.

I wholeheartedly support communicating with your elected officials, that is what they are there for, and maybe they will be able to bring some points you like to the fore. I like the fact that we have some positive impact on people that needed help, and that we can share information about a wide variety of subjects (even when they are unpopular), and recieve real-time feedback from the public.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

A news report says:

But TSA officials say they have taken precautions to protect passenger privacy. Genital and facial areas are automatically obscured

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20100608/ap_tr_ge/us_travel_brief_airport_security_omaha_1


When did the TSA start obscuring genitals revealed thru WBI? Or is this article inaccurate?

Nicholas said...

RB - As a current working TSO at ORD, I can assure you that the images you posted from the full body imager are inaccurate, or from a different type of machine. We use backscatter technology, and the images we view are no where near as detailed as the ones you posted. As far as I know, backscatter technology is being implemented at all of the airports. The images that bob posted many times are accurate. You can choose to believe me, or not. I do wish there was a way to prove it to you.

Anonymous said...

Nicholas,

We can "choose" to believe you, or you could prove yourself right. If the images are really different, not indecent, etc, why can´t the person being scanned see their own image? Why can´t they see the person analyzing the image? As long as you keep up the current peeping tom setting, I´m convinced you have something to hide from us.

Anonymous said...

West said:

>>I disagree with you on some of the things you listed here.

>>1. RBs input is always welcome...
No view about comments being welcome was presented. I have no idea what you are 'disagreeing' with.

>>2. Your input is always welcomed here (again regardless of agreement or disagreement).
See #1.

>>3. This site has had impact on many things in policy - it gives HQ a passengers point of view in many cases (you may never hear about the impact it has, but it does).

Posts to this site impact policy? Just trust you? Sure. :)

Do the posts really promote change (oops forgot, we may not hear about that even IF it happens)? Or, as mentioned, really serve to allow you to prepare talking points to defend and further entrench your policies?

>>4. We have had the opportunity to assist many people in specific questions

Again, you are disagreeing anything in that post.

And if the blog has "assisted many people with questions" it has also been used to spread untruthful propaganda such as "all states are cooperating with our ID program"

>>5. It gives YOU the chance to raise awareness of your point of view, opinions and ideas.

Still not seeing the disagreement.

You used your response to that post to launch a bunch of positive talking points almost all unrelated to content of the post.

West, how abut some real transparency. Are the reports created about this blog available to the public? How can we get to see them?

RB said...

Nicholas said...
RB - As a current working TSO at ORD, I can assure you that the images you posted from the full body imager are inaccurate, or from a different type of machine. We use backscatter technology, and the images we view are no where near as detailed as the ones you posted. As far as I know, backscatter technology is being implemented at all of the airports. The images that bob posted many times are accurate. You can choose to believe me, or not. I do wish there was a way to prove it to you.

June 10, 2010 11:28 PM

....................
While I don't question your integrity I have not seen the images that TSA claims are safe for school children is the same size and resolution that you as a TSA employee would see as a WBI operator.

That is all we have asked for, posting WBI images, both Backscatter and MMW, in the same size and resolution as displayed on the machines.

The images that have been posted on this blog are so small that no reasonable determination can be made about how the display a persons body.

Until I have absolute proof that the images are as TSA claims then I will continue to believe that TSA has been dishonest on this matter and that TSA employees who engage in the screening of children should be charged with Child Pornography violations.

Please keep in mind that I have offered to TSA my willingness to be screened by WBI and report the results on the images I view.

TSA has not accepted my offer.

Anonymous said...

RB-
This qestion as been answered numerous times, yes airport workers go through a background check with the airport authority, if the airport authority gives them a SIDA badge, the airport is saying we "trust" you, TSA has NO say in who receives one of these badges(that allows you access to certain doors.) sadly we can not do anything about these workers going through doors,WE ARE NOT SECURITY FOR THE AIRPORT, THOSE ARE THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS. we are security for screening passengers. so once again we have no say in which workers gets these badges and bypass security(which is a flaw)

Sandra said...

Anonymous wrote quoting Yahoo news:

"But TSA officials say they have taken precautions to protect passenger privacy. Genital and facial areas are automatically obscured"

BB's thread of January 13, 2010 showed a backscatter image. Enlarged, one can see the woman's breasts as well as the nipples and the man's genitals. No area of the body was blurred or obscured.

