Tuesday, March 28, 2017

TSA Mythbuster: The Rest of the DFW Pat-down Story

***Update*** When a pat-down is required, TSA can offer reasonable accommodations for individuals with sensory processing disorders or other conditions that sometimes result in pain when touched. However, those individuals still need to undergo a pat-down to maintain security. ***Update***

Myth Banner
As you may have heard, on Sunday at Dallas Fort Worth (DFW), a 13-year-old passenger underwent enhanced security screening, which included a pat-down, after his laptop alarmed an explosives trace detection machine. In total, the pat-down took approximately two minutes, and was observed by the mother and two police officers who were called to ease concerns of the mother. The passengers were at the checkpoint for approximately 45 minutes, which included the time it took to discuss screening procedures with the mother and to screen three carry-on items that required further inspection.

The mother filmed the pat-down and posted it to Facebook. It has since gone viral.

So is this standard procedure? TSA screening procedures allow for the pat-down of children under certain circumstances. In this instance, a laptop alarmed the explosives trace detection machine, which requires additional screening to resolve the alarm. 

We get it. Nobody likes to be patted down. And nobody likes to see their loved ones patted down, especially children. TSA screens thousands of families every day, and our officers are trained to communicate with parents, explain screening procedures before they begin, and find the best way to get everyone to their plane safely and efficiently. Many of our officers are parents too.  

All of our procedures are based on current intelligence and our adversaries are always looking for ways to inflict harm, including recruiting young children to carry out attacks. Bottom-line is that passengers, including children, and their property are screened prior to boarding a plane and any security alarms must be resolved.

So why does TSA conduct pat-downs? Pat-down procedures are used to determine whether prohibited and dangerous items are concealed. You may be required to undergo a pat-down procedure if the screening technology alarms, as part of random or unpredictable security measures, for enhanced screening, or as an alternative to other types of screening, such as advanced imaging technology screening. Even passengers who normally receive expedited screening, such as TSA Pre✓® passengers, may at times receive pat-down screening.

What should you know about pat-down screening?
  • Our officers will explain the procedures to you as they conduct the pat-down.
  • We use modified screening procedures for children 12 and under that reduce the likelihood of pat-down screening.
  • A pat-down may include inspection of the head, neck, arms, hand, back, torso, legs, and feet. This includes head coverings and sensitive areas such as breasts, groin, and the buttocks. You may be required to adjust clothing during the pat-down.
  • Pat-downs require sufficient pressure to ensure detection.
  • Our officers use the back of the hands for pat-downs over sensitive areas of the body. In limited cases, additional screening involving a sensitive area pat-down with the front of the hand may be needed to determine that a threat does not exist.  
  • You should advise the officer if you have difficulty raising your arms or remaining in the position required; an external medical device; or areas of the body that are painful when touched.
  • You may request a chair to sit if needed.
  • You will receive a pat-down by an officer of the same gender.
  • At any time during the process, you may request private screening accompanied by a companion of your choice.  


Bob Burns
TSA Social Media

132 comments:

  1. Of course new technology has a need for the travel industry even different ideas and protocol advancing the mission of the T S A . However many great technologies have been brushed under the rug by the powers that be that would surely advance the mission with new and interesting technology never used by the T S A . For example there is a technology out there that will let passengers e ticket direct to luggage 128/250 2 color bit map image display for data luggage check in and control . But what do you see only paper tags and kiosk printing the old caveman way to move luggage about . The technology I am speaking of is awarded by the TSA 2012 as the viable solution for luggage check in and traffic the new way luggage is checked thus leaving the primitive way of tags and kiosk printing behind and going wireless data

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paperless biarfing passes are accepted by TSA

      Delete
    2. Sounds like an airline issue rather TSA,
      Transportation SECURITY Administration. Airlines are who tag bags for transport.

      Delete
    3. Sounds like an airline problem rather TSA..
      Transportation SECURITY Administration.
      Airlines are in charge of tagging luggage for transportation.

      Delete
    4. Do they have to pat down if ur wearing sweat pants?

      Delete
  2. Reported by media was that the laptop was found in a book bag as it went through x-ray not that it alarmed.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tsa-pat-down-outrage-mom-posts-facebook-video-speaks-out-dallas/

    "Williamson said the whole thing started when agents found a laptop in his book bag as it went through the scanning machine. They then said her son would have to submit to a pat-down, even though he did not set off the body scanner."

    When did x-ray incorporate an explosives detector?

    How does groping the boy resolve the laptop alarm, if there really was one?

    If explosives were truly a concern, and I doubt that was the case, why not use ETD on the boy?

    And I certainly question this TSA accounting given the lack of honesty demonstrated by TSA on this very blog in past stories, like some of the original Whole Body Imager claims.

    This is a perfect case of TSA retaliation because the laptop was left in a bag!

    And exactly which TSA idiot authorized this aggressive pat down, especially on children?

    Someone should be prosecuted for what happened to this boy.




    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Media got it wrong if that's the account you read. Or, equally likely, you misread.

      Delete
    2. Oh stop. My laptop was swabbed and they found something that alarmed them and I was strip searched. Yes...took my clothes off and searched! This was over a year ago. The boy was pat down thoroughly and that's just the way things are these days.

      Delete
    3. You have wrong information.
      Pat downs are not given as a primary screening method unless the pax opts out of the body scanner. The laptop might have been inside a book which then prompted tsa to bag check it in which the laptop was then tested by the officer for explosives thus causing the machine to alarm and the patdown to be performed

      Delete
  3. Please give TSA a break! If the people as much time thinking as they do bitching the world could be a much safer place. Anything to post video on Facebook or the web.
    Imagine the bitching if TSA missed one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! And if people REALLY watch good ole Moms video (WHY would you put your kid out there like that?)you can SEE the TSA agent talks to the kid and the kid shakes his head "ok".. looks like they were explaining things to him the whole time.. Quit coddling your 13 year old.. Everything is a damn "disorder" these days..Apparently her kid dances..God forbid he has to touch or be touched by another dancer! Get over all this! OMG! I cant stand another second of it!

