Friday, January 27, 2012

TSA Week in Review: Leave Your Throwing Stars at Home, Grasshopper


Knives & throwing stars. Concealed Razorblades: Two razorblades were found concealed in the frame of a carry-on bag at Sacramento (SMF)

Leave Them at Home: A throwing star was found in a carry-on bag at Baltimore (BWI) and another found in a passenger’s bag traveling out of Lexington (LEX). Either leave these at home or pack them in your checked baggage, but be sure to check state laws before packing them, Grasshopper.

$22,373: A passenger at Jackson (JAX) turned in an abandoned bag to a TSA supervisor. The bag made its way back to its owner along with the $22,373.00 that was inside it!

West Side Story?: Four switchblades were found in carry-on baggage. One at Baltimore (BWI), two at Los Angeles (LAX) and one at LaGuardia (LGA). I wonder if they were snapping their fingers?

“Thwak – Thwak”: <-- Throwing knife sound effects: Two throwing knives were found in a carry-on bag at Denver (DEN). Throwing knives are usually in sets of three, so that leaves me wondering what the third knife is stuck in? Throwing knives were also found this week at Newark (EWR) and Lexington (LEX).

Pretzels?: A knife was found  at Burlington (BTV) concealed in a bag of… pretzels? Some cereals occasionally have a  free toy inside. Do pretzels now come with knives?

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items: In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our officers also found stun guns, brass knuckles, knives, knives, and more knives, firearm components, ammunition, and expandable batons.
8 loaded guns and ammunition.
Firearms: Our officers found 18 loaded firearms and 2 unloaded firearms in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday. Here’s a rundown of the 20 firearms our officers kept off of airplanes this week: 

1/20: AMA – Loaded .44 – ATL – Loaded .22 – FLL – Loaded .380
1/21: HRL – Loaded .38 – DAL – Loaded .45
1/22: SFB – Loaded .380 w/ round chambered – LEX – Loaded .38
1/23: TUL – Loaded .22 – ABQ – Unloaded .22 – BIL – Loaded .380 w/ round chambered – ATL – Unloaded .45 Black Powder Derringer – SLC – Loaded .380
1/24: MEM – Loaded .380 w/ round chambered – FLL – Loaded .380 – COS – Loaded .357
1/25: PDX – Loaded .25 – DFW – Loaded .45
1/26: BHM – Loaded .380 w/ round chambered – PIT – Loaded 9mm – GNV – Loaded 9mm – PIE – Loaded 9mm

You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline.
You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms. We also look for explosives and bomb components as well, but thankfully those are extremely rare and we're happy to keep it that way.

Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the throughput is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home. Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions, that's for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items in their bag. That’s why it’s important to double check your luggage before you get to the airport.


Including checkpoint and checked baggage screening, TSA has
20 layers of security both visible and invisible to the public. Each one of these layers alone is capable of stopping a terrorist attack. In combination their security value is multiplied, creating a much stronger, formidable system. A terrorist who has to overcome multiple security layers in order to carry out an attack is more likely to be pre-empted, deterred, or to fail during the attempt.  

Blogger Bob Burns
 
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.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Passengers who Refuse Screening are Denied Access to the Secure Area

Earlier today, Senator Rand Paul raised some questions about the screening process after going through one of TSA’s millimeter wave body scanners that use automated target recognition (ATR) technology. The ATR software displays the same generic image for all passengers to further protect passenger's privacy.

The benefit of automated target recognition is that when a passenger alarms, the officer can look at the generic image to see where the alarm is and then do a targeted pat down to clear the area. For example, if the alarm shows that something might be in your cargo pocket, the officer will pat down the area around your pocket to determine what caused the alarm. 

When a passenger or bag alarms in screening technology at a TSA checkpoint, the alarm has to be resolved before the passenger can enter the secure area past the checkpoint. Passengers who refuse to complete the screening process can’t be granted access to the secure area. TSA notifies law enforcement when this happens, and law enforcement officers can escort them out of the checkpoint. This isn’t done to punish the passenger– it’s done to ensure that every person who gets on a plane is screened appropriately. 

