Thursday, July 5, 2012

Random Testing of Liquids at Departure Gates. Nothing new...


Water Bottles
While browsing the web this morning, I saw that the topic de jour was that TSA was now screening liquids at the gate. We've talked about random gate screening here before, and if you travel frequently, you've likely experienced a gate screening. Not a big deal really... Heck, even I have been pulled aside for random gate screening.

So, the most popular question that comes up with this topic is: "Isn't this redundant?" On the surface, it does seem that way, and it's the first logical thought that many have. However, any security expert will tell you that nothing is ever 100% secure. So, gate screening is kind of like our safety net to keep up with anybody who might be trying to get things past conventional screening.

We stay away from static security tactics. Layered security is common practice, providing the necessary unpredictable measure that makes it more difficult to do malice to the transportation infrastructure. If everything we did was always the same, it would provide a checklist for people to know exactly what to expect. While this would be extremely helpful for passengers, it would also be useful to those wishing to do us harm.

To keep this from happening, every day at airports around the nation, we work with airport partners to determine what additional screening tactics should be employed. These additional random tactics, such as gate screening, greatly increase security by making it truly unpredictable.

As far as the testing of liquids at the gate, this is just one of the many options we have to choose from when deciding what additional tactics to use each day. We started using test strips back in the summer of 2007 and continue to do so. The test involves a test strip and a dropper containing a nontoxic solution. In case you're wondering, our officers don't place the test strips in your beverages/liquids. They simply have the passenger remove the cap/lid and they hold the strip over the opening of the container. Procedures call for moving the test strip to the side and applying the solution from the dropper to test the strip. If the test results are positive TSA will conduct additional testing to make a final assessment.

In a nutshell, liquid screening at gates is random and it isn't happening at every airport every day. So other than possibly taking a few moments of your time before boarding your flight, it's business as usual.

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

95 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am sorry, but this is not looking out for our safety, this is abusing of power. I mean come on, really? A drink from the Airport's Sonic, or McD's is going to be tainted with explosives? By who, the pop machine it was poured out of? GET REAL TSA!!!

Anonymous said...

Please answer these two basic, fundamental questions:

1. Are travelers REQUIRED to comply with conducting this test?

2. What are the consequences, if any, to refusing the test, e.g., will law enforcement be called, and/or will the traveler be forced to leave the sterile area?

Anonymous said...

Is the passenger detained during this "test"?

What if the passenger accidentally spills the drink?

What if the passenger takes the drink and trows it in the trash?

What if the passenger simply hands the drink to the screener and walks away?

In your perusal of the web, I'm 100% certain you read these discussions. I don'n imagine you would ever think of actually answering these questions...

Anonymous said...

I don't really appreciate having my overpriced beverage pawed at by your employees. Your policies are part of the reason why they are overpriced. Everything that I have read says there is no viable liquid explosive plot.

What if I refuse to have my beverage tested? Am I going to be escorted out of the airport?

Will your officers be able to provide material safety data sheets (MSDS) on the test strips and liquid? I want to make sure the chemicals being used are harmless.

If you can test liquids at the gate, why can't they be tested at the checkpoint. I would much rather bring my $0.20 bottle of water from home than pay $3.00+ for it at the airport. Why are passengers being harrassed about their liquids? Shouldn't you be going after the airport vendors?

Anonymous said...

So I can't bring my bottle of water through security, I have to bring an empty or buy one on the other side.

Now you are going to randomly test my beverage.

My beverage, if you did your job correctly, came from the water fountain (my empty) or from a 'reliable' source (purchased from an airport vendor).

How does this help anyone? How is this making us safer?

RB said...

If all liquid items inside the sterile area come from vendors or faucets then what possible gain could there be for this testing.

Further proof that TSA is overstaffed.

TSA, wasting 8 Billion Dollars Yearly.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

Gate screening is just another mindless opportunity for the TSA to keep their idle workers "busy" at the expense of average law-abiding Americans. Your so-called professional officers do not even change their germ-ridden gloves after "inspecting" through each passenger belongings. Once again, it's the passengers who suffer most from these useless and meaningless additional screening tactics.

Anonymous said...

Note to the TSA? Do what you will - you will not 'test' a drink that I am currently drinking - it will simply not happen.

Jim Huggins said...

So, Bob, what happens if a TSO "asks" me to submit my liquid for testing at the gate and I decline?

Anonymous said...

Bob, do TSOs put on a new pair of gloves before each drink test? If not, the potential for cross-contamination is great.

It is irrelevant that the test strips are not inserted directly into the drink. There is still the potential for unknown contaminants to enter the beverage.

>> If the test results are positive TSA will
>> conduct additional testing to make
>> a final assessment.

