Monday, November 22, 2010

Check out Our Holiday Travel Tips


If you’re getting ready to travel for the holidays and need to brush up on airport security, you’re in the right place!

Travel Advice for Domesticated Turkeys: Stay away from humans.

The MyTSA App: Our new MyTSA App (Available as an iPhone App or Mobile Web App) amongst other great features has a “Can I Bring My…” tool. You can type in the name of the item you’re curious about and it will tell you if the item is permitted or not. If it’s not included in the list, you have the option of submitting it to us for addition. We even added “tatting shuttle.” Yep, we had to Google it too and they are permitted)

Wait Times: A wait time feature is available in our MyTSA application. It relies on crowd sourcing which means the more people who use this, the better. Spread the word!

Pat-downs: A very small percentage of passengers will need to receive a pat-down. To reduce the need for a pat-down, the most important thing you can do is take everything out of your pockets before you go through screening. You can put these items in your carry-on bag. Don't wear clothes with a high metal content, and put heavy jewelry on after you go through security. You will also receive a pat-down if you choose to opt out of our Advanced Imaging Technology. (Body Scanners) Check out this post to read some myths and facts about the pat-down.

The 4-1-1 on 3-1-1 (Liquids, Gels & Aerosols): Let me start by saying this. If you’re checking a bag, make it easy on yourself and just put your liquids in your checked luggage. That way, you don’t have to worry about 3-1-1. I know that suggestion doesn’t work for everybody. Some liquids are essential and some of you understandably would not like to pay to check your luggage. If you’d rather take liquids in your carry-on, please continue reading…

3-1-1 is the name for our liquid policy. You can read
here for more details, but here is the gist of 3-1-1… Each passenger is allowed to take one clear quart-sized sealable bag and fill it with as many liquids in 3.4 oz or less sized containers that will fit, while still being able to seal the bag. Basically, don’t stuff it to the point where it won’t close.

Make sure you take the bag out of your carry-on prior to sending it through the X-ray, or our officers may have to search your bag.

If you have liquids, aerosols, or gels that are used for medical purposes, they do not need to adhere to our 3-1-1 policies and do not have to be placed in a bag. You may be asked to go through a TSA Family Lane (see below) so we can expedite the screening process. The liquids, gels and aerosols will need to be removed from your bags.

Answers to common questions: Stick deodorant is not limited to 3.4 oz or less, but gel or spray deodorant is. Also, any liquid makeup such as eyeliner should be placed in the baggie. That goes for perfume as well. Powder makeup is fine.

Family Lanes: Frequent flyers hate it when they’re in line behind a family, and guess what… families hate it when the frequent flyer is behind them tapping their foot and sighing. That’s why we created
Family Lanes. They’re designed to let families take their time and ask questions without feeling rushed by the experienced frequent flyers who can zip through a checkpoint in no time. Also, as stated earlier, anybody carrying medically necessary liquids, aerosols and gels in excess of 3.4 oz may be directed to a Family Lane.

Foods: Pies are permitted, but they are subject to additional screening if our officers see any anomalies. (Additional screening of pies does not include our officers tasting the pie, no matter what they tell you…) Cakes, bread, donuts, turkeys, etc. are all permitted. If it’s a live turkey, you might want to have a word with the airline.
Here is a list of items that should be placed in your checked bags or shipped: cranberry sauce, creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, etc.), gift baskets with food items (salsa, jams and salad dressings), gravy (mmm gravy), jams, jellies, maple syrup, oils and vinegars, sauces, soups, wine, liquor and beer.

Travel Advice for Meleagris Gallopavo: Stay away from humans.

Gifts:
Wrapped gifts may need to be unwrapped. If there’s something in the gift that needs to be inspected, we have to open it. Our officers try their best not to mangle the gift wrap, but it’s not a guarantee and it also slows down the line for everybody else when we have to do this. It is suggested that you wrap the presents when you arrive at your destination. You also have the option of shipping the items as well.

Snow Globes: We are not in cahoots with the
Heat Miser, but snow globes are not permitted in your carry-on luggage. They are sealed containers full of liquid that would have to be opened and destroyed to test. We’re not in the business of busting snow globes, so we suggest you place them in your checked baggage or mail them ahead of time.

ID & Boarding Pass Checking & Secure Flight: As you approach a TSA checkpoint, you will see an officer checking IDs and boarding passes. Please have your
acceptable ID and boarding pass out and ready to present to our officer. If your ID is in a plastic sheath or other type of holder, it will need to be removed so our officers can properly inspect them. By having your ID and boarding pass out and ready, you’ll help move the line along faster. The several seconds it takes to get your ID and boarding pass out might not seem like much time, but it really adds up when you’ve got people in line behind you.

Also, folks have had questions about the
Secure Flight program and whether the name on your ticket has to match the name on your ID. The Secure Flight watch-list matching process occurs before a passenger even gets to the airport so if you get a boarding pass, the Secure Flight watch-list matching process is done. In other words, you are clear once you get that pass.

If you have lost or forgotten your ID, you will still be permitted to fly as long as you help us verify you are who you say you are by answering a few questions for us.

Travel Advice for Tofu Turkeys: You are not real.

