Friday, March 2, 2012

TSA Week in Review: 60mm Mortar Round and Other Interesting Finds

Inert mortar shell, stun guns, flares and flare gun, dead snakes, fireworks, ammunition.
“Incoming” Flight: An inert 60mm mortar round used for training was discovered in the checked bag of passenger at El Paso (ELP). The passenger purchased it as a novelty and thought nothing of packing it in his bag. Gives a whole new meaning to “incoming” flight…

Skyrockets in Flight: An M-80 firecracker was found in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Seattle (SEA). Another passenger at Palm Beach (PBI) not only had some M-5000s, but he also had a few rounds of ammo. (See next story) Lastly, a passenger at Los Angeles (LAX) had a mixture of firecrackers and 9mm ammo in his carry-on bag. Did you know that M-80s were developed by the US Military to simulate incoming artillery during training? Just the thing you should bring on a plane!

Cornucopia of Prohibited Items: One passenger at Palm Beach (PBI) had the following items in one of his carry-on bags: Stun gun, double edged dagger, box cutter, package of razor blades, shotgun shell, 3 loose rounds of ammo, and 2 M-5000 firecrackers. (See photo)

Has Neville Flynn Been to EWR: A container of dead venomous snakes were found in checked baggage at Newark (EWR). Updated 3/3/12 to add that dead snakes are not prohibited. The snakes were permitted to travel. The large liquid jar holding the snakes needed to be inspected due to an explosive detection system alarm. No dead snakes were harmed during the making of this post. We just took advantage of the photo op. 

CPAP or C-POW!!!: A .270 caliber and 30-30 round were found inside a CPAP machine (breathing apperatus) in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Orlando (MCO). The passenger stated he keeps the rounds in the machine so he won’t lose them. 

Cane swords, knves, stun gun, pepper spray.
Bombed?: When asked by a ticket agent at Miami (MIA) if he had any liquids in his bag, the passenger responded with “I have liquor and I have a bomb.” I’m guessing liquor may have been the reason for that response. Another passenger at Las Vegas (LAS) thought it would be a good idea to tell our Officer: “I have a bomb” several times before walking through the metal detector.

Stun Pen: I’m not going to use a pun to describe this stun pen that was found at Denver (DEN). Shocking, I know…

Knife Concealed in Binoculars: A knife was found concealed between a pair of binoculars at Rochester (ROC) in a carry-on bag. Trying to conceal something in a device that is designed to reveal things. Brilliant! Well, not really…

The Old Under the Handle Trick: We’ve seen this one several times in the past, and once again, a passenger tried to conceal a knife by taping it underneath the handle of their carry-on bag. This time it was at Kahului (OGG).

Flare-up: Signal flares were discovered in the carry-on bag of a passenger at Reagan Washington National (DCA) – a regular flare, but smaller.

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items: In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our Officers also found several stun guns, replica firearms, brass knuckles, knives, knives, and more knives, firearm components, ammunition, and batons.

6 loaded guns, knife, and ammunition.
Firearms: Here are the firearms our Officers found in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday.

25 guns discovered. 21 were loaded.
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. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.

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.



74 comments:

RB said...

But not one word about this:

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/03/dozens_of_newark_tsa_employees.html


"Dozens of Newark TSA employees to be retrained or disciplined following a crackdown on lax, improper screening"

Whats wrong Bob, don't they let you talk about current events there at TSA?

Kathy said...

I am just wondering why this continues to happen. Do people not read???? We have been under these restriction too long for them not to be aware. And WHO flies with this stuff anyway. Irritating for this frequent flier.

Anonymous said...

RB, why should they talk about it when they have you to hyperventilate regularly?

Anonymous said...

I don't see the case of the weaponized breast milk in Hawaii. That woman was stopped in her tracks. Good job, TSA!

RB said...

Anonymous said...
RB, why should they talk about it when they have you to hyperventilate regularly?

March 2, 2012 6:23 PM
......................
If TSA is going to beat its chest on these finds then I think it only fair to give equal time to the TSA Failures which happen almost daily.

Anonymous said...