Do you mean that the passenger will be forced to voluntarily surrender said beverage at the gate before boarding his flight?

Bob, your agency's tactics are putting passengers at more risk than if there had been no screening at all.

Too bad no one at your agency has the mental fortitude to realize that.

@SkyWayManAz said...

So you CAN test liquids. Then why are we not allowed to bring liquids thru the checkpoint? Why are we not allowed to bring full size toothpaste and shampoo too? If you CAN test them what's the problem? Sorry Bob your agency can't have this one both ways.You can't ban them because you don't have a way to screen them and then say you can screen them at the gate. I'd have less problem allowing you to test my liquids bought from home if it meant I can carry them on. I have a big problem with you testing something AFTER I buy it at the inflated past the checkpoint price. That's just rude and I think deep down inside even you know it is rude too. I've said many times I've never had anything taken away because I follow the rules, even if they're stupid, now you're telling me I can have something taken away even though it's permitted. How long till someone makes the news saying a screener took their unopened drink away saying it was dangerous then drank it. Oh and there's no video of the incident and the passengers version of events contradicts your investigation.

Anonymous said...

Why aren't the TSA goobers in the stores of the airport testing the stuff on the shelves? Why does it always come down to the passenger having to deal with the hassle? I hope you guys run the airlines completely out of business. I used to fly 15-20 times a year, mostly on extended weekend pleasure trips. There's nothing pleasurable about flying anymore. I hope the airlines AND TSA go out of business.

Anonymous said...

Bob, will you post the material safety data sheet for these strips so we can see what chemicals may be added to our drinks? I'm sure some particulates fall in the cup when the strip is being waved over the open cup.

Lizzy Toolips said...

The strip can accumulate enough "information" from simply holding it over the open container to determine whethere or not it contains an unacceptable substance? I don't get it. But I welcome any kind of random testing to keep the bad guys at bay.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it -- your test strip NEVER comes in contact with my beverage? You hold it over the opening of the container to absorb fumes or something from the liquid? Or you have a new, sterile dropper for each and every test to sample the liquid? I can't get a good mental image of how this works.

Anonymous said...

Bob's next blog post:

"No need to save for retirement, just buy a lottery ticket"

Random checks like these, as conducted by the TSA, are statistically a very poor use of limited resources.

Anonymous said...

I think the next logical step in TSA security will be where everyone is put under anesthesia for the duration of the flight. It,s the only way to be sure the passengers are not going to try to bring the airplane down.

On a side note, I just wanted to say you guys are doing a great job. Remember GW Bush said the terrorists hate us for our freedoms so the TSA is making sure the terrorists no longer hate us by removing our freedoms.

Who would have thought even 15 years ago that we would face Soviet style intimidation of American citizens by "our" government? The founding fathers must be rolling in their graves that all of their work in freeing us from British oppression has been for naught. The injustices served by the Gov't against the citizens now far outweighs those that begat the original American Revolution.

Anonymous said...

What happens if the passenger declines to allow the beverage to be tested?

Anonymous said...

I am tired of the media pounding on TSA's techniques. It seems to me that they have nothing better to report on.
The honest truth is that ever since TSa started (10 years ago), we have not had a terrorist attack that originated in a US airport.
The proof is in the results. I rather being inconvnienced by an agent of the government, than having to deal with an armed terrorist in a sealed aluminum tube (aircraft).
Thank you TSA.

Anonymous said...

So are you using a new, sterile dropper for each sample? Wouldn't want to worry about cross-contamination or false positives - like that doesn't already happen with ETD swabs. If TSA is so worried about beverages, why aren't you screening the supplies coming into the sterile side and testing at the source? Who knows what those news stand and coffee shop employees could be bringing in?

Screenshot taken

Anonymous said...

It appears the antics of the TSA become more ridiculous each and every day they are in existence and it amazes me to what lengths the TSA will go to inconvenience the traveling public. I along with many other American are still waiting for an explanation for the disrespectful handling of human remains by the TSA at the Orlando airport. All we have seen so far is a regurgitation of the TSA rules governing the proper handling of human remains which seem to reinforce the claim that the TSA did not handle the situation correctly. Yet, we have no further comment from the TSA as to why the abuse occurred or what disciplinary action was taken against TSO who showed such gross disrespect.

Anonymous said...

If you think it's necessary to test these drinks because your security is so porous, test them before we buy them at $5 each.

Confiscate them from the vendors who can write them off, not the poor passenger already burdened paying for this sorry government.

Kat said...

The beverages are purchased in the SECURE area. At monumental prices. You don't need to test them -- or if you REALLY do, test 'em BEFORE the passengers buy them. After all, you're the ones who declared beverages from the secure area SAFE.