      Delete
    2. This site claims he's thirteen. Everywhere else he's ten. Was the wait that long?

      Delete
  4. Job well done to the TSA officer from the video this article is referring to. Nothing about the video seemed excessive, as a frequent traveler I appreciate them going the extra mile to ensure the safety of the masses!

    ReplyDelete

  5. "All of our procedures are based on current intelligence and our adversaries are always looking for ways to inflict harm, including recruiting young children to carry out attacks."

    One example where a child has been recruited to carry out an attack against U.S. based aviation operations please?

    Otherwise you're blowing smoke, TSA!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://instagram.com/p/BSM0o4cjZbx/

      Delete
    2. https://instagram.com/p/BSM0o4cjZbx/

      Delete
    3. https://www.google.com/amp/m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_57bb87aae4b00d9c3a19a62f/amp

      Why would TSA react to attacks when they can prevent them from happening? When you come to the airport, expect to get screen accordingly.

      Delete
    4. Children have been used in attacks since AT LEAST Veitnam! I know that for fact because my FIL had developed a bond with a little girl, he and his wife where trying to adopt her. The veit cong used her to try and take out as many GI'S that could. Directly in front of him.
      Do you REALLY want to wait for a to be child used to bring down a plane when then it is well known that it happens! Then you would pitch a fit. I have been pat down more than once because I have medical devices in my body, as has my father, and my son. My son HAD A VALID MILITARY ID at the time because his father is active duty Navy. While it is a pain in the rearend it is nessasry to do so in today's world to keep us all safe.

      This mother is the problem here in to agent. She shoul ld have spoken to her son about what he should do and what MAY happen, IE..being screened via a pat down, long before they got to the airport. I know for a fact that had she called a head of time and asked they would have worked with her to find a time to come in and practice so that he would see and know what to do and what would happen. Yes he has issues but unfortunately the bad guys don't care a bit and are just as likely to use a child with disabilities as healthy child and so they must be treated the same as EVERYONE else.
      Thank you TSA for your hard and thankless job to keep us safe!

      Delete
  6. I have to respectfully disagree with parts of this. As a frequent traveler, I do appreciate the tighter security concerns and have been patted down a few times. The officers have always been professional.

    What disturbs me is that this TSA officer went over the same "sensitive" areas 2 and 3 times. Plus, this boy was wearing a t-shirt and shorts, not anything bulky or large. While I am not accusing this officer of any wrongdoing, I think these specific procedures need to be revisited, especially for children. I have a 14 year old daughter and if a woman TSA agent started in the same manner, I would have stepped in and put a stop to it, whatever the consequences.

    Plus, why did the entire event take 45 minutes??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Contact your local congressman to have changes made. The TSA officer is performing a screening procedure put in place by the federal government in which the president of the United States has agreed upon.

      Delete
    2. Because the mother acted like a child and pitched a fit. Had she properly prepared her child and lovingly talked him through it. She would have made her plane. It also sounds as if they didn't get to the air plane in the 1 1/2 to 2 hrs as requested if 45 mins made them miss their plane.

      Delete
  7. You are blind if you don't think that was an excessive pat-down!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are other means of transportation in which you will not be screened by the TSA. Those means are extremely vulnerable to a terrorist attack because they have little to no security screening.

      Delete
    2. And yet, so one is targeting out highway systems... Thanks for proving the point...

      Delete
  8. Dear Parent,

    Next time drive. Seriously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahahahaha.. I can finally smile over this ridiculousness!

      Delete
    2. Exactly. I drive from Kentucky to Arizona almost every year to see family. No wait times at the airport and it's cheaper. Downside is it takes longer, but it's fun to drive different ways and see new places instead of living in a bubble like these people clearly do.

      Delete
  9. The TSA would be monumentally derelict in its duty if they didn't search everyone to the degree necessary to assure safety and security.

    Otherwise, it would be "Here kid (or grandma). Put this bomb down your pants.

    Terrorists aren't stupid and don't care about sacrificing other people of any age or relationship.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The child did not seem to be having an issue. Mom blew everything way out of proportion and probably the reason why the entire inspection took 45 minutes. She needed to just let them do their jobs and move along.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the issue is that the kid DOES think this is normal, the Mom remembers when we had a free society without this farcical and ineffective TSA inquisition...

      Delete
  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dan,

      With a quick Google search I found that the underwear bomber got on a plane in another country overseas. Germany. Tsa does not secure other countries airports, but maybe they should?

      Delete
    2. Dan your post is comical.

      The ATR machine that you stand in, is not an X-ray machine nor does is provide "Naked Images". The image looks like a ginger bread man weather you are a male or female with a yellow box appearing where something alarmed on the person.

      Sexually violated? I don't even know how to respond to that, it's so incredible incorrect.

      Why do you think pat down's of sensitive areas were started by TSA? Because of the Uni Bomber. Why do you think you are required to take your shoes off if going through the standard screening lane? Because of the shoe bomber. There are reasons why TSA does the job that they do.

      Please do a little research and get your facts straight.

      Delete
    3. Where's my reply? Followed guidelines, yet was not posted.