Inconsistencies: You may notice your screening experience at one airport doesn’t match the experience of another airport. We realize this happens, and some of it is intentional. While it can be a little confusing for our passengers, it also makes things unpredictable for those who might wish to do us harm. Our officers also can use their discretion in different scenarios that allows them to use common sense and not abide by a checklist mentality that can be studied and defeated by those who wish to do us harm.

Shoes on Belt: We recommend you place your shoes on the X-ray belt as opposed to placing them in a bin. Why? It keeps the bins from getting too cluttered and allows our officers to get a better look at items to ensure prohibited items do not get on the plane. It also speeds things up when they get a better view and don't have to stop the X-ray belt for searches.

Travel Advice for Pilgrims: Leave your muskets at home and refrain from wearing clothing with large buckles.
And last but not least, please remember to remove your coats and outer garments.
Print out this handy dandy checklist (PDF) so you don’t forget anything and don’t forget to check out TSA.gov for a wealth of information on traveling through TSA checkpoints.

Also, we’re going to be Tweeting a TSA Holiday Travel Tips every day, so follow us on Twitter @tsablogteam for travel tips, blog post announcements, and other useful information.


Here is a video from our administrator, John S. Pistole with some important messages for holiday travelers.



Gobble, Gobble
Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

110 comments:

KLP said...

How do you conduct additional screening on a pie?

Anonymous said...

What should we do if your pat-down leaves us covered in our own urine?

Anonymous said...

Bob, why does you handy checklist state "3 ounces or less sized containers of liquids, gels and aerosols" when it should be 3.4? Sorry but you can't use the excuse that it is to expensive to regenerate a PDF with the correct information?

Tomas said...

Bob said above:
Pat-downs: A very small percentage of passengers will need to receive a pat-down. To reduce the need for a pat-down, the most important thing you can do is take everything out of your pockets before you go through screening. You can put these items in your carry-on bag. Don't wear clothes with a high metal content, and put heavy jewelry on after you go through security. You will also receive a pat-down if you choose to opt out of our Advanced Imaging Technology. (Body Scanners)
________

In TERRY v. OHIO, 392 U.S. 1 (1968) the United States Supreme Court legally defined the the extent of a "pat down" or "frisk" of a person.

What TSA keeps referring to as a "Pat Down" does not fit within the Supreme Court's definition of the limits of a "Pat down."

What TSA is doing is a search of the person's body, not a pat down as clearly defined by the Court.

At the very least TSA (and others referring to the TSA's actions) should no longer refer to a TSA Full Body Search as a pat down, since it is NOT legally a pat down as defined by the Supreme Court.

(ASIDE: Sadly, I'm no longer flying. I used to really enjoy flying, and do miss it, but TSA has destroyed that for me, and I am using other means of travel now. I refuse to be treated as a criminal.)

Anonymous said...

Q: So if I use MyTSA and it says my item is allowed, what guarantee do I have that the TSO will allow it?

A: No guarantee at all. If the TSO wants your nail clippers he will have them regardless of the list.

Q: Since snowglobes aren't allowed because they are sealed and testing would break them open, how exactly did terrorists get explosive liquids into them?

A: Err, umm, uhh . . .

Q: Speaking of liquids and testing, how many of the water bottles thrown into the (non)hazardous trash cans at the checkpoint are tested?

A: Err, umm, we have a robust testing program designed to ensure the safety of travelers and TSOs.

Q: I noticed you didn't actually answer the previous question. Why?

A: TSA has a comprehensive view of security and will strive to maintain traveller's safety with due regard to their civil rights. Accordingly, only a small percentage of people will be groped.

Hey!

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob,

I am scheduled to fly on Wednesday for Thanksgiving. I have a medical condition that requires me to wear adult diapers on extended trips. I also have a metal rod on my leg that historically sets off the metal detector. Will I be required to remove my diaper during the enhanced screening? How can I do this in private without announcing to the entire airport about my medical condition?

I saw that your screeners removed a woman's prosthetic breast and also dislodged a man's urine bag during these pat downs. I want to avoid such an episode.

Should I just drive instead?

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your Thanksgiving. I will not fly while the strip search/grope by strangers/11k fine are the options. I hope the TSA remembers that they work for us.

OddChild said...

Do you really think that people who do not want to be photographed nude want people to touch them? Why do you simply not use bomb sniffing dogs? Simple: you want more money. You want to make more money off of selling your new technology.

I come home to the States every year. This next time if that means having to take a bus for the last part of the flight, or having to go through mexico for now on. That makes me sick. I hope you really think about what you are doing . . .

codeman38 said...

I'm sure the video probably just echoes things that are written in the post, but a transcript would be nice. Particularly since the embed is coded so that it only works in Internet Explorer for Windows.

Anonymous said...

By putting your shoes directly on the belt you can help to keep the bins cleaner for everyone.

Anonymous said...

"You may notice your screening experience at one airport doesn’t match the experience of another airport. We realize this happens, and some of it is intentional. While it can be a little confusing for our passengers, it also makes things unpredictable for those who might wish to do us harm. Our officers also can use their discretion in different scenarios that allows them to use common sense and not abide by a checklist mentality that can be studied and defeated by those who wish to do us harm."

Then why can't passengers uncomfortable with the process opt out and leave the airport? Previous statements from TSA say that's so terrorists can't learn the system, but if you're keeping the system unpredictable...

Anonymous said...

Please excuse the comment, but I fail to see how all this quipping should somehow mitigate the outrageous overreaction against unlikely suspects that this highly-funded government entity.