Doesn't matter what your test-junk is. I can't drink a contaminated beverage unless I want to land in hospital. Waving a strip over my drink and dropping liquid on the strip? I'll lay odds that liquid goes IN the drink, and not on the strip.

Funny thing: eleven years ago, you folks had test strips which didn't require opening the food.

Guess this means if a TSO wants to test my drink, he or she has to pay me for it, right?

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

The honest truth is that ever since TSa started (10 years ago), we have not had a terrorist attack that originated in a US airport.
The proof is in the results. I rather being inconvnienced by an agent of the government, than having to deal with an armed terrorist in a sealed aluminum tube (aircraft)."

1. I have a magic rock that keeps elephants away. There have been no elephants at my house since I got the rock. You need to learn that correlation is not causation.

2. So you don't mind having the TSA check the drink that you know isn't an explosive? Exactly how is checking your drink gonna stop terrorists? Why are you so happy to give up your rights when it does nothing to stop terrorists?

Anonymous said...

As a chemistry professor, this post bothers me to no end. You say you are using a test strip held above a flask of liquid, then developing it with some other liquid, resulting in a visual reading (some change in color). I do not understand how this could detect any explosive.

If you were using a porous material to absorb chemicals in the air and then submitting them to some kind of trace chemical detector (mass spec, for example), that would be OK for reasonably volatile molecules (but not peroxides, which you seem to focus on). But that involves a machine, not a visual test after developing with a liquid.

Test strips that are developed with secondary liquids and read visually are typically dipstrips, and require actual dipping into the liquid tested.

Either the TSA is very far ahead of cutting edge research facilities in terms of methodology, or what you are doing is completely and ridiculously ineffective, pure showmanship.

Given all other things the TSA does. I suspect the latter is true.

Anonymous said...

It is obivous to me that those who are posting negative blogs have never worked in a county in a counter insurgency/terrorist capacity. Nothing is safe anywhere, you have to be constantly vigalent

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said:
"So, gate screening is kind of like our safety net to keep up with anybody who might be trying to get things past conventional screening."

A safety net that's more holes than net.

The chances of actually finding anything are pretty much as close to zero as you can get.

Anonymous said...

>> it would also be useful to those wishing
>> to do us harm

I assume you're referring to your 50,000 TSA co-workers.

They have done more to make me fear flying than any terrorist has ever done.

Anonymous said...

>> We started using test strips back in the
>> summer of 2007 ...

Ah, now that makes sense. This was clearly a response to that rash of iced tea and Pepsi and 7-Up attacks in the print of 2007. I remember them well.

Anonymous said...

I don't want you waving chemicals over the drink I just purchased.

Can I decline?

RB said...

Anonymous said...
I am tired of the media pounding on TSA's techniques. It seems to me that they have nothing better to report on.
The honest truth is that ever since TSa started (10 years ago), we have not had a terrorist attack that originated in a US airport.
The proof is in the results. I rather being inconvnienced by an agent of the government, than having to deal with an armed terrorist in a sealed aluminum tube (aircraft).
Thank you TSA.

July 5, 2012 7:56 PM
.............
TSA gets the pounding it has earned.

Nothing TSA does has prevented a terrorist attack since it has been shown that TSA misses 70% of objects screeners are tested with.

Also since TSA refuses to screen airport workers, including TSA employees, there is no such thing as a sterile area.

I have observed airport employees entering the secure area without any screening dragging bags of beverages and other items.

Then passengers have to deal with the TSA screeners who accept bribes to allow unscreened items, screeners who steal from the public and the other less than desirable TSA employees like one ex-priest working for TSA.

No, TSA has worked hard to earn its reputation.

Live with it!

Anonymous said...

It amazes me that the TSA thinks that these few tests could have any meaningful effect on security.

Scott G. Lewis said...

"Nontoxic" is not much of a declaration. BPA is legal in the US, yet many manufacturers and consumers are avoiding it like the plague due to health concerns. What's in the strip? And to echo the other commenters, what if we refuse? Can we throw it out? Gulp it down and not board with it? Hand it to a TSA agent and walk away? It's amazing how articles here never provide answers to questions that are being asked EVERY DAY on EVERY COMMENT on EVERY POST.

Anonymous said...

Has gate screening ever found anything that was prohibited? While I have never been selected, I have seen others being searched and nothing is ever found. It really looks like the TSA is overstaffed and is looking for unnecessary tasks to make them seem busier than they are. I watched 4 screeners stand around my gate for an hour a couple of months ago. The inbound plane was delayed so the screeners just stood around waiting for it to arrive to screen the people on my outbound flight.

Anonymous said...

More "security" theater. I can only imagine what the next unconstitutional act to be employed by the glorified security crossing guards.

Anonymous said...