      Delete
  12. It was a computer that alarmed, so why does the kid get a pat down. Why not just re-screen the computer, turn it on, and take the battery out and things just to confirm it was a false alarm.
    If I saw the correct video, the kid had a form fitting T-shirt, and shorts. Not much room to hide stuff. Did you pat down the adults with him??
    I have a knee replacement and get frequent pat-downs, none of which has ever taken longer than 10 Minutes, and most of that time was waiting for a TSA worker to come. How did you drag this out to 45 minutes?
    A lot of TSA workers have an attitude act like they are better than the travelers and are not customer friendly. I am thankful for those who work with an attitude of service

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep it WAS a computer and the computer belonged to the BOY... Im quite sure the computer was screened too but the computer doesnt have a touch sensory disorder or whatever BS disorder a Dr comes up with these days.. The pat down took TWO minutes..MOM made it longer arguing then asking for police officers... they dont just automatically appear out of thin air.. so if people would comprehend what they are reading they would know this too.. I read that...and a TSA agents attitude? could YOU imagine dealing with thousands of people a day? Not me!

      Delete
    2. Neither could I, and that's why I don't have a job that exposes me to that. If you can't handle it, then you shouldn't have that type of job, either. Same goes with a TSAgent. If they cannot handle it while keeping a positive attitude, then they should be removed. Even if everything is done "according to protocol" or whatever BS TSA spouts about these incidents, the fact that they took an attitude with a travelled should be a fireable offence. I could care less about the travellers attitude towards the TSA, as they're not being paid to deal with the agent.

      Delete
  13. If people spent just a few minutes when they are planning to travel and think about what it takes to go through security, there would be far fewer problems at checkpoints. Something as innocent as a laptop or a bottle of water may seem trivial until it alarms the TSA technology. Then more invasive procedures go into effect. There is plenty of information and signage at airports and online to assist travelers. Most frequent travelers know well the do's and don't s of getting through the checkpoint. If bad guys weren't out there doing bad things to airplanes, we wouldn't have to go through any of this.
    God bless the TSA for what they do!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Keep promoting this:
    https://www.tsa.gov/travel/passenger-support

    ReplyDelete
  15. Keep promoting this:
    https://www.tsa.gov/travel/passenger-support

    ReplyDelete
  16. I had the opportunity to travel to Europe and Canada last week, and got the pat-down in three of seven airports. Let me tell you, the TSA got nothing on Canada - their pat-downs are like massages - vigorous, probing, almost therapeutic. I asked him for a date when he got through.

    Traveler's tip: Spend $15, bypass all this "security" and buy the "TSA Pre✓".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! People do not realize how good they have it with tsa. If people flew out of the country and back they would be wishing they were waiting in a tsa line then another countries security line.

      Delete
  17. I have to agree with another writer, I understand scrutiny really I do. It's for our safety but I must question the amount of time spent on anyone boy or adult who is wearing a t shirt & shorts. It just does not seem efficient at all not talking about bending he rules but common sense has to come into play and I too observed the agent go over the same areas twice. I'm not s nomb expert but it seems like time could have been better spent on the other passengers who posed a real threat. I also read where it's retaliation if so that's just wrong. I agree some folks can be just down right silly & act entitled to try to walk through with something they shouldn't but TSA want to be respected as a law- enforcement authority well if that is to be then you cannot retaliate...ever. I don't want to see the agent fired I want to see the supervisor who allowed it to occur be demoted just bad tactics from a law enforcement perspective & senseless based on the boys attire

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you realize how tiny bombs can be now. Most people think of a bomb like a pipe bomb or pressure cooker. What you don't realize is that bombs can be as small as a peice of chewing gum. That can be sewn into the seams of anything. Even shorts and a tshirt. Had the mother properly prepared her son it wouldn't have been a issue! Had she called ahead they would have worked with her to bring him into the airport and practice gong through security. This had nothing to do with retaliation and unfortunately, Children DO POSE a real threat. Even as far back as Veitnam children where used to kill. The problem here was the MOTHER had she stayed calm and loving talked this young man threw it they would be fine and made their flight. My son has had the same pat down because he forgot and stuck a water bottle in his carry on. He had a valid Military ID because his dad is active duty Navy and they still searched them. This child is completely calm. It is the mother that was a mess!

      Delete
    2. You realize that recent red-team tests allowed a mock underwear bomb through? The exact threat the nude-o-scopes are supposed to detect. If the TSA can detect one of those, I highly doubt they'd discover something as small as a stick of gum sewn into seams, as even a patdown would feel like a normal seam.

      Delete
  18. Thanks for taking the time to clarify what happened - we figured there was more to the story. In any event, the pat down did not look "very aggressive" as claimed by the mother.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Sad as this situation is and I recognize the anguish the mother and child went through, these are the realities of our world today. We seem to loose focus as to who the real culprit is here - the terrorists who have pledge to undue our world. Perspective is often a difficult thing to achieve and at times we result to blame. TSA should go out of its way to accommodate those of us that are not able to assimilate the brave new world in which we exist. They could work on their etiquette and "bedside" manners (We are not all guilty until proven innocent) From our part, I an tell you I was uncomfortable having a stranger touch my privates and probably said something to that effect but I did not file a complaint, I endured. Empathy will eventually stop the terrorists. It should begin with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
  20. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

    This is a lot of words trying to refute the story of just one mother.

    Just sayin

    ReplyDelete
  21. TSA states that all screening procedures are approved. Where does that approval come from? Are Privacy Impact Statements issued? Are procedure changes published in the Federal Record allowing for public comment? Or does just TSA just roll out whatever procedure that TSA fancies without any input from the public who will be TSA's victims.

    ReplyDelete
  22. job well done by TSA following rules. If you don't want pat downs, drive!

    ReplyDelete
  23. "Pat-down procedures are used to determine whether prohibited and dangerous items are concealed."

    How many times has TSA ever found a "dangerous item" when performing one of these assaults absent an alarm by WTMD/ETD/MMW? Drugs don't count.

    Why does TSA refuse to answer that question?

    screen shot/DHS IG statement

    ReplyDelete
  24. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  25. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I was initially surprised about the laptop causing an alarm. However, the mother has clarified the situation and the laptop DID NOT cause any alarm.