Is there some reason just looking at behavior, passport history, and flight history shouldn't suffice to catch potential terrorists?

Also, some reason the body morphing technology was rejected? This is clearly unreasonable search. Clearly.

Please keep your humor to yourselves. We don't find you funny and I have no idea what I am going to do when I have to take my family to CA to visit my dying stepmother. How dare you people.

Anonymous said...

Don't you get it yet? We don't want to be groped and we don't want the naked body scanners. You guys are just SICK

Anonymous said...

I'm used to arbitrarily cheery discussions of pointless infringements on our personal liberties, but suggesting that pilgrims "leave their muskets at home and refrain from wearing big buckles" is a new and exciting venture into massively insensitive portrayals of the "original immigrants." Perhaps the injuns should leave their bows and arrows at home, as well?

You understand that curriculum is different now, right? No, probably not.

Geo said...

Bob,
Here is a FACT that needs some explaining.

I've been patted down since the new policy went into place. I've never set off a metal detector or had an anomaly in an AIT device. When I asked why I was being subjected to the patdown the TSO told me it was a random thing.

According to Pistole, patdowns are ONLY performed when someone alarms a detector, has an anomaly or opts out. Why then are random patdowns STILL being performed on passengers after they successfully exit the primary screening?

Phil said...

Bob, the "My TSA" application still states that all "passengers 18 and over will need one of the following to go through security," then lists various identity documents.

Is it true that presenting such documents at a TSA airport checkpoint is optional, not required?

-- 
Phil
Arrested at ABQ TSA checkpoint. Trial December 7, 2010.

Ayn R. Key said...

Goodness, Bobbo.

Your attempts at distraction aren't working, and by putting in links to the older threads (where the comments are roasting your agency to a crisp) you undermine the point you are trying to make.

Oh, look, a puppy. Never mind

avxo said...

Blogger Bob wrote: "Our officers also can use their discretion in different scenarios that allows them to use common sense [...]"

Sadly, their discretion almost always seems to be very one way; it starts when the TSO makes something up and invariably ends up with the TSO saying "yeah, but I have discretion so there!"

An example from a few weeks ago at LAS: One of your finely trained TSOs refused to let me bring on board a tube of prescription medication ointment. He first asked me what it was for. When I told him it was none of his business, he said something along the lines of "well, you aren't boarding with this. It's prohibited."

And as for common sense, the airport is one place where nobody should expect to find common sense. It's the one truly prohibited item.

Anonymous said...

Ironic how TSA can post what they see as humor mixed in with policy but let a passenger attempt any form of humor and they are a TSA target.

Anonymous said...

Just make sure you disconnect your urostomy bag this holiday season, otherwise you may find yourself covered in urine as this traveler did.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40291856/ns/travel-news/

Although he got covered in his own urine, I guess the good news is he wasn't arrested as a terrorist for illegally transporting liquids.

Anonymous said...

Hey Blogger Bob, quick question, not that you ever answer questions these days. I noticed that the guy who stripped down to his bike shorts was arrested, even though it doesn't seem like there's anything illegal about that.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/nov/21/gun-crusader-strips-down-shorts-hauled-out-san-die/

I'm just curious, though, if all I wear are bike shorts, just as a matter of policy, and I don't have any other clothes to put on, would I be arrested for that?

Please clarify.

Anonymous said...

Pilgrims? Oh, I get it, it's a humor blog now, ignoring everyone's worries about whether America has instituted laws that violate its constitution.

Public Relations - You're doing it wrong.

Anonymous said...

Travel advice for humans: Take the car, take the train, take the bus!

jedarojr said...

Although I am not a fan of having my biometrics on file anywhere, I would suggest having a program, like a passport perhaps, that would allow people to have a federal background check equivalent to what pilots receive. This way we could still have the full faith of the government, give TSA an indepth look at us without losing our dignity, and speed up security checkpoints...plus the fee you collect yearly for the "enhanced passport" can be used to the governments desire.

Anonymous said...

I am a little concerned with Pistole's "warning" about requesting the pat-down instead of the scan.

I thought it was the passenger's right to request the pat-down instead of the scan. If the passenger has the right to request the pat-down instead of the scan, what is the TSA's or Pistole's "warning?" Seems to me the TSA should back the options provided in the enabling legislation.

Anonymous said...

It's bad taste to try to be funny when Americans are being groped by your poorly trained TSOs. We're angry. We're unhappy. We no longer have a sense of humor.

Try respecting the people who keep you employed -- the taxpayers. That would be a good start.

Ertdfg said...

Other helpful advice.

If you have a medical condition... you're screwed. They'll remove your prosthetics, rupture your urostomy bag, pull your stomach tube, and generally ignore the fact that you have a condition.

If you can't walk without metal canes and braces they'll make you walk through the scanner anyhow and make you suffer.

Oh, if you have piercings, you may be asked to remove them; with pliers if necessary.

These are events that have already occurred, who knows what will be next.

If you're expecting rational thought and common sense... don't fly.

Anonymous said...

Here are some of the things the new TSA Administrator has accomplished in under six months on the job:
1) making the majority of the flying public hate and resent the TSA
2) making the average person scared to fly due to increasing terrorist threats
3) alienating and demoralizing the TSA workforce
4) significantly reducing the number of people using air travel

Unfortunately, the TSA's actions will make air travel less safe for the forseeable future. Why? Surly passengers will cause more problems and distractions; fed up TSO's will find it much harder to do their jobs. No one will trust the TSA or its process; the trust has been completely lost.

