Thursday, June 2, 2011

TSA 2011 Summer Travel Tips

Summer Travel Banner

Summertime isn’t officially here yet, but with a heat index yesterday of 104°, you could have fooled me! The weather is definitely a reminder that summer is right around the corner. It’s time to figure out where you put all of your summer clothes and summery type outdoor thingamabobs. Now is also the time of year when your summer travel is quickly approaching and I’m guessing the last thing on your mind is spending an evening at TSA.gov researching your travel questions. So, we’ve taken all of our best travel tips and provided them here in one place in a handy dandy blog post.

Summer Travel Checklist Link
Summer Travelers Checklist: Be the envy of all your friends and download the all new collectable 2011 Summer Travelers Checklist.

My TSA iPhone & Mobile Web App: Have you downloaded our award winning MyTSA app yet? If not, it just may be the perfect new accessory to help you during your summer travel. No matter where you are, you’ll have easy access to information you need to get through security and onto the plane safely and smoothly with 24/7 access to the most commonly requested TSA information.

Can I Bring My… : What can you bring in your carry-on? What needs to be checked and what has to stay at home? Find out using our Can I Bring My… tool or take a look at our prohibited items list.

Are You Going Camping This Summer?: Check out this post for tips on traveling with your camping gear.

Packing: If you plan on locking your bag, be sure to use one of the TSA recognized locks so we can unlock your bag without breaking the lock. You can help speed up the screening process by packing your carry-ons in an organized manner. This helps our officers efficiently see what's inside to quickly process it through screening. Pack items in layers (shoes one layer, clothes one layer, electronics one layer, etc.) Pack large electronics on the top layer of your carry-on for easy accessibility. Place your 3-1-1 bag with liquids, gels and aerosols in the front pocket of your carry-on for easy accessibility. Packing: If you plan on locking your bag, be sure to use one of the TSA recognized locks so we can unlock your bag without breaking the lock. You can help speed up the screening process by packing your carry-ons in an organized manner. This helps our officers efficiently see what's inside to quickly process it through screening. Pack items in layers (shoes one layer, clothes one layer, electronics one layer, etc.) Pack large electronics on the top layer of your carry-on for easy accessibility. Place your 3-1-1 bag with liquids, gels and aerosols in the front pocket of your carry-on for easy accessibility.

Foods: Food items that are in the form of a liquid or gel are generally not permitted however, items such as cakes, bread, donuts, ham sammiches, etc. are all permitted. Here is a list of items that are prohibited at the checkpoint… Creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, salsa, jams and salad dressings, gravy (mmm gravy), jams, jellies, maple syrup, oils and vinegars, sauces, soups, wine, liquor and beer.

Leave Early: The best piece of advice I could give a traveler is to arrive early if you can. No matter what happens, (aside from a flight being cancelled) if you get to the airport early, you should be fine. Worst case scenario is you’ll have some extra time to people watch or play Angry Birds.

As you approach a TSA checkpoint, you’ll 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. This will help speed things along. 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.
ID & Boarding Pass Checking: As you approach a TSA checkpoint, you’ll 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. This will help speed things along. 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.

Secure Flight: 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.

How to Get Through the Line Faster: We put together some great tips on how to get through our lines faster. Click here to read tips about the right clothes to wear, which ID to use and many other helpful tips and videos. If you travel through an airport with Advanced Imaging Technology (Body Scanner), ensure you remove everything from your pockets whether it’s metal or paper to prevent you from having to undergo additional screening. Also wear easily removable shoes. For example, flip-flops or loafers would be easier to kick off than knee-high lace-up boots.

Pat-downs: A very small percentage of passengers (less than 3%) 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. TSA does not squeeze, twist, or grab any body parts during a pat-down and other than inspecting the waistband and collar, our officers are not reaching inside clothing or touching any skin.

3-1-1 Baggie
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. 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 Lane Signage
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 exemptible liquids, aerosols and gels in excess of 3.4 oz may be directed to a Family Lane.

Snow Globes: I know... Believe me, I know… It sounds so silly, but there really is a reason, and it’s not that we hate snow globes. 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.

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.

Here are some more links to tips for traveling with special items this summer:
If you’re traveling internationally, be sure to check out U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s international travel tips.

Bonus: How To Keep From Getting Sand Kicked In Your Face: Don’t wear this. Also, check out the USA.gov Blog for other summer related posts including one linking to NOAA's new online tool for getting water temps at your favorite beach! 

Have a great summer!

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.

99 comments:

Anonymous said...

You forgot the most important tip, instead of dealing with the TSA: drive.

On a recent trip I witnessed the TSA torture two VERY old people and then essentially decide to sexually harass a woman wearing short shorts. All this while letting someone's giant container of shampoo and shaving cream go through in a bin (each was at least 8 ounces).

Bravo TSA. Bravo.

RB said...

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.

It's the unintentional inconsistencies that bother me and others.

What will TSA do to ensure that screening procedures are publish so travelers will know if a TSA screener is out of line during a pat down for example since TSA started very invasive pat downs including pat downs of the genitals last November?

How is a person to know if the TSA employee has exceeded the standards?

Anonymous said...

So if snowglobes are sealed and must be destroyed to get open and test the contents, how exactly did the terrorists get explosives into it?

Anonymous said...

1. Is photography or videotaping at the checkpoint (excluding x-ray or body scanner screens) that doesn't interfere with the screening process prohibited by any TSA regulation?

2. If a TSA screener demands that I go to a private screening area, must I comply as a requirement to enter the sterile area, or do I have the right to have any such screening conducted in public view if I so desire? I know I have the right to a private screening if I desire, and the right to a witness, so don't bother bringing that up as your whole answer.

Adrian said...

My tip is to opt out of WBI. I've always gotten through faster with the pat-down than the sheep who consent to being irradiated.

I've never seen anyone, get through the WBI with a single scan. They are always sent back in for at least a second scan and/or given a partial patdown anyway.

So you may as well skip the scan, get the pat down, and vote against the corruption and kickbacks that brought these expensive-yet-worthless invasions into our lives.

Anonymous said...

"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."

So are you publicly stating that a TSA screener has the authority to prohibit *ANYTHING* if he/she deems (through ignorance, malice, or anything else) that it might be a threat?

On the flip side, have there been any instances in which a TSA screener has used "discretion" or "common sense" to allow something that is on a 'dangerous' or prohibited list?