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.

Friday, January 20, 2012

TSA Week In Review: “Brush” With Death?

Knives, inert grenade, drugs concealed in game console.
“Brush” with Death?: A nonmetallic brush-dagger was found at Lynchburg (LYH) in carry-on bag. This brush would not only tease your hair, it would frighten it! A hair raising experience if you will… 

Not Just One, But Eight: You can imagine the officer’s surprise when a man walked up to them at the travel document checking area and stated “I have eight bombs on me.” The police report stated that the passenger “may” have been intoxicated. 

Another Grenade: Last week was grenade-free, but alas, an inert grenade was discovered during checked baggage screening at Tucson (TUS) resulting in an evacuated baggage area. 

Attempt To “Game” Checked Baggage: 1.5 lbs. of methamphetamines were discovered concealed in a game console and a DVR during checked baggage screening at Los Angeles (LAX). We’re not looking for drugs, but 1.5 lbs of anything other than electronics stuffed in an electronic item will raise some red flags. 

Everything Is Bigger in Texas: The toast and the knives… A 12” Bowie knife was discovered in a carry-on bag along with four other knives in Austin (AUS). 

Close Shave?: A 3” straight razor was found concealed in the lining of a backpack in Buffalo (BUF). 

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items: In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our officers also found stun guns, kubatons, brass knuckles, knives, knives, and more knives, firearm components, ammunition, and a blackjack. 

9 loaded guns.
Firearms: Our officers found 24 loaded firearms and 2 unloaded firearms in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday. Here’s a rundown of the 26 firearms our officers kept off of airplanes this week: 

1/13: STL – Unloaded .380 – BFL – Loaded .40 w/ Round Chambered – DFW – Loaded 9mm – OMA – Loaded 9mm – BNA – Loaded .380 
1/14: SFB – Loaded .40 
1/16: IAD – Loaded 9mm w/ Round Chambered – PIT – Loaded .380 w/ Round Chambered – TUL – Loaded .22 w/ Round Chambered – SMF – Loaded .380 -  EWN – Loaded .40 w/ Round Chambered – DEN – Unloaded .357 – FLL – Loaded .357 – ATL – Loaded 9mm  
1/17: BNA – Loaded .380 – STL – Loaded .357 – IND – Loaded 9mm w/ Round Chambered – IAH – Loaded 9mm – DAL – Loaded .40 w/ Round Chambered 
1/18: BHM – Loaded .22 w/ Round Chambered – Loaded .380 – DFW – Loaded .38 inside a carry-on bag was taken too soon by a passenger and made its way past security. The passenger and the bag containing the gun were located prior to takeoff.  
1/19: CLT – Loaded .380 w/ Round Chambered – RDU – Loaded .22 – BWI – Loaded .380 – ATL – Loaded 9mm 

You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms. We also look for explosives and bomb components as well, but thankfully those are extremely rare and we're happy to keep it that way.

Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the throughput is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home. Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions, that's for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items in their bag. That’s why it’s important to double check your luggage before you get to the airport.

 Including checkpoint and checked baggage screening, TSA has 20 layers of security both visible and invisible to the public. Each one of these layers alone is capable of stopping a terrorist attack. In combination their security value is multiplied, creating a much stronger, formidable system. A terrorist who has to overcome multiple security layers in order to carry out an attack is more likely to be pre-empted, deterred, or to fail during the attempt.  

Blogger Bob Burns 
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.

TSA Pre✓™ Checkup

TSA Pre✓™ logo. North, to Alaska! Select Alaska Airlines travelers at soon-to-be announced airports may be able to experience expedited screening as part of the TSA Pre✓™ pilot. So get your mukluks ready and keep an eye out here on the blog or @TSA / @TSABlogTeam for future info.

