Tuesday, September 13, 2011

No Scams Here, Just a Technical Foul

A sports columnist recently wrote that a Transportation Security Officer (TSO) was offering to take people to the front of the checkpoint line via a wheelchair for a fee. Of course, his story picked up a bit of attention on the ol’ intertubes.

I and others more familiar with airports and checkpoint security instantly knew this wasn’t a TSO, but to be sure, we reviewed the video. What we found was that the person he wrote about was a skycap. Skycaps are porters who assist passengers, some often in wheelchairs. They work for tips  and their uniforms do not resemble those of a TSO. In fact, many skycaps wear hats as TSOs do not.

It’s standard procedure for people using wheelchairs to be brought to the front of the line where the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gates are located.

While I’ve seen and heard about our TSOs going out of their way to assist passengers outside of the checkpoint, their main focus is security. If you or somebody you are traveling with will need a wheelchair or some other type of assistance before or after the checkpoint, please ask your airport or airline about the availability of their skycap service. 

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.