Tuesday, August 14, 2012

TSA Year to Date Report: A Look at the Year So Far

Jet
It’s been a busy year so far with 375,432,402 passengers traveling through TSA checkpoints since January! That is approximately 1.8 million passengers screened per day!

It has also been a busy seven months beyond the checkpoint for TSA. Teams of experts have been working hard to expand the rollout of risk-based security initiatives that are aimed at enhancing security while improving the passenger experience. In that short amount of time we have changed the travel experience for all passengers 12 and younger, all passengers 75 and older, flight crews, military members and the millions of passengers who have opt into the TSA Pre✓™ expedited screening program.

TSA Precheck Logo
TSA Pre✓™ has expanded to 5 airlines and 20 airports, and has processed more than 2 million passengers. By the end of year we plan to have TSA Pre✓™ available at 35 of the busiest U.S. airports.

Out of the 375,432,402 passengers who have traveled through our checkpoints so far this year, 30,204 have submitted a complaint. While that might sound like a lot on the surface, that equates to 0.008% of the total number of passengers. By the way, did you see the latest Gallup poll that American’s views of TSA are more positive than negative? Check it out!

My TSA mobile application.
We have also taken steps to expand the availability of our award winning My TSA mobile application. As of last month it is now available at the Google play store. It’s also available on iTunes and the mobile web. The My TSA App provides passengers with 24/7 access to the most commonly requested TSA information.

We kicked off the year on the blog talking about cupcakes, and moved on to other things like otters, getting to the gate early, the Federal Air Marshal Service’s 50th Anniversary, traveling with wedding dresses, traveling with scuba gear, why laptops have to be removed from bags, and many, many more posts you can find in our archives at blog.tsa.gov.

There were several high profile stories about alleged checkpoint experiences that turned out to be false. Yes, nail clipper confiscation was one of them. Also, there were claims that our Officers mistreated a passenger who was deaf and also mistreated a passenger with a feeding tube. There were other claims such as a woman who said there were no female Officers to screen her, parents who said we accused her four year old child of having a firearm, a woman who claimed she was screened because of her looks, and lastly, a parent accused TSA of having their child on the no fly list when in fact it was an airline travel glitch that caused the problem. If you read our TSA Week in Review posts, you are no stranger to some of the frightening items our officers have found this year. Some travelers may forget a small knife in their bag, but others bring some rather shocking items with them to the airport.

Loaded Guns
From January to July, there have been 821 firearms discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country. That’s almost four firearms per day! Of those, 691 were loaded, and 210 were locked and loaded with a round chambered. The most popular caliber so far has been the compact .380 with 197 found this year. Firearms have been found at a total of 160 airports with Atlanta (ATL) TSO’s finding the most firearms – 56 found so far this year. A couple of the more notable incidents this year were when a Portland passenger put a pistol in potted plant in an effort to sneak it past us,  and also  when another passenger had a disassembled gun and ammo concealed in three stuffed animals. Follow the links to read more about these incidents, and you can check out our TSA Week in Review posts to see pictures and spreadsheets of firearms found.

Grenade
If the number of firearms we’ve discovered so far this year didn’t shock you, these examples might: a live 40mm high explosive grenade; a bottle wrapped in black electrical tape and filled with flash powder, and three M-80 fireworks; a black powder flask filled with 5oz. of black powder; even an explosively-viable cannonball; and last but not least, a live blasting cap.  

In addition to the live explosives items mentioned above, we also find a lot of inert items that look like the real deal. The problem with these types of items is that we don’t know if they are the real deal until we call out the bomb experts, and sometimes even they have a hard time figuring it out. Inert items can lead to closed terminals and checkpoints, which usually result in canceled or delayed flights. Here are some of the more interesting  inert items we’ve found so far this year: simulated detonating cord with simulated sheet explosives, M147 firing device with blasting cap taped to it, inert detonator, simulated Semtex-H, training claymore mines, IED training aids, two replica Claymore mines, warheads, 60mm mortar round, a bazooka round, and more grenades than we’ve seen in years past.

IEDIf you’re new to the blog and want to see more of the things we’ve caught this year, check out all of our TSA Week in Review posts. There you can review photos of the items and read about all of the other items we’ve found such as: bear mace in a sock, a knife mounted on a walker, a spear gun, a gun in a hollowed out book, eels, dead venomous snakes, a gassed up chainsaw, a grenade launcher, a chastity belt, and much more!

We hope you have a great remainder of 2012. For more TSA news and info, be sure to read blog.tsa.gov and tsa.gov


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

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bob, will you address the allegations of discrimination by Boston's screeners?