Or is your statement intended, as above, to give screeners carte blanche to prohibit anything they want without fear of retribution or review?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
You forgot the most important tip, instead of dealing with the TSA: drive.

You got that right - flying is the transportation of last resort. Only if there is absolutely no other option.

Flying has been getting worse and worse for years, and the TSA has now managed to make it so bad that it's no longer worth it.

At some point the airlines will realize that they are losing money because of this nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Bob, why don't you mention that the US is the only country to waste everyone's time with mandatory shoe removal?

Or that there's no independent research supporting 3.4-1-1?

Or that your strip-search scanners are so safe you prohibit your own employees from wearing radiation meters?

Anonymous said...

If I see a screener groping a child, should I call the police?

Anonymous said...

If you must travel, be sure to watch your property. TSA workers may try to separate you from your property and distract you while one goes through and pilfers valuables. If something is stolen, go to the local police to complain, not TSA. This nonesense that TSA is above local laws is just that - nonesense.

Anonymous said...

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.

Yeah- who knows how many terror plots have been averted because the screeners in one airport scream at passengers for putting their shoes IN a bin, while screeners at another airport scream at the passengers for NOT putting their shoes in a bin.

One can only wonder at the number of lives saved because one screener insists laptops go in bins by themselves, while another screener allows other items in the same bin.

Anonymous said...

I do not accept a process that involves someone rubbing my body that can include "intentional inconsistencies" and no oversight (TSA supervisors agreeing with screeners does not constitute oversight). I've avoided four trips this year, including my family, due to your processes. I'm sure the airlines looking for revenue appreciate being forced to use TSA. Great questions from the other posters and I look forward to the response!

Anonymous said...

American Travlers,

The best suggestion the TSA could offer to law-abiding taxpaying Americans this summer is to stay home, save your money and wait until a sliver of dignity can be restored at airport checkpoints across the United States.

Anonymous said...

When is the TSA going to get the message and start implementing more acceptable security approaches? The American public is sick of reading weekly TSA horror stories - kids, seniors, infants, cancer patients, pregnant women getting pated down or coerced into the naked scanners.

You have been testing the ATR "stick image" scanners for 4 months now - when are we going to see these in action as a first positive step in ending some of this controversy? This will go a LONG way with the American public since it eliminates the naked image concern and will reduce patdowns (and hence horror stories) since travelers will be less likely to opt out.

When will we some positive changes?

Anonymous said...

Oh, btw TSA, you forgot to mention in your sunny little article that you don't actually NEED ID to board a plane. Evidenced by the 21 year old friend of my daughter's who we put on a flight from Seattle to Tennessee 8 weeks ago without a single piece of ID. Awesome.

My advise is to forgo flying until the TSA is dismantled. I would rather take my chances with a terrorist than with the TSA.

Anonymous said...

Another tip: watch out for whole body scanners. Choose the other lines when available. When not, opt out. No reason to be virtually strip searched using ionizing radiation generated by untested and non-maintained technology.

Chris Boyce said...

On a recent trip through a major airport, I was told by a Transportation Security Manager (I have his business card) that I would be breaking the law by removing my shirt during an opt-out frisk.

I wasn't aware that it was illegal for a male to be shirtless in public in the USA. Please tell me the law I would be breaking if I remove my shirt. FYI, I checked the state & local county ordinances for the location of the airport and saw no such law.

Or, was the Transportation Security manager simply lying?

Anonymous said...

Two questions...

1) How did you come up with the "less than 3%" figure (in regards to pat-downs), when the number of pat-downs is never tracked?

2) Snowglobes would not need to be broken open in order to clear them when many airports have the technology to scan a clear container without opening it. So why the all-out ban?

Anonymous said...

"Or, was the Transportation Security manager simply lying?"
-----------------------------------
"How did you come up with the "less than 3%" figure (in regards to pat-downs), when the number of pat-downs is never tracked?"

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

TSA personnel don't lie, these are simply "inconsistencies". It's all about keeping the "bad guys" ( the American public) off balance.

Anonymous said...

"So if snowglobes are sealed and must be destroyed to get open and test the contents, how exactly did the terrorists get explosives into it?"

I'm not exactly a big fan of the TSA's current practices, but that's a pretty dumb question. Probably the same way the water gets in there. MAGIC!

Anonymous said...

My post was not uploaded, so I´ll send it again:

As an MD, I have another recommendation: Keep away from whole body scanners. I have read the available literature on them and it is clear that, even if within the specified conditions of use (and maintenance is questionable) these machines will cause cancer and cataracts. Chances are not large, but they exists, and there is no reason why you should increase you cancer and cataract risks without any health gain.

Ayn R. Key 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.

Nice way to say "The rules don't matter, and we can be as arbitrary as we want. Who cares if something is allowed, it still isn't allowed if we're having a bad day."

Seriously, Bob, train your workforce. There's all sorts of stuff that is allowed by policy but not by front line TSOs. That's why I've been asking you to do a blog entry about TSOs who ignore the rules.

Ayn R. Key said...

These are the same tips as last time. And just like last time you didn't justify the rules, explain why they are there. You only yelled at us for putting our shoes in the bin.

I have it on good authority that 4 oz of water is not explosive.

Anonymous said...

"who knows how many terror plots have been averted because the screeners in one airport scream at passengers for putting their shoes IN a bin, while screeners at another airport scream at the passengers for NOT putting their shoes in a bin."

Zero, which is also the same number of terrorists TSA has ever stopped and the precise danger presented by shoes.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

Why did you waste all that time typing this long post when the only relevant part is:

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...Our officers also can use their discretion.

Just be honest with us, TSO can make up their own rules and the public is powerless.

TSM... said...

Quoted:
" Anonymous said...
If I see a screener groping a child, should I call the police?

June 2, 2011 7:37 PM

-----------------------
Please do. Since what the TSA does is not "groping" (at least by the definition of every court that it's been brought to) I'm sure the police officer would be more than happy to take time from his busy day to appraise you of such.

With the literally MILLIONS of travelers that go thru the CPs every single day, I'm sure by now we would have at least heard of ONE SINGLE case where all those passengers on here who say that they are going to call the police if they get "groped" had actually done so.

Hello....? Hmmm, sound of crickets chirping in the silence.

Curtis said...

Let me fix this for you:

Can I Bring My... What can you bring on your carry-on? Depends what the TSO decides at the checkpoint! They either don't know or don't care about what is on the TSA website.