Also, TSA Pre✓™ operations started on Tuesday of this week at LAX for American Airline passengers.
If you want to learn how to sign up for TSA Pre✓™, click here.
For those who might not be familiar with TSA Pre✓™, there’s lots of info on our blog and on TSA.gov.

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.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Truth About TSA Testing Technology for Radiation

Unfortunately, yesterday’s LA Times story missed the mark and you may have seen a few additional inaccurate stories in the news claiming that TSA was buying equipment to test for radiation exposure. Truth is, we continuously test all of the technology we use and post the results to our website for all to see.

Why the confusion you might ask? TSA routinely puts out Requests for Information (RFI) that are basically market research, asking industry to tell us what else is out there. In this case, TSA put out an RFI to gather information on available tools to continue to monitor our technologies. This is simply designed to ask industry what new technology might be available.

Testing our equipment and exposure to employees is not new. TSA routinely monitors radiation levels to ensure the safety of both passengers and our workforce. We've never found any radiation concerns and the safety reports can be accessed publicly at TSA.gov. TSA made a commitment to post new reports as they're completed to our website so passengers can see for themselves that the machines are meeting safety standards.

Based on all of our previous testing, as well as monitoring from independent sources, we’re confident that all of our equipment meets national safety standards, and is safe for all passengers and our workforce.

As far as another backscatter (body scanner) test is concerned, TSA is committed to working with Congress to explore options for an additional study to further prove these machines are safe. All tests so far, have shown they are well within the national safety standards and each scan is equivalent to the exposure one receives during approximately 2 min of flight.  

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.

Friday, January 13, 2012

TSA Week In Review: Gassed Up Chainsaw & Deadly Lipstick

Machete, lipstick stun gun, lipstick knife, chainsaw, loaded guns, knives, brass knuckles.
Gassed Up Chainsaw: Believe it or not, the chainsaw found at Elmira (ELM) was not the problem here. You can travel with your chainsaw as checked luggage, however, gassing it up is the problem. You know… Gas? Highly flammable liquid...

Lipstick Stun Gun: A 350,000 volt stun gun designed to look like lipstick was found in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Burlington (BTV). This particular lipstick is known to leave your lips looking stunning.

Lipstick Knife: A 4-ounce canister of mace along with a lipstick knife were found in a carry-on bag at Akron (CAK). I guess if you’re going for blood red lips, this is for you.

11” Machete: An 11” machete was discovered in a carry-on bag at San Diego (SAN).

More Throwing Knives: Once again, throwing knives were found (in the usual set of three) at Salt Lake City (SLC).

False Bottle Marked “Lotion”: Three bottles alarmed the Explosive Detection System in checked baggage at Philadelphia (PHL). After searching them, two bottles were shampoo and the other was a bottle marked “lotion” which had been cut in half and taped back together. Inside the bottle were two clear bags containing a green leafy substance. Green leafy lotion?

Walking On A Knife’s Edge?: A passenger at Miami (MIA) was concealing a steak knife with a 4” blade in their shoe. We found it…

Odd Turducken-Like Concealment Method: Officers at Charlotte (CLT) discovered a green leafy substance in a plastic bag, artfully concealed inside of a bag of sand and another plastic baggy containing a green leafy substance pushed down inside a piece of bread, stuffed inside a shoe. We’re not looking for drugs, but when something is packed like this and stuffed in a shoe, it’s going to look ominously odd.

Pepper Spray: A passenger at Boston (BOS) had two canisters of pepper spray in their carry-on bag. Pepper spray drifts after it’s been sprayed and if you happen to be close to it, you’ll get to experience the sting. Imagine this stuff going off in a close quarters pressurized cabin.

O Happy Dagger!: A 3” double-edged dagger was discovered in a carry-on bag at Chicago O’Hare (ORD).