>> you are no stranger to some of the
>> frightening items our officers have found

You're right: every morning and evening when I brush my teeth, I am terrified that the toothpaste will spontaneously blow up in my mouth. Keep up the great work keeping the airways safe from exploding toothpaste.

You make a big deal that nearly four guns are recovered per day. But you also state, "30,204 have submitted a complaint. While that might sound like a lot on the surface, that equates to 0.008% of the total number of passengers." That's nearly one hundred complaints per day. Or to put it another way, on average there is a complaint every day at every major airport in the country.

So, Bob, four passengers a day bringing a gun to the airport is a great find, but a hundred passengers a day filing complaints is not a big deal?

You can't have it both ways, Bob.

Some of us are smart enough to see right through your distortion of numbers.

Here's to a remainder of the 2012 TSA Blog filled with more meaningless finds and numbers!

[Screenshot captured.]

Anonymous said...

Why do you continue to ignore the REAL performance problems your agency has? You post nothing of substance, ever.

Anonymous said...

What about the racial profiling and quoata system to catch drugs, arrest warrants, and immigration issues that has been happening in Boston? I didn't see that one mentioned.

I also didn't see anything about the screeners that have been fired or arrested. Some of them were smuggling drugs. It may be drugs one time, but it might end up being explosives the next time.

Wintermute said...

So, you're calling all those people liars, Bob? How about John Mcghie? Is he a liar, too? Why is Bob Harbaugh not in jail for assault? You know John Mcghie would be if he had touched Bob Harbaugh's arm instead!

Anonymous said...

You make a song and dance of the invalid complaints, but don't tell us about the many complaints that were completely valid. Please tell us the percentage of complaints were valid, what the TSA has done to address them, and how they compare to 2011 and earlier years. Your blog suggests every TSA employee is wonderful and every passenger complaint verges on libel. If you refuse to tell us, perhaps the TSA needs another blogger responsible for reporting on valid passenger complaints about TSA people, or on TSA people themselves telling us of instructions to apply racial profiling, for example, at Logan.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

So 821 hand guns out of 375 Million passengers so far this year.....

Hmmm..... carry the two, add the five.....

That works out to 0.000002% potential of guns being the cause of an 'incident.'

I have a greater chance of winning the lottery than I do of being the victim of any kind of crime in the air involving hand guns.

RB said...

No mention of TSA sexual assault pat downs, or illegal profiling, thefts from baggage by TSA screeners, or abusive TSA employees, just for a short list of problems that TSA seems unwilling to face and address.

Bob, you mention finding 4 guns daily our of approximately 1,800,000 travelers. You want to do the math on this? Not to mention that guns will always be found with inexpensive Walk Through Metal Detectors or baggage x-ray devices negating the need for the TSA Strip Search Machines that do nothing but pad the pockets of past DHS employees.

Why not address the concerns of the traveling public? Tell us how TSA will ensure its employees treat everyone with respect and not abuse the public's trust?

Today TSA is a failed agency.

TSA employees do not deserve any respect from the public.

Fix the TSA agency or get the heck out of our airports!

Randy said...

Bob,

What are the number of *valid* complaints and the percentage that were resolved in a way that was acceptable to the person raising the complaint?

It really seems that you'd want to shout this number from the rooftops, instead of publishing the few people who you think lied.

Why do you always take the low-road?

Randy -- whatashame

Adrian said...

What has the TSA done so far this year to comply with the court order requiring the TSA to comply with the law they've been breaking since 2009?

Anonymous said...

So far this year, the TSA has blatantly refused to comply with not one, but TWO federal court orders to hold a public comment period on the AIT scanners.

In June, we had the "cash to pass" scandal in Philadelphia, in which the TSA's own instructors accepted money from non-suitable TSO candidates in exchange for not failing them. The TSA did have the courtesy to fire the TSOs who bribed their way into the agency-- but that was only AFTER Congress and the media got a hold of the issue.

In April, he TSA was caught with its pants down when four TSA agents were caught collaborating with drug smugglers, allowing nearly two hundred pounds of meth, coke, and pot to bypass security. Many commentators were taken aback at how CHEAP it was to buy off the typical TSA employee-- apparently, you can get a few kilos of cocaine on to a plane for less than the cost of some first-class tickets.

About 15% of the TSA employees at RSW were suspended or fired over their inability to follow proper screening procedures. The fired employees are appealing, of course. (Their argument seems to be that competence has NEVER been a strictly-enforced TSA requirement, so firing these particular employees counts as selective enforcement.)