Sandra said...

Nicholas wrote, regarding backscatter images:

"I do wish there was a way to prove it to you."

You could push to have your employer post the images in this blog and elsewhere.

TSO Tom said...

RB said...
TSO Tom said...
RB said...
TSA says a person who cannot provide ID or answer TSA questions about ones identity may not be allowed into the Sterile Area.

Why is TSA's screening for WEI not adequate to ensure a person is safe to fly?

Can I take it that TSA has no confidence in its screening process?

June 9, 2010 4:41 PM
***********************************
You can "take it" anyway you want to take it, RB.

June 10, 2010 1:35 PM
...........
Yes, another fine example of a TSA employee showing personal contempt of the public.

Good job there Tom!

June 10, 2010 2:47 PM
***********************************
"Personal Contempt for the public", okay RB enlighten me, how exactly did I show contempt toward you or any other member of the public? I mearly stated the obvious, you can and you will take it any way you want to take it, even if your interpretation of it is not how it was intended to be taken. Funny thing is RB, I do not recall calling you any names, or even implying anything negative about you. But you clearly show your "personal contempt" for TSA and all of its employees in every single post that you put on this forum, "pedophiles", "perverts" "Strip search", so I ask you RB, who is the one showing personal contempt, me or you?

RB said...

Nicholas said...
RB - As a current working TSO at ORD, I can assure you that the images you posted from the full body imager are inaccurate, or from a different type of machine. We use backscatter technology, and the images we view are no where near as detailed as the ones you posted. As far as I know, backscatter technology is being implemented at all of the airports. The images that bob posted many times are accurate. You can choose to believe me, or not. I do wish there was a way to prove it to you.

June 10, 2010 11:28 PM

.........
Follow up to your comment and I am not asking for your personal input on this.

You say as far as you know that Backsactter WBI'ers are being installed at all airports.

I have to question the wisdom of TSA doing this since they are legitimate questions of the safety of Backscatter devices.

Are Backscatter machines being purchased because Chertoff represents the manufacturer of these possibly deadly devices?

Anonymous said...

"The images that bob posted many times are accurate."

By Bob's own admission, that's not true -- after a year of questioning, Bob has admitted that the images he's posted are NOT of the same size and resolution as those seen by the operators of the virtual strip search devices.

Anonymous said...

West:

5. It gives YOU the chance to raise awareness of your point of view, opinions and ideas.

I've been flying since the 80's (I remember when you could smoke on flights, had full meals served and were treated as a valued customer by the airlines... those were the days). I understand the need for security. Although flying is much safer than driving, statistically, the reality is even prior to 9/11, there were negative incidents involving aircraft. I see security as good customer service by the airlines (don't want to get your customers killed or wounded while in your care or they might not fly with you again). I dealt with the TSA when it was formed, took my shoes off when asked (really? my shoes?), placed my laptop and briefcase in separate bins, removed my belt (really? my belt?) - I even complied with the incredibly stupid liquids rule. But, as each layer of your "security" is implemented, I've flown less and less prefering the train or my own car to airplanes; the extra hassle and time I need these days to fly usually means I could make the drive or train ride in about the same amount of time. For example: if I were flying from Chicago to Pittsburgh (a 2.5 hour flight) back in the day would take me about 3.5 hours total to complete (security, pre-boarding, waiting for and collecting luggage, etc). These days I have to plan on 2-3 hours minimum to be at the airport prior to the flight to deal with TSA (extra long lines, slow as molassas line movement, fewer open lines than before). That makes it roughly a 6 hour experience. Driving is around 8 hours and taking the train is around 10 hours. More and more, it's worth those extra couple hours to take an alternate method of transportation, and more and more the airlines will need to offer me incentives to consider flying.

Simply put, I will no longer fly under any circumstances as long as you cannot prove to me that the images are PG-style safe. The very fact at generic images are being distributed to the public, and the public cannot view their own image to make their own (at that point, informed) decision regarding AIT, shows that TSA has something to hide regarding these machines. Whether it is that you can store/print/transmit/etc the images, that they reveal more "detail" than you are leading us to believe, that they really don't show anything at all and therefore their usefulness would be called into question - or some other aspect that hasn't been discussed, the fact is you are hiding something. Until we know what it is you are hiding, you will always have resistance to AIT. And, the airlines will have to contend with the loss of revenue from people like me who refuse to sacrifice privacy for what is arguably security. If any airline people read this blog - I don't care if you're hands are tied by the TSA, or if you can't do anything about it; I will not suffer this indignity from TSA, but it's you who are losing my money.