Not that anyone had any great love for the TSA before, but now the actions of the organization have effectively made it impossible for it to do its job. I have absolutely no idea how it will be fixed.

Dustin said...

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Learn the rules government I wish you'd follow them.

Anonymous said...

Are you seriously trying to win us over by being cute? Nobody cares! Address your monstrous policies.

Aaron said...

So John Pistole is worried about people boycotting flying because why exactly? How is this remotely a concern for the TSA, unless (shocker) the TSA has a vested interest in airport and airline profits. Hmm, maybe driving people away with security theater isn't the best strategy for you.

Anonymous said...

Great, Bob. So now this is funny to you? I can only hope you'll have it to look back on when you're unemployed.

somethingone said...

Is the "small percentage" of passengers going to include every single person with any kind of prosthesis or medical implant? I sincerely hope you are training your agents to act with more care and sensitivity towards people with disabilities than you have shown so far.

Such procedures are discriminatory and humiliating.

Anonymous said...

@BLOGGER BOB: "Travel Advice for Tofu Turkeys: You are not real."

Is making fun of vegetarians the official position of the Government of the United States of America or just the Department of Homeland Security?

And why am I wasting my time writing this when you're just going to censor it or ignore it like everyone else's comments?

Anonymous said...

"Travel Advice for Pilgrims: Leave your muskets at home "

Are firearms really no longer permitted in checked luggage?

Anonymous said...

So now we are required to put everything from our pockets into our carry-on bags? Is this to make it easier for TSA agents to steal from us? So far they've caught 0 terrorists. I wonder if they are keeping score on how many innocent people they've molested.

Daniel said...

Please explain what "additional screening" might look like if one of the TSOs were to find an anomaly in a pie. I suspect additional screening means being picked through and then thrown in the garbage.

Anonymous said...

Privacy is an important part of the American lifestyle. While traveling by plane does bring us into the public world, we should, as American citizens, still be guaranteed a certain amount of general privacy, especially when it comes to how we dress, and what our clothes cover. While I understand that safety of every citizen is of dire importance to this administration (and hopefully all administrations), the complete and utter violation of this general privacy when using the convenience of air travel has reached a new low. No matter what new technologies we devise to protect against terrorist threats, there will always be someone who will find a way around them. Knowing this, I personally choose to reserve my right to privacy and run the small risk that we will fall victim to another attack. I will not give up my personal freedoms for this absolute complete disregard for privacy just to increase safety in an already fairly safe situation. The new body-scanners being placed in airports across the country are violations to my rights as a citizen and I vow to never go through one. I will personally work to slow down the process as much as possible and make the jobs of those working in security all the more worse by opting-out of such a grievous practice. It’s a joke that we should use technology in such a malicious way. I find it to be an attack on myself; I find it to be an attack on my privacy; and I find to be an attack on our nation’s humility. I want these scanners removed from airports immediately and my privacy returned at once. - I will be sure and make my time passing through security as much hell for TSA employees as I can during this, and every, holiday season.

Anonymous said...

Here is a tip for you. Shut down your organization and we will all be a lot safer. Plus traveling will be much easier will not violate our rights.

Anonymous said...

Happy holiday travels! Remember to keep away from the cancer-causing backscatter machines! The best tactic is to position yourself in line far from them, but if you can´t avoid them, stay safe and opt out!

Anonymous said...

Amazing that nothing here appears to pass moderator muster...

Anonymous said...

This post will go over well.

Anonymous said...

You do nothing to improve our safety. Nothing.

Anonymous said...

Why not tell people the truth about their clothing?

Here's a Fact: People who want to dress comfortably -- to fly by wearing sweatpants and sweatshirts -- are more likely to have inconclusive scans.

The folds in baggy clothes leave gray areas which can be interpreted by the TSO as a concealed "object" of some sort.

Same goes for morbidly obese people. Fat folds will frequently leave a gray area which makes them candidates for further pat down.

So let's be honest and tell people to be smarter when selecting clothing for traveling. They think sweats are comfy and easier, but in reality they are worse.

And for Napolitano to say that people who go through the back-scatter won't need to be patted down is a lie. If they find a "gray area," they will end up both radiated and felt up.

Anonymous said...

And remember to participate in National Opt Out day! Refuse your porno-scan on November 24th!

Anonymous said...

Zero comments? Really? None of my past comments were posted either. Is the Gestapo thin-skinned?

Nick said...

The TSA kills Americans.

They do this by making air travel more expensive and unpleasant. This causes more people to forego the airports and travel instead by car. Americans die on the highways at a rate 300 times higher than in the sky.

Meanwhile, the attacks on September 11, 2001 succeeded only because of the rules of engagement at the time. Their plan stopped working even before it was complete (the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania did so because the passengers reacted to the change in those rules), and no terrorist has been able to take over or damage a commercial airliner since - regardless of the TSA.

The TSA should do 3 things:

1. insure cockpit security during flight.
2. insure that the bags in the cargo hold belong to the passengers on the plane.
3. Perform the level of passenger screening that was the norm for the 3 decades between DB Cooper and 9/11 and no more.

A Survivor said...

I cancelled my travel plans this year. Not just for the holidays, but a family vacation to disney in January.