This is just a small sampling of the scandals the TSA has been involved in this year. It's also been fun to watch Blogger Bob instantly produce video footage that "vindicates" the TSA when it contradicts some inconsequential detail put forth by a complainant-- yet remain utterly silent and fail to produce tape whenever a TSA agent is found to have acted improperly.

Funny how that stuff doesn't make it into your year-to-date report, Bobby.

Matt Joyce said...

Where did you get the " 375,432,402 " number from? Is there a publicly available set of stats for total transit? Maybe something with a back history? Or are you deriving this number from sources? Are those available publicly? I'd love to get some stats along these lines for some infographic work. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

This report is incomplete without mentioning how many people have had a TSA pat-down. This is important because in no other circumstances in most people's lives are strangers touching them. People are not touched entering any other form of transportation or any other building. If I touched people as a condition of entering my store, first, I would have very few customers, and second, I'd probably be arrested by the local authorities for assault (where, ironically, law enforcement officers would be touching me, but arrest is one of the very few exceptions).

Even though it isn't delineated in the Bill of Rights, I have the firm belief that no person should be subjected to unwanted touching, except in very specific circumstances such as an arrest. I'm not anti-touching; in fact I openly give and receive hugs to friends & family. When I hire a masseuse, I also enjoy the touching. But I expect the government to protect me from unwanted touching by strangers, and instead they are the perpetrators.

Anyone else have this same belief?

Anonymous said...

The fact that you would write an update on your "successes" to date is pathetic. Every time I pass through an airport checkpoint, I am sad for our country.

Russell said...

Let's get the to the real issue. How many gel-filled pies have gotten past the TSA's watchful eye?

It would be refreshing and a wonderful change of direction for the TSA to actually respond the questions posed here by the commenters. Show some transparency.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting report. Since I have not flown since 2004, the TSA has never been more than a news bullet point to review in my experience. As a gun owning father of 2, I respect the government that we elected making the decision to restrict and monitor the airlines travel, especially since historically we (our government and those who elect them) are major financial supporters of the success and safety of said airlines. When we have the need to travel by air in the future I can honestly say I will look forward to the knowledge that the stranger sitting near my family is not carrying a loaded gun. Be it a negligible amount of guns found versus passengers screened, the day I fly I would rather know the odds are even smaller that a person with negative intentions is equipped to facilitate their plans.

Ken - Tx

Anonymous said...

Out of the 375,432,402 passengers who have traveled through our checkpoints so far this year, 30,204 have submitted a complaint. While that might sound like a lot on the surface, that equates to 0.008% of the total number of passengers.

On the surface, these numbers do suggest that passengers have very few complaints about TSA screening. But this blog is entirely an attempt to accentuate the positive about an agency that has earned the scorn, derision, and distrust of much of the traveling public. So of course Bob isn't interested in what might lurk beneath that felicitous surface.

But if you spend even a few seconds thinking about it (something that I know the TSA doesn't want passengers to do) interesting questions emerge. Specifically:

How many passengers have complaints that are not submitted through official channels?

Digging deeper:

How many of those passengers are unaware that the TSA even has a way to submit complaints?

How many of those passengers are aware of it, but encountered difficulty or even hostility from TSA employees when they asked about submitting a complaint?

How many of those passengers who are aware of it are afraid to submit a complaint because they fear it will put them on a watch list or lead to other retaliation?

Most importantly:

How many of those passengers who are aware that the TSA has a complaint system decide not to submit complaints because they know it would be a complete waste of time? It's certainly easy to get that impression from reading this blog. Every time the TSA investigates an incident, they always find that the TSA employees acted properly. So if the complaint isn't ignored, it will be denied or dismissed. So why bother?

(For that matter, how many of those 30,204 complaints led to investigations that found TSA employees at fault? And of those, how many resulted in specific disciplinary or other action to prevent recurrence? Those would be much more interesting and relevant statistics. But of course, TSA will never disclose those numbers. But I suspect the answer to both questions is "zero.")

Those are all valid questions that make drawing any conclusion about passenger experiences from officially submitted complaints highly suspect. But like all valid questions about the TSA, we can be sure that the TSA will ignore them. And besides, we mustn't spoil the congratulatory celebration that the TSA clearly feel they deserve.

Anonymous said...

I assume this is how Blogger Bob was ordered to respond to the allegations of racial profiling in Boston. If 32 TSA employees considered the profiling (in the name of producing statistics to justify the dubious BDO program) outrageous enough to come forward and break the TSA's obsessive secrecy, the problem must be very real, enough to cast grave doubt on the integrity of the TSA.