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items: In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our officers also found firearm components, ammunition, switchblades, batons, stun guns, knives, knives, and more knives, a realistic replica firearm, brass knuckles, a kubaton, and a baton.

Firearms: Our officers found 13 loaded firearms and 7 unloaded firearms in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday. Here’s a rundown of the 20 firearms our officers kept off of airplanes this week: 
1/6: ANC – Unloaded .40 – MIA – Loaded .380 – ATL – Unloaded .22 – HOU – Unloaded .25
1/7: SNA – Loaded .45
1/8: TPA – Unloaded .22 – CLT – Loaded .22 – DTW – Loaded .380 w/ Round Chambered
1/9: CLT – Loaded .22 – IAD – Loaded .22 – TPA – Unloaded .25 – ATL – Loaded .380
1/10: PHX – Loaded .45 – PVD – Unloaded .22 – MGM – Loaded .380
1/11: SEA – Unloaded 9mm – DTW – Loaded .380 w/ Round Chambered – SAT – Loaded .22
1/12: RIC Loaded .38 – SEA – Loaded .22 w/ Round Chambered
You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms. We also look for explosives and bomb components as well, but thankfully those are extremely rare and we're happy to keep it that way. 

Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the throughput is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home. Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions, that's for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items in their bag. That’s why it’s important to double check your luggage before you get to the airport. 

Including checkpoint and checked baggage screening, TSA has 20 layers of security both visible and invisible to the public. Each one of these layers alone is capable of stopping a terrorist attack. In combination their security value is multiplied, creating a much stronger, formidable system. A terrorist who has to overcome multiple security layers in order to carry out an attack is more likely to be pre-empted, deterred, or to fail during the attempt. 

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.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cupcakegate

This will be short and “sweet.” Like many of you, when I think of a cupcake, I don’t think of it being in a jar. However, the photo below shows the “cupcake” that was prohibited from being taken into the cabin of a plane last month.
Normal cup cake and a cup cake in a jar.
Cupcake Jar Photo Courtesy of Consumertraveler.com

I wanted to make it clear that this wasn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill cupcake. If you’re not familiar with it, we have a policy directly related to the UK liquid bomb plot of 2006 called 3-1-1 that  limits the amount of liquids, gels and aerosols you can bring in your carry-on luggage. Icing falls under the “gel” category.  As you can see from the picture, unlike a thin layer of icing that resides on the top of most cupcakes, this cupcake had a thick layer of icing inside a jar.

In general, cakes and pies are allowed in carry-on luggage, however, the officer in this case used their discretion on whether or not to allow the newfangled modern take on a cupcake per 3-1-1 guidelines. They chose not to let it go.

Every officer wants to finish their shift and go home with the peace of mind that they kept potential threats off of airplanes. They’re not thinking about whether their decisions will go viral on the internet – they’re thinking about keeping bombs off of planes. This incident may seem like a silly move to many of our critics, but when we can’t be exactly sure of what something is, every officer has the discretion to not allow it on the plane.  This is done purely for the safety of everyone traveling.

Here are two very real liquid related incidents from the past. This is why we have limitations on liquids, gels and aerosols.

1995 “Bojinka Plot” in Asia where Ramzi Yousef planned to use liquid explosives to bomb 12 passenger carrying aircraft bound for the United States. This was one month after his test on Philippine Airlines Flight 434 where a smaller “liquid” container killed one person.

The 2006 foiled liquid explosives plot in the U.K. This plot demonstrated a real threat and is the catalyst for TSA's liquids restrictions.

What the two plots above and intelligence gathered from all over the world tells us is that unless Wile E. Coyote is involved, the days of the three sticks of dynamite with a giant alarm clock strapped to them are long gone. Terrorists have moved to novel explosives disguised as common, everyday items. Our officers are regularly briefed and trained by TSA explosives specialists on how just about any common appliance, toy or doohickey can be turned into a dangerous explosive. When you think about it, do you think an explosive would be concealed in an ominous item that would draw attention, or something as simple as a cute cupcake jar?

