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Wednesday, January 30, 2008
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The purpose of this blog is to facilitate an ongoing dialogue on innovations in security, technology and the checkpoint screening process. We encourage your comments; your ideas and concerns are important to ensure that a broad range of travelers are active and informed participants in the discussion. TSA reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

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Submitted by Joyce C on

I was recently the victim of a random security search in Chicago. I am 69 years old, have never had any law violations other than two traffic tickets in my life time, spent 32 years as a probation officer, and have a TSA frequent traveler number which British Airways did not accept when booking my ticket. My boarding pass was flagged as a random security measure in Copenhagen and I was pulled aside, taken to a private room, my hand luggage and purse searched and my person swiped with the tape that determines explosive residue.Not a big problem for me. It was done quickly and respectfully. I had a transfer in Chicago and they again pulled me aside and searched every item in my bags and did a full pat down of my body including private areas in full public view. I asked for privacy and was told I would have to wait even longer. We would not have made our flight and I was with five other family members so I let them do what would have been considered sexual molestation under any other circumstances in full public view. Having passed all the other screening and there being no suspicion, there was absolutely no reason for the kind of pat down I was subjected to! Also I have been pulled aside before and was given the same response when I asked for privacy. I was alone that time and so I waited. It appears that TSA routinely and purposely delays citizens who request privacy so they do not have to take the extra time. This is unacceptable and should not happen.The difference in attitude and respect between our TSA and security in Copenhagen was significant. Perhaps our TSA should look at the Copenhagen training. A law abiding US citizen does not deserve such disrespectful and, what I consider, criminal treatment.

Submitted by Ben on

I was appalled at Joyce's experience. Absolutely uncalled for. And where is the apology?

Submitted by CliffOnTheRoad on

Ben's comment is good. I wonder if search #2 was the result of computer communication as a result of search #1, or just bad luck.

No change is going to happen without the outcry from citizens, and the help from elected officials. What is also needed is a group to read all these individual events AND then instruct all inspection officers what their duties entail as well as "stop doing this ..."
However, full body scanners will not be morthballed, even with their zero effective rate.

Submitted by Mary Ceballos on

I was just frisked because they said I had something abnormal in my abdominal area which turned out to be my metal snap and zipper on my jeans. Then they swabbed my hands and said there was some chemical on my hands. I asked what hand lotion? After that I was told I would have to have a full pat down and search of my bags. After which they said there was nothing. I told them for the first time in my 70 years I was made to feel like a criminal. Also, when I've flown on Delta and Allegiant I've already been TSA pre-approved so what is different when I am flying this time on American Airlines?
I have a suggestion. Any Senior Citizen who's has never had any criminal record should always be TSA approved.

Submitted by Sonja Labrie on

I have done a considerable amount of travelling this past year. I wanted to say that the TSA staff at BWI was incredibly friendly, patient, kind and took the time to assist customers, without so much as an iota of frustration. Travelling is stressful enough these days, and TSA staff have the ability to make or break the flying experience. Thank you, sincerely, to the TSA team at the gate D&E checkpoint at BWI on shift 8/21/17 at 315 pm. I for one, appreciate uour professionalism, and look forward to flyng out of BWI more often

Submitted by Donald "eecom" ... on

I want to thank the TSA security officer at LaGuardia Air port today August 24,2017 at 10:45,a.m. My phone sliped out of my pocket while I was in Taxi Cab. Didn't notice it until taxi was gone. I went to the office and told them what happen. They helped me to call back to the motel where the taxi was called to. The motel manager gave them the taxi cab number for us to call the dispatch. Luckily, they found taxi driver,and the phone was still in the back seat of the cab. The cab brought the phone back to the terminal for me. And I gotten my phone. I felt good about the officer stuck by me hear in New York. Yes,I am a black man from Southern Arkansas. And would like to say,Thank you officer for being a professional to all people.Thank you! Thank You!

Submitted by Samuel Douglass on

I have noticed an ever increasing number of animals on flights that are not service animals. I am sure you folks have thought about it, but what's to stop a terrorist from making his or her pet into a walking bomb.

Submitted by Woody on

If these clowns don't like the TSA stay the H*** out of the airports and off the airplanes!

Submitted by Cindy Wyman on

I received a notice that my bag was inpected by TSA. They left everything neat and I wouldn't have even been aware that it was inspected if they hadn't left the tag. I appreciate them checking baggage in order to keep us safe! I don't know why anyone would be against this as it keeps us from acts of terrorism and harm. Thank you for the work you do.