So what could be a more appropriate response to this latest scandal than a self-congratulatory propaganda post highlighting all the great things the TSA has done this year?

Keep up the great work, Bob!

For more TSA news and info, be sure to read blog.tsa.gov and tsa.gov!

Correction: For the TSA's self-congratulatory propaganda showing that the TSA always acts properly and and always does an excellent job, be sure to read blog.tsa.gov and tsa.gov!

RB said...

It certainly does seem to have been a busy year for TSA. What with the thieves, drug dealers, pedophiles, and the shenanigans going on a Logan I find it hard to believe that TSA has had time to screen travelers.

Any comment on this story TSA?

TSA 'chat-downs' investigated at Boston's Logan airport


Even the TSA employees involved are complaining.

"The Department of Homeland Security is investigating complaints from airport security officers that the "chat-down" program at Boston's Logan airport has become a magnet for racial profiling."

Nothing like TSA conducting illegal searches. Guess you TSA people have to maintain that "integrity" thing, oh wait, there is no integrity at TSA!

Time to pull the plug on the $8,000,000,000.00 dollar TSA mistake.

Anonymous said...

Here is a real question - of all these confiscations, how many were sanctioned test runs by federal authorities to examine the screening process?

i find it insane that most people would think these are items they can even possess let alone take through an airport.

Anonymous said...

It's very strange. The TSA has a serious public relations problem because of the dismal reputation it has earned among much of the traveling public. However, all available evidence suggests that TSA leadership actively encourage that dismal reputation, and may even be pleased and proud that so many people despise their agency.

That's probably because they believe that highly effective airport security screening (as they define it) needs to be as unpleasant and intrusive as possible for passengers. Thus, the agency that provides effective security agency should engender hatred, distrust, and above all fear in everyone who wants to fly today. For John Pistole and his leadership team, the many complaints about the TSA (whether or not submitted through the TSA's black hole complaint system) are merely proof of their agency's effectiveness.

Yet here we have a blog that's dedicated to spreading the good news about the TSA, putting a happy smiling face on the agency so many people despise, and (however ineptly and ineffectively) attempting to counter the terrible reputation the TSA has otherwise worked very hard to earn. Bob and his colleagues tirelessly work keep the pig's lips painted a glossy bright red.

There must be some reason for spending tax dollars on a blog that appears to be working against the dismal reputation that the TSA's leaders seem to consider an essential layer of security. Reading over this self-congratulatory post gave me a clue to what the reason might be. One of Bob's characteristic touches in nearly all his posts is the oh-so-cute condescending zinger that shows the contempt the TSA has for passengers. This one is no exception.

That suggests a possible reason for this blog. It may look like a public relations forum to convince passengers that the TSA is a highly competent and highly ethical agency that is doing an excellent job. But it's really not that at all. Instead, it's meant to boost the morale of TSOs who must daily reap what their leaders have sown as they screen passengers who despise the TSA.

That's why this blog has comments, something you'd never expect from a secretive agency that's accountable only to itself and doesn't care what the public thinks of it. It's not about dialogue, since the bloggers have made it very clear that even the most sincere constructive suggestions will be ignored or possibly even ridiculed.

Rather, Bob periodically throws in fresh meat with posts designed to inflame the fury of people who have valid criticisms of the TSA. Then the TSOs can enjoy watching and snickering as commenters take the bait and pointlessly expend energy with infuriated responses to Bob's post. This provides entertainment for TSOs. And more importantly, it provides TSOs an opportunity to reinforce the contempt and arrogance for passengers that is perhaps the most important of the TSA's 57 (or is it 93-- I can't keep track) layers of security.

That's the only plausible explanation for the way this blog operates, and for why it continues. But that's another reason for the TSA to congratulate itself on the excellent job it clearly believes it's doing.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was ok to videotape at the checkpoint. If so, why was this guy being hassled so much and told to stop recording?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5kCLTjL3Is&feature=player_embedded

How hard is to train your employees on your own photography/videotaping rules?

RB said...

Out of the 375,432,402 passengers who have traveled through our checkpoints so far this year, 30,204 have submitted a complaint.
....................

I would suggest the number of complaints are meaningless since TSA refuses to respond to complaints from travelers.

Case in point. I filed a complaint at FLL and the only resolution was proper procedures were followed. Of course since that complaint involved an attempted theft by a TSA employee I now know that was the standard TSA response.