Are the screeners washing their hands and changing gloves in between each drink check? Are they trained in proper food and beverage handling techniques per their state's health department?

If not, this search seriously endangers the public by spreading everyone's communicable disease germs from cup to cup.

Matt from Raleigh said...

The honest truth is that ever since TSA started (10 years ago), we have not had a grizzly bear attack that originated in a US airport.

PS. I don't know you so you can't have a sip errr.. "test" my drink. So buy your own.

Anonymous said...

This is indeed "nothing new." The TSA have always defined "security" as "intrusive hassle to passengers." They have continually sought to "enhance security" by increasing the harassment and intrusion, usually but not always in knee-jerk reaction to an embarrassing failure.

The "random" gate checks are simply the latest intrusive hassle they've added, in their continuing efforts to "improve security."

Anonymous said...

@Jim Huggins: So, Bob, what happens if a TSO "asks" me to submit my liquid for testing at the gate and I decline?

When TSO recruits begin their training, the very first thing they're taught is a special trademarked phrase. They're drilled in how to say it with the appropriate menacing Authority whenever a passenger shows unacceptable demeanor when given a command: Do you want to fly today?

It usually works very well at correcting the unacceptable behavior, which is why it's at the core of the TSA's Standard Operating Procedure for passenger relations. Expect to be hearing it a lot more as the TSA increasingly harasses passengers at the gate.

SickOf-ItAll said...

Tell you what. If TSA wants to test my EXPENSIVE, OVERPRICED drink at the gate, then you can just BUY IT BACK from me THEN test it. I really don't want it back or drink it after you have stuck who knows what in it or have handled it at all.

Basically, TSA is saying that the drinks we buy in the supposid safe areas are not? The flying public is being sold potentially dangerous drinks? Really? Then shouldn't these be tested at the source aka the retailer?

Something is very funny here. I now trust the TSA and Homeland Insecurity even less than I did before I read this article.

Anonymous said...

"....Anonymous said...
I rather being inconvnienced by an agent of the government, than having to deal with an armed terrorist in a sealed aluminum tube (aircraft).
Thank you TSA..."

And the Sheeple march on, oblivious to their reality. Good luck in life. You're going to need it.

Anonymous said...

Will you spill my drink like you did that poor man's ashes, then laugh about it?

http://www.pal-item.com/article/20120630/NEWS01/306300012/Ex-Richmond-man-Grandpa-s-ashes-spilled-at-airport

Jim Huggins said...

Anonymous writes: The honest truth is that ever since TSa started (10 years ago), we have not had a terrorist attack that originated in a US airport.

It's also true that since Microsoft released Windows XP in October 2001, we haven't had a terrorist attack that originated in a US airport.

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I am tired of the media pounding on TSA's techniques. It seems to me that they have nothing better to report on.
The honest truth is that ever since TSa started (10 years ago), we have not had a terrorist attack that originated in a US airport.
The proof is in the results.


This way of thinking has been thoroughly debunked.

http://www.criticalthinking.org.uk/tigerrepellantrock/

In the 10 years before 9/11 and the subsequent founding of the TSA, there was no terrorist attacks with planes, either.

Anonymous said...

And now for the other side of the TSA week in the review:


TSA agent opens and spills jar of human ashes, laughs
TSA asks female passenger to ‘prove’ breast pump is real
TSA orders 18-month-old off plane, claiming she’s on no-fly list
Woman told to extinguish cigarette by airport security strips naked instead
TSA agents maul child with leg braces, greenlight drug runners for cash
Newark Airport closes after TSA agent dozes
TSA agent arrested for hurling hot coffee at pilot
TSA forces woman with ‘cute figure’ to pass though nude body scanner 3 times
TSA settles with woman whose breasts were exposed by agent
Rape victim arrested, manhandled after refusing TSA pat down
TSA follies: Former “Playboy” Playmate strips, stills gets patted down–twice
Vibrator in passenger’s luggage wins TSA seal of approval
TX bill banning TSA from touching “anus, sexual organ, breast” is dead
200 thefts per day reported at JFK Airport
Engineer exposes ‘blind spot’ in TSA scanners; smuggles metal through security
Woman with dagger in bag slips past TSA at JFK Airport
“Touch my junk, and I’ll have you arrested”: The TSA’s way or the highway



Screen shot taken

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"I am tired of the media pounding on TSA's techniques. It seems to me that they have nothing better to report on."

I'm tired of giving up my rights every time I fly because the TSA fooled the masses into thinking they make a difference (hint: they don't).

"The honest truth is that ever since TSa started (10 years ago), we have not had a terrorist attack that originated in a US airport.
The proof is in the results. I rather being inconvnienced by an agent of the government, than having to deal with an armed terrorist in a sealed aluminum tube (aircraft)."