Ranger11 said...

I find it foul that RB and others have to lash out at TSA and its employees and then when those same employees fight back and try and defend themselves against personal attacks, RB and others say it is a TSA employee making a personal attack. I see RB making many personal attacks. You attack West, Tom, and BOB and many anonymous TSO's just trying to put in their two cents like you.. The persons that come on to defend TSA have just as much a right to do so as you do to try and tear it down, the difference is, you call it a personal attack and whine. If you are going to throw mud at the people on the front lines, then be prepared to have it thrown back. Otherwise, you should keep your comments directed at TSA Management and Washington, because there are many TSA employees that I know and that are very good at what they do and have a vested interest in this country and its people.

I feel that after continuously serving my country for over 25 years that you have every right to complain to your government. Just don't cry and whine when those you attack take it personal and answer back. That is also their right and you have no say in their opinion, just as you say they have none in yours!

RB said...

Nicholas said...
RB - As a current working TSO at ORD, I can assure you that the images you posted from the full body imager are inaccurate, or from a different type of machine. We use backscatter technology, and the images we view are no where near as detailed as the ones you posted. As far as I know, backscatter technology is being implemented at all of the airports. The images that bob posted many times are accurate. You can choose to believe me, or not. I do wish there was a way to prove it to you.

June 10, 2010 11:28 PM

...........................


http://www.rupture.co.uk/Terminal%204.html


In Terminal 4 John Wild gained unique access to the images created by the controversial Rapiscan Secure 1000 security scanner currently in use at Heathrow. The Scanner creates security images of travelers through a process known as backscatter radiation, an image is produced by firing a low level of radiation at the traveler and analyzing the radiation that is bounced back. Radiation penetrates below the clothing and is reflected from the skin (or bones that are close to the surface) allowing a computer to generate an image of the bodies’ surface.

Anonymous said...

Aha - the truth is revealed:

http://www.etaiwannews.com/etn/news_content.php?id=1283297&lang=eng_news

TSA doesn't scan it's own workforce. You see, TSA is prohibited from actively searching for contraband - it may only act if they happen to find it in the normal course of searching for airplane threats. If they scan agents prior to entering the sterile area... they might find something they don't want to report.

jamith said...

Taveling with kids is really something nice and different post. Nice to learn something new.One of my friend told me that below 18 year old child not require ID to travel but i have no belief in his word but by doubt is clear when u meniton that - "If your child is younger than 18, they are not required to have ID to travel. They’ll just need their boarding pass" - Thanks a lot!

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - ">>1. RBs input is always welcome...
No view about comments being welcome was presented. I have no idea what you are 'disagreeing' with.

>>2. Your input is always welcomed here (again regardless of agreement or disagreement).
See #1.

>>3. This site has had impact on many things in policy - it gives HQ a passengers point of view in many cases (you may never hear about the impact it has, but it does).

Posts to this site impact policy? Just trust you? Sure. :)

Do the posts really promote change (oops forgot, we may not hear about that even IF it happens)? Or, as mentioned, really serve to allow you to prepare talking points to defend and further entrench your policies?

>>4. We have had the opportunity to assist many people in specific questions

Again, you are disagreeing anything in that post.

And if the blog has "assisted many people with questions" it has also been used to spread untruthful propaganda such as "all states are cooperating with our ID program"

>>5. It gives YOU the chance to raise awareness of your point of view, opinions and ideas.

Still not seeing the disagreement.

You used your response to that post to launch a bunch of positive talking points almost all unrelated to content of the post.

West, how abut some real transparency. Are the reports created about this blog available to the public? How can we get to see them?"

1. By indicating that RB's postings are not having an impact or that this is not a meaningful place for communication gives the implication that we do not listen to or act on any of his comments here. That is simply not the case. I was making certain that people understand that even if they post opinions or commentary that is in disagreement with the agency, it is still welcome and used as part of the process. I was disagreeing with your opinion that this is a meaningful means of communication.