A second complaint filed at DFW was not even dealt with. To this day I have had no contact from TSA that resolved that complaint. Even my attempts to follow up with the OIG have been met with silence.

Admittedly neither of these complaints happened this year but TSA procedures always discredit the traveler, cover up for misdeeds by TSA employees and attempt to hide the truth from the public.

More of that TSA integrity at work, don't ya know.

TSA, a failed 8,000,000,000 experiment or a jobs program for the unemployable?

RB said...

What is the exact and verifiable TSA policy on travelers recording events at a TSA Screening Checkpoint.

In the past this blog has stated that video recording can be done except for the TSA baggage xray screens. Has this policy changed?

If not then why are TSA employees violating the civil rights of travelers who attempt to record as shown in this video?

JFK TSA "agents" force me to stop recording

If video recording is not prohibited by TSA then again I ask why is it that TSA can not train its employees properly?

Anonymous said...

Out of the 375,432,402 passengers who have traveled through our checkpoints so far this year, 30,204 have submitted a complaint.

An interesting statistic. But I'm sure the officials in charge of the complaint resolution system have analyzed the complaints and produced much more detailed statistics that are the primary product of most government agencies. So could you share some of those more detailed statistics with us so we can put your statement in context? In particular:

How many of those 30,204 complaints were considered "valid"? Meaning they identified an employee who failed to follow procedures or to comply with the professional standards expected of TSA employees, or otherwise found the TSA at fault?

If any of those complaints were valid, how many of them resulted in specific disciplinary or corrective action to prevent recurrence? If any of them resulted in corrective action, how often did closed-loop follow up verify that the action corrected the problem?

Does the complaint resolution system include follow up with passengers to determine whether the resolution they received was satisfactory? If so, what percentage of passengers received satisfactory resolution?

Is there any analysis of the complaints (e.g., Pareto) to identify trends relating to specific airports, employees, or procedures? If there is trend analysis, how is it used to drive continuous improvement?

Those questions derive from ISO 9001, a highly respected international quality standard. The handling of customer complaints is one element of that standard. It's based on the premise that an organization committed to high quality actively solicits customer feedback and eagerly listens to the voice of the customer. An effective customer complaint resolution process is essential to continuous improvement and high quality.

Like most aspects of the TSA, the complaint resolution system is shrouded in mystery. So Bob should consider a guest post from someone in the complaint resolution department who can describe how the process works and what they are required to do when a passenger submits a complaint, and also address the questions I raised. Answering these questions should not require disclosure of classified or SSI information, but it could be a simple way to give the TSA some badly needed credibility.

It would benefit the TSA if we could have some confidence that submitting complaints is worthwhile. The lack of that confidence (and the lack of information) may explain the "impressive" low numbers of submitted complaints. Unfortunately, Bob's many posts about reported incidents suggest that passengers submitting complaints can expect to receive a boilerplate response that the TSA was found to have acted properly (if they receive a response at all). That's why it would be so helpful to have an official explanation of the TSA's process for handling complaints, and what we should expect if we submit a complaint.

If the TSA is doing the excellent job that Bob proudly reports in this post, they should not feel the need to keep the complaint figures artificially low by keeping the complaint process shrouded in mystery.

Anonymous said...

"I thought it was ok to videotape at the checkpoint. If so, why was this guy being hassled so much and told to stop recording?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5kCLTjL3Is&feature=player_embedded

How hard is to train your employees on your own photography/videotaping rules?"


Utterly despicable. In any sensible society, this sort of abuse of authority would result in felony charges.

Anonymous said...

So out of 375,000,000 passengers there have been a whopping 30,000 complaints filed? For all of you math genius's out there that is a whopping .000008%! I am pretty sure that the TSA is striving to lower that number, but if I owend my own company and I dealt with 375,000,000, I would be estatic with .000008% complaint rate! And lets face it, I would bet that most of those complaints are from folks looking for something from nothing. And for the comment about employing the unemployable, I am the best at what I do in my field of expertise. I have been a public servant my entire life and while most have been partying it up and living the good life (before the last few years) I (and members of my family) have been working to ensure you didnt have to worry about anything except the next person you swindled money out of. Of course it was my decision to do that juts like it is your decision to either fly or take a greyhound bus. You choose to fly, you get screened, period! Next!!!!!

Anonymous said...

How many false positives on the naked body scanners, Curtis?

Anonymous said...

I just wish TSA knew how to use Zip ties. No so much for keeping people out but for keeping my stuff in.
A TSA lock doesnt make it a year before they end up cutting it.....