TSA and it's Officers are doing a wonderful job in protecting our transportation sectors. Quit focusing on the outliers in the agency. TSA has thousands of officers. Why focus on the .005 of the workforce? It should be the other way around. There are police officers who are corrupt. CBP who cut corners. Politicians who steal. Do I need to explain more? Thanks TSA for keeping our skies safe.

Anonymous said...

How about addressing in your "week in review" the TSO in HI who demanded a mom go pump breast milk in the women's bathroom as a condition of keeping the pump?

And how any amount of "retraining" can cure someone with this mentality? The only solution to that sort of egregious abusive power tripping is immediate termination of the TSO and whoever was supervising at the time.

Anonymous said...

" Quit focusing on the outliers in the agency. TSA has thousands of officers. Why focus on the .005 of the workforce? It should be the other way around. There are police officers who are corrupt. CBP who cut corners. Politicians who steal. Do I need to explain more?"

Perhaps you should explain more. The Congressional Report published in Nov 2011 cited studies that show TSA employees are far more likely to engage in criminal activity than the public at large or law enforcement agencies.

"Thanks TSA for keeping our skies safe."

Well, at least pretending to! Thank goodness you're good at harassing diabetics and keeping cupcakes off aircraft! Who knows what madness would ensue from that.

Anonymous said...

"And how any amount of "retraining" can cure someone with this mentality? The only solution to that sort of egregious abusive power tripping is immediate termination of the TSO and whoever was supervising at the time."

Yes, I would support terminating the TSOs employment. How on Earth can the TSA support such outrageous behavior? Creepy, creepy, creepy.

Fear not - Privatization is coming.

SSSS for some reason said...

"...A container of dead venomous snakes were found in checked baggage at Newark (EWR)."

Why would this be a prohibited item? Is the owner of said dead snakes going to take down a plane by grossing people out with dead snakes? When did dead snakes become a security threat? And how?

Anonymous said...

Give me an I!
Give me an N!
Give me an S!
Give me an U!
Give me an L!
Give me an I!
Give me an N!

Give me a P!
Give me an U!
Give me an M!
Give me another P!

What's that spell?
insulin pump

Louder!
Insulin pump!

I can't hear you, TSA!
INSULIN PUMP!

Jim Huggins said...

Anonymous writes: Quit focusing on the outliers in the agency. TSA has thousands of officers. Why focus on the .005 of the workforce?

Well, if TSA is going to focus in this blog on the .005% of passengers who attempt to bring weapons through a checkpoint, why shouldn't the rest of us focus on the .005% of the workforce who fail to perform their jobs properly? Sounds fair to me ...

RB said...

The statement that only a tiny minority of screeners are doing things wrong as compared to travelers is just plan wrong. It's been reported that about 2 million people fly each day.

In the news are reports that dozens of TSA screeners at Newark have been taken off the job and another report out of Kauai of a TSA Screener humiliating a breast feeding mother (again TSA?). These types of reports are an almost daily event for TSA and these events happen with a work force of about 60,000 so the percentage of TSA employee problems is much greater than than of travelers.

TSA is out of control, lacks direction from its senior management, and individual screeners demonstrate that they are poorly trained and supervised.

Congress owes it to the citizens of this country to end the failed experiment called TSA!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"TSA and it's Officers are doing a wonderful job in protecting our transportation sectors. Quit focusing on the outliers in the agency."

What data do you have to back this up? Since the TSA won't allow any independent checking of their screening it's pretty much impossible to determine how common the problems are.

Anonymous said...

>> Has Neville Flynn Been to EWR: A container of
>> dead venomous snakes were found
>> in checked baggage at Newark (EWR).

And? Besides not being a security threat in any shape or form, why would such items be prohibited from checked luggage?

Bob, your employer is a disgrace to this country and how you can wake up every day knowing you work for the TSA is beyond me.

Blogger Bob said...

Thanks for the kind words, Anonymous. The snakes were not prohibited for travel. However, the large jar of liquid they were in alarmed our explosive detection system and we had to search the bag they were in.

Thanks!

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

>> Thanks for the kind words, Anonymous.

You're welcome.

«The snakes were not prohibited for travel. However, the large jar of liquid they were in alarmed our explosive detection system and we had to search the bag they were in.»