    This blog entry is at best, a misunderstanding, and at worst, an outright lie. The former can be corrected. The latter may require something more.

    The child has a diagnosed mental issue, as the TSA was informed. Instead of using that information to help smooth the situation, it appears that the TSA agents took it as an attempt to get something through security.

    As a frequent traveler myself, I do greatly appreciate the efforts of TSA agents doing a tough and unheralded job. I do my best to to avoid causing "issues".

    I have no doubt the mother was trying to do the same. Informing the TSA of his condition so as to avoid the boy making a scene if he became overwhelmed with anxiety.

    There are several questions I would like the TSA to answer in future blogs.
    - Who said the laptop alarmed?
    - Was the reason for the search that the boy forgot to take his laptop out of his bag?
    - If the laptop didn't cause any alarms, what the reason for the search?
    - Why wasn't the mother's information about the boy mental condition used?

    I have a high respect for the TSA rank and file. But, as with every organization, mistakes are made and some people should not be in certain jobs.

    This incident and this blog entry cast a very bad light on the TSA. I am angry that it has been handled badly, twice. The initial mistake in searching the boy and this blog entry which is at odds with the mother's statements.

    TSA, you need to get issue cleaned up and fast. A letter of apology to the mother explaining why what happened and what has been done to prevent it happening again. Then a blog entry stating the complete facts and what actions have been taken.

    Anything less will only reinforce the worst ideas about the TSA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    3. Why was my comment pointing out a violation of blog policy removed, but the violation itself still stands?

      Delete
  27. As an Airline pilot, I have witnessed, and been subjected to numerous pat-downs because of a metal implant. I have never seen a patdown as invasive as this one. The agent cleared the same areas 4 times. I have never seen a pat-down that lasted 2 minutes, and 45 minutes to clear 3 bags? Come on.

    This was clearly retribution against this family because they complained, and they used a 13 year old to get their point across. The agent appeared to be done, but was ordered back by a supervisor to continue the screening. This was an abuse of power, and these agents should be held accountable.

    ReplyDelete
  28. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    2. West, Fluffy claims to be a TSA employee and then goes on to insult fellow commenters (and American taxpayers). This content violates blog policy. Why was it allowed?

      Delete
  29. Avnav, here's a great run down of what these assaults are all about:

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28101441-post310.html

    ReplyDelete
  30. The only myth here is this blog.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Fluffy wrote: "You don't ever hear of the times we catch loaded guns. You won't hear about the times we catch grenades. You will never hear the times we catch people doing dry runs at the airports across the country."

    Each one of those statements is a falsehood, Fluffy. What do you think this "blog" is all about, if not boasting of the number of weapons TSA has found or the number of grenades, real or replicas. And if you think anyone believes that TSA finds people doing "dry runs" you are delusional.

    Really, Fluffy, if you do work for the TSA you are a fine example of why the organization is useless.

    screen shot/DHS IG statement

    ReplyDelete
  32. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Well, I completely dislike the TSA, as a government organization. Waste of taxpayer dollars. HOWEVER, regardless of what I think, they do have policies and procedures, and this is the first time I have seen them defend them. And I must say, they did an awesome job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JAMES, a brief search of this blog will show Bob or an "HQ element" trots out the ol' "Is the passenger's fault! We never make a mistake!" after the level of outcry reaches a high enough level.

      Groping a young teen is in no way awesome.

      TSA policies & procedures must be changed.

      Delete
  34. Mr. Biondi
    You know the underwear bomber did not go through security in the U.S.
    The "naked body" scanners haven't been used for years.

    Talk about misinformation!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Fluffy said..."...I'm a officer for TSA. We get intelligence that warns us of kids being used. "

    No, you are an Agent, but whatever. And as for your Intelligence Reports, lets just leave it at the TomAto-TomAHto game.

    "...Those kids are passengers. They will be screened. "

    No one here is saying they shouldn't be screened.

    "... and those already here looking to find a gap to breach our system."

    You mean like the JFK 11 that just walked through security with no screening at all?

    "...You don't ever hear of the times we catch loaded guns. "

    Actually, we do. Every week (ish). You used to put up a nice grid showing which firearms from which airports.

    "...You won't hear about the times we catch grenades. "

    Again, just about every week. You supposedly even have an Explosives Detection Team at one or more airports whose sole job is apparently getting called out to determine the threat posed by grenades and their simulacrums.

    "...You will never hear the times we catch people doing dry runs at the airports across the country. "

    That is because that happens so rarely there is nothing to report. One of your fellow employees has told us many times about how even you guys can't secure and monitor every part of the airport and since this blog is available world wide I am sure that somewhere, somewhen, a bad guy has read this blog and found the weakness they need so no 'dry run' would be required.

    "...I have family that travels for a living"

    That's nice. I have a family too. I am pretty sure that most everyone posting here has a family and a healthy percentage of those families travel by air at least once in a while.


    ".. and I'd rather make sure you are all safe I sleep good knowing I do my job. "

    You started saying one thing and ended with another. Did you get confused as to where you were in the approved script? I do my job and I sleep good so does that mean we are.... what? Where were you going with this one?

    "...Those who stepped up and accepted procedures we collectively appreciate the cooperation. "

    As your fellow employees are so fond of saying, "do you want to fly today?" Your superiors have put you as an obstacle to our travel, the TSA is not an optional procedure that we can skip. You can applaud those who comply with your rules all you want, it doesn't make your rules right or effective.

    "...As for the rest of you guys. "

    Here it comes...... so exciting.....

    "Grow up and realize we don't live in a nice world. We live in a very crazy world."