Maya Milne said...

I think this was an interesting article...Was amusing and informative.

Reading some of the comments before me, wow, some people commenting carry a whole lot of animosity hey! I found the comments, "Or to put it another way, on average there is a complaint every day at every major airport in the country." and "So, Bob, four passengers a day bringing a gun to the airport is a great find, but a hundred passengers a day filing complaints is not a big deal?" to be absurd. Seriously.... Yes I do think 4 guns a day trying to get on planes is a big HUGE deal.... and I think 1 complaint per airport a day to be minor considering it is a service business...

Anyway... I don't agree with that person commenting.... I thought the blog was interesting.... I have not read other related blogs though, this is my first time reading these.

So in summary..... I think 1 gun trying to get on a flight per week is a big deal, let alone 4 a day. (Why would people even try is beyond me!!).... and I think that if TSA gets one complaint per airport per day.... that is incredibly low. I have worked in customer service and that cant even be accurate.... I would have expected higher.

Anonymous said...

How easily some people forget what has happened in the past. I have no issue with getting searched. I welcome it.

How many of you would feel comfortable on a plane today where the TSA searched nobody?

I'll take the plane where everyone is searched any day any time!

Publius said...

Bob Burns,

Based on what you wrote, it appears that the TSA is doing an excellent job protecting American security. Among other things, you wrote that it has confiscated 821 firearms, a grenade, a blasting cap, and numerous "inert items that look like the real deal" among other things.

While, as you acknowledged, there have been problems, as you also made clear there have so far been relatively few complaints (far less than 1% of the number of airline passengers who have flown so far this year).

On top of that, as you made clear, a Gallup poll that came out suggested that a majority of Americans think you're doing a good job.

Yet, having read that, I have a few questions for you that I was wondering about:

1. You wrote that 30,204 complaints have been received so far this year (or, roughly, 133 per day).

While I could ask about how many people didn't complain because they weren't sure how to go about doing it, didn't think it was worth the time to complain, were afraid of complaining, or who had different reasons for not doing so, I won't. Instead, I'll ask you this: what has the TSA done to resolve the complaints they have received?

2. You write at great length about all the weapons that you have caught so far this year, yet what are you doing to preserve Americans' civil liberties while your agency goes about its mission of protect America's transportation networks?

3. It appears that you think the TSA is doing an effective job at keeping people safe. So, what do you think the TSA can do to better protect America's transportation network, while, at the same time, preserve people's civil liberties?

Anonymous said...

"For all of you math genius's out there that is a whopping .000008%!"

Wow. First of all, 30000/375m is .0008 - not .000008. You're off by an order of magnitude.

Secondly, "percent" implies division by 100 (e.g., 1/2 = .5 = 50%. In contrast, .5% is one half of one percent), thus, when you convert the absolute value to percentage terms, you multiply by 100, yielding .008%.

Hope this helps.





Anonymous said...

Statistics on the number of guns you have found are completely meaningless unless you can assert that you have found 100% of the guns that passed through security checkpoints. Can you do that? Because I'm pretty sure you can't.

It's idiotic feel-good fluff that has nothing to do with actual security. If you only have a 10% success rate, that means 7389 guns made it onto planes.

If you have a 90% success rate, that still means that about 100 guns made it onto planes. As you have noted before, a terrorist only has to accomplish their goal one time.

So, what do you think your success rate is? Because statistics without context are utterly useless.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"How easily some people forget what has happened in the past. I have no issue with getting searched. I welcome it.

"How many of you would feel comfortable on a plane today where the TSA searched nobody?

"I'll take the plane where everyone is searched any day any time!"

You welcome being searched, even though you're assumed (constitutionally) to be an innocent person? When does that search go too far for you? Is it when they make you physically strip instead of doing it virtually for you? When they do a full body-cavity search? What type of search would make you say "OK. Enough."

Also, who said this is an either/or proposition. No one has suggested no searches, at least as far as I'm aware. Go back to the minimally-invasive administrative searches from before 9/11, as the only changes necessary were a) passenger awareness and b) hardened cockpit doors. With a 70% failure rate from the TSA, those are the only two changes that matter.

Maya Milne said...
"Yes I do think 4 guns a day trying to get on planes is a big HUGE deal...."