I'm a sexual assault survivor who has had multiple surgeries, and the current security policies leave me angry and bewildered. I'm afraid I would get pulled out for a "pat-down" because of all of my scars.

I don't want my kids to see me in full-blown panic attack mode, which is what I fear would happen during a "pat-down."

Choosing between canceling my travel plans and being retraumatized has been horrible. Instead of a survivor, I feel like a victim.

You say we give up many "rights" when we choose to fly. I'd like a list of exactly what those are. What ARE my rights if I take a flight? Until I know for sure, I won't be flying.

irkw said...

Where is the Blog post, update, or commentary on the New poll that fewer people like TSA policies? 2-1 support means a THIRD of the people dislike the scanners and HALF the people oppose the "enhanced" pat down. This is a pretty drastic change from 4 out of 5 (80%) approve the scanners, in just a few weeks.

I know you're a PR blog, but you're also the government and accountable to the public.

Anonymous said...

A pumpkin pie seems just as gelatinous to me as does the content of a factory-sealed jar of peanut butter. Yet one is okay to take through the security checkpoint and one isn't. I'm truly curious as to how one can tell that something is "too gel-like" to pass muster.

Anonymous said...

How did the TSA miss 12 inch razor blades carried onto the plane by Adam Savage?

Anonymous said...

I just want to say, Thanks for including the travel advice for turkeys! I'm still chuckling. :)

Rock said...

Here's a very real concern.

If the TSA can change any of these policies at will, in order to make things difficult for the terrorists, why bother posting a long list of cans/and can-nots? I've had capricious TSO's refuse things absolutely not on the list just because they felt like it...I mean, were fighting terrorism.

If I can't plan on what to bring, this makes me travel very difficult.

And now the boilerplate to address the typical TSO kissup responses:
1. Just doing their jobs - doesn't make it right, and so were the nazis
2. No right to fly - yes I do (there are court cases granting me freedom of travel)
3. Its more important to be safe than blown up - chances of blown up are practically zero, so no
4. Just check your bags - not after having had the TSA steal stuff from me, which they did (electronics mostly, and no re-dress was ever given by the TSA)

TJ said...

Are shoes directly on the belt mandatory? If a passenger refuses to place shoes on the belt without a bin, can entry to the secure area be denied and/or a $10,000 fine charged?

Anonymous said...

Interesting. No updates on this post, but new comments on others. Trying to keep the information on nude-o-scope opt out day at bay?

The World According To Me said...

Dear Mr. Pistone,

While I agree that certain things have to be done to keep our flights safe, I find the currently implemented methods a blatant violation of privacy & grossly ineffectual. We both know that the body scanners cannot detect items hidden inside the body. We also understand that any TSA screener with a cell phone camera can take a picture of the images the scanner produces, since supposedly they aren’t saved. (Right!) And lastly, we know that the cargo that is shipped with each passenger plane does not receive the scrutiny it should. After all, that’s what the preapproved lists are for, right? Talk about barricading the front and leaving your proverbial behind hanging in the breeze???

Anonymous said...

After reading and hearing so much about pat-downs and X-ray screening in the media, it was nice to read your lighthearted travel suggestions for tofu turkeys and pilgrims. Happy Thanksgiving to you. I am thankful for a TSA that keeps me safe when I fly.

Trevor Shifter said...

Here's the best tip of all: Don't travel by air until the TSA has been abolished.

Opt-Out Resistance Movement said...

Bring a copy of War & Peace to kill time while we are bringing the TSA and air travel to its knees on Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

Curtis

You have some major explaining to do. If this is true then TSA just signed its own death warrant.

http://wewontfly.com/kris-in-atlanta-i-was-informed-that-opting-out-was-not-an-option-and-that-i-needed-to-leave-the-airport

Anonymous said...

FACT: Nothing the TSA has done in the past 9 years would have prevented 9/11.

txrus said...

Bob-now that we have full-color photos (& video!) of the Mayor of LA going thru one of the AIT's @ LAX, in support of the TSA, wearing:

Shoes
Suit Jacket
Watch
Belt

Does this mean that everyone heading out this weekend will be afforded the same courtesy when they get to the AIT? It would certainly alleviate the need to follow the instructions in this post which state to remove coats & jackets as well as putting shoes in the bins/on the belts.

Or is this one of those consistent inconsistencies you mention where the Mayor of Los Angeles is treated w/dignity & respect because he's showing his 'support' (btw-how did he even get past the highly trained document checked w/o, one assumes, a boarding pass for his photo op?) vs. the way the TSA generally treats the rest of the traveling public?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Q: So if I use MyTSA and it says my item is allowed, what guarantee do I have that the TSO will allow it?

A: No guarantee at all. If the TSO wants your nail clippers he will have them regardless of the list.

Q: Since snowglobes aren't allowed because they are sealed and testing would break them open, how exactly did terrorists get explosive liquids into them?

A: Err, umm, uhh . . .

Q: Speaking of liquids and testing, how many of the water bottles thrown into the (non)hazardous trash cans at the checkpoint are tested?

A: Err, umm, we have a robust testing program designed to ensure the safety of travelers and TSOs.

Q: I noticed you didn't actually answer the previous question. Why?

A: TSA has a comprehensive view of security and will strive to maintain traveller's safety with due regard to their civil rights. Accordingly, only a small percentage of people will be groped.