2. See #1

3. I really do try not to use the phrase "trust me", I hope that I don't use it very often, it can imply an authority or level of knowledge that I simply don't always have. That being said, the commentary here is read by TSOs, all the way to the top of the HQ foodchain. Some of the ideas presented here are discussed in policy making - this doesn't mean that they will be implemented as they are posted. Some of the elements of things posted by folks just like you are incorporated into policy. I am surprised that you would think that the commentary is discarded out of hand - anyone with a basic level of intelligence would be able to read this site and try to glean ideas from it. I have no idea about the talking points, I am not a talking head or speech writer.

4. See #1

5. See #1

The only reports I have seen are purely statistical like how many hits, comments, that sort of thing. What sort of report did you have in mind?

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "I've been flying since the 80's (I remember when you could smoke on flights, had full meals served and were treated as a valued customer by the airlines... those were the days)."

Ahhhh, the good old days where a flight to or from my base in Germany consisted of a pack of Marlboros and several tiny bottle of adult beverage.... sigh... You are right, those WERE the good old days.

As for the rest of your post - Kudos for airing it. Thank you for your input.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

When I refuse to be scanned with AIT will I need to give a reason for my refusal?

Anonymous said...

looking for an answer to a previous post:

But TSA officials say they have taken precautions to protect passenger privacy. Genital and facial areas are automatically obscured

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20100608/ap_tr_ge/us_travel_brief_airport_security_omaha_1


When did the TSA start obscuring genitals revealed thru WBI? Or is this article inaccurate?

RB said...

Anonymous said...
RB-
This qestion as been answered numerous times, yes airport workers go through a background check with the airport authority, if the airport authority gives them a SIDA badge, the airport is saying we "trust" you, TSA has NO say in who receives one of these badges(that allows you access to certain doors.) sadly we can not do anything about these workers going through doors,WE ARE NOT SECURITY FOR THE AIRPORT, THOSE ARE THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS. we are security for screening passengers. so once again we have no say in which workers gets these badges and bypass security(which is a flaw)

June 11, 2010 9:46 AM
..........................
TSA's job is clearly to keep WEI off of airplanes. Anyone can carry WEI, passenger, crew and even people who work at airports.

As far as I am concerned TSA has as much responsibility to screen everyone who enters the secure areas as they do to screen passengers.

As far as TSA having no input on who gets clearance to the secure area I suggest you read this;

TSA forces Richmond airport to issue access badge to convicted felon

http://www.gadling.com/2010/02/04/tsa-forces-richmond-airport-to-issue-access-badge-to-convicted-f/

RB said...

TSO Tom said...
RB said...
TSO Tom said...
RB said...
TSA says a person who cannot provide ID or answer TSA questions about ones identity may not be allowed into the Sterile Area.

Why is TSA's screening for WEI not adequate to ensure a person is safe to fly?

Can I take it that TSA has no confidence in its screening process?

June 9, 2010 4:41 PM
***********************************
You can "take it" anyway you want to take it, RB.

June 10, 2010 1:35 PM
...........
Yes, another fine example of a TSA employee showing personal contempt of the public.

Good job there Tom!

June 10, 2010 2:47 PM
***********************************
"Personal Contempt for the public", okay RB enlighten me, how exactly did I show contempt toward you or any other member of the public? I mearly stated the obvious, you can and you will take it any way you want to take it, even if your interpretation of it is not how it was intended to be taken. Funny thing is RB, I do not recall calling you any names, or even implying anything negative about you. But you clearly show your "personal contempt" for TSA and all of its employees in every single post that you put on this forum, "pedophiles", "perverts" "Strip search", so I ask you RB, who is the one showing personal contempt, me or you?

June 11, 2010 10:19 AM
.....................
Your dang right that I hold TSA and its employees in contempt.

Any agency that would make viewing images of naked children a requirement deserves my contempt including the employees lining up to do it!

Don't like it, don't do it!

Nicholas said...

http://www.tsa.gov/graphics/images/approach/backscatter_large.jpg

Those are the EXACT images we see while running the backscatter machines that are displayed on the TSA website. You can copy and paste it into your photo editing program if you'd like, and zoom in, change the contrast, or resolution, but it will still look like the way we see it.
Other than HQ catering to each of your individual needs of having to be scanned, then reviewing your own image, I doubt anyone will come up with a better answer.
If the images we review ever become more "detailed" I'll be sure to let you all know.

Nicholas said...