    And the TSA is doing nothing, NOTHING, to reduce the level of crazy. If you truly were trying to do something about the not-nice world we live in we wouldn't be hearing about things like the JFK 11, we wouldn't be reading things like this incident with a thirty-plus minute screening of a mother and child, and we wouldn't have countless other stories of bad actors in a corrupt organization that has proven itself to be nothing more than a charade that claims to be security.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not to mention a grotesque violation of the Constitution's illegal search and seizure!!! Technology is NOT fool proof people, it's made and programmed by fallible human beings, which means it can fail or give false alarms, etc. Besides, the mother stated he DID NOT set off any alarms, and even if he did, then as another poster stated, the book bag and computer should have been the subject of the search. Not a 13 year old child! You people are the reason flying is no longer a joy; and why I won't fly anymore! Disgusting what this country has become...and all for a bit of FALSE security!

      Delete
  36. Bravo, Chip and Andy, Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  37. ***Update*** When a pat-down is required, TSA can offer reasonable accommodations for individuals with sensory processing disorders or other conditions that sometimes result in pain when touched. However, those individuals still need to undergo a pat-down to maintain security. ***Update***

    *******************************************
    How does a pat down of a person resolve an alarm on a laptop computer or other physical item?

    Reasonable question that TSA ignores!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Fascinating story. TSA does not deny a single thing the mother wrote, indeed, confirms it, then calls it a myth.

    ReplyDelete
  39. To karen brady ---you seem to be texting yourself. and then answering yourself. You're thanking and laughing to cyberspace that all cannot see. Please continue with you're comments, because each one shows your ignorance about flying.
    This is a serious situation, and for you to diminish it is not right.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Doober... Thanks for the link. But, I've seen this everyday. This one was excessive, and definely retribution.

    I agree that reading "Fluffys" post seems to be bogus as a real TSA agent. If he/she is, then we have a bigger problem than I thought. Reread it. Can we find out what airport he/she is assigned? I'll be looking.

    ReplyDelete
  41. TSA is a product of 9/11. As a pilot, the screeners just changed uniforms. In fact, they had a sewn on badge, but insisted on a metal badge. It was not reported, but the real LEO's fought it tooth and nail. TSA are NOT Law enforcement officers (LEO's). If you encounter a TSA screener saying they are, they can be prosecuted impersonating a law enforcement officer. They are not.

    ReplyDelete

  42. ...but they're supposed to use the BACK of their hands for sensitive areas (breasts & groin area). The agent at DFW did the opposite!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Anyone defending the TSA on this is a complete idiot. TSA has been proven to stop zero attacks and the agents end up stealing more from travelers than protecting us. TSA is simply a feel good band-aid that makes everyone "think" we're safer. They have done next to nothin to actually protect us...educate yourself before yoju defend the most ineffective agency in the US.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/danielreed/2015/06/08/the-tsas-95-failure-rate-be-carefull-what-you-ask-for-when-demanding-that-congress-do-something/amp/

    ReplyDelete
  44. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! Had the woman properly prepared her son and called the TSA ahead of time. There wouldn't be a issue!

      Delete
  45. While the TSA was busy refuting the claims of a mother who witnessed her son receiving an agressive, I mean thorough, patdown it seems the TSA let a firearm slip through security. A woman in Atlanta was arrested AT THE GATE because​she had a firearm. And if she wouldn't have turned herself in it is very likely she could have flown with her gun in her purse.

    Way to go TSA.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Kudos to Blogger Bob on his well-crafted response and the Officer for conducting an impeccable pat-down per the TSA SOP according to Blogger Bob.

    Unfortunately, I think Bob and TSA are missing the point. The outcry over this incidence isn’t over whether the Officer conducting the pat-down followed protocol—which he apparently did—but over the protocol itself. The argument, that he did the pat-down correctly and was just following orders has largely fallen on deaf ears. An Israeli airport security expert said it would never have happened there. Security personnel in Israel are trained to look at threats as unrefuted suspicions. If you can refute your suspicion, then there is no threat. Yes, they are trained to follow protocols, but they are not trained to be the Myrmidons. What suspicions that were not resolved by checking the laptop indicate the child was a threat? Therefore, was such a pat-down necessary to resolve a threat, or was it just conducted because it was a rule in the TSA SOP? Was this 13-year-old an evil genius that secreted some sort of IED into his laptop (which was cleared), or onto his body (which his clothing would indicate highly unlikely)? What about the parents; why weren’t they patted down? In terms of risk (i.e., chance) what is more likely: a 13-year-old in shorts and close fitting T-shirt has an IED on his person, or the parents placed an IED somewhere in his property? If you chose the parents as the more likely threat, as you should, then why weren’t they patted down and subjected to closer scrutiny?

    People complaining about this incident have been complimentary about the Officer conducting the pat-down. The public’s complaint is with the protocol. And as an acquaintance from Israel pointed out, the excuse of just following orders is never truly justified.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I must have missed the Myth Buster part. What myth did you dispel, exactly?

    The dismissive and condescending tone of this reaction is frankly more troubling than the video itself. Perhaps better just not to respond at all and let the storm blow over than to escalate the issue by trying to justify this "pat down."

    I travel a lot. I've been randomly selected or something in my bag triggered the extra search plenty of times. No big deal.

    But never, EVER, anything like this. Much less to a child. Common sense has to intervene at some point.



    ReplyDelete
  48. Does the TSA require background checks for all its employees. Esp. in cases where they will be around young children

    ReplyDelete
  49. An interview of the mother on radio station WBAP paints an entirely different picture than the fantasy that TSA posted.

    The boy did not alarm. His computer did not alarm. There was a significant backup at the checkpoint and several people had asked a female TSA screener what was going on. The mother had spoken with this female TSA screener. The mothers account was that this female TSA screener was being rude to others and herself and the additional screening was in retaliation for the mothers questions.