The bottom line is that you can bring cakes, pies and cupcakes through the security checkpoint, but you should expect that they might get some additional screening, and if something doesn’t seem right, there is always the potential you won’t be able to take it through. 

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.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

TSA Week In Review: Teargas Grenade and a Speargun – Plus more!

Spear gun, live tear gas grenade, knives, modified cell phone. I hope everybody’s having a great new year so far! This is the first Week in Review of 2012 and we’ve already got some interesting good catches to share with you. Also, if you haven’t read it yet, check out our TSA Top 10 Good Catches of 2011.
Speargun: The passenger who tried to bring this on the plane at Salt Lake City (SLC) didn’t realize spear guns were prohibited. In case you’re wondering, he wasn’t wearing flippers.  
Live Teargas Grenade: You just have to scratch your head sometimes, but yes, a passenger at Phoenix (PHX) attempted to bring a live teargas grenade (see photo) on the plane in their carry-on. Dispersed Teargas Grenade + Pressurized Cabin = Pandemonium.
Four Knives In One Bag: A passenger at Detroit (DTW) had not one, but four knives. Not your everyday pocketknives either… (See Photo)
Katara Dagger: This unique item was found in a carry-on bag at Bradley (BDL). A Katara (see photo) is a push dagger from India.
Modified Cell Phone: This phone (see photo) looked a little suspicious so we had to take a closer look. The passenger who was flying out of Des Moines (DSM) stated he modifies electronics and uses this phone to also open and close his garage door and control the lights in his house. I’ve posted before on how this kind of gadget can cause problems at the checkpoint. Read it here…
Inert Hand Grenades: Two inert grenades were found this week. One in a checked bag at Norfolk (ORF) and another in a carry-on bag at Orange County (SNA). Read here and here why even inert grenades at the airport are a problem even though they can’t explode.
Knife Concealed Under Wheelchair Seat: A passenger at Chicago O’Hare had a knife on their person that was discovered during a pat-down. The passenger was permitted to leave the checkpoint so they could check or ship the knife. When the passenger returned, the very same knife was found concealed underneath the seat of their wheelchair.
Miscellaneous Prohibited Items: In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our officers also found firearm components, ammunition, brass knuckles, stun guns, throwing stars, knives and more knives, and a blackjack.
Artfully Concealed Items: (Artfully concealed means that the prohibited item was intentionally concealed with the intention of sneaking it through security)

A 16-year-old had a razorblade in the lining of his wallet in Aspen (ASP). He stated that he uses it for his skateboard.
See the story above about the knife concealed under the wheelchair seat at Chicago O’Hare (ORD).
Firearms: Our officers found 14 loaded firearms and 5 unloaded firearms in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday. Here’s a rundown of the 19 firearms our officers kept off of airplanes this week: 

12/31: SGU – Loaded .380 – HDN – Loaded .45 w/ Round Chambered
1/1: SLC – Loaded .380
1/2: LFT – Loaded .38 – SFO – Loaded .25 w/ Round Chambered -  SFO – Unloaded .22
1/3: IAH – Loaded .38 – DFW – Unloaded .38
1/4: PHX – Loaded .380 – ONT – Loaded .45 – ORD – Unloaded .45 – AUS – Loaded .40 w/ Round Chambered – ORD – Unloaded 9mm
1/5: MDW – Unloaded Firearm – OKC – Loaded .22 w/ Round Chambered – PHX – Loaded 9mm – SJC – Loaded .40 w/ Round Chambered – LIT – Loaded .38 – LGB – Loaded .380
You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms. We also look for explosives and bomb components as well, but thankfully those are extremely rare and we're happy to keep it that way. 

Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the throughput is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home. Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions, that's for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items in their bag. That’s why it’s important to double check your luggage before you get to the airport. 