And of course there were no explosives, so it's just another false positive. Since there was no explosive material, why even report it? What's the false positive rate of your ETD system? Or is that SSI?

Do you report on the blog every time AIT results in a false positive and a passenger has to get patted down?

Fishstick said...

TSA,
Perhaps you should dedicate a portion of this blog to complaints against the TSA and their resolution so they dont keep coming up here time and again.

It would also be a good idea if you would have all employees wave any perceived privacy rights regarding discipline so you could actually tell us how they were punished.

Also, how about a thread on creating the best possible security to prevent particular items from getting on planes so that people can state how they would solve the security issues rather than just tell us over and over again they dont work.

Anonymous said...

And don't forget the killer breast pump, a dangerous device! A woman might use it to expose her breast. Save us, TSA! SAVE US!

http://www.ksdk.com/news/article/307441/28/TSA-asks-woman-to-prove-her-breast-pump-is-real

Anonymous said...

And how many nursing mothers did TSA employees harass this week?

Anonymous said...

While the snakes aren't prohibited, and the liquid wasn't prohibited, I think the story did serve to point out the truly odd things some people bring with them on flights. These things that are so out of the ordinary tend to make the screeners' jobs more difficult.

Imagine what going through the checkpoint would be like if every person in front of you had something totally bizarre, but permitted in their bags. Now imagine that same trip, but everyone in front of you had a simple carry on bag and complied with all the restrictions and instructions. Which line would you prefer to be in? I know where I'd want to be.

Anonymous said...

The problem here is that all the people here making the negative comments are the ones who leave everything in the bags and slow the lines down thinking that they have a right to do whatever they want. They are the ones always yelling for justice when they are the ones breaking the rules just to hear there voice when they get caught. Do they act the same way whenever a cop pulls them over, I think not. If TSA is there they complain, if TSA is not there they will complain, nothing will make these people happy no matter what. They have to find something and latch onto it and rant and rave like five year old children till they find something else to whine about.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"The problem here is that all the people here making the negative comments are the ones who leave everything in the bags and slow the lines down thinking that they have a right to do whatever they want."

No, we are the people who avoid flying at all because the the experience is so unpleasant.

If the best argument you can come up with is personal attacks on people you know nothing about, then your position is pretty weak. You pretty much admit you can't back up your opinions with any facts.

I would also like to know how posts like this pass the TSA reviewers while an anti-TSA post like this would never get through.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob, you forgot the "Un-loaded Bresat Pump" that one of your TSA geniuses forced a nursing mother to load with breast milk, in a public restroom, in full view of strangers...

Anonymous said...

Imagine what going through the checkpoint would be like if every person in front of you had something totally bizarre, but permitted in their bags."

Now imagine that you're in line, being staffed by a competent screener corps, one whose employees knew the rules and, if they didn't, was enabled and required to call on additional expertise which was quickly and readily available.

"Now imagine that same trip, but everyone in front of you had a simple carry on bag and complied with all the restrictions and instructions."


Now imagine that you are in any TSA-staffed line, whose employees don't know the rules but feel empowered to act without regard to those rules or passenger rights, humiliating nursing mothers, diabetics, urostomy patients and countless others all of whom complied with the rules.

"Which line would you prefer to be in? I know where I'd want to be."

Me, too. Privatize now.

Anonymous said...

"The problem here is that all the people here making the negative comments are the ones who leave everything in the bags and slow the lines down thinking that they have a right to do whatever they want."

How could you possibly know that? I haven't been stopped in years going through security and I don't like it, so your contention is demonstrably incorrect.

"They are the ones always yelling for justice when they are the ones breaking the rules just to hear there voice when they get caught."

More often than not people here are talking about screeners who don't follow the rules, not passengers. Besides, many of the rules are not just. What would you suggest we do? Allow diabetics to be harrassed? Allow a creepy male screener to send a nursing mother to the restroom to pump breast milk? Require senior citizens to remove back braces? Allow screeners to aid drug smugglers?

"If TSA is there they complain, if TSA is not there they will complain, nothing will make these people happy no matter what. They have to find something and latch onto it and rant and rave like five year old children till they find something else to whine about."