If you think 4 guns is all that are attempted, then you are mistaken. The TSA has an approximate failure rate of 70%, which means that there were 10-11 attempts per day, of which 7 or so made it through every single day. This failure rate has NEVER been properly disputed by the TSA. They just claim it's an old number. But a Nov 2011 report to Congress states that while the exact failure rate is ssi, the failure rate has changed very little since the TSA was formed. And yet, with 7 or so handguns on planes every day, not a single plane has fallen from the sky. Why is that? I submit that this is because of passenger awareness (a person pulls out a gun on a plane, the passengers are gonna take them down) and hardened cockpit doors (a person takes out ever other passenger and still can't take control of the plane itself). All the other stuff is just security theater designed to keep the masses sleeping soundly at night, even though it does nothing but violate our civil liberties.

Anonymous said...

Bob, why do you keep refusing to post my comments about a TSA employee's blatant lying to me about the availability of complaint forms, and your blog team's refusal to address my questions about what could be done about that? Hmmm?

Anonymous said...

Out of the 375,432,402 passengers who have traveled through our checkpoints so far this year, 30,204 have submitted a complaint.

Does that number take into account the 'Delete-O-Meter'? You seem to simply :poof: delete :poof: about 36% of posts here. (Like mine the other day which pointed out lies and flaws in your post, but violated no rules).

Do you also delete 36% of complaints?? Or is it more??

Anonymous said...

I was wondering the same thing. they're not telling you how many were set up by the government to see if they were doing their job

Anonymous said...

I watched the "JFK TSA 'agents' force me to stop recording" video referenced in previous comments. Using Google to search "tsa" and "photography", the very first result was this page:

TSA: Taking Pictures at the Checkpoint
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/taking_pictures.shtm

Here's the TSA rule: "TSA does not prohibit the public, passengers or press from photographing, videotaping or filming at security checkpoints, as long as the screening process is not interfered with or slowed down. We do ask you to not film or take pictures of the monitors."

If there was any interference or slowing down of the screening process, it came from TSA employees and not the passenger.

To quote the supervisor: "You don't come in here and tell us how to do it; we tell you how to do it". Well, TSA on their official website already told this passenger how to film the checkpoint (don't slow down the process or film the monitors), and he was fully within his rights and TSA's own rules to record his bag being searched.

Question to Bob & John Pistole: what will be done so that passengers' rights to photography and videoing are not infringed?

Anonymous said...

Well, team TSA blog,

Would you care to respond about the incident on August 5, 2012 at FLL checkpoint in which a TSA agent harrassed a sexual attack survivor to a level she ended up in the Emergency Room? We, the public, really think there should be some explanations to the way the TSA believes that events there had anything to do with security... we believe they did not. The burden of proof and response is on you.


http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/checkpoints-borders-policy-debate/1374235-pat-down-ended-my-wife-up-er.html


Anonymous said...

Would you care to respond about the incident on August 5, 2012 at FLL checkpoint in which a TSA agent harrassed a sexual attack survivor to a level she ended up in the Emergency Room? We, the public, really think there should be some explanations to the way the TSA believes that events there had anything to do with security... we believe they did not. The burden of proof and response is on you.

You have it completely wrong. The two actual assumptions here are first that everything the TSA does is necessary to protect aviation. And second, that every TSA employee is a highly competent professional who always acts properly.

Anyone who asserts a claim contrary to these assumptions has the burden of providing specific, verifiable evidence proving those claims beyond any doubt. As Bob has noted, the TSA has been 100% successful at debunking each and every allegation of TSA misconduct as completely false.

In this case, if the passenger really did have a nervous breakdown after a patdown that was properly performed with professional courtesy and sensitivity, it's absurd to blame the TSA. It's her own fault. She should have been well aware that patdowns are now a routine part of TSA screening. If she couldn't handle that, she should not have even considered flying.

The only reason Bob might want to respond to this report (which is probably a fabrication anyway) would be to use the opportunity teach us an important lesson: Flying is a privilege contingent on the approval of the TSA. If you decide to fly, you agree to submit graciously, and without question or complaint, to whatever security measures the TSA Officers decide are necessary to keep aviation secure, including patdowns and full body scanning. If you are unable or unwilling to accept that that for any reason, you can drive, ride Amtrak or Greyhound, or use one of the many other forms of transportation that do not currently require TSA clearance.

Anonymous said...

Most if not all of those guns in the pictures are brought through by Federal Marshals working for homeland security they are paid to do this when they aren't walking guns over the border or looking the other way while illegals and smugglers are invading the county. Tell the truth Bob

Anonymous said...

I am sure that the majority of stuff found are people planted by the government so that they can say "We found all this stuff."

Dr Robert Schwartz said...