Submitted by Kimberly Gubitosi on

I am so sorry joyce for the humiliation that you endured. I too, similarly experienced a very similar experience, with my privacy and my body being subjected to what i definitely would consider violation. However, the similarities end there. I was traveling within the united states, and my boarding pass, as well as my handicapped childs ticket, were both marked in multi colored- pre printed with the TSA PreCheck and initialed by the 1st tsa officer, even so much as questioning my child as to his age, which he incorrectly gave, because he is handicapped and gets confused easily. So we told the first TSA agent that he was a child under 12; and that he was moderately to severely disabled with multiple disabilities including AUTISM. I addressed the 2nd and 3rd agents with the same knowledge that he was Autistic and disabled and he shouldnt be separated from his mother, then i was ORDERED TO REMOVE MY LAPTOP FROM THE BACKPACK THAT WE SHARED( ANOTHER SO CALLED TSA PRECHECK PRIVELEGE DENIED). I informed the officers that we were TSA prechecked with proof right on the tickets, which they ignored and then disreguarded TSA's own printed, guidelines; WHICH THEN THEY SEPARATED THE HANDICAPPED CHILD, WHO STARTED FREAKING OUT; CRYING OUT AT 515 AM , " Stranger Danger" even though i asked the officer to please not touch him, and he was escorted through the security machine. two isles away, heartbroken, hearing my child crying in confusion, because he wasnt allowed to come to me and didnt know what to do next, i was moved to the different scanner because of surgical metal in my body, my physical search was not done in private nor was i asked but when she got to my genital area, she search hard enough to make me jump and i had tight jeans on. Violated, would be the understatement, my son, being blocked from coming to me and an officer putting her hand touching mu son, wiith the back of her arm, only made things worse. I grabbed my stuff, and my son and ran to the gate because i was going to miss my plane, this was the 1st and last time i will travel with my son, alone because of TSA. After getting this child who was extremely upset settled into his seat, i cried. Not just because of the stress of getting through tsa, but the whole reason why, i paid for pre check was to avoid, being violated and expedite the process, But no one in TSA cares about accountability. I called that day, repeatedly, and what i got sent via email was a damaged goods (which they destroyed the autistic childs 6 day old ipad) which i had to replace, and did that day, as thatis part of his stress coping tools. They not only denied breaking it, but how do you put a price on someones disability? scarring a child, taking them from their mother? violating ones person. I completely understand Joyce, and unfortunately, no one has the ability to pull the reins on this governmental safety/security system. Its a shame, that they have that much power, that it is grossly abused and so commonly done, that there is no recourse. And i was thoroughly offended when a supervisor called me and essentially claimed that what i described, didnt happen, and that they of course were not responsible for the damage done to my sons ipad and they saw nothing wrong with their actions. They totally ignored their own policies of under age 13 children, they totally ignored acknowledgement of disability and they totally ignored that i paid for TSA precheck and it was printed on the check. They dont care, because there is no way to hold them accountable. They are untouchable, they are worse than child protective services. its horrible, that they are allowed to treat people in that manner, and totally degrading to the innocent passengers. I get there is a lot of screwed up people in the world and a lot ofpeople do bad things, but if you read, their blogs, that talk about 165 guns found, 100 guns found, when there are thousands of people who travel by air a day, nevermind in a week. So they are busy blogging about how great they are, without giving the public all the facts, like the number of complaints versus numbers of guns versus numbers of people travelling. its sad and pathetic that they had to create a blog, to showcase their usefulness, because they certainly arent going to provide the public on a blog, the truth about the damage they do.

Submitted by Anonymous on

St Denver international on thanksgiving afternoon. Need over 59 tsps guys most if of them talking to themselves with 2 lines open and a wait of 39 minutes. Unacceptable as no one was actually doing anything to move the lines so glad that our tax dollars were paying for their holiday pay

Submitted by Dugan on

The TSA Precheck line is filled with non conforming passengers in the SFO airport this morning. TSA agents put all Priority boarding people into the PRECHECK line which resulted in a 45 minute line. this is frustrating since many of these passengers don't know how to proceed without removing shoes and liquids. Why do I pay the price for precheck only to have others non precheck passengers clog up the line?

Submitted by Anonymous on

For all the negative comments on here, I want to give a positive one. The crew working the evening shift 15 December in Houston was outstanding. I had a duty free item that did not meet carry on requirements, they assisted in getting me to re check the item, and then expedited me back through security during a high volume period. Thank you for the assistance and keep that up.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I just went through Tsa check in Billings Montana.:..the Tsa agent reached inside my legs and felt all over my rear ended and all over my breasts after saying the screen lit up my bottom and breasts....ridiculous....should I just show up naked????