If whatever replaces the TSA does as poor a job, you can bet I'll be complaining. Competence and real security - security that respects passenger privacy and Constitutional rights - will make us happy.

You obviously earn a paycheck from the TSA so you need to have more respect from those of us who provide your income. Listen to what we're saying and reform. If you don't, the TSA will be reformed with a huge emphasis on privatization and you will be out of a job. It's a pretty easy choice, isn't it?

Fishstick said...

"No, we are the people who avoid flying at all because the the experience is so unpleasant."

So tell us, how can the TSA make security more pleasant? Don't just say 'get rid of TSA' I mean actual things that can be done to provide security, no matter how little, to prevent the following types of terrorist attacks;
Lockerbie
TWA Flight 847
Bojinka
2006 transatlantic plot

Just for starters since these are definable, then we can go to possible future plots.

Anonymous said...

"Also, how about a thread on creating the best possible security to prevent particular items from getting on planes so that people can state how they would solve the security issues rather than just tell us over and over again they dont work."

Not a bad idea about the thread since there are lots of good ideas on how to implement real vs. TSA security. When the organization that controls your funding - Congress - recognizes that the TSA is in the business of security theater vs real security, you should know your time to reform is growing short.

A good place to start is the Congressional report released in Nov 2011. Lots of good ideas there.

TSORon said...

Anonymous said…
[[What data do you have to back this up? Since the TSA won't allow any independent checking of their screening it's pretty much impossible to determine how common the problems are.]]

Yet folks just like yourself use that very same lack of data to feel justified in berating the TSA for its efforts to ensure the safety of the flying public. When TSA presents you with verified and valid data on threats to our nation’s commercial aviation industry those same individuals ignore it or discount it out of hand simply because it does not meet their own concepts of what should be and what should not. Just a bit hypocritical if you ask me.

Another Anonymous poster said…
[[I would also like to know how posts like this pass the TSA reviewers while an anti-TSA post like this would never get through.]]

Wow, you REALLY need to read here more before posting dude. 90% of the post here are submitted by a small group of individuals who don’t like the TSA, and they commonly get approved.

Anonymous said...

Nothing listed couldn't have been caught in the simpler, less expensive, less intrusive process in place before 9/11,

Anonymous said...

No, we are the people who avoid flying at all because the the experience is so unpleasant.

If the best argument you can come up with is personal attacks on people you know nothing about, then your position is pretty weak. You pretty much admit you can't back up your opinions with any facts.

So your saying since you no longer fly, that you have a right to complain for the people that you know nothing about, and you have no facts since you are no longer a flyer? If you have something to really complian against then do tell, and please make it worth my rebuttal

Anonymous said...

Lihue, HI (KITV) -- A Hawaiian mom says she was humiliated when asked to prove her breast pump was real at an airport.

The woman says she was flagged for additional screening at the Lihue Airport Wednesday because of her electric breast feeding pump.

She claims agents told her she couldn't take the pump on the plane because the bottles in her carry-on were empty.

"I asked him if there was a private place I could pump and he said no, you can go in the women's bathroom. I had to stand in front of the mirrors and the sinks and pump my breast in front of every tourist that walked into that bathroom. I was embarrassed and humiliated and then angry that I was treated this way.

When the bottles were full, she was allowed back on the plane.

The TSA is apologizing, saying the agent made a mistake.

The agency released a statement, saying in part: "We accept responsibility for the apparent misunderstanding and any inconvenience or embarrassment this incident may have caused her."

The TSA recently changed screening procedures to allow women to carry breast milk onto planes without testing it.
However, breast pumps may require additional screening.

Anonymous said...

I hope that Bob will make a funny quip about that dangerous breast milk pump in HI. Something like "Pumping Iron in Hawaii....iron-enriched milk, that is". Or are the jokes only to be applied when finding out old munition and non working Civil War guns on checked bags? Oh, wait! I should not say that. It is so easy to attach a remote radio device to, let's say, a Civil War canon ball, then make it go off mid-air. Yes, those Confederate invented radio signals, and I think quantum Physics, while fighting the Union.

Come on TSA! Come on Bob! Tell us a boob joke!

JoJo said...