Foods- Here is a list of items that are prohibited at the checkpoint... whatever the TSO decides, including cakes, bread donuts, ham sammiches, etc.

How To Get Through the Line Faster- Comply, comply, comply. Do you want to fly today?

Pat-downs- A very small percentage of passengers will need to receive a pat-down- only about 1.8 million people per month, according to politifact.com. that's 4 times the population of Atlanta every single month.

The 4-1-1 on 3-1-1- We have no idea what that even means. Sometimes we let large liquids through. Depends on the TSO.

Inconsistencies- When we say that we are inconsistent, that means that no matter what our officers do- grope, assault, or steal- if it makes the news, we can say that the screening took place according to TSA policy. Who could prove us wrong, anyway?

Anonymous said...

Bob, Bob, Bob,

Such a fine wall of text that really be shorted to be much more clear and concise.

What not just say what you are really looking for from the American public?

You could replace the entire article with this..

"TSA 2011 Summer Travel Tips"
1. Obey regardless of what is done to you or ask of you.
2. Ask no questions.

Anonymous said...

My post was also not "uploaded", so I too will post again:

At Christmas last year, I had to go through the enhanced patdown, despite the fact that I did not set off any alarms or opt out of whole body scanning. It was a truly awful experience. Because of this, I will not ever fly again if I can avoid it.

However, should I find it absolutely necessary to fly (probably only in the case of a serious family emergency) and am required to go through another patdown, the one thing I will NEVER do is empty my pockets. I will keep my billfold on me at all times, and I suggest others do likewise. The last time I went through a patdown, I was directed to the glass box, and all my personal belongings were taken out of my sight for several minutes. Nothing went missing, but the TSOs had ample time to steal something if one of them had chosen to do so.

The TSA has made it very clear that their officers are "above the law" and that they can not be trusted. There have been way WAY too many thefts by TSA officers. Most passengers' claims of theft are rejected or go ignored by the TSA.

The only way I would give up my billfold is if it were screened directly within my line of sight, no more than 20 feet away from me OR if an official police officer, who, unlike the TSOs, is sworn to uphold the law, watches the TSA go through my belongings.

Anonymous said...

"If you must travel, be sure to watch your property. TSA workers may try to separate you from your property and distract you while one goes through and pilfers valuables. If something is stolen, go to the local police to complain, not TSA. This nonesense that TSA is above local laws is just that - nonesense."

You failed to notice a couple of things in that article.

"Iglesias was working as a TSA baggage screener in March" That TSO wasn't working a checkpoint.

"A co-worker told a TSA supervisor he saw Iglesias place a laptop taken from a brown suitcase and put it in his personal backpack, according to a police report."

A different TSO REPORTED him to a supervisor! The supervisor reported him to the police and the FBI! Doesn't sound like TSA is acting like they are above the law to me. TSOs who are caught stealing are fired and and arrested depending on the circumstances.

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"I'm sure the airlines looking for revenue appreciate being forced to use TSA."

lol so let govt policy and agencies be determined and run based on a private corp that gets bailed out by tax payer dollars. YES thats it!

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"Nothing went missing, but the TSOs had ample time to steal something if one of them had chosen to do so."

this has to be one of the best lines ive seen on here. cmon get real! let me guess your the same person that asks how many terrorists the tsa has stopped right? how many did the private agencies stop pre-tsa? specifically on 9/11/01?

Anonymous said...

I was happy to take my shoes off, I was happy to go through metal detectors.

I WILL NOT willingly go through a body scanning machine at the airport. Nor will I allow my child to do so. I will also not allow a strange adult to do an invasive patdown of my 6-year old daughter.

That's where our family has drawn the line.

Anonymous said...

Please keep complaining that the supervisors support their tsa because everyone in the working world loves it when their boss throws them under the bus in front of customers, in every line of work.

Anonymous said...

TSM... said...
Since what the TSA does is not "groping" (at least by the definition of every court that it's been brought to)...


Then why was the TSA against the Texas bill that would have banned groping?? If the TSA doesn't grope, they should have no problem with such a law.

Anonymous said...

"TSM said.....
Quoted:
" Anonymous said...
If I see a screener groping a child, should I call the police?

June 2, 2011 7:37 PM

-----------------------
Please do. Since what the TSA does is not "groping" (at least by the definition of every court that it's been brought to) I'm sure the police officer would be more than happy to take time from his busy day to appraise you of such.

With the literally MILLIONS of travelers that go thru the CPs every single day, I'm sure by now we would have at least heard of ONE SINGLE case where all those passengers on here who say that they are going to call the police if they get "groped" had actually done so.

Hello....? Hmmm, sound of crickets chirping in the silence."

The current pat-down procedures (those put in place last November)have not been court tested as of yet. If they have please cite your reference.

Al Ames said...

Well, TSM, it takes time for a lawsuit to make it thru the courts. You guys have only been groping crotches and breasts since the fall, so it's going to take awhile.

In the meantime, no court has ruled on the current patdowns. Half the battle is just getting an LEO to make the arrest. Of course, when challenged on the patdowns, like Texas did, TSA via DOJ just threatens to shutdown airports. So, yes, challenging is difficult when you have people by the short and curlies.

Al

PS - Anyone else find it interesting that the "ID checker" shot was also focused on the woman's breasts? Freudian slip, perhaps?

Bob [not the blogger] said...

Anonymous says:
I WILL NOT willingly go through a body scanning machine at the airport.

Bob [not the blogger] says:
Then you may be wanded, or patted down, or both.

Anonymous says:
Nor will I allow my child to do so.

Bob [not the blogger] says:
If your child alarms, the alarm must be reconciled.

Anonymous says:
I will also not allow a strange adult to do an invasive patdown of my 6-year old daughter.

Bob [not the blogger] says:
Then your daughter won't fly.

Bob [not the blogger] said...

Anonymous says:
If I see a screener groping a child, should I call the police?

Bob [not the blogger] says:
Depends on the meaning of the word "groping."

Does the police officer go ONLY by YOUR meaning of the word? The legal meaning?

If he/she goes by the legal meaning, your wasting everybody's time.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Or that there's no independent research supporting 3.4-1-1?

The whole 3.4-1-1 thing is just about one of the stupidest policies ever.

How exactly is multiple small containers safer than a big container with exactly that same quantity of liquid?

Do they really believe that terrorists are too stupid to figure out that they can combine the small bottles into a large bottle after going through the security checkpoint?