I admit that when I travel I find all the check points annoying, However, I understand that all it would take is one of those four guns to get through on any given day to cause a catastrophe. I also applaud the TSA team for finding the needle in the haystack. Sure tens of thousands of people travel with no other agenda than getting to their destination. Every agency or business has room for improvement and the TSA is no exception, Sometimes every business hires employees that do a good job. You also have to deal with the public, which is never easy. I thank the TSA for doing the best job that you can.

Anonymous said...

I think most people with the negative comments are missing the whole picture here. Almost 11 years with no high jacking, obviously TSA is doing something right.

This is showing how people will try to smuggle guns and ammo. What if TSA didnt catch these guns and ammo? What would have happened?

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Most if not all of those guns in the pictures are brought through by Federal Marshals working for homeland security they are paid to do this when they aren't walking guns over the border or looking the other way while illegals and smugglers are invading the county. Tell the truth Bob"

This is incorrect. The weapons and prohibited items we publish here are not a part of any testing on behalf of TSA.

West
TSA Blog Team


Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"I think most people with the negative comments are missing the whole picture here. Almost 11 years with no high jacking, obviously TSA is doing something right."

I have an anti-monkey rock in my living room. Since getting it, I have suffered no monkey attacks. The rock must be working. Do you see the fallacy in that logic? Yours contains the same fallacy.

"This is showing how people will try to smuggle guns and ammo. What if TSA didnt catch these guns and ammo? What would have happened?"

Hmmm... Let's see... Not a lot.

First, these guns and ammo would have been caught by pre-9/11 methods, so still would have been stopped.

Second, none of these passengers is a terrorist (if they were, we'd have heard about it!), so these guns and ammo, had they made it on, would have likely remained out of sight the entire flight.

Third, the TSA has an approximate failure rate of 70%. That means for the ~4/day that were stopped, ~7/day made it through. Did any airplanes fall out of the sky?

Fourth, even had these weapons been carried by a terrorist and made it on, and then brandished by said terrorist, the terrorist would have never made it into the cockpit. The other passengers would have resisted, maybe resulting in a few injuries. And if not, the terrorist would have encountered a hardened cockpit door and not been able to gain access to the cockpit.

Anonymous said...

When will Bob speak to the dozens of TSA officials accused/convicted of crimes?

LogicalBible said...

In some states, where the 2nd Amendment is not dead, folks carry a firearm as naturally as they don their socks.

Some may not be "trying to get a gun on the plane". It is simply natural for them to carry a gun.

The media has done a lot to daemonize gun ownership and to convince people that we should care about what the authorities want.

It's too bad all of those passengers didn't have their guns on 9/11.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest some basic human anatomy training for screeners doing pat downs. On August 19, one of the agents was confounded by the fact that she felt my pubic bone and announced, in a loud voice that made fellow travelers turn their heads and look at me, that she needed assistance because I had two lumps on either side of my zipper. She would not believe it was my pubic bone and I was forced to undergo a "private screening" where yet another agent apparently didn't realize that you can actually feel bones on a person who is not grossly overweight. I am a 68 year old, 5'6", 98lb. female. You can feel my bones. Further, after placing my personal items in a bin, an agent directed me to an x-ray scanner two lanes removed from my original point of entry and would not allow me to retrieve my belongings and bring them with me. After two people probed my groin area with their thumbs, I was told I had to go immediately to a private screening room, and had to insist that I would rather be arrested than leave my purse and carry-on in an open area where I could not monitor it. It took my refusing to move without them for one agent to direct another to get my belongings and bring them along. You have some better training to do.

Anonymous said...

If a lot of firearms have been found already, than why the TSA protest?!

Anonymous said...

Really, though!

Anonymous said...

OK people, stop being jerks.
Since 911 has there been any huge bombings linked from an airport? No. And would you rather sit in a plane with people who have not been screened? If so, don't be surprised if something goes BOOM BOOM.
At least be grateful of the TSA keeping the country safe for many years.

Anonymous said...

I flew out of Newark Terminal C on Sunday night TSA was on a go slow program. They like to keep the lines long to justify their jobs. They went from scanners doing one person per 30 seconds to one person per 3 minutes and shut down scanners even though plenty of operators were present. This is what my taxes are used for? Who is in charge?

Newark TSA motto:
"waste a day with the TSA"

And yet when I left San Diego on Tuesday night the TSA there were efficient and polite. Thank heavens some TSA officials understand that there job is not to punish travelers.

juniorvarsity said...

I can't believe people are seriously trying to bring those sort of weapons into airports these days.