"Anonymous sqid... So your saying since you no longer fly, that you have a right to complain for the people that you know nothing about, and you have no facts since you are no longer a flyer? If you have something to really complian against then do tell, and please make it worth my rebuttal"

So you're accusing this person of abstaining from something he knows nothing about? That's like telling someone who doesn't drink because of the ill effects of alcohol on the body that they don't know the ill effects of alcohol on the body and have no place talking about how bad alcohol is for you until they get drunk themselves. Quite ridiculous, really. This person is clearly keeping up to date on policies because it's evident he would like to fly when they change to an acceptable level of intelligence. Just because he no longer flies in no way makes him ignorant or I entitled to voice his opinion, and he is clearly affected by the policies in place. I'm calling straw man.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"So your saying since you no longer fly, that you have a right to complain for the people that you know nothing about, and you have no facts since you are no longer a flyer? If you have something to really complian against then do tell, and please make it worth my rebuttal"

First, the statement was "avoid flying" not "have never flown". Try and read more carefully. In any event, it's not like the security procedures are a big secret that only people who have flown would know about.

Second, I complain for myself, I don't pretend to speech for anyone else. I assume that others can speak for themselves.

I'm not sure what exactly you plan to rebut here. Are you planing to try and prove that my opinion is something other than what I have stated?

Anonymous said...

TSORon said...
"Yet folks just like yourself use that very same lack of data to feel justified in berating the TSA for its efforts to ensure the safety of the flying public."

Correct - If the TSA is going to take away some off my freedom I think it's reasonable to ask for some evidence that it's actually offering some benefit. Why is that so hard to understand? I'm not willing to just take your word for it, I want some real evidence.

"Wow, you REALLY need to read here more before posting dude. 90% of the post here are submitted by a small group of individuals who don’t like the TSA, and they commonly get approved."

There is a *huge* difference between an anti-TSA post and a personal attack. Posts against the TSA policies are reasonable, personal attacks against either TSA personnel or posters on this blog are not.

RB said...

The TSA is apologizing, saying the agent made a mistake.

The agency released a statement, saying in part: "We accept responsibility for the apparent misunderstanding and any inconvenience or embarrassment this incident may have caused her."

The TSA recently changed screening procedures to allow women to carry breast milk onto planes without testing it.
However, breast pumps may require additional screening.

March 3, 2012 10:28 PM
.................

Not good enough TSA. Fire the incompetent screeners and do so publicly.

Anonymous said...

"The TSA is apologizing, saying the agent made a mistake."

No, the TSA didn't apologize. I don't see the word "apologize," "sorry" or any other word intended to apologize.

"The agency released a statement, saying in part: "We accept responsibility for the apparent misunderstanding and any inconvenience or embarrassment this incident may have caused her."

See? Not the TSA's fault - at lest in TSA-speak - it was a "misunderstanding" that "may" have caused the passenger "inconvenience or embarrassment." The TSA statement is an attempt to deflect the wrongdoing of its screener.

Get the straight TSA: The passenger WAS inconvenienced but the bigger problem is that the passenger was HUMILIATED by the improper acts of a screener who was NOT FOLLOWING THE RULES.

If there's any further need to justify privatization, it's that our government servants - you do work for the public - continuously humiliate the public and then issue mealy-mouthed statements.

Anonymous said...

"Wow, you REALLY need to read here more before posting dude. 90% of the post here are submitted by a small group of individuals who don’t like the TSA, and they commonly get approved."

It's not a small group of posters, it's a very large group. If you disagree, post your evidence to the contrary.

About 50% of my posts are approved, although the approvers have been doing a better job lately. My posts never contain personal attacks and always comply with the AUP.

I have every confidence that the TSA apologists have a much higher rate of approval. It's the way a bureaucracy works.

Anonymous said...

It's always good to see weekly reports of all the contraband items TSOs discover. We should of course ignore the fact that these interdictions reflect forgetfulness and/or stupidity rather than an actual terrorist threat to aviation, and also that the measures in place before 9/11 would have been just as effective at finding the items without all the costly intrusive hassles and bullying. And those "catches" amount to a minuscule percentage of passengers who are screened each week. The weekly message is that the TSA is doing something, which of course is more important than whether it's effective or worth all the expense, hassle, and intrusion.