It's also true that there has not been a terrorist attack that originated in a US airport since I quit smoking. The proof is in the results. You can thank me later. Or, you can realize that correlation does not imply causation. I'd rather take the minuscule risk of a terrorist attack than give up my rights to make you feel safer.

Anonymous said...

I think the fact your team is responsible for making mothers pump out breast milk, for molesting travelers, for hiring known felons, for continually being in the news; stealing people's posessions, for putting sexual notes in passenger's luggage...is testimony to the fact that the agency seems to do more harm than good. I would be interested to see if this post is published because you people know as well as I do, all of this can be Googled or easily researched to find the multitude of articles relating to the things mentioned here. Please write an entry addressing any one of these problems your team has caused. I think we'd all like to see you justify this behaviour considering your screening techniques have also been proven to be faulted and able to be side stepped by some people.

Anonymous said...

Okay, about the procedure, are dropping the testing solution on the strip at the side of my beverage container? Any chance it could go into my beverage? And if so, you say nontoxic so I am assuming this has already occurred to someone's drink. NO WAY. You come to test my beverage, no problem you can have it and drink it afterwards. Hmmmmm, I wonder if I put an alka-seltzer in my water if it will cause a reaction on the strip? Would love to see the reaction of the TSA personnel then! They probably wouldn't know what to do!

Sommer Gentry said...

I, for one, am sure that the TSA's testing my drink will make me so nervous that I'll probably, oops, trip and spill it all over the screener's nice uniform!

Seriously, you think people will let you tamper with their drinks and then keep drinking them after that? Since I'm going to be throwing it out anyway, there's not much point in trying too hard not to trip and spill it all over the floor. I hope you're investing in some carpet cleaning equipment as part of this worthless security theater.

Anonymous said...

Dear airlines and travel industry:

I refuse to fly. Ever. Period. I will not spend money in your industry, and the reason is the TSA.

So, you know, maybe you want to take that up with your Congressperson.

Anonymous said...

Bob, this anecdote describes a passenger being forced to open a sealed unopened drink for one of your co-workers to wave his magic wand over it.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/18884470-post58.html

Not a week goes by where I cease to be amazed by your agency's audacity.

Anonymous said...

"They simply have the passenger remove the cap/lid…"

What if the beverage has been unopened? Not all beverages containers are easily resealable. Are you going to force me to open a container of a beverage I was saving for later? What about other liquids, such as a packet of ketchup that I'm saving for my sandwich?

I will not be participating in these shenanigans. If I am told to open my beverage, I will refuse. If my beverage is taken from me, I will sue for unlawful seizure of private property. If I am removed from the airport, media will be contacted and the TSA, once again, will be in the news and not in a good way.

Bob, tell us, what happens to those who refuse to have their liquids tested at the gate?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Note to the TSA? Do what you will - you will not 'test' a drink that I am currently drinking - it will simply not happen.

July 5, 2012 5:00 PM
------
then you will not fly. It simply will not happen.
I suggest you read the signs at the Checkpoint, the entrance to the airport and each gate. you know, the one that says something like "Anyone entering this area is subject to random screening" or "additional screening" or whichever sign is currently being used. You came through, you agreed.

Anonymous said...

TSA officers at departure gates only checks drinks that are visible. A bad guy who wants to avoid random check at departure gate would just put his drink inside his backpack or luggage. So, very likely, TSA will never catch any bad drinks. Only the good-ol people with nothing to hide would be getting their drinks verified giving a nice illusion of safety to sheeple.

Anonymous said...

Bob says, "If everything we did was always the same, it would provide a checklist for people to know exactly what to expect."

Is there rigorous scientific study to back up this assertion? It sounds more like an excuse for TSOs to not have to follow the rules, so that any time a TSO messes up, it can just be attributed to this unpredictability.

Perhaps the nation's freeways should operate the same way. Some days the speed limit is 45 mph, some days it is 75. You won't know until you actually get on the freeway. Or better yet, you won't know if you're speeding until a cop pulls you over to tell you so.

After all, if the drivers knew the rules, it would be all too easy to evade them.

Sound nonsensical? It makes about as much sense as your assertion that the rules at checkpoints can't be consistent or else the bad guys would gain an edge.

[Screenshot captured. Censorship of this comment will be met with legal repercussions against the TSA social media team.]

Anonymous said...

Bob, I will try posting this comment one final time. Are you censoring the post because it exposes these gate checks as a sham?

-----


>> So other than possibly taking a few
>> moments of your time before boarding
>> your flight, it's business as usual.

If by "business as usual", you mean tactics with little grounding in scientific theory, I concur wholeheartedly.

Now let's actually think for a bit ...