    Once again it looks like TSA is not being honest with the public. A TSA norm.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I love how this even uses the turn of phrase "we get it" and then neatly misses every single concerning part of the video entirely. I am grown and don't get pat downs that friendly. At least a grown up could have asked for a cigarette afterward

    ReplyDelete
  51. So, if TSA simply followed procedure, why did TSA apologize to the family?

    ReplyDelete

  52. I'll keep the question simple so perhaps the TSA Blog Team can comprehend and answer.

    Why is a pat down required on a child who did not alarm?

    ReplyDelete
  53. Several comments have been removed due to personal insults and some vulgarities. Please carry on with your normal posting routines.

    West
    TSA Blog Team

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why were they approved to begin with? Did you approve them, or did someone else? You do realize that the "damage" has already been done, right? And also that you missed at least one or two.

      Delete
    2. Why the reluctance to answer yet another set of really simple questions, West?

      Delete
  54. West, thank-you for deleting the comments that violated blog policy. I hope you in the future not allow the insults and attacks in the first place.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Thank you to those who pointed out Fluffy's violation of this blog's TOS. Without your input, I am sure that post would still stand.

    I do wonder if anyone at TSA has tracked down Fluffy's IP because if he/she is a TSA screener, someone needs to speak to her about behavior both on and off duty.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Jim Huggins wrote: "So, if TSA simply followed procedure, why did TSA apologize to the family?"

    TSA did not apologize for assaulting her child; they apologized because she felt she had a bad experience - yet again laying everything at the passenger's feet and not taking any responsibility.

    They also offered her an opportunity to work with them on improving screening for people with disabilities. We all know how well that has gone in the past; the offer was for no purpose other than to try to keep her quiet.

    screen shot/DHS OIG statement

    ReplyDelete

  57. GSOLTSO said...
    Several comments have been removed due to personal insults and some vulgarities. Please carry on with your normal posting routines.

    West
    TSA Blog Team

    April 2, 2017 at 10:44 AM
    ...........
    Why was my post that brought attention to the non-conforming post made by Fluffy removed? My post fully complied with the TSA Blog posting guidelines.

    Trying to cover up for the poor behavior of TSA employees? If so that is corrupt!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Another example of TSA apparently not caring how they physically or emotionally injure passengers: http://cripconfessions.com/tsa-hurt-me-again-re-breaking-my-leg-another-day-in-the-life/

    ReplyDelete
  59. Nicolia Wiles said...
    . TSA has been proven to stop zero attacks and the agents end up stealing more from travelers than protecting us.
    can you provide a link to the "proof?"

    I didn't think so...

    ReplyDelete
  60. RB said...
    An interview of the mother on radio station WBAP paints an entirely different picture than the fantasy that TSA posted.

    The boy did not alarm. His computer did not alarm. There was a significant backup at the checkpoint and several people had asked a female TSA screener what was going on. The mother had spoken with this female TSA screener. The mothers account was that this female TSA screener was being rude to others and herself and the additional screening was in retaliation for the mothers questions.

    Once again it looks like TSA is not being honest with the public. A TSA norm.
    so you were there? You can make that determination because Mom said so? Lord knows no Mom has ever been proven to be a liar after watching the video...
    Glad you were there to clear this up for the American people.

    ReplyDelete
  61. This one's for you, Boldy: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/stolen-item-checked-luggage_us_56a0eb77e4b0d8cc1098d214

    Further, the fact that the highly-vaunted BDO program is slated for the trash can lends veracity to Nicolia's claim.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Boldly said...
    Nicolia Wiles said...
    . TSA has been proven to stop zero attacks and the agents end up stealing more from travelers than protecting us.
    can you provide a link to the "proof?"

    I didn't think so...

    I will make you a deal Boldy... you provide us a link to all the terrorist activity the TSA has stopped and then we'll see about getting you the information you're asking about.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Boldly said...
    Nicolia Wiles said...
    . TSA has been proven to stop zero attacks and the agents end up stealing more from travelers than protecting us.
    can you provide a link to the "proof?"

    I didn't think so...


    April 4, 2017 at 11:34 AM
    ..............
    Boldy, same challenge. Provide one link that proves TSA has stopped an attack or terrorist.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Boldly said...
    .............
    RB said...
    An interview of the mother on radio station WBAP paints an entirely different picture than the fantasy that TSA posted.

    The boy did not alarm. His computer did not alarm. There was a significant backup at the checkpoint and several people had asked a female TSA screener what was going on. The mother had spoken with this female TSA screener. The mothers account was that this female TSA screener was being rude to others and herself and the additional screening was in retaliation for the mothers questions.

    Once again it looks like TSA is not being honest with the public. A TSA norm.
    .........................

    so you were there? You can make that determination because Mom said so? Lord knows no Mom has ever been proven to be a liar after watching the video...
    Glad you were there to clear this up for the American people.

    April 4, 2017 at 12:55 PM
    .............
    Boldy, you really need to work on how you format your comments.

    As to your remark. I clearly stated the mothers side of things. TSA stated theirs on this blog and in the media. There is a discrepancy between the two versions and seeing as how TSA has consistently been less than honest over the years I think we have to give a lot of weight to the mothers version of things.

    TSA, the TSA Blog, and other spokespeople for TSA have destroyed TSA's and their own credibility by not being honest, no one else did that.

    It wasn't necessary to be there to compare two versions of the same story. One version from TSA, known liars, and one version from a mother who only wants to protect her son from extremely abusive, and unnecessary, checkpoint pat downs. A new pat down so alarming that TSA felt the need to alert law enforcement agencies about the new procedure.

    So without some hard evidence by TSA that counters the mothers version then yes I will believe the mother over TSA.

    If you have some other evidence that you think changes things to post it.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I think several of the policies need to be examined and reevaluated.