"The very fact at generic images are being distributed to the public, and the public cannot view their own image to make their own (at that point, informed) decision regarding AIT, shows that TSA has something to hide regarding these machines."

I'm thinking unless a majority of the public vote to have their own images on display to anyone who passes the machine when they are being scanned, there will never be a way for people to individually review their own images. TSA is much to afraid of lawsuits for this to happen, and could you imagine having thousands of people holding up the line, and slowing it down even more than it already is, so they can stare at themselves? Just because you want to be able to see your image, and don't mind it being displayed, doesn't mean the next person will. They can't please everyone.
My previous post are the exact images I see anytime I am reviewing images. As I said before I'd have no problem admitting otherwise.

Anonymous said...

"Those are the EXACT images we see while running the backscatter machines that are displayed on the TSA website."

According to Bob, that's not so, since he admitted that he has never posted an image that's of the same size and resolution as that seen by the operator of TSA's strip-search devices.

Anonymous said...

Nicholas:

"I'm thinking unless a majority of the public vote to have their own images on display to anyone who passes the machine when they are being scanned, there will never be a way for people to individually review their own images"

There is no need for displaying an individual's image to the public as part of the security procedure. Having one machine set off to the side during the first year or two of deployment in the major airports around the country would allow people to "test" these machines without any impact to the rest of the travelling public and with thier privacy maintained. If someone, such as I, wished to see what our own image looked like, we could go to one of these airports and see for ourselves. Once the "pilot" period was over (and assuming the images are as innocuous as TSA maintains and the machines stay in airports) those machines could be rolled out into the general security lines. The only extra cost would possibly be for a screener or two to have to man a non-security station (I say possibly because I am unsure how the TSA staffs any given airport; it's possible existing staffing could be utilized with no extra cost to the program). A bit of inconveniece to the airport and TSA, but an unquestionable way to silence the critics of AIT.

If these images are as advertised, of course.

TSO Tom said...

Your dang right that I hold TSA and its employees in contempt.

Any agency that would make viewing images of naked children a requirement deserves my contempt including the employees lining up to do it!

Don't like it, don't do it!
***********************************
RB, I suggest you speak to someone about your anger problem. First of all, I'm not lining up to do it, but if it comes to my airport, I won't have a choice, because RB, you see, like you and many other Americans who have families to support, I have a job to do. Plain and simple. Do I always agree with my employer? NO, and when I disagree with my employer, I make it known to them that I disagree as I have on a number of occasions on this blog, but again, I don't make the decisions, and I do have to suport my family. If you don't like it RB, then may I suggest a different means of transportation? But you still did not explain to me how I showed personal contempt toward you or any other member of the public, thus your point is moot, and is getting really old in this forum, RB. With that said, this will be my last reply to you on this topic.

TSO Tom said...

Anonymous said...
When I refuse to be scanned with AIT will I need to give a reason for my refusal?

June 12, 2010 4:01 PM
***********************************
NO you should not be required to say why you prefer not to be screened using AIT.

TSO Tom said...

Ranger11 said...
I find it foul that RB and others have to lash out at TSA and its employees and then when those same employees fight back and try and defend themselves against personal attacks, RB and others say it is a TSA employee making a personal attack. I see RB making many personal attacks. You attack West, Tom, and BOB and many anonymous TSO's just trying to put in their two cents like you.. The persons that come on to defend TSA have just as much a right to do so as you do to try and tear it down, the difference is, you call it a personal attack and whine. If you are going to throw mud at the people on the front lines, then be prepared to have it thrown back. Otherwise, you should keep your comments directed at TSA Management and Washington, because there are many TSA employees that I know and that are very good at what they do and have a vested interest in this country and its people.

I feel that after continuously serving my country for over 25 years that you have every right to complain to your government. Just don't cry and whine when those you attack take it personal and answer back. That is also their right and you have no say in their opinion, just as you say they have none in yours!

June 11, 2010 1:22 PM
***********************************
Thank you for your input Ranger, it is much appreciated.

Sandra said...

Nicholas wrote:

"http://www.tsa.gov/graphics/images/approach/backscatter_large.jpg

Those are the EXACT images we see while running the backscatter machines that are displayed on the TSA website. You can copy and paste it into your photo editing program if you'd like, and zoom in, change the contrast, or resolution, but it will still look like the way we see it.
Other than HQ catering to each of your individual needs of having to be scanned, then reviewing your own image, I doubt anyone will come up with a better answer.
If the images we review ever become more "detailed" I'll be sure to let you all know."