Suppose Mr. Terrorist did manage to smuggle his liquid explosives past your hawk-eyed screeners at the checkpoint. Why would he be holding the container at the gate, pretending to drink the "beverage"? It would be hidden away in his bags, of course.

Now since large liquid-filled drinking bottles are banned from the checkpoint, there are two possible sources for any beverage a passenger is drinking at the gate:

* The passenger has filled his empty bottle with water from the water fountain. A positive result from a test on such a drink would indicate some major issues with the municipal drinking supply, and an immediate call for all residents of the city to stop drinking tap water would inevitably need to be issued at once.

* A passenger has bought a drink from an airport vendor. These vendors -- Starbucks, Hudson News, etc. -- typically supply airports nationwide. A positive result from a test on such a beverage should necessarily lead to an immediate grounding of all the nation's planes, for it would indicate a plot involving a nationwide supplier of airport concessions.

That neither of these actions would come from a positive test result shows that these random tests are a sham.

They only benefit two classes of people: TSOs, for providing more work beyond staffing checkpoints; and vendors such as Smiths Detection, whose lobbyists have successfully convinced your bosses that without their equipment, planes would be falling daily from the skies.

Cre8veheart said...

It seems very pathetic of the TSA to practically strip search and X- Ray body scan busy , hurried passengers to begin with- In ten years not one single terrorist plot has been disrupted despite escallation of checking-

But

now to do pop random checks on even the drinks and carry on baggage after the passenger clears security and while waiting to board plane?

I guess my real question is - are we being double violated because your organization is so inept at even simple policing of your own post security check vendors?

Or is it that x- ray body scanners dont really work?

Or is it that you don't background check your own agents ( many new reports state that your hiring policies fail to screen TSA employees and encourage in fact, hiring of convicted felons and rapists directly out of Prison " WORK RELEASE PROGRAMS?

Or is it that you are high on a power trip and actually can't get enough of harassing and demeaning a generally law abiding American Public whom you harbor obvious disdain for?

Please answer which is it - if you say it is because terrorists sneak through - then can you please publish the links and proof of that activity so that those of us who have been violated and intimidated in this way by you can at least feel better about this nazi brown shit style escallation and constitutional 4 th ammendment disregard.

I am the woman who originally wrote to you while waiting for my plane to talke off on July 4 th
My email is cre8veheart@ gmail. com

at this point we need proof of these actions - I plan on doing all i can to fight your abuse unless you provide this to me

Anonymous said...

Are you ever going to answer the simple question: what happens if you refuse to allow testing of your drink? Much like the cremains post, this one is meaningless if the simplest questions posed by those that pay your salary are ignored.

Peabody said...

..."In a nutshell, liquid screening at gates is random and it isn't happening at every airport every day. So other than possibly taking a few moments of your time before boarding your flight, it's business as usual..."

That is oure BS! Not long ago I unfortunately had to fly. Including layover, I was in THREE DIFFERENT airports there and back. EVERY AIRPORT had TSA harassing passingers AT THE GATE for liquid, to my destination and back.

Can't even tell the truth in this article.

Yep, business as usual.

Anonymous said...

Could you please explain what kind of strip this is? It seems by all descriptions I read that you are using normal dipsticks, but instead of dipping, waving above solutions. They can´t work that way, which suggests this is 100% security theater.

FreeCitizen said...

To the "Anonymous" who says "The honest truth is that ever since TSa started (10 years ago), we have not had a terrorist attack that originated in a US airport. The proof is in the results. I rather being inconvnienced by an agent of the government, than having to deal with an armed terrorist in a sealed aluminum tube (aircraft)" --

I have a smooth grey stone sitting on my living room coffee table. It's a monkey deterrent. I've had the stone for 20 years, and I've never had a single monkey in my house, so the stone must be working.

Same logic. Or rather, illogic. If you're able, please connect the dots for yourself.

By the way, I've taken a screen shot of this comment.

Anonymous said...

Bob, why stop at the gate? Why not have TSOs roaming up and down the plane aisles with the flight attendants, testing passengers' drinks right after the flight attendant has served them.

It would just be an extra layer, after all, that would keep us all safe.

Anonymous said...

Bob, you must have felt so ashamed at having to blog about such a ridiculous policy. The sad truth is that the fact that the TSA feels they need to test beverage at the departure gate shows what little faith they have in their own screening procedures at other points. It's laughable, really.

Crispian said...

"Heck, even I have been pulled aside for random gate screening."

Even you, Bob? Well I hope you let them know who you are!

Anonymous said...

"I assume you're referring to your 50,000 TSA co-workers. They have done more to make me fear flying than any terrorist has ever done."

That's the sad, sad truth of it. I worry more about my own government when I go to the airport than I do terrorists, plane crashes, etc.