How can the TSA expect anyone to believe they know what they are doing when they do such obvious nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"Or, was the Transportation Security manager simply lying?"

Usually, I'd advise not to attribute as evil that which can be explained by stupidity. With the TSA, it's a close call. My guess is that if you tried to remove your shirt while you're being "frisked" by the TSA, that TSM would attempt to convince law enforcement you were being disruptive or attempting to breach the peace.

My advice: Go for it but be prepared for some level of response.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

"The whole 3.4-1-1 thing is just about one of the stupidest policies ever."

3-1-1 was a (knee-jerk) reaction to the post-9/11 threat. It came out of the White House or at least was endorsed by the WH. How do I know this? The Advisor who came up with this was regularly poked fun of for the arbitrary decision.

In fairness, he thought the policy would be reviewed and replaced with one more soundly based in science in "no more" than six months.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"cmon get real! let me guess your the same person that asks how many terrorists the tsa has stopped right? how many did the private agencies stop pre-tsa? specifically on 9/11/01?"

The "private agencies" conducted their jobs on 9/11. Nothing the hijackers took through security were prohibited by FAA regulations.

Do you have any knowledge to the contrary? One of the most unexplored facts regarding 9/11 is the role that FAA mandated airline crew training had in enabling the hijackers.

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"The "private agencies" conducted their jobs on 9/11. Nothing the hijackers took through security were prohibited by FAA regulations."

so, did they stop the terrorists?
it shows that their policies and procedures were out of date and that they didnt constantly look at and upgrade their procedures they usd the some ones for years and years without any new technology or procedures. they allowed the terrorists to find a hole in the system and got through. the tsa is constantly changing things and is doing their jobs and so far there havent been any terrorist attacks. the ones that have occured have been on flights headed to the US from other countries.
so far the tsa is doing a good job

Anonymous said...

with the impatience of the bloggers im starting to wonder if you all have a career in tsa. are you the people yelling at the passengers for keeping water in their bags? or does it only go one way? its ok for you to complain on here the tsa people have no right to be fustrated that no one reads signs or listens to their direction?

Bob [not the blogger] said...

Anonymous says:
My guess is that if you tried to remove your shirt while you're being "frisked" by the TSA, that TSM would attempt to convince law enforcement you were being disruptive or attempting to breach the peace.

Bob [not the blogger] says:
Prob'ly the same kind-a thing a police officer would do, if, while taking the shirt off, you were challenging the officer with your attitude and behavior. If I were still on the checkpoint, supervising, I wouldn't take it, either. I'd let LEO take you down and question you for a few hours.

The fact is that the checkpoints are far too busy to put up with crybabies and wanna-be, "I-saw-Matlock-say-this-so-I'll-try-it-too" lawyers.

My attitude on the checkpoint: I gotta job to do and it's WWWAAAYYY busy and nobody is gonna interfere with that job. I don't care WHO they are, nor who they THINK they are. I will give them a chance to say what they wanna say, and, then, it's time for business -- that is, either they wanna fly, or they won't. I must be seen by others to be doing that job; it's a type of PR. If I can be talked outta doing that job, I don't feel good and onlookers don't feel good and my boss doesn't feel good. So, I'm doin' my job.

Bob [not the blogger] said...

Anonymous says:
The "private agencies" conducted their jobs on 9/11. Nothing the hijackers took through security were prohibited by FAA regulations.

Bob [not the blogger] says:
I was a checkpoint security supervisor pre-TSA.

The rule for what was allowed in the cabin was:
No boxcutters.
No tools.
No 4"+ knives.
No excuses.

Bob [not the blogger] said...

I worked for a private company performing pre-TSA, pre-board security. I was a Checkpoint Security Supervisor.

I know, from personal experience, that the airlines put pressure on the security team NOT to be too strict. My following my job description got me in some warm water a few times; but I continued to do the job I was paid to do.

While working as an outside screener at John Wayne--Orange County Airport, before the jetways and with outside exits, a PSA ramper ENTERED through that exit. He wore a PSA sweater, but displayed NO ID. When I asked him for his ID, he got mad, told his sup and I was forbidden to work their gates again. Is THIS the kinda security YOU want?

Well, my sup, bowing to PSA station pressure, wrote a note for all of us, saying that these agents DON'T need to show ID when coming through that gate.

I took that note, anonymously, to The Orange County Register, and they published it with a story about it. There was quite a stink about it, and the policy of agents entering the exit gate without ID ended. But it shouldn't take what I did to get the proper policy enforced.

While screening inside, in Phoenix, rampers and other agents coming through the checkpoints were annoyed that I required them to be screened. I didn't care that they were annoyed. I did my job.

But the point is that private security, paid for by the airlines, is pressured not to do the job too well, for fear of getting passengers mad, and, at times, all a passenger had to do to relax security was to carry on like we killed his dog, then go and complain to the airline whose supervisor relaxed security for the crybaby. That shouldn't be the standard for good security.

Again, is THAT the kinda security you want?

Bob [not the blogger] said...

Anonymous says:
the tsa people have no right to be fustrated that no one reads signs or listens to their direction? [sic]

Bob [not the blogger] aks:
They don't??????

I couldn't help but be frustrated when a passenger would come through my checkpoint, festooned with lighted signs, "Gates 1 through 13" right in front of him, and he would ask me, "Is Gate 9 this way?"

RB said...

Bob [not the blogger] said...
Anonymous says:
The "private agencies" conducted their jobs on 9/11. Nothing the hijackers took through security were prohibited by FAA regulations.

Bob [not the blogger] says:
I was a checkpoint security supervisor pre-TSA.

The rule for what was allowed in the cabin was:
No boxcutters.
No tools.
No 4"+ knives.
No excuses.

June 5, 2011 5:32 PM
..............

I'm not sure if I have ever seen any evidence that absolutely states that the 9/11 hijackers had box cutters.

Anonymous said...

"Bob (not the bogger) said...
Anonymous says:
The "private agencies" conducted their jobs on 9/11. Nothing the hijackers took through security were prohibited by FAA regulations.

Bob [not the blogger] says:
I was a checkpoint security supervisor pre-TSA.

The rule for what was allowed in the cabin was:
No boxcutters.
No tools.
No 4"+ knives.
No excuses."

Really? Then you were just as inept as the TSA is today. This along with the policies in place regarding hijacking are what allowed those planes to be taken over.