Including checkpoint and checked baggage screening, TSA has 20 layers of security both visible and invisible to the public. Each one of these layers alone is capable of stopping a terrorist attack. In combination their security value is multiplied, creating a much stronger, formidable system. A terrorist who has to overcome multiple security layers in order to carry out an attack is more likely to be pre-empted, deterred, or to fail during the attempt. 

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.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

TSA Top 10 Good Catches of 2011

Snake, bird, inert landmines, stun phone, C-4 explosives, guns, knives in book, tactical spike.
Our officers have had some good finds this year at our checkpoints and we wanted to share our top 10 good catches with you. Some are dangerous, some simply look dangerous and can cause major delays, and others are just plain weird. Click on the links to read more about each good catch.

Top 10:

10) Snakes, turtles, and birds were found at Miami (MIA) and Los Angeles (LAX). I’m just happy there weren’t any lions, tigers, and bears…
9) A science project shut down a checkpoint at Omaha (OMA). I wonder if mentioning the shutting down of the checkpoint added enough flare to his presentation to score him some bonus points?
8) An artfully concealed non-metallic martial arts weapon called a “Tactical Spike” was found in the sock of a passenger at Pensacola (PNS) after being screened by a body scanner. The only thing I keep in my sock is my foot.
7) Inert landmines were found at Salt Lake City (SLC). I always travel with mine, don’t you???
6) A stun gun disguised as a smart phone was found at Los Angeles (LAX). Not very smart to travel with this stunning device.
5) A flare gun with seven flares was found in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Norfolk (ORF). Hmmm… pressurized cabin + 7 live flares = no good can come from this.
4) Two throwing knives  concealed in hollowed out book were found at Washington National (DCA). Killer book…
3) Over 1,200 firearms were discovered at TSA checkpoints across the nation in 2011. Many guns are found loaded with rounds in the chamber. Most passengers simply state they forgot they had a gun in their bag.
2) A loaded .380 pistol  was found strapped to passenger’s ankle with the body scanner at Detroit (DTW). You guessed it, he forgot it was there…
1) Small chunks of C4 explosives were found in passenger’s checked luggage in Yuma (YUM). Believe it or not, he was brining it home to show his family.

If you’re interested in reading about more finds such as these, be sure to read our weekly “TSA Week In Review” blog posts, posted every Friday. 
Honorable mentions:
13) Invisible Space Aliens were detected at numerous checkpoints nationwide.
12) Five inert grenades  were found in passenger’s bag at Newark (EWR).
11) 240 live fish were found swimming in 4 checked bags at Los Angeles (LAX).
Blogger Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

TSA Pre✓™ Pilot Expanding To Two More Airports

TSA Pre✓™ logo. As promised, TSA is moving forward with the TSA Pre✓™ pilot, and what better way to kick off 2012 than with the addition of two more airports – Salt Lake City (SLC) and John F. Kennedy (JFK) – to the program.

There are a lot of moving pieces, so here’s a quick look at next steps for the pilot in the coming months:

Early 2012
United Airlines and US Airways will begin offering the program to their eligible frequent flyers
Minneapolis and SLC will offer the program to pilot participants traveling on Delta
Los Angeles and JFK will also come on board for participants traveling on American
Stay tuned! US Airways and United recently began notifying their eligible frequent fliers, and TSA will announce more details on start dates and locations at new airports as soon as we have them.  TSA also plans to build on the pilot’s initial success and continue expanding the program to additional airlines and airports once they are operationally ready.

We’ve received positive feedback from the overwhelming majority of the nearly 200,000 passengers who have been screened through TSA Pre✓™ since the pilot rolled out. TSA continues to gather encouraging feedback from those who have experienced the program at the participating airports [Atlanta (ATL), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Miami (MIA) and Las Vegas McCarran (LAS) airports].
If you want to learn how to sign up for TSA Pre✓™, click here.
For those who might not be familiar with TSA Pre✓™, there’s lots of info on our blog and on TSA.gov.
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.