Presumably these weekly "success reports" should completely distract us from the TSA's all too frequent failures, such as the breast pump incident in Lihue. That TSO's incompetence was apparently so egregious and inexcusable that the TSA's master propagandists couldn't ignore, deny, or justify it, or blame the passenger. So they had to admit that mistakes were made, and issue an apology.

As always, even TSOs who demonstrate inexcusable incompetence have an absolute right to privacy. So we can never know what disciplinary action (if any) that TSO faced, or what action (if any) was taken to prevent it from happening again. It's probably safe to assume that the TSO is still working at Lihue.

But as long as Bob can give us weekly reviews of "interesting finds," the failures can be swept under the rug, as always.

Anonymous said...

ssss said
"Why would this be a prohibited item? Is the owner of said dead snakes going to take down a plane by grossing people out with dead snakes? When did dead snakes become a security threat? And how?"

my guess is that the liquid that they are contained in to preserve them is hazardous material. this is prohibited by the faa and enforced by the tsa

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"Nothing listed couldn't have been caught in the simpler, less expensive, less intrusive process in place before 9/11"

actually you are 100% wrong if any of the items were caught in checked baggage, as pre 9/11 checked baggage was not screened....

Anonymous said...

rb said:
"If TSA is going to beat its chest on these finds then I think it only fair to give equal time to the TSA Failures which happen almost daily"

If RB is going to beat his chest on the wrongs of tsa then I think it only fair for RB to give equal time to the tsa successes which happen almost daily

Anonymous said...

" When TSA presents you with verified and valid data"

TSA does no such thing, Ron. By the way, what airport do you work at and who is your supervisor?

Anonymous said...

10th Amendment and 4th Amendment. The TSA Is Your Friend!

http://t.co/XbyA3qQu

Anonymous said...

Bob - The reason we are angry with the TSA is: You people makes those horrendous mistakes against us, the people, and the only thing we get is "We're sorry. We're sending the involved personnel to remediative training"...Really, Bob? Really? There is no consequence when the TSA violates our rights. None. If I say "The BOM was not explode completely" in front of a TSA agent and he/she has no idea that I'm talking about a Bill Of Materials ( a common inventory management term), I get arrested, harassed and treated like one of those terrorists from 9/11. You guys humiliate people all the time, and you only get remetiative training. ....THAT Bob, is why we are mad at you. Your Federal Union workers face no consequence whatsoever for your actions.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
rb said:
"If TSA is going to beat its chest on these finds then I think it only fair to give equal time to the TSA Failures which happen almost daily"

If RB is going to beat his chest on the wrongs of tsa then I think it only fair for RB to give equal time to the tsa successes which happen almost daily

March 4, 2012 3:49 PM
.....................
Well anon, since I am not a government employee using tax dollars to run a blog that uses censorship as a tool to control the message and clearly is one sided in all things TSA I don't think I have any responsibility to give equal time. As far as TSA successes the latest little incident of TSA screeners missing a dagger but gosh darn they found that dangerous bottle of water at JFK again highlights the incompetence of TSA.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"If RB is going to beat his chest on the wrongs of tsa then I think it only fair for RB to give equal time to the tsa successes which happen almost daily"

Only if you set the bar for success pretty low. They have yet to stop anyone that they could prove intended harm. Something like finding an actually fully functional bomb for instance.

Anonymous said...

Still no comment on the breast pump, Bob?

Anonymous said...

http://www.ksdk.com/news/article/307441/28/TSA-asks-woman-to-prove-her-breast-pump-is-real

Is there any excuse to continually have these problems?

Anonymous said...

"The reason we are angry with the TSA is: You people makes those horrendous mistakes against us, the people, and the only thing we get is "We're sorry. We're sending the involved personnel to remediative training".."

It's worse than that, imo. There was no apology only the TSA accepted responsibility for what it called a misunderstanding.

Get this straight, TSA: The woman was wrongfully abused. Shape up or you'll soon be nothing more than an embarrassing memory of governmental overreach.

Visa Vicky said...