Based on your writings as well, you had just as much of a bad attitude as the current crop screeners which is major part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

Bob [not the blogger] said...
I took that note, anonymously, to The Orange County Register, and they published it with a story about it. ...it shouldn't take what I did to get the proper policy enforced.

~~~~

Hmmm... In a different conversation happening around this place didn't you just tell those of us who take screen captures of our posts that we are trying to intimidate this place into doing what we want. Yet you just admitted that you had to go Public with your intimidation tactics to get what you wanted done.



And then Bob [not the blogger] said...
But the point is that private security... is pressured not to do the job too well

~~
Do you have any idea how much those planes cost? And how much more they cost to operate? It seems to me that keeping the planes in the air and out of tall buildings would be in the Airlines best interest.


And then Bob [not the blogger] said...

That shouldn't be the standard for good security.

Again, is THAT the kinda security you want?

~~

In reverse order... Yes. THAT is the kinda security I desire. It is effective, it has been court tested to comply with the Constitution, and the percentage of terrorist acts committed against aviation in the decade before 2001 was a very tiny fraction of actual flights. So small a percentage in fact that it is smaller than the number of complaints the TSA received from November 2010 to May 2011.

And then the normal swipe at the TSA as to be expected from the posts on these things: Are you trying to say the TSA is providing Good Security now?

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said... 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.

Only SOME of it is intentional?

So, if I understand what your saying (which is questionable, I know) you are admitting that you have little, if any, control over the TSA Agents actually performing the screening at check points. They can decide, and be supported by their superiors, that something that is allowed through the check point is not allowed through the check point today.

I think an old joke about government should be applied here.... We should be happy we don't get all the 'security' we are paying for.

Anonymous said...

Bob wrote:
The rule for what was allowed in the cabin was:
No boxcutters.
No tools.
No 4"+ knives.
No excuses."


Pre-TSA, I used to fly with a Gerber Multi-Lock and an Opinel #12 in my pockets. Never had a problem with "airport security."

Anonymous said...

rb said:
"I'm not sure if I have ever seen any evidence that absolutely states that the 9/11 hijackers had box cutters."

so how did they get people to sit still and allow themselves to get killed? with idol threats? here we go again.........

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"3-1-1 was a (knee-jerk) reaction to the post-9/11 threat. It came out of the White House or at least was endorsed by the WH. How do I know this? The Advisor who came up with this was regularly poked fun of for the arbitrary decision.

In fairness, he thought the policy would be reviewed and replaced with one more soundly based in science in "no more" than six months."

actually the "(knee jerk)" reactions was NO liquids period, no matter what size or reason for having them. the 3-1-1 came out as a compromise to the total ban on liquids. the threat of liquid explosives is still out there, do a simple youtube or google search and you can find all the info you need. btw you can take all the liquids you want, exceopt for hazmat, in your checked luggage.

Anonymous said...

ok good, we have established then that its ok for some person to take my image and use it where and how ever he/she wants. but its completely wrong for the tsa to get an image of me to see if im trying to smuggle items through their area.
got it

Bob [not the blogger] said...

Anonymous says:
The "private agencies" conducted their jobs on 9/11. Nothing the hijackers took through security were prohibited by FAA regulations.

Bob [not the blogger] says:
I was a checkpoint security supervisor pre-TSA.

The rule for what was allowed in the cabin was:
No boxcutters.
No tools.
No 4"+ knives.
No excuses.

RB says:
I'm not sure if I have ever seen any evidence that absolutely states that the 9/11 hijackers had box cutters.

Bob [not the blogger] says:
http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/09/23/inv.investigation.terrorism/

Bob [not the blogger] said...

Anonymous says:
The "private agencies" conducted their jobs on 9/11. Nothing the hijackers took through security were prohibited by FAA regulations.

Bob [not the blogger] says:
I was a checkpoint security supervisor pre-TSA.

The rule for what was allowed in the cabin was:
No boxcutters.
No tools.
No 4"+ knives.
No excuses."

RB asks:
Really?

Bob [not the blogger] says:
Really.

RB says:
Then you were just as inept as the TSA is today.

Bob [not the blogger] says:
Hardly.

To YOU, I was. I wasn't working according to YOUR standards, and, so, I was pretty good at my job, even if the airlines, pre-TSA, didn't appreciate it.

RB says:
This along with the policies in place regarding hijacking are what allowed those planes to be taken over.

Bob [not the blogger] says:
I could do only MY job. I wasn't responsible for what other people did, or didn't do, on their jobs in other cities. I performed my job description. I didn't care who liked it, or didn't like it. I tried to do it in a nice, friendly, professional way, but I stood on the law and what I was hired to do. I gave people two, even three, chances to understand things. If, by the third time, they did not understand, and they continued to engage me in argument, they were then interfering with my job, and I told them that, either they stop interfering with my job and let me screen, or they could go the other way and find some other way to travel. This is how I would perform the job today. Being intimidated would not be part of my job description.

EXCEPT – if I were screening today, and a passenger came onto the checkpoint, having thereby implied his consent, he would not get away without being screened, even if, at that point, he refused screening. After all, I wouldn't know WHY, at that point, he was refusing screening, and, if I let him go without screening, if he has something dangerous, he would just go someplace else, trying to get through.

So, he would get screened, one way, or the other, or I would call press the button to get the police on the scene, and he would be taken away for questioning, maybe, even, arrest.

That's the job. Again, I don't care who likes it, or doesn't. The job must be done, in this day and age. EVERYBODY must cooperate for it to work for EVERYBODY'S safety.

RB says:
Based on your writings as well, you had just as much of a bad attitude as the current crop screeners which is major part of the problem.

Bob [not the blogger] says:
In other words, it must be a "bad attitude" cuz you don't agree with us. And that's okay. You're still gonna be screened, or you won't fly. THAT's the hard reality.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Bob [not the blogger] said...
"Again, is THAT the kinda security you want?"

Well, Yes, that should be sufficient if the FBI and CIA are doing their jobs!

Anonymous said...

Quoted:
" Al Ames said...
Well, TSM, it takes time for a lawsuit to make it thru the courts. You guys have only been groping crotches and breasts since the fall, so it's going to take awhile.
---------------------------
Especially when no one has bothered to sue because they know they have no case.

Anonymous said...

Mr Pistole told the Transportation Security Subcommittee last thursday (02/06/11) that the new ATR technology to be rolled out over the coming months will:
'COMPLETELY address privacy issues'.
Really?
How will it address the issue of body prosthetics, implants, medical aids?
To suggest that ATR will COMPLETELY address privacy issues is simply untrue.
Perhaps the TSA could try telling the truth for once. No, I thought not!

Anonymous said...

Quoted:
" Anonymous said...
ok good, we have established then that its ok for some person to take my image and use it where and how ever he/she wants. but its completely wrong for the tsa to get an image of me to see if im trying to smuggle items through their area.
Got it!

June 6, 2011 2:59 PM

---------------
Yup, they want it both ways!

Al Ames said...

"Especially when no one has bothered to sue because they know they have no case."

Doubtful. Lawyers cost money. Many suits aren't brought because a lawyer doesn't want to take the risk of not making a buck or they think the pay out from an award is too small. The ACLU has limited funds and chooses its cases very carefully.

States wouldn't be trying to pass laws against the grope if there wasn't an argument to be made against them.

I have a novel idea for you. How about the government prove their measures are constitutional rather than pushing then envelope until they get smacked down by the courts? TSA's philosophy is do what it wants, constitution be darned, until a court says otherwise. That's not how a free country works.

Al

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
Quoted:
" Al Ames said...
Well, TSM, it takes time for a lawsuit to make it thru the courts. You guys have only been groping crotches and breasts since the fall, so it's going to take awhile.
---------------------------
Especially when no one has bothered to sue because they know they have no case.

June 7, 2011 12:12 PM"

Actually you might want to check the news more often. There have been several cases filed, the most notable by Jesse Ventura.

Anonymous said...

Quoted:
" Al Ames said...
Well, TSM, it takes time for a lawsuit to make it thru the courts. You guys have only been groping crotches and breasts since the fall, so it's going to take awhile.
------------------
yes, but we've been hearing basically the same complaints since day one and not one has been upheld in court.



In the meantime, no court has ruled on the current patdowns. Half the battle is just getting an LEO to make the arrest. Of course, when challenged on the patdowns, like Texas did, TSA via DOJ just threatens to shutdown airports. So, yes, challenging is difficult when you have people by the short and curlies.

Al
--------------------------
Obviously, those in the DOJ feels TSA is right. Congress feels TSA is in the right since all TSA policies have to be approved by Congress.




PS - Anyone else find it interesting that the "ID checker" shot was also focused on the woman's breasts? Freudian slip, perhaps?
------------------
What? Are you 12 perhaps?

Anonymous said...

"the threat of liquid explosives is still out there"

No, it isn't. TSA has never provided a shred of independent research supporting its hysterical overreation of a policy. That's because there is no threat, and TSA and its apologists are lying when they claim there is. Right, Bob?

TSM said...

Quoted:
"I have a novel idea for you. How about the government prove their measures are constitutional rather than pushing then envelope until they get smacked down by the courts? TSA's philosophy is do what it wants, constitution be darned, until a court says otherwise. That's not how a free country works.

Al

June 8, 2011 11:48 AM

-------------------------
Actually, that's exactly how a free country works. The courts, whom we have given the power to do so, ultimately decide what is unconstitutional. If this was not a free country (as you seem to believe) there would be no way for an individual or other entity to challenge a policy that they felt was unconstituional. The policy would be put in place and it would stand. End of story. As you can see, that is not what's happening here.
If the TSA policy is deemed unconstitutional, it will be ordered to cease such practices. If not, they will be upheld. See, that's how a free country works.

Al Ames said...

"Obviously, those in the DOJ feels TSA is right."

DOJ's purpose is to defend the government's position. It doesn't matter if DOJ feels something is right or not. What matters is what the judiciary says.

DOJ has also said it was ok to treat US citizens in US territory as enemy combatants, and to spy on US citizens' communications without a warrant. DOJ can say and defend whatever they want - it's what lawyers do. It doesn't mean they're right though. That's why we have judges.

"Congress feels TSA is in the right since all TSA policies have to be approved by Congress."

So please show me where TSA's current policies are approved by Congress? TSA doesn't even go thru the proper rules procedures allowing for public comment on its procedures. Rep. Chaffetz had proposed an amendment banning the NoS for primary screening, and has also sponsored legislation to cut funding for the NoS. Both passed the House. Senate has either balked or not voted on them, but to say that Congress approves of what TSA is doing is foolish at best.

"What? Are you 12 perhaps?"

Do you have a real comment to make, or is hurling insults like a 12 year old all you have to say?

Al

Anonymous said...

Quoted:
"Do you have a real comment to make, or is hurling insults like a 12 year old all you have to say?:
--------------
Just commenting on the mentality of the rest of the post.

Anonymous said...

Bob not the blogger said:
"The rule for what was allowed in the cabin was:
No boxcutters.
No tools.
No 4"+ knives.
No excuses."

Nope. Not at all true.

I was an airline pilot at the time and the rules were quite clear. ANY blade four inches or less was allowed. Tools were definitely allowed, we routinely had people fly with toolboxes, not just Aviation Maintenance Techs but also travelling repairmen.

Not sure where you get your information, Bob, but you are totally, completely wrong about this.

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"The "private agencies" conducted their jobs on 9/11. Nothing the hijackers took through security were prohibited by FAA regulations."

so, did they stop the terrorists?
it shows that their policies and procedures were out of date and that they didnt constantly look at and upgrade their procedures they usd the some ones for years and years without any new technology or procedures. they allowed the terrorists to find a hole in the system and got through. the tsa is constantly changing things and is doing their jobs and so far there havent been any terrorist attacks. the ones that have occured have been on flights headed to the US from other countries.
so far the tsa is doing a good job"

You can't really be this naive, can you?

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"No, it isn't. TSA has never provided a shred of independent research supporting its hysterical overreation of a policy. That's because there is no threat, and TSA and its apologists are lying when they claim there is. Right, Bob?"

why does the tsa have to supply proof? what does it have to be an independent study? when i was in grade school science i mixed together some simply objects and created a "volcano" by making a bi-nary reaction. this was a very simple one. there are others that produce a much more violent reaction that can cause an explostion, which could bring down an aircraft.

Anonymous said...

This is a good article for those travelers who are not very experienced in main holiday traveling. For those who have done this show before, you will be fine.

Danica said...