    Patdowns are intrusive and traumatic. Both sexes use incontinence products and women use menstrual products. Breasts and genitals should be off limmits completely. No back of the hand and especially no front of the hand.

    SPOT has been deemed unscientific and unsound. Better methods need to be developed. Europe does a far better job in this area.

    There are many ways in which security can be done more effectively and efficiently.

    ReplyDelete
  66. RB said...
    Boldly said...
    Nicolia Wiles said...
    . TSA has been proven to stop zero attacks and the agents end up stealing more from travelers than protecting us.
    can you provide a link to the "proof?"

    I didn't think so...


    April 4, 2017 at 11:34 AM
    ..............
    Boldy, same challenge. Provide one link that proves TSA has stopped an attack or terrorist.

    I have never made the claim that they have. I have said they may have, and that cannot be denied. The fact is, if they did there is a very high likelihood nobody including TSA would have ever known it.

    ReplyDelete
  67. StatsGrandma's Office Hours said...
    I think several of the policies need to be examined and reevaluated.

    Patdowns are intrusive and traumatic. Both sexes use incontinence products and women use menstrual products. Breasts and genitals should be off limmits completely. No back of the hand and especially no front of the hand.

    SPOT has been deemed unscientific and unsound. Better methods need to be developed. Europe does a far better job in this area.

    There are many ways in which security can be done more effectively and efficiently.
    just an outsider looking in...if TSA were to make breasts and groin "off limits" completely...where do you suppose bad people would start hiding things? This doesn't take a rocket scientist to answer that one.

    ReplyDelete

  68. "Once again it looks like TSA is not being honest with the public. A TSA norm."

    "If you have some other evidence that you think changes things to post it."
    I'm simply pointing out that you and the other haters have once again convicted TSA without all the facts. It has been proven without a doubt many times in the past that parents don't always report an accurate version of what happened. Video has shown them to be lying many times. It is entirely possible that his case is no different. The video clearly shows TSA did nothing wrong. Maybe something you disagree with, but not wrong.
    You however chose to say " TSA is not being honest with the public. A TSA norm" when there is absolutely no proof that that is true. That may be you opinion, but that does not make it a fact.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Fix sez - "West, thank-you for deleting the comments that violated blog policy."

    You are welcome, hopefully, it will not happen again.

    RB sez - "Why was my post that brought attention to the non-conforming post made by Fluffy removed? My post fully complied with the TSA Blog posting guidelines.

    Trying to cover up for the poor behavior of TSA employees? If so that is corrupt!"

    The comment was deleted because it included excerpts of the original comment that made your comment a violation of posting guidelines as well.

    Wintermute sez - "Why was my comment pointing out a violation of blog policy removed, but the violation itself still stands?"

    I believe all of the comments in this thread that were violations are gone, if I have missed any, please note them for me and I will get to it.

    Unknown sez - "This site claims he's thirteen. Everywhere else he's ten. Was the wait that long?"

    Hah! I see what you did there! No, really, he is 13, and most media sources I have seen quote it as 13 or as a "minor" with no age attached.

    Wintermute sez - "Why the reluctance to answer yet another set of really simple questions, West?"

    Which questions are you referring to? I have actually had a really busy past two months, so I may have missed quite a few. All of the Blog Team have other jobs that we have to work in addition to doing the blog work.

    West
    TSA Blog Team

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I asked who approved the comments to begin with? You, or someone else?

      I'd quote the comment that was missed, but then you'll delete or not post this comment. I believe part of the comment by "haolerot" on March 29, 2017 at 11:28 AM is still in violation, no?

      Delete
    2. And, yet again, silence from West when asked a simple question.

      Delete
  70. GSOLTSO said...

    RB sez - "Why was my post that brought attention to the non-conforming post made by Fluffy removed? My post fully complied with the TSA Blog posting guidelines.

    Trying to cover up for the poor behavior of TSA employees? If so that is corrupt!"

    The comment was deleted because it included excerpts of the original comment that made your comment a violation of posting guidelines as well.


    West
    TSA Blog Team

    April 18, 2017 at 7:20 AM

    My comment was in complete compliance with the blog posting guidelines. I did quote the non-compliant comment that demonstrated the personal ethics violation of a claimed TSA employee.

    For the TSA Blog to delete my comment which drew attention to this matter is nothing short of a cover-up of wrong doing by other TSA employees. That is also an ethics violation. Proper personal violation reports will be submitted.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Boldy, same challenge. Provide one link that proves TSA has stopped an attack or terrorist.

    To which Boldy replied....I have never made the claim that they have. I have said they may have, and that cannot be denied. The fact is, if they did there is a very high likelihood nobody including TSA would have ever known it.

    So we don't know how much TSA it takes to prevent attacks because the simple fact we have TSA is preventing attacks. This is an interesting idea you are asserting.... how much TSA does it take to prevent attacks? Like you say, there is a 'very high likelihood' that the TSA has already prevented at least one terrorist attack, and the number could be as high as some astronomically huge number that I won't type because your imagination can do a better job just by me saying astronomically huge number.

    So if simply having the TSA has prevented attacks, why do we need the 3-1-1 rules? You don't test any of the liquids that are passed through and you don't test any of the liquids you toss into the common rubbish bins so the only real benefit would seem to be security theater. Is the 3-1-1 rule the one that has deterred all the terrorist attacks? Or if we take it out is there still enough TSA to stop terrorists?

    How about the shoe-carnival? Is having people run around barefoot while going through security the rule that deterred all the terrorist attacks? Are the terrorists afraid of foot germs? Because, really, all those people running around barefoot really is unsanitary. I wouldn't blame the terrorists for ditching their plans when they learn about the shoe removal thing. If we give up on the shoe carnival is there still enough TSA to stop terrorists?