Hey!

November 22, 2010 4:46 PM

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

Now Stop That.

Your gonna make Bob's head 'splode!

Anonymous said...

The Federal Government has overstepped its bounds by implementing the TSA. The constitution of the United States clearly states the purposes of the Federal Government, and none of those purposes is to intimidate people into submission before they are suspected of any crime. Due process is one of the rights of the citizens of the United States. You should be required to show probable cause before you subject anybody to searches. Tyranny is not one of the functions of the Federal Government and you should quit and cease to exist.

Anonymous said...

Snarky humor is to be shared by friends and colleagues, not authoritarians and their subordinates.

Anonymous said...

The same people who are whining about security procedures will be the ones who will be howling the loudest if (God forbid) someone does manage to slip something dangerous through a relaxed security regime. If we are unwilling to take responsibility for an adverse outcome, we should stop whining about the steps the prevent one.

kdt said...

Travel advice for domesticated humans: Stay away from the TSA. Cavity searches are for turkeys.

Anonymous said...

in the back of your minds, you do realize that groping passengers is not really making us safe, right? you do realize this, right? right?

Anonymous said...

"The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either."

Anonymous said...

"The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either."

Benjamin Franklin

Anonymous said...

TSA paid 30 Million each for the over 400 Scanners in service. That's 12 billion $$. You could buy a hell of a lot of $50K Bomb sniffing dogs for that.

What's the problem with using dogs?

TofuTurkey said...

Humor advice for TSABob: you are not funny. Also, is there a "Virtual Strip Search" feature on the MyTSA application?

Anonymous said...

My previous comment wasn't posted. What a shame.

My point was that the humor in this post is sadly misplaced. Now TSA thinks security is a laughing matter? How sad.

Anonymous said...

KLP - by eating it? or perhaps by performing an enhanced pat down on said pie? We don't know what it could be smuggling under the crust.

Anonymous said...

Of the many reasons why the invasive procedures are not justified, it is not to be forgotten that previous policies implemented by the TSA have been reactionary and a nuisance to passengers without actually providing any additional safety. The 3-1-1 liquid rule does nothing to actually detect potentially dangerous liquids in luggage. I have many times forgotten liquid items in my luggage and passed through screening without any trouble. The one time I got flagged? I had a burrito in my bag.

As for the scanner/pat-down policy, how are we to ensure that TSA agents are doing their job properly, and not being overly zealous or taking advantage of the situation when the TSA consistently refuses to tell us what to expect? How do I know that I have grounds for a complaint or that I should just go on with my business when I have no idea how far is too far? Am I really supposed to trust TSA agents for that? Given some the incredibly obnoxious and rude TSA agents I've dealt with over the years, I'd rather not entrust my modesty to them, thank you.

I guess we'll see how this all works out, but perhaps the TSA should learn that sometimes it's OK to admit that you've messed up.

Anonymous said...

If TSA workers are so important, why are they paid so little? Why aren't they trained in the use of firearm and/or other types of protective devices in case one of these nutcakes gets past the front doors (duh), etc. I feel they will just run away if any shooting begins at all. They do not make me feel safe, they make me feel guilty from the get go.

What if someone has breast implants? Will the TSA pull them aside and ask them to lift their bra? This IS a serious queston.

What's next, Malls? Supermarkets? Police at state lines?

The government in this case is proactive, not reactive.

And I don't find any humor at all in the Pilgrim analogy.

Why is it that when George Bush wanted to monitor known terrorist via wire taps, there was a huge uproad but this is okay?

And the video by OUR leader isn't funny. He isn't MY leader. He's the boss at TSA.

I'm posting on this board at a huge risk. Hopefully, nobody from the government who is going to save me will come to my door to handcuff me and arrest me for questioning the government.

Anonymous said...

"Opt-Out Resistance Movement said...
Bring a copy of War & Peace to kill time while we are bringing the TSA and air travel to its knees on Wednesday."

Bring air travel to its knees?

What is wrong with you?

Bringing air travel to its knees is not the goal of Opt Out Day.

Bringing the issues and facts out of the darkness, misrepresentations and lies is the goal.

Anonymous said...

After your people run their rubber gloves over regions of someone's body could they at least change gloves for the next passenger?

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Anonymous said...

Like Anonymous, I'd like to hear an answer from the TSA on this one. If one were to show up in a g-string thong or other clothing that leaves little to the imagination, the refuses to be irradiated or molested, would the TSA arrest them? My bet is yes, they would be arrested, with prejudice and very much in the public eye.

Anonymous said...

I feel like you are now specializing in pornography and molestation. Your "pat down" is way beyond the legal definition and your scans are pure pornography. If we did this any other place, we would be arrested! Why not use explosive sniffing dogs and other noninvasive measures? It is another way for the government to control their masses.

Anonymous said...

The attempted humor in your post is disgusting. There is nothing funny about TSA. TSA is a criminal organization violating American citizens constitutional rights. TSA actions are destroying America. You make any person who loves this country sick.

Anonymous said...

Dear TSA,

The new pat-down procedures and ogling at passengers' naked bodies (and letting the pics get posted on the Internet) are outrageous. Today I called my congressman and wrote both my senators asking for an official censure of Mr. Pistole and Ms. Napolitano. 2 million people a day fly, on nearly all days not one of those is a terrorist, but you somehow think it is helpful to grope and expose the 2 million innocent passengers. No solo terrorist has ever succeeded on one of our flights. Our whole nation is ashamed because of you.

