Friday, July 27, 2012

TSA Week in Review: Cornucopia of Grenades


Grenades
Cornucopia of Grenades – Please, please, please, leave your grenades at home. Like milk and cola, grenades and airports do not mix, yet some still keep mixing them together. Please leave them at home or ship them via your preferred shipper. A grenade belt buckle was found at Northwest Florida (ECP). A novelty grenade designed to be screwed onto a gearshift was discovered at Des Moines (DSM). And two inert grenades were discovered in Orange County (SNA), and another at Denver (DEN) and yet another at Chicago O’Hare (ORD). Read here and here on why inert items cause problems at checkpoints.

Pot in peanut butter and a belt knife.
Items in the Strangest Places – It’s one thing to forget you had a prohibited item in your bag, but when you intentionally try to sneak it past us, you could wind up being cited or even arrested by law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where passengers tried to sneak items past our Officers.
  • A pocketknife was found concealed in the side lining of the carry-on bag at San Juan (SJU).
  • A 3-inch knife was found concealed in the belt buckle of a passenger at Houston Hobby (HOU).
  • Yet again, a passenger tried to conceal marijuana in a jar of peanut butter. Marijuana stuffed in a jar of peanut butter looks odd on the monitor. We’re not looking for marijuana, but we have to report it when we come across it. This time it was at Seattle (SEA).
  • Multiple razor blades were detected concealed in the shoes and wallet of a passenger at Burbank (BUR).
  • A 6” knife concealed in a metal tube was discovered in Guam (GUM).
Water filtration system.
Certain Water Filtration Systems Look Like Pipe Bombs – I’ve read about this 3 or 4 times now where a water filtration system looks like a pipe bomb on the X-ray monitor and the checkpoints/terminals have to be evacuated while the bomb experts do their thing. So… if you have a water filtration system that is similar to this one, you might want to consider shipping it or coordinating with TSA or your airline prior to travel. This time it was discovered in checked bags at Phoenix (PHX).

Stun Gun
Stun Guns –9 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints around the nation at: Tallahassee (TLH), Atlanta (ATL), Raleigh-Durham (RDU), Lubbock (LBB), Knoxville (TYS), Washington Dulles (IAD), 2 at San Diego (SAN), and New York LaGuardia (LGA).

People Say the Darndest Things – Here is an example of what not to say at the airport. Statements like these not only delay the people who said them but can also inconvenience lots of other passengers if the checkpoint or terminal has to be evacuated:
  • A passenger approached an Officer at Los Angeles (LAX) and asked: “Would you help me get a bomb on a plane?”
  • A passenger at New Orleans (MSY) told another passenger: “I have explosives in my bag.”
Miscellaneous Prohibited Items - In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our Officers also found firearm components, realistic replica firearms, stun guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, and a lot of sharp pointy things.

Loaded Guns
Loaded Guns
Loaded Guns
Loaded Guns
32 Guns Discovered at TSA Checkpoints Last Week




Firearms - Here are the firearms our Officers found in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday.

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.










If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

TSA Pre✓™ Hits 2 Million Mark



TSAprecheck Logo
As of today, TSA has screened more than 2 million travelers through the TSA Pre✓™ prescreening initiative! Interested? Go here to read all about it!

Long story short, it's an initiative that allows passengers to expedite their screening experience if they opt in. How do you opt in to TSA Pre✓™? Funny you should ask. Just go here

Here are some other TSA Pre✓™ posts that might interest you:
Bob Burns

If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

TSA Pre✓™ Check In: News for LAX and IAH!



TSA Pre™ Expands at LAX to Include United Airlines – As of today, TSA Pre✓™ operations at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) will be live at Terminal 7 with United Airlines.

TSA Pre™ Begins at George Bush Intercontinental Airport – Also starting today, TSA Pre✓™ operations at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) will be live. Select United Airlines frequent travelers and members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler programs are now eligible to participate and may receive expedited screening benefits when flying domestically.

TSA Pre™ Tip: TSA Pre✓™ participants who qualify via their membership in a CBP Trusted Traveler program should enter their full name exactly as it appears on their Global Entry card or in their GOES account, along with date of birth, gender, and nine digit PASS ID number, when making a reservation for travel on a TSA Pre✓™ participating airline. A reservation made with a name that does not exactly match a passenger’s Global Entry card or GOES account will result in the passenger not being considered for TSA Pre✓™ screening.  It is important to note, however, that TSA will always incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening.
Global Entry Card
Click to Enlarge
In case you're wondering what TSA Pre✓™ is, you can go here to read all about it. Long story short, it's an initiative that allows passengers to expedite their screening experience if they opt in. How do you opt in to TSA Pre✓™? Funny you should ask. Just go here

Here are some other TSA Pre✓™ posts that might interest you:

If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

My TSA Mobile App Now Available on Android!