    I think this assertion of yours is actually kind of brilliant. We should start limiting the scope and reach of the TSA and see just how little TSA it takes to deter the terrorists. Remove one TSA enacted policy per quarter every quarter until we get a terrorist on a plane trying to take it over. After the terrorist is foiled by the the hardened cockpit doors, or is foiled by the policies that no longer preach quiet compliance, or after passengers subdue the terrorist (and by subdue I mean when they have to use carpet cleaner to remove what is left of the terrorist after the beat-down from the passengers who don't want to die at the hands of a terrorist) then we will know exactly how much TSA we actually truly need.

    Boldy, I must apologize for many of the mean things I have said about you over the last couple of years. This new idea of yours is absolutely brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
  72. Chip and Andy said....( a lot of stuff...)

    I'm not sure how you took my response and got your idea out of it...
    Lets try this instead...
    Do you have a lock on your front door? Do you use it? Why? Is someone trying to break into your house every night? Or is the lock perhaps a deterrent to a break in? If nobody is trying to break in, leave your door open at night. See if they try then. If they do, you know how much front door you need...make sure there is a sign point out your children's rooms...let me know how that works. Locks are such a waste of money...


    Do you wear a seat belt in your car? Why? Your not crashing every time you drive are you?

    Do you have a fire suppression system at your house or office? Why? There isn't a fire, you must not need it right?

    Terrorist are like water, they take the path of least resistance. Right now, because of TSA and other agencies, there is resistance.
    Right now there is very little threat of terrorism on an American based flight. I agree. And that is not because they don't want to attack there, its because they know there is a high likelihood they would not succeed. They go the path of least resistance. They go where they have the best chance to succeed. this stuff is so elementary, I'm surprised so many still struggle with it.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Here's TSA finding 2 separate bombs. Just for everyone who wants the proof.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/bomb-found-carry-bag-alaska-airport-officials-n31986

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/orl-airport0208apr02-story.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With their known failure rate, than means 90 or so bombs flew. Feel better?

      Delete
    2. Also, the first was not attached to a terrorist, and the second "...posed no threat..." because it was "bomb making materials" and not an actual bomb.

      Delete
  74. Right now there is very little threat of terrorism on an American based flight. I agree.

    So then why do we need the TSA to be very aggressively patting down ten year olds? Why do we need to take off our shoes at the walk-through-metal-detectors? Why do we need to put our liquids in wee-small bottles to go through security just so we can pour them all back into the one big container after security?

    Why do you keep using the Magic Tiger Rock theorem as proof that we need the TSA?

    ReplyDelete
  75. Chip and Andy sez - "So then why do we need the TSA to be very aggressively patting down ten year olds?"

    What 10 year old are you speaking of? Can you provide a link for me?

    Wintermute sez - "I asked who approved the comments to begin with? You, or someone else?"

    and - "And, yet again, silence from West when asked a simple question."

    I did not approve the comments. As indicated before, I only have a limited amount of time to work on the Blog here. If this were a full time position, I would have more time to carry on more informative replies. As of this time, it is not the case.

    West
    TSA Blog Team

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The lack of full-time position, and the fact that the blog is not directly under control of the PR arm of the TSA (does the fact that the TSA needs a PR arm scare anyone else?) just underscore the TSAs lack of regard for the travelling public. But that was not my question...

      So, when there's spin to be spun, someone else higher up approves pro-TSA comments regardless of how far from the posted guidelines they stray?

      The question remains... Who approved the comments?

      Delete
    2. Time to answer other questions, but not this one, West? It's pretty simple. If you didn't approve comments which violated posted blog guidelines, who did?

      Delete
  76. GSOLTSO said...
    Chip and Andy sez - "So then why do we need the TSA to be very aggressively patting down ten year olds?"

    What 10 year old are you speaking of? Can you provide a link for me?

    ~~

    You're kidding, right?

    The ten year old in this attempt at Myth Busting.... the special needs kid from DFW that triggered the conversation we're having right now. That ten year old.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The young man that was the subject of this post, is 13.

      West
      TSA Blog Team

      Delete
  77. As a travel journalist who flies frequently, I can tell you the enhanced TSA pat-down is an egregious violation of human dignity, and I don't think it does much to keep us safer. Since nobody is checked upon entering the airport, wouldn't a terrorist with a bomb in his pants explode it at the airport instead of waiting to get on the plane? I am no expert on security, but I know who is: Israel. The Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv has been free of terrorist attacks since the 1970s. My understanding is they use behavioral profiling to spot suspected terrorists. In other words, their security team does not consist of robots trained to confiscate shampoo and analyze breast milk. I am not advocating the USA implement all the layers of security at Ben Gurion. I’m suggesting our TSA agents could learn from these highly trained Israeli officers who focus on peculiar behavior instead of forgotten bottles of water. TSA agents seem to be so fearful of accusations of racial or religious profiling that they treat everyone like a terrorist. In the search for terrorists, the TSA is terrorizing it's own citizens. I have contacted my senator in an effort to have these invasive pat-downs limited to certain circumstances. TSA pre-check passengers have already been screened, so why waste time and resources why pat-downs unless there is something truly unusual? It saddens me that we have become a society that accepts its citizens must be humiliated and degraded in the public square to board an airplane.


    ReplyDelete
  78. Forgot to add in my previous comment, if you have genuine concerns about TSA pat-downs, it's far more effective to contact your senator than to vent on social media or blogs.That's how laws get changed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And social media is how you get the word out.

      Delete
  79. "...GSOLTSO said...
    The young man that was the subject of this post, is 13."

    oh, that makes the aggressive pat down somehow ok?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You forgot... 12 is the mythical age when a child crosses the threshold where aggressive patdowns are required to clear threats. And I bet you saw my eyes roll from there ;)

      Delete

TSA does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those Web sites that may be reached through links on our Web site.

Please read the complete Comment Policy.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.