In your propaganda video, you refer to TSA "professionals." That is a misnomer - these are entry-level, unskilled positions, similar to Wal-Mart cashiers. It is untruthful for you to suggest that these hired hands have the type of education and certification that true "professionals" have - doctors, lawyers, CPA's, etc. That's like talking about "professional" parking lot attendants. Stop lying to us.

Anonymous said...

Bob, the humor is not funny. TSA agents don't like humor in line, and I don't like humor when you're violating the 4th amendment willfully. It won't make us like you any more. This is serious business, and you should treat it as such.

But... it appears that you endorsed Google. Google is a specific commerical entity, not a generic term. Please submit yourself to the authorities for endorsing a commercial enterprise on a government web site in contravention of GSA guidelines. No, I'm not kidding. I have a no tolerance policy for the TSA violating any rules or any kind in any context.

Anonymous said...

Snow globes? Seriously? Seriously?

So....here's your thesis: Liquids are dangerous. We must therefore limit that amount of liquids that an attacker could bring on board.

But if its SEALED, well, then that's extra dangerous.

So, will you be breaking the tamper-evident seal on my next bottle of saline solution in the name of "security?"

Dathon said...

In the video John Pistole says we have the option to have the pat-down witnessed by a person of our choice. I choose Sir Patrick Stewart. I've always wanted to meet him. If this isn't the case, I'd really wish this blog would stop sending out mixed messages about this thing.

Jesse said...

Bob, your attempts at humor are tasteless in light of the controversy the TSA now finds itself embroiled in. Please stop.

Ertdfg said...

Thanks for the head of TSA clarifying that violating the Fourth Amendment is ok because "Flying is a Privilege and not a right".

Please inform him that "Driving is a privilege and not a right" so we'll be doing a strip search of him and a full inspection of his vehicle every day.

This isn't an illegal search even without cause; because he's using this "privilege" of driving.

Clearly he has a new interpretation of the Constitution whereby citizens only have rights when they're doing a small set of activities that are in and of themselves "rights"... I'm not sure where this comes from.

Can you post the updated Constitution that clarifies when I still have my Constitutional rights?

Anonymous said...

Those of you who complain of a "Pat Down" should remember the victim's and their families of 9/11The securtiy at the airports are for our safety against those who may board a plane with a bomb and or, weapons in which case we would never see our loved ones again!!!! So either don't fly or quit whining!

Anonymous said...

There should be TWO lines at airport security..one for those who don't mind the extra security of body scans, etc. and those who object and want to protest. Why should protestors be allowed to tie up the airports? Let them tie up their own lines and possibly miss their flights.

Anonymous said...

Travel advice: avoid the TSA whenever possible.

Anonymous said...

"Bob" -

Why do you refuse to post my comments responding to "God forbid there's a successful attack"?

Is it because I point out that in the event of a successful attack, the TSA will have shown that it's Unconstitutional mistreatment of its fellow Americans was not only pointless but ineffective?

Bob? Bob?

Tofu Turkey said...

The evil TSA humiliates and intimidates ordinary people in a way that recalls 1930s Germany. (I suppose we can be thankful that you haven't advanced to the 1940s yet.)

And now you are making jokes about it? How disgusting.

Anonymous said...

I find the attempt at humor on a government blog offensive and inappropriate. Trying to make light of very serious issues is an insult to the people humiliated by TSA procedures and practices.

Anonymous said...

I have a question about the scanning machines. Can you close your eyes while in the machine? The reason I ask is that I already believe that my skin is getting more than enough x-ray energy from these systems and I'd really prefer not to have the surface of my eyes exposed. I think that the head is more or less blocked out on the images but that doesn't mean it's not getting it's share of x-ray during the exposure. I don't think any of it is safe in the very long term but as long as I have to use these scanners to fly I'd really rather not have the surface of my eyes exposed. Any answers?

Anonymous said...

I finally received Health information concerning the spread of genital herpes, genital warts, other STDs and HIV from surgical gloves to inspect groin and breast area inside the clothing (inside bras or down the pants)from the CDC--while they referred me to TSA official site for clarification of procedures for pat downs (my only choice since I am very high cancer risk genetically and must avoid irradiation)..."Please also be aware that you freely able and within your rights to request that any TSA agent change gloves before pat downs." I am so relieved that I will NOT have to die young nor will be hauled away in cuffs if I politely and courteously request the agent to use new surgical gloves on me. I am still terrified of being forced or by the use of threat of force into irradiation chambers and be subjected to unsanitary gloves--I am still stressed and afraid of dieing or getting ill from these procedures; I barely slept for many days given my medical conditions and that my job requires frequent flying.

Anonymous said...

"hould remember the victim's and their families of 9/11"

I do remember them - by pointing out that 9/11 was entirely preventable.

Not with pat downs and porno-scanners, which do nothing but insult and demean passengers. But by intelligence, secured cockpit doors, and making sure that people on watch lists aren't being escorted onto planes.

Anonymous said...

"Travel Advice for Tofu Turkeys: You are not real." Oh it's real all right. Personally if I'm forced to eat non-meat turkey I greatly prefer a gluten knock-off.