You people have way too much time on your hands. I'm just thankful that we have taken proper airport security measurements in the U.S. I am a young flyer flying alone for the first time and found this article very useful. Stop ripping this blog (and each other) apart and get a life.

Bob [not the blogger] said...

Bob [not the blogger] says:
The rule for what was allowed in the cabin was:
No boxcutters.
No tools.
No 4"+ knives.
No excuses.

Anonymous says:
Nope.

Bob [not the blogger] says:
Yup.

Anonymous says:
Not at all true.

Bob [not the blogger] says:
All true.

Anonymous says:
I was an airline pilot at the time...

Bob [not the blogger] says:
Airline pilots were not privy to the elements of the screening process. Besides, most airline pilots think they are VIPs. To me, they weren't.

Anonymous says:
...and the rules were quite clear.

Bob [not the blogger] says:
Yes, they were, and I wrote, above, essentially what they were.

Anonymous says:
ANY blade four inches or less was allowed.

Bob [not the blogger] says:
That's what I said.

Anonymous says:
Tools were definitely allowed...

Bob [not the blogger] says:
Tools were not allowed to be carried on. They had to be checked as baggage, mailed, or shipped.

Anonymous says:
...we routinely had people fly with toolboxes...

Bob [not the blogger] says:
Yes, they would be in the cabin and their tools would be below, with the baggage, or in the mail, or shipped.

Anonymous says:
Not sure where you get your information, Bob...

Bob [not the blogger] says:
I was a pre-TSA preboard Checkpoint Security Supervisor. I knew my job and I did it, too, and I didn't care what anybody thought about it, either.

One time, an upitty captain and his F/O came through, tripped the mag, and I had-ta do a wand on them.

Their hats alarmed, and I asked them to remove the hats. They refused.

So, I told them to go out the exit, "call your chief pilot and tell him why your airplane is still standing there and why you ain't flyin' today." I should-a, properly, called the police.

However, they went to the station sup who signed them through. It was illegal for the sup to do so.

Anonymous says:
...but you are totally, completely wrong about this.

Bob [not the blogger] asks:
That wrong, huh.

No, I'm not wrong.

Bob [not the blogger] said...

Bob [not the blogger] says:
Again, is THAT the kinda security you want?

Well, Yes, that should be sufficient if the FBI and CIA are doing their jobs!

Bob [not the blogger] says:
FBI and CIA have other things to do. Anyway, CIA is not allowed to operate within this country.

Anonymous said...

Danica,

Try flying for awhile, and you'll see what a farce it is. As you have stated, you've never seen the system in action nor have experienced it. Many of us have, and have for many years. We remember what it's like before TSA and since.

We also know that the government itself thru the GAO (Government Accouting Office - the office that tries to hold federal agencies accountable) has probed TSA many times over and found it to be lacking and an utter failure. It has found TSA does not properly test measures before deploying them for effectiveness. It has found that TSA is no better than the contract security it replaced.

So please, show us where these proper measurements are. The GAO can't find them. Many others can't find them. Congressmen Mica has stated that TSA's detection rate with the body scanners are horrible. The only ones that seem to be able to are TSA and the contractors trying to sell them the equipment.

Do you, as a young flyer, know something the rest of us don't?

Al Ames said...

TSM: "Actually, that's exactly how a free country works. The courts, whom we have given the power to do so, ultimately decide what is unconstitutional. If this was not a free country (as you seem to believe) there would be no way for an individual or other entity to challenge a policy that they felt was unconstituional. The policy would be put in place and it would stand. End of story. As you can see, that is not what's happening here.
If the TSA policy is deemed unconstitutional, it will be ordered to cease such practices. If not, they will be upheld. See, that's how a free country works."

Can't believe I missed this.

Yes, the courts do that. However, the executive branch should respect the constutition, and within TSA, it's clear that it does not. It should plan its measures to see if they will meet the spirit of the constitution. TSA doesn't do that. TSA has a "we'll do whatever the heck we want" mentality, knowing it will take years for a challenge to wend its way thru the court system. So it can do something that knowingly violates the constitution, and do it for years before it gets slapped down by the court. So the government is doing something it know it shouldn't simply because at the very least, it knows it will get away with it for quite sometime.

Even where there has been existing precedent for something, like passive MMW searches (see Kyllo for the precedent), TSA ignores it.

There's a difference between something that might be a minor infraction and something egregious. If it were something minor or a gray area, it'd be less of an issue. However, we see blatant disregard for the Constitution and it takes years to resolve it.

I don't think the Founders intended for a government to do whatever it wanted for years while it worked its way thru the court system.

Al

Anonymous said...

I am wondering something.... the nice graphic used for the 311 thing.

The graphic shows seven bottles squeezed into the quart zippy. That makes 21 ounces if all the bottles are full of their allowed 3 ounces.

How is this any more safe than a single 21 ounce container?

How is this any more safe than two 10 ounce containers?

Anonymous said...

Bob [not the blogger] says:
"FBI and CIA have other things to do. Anyway, CIA is not allowed to operate within this country."

Really? I was just in Langely Virginia and they appear to be operating quite well in this country.

Did you mean the CIA is not allowed to spy on Americans? That's a different story, isn't it? Did you know the CIA interfaces routinely with the FBI?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The graphic shows seven bottles squeezed into the quart zippy. That makes 21 ounces if all the bottles are full of their allowed 3 ounces.
How is this any more safe than a single 21 ounce container?

It isn't any safer, the 311 rule is incredibly stupid.

In addition, there is nothing to prevent several people from all bringing in their collection of little bottles and then combining them all after security. It would be pretty easy to get a few gallons of whatever you wanted through security.

The TSA is all about the appearance of security. It doesn't have to actually work.

JustSayin said...

As a frequent traveler, I can assure you folks that being TOTALLY prepared for screening will help you get through the line a lot faster during the busy summer months. Prohibited items left in bags cause bag checks, and can take up to five minutes or more to inspect and clear. So, if there's a long line in front of you with three bag checks, that's at least an EXTRA 15-minute wait at the checkpoint.

I don't know about you, but I'd rather get to my flight.

Anonymous said...

The page on scuba gear is glaringly incomplete. It doesn't mention the one item most divers rely on greatly, and the item which is most expensive and delicate and really needs to be carried on, their dive computer. I emailed TSA about this last February, trying to get clarification, and the response I got said that TSA screeners MIGHT allow dive computers through in carry-on luggage if they felt like it, but were free to prohibit them if they choose (or, I assume, happen to be in a lousy mood). So, as a scuba diver, your choice is to pack your expensive, delicate electronics in checked luggage and have them stolen, or risk having it confiscated and destroyed at the checkpoint? Thanks, TSA, for being so clear and helpful on this issue.