Hi Guys
I just found your blog - business week!
Wow, I'm completely blown away by the type of things people try to take on flights... it's staggering.
Yes, I've had my moments of frustration with TSA people - I think I just bumped into a few that thought barking orders was more effective than asking politely... but now I guess I understand them a little more.
Anyway, thank you - I'll be back for more...

Anonymous said...

I can bring a tube of tooth paste or hand lotion over 3oz, but a jar of Formaldehyde is not a prohibited. There are more than 3oz of liquid in that jar.

Anonymous said...

Also came here looking for a response to the news story about a woman who was forced to pump breast milk before passing through a TSA checkpoint.

Sunshine All Day Long said...

STILL nothing on the mother who was forced to pump breast milk in front of a bank of mirrors in a bathroom to be permitted to board a plane? The apology she was given was woefully insufficient. Her privacy and dignity as a woman and a mother were insulted. Furthermo, she was forced to prepare food for a child in a bathroom, which is disgusting and unsanitary. Those machines are to be kept clean and it is very difficult to keep all the parts clean in a filty dirty airport bathroom. I can't believe how far off track the TSA has gone.

Anonymous said...

Last week a woman in Hawaii was told she could not board a plane unless she filled up baby bottles. So she was literally forced to pump her breasts. In this case TSA mandated that she BRING liquid on the plane.

Because she needed an requiring an electrical outlet, the woman had to stand by a sink in the ladies room in front of strangers coming in and out.

Again..we see that the rules are made up as the day goes along.

Anonymous said...

Last week a woman in Hawaii was told she could not board a plane unless she filled up baby bottles. So she was literally forced to pump her breasts. In this case TSA mandated that she BRING liquid on the plane.

Because she needed an requiring an electrical outlet, the woman had to stand by a sink in the ladies room in front of strangers coming in and out.

Again..we see that the rules are made up as the day goes along.

Fishstick said...

1. TSA Week in review posts:
The purpose of these posts is to communicate with potential terrorist and let them know they will get caught if they try to bring similar things through the checkpoint. Not AQ but the local ALF nut or recent convert to radical islam who wants to become famous. Thus they lessen terrorist attacks. No terrorists were caught, just diverted. I hope TSA lies occasionally and tells us they found something there was no way they could have found.

Commenters
Again what is your solution to prevent actual plots like the following;
Bojinka
Liquid explosives plot
Lockerbie
TWA 847
Shoe bomber

TSA
How about a section where we can complain about TSA failures and what has been done to prevent it from happening again.

Anonymous said...

So why didn't your officer just ETD the breast pump if they felt secondary screening was necessary...like they were supposedly trained to do.

Sounds like poor training. (Typical) By the way, where were the supervisors or the TSMs.

Screenshot taken.

Anonymous said...

What about the breat pump?

RB said...

So let us get this straight. Administrator Pistole is now saying the Breast Milk incident in Hawaii is not the fault of TSA but the lady had not properly educated herself about TSA procedures, is that right TSA? Here is Pistole's own words:

http://dailycaller.com/2012/03/05/tsa-chief-on-breast-pump-incident-look-at-the-tsa-gov-website%E2%80%99-before-flying-video/

"Transportation Security Administration Administrator John Pistole has responded to an incident involving the TSA denying a mother entry on a flight until she could prove her breast pump was real, saying that passengers need to be “better-informed” before flying by “looking at the TSA.gov website.” Pistole also recounted his personal experience receiving pat-downs from TSA agents."

So that means TSA didn't apoligize and what happened was perfectly OK by TSA standards.

Little wonder that the public thinks so poorly of TSA and its employees.

Anonymous said...

What is the policy on breast milk & breast pumps? Are breast pumps only allowed with breast milk? What would happen if I was carrying my wife's breast pump without any breast milk? I'm not sure why I would be carrying it, but I see that the TSA wasn't going to allow a woman to carry hers on until she pumped. I would hate to have something like that confiscated.

Anonymous said...

I have a question about the liquid policy. I can easily fit 4-5 3.4 oz containers of liquid into my quart size bag. Why can't I take one 12-16 oz container instead? It's the same amount of liquid. I could alway bring an empty 12 oz bottle and combine the smaller containers into the large one past security.

Anonymous said...