The genitals in the images you posted are NOT "blurred" as TSA would have us believe.

Anonymous said...

Still looking for an answer to this news article quote:

But TSA officials say they have taken precautions to protect passenger privacy. Genital and facial areas are automatically obscured

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20100608/ap_tr_ge/us_travel_brief_airport_security_omaha_1


So I ask again:

When did the TSA start obscuring genitals revealed thru WBI? Or is this article inaccurate?

Ayn R. Key said...

TSO Tom wrote:
"RB enlighten me, how exactly did I show contempt toward you or any other member of the public?"

Every TSO who doesn't oppose the nude-o-scopes shows contempt for the public. Those who actually work in the nude-o-scopes show criminal behavior to the public.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "When I refuse to be scanned with AIT will I need to give a reason for my refusal?"

You can IF you choose to, but you are not required to give a reason for declining to enter the AIT. You will be given the alternate screening and (barring any dangerous or illegal items being found) allowed to procede on your way.

West
TSA Blog Team

RB said...

TSO Tom said...
Your dang right that I hold TSA and its employees in contempt.

Any agency that would make viewing images of naked children a requirement deserves my contempt including the employees lining up to do it!

Don't like it, don't do it!
***********************************
RB, I suggest you speak to someone about your anger problem. First of all, I'm not lining up to do it, but if it comes to my airport, I won't have a choice, because RB, you see, like you and many other Americans who have families to support, I have a job to do. Plain and simple. Do I always agree with my employer? NO, and when I disagree with my employer, I make it known to them that I disagree as I have on a number of occasions on this blog, but again, I don't make the decisions, and I do have to suport my family. If you don't like it RB, then may I suggest a different means of transportation? But you still did not explain to me how I showed personal contempt toward you or any other member of the public, thus your point is moot, and is getting really old in this forum, RB. With that said, this will be my last reply to you on this topic.

June 15, 2010 5:09 PM
....................
You do have a choice. Just like you tell me to use other means of transportation your can as esily choose another line of work.

Other honorable jobs are available and good people will fill those positions.

If you are willing to conduct electronic Strip Searches of children then you accept and agree to do what your being tasked with.

I suggest a person with any honor would refuse such tasking.

Anonymous said...

People. This is just stupid. Learn how to vote. Learn how to contact your congress-critter. Learn how to express yourself without being argumentative. Learn how to avoid ad hominem attacks, because they just make you look idiotic. If you don't know what ad hominem means, look it up. Learn how to use a dictionary, as poor spelling means your argument will be ignored. Understand the issues. If you cannot understand the problem, you cannot assist in fixing it. In words you might understand: Better to be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and prove it.

If you do not like what the TSA is doing, you have two choices: Help fix it, or don't fly. If you don't want to do either, then I suggest you just go away.

Anonymous said...

Blogger GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "When I refuse to be scanned with AIT will I need to give a reason for my refusal?"

You can IF you choose to, but you are not required to give a reason for declining to enter the AIT. You will be given the alternate screening and (barring any dangerous or illegal items being found) allowed to procede on your way.

West
TSA Blog Team

June 17, 2010 7:25 PM
----------------------------------

thanks for the reply. A follow up question:

As far as you know, when I refuse WBI and don't give a reason will I be put on the "difficult passengers list"?

Anonymous said...

Still looking for an answer to this news article:

But TSA officials say they have taken precautions to protect passenger privacy. Genital and facial areas are automatically obscured

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20100608/ap_tr_ge/us_travel_brief_airport_security_omaha_1


Are passengers genitals blurred with MMW or backscatter?

Is the algorithm applied to backscatter image considered blurred?

Does the TSA consider the "fuzzy negative" image that they say the MMW images look like considered 'blurred"?

Or is this article inaccurate?

June 12, 2010 4:02 PM

TSO Tom said...

Ayn said in part...
Every TSO who doesn't oppose the nude-o-scopes shows contempt for the public. Those who actually work in the nude-o-scopes show criminal behavior to the public.
***********************************
nude-o-scopes, that's a good one Ayn. "criminal behavior" please explain your theory on criminal behavior, as the courts have not declared these machines to be criminal in nature, and Congress has endorsed the use of said machines, so please explain your rationale on this theory.