The American flying public deserves consistency throughout the country's airports; instead, what we're getting are instant policy changes based on the screener's mood, misunderstandings, ignorance, or downright meanness.

Jenny said...

Wow! What's with all the negativity? (and mainly from anonymous people!) Some of the rules might seem silly but really- its not that hard! I don't travel a ton- just a few times a year- and yet I've never had trouble with the rules. The 3-1-1 rule, that takes what, an extra five minutes at home? They exempt meds and kid stuff from this rule too so it is somewhat reasonable. And if you need more than 3.4oz of shampoo for your trip then you probably are checking luggage right? Just stick it in there! Do you really need to be hauling a gallon of crap around the airport? Thank you TSA for preventing me from getting stuck behind that lady trying to haul a heavy cooler to the gate only to have her gallon of juice make me slip and fall on the escalators!

Security issues aside, most of these rules just force you to be an organized traveler. All these people huffing about what an inconvenience it was seem to all mention that they "forgot it was in there". Let me guess you also left your camera on the kitchen counter? If you're an organized person who actually knows the contents of your bag this should all be a no-brainer.

As for all you people gripping about your privacy and safety concerns: Dude I dare you to hold a Geiger Counter up to a banana!!! Or how about that iPhone in your pocket next to your *cough* genitalia *cough*. News Flash: nobody wants to see your beer belly much less touch it and I feel bad for the TSA screeners that have to. Really, you're the 100th wackjob they've seen that day and there is nothing erotic left about the whole thing.

So quit whining, and get your act together!

"waah the government is trying to control my life because they make me take off my shoes and organize my toiletries into a baggie." Puh-lease!

Anonymous said...

Jenny said..."waah the government is trying to control my life"

The Government is trying to control way more of my life than they have any business trying to control.

Several people (not you Jenny, at least not here) have invoked the memories of September 11th as some kind of justification for what the TSA is doing. Well, I am here to one-up you and invoke the memories of the brave men and women that fought the British in an attempt to gain Independence for this Great Country. To allow the TSA to do what it is doing, to allow any part of the Government to tell you how much salt your allowed to eat or what kind of prize comes in your Happy Meal is to dishonor the memories of those who sacrificed to break free of British control.

And if you like what the TSA is going, then may I respectfully suggest that you are the one who should skip the flying. Those of us who are intelligent enough to understand the inherent risks in air travel, and are willing to accept those risks, should not be controlled or in any limited by those too timid or weak. Why don't you take some other method of travel and leave the air to the big boys and girls.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for your information

Anonymous said...

I must travel often by air because I am a transplant patient at Mayo in Rochester. On one recent trip, I was selected for "enhanced pat-down" because I had a access line in my chest and a pressure dressing on my hip from a bone marrow biopsy I had done the previous day. It was one of the most humiliating, horrible experiences I've endured. I opted not to go the the private screening area so I wouldn't be separated from my husband. This new policy of full screeing and public molestation is inhumane, un-American and we need to revolt. I don't think that the we are getting any benefit from this, it's just the government's latest attempt to gain more control over our lives. The next time it happens, I'll think enought to get someone to videotape it for me.

Anonymous said...

And of course, for those of us who HAVE to fly and are handicapped, we can feel safe in knowing that TSA will ruin our trip before it even begins because we are all such a threat......

Jeremy said...

I'm gonna call B.S. on the claim that "A very small percentage of passengers (less than 3%) will need to receive a pat-down." On a recent trip through Houston, 75% of the people who went through the pornoscanners were getting partial or full pat-downs *after* going through the scanner. People who went through the magnetometer were much less likely to get patted down.

I almost always opt-out of the pornoscanners - the only time I've ever gone through one, they proceeded to do a full pat-down afterwards. So my rate for scanners and then pat-down is 100%.

When I go through the TSA gauntlet at other airports, I see that about 1 in 10 or 1 in 20 of the people who go through the pornoscanners get pat-downs, and fewer for the magnetometers.

The 3% number is entirely inconsistent with reality, in my experience as a frequent flyer. TSA is making up numbers to look good, regardless of the facts.

Joe said...

A few good tips and a lot of anger! Some of it justified, I suppose. If you are truly interested in sharing GOOD travel experiences, I accidentally found this fun website where you can share random acts of travel kindness and actually win a summer vacation. http://ht.ly/5rqsX Check it out, if you dare!

Al Ames said...

If TSA's numbers are to be believed, 3% of the roughly 2 million flyers every day are groped. Or to put it another way, 60,000 people are groped by TSA every day.

60,000 puts it in a different light and makes it seem much bigger than 3%. That's like feeling up the entire population of Schenectady, NY every day.

Al

RB said...

Think you left out a big tip Bob.

If you wear an adult diaper (Depends or such) be prepared to be felt up and strip searched by your TSA Screeners.

Anonymous said...

Oh, can't bring a knife through TSA check-point, but the airlines issue me a steel knife and steel fork when they serve me breakfast in First Class. How's that work?

Nonsense.

Only in USA are you required to take off your shoes. . . .why?

Nonsense.

A criminal at any time can invoke his rights, like right to remain silent (5th Amendment), but yet, a traveler that "concents" to a pat-down by TSA can't decide that he has had enough and decides to leave, to go home. . . whaaa?

Double nonsense.

TSA employees are not officers or Agents. But MOST TSA employees think they are and act the bully. . .I've seen it, and they yell at passengers all the time (ORD, IAD, DCA worse offenders).

Jim Huggins said...

And, of course, be prepared to have your insulin and ice packs confiscated, even though the TSA website says that such items are allowed through the checkpoint.

Francesca James said...

I baked a small birthday cake for my niece but made sure I did not wrap it in gift wrap as they said they might have to do additional screening, they did! But got threw the screening okay!

Bumblebee said...

US security precautions are the toughest & most onerous worldwide. Whilst it's necessary, it would be good if the TSA officers could show some common sense and not enforce the rules blindly, when it's obvious that the pax is not a security threat. Perhaps a cultural course & sensitivities would be helpful in bringing about an improvement in TSA customer service.

Cheers,
Bumblebee

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Dane said...

I am about to travel to the US on business in the next 4 weeks, and have been hearing so many different opinions about what to expect. I am so glad to come across this site, as I am now clued up as to what to expect during my US travels.