Anonymous said...

"The proof is in the results. I rather being inconvnienced by an agent of the government, than having to deal with an armed terrorist in a sealed aluminum tube (aircraft)."

Out of curiosity, where do you draw the line? What's the worst "inconvenience" the government can inflict on you? Body cavity search? That's the direction we are heading...

Anonymous said...

"then you will not fly. It simply will not happen. I suggest you read the signs at the Checkpoint, the entrance to the airport and each gate. you know, the one that says something like "Anyone entering this area is subject to random screening" or "additional screening" or whichever sign is currently being used. You came through, you agreed."

Has that been challenged in court? I suspect not, as literacy is NOT a requirement to fly, and it is not possible for an illiterate person to agree to something they have to read.

Anonymous said...

Do what I did: hand the screener a drink and when he is done and tries to hand it back, refuse. It was hilarious when he told me that I "had" to take it back and I refused saying that he hadn't changed his gloves prior to taking my drink and I refused to be exposed to the germs he wanted to expose me to. Passengers were laughing, I was laughing. FYI, I was done with my drink before I gave it to the screener.

Anonymous said...

"then you will not fly. It simply will not happen.
I suggest you read the signs at the Checkpoint, the entrance to the airport and each gate. you know, the one that says something like "Anyone entering this area is subject to random screening" or "additional screening" or whichever sign is currently being used. You came through, you agreed."

I refused and I flew. Want to try again?

Anonymous said...

TSO Ron says that these test strips detect hydrogen peroxide. On the other hand, various professionals on FlyerTalk have stated point blank that you cannot detect hydrogen peroxide by waving a test strip above a solution. Please explain.

Anonymous said...

Bob, will you answer some of the questions posed here, or will you just let this blog entry float further and further from the top of the page, as is the wont?

Anonymous said...

"you know, the one that says something like "Anyone entering this area is subject to random screening" or "additional screening" or whichever sign is currently being used. You came through, you agreed."

So vision impaired people are not subject to additional screening, correct?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
TSO Ron says that these test strips detect hydrogen peroxide. On the other hand, various professionals on FlyerTalk have stated point blank that you cannot detect hydrogen peroxide by waving a test strip above a solution. Please explain.

July 11, 2012 5:16 PM
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Really? Because they work here.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Do what I did: hand the screener a drink and when he is done and tries to hand it back, refuse. It was hilarious when he told me that I "had" to take it back and I refused saying that he hadn't changed his gloves prior to taking my drink and I refused to be exposed to the germs he wanted to expose me to. Passengers were laughing, I was laughing. FYI, I was done with my drink before I gave it to the screener.

July 10, 2012 2:51 PM
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and how old are you?

Anonymous said...

This security ‘tactic’ is total BS and everyone with half a brain knows it if they are honest with themselves. How much more are “We the people” (the free citizens of the United States of America) expected to take of ever encroaching ‘multi-layer security’ that involves checking your Starbucks coffee or Diet Coke for ‘dangerous’ substances?

Seriously TSA, (and I mean this with all due respect), get a flipping clue! It is my personal opinion that the TSA and Homeland security have ballooned into a full on police state apparatus with no plans of stopping until every freedom and right reasserted in the U.S. Constitution is stripped bare. After all, there can be no freedom or choice in a totally secure world now can there?

What a bunch of quivering and compliant sheep the TSA must think we all are. Hear me when I exercise my 1st amendment right to FREE SPEECH and my 4th amendment right protecting me from UNREASONABLE SEARCH AND SEIZURE that no TSA agent will EVER put anything in, or over, or near something I am choosing to consume. I regulate my body and what I choose to consume, not the TSA, thank you very much.

Remember folks, this is after the main checkpoint (right at the gate) and the TSA think it’s important enough to do, but not always, and not everywhere… in other words, it’s total BS.

Anonymous said...

Please provide material safety data information for these strips. If you believe they can colect "vapors" from my drink, I want to make sure it does not emmit "vapors" into my drink.

Anonymous said...

"A few minutes" at the gate can mean the difference between getting overhead space and not getting overhead space.

And if we're forced to check the bag, TSA employees together with baggage handlers will steal my belongings. This is a proven fact. Police receive 200 reports of items stolen from bags EACH DAY from JFK airport alone!

Anonymous said...

Once I pass trough your stupid checkpoint, I will refuse to acknowledge your existence and will not respond to any of your questions or requests. If you want to test something I have purchased you can BUY IT FROM ME!

Anonymous said...

78 comments and no official response from the TSA to the legitimate questions posed in them. Again.

Anonymous said...

Hmm... I really don't see how this measure will make us safer.

Anonymous said...