Laura said...

Do lap infants need their own bording passes to get through security? We never have to have one flying through Washington Dulles, and always get stopped and sent back in the airline line flying through O'Hare. A uniform policy would be great, and making the airlines aware of the policy would be great as well.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful. So as a mother my options are to have someone produce nude images of my 8 yo little girl, or to have someone pat her down and touch her. That's fantastic.

And while I'm sure 99.5% of all TSA agents are great people, IT ONLY TAKES ONE! Like the agents in the UK who got in trouble for putting scan images of a movie star on the internet, and another one caught leering at a female image.

I don't take chances with my children. I'll contact airports I fly through first and see what their "alternate" scan is. Xrays - fine. Otherwise, I won't fly through them.

Anonymous said...

"Are TSA agents authorized to use force to take a citizen's property away from them?"

It will not get this far in my experience. I have seen it go to the LEO's before it gets that far.

Anonymous said...

Just ran across this blog and doesn't sound like it made a difference for this child:

http://amputeemommy.blogspot.com/2010/05/humiliation-and-now-im-angry.html

Aaron said...

Does the TSA have a new policy regarding artificial limbs, or was the screener in this story (http://amputeemommy.blogspot.com/2010/05/humiliation-and-now-im-angry.html) just making up new rules on his own?

Anonymous said...

How about something dealing with traveling with children who recently had their name added to the no fly list?

Michelle said...

My child has meds mixed with his food and I place it in his yogurt, does that include yogurt?

Jason said...

What do you have to say about this account of TSA scumbaggery, Blogger Bob?

http://amputeemommy.blogspot.com/2010/05/humiliation-and-now-im-angry.html

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful. So as a mother my options are to have someone produce nude images of my 8 yo little girl, or to have someone pat her down and touch her. That's fantastic.

And while I'm sure 99.5% of all TSA agents are great people, IT ONLY TAKES ONE! Like the agents in the UK who got in trouble for putting scan images of a movie star on the internet, and another one caught leering at a female image.

I don't take chances with my children. I'll contact airports I fly through first and see what their "alternate" scan is. Xrays - fine. Otherwise, I won't fly through them.

June 25, 2010 11:04 AM
---------------------------------

Forget about the guy in the UK that was nothing. the TSA has employed child pornographers in their ranks:

http://cbs2.com/goldstein/TSA.Screener.Child.2.1471579.html

And rapists at logan:

http://www.dvorak.org/blog/2010/03/18/boston-tsa-screener-charged-with-child-rape/

you gave much more to fear here in the USA.

Marty said...

Thanks this is really helpful I especially like the idea of a family line, now you can check in without the hassle of having those strange eyes on you that you are doing something wrong when you are really just traveling with your family

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "As far as you know, when I refuse WBI and don't give a reason will I be put on the "difficult passengers list"?"

As far as I know, the only passenger on the "difficult persons" list were ones that were arrested and carted off after being unmanageable to the point they were impeding the screening process for others as well as their self. So, to my knowledge, no, you will not be placed on the list for refusing the AIT.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

"Are TSA agents authorized to use force to take a citizen's property away from them?"

'It will not get this far in my experience. I have seen it go to the LEO's before it gets that far.'

Passengers have had a different experience.

The question was asked because the TSA aired a video of its agents trying to use force to take the possessions of an elderly woman.

Anonymous said...

There is a free 24-page Inflight Activity book for kids available for download/printing at the Junior Flyer website. Let the kids enjoy that while you enjoy some peace and quiet!

Anonymous said...

What about children's medications that need to be refrigerated? Don't tell me the ice packs need to be tiny too? What about on overseas flights? How can I keep my kid's meds cold?

Carolyn said...

I've been traveling with our son since he was 6 weeks old. Now that he's 14, I did wonder if it was time to get him some form of id.

But I'm much inclined to consider it when I'm the one who decides before he has a driver's license.

Don't know that I would appreciate having to obtain one if it became necessary.

aquaracer said...

i have been traveling on planes with my son since he is 7 months old..one of the key tips is to keep the children's medicine in their original packaging so that they do not get confiscated...

Anonymous said...