Android My TSA ApplicationFor all the Android users out there, I wanted to let you know that the My TSA App, previously available for iPhone and mobile web users, is now available at Google Play.

The My TSA App provides passengers with 24/7 access to the most commonly requested TSA information.
  • Airport Status: Users can see what airports are experiencing general delays (not flight specific) or search for conditions at a specific airport. This information is provided by the FAA.
  • ‘Can I Bring?’: Users can type in an item they plan to bring on a trip to find out if it is permitted or prohibited, and whether they can pack it in carry-on or checked bags.
  • Guide: Users can get travel tips on an array of some of the most popular topics of air travel, including traveling with children, 3-1-1 rules for liquids, gels and aerosols, special medical needs, packing tips, tips for how to dress for airport security, tips for military members, and traveling with food and gifts.
  • Security wait times: My TSA gives passengers the ability to share their wait time and see what wait times other passengers have posted for U.S. airports.
  • Contacting TSA:  If a user can’t find information they need on the app or the TSA website or wants to provide feedback, they can contact the TSA Contact Center by phone or email by clicking the “About” button on the main page of the app.
For more info on the apps, you can go to our blog, or web page.

Also, we recently updated our template for the TSA Blog, and since doing so, it is now mobile-friendly. 
 

If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

TSA Week in Review: Firearm Found Concealed in Lining of Carry-on Bag at Phoenix


A loaded .32 caliber pistol with 7 rounds was found concealed in the lining of a carry-on bag at Phoenix (PHX). Items in the Strangest Places – It’s one thing to forget you had a prohibited item in your bag, but when you intentionally try to sneak it past us, you could wind up being cited or even arrested by law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where passengers tried to sneak items past our Officers.
A dagger concealed in a hairbrush was discovered at Rapid City (RAP).
  • A loaded .32 caliber pistol with 7 rounds was found concealed in the lining of a carry-on bag at Phoenix (PHX).
  • A cheese knife was discovered inside a teddy bear at Minneapolis St. Paul (MSP).  
  • A razorblade was discovered concealed in a shoe at Seattle (SEA).
  • A dagger concealed in a hairbrush was discovered at Rapid City (RAP).
  • And yet another brush dagger… A dagger concealed in a hairbrush was discovered at Omaha (OMA).
  • A comb dagger was discovered at Baltimore (BWI).
  • A pocketknife was discovered wrapped in aluminum foil and taped to the bottom of a bag at Houston (HOU).
A pocketknife was discovered wrapped in aluminum foil and taped to the bottom of a bag -- A cheese Knife
M147 Firing Device - While resolving a checked baggage alarm on a bag at Reno (RNO), Officers found an initiator, an M147 firing device with the words, “Danger Blasting Cap Explosive” stenciled on the side
M147 Firing Device - While resolving a checked baggage alarm on a bag at Reno (RNO), Officers found an initiator, an M147 firing device with the words, “Danger Blasting Cap Explosive” stenciled on the side, and two propane canisters. As I’ve said before, we’re all too familiar with instructors and other people in this type of business needing these sorts of items for their jobs. As with all inert training items and replicas, we don’t know they’re not real until we’ve gone through all the motions. This can include evacuated baggage areas and closed checkpoints which lead to delays and missed flights. People that need to travel with INERT items should plan ahead and contact their preferred shipper about mailing the training aids to their destination. Read here and here on why inert items cause problems at checkpoints.

Body Scanner Discoveries This Week – There were a total of 8 illegal and prohibited items discovered this week with the body scanners at: Fresno (FAT), 2 at San Francisco (SFO), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Tampa (TPA), Seattle (SEA), Orange County (SNA), and Ontario (ONT). Items were found in hands, pockets, and concealed in the groin area. Among the items was a tube of toothpaste a passenger at SNA had concealed behind their belt and tucked in front of his waistband.

Stun Guns –7 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints around the nation at: Columbia (CAE), Ft. Lauderdale (FLL), San Juan (SJU), Baltimore (BWI), Los Angeles (LAX), Denver (DEN), and Gainesville (GNV).

People Say the Darndest Things – Here is an example of what not to say at the airport. Statements like these not only delay the people who said them but can also inconvenience lots of other passengers if the checkpoint or terminal has to be evacuated:
  • A gate agent at Rochester (ROC) asked a passenger if he had any firearms to declare and he replied: “ no just a couple of bombs and a little dynamite, but it’s no big deal.”
Miscellaneous Prohibited Items - In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our Officers also found firearm components, realistic replica firearms, stun guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, and a lot of sharp pointy things.

Loaded Guns
Loaded Guns
Loaded Guns
Loaded Guns
Loaded Guns
32 guns discovered at TSA checkpoints.





Firearms - Here are the firearms our Officers found in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday.

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.

Knives































If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.