My friend bought me a snow globe in Italy for my birthday and it was confiscated. This is getting ridiculous.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...

"My friend bought me a snow globe in Italy for my birthday and it was confiscated. This is getting ridiculous."

No, it wasn't. It was "voluntarily surrendered," even though the threat of "do you want to fly today?" is clearly duress.

Anonymous said...

At SLC this test was done. Only he decided to show up AFTER Southwest called for the A's to line up, meaning the plane was delayed loading. Also the officer demanded that a bottle be taken out of a baby's mouth so he could test it. As expected the baby started screaming.

If you can test water at the gate, you dang well can test it at the checkpoint. DO it there so I don't have to chug my Diet Coke in the security line. Do it there so I don't have to by a $4 bottle of water.

I find this test incredibly invasive. You are messing with something that I put into my body. Just don't.

Anonymous said...

Why was the underwear bomber escorted past security? Seriously, the only guy with a supposed bomb doesn't have to go through any security.

Anonymous said...

To those "thanking" tsa, you don't deserve to be free! You are all government controlled sheep.

Velocitor said...

Just a few questions:

Is the TSA going to answer any of the excellent questions already posted above?

Why don't they just test all the water for sale at the gate vendors, before it's been sold? Why wait until somebody has purchased it?

If this is "nothing new", why have I never seen this procedure before this week, when I fly frequently, and have flown frequently over the past 10 years?

Since the whole premise of the "liquid bombing" plot was completely deconstructed and disproven in court, why are we still behaving as if such a plot were feasible?

LogicalBible said...

"Blogger Bob seems to believe that just because the TSA treats its outrageous, invasive and downright moronic policies as perfectly rational and routine then that makes them so.

Thankfully, in the real world people are livid if the comments on the You Tube video... are anything to go by."

Anonymous said...

You will not wave anything or dip anything in any beverage I am consuming PERIOD! If you want to test it you can buy it at a 100% markup and test it all you want. You don't want to purchase it sorry. NO YOU WILL NOT TEST IT!

Jessica Benson said...

On the surface this looks like a good idea but so many issues come to light when I think about it.
First is the potential length of time that will be added to the already long security checks.
Second is the fact that anyone wishing to bring anything dangerous on to a plane will find a way of getting their undetected, "normal" bottle of water through security and then mixing it with someone from duty free to turn it into something dangerous.
Finally, as I mentioned I do agree this could be a good idea, especially as it will also allow people to flag up repeat offenders, but why not just continue to do what we have been doing and not allow ANY liquids through security, do you really need that bottle of water THAT much?

Anonymous said...

"Redundant" is not the right word to describe this policy it is simply a contradiction. Admitting that this is necessary is quite nearly the same as admitting that the x-ray machines don't work. After passengers pass the screening machines the consensus is that the products being sold in the airport beyond the screening area are safe. This policy either admits that the x-ray machines don't work or that the drinks being sold in the airport may be dangerous or both. Logical people are confused by this discrepancy exactly because it is so illogical. It also sounds like a huge waste of time and money. If airport drinks are going to be screened beyond the official screening area and held under suspicion then this is essentially a problem concerning the airport vendors who sell the drinks not the passengers who buy them.

Anonymous said...

So does this mean I can keep my water as I go through the security checkpoint? Sure does not make sense that I would have to throw it away if you can do an easy test, right?

TM said...

The TSA is a waste of money and is designed only to grow its power and staff. IT is a corrupt money sink.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I don't buy the argument made here. If you're so worried about potential issues after the security check then rather than check passengers drinks after they have purchased, why not check them at the stores randomly before purchase?

I work for a company that values beverage quality. We wuold NEVER let the issue get to the Customer before testing. We'd get it right before it ever left our premises.

You're worried about what the Customer has purchased to drink after they pass through security? Check up on the stores and the vendors randomly rather than us.

I understand the need to check security and make sure we're safe. But I'm afraid that at TSA you've taken this as an opportunity for it to be okay to be rude to Customers. And yes, we ARE Customers. If we didn't fly with the frequency we do, there wouldn't be a need for you. This is evident in the disparity in security at small airports vs. large ones.

There is no harm in asking us questions and putting us out with a smile and politeness. If we ask you a question why something is needed, give us an answer... don't just say because you asked us to.

You want us to understand your needs and concerns? Great, start by trying to understand ours.

Danny said...

Is a joke that we have to pay $3.50 for a bottle of water at the airport. This is abusing of power!!

Black Widow Music, LLC said...

Maybe it's just me, but I do fly quite a bit. We just have to roll with the policies that we're given. You can gripe and complain all day and it really isn't going to change a thing. Just pack your liquids in your primary luggage and check your bag. Unless it's medication or some sort of necessary liquid you really probably don't need it anyway.