I called into TSA regarding security procedures for young children because I could not find it on the TSA website. I travelling with my 2 yr old and was worried about going through the body scanners as my son does not stand or sit still for even 30 seconds and how he would he be checked at security screening. I called in and spoke to a lady who was talking okay in the beginning and started being rude once I started asking questions and voicing my concerns. I am a strict Hindu woman and noticed that the body imaging and well as pat down procedures were extremely evasive. You can certainly see the private parts in the examples they have provided and can also determine the gender. When I started asking questions, the lady was so rude that she stated she would disconnect my call and wouldn't listen to the questions I had. I am very disappointed with this TSA representative. I understand that TSA's goal is to protect our passengers and country and I am glad such process has been put into place, however please have some understanding that when parents are travelling with babies and young children, it's hard to go through the body scanners or pat downs without having to worry that your child is going to run off. I just called to find out what options I had and etc. there is no need to be rude.

Anonymous said...

I called into TSA regarding security procedures for young children because I could not find it on the TSA website. I travelling with my 2 yr old and was worried about going through the body scanners as my son does not stand or sit still for even 30 seconds and how he would he be checked at security screening, how would he wait for me if I had to go for a body scan. I called in and spoke to a lady who was talking okay in the beginning and started being rude once I started asking questions and voicing my concerns. I am a strict Hindu woman and noticed that the body imaging and well as pat down procedures were extremely evasive. You can certainly see the private parts in the examples they have provided and can also determine the gender. When I started asking questions, the lady was so rude that she stated she would disconnect my call and wouldn't listen to the questions I had. I am very disappointed with this TSA representative. I understand that TSA's goal is to protect our passengers and country and I am glad such process has been put into place, however please have some understanding that when parents are travelling with babies and young children, it's hard to go through the body scanners or pat downs without having to worry that your child is going to run off. I just called to find out what options I had and etc. there is no need to be rude.

Peter said...

It is disgusting that the TSA uses scanners that may harm children. Children should not be treated the same as adults and they should not be treated as criminals--unless, this is no longer American the land of the brave and free. But, a sick disgusting land of cowards and sheep.


Write your representatives to change this organization (TSA). They are harming children and adults, yet fail to keep anyone safe.

Don't let them take the rights that brave Americans died to win and protect.

Tim said...

Well good news for all as it seems the new scanners will only show images that represent a person, but not actual images or silhouettes of a person or child's true anatomy. They are already being used at several airports with great success. Hopefully this will help relieve some of those concerns, although it may not help with those concerns regarding radiation issues.

Cam said...

I can't believe that some people would rather put their sleeping child in a capsule through the Xray scanner as opposed to waking them up!? So they don't want to wake their precious child but are happy to force them through a skinny passage and get x rayed?! Sheesh! :-) Keep up the good work guys - I am sure your day is never dull!

Melissa said...

Jut a question but when it comes to kids can they possibly be subjected to the hand swipe for chemicals or the full body x ray machine. The one where you have to walk right in and it does the scan with the computer.

I was wondering since I will be traveling with my son and would like to warn him that such things could happen so i can steer away from the problem in the line up. thank you

Anonymous said...

Can you please post an updated "Traveling with Kids" for 2013. Also a topic that is very confusing is baby carriers, baby slings & soft structured carriers. On the TSA website it states "All child-related equipment that can fit through the X-ray machine should go through the X-ray machine. Examples include: strollers, umbrella-strollers, baby carriers, car and booster seats, backpacks, and baby slings." but it also states "If a baby is carried through the metal detector in a sling, additional screening may be required even if there isn’t an alarm." So which is it, can we or can't we use a baby sling/carrier through the metal detector? When traveling alone with an infant it is much easier to be hands free when carrying a baby plus carrying your carry on items. Not to mention that having to wake a baby and pull them out of the carrier is very frustrating.

Ve may bay said...

"Thanks for this blog post. My family is traveling in about a week and I have been jumping from link to link through the website trying to figure out everything I need to know not only for my husband and I, but our toddler as well. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to point out a discrepancy between this and the main TSA website. This site states that shoes must be removed for children and infants. The main TSA website states that children under 12 are not required to take off their shoes. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Does the no id needed for children apply in every airport or is it up to the tsa agent. Cause we flew out of pittsburgh and they didnt ask, but on our way back from flordia we need forms of id and had to get them faxed from our doctor to our hotel. What a pain!