I am just disappointed with this organization because they are just doing a job and trying to protect the public and all they get is flack of one kind or another,we should all be concerned about others on a plane and not be upset about the procedures,

Anonymous said...

TSA has no responsibility in the bathroom

FK said...

Hey, Bob, here's yet another thing to 'forget' to mention:

http://tsaoutofourpants.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/1b-of-nude-body-scanners-made-worthless-by-blog-how-anyone-can-get-anything-past-the-tsas-nude-body-scanners/

"...if you have a metallic object on your side, it will be the same color as the background and therefore completely invisible to both visual and automated inspection. It can’t possibly be that easy to beat the TSA’s billion dollar fleet of nude body scanners, right? The TSA can’t be that stupid, can they? Unfortunately, they can, and they are. To put it to the test, I bought a sewing kit from the dollar store, broke out my 8th grade home ec skills, and sewed a pocket directly on the side of a shirt. Then I took a random metallic object, in this case a heavy metal carrying case that would easily alarm any of the “old” metal detectors, and walked through a backscatter x-ray at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport."

Remember, Bob, you must be careful to not reply to, or even mention this glaringly obvious flaw to the scanners. To do so would violate the spirit of ignore-ance the TSA cultivates in its employees.

RB said...

Bob, a story is making the rounds in all major media venues with a video link showing how easy it is to defeat the extremely expensive Strip Search Machines.

Does TSA have a response?

Anonymous said...

Bob, when are you going to address the incident in Hawaii where a female flyer was threatened with having her breast pump taken and forced to fill her bottles in a public restroom? If and when you do I hope you don't do what your boss did and blame the lady involved. That really took guts to blame her. TSA has stooped to a new low.... Another job well done...

Jason Williams said...

As a frequent flyer the fact that TSA regularly finds items like this makes me realize just how safe an airport concourse is these days.

I do have a question for Bob. Is there anyway that you could post a list of items found by TSA from incoming international flights?

I would be very interested to see whether the additional security screening is really catching people with items that are dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that none of these items were found as a result of a pat-down or one of those fancy new backscatter x-ray or mm wave detectors. All this stuff was in carry-on or checked luggage. If only they had seen the video making rounds on the "interwebs" by "some guy"

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on finding all of those things.

How did you miss a metal box in a side pocket with your whizbang scanners?

Anonymous said...

You should not be confiscating any of those items that is not a loaded gun or real explosive device.

It is nothing to brag about finding an inert mortar round, pocket knives, or trinkets. Those are not helping anyone.

Anonymous said...

http://dailycaller.com/2012/03/05/tsa-chief-on-breast-pump-incident-look-at-the-tsa-gov-website%E2%80%99-before-flying-video/

Transportation Security Administration Administrator John Pistole has responded to an incident involving the TSA denying a mother entry on a flight until she could prove her breast pump was real, saying that passengers need to be “better-informed” before flying by “looking at the TSA.gov website.

That explains much. When Bob responds to inexcusably outrageous TSA conduct by blaming the passenger, he's simply following the example set by Administrator Pistole. And when a TSO shows arrogant contempt for a passenger, he or she is also following Administrator Pistole's lead. And since Administrator Pistole apparently enjoys being patted down, we presumably are supposed to follow his lead by enjoying it as well, and complimenting the officer on his "thoroughness."

This sounds like Administrator Pistole has made his own arrogance and contempt for the public the official policy of the TSA, which its employees are encouraged to follow in whatever (inconsistent) fashion they decide. It just furthers my suspicion that TSA leadership believes that security is somehow enhanced when the public hates, distrusts, and above all fears the TSA.

I'm writing another letter to my Congressman.

Anonymous said...

Can someone help me? I see from this post that the TSA will not allow inert, ie, fake mortar shells on aircraft. I don't understand that since they can do no harm but whatever. Here's my question and what I need help with: I bought my son a Legos Death Star with the intent of taking it home with my on my flight. Given that the actual Death Star can, you know, make planets go BOOM, will I be allowed to fly with it as a carryon? I've looked all over the interwebs and can't find anything regarding inert or model planet killing weapons but I don't want to cause a screener to empty a terminal thinking that he or she is just saving the Earth from annihilation. Thanks.