Another thought, if a Tofu Turkey is no real can it be screened, a la if a tofu turkey gobbles in the woods and no one is there can it be heard?

Anonymous said...

This post restored my faith in the TSA, because you addressed the problem of people losing their I.D. on a trip. The fact that you can travel if you pass questioning seems pretty reasonable.

Pies and turkeys are allowed items? Is this a year round thing or just a seasonal window?

Anonymous said...

For those of you whining about us "whiners". 9/11 was not caused by a lack of security but by the failure of intelligence organisations who did not act on overwhelming evidence. If terrorists are even making to the airport means that somebody already screwed up.

If terrorism has made you such a coward, stay home. All this 'security theatre' makes a mockery of the victims of 9/11.

Anonymous said...

TSA. Is. A. Joke.

Anonymous said...

This is hideous and insulting.

Kyle Kiernan said...

Check your attitude sir!
Joking about threats in the security is strictly prohibited!
All jokes will be taken seriously and may be punishable by severe penalties!

Sound familiar? Its been dinned into us for decades now, long before 9/11.

Cram your comedy routine and stick to the facts.
You are already failing at having the facts match up at different locations and times within your bureaucracy. Achieve that and then you can start your gig in Vegas.

Anonymous said...

the current events since 9/11, including the underwear bomber and the shoebomber had nothing to do with taking over the plane. it was about blowing the plan up with a bomb. so sure there are locked cockpit doors but that means nothing when they want to blow up the plane. on 9/11 the hijackers used the planes themselves as weapons to take out symbols of america and capitalism. they accomplished their goals. now they are looking to inspire fear again by blowing planes up. i want my family safe from these people! even if a plane was taken over again the govt would shoot it down rather than use it as a weapon again. whatever the case the passengers on board are going to die. i want to avoid this and it looks like the tsa is doing a good job of this. the numbers speak for themselves and i know bloggers spin it anyway they can...

TSM West said...

Anon said in part
In your propaganda video, you refer to TSA "professionals." That is a misnomer - these are entry-level, unskilled positions, similar to Wal-Mart cashiers. It is untruthful for you to suggest that these hired hands have the type of education and certification that true "professionals" have - doctors, lawyers, CPA's, etc. That's like talking about "professional" parking lot attendants. Stop lying to us.

November 24, 2010 12:01 AM
-----------------------------------
First of all you have no idea what my educational background is. I have been in this business for 23 years and yes I am a professional. Dr. and lawyers only have to practice their profession. If they make a mistake they have insurance companies to pay for it. We have to do our best all of the time. Thats not easy to do when you have winers like you who think a piece of paper is all it takes to be a professional. I had a lot more to say, but you're not worth the time.

Cristina said...

Finally something that makes sense! I have no problem with Secure Flight program and frankly it is something that should have been done years ago. Great use of the US Marshals and strategically making them take flights with 2 or more people from the watchlist.
Congratulations TSA for doing something right.
As for the pat-downs, who cares. People should get over it and just get on the machines or get patted down for safety.

Anonymous said...

The body scanning is obscene enough. What I have a difficult time imagining is who in their right minds opted this as an option to begin with? What kind of professional got the idea that people would be alright, or dare I say, complacent enough to allow this infringement upon or dignity to continue. It is grossly ineffective, inefficient, and professionals attest that it would probably be safer to return to the conditions we had become accustomed to before all these indignities were ever instituted. Not to mention, considering that more than one pat down ensues a day, I couldn't imagine that these pat downs are particularly HYGIENIC. I would like to see America become more than a nation of serfs and show the TSA that they can't bully children anymore.

Anonymous said...

I will not be flying anymore by choice.
I had to fly once for my job, only to find out that enhanced screening was random and everyone I saw being singled out was disabled (prosthetics, wheelchairs, etc.) which was horrifying to me and the elderly. My first impression was "easy prey". The least likely to object.
I wanted to visit an old college friend next year but will not be flying with my young autistic child for fear she will be singled out and nothing good could come of that.
But my biggest problem is I no longer know what my rights are. If they wanted to "pat down" my daughter could we simply change our minds and not fly, leave the airport, lose our tickets, our money, sacrifice a lot to make that important decision. I am told no. "We give up certain rights when we buy an airplane ticket"? Is this true? I also heard the head of TSA say that enhanced screening was not to be done on children 12 and under but we all know this is happening. I feel like I have lost my country. What has happened to us, how far are people willing to let this go? The next idiot that tries to blow up a plane with something hidden in an orifice will we all willingly sheeple our way through strip searches and cavity searches? We are one step away.
I am disgusted, I am sad, I am angry that I cannot even figure out anymore what my rights really are. Because I don't know if opt out means I could opt out of flying all together, I will not risk it, for my daughter's sake and my own dignity too.

karibuzanzibar said...

At least you have a few tips on what to expect in Turkey. It wont be sickening since you go through security checks aware of what they might do
Thanks for the tips Bob

Jay said...

I wonder why there is inconsistency in the checking procedure at various airports in the counrty

JohhnyBlaze said...

"To reduce the need for a pat-down, the most important thing you can do is take everything out of your pockets before you go through screening. You can put these items in your carry-on bag. Don't wear clothes with a high metal content, and put heavy jewelry on after you go through security."

Looks like no studded leather jackets and pants for me this Thanksgiving. And better not forget to put my chains and custom Juno rings in my carry-on baggage instead.