Submitted by Anonymous on

Atlanta Georgia December 26th 6:45 p.m. . I would like to personally thank the young lady who helped my 67 year old wife through security and on her way to the proper gate. My wife had not flown in more years than this young lady was old. The Young lady was very sweet and was absolutely everything that I have been to led to believe TSA agents or not.

Submitted by Karen on

My autistic son was able to make his very first flight, despite severe anxiety and absolute terror about flying due to the help of passenger support. I was so pleased with every person I had spoken with. They were so kind, and concerned about making this flight to be as easy and comfortable for my son as possible. There was a TSA supervisor at the airport, Ms. Sunday, who met my brother and son at the airport and walked and talked my son through the security procedures, which made it more comfortable for him, and got him and my brother to the gate. My son's flight was a success! And I owe it all to those people that were involved in helping us with this experience, especially Ms. Sunday, who my brother stated was awesome with my son. Thank you so much from a grateful parent!

Submitted by Karen on

I also have an autistic child and he just took his first flight. Did you call the TSA passenger support line for assistance? I found that, called them, and they were absolutely wonderful. I have nothing but praise for how they handled my son. I was so upset for you and your son after reading your post, I just wanted to make a suggestion that may help you. Good luck...

Submitted by Anonymous on

I work in the security field and people try to come in bars with a digital copy of an id and tell me if I can travel on the plane with a copy of a passport then why can't they come in the bar or club woth a digital copy. So I've been wondering to myself why is it that if bars don't allow people to come in without a physical copy of a passport or I'd then why are airlines allowing people to travel either international or domestic. As a country we need to wake up and stop allowing these scenarios from playing out. As the frontier of security and freedom we are hurting ourselves and are neighboring countries and states more then we should.

Submitted by Holly on

Just been though security at terminal 1 at JFK, easily the most chaotic security check I've ever seen, it's what you might expect in a third world country. Come into the 21st century!

Submitted by Bonnie L on

I’m sorry that happened to you but it happens frequently. I was in a wheel chair and couldn’t walk. I asked a question and all of a sudden I was being treated as a criminal. I have no criminal record. They called over 4 officers and publicly made me stand on one leg(my leg was broken). They pat every part of my body including crotch and breasts. An officer yelled at me and I told him to stop yelling. My husband told them to stop bullying me. They almost arrested us. For what??? I’m a teacher and he’s a criminal lawyer. This violates free speech. I was punished for asking questions and humiliated for being in a wheelchair. Tsa needs to quit hiring incompetent employees and give training on how to show decency. I travel frequently. I want safety but bullying and humiliation are unacceptable.

Submitted by Cecelia Olsen on

Upon departing Seattle on March 6,2018, and weaving through security, I was sitting at my gate waiting to board AA 701.TSA agents were randomly choosing customers for additional security. I can appreciate the added cautious protection but, I was called for scanning as my group was called to board. I did relay this to the agent and I was told it won't take long. The irony of this was when earlier the agent picked the women sitting next to me,I volunteered myself with a negative response.As I again was screened, I beeped, plus my purse and bag beeped.Finally, a explosive tech was called and behind a privacy screen I was again screened.Nothing found. With my suggestion,the plane was asked to keep doors open for me to enter. Quite disturbing!

Submitted by Cecelia Olsen on

Upon departing Seattle on March 6,2018, and weaving through security, I was sitting at my gate waiting to board AA 701.TSA agents were randomly choosing customers for additional security. I can appreciate the added cautious protection but, I was called for scanning as my group was called to board. I did relay this to the agent and I was told it won't take long. The irony of this was when earlier the agent picked the women sitting next to me,I volunteered myself with a negative response.As I again was screened, I beeped, plus my purse and bag beeped.Finally, a explosive tech was called and behind a privacy screen I was again screened.Nothing found. With my suggestion,the plane was asked to keep doors open for me to enter. Quite disturbing!

Submitted by MJB on

Ms.Gubitosi, At which US airport did this incident take place?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I frequently fly from SJU on B6 in the late afternoon and there is rarely a precheck line open. You are made to wait on extremely long lines and then they instruct the travelers with precheck printed on their boarding pass to wait on a separate scanner line and you have to wait for an agent to be assigned to man that station. Yesterday I waited about 10 minutes on that line and meantime my personal items have already been x-rayed and sitting on the conveyour belt on the other side of the x-ray machine totally out of my line of sight. Anyone can simply pickup my cell phone or my other valuable items and walk away with them without being seen by me. When I complained about this yesterday the supervisor said they were understaffed and that is why the precheck line was closed at that busy time of day.

We pay for a service and are not receiving it. This is not correct or fair to travelers that have paid for precheck or Global Entry. SJU is a very busy airport and there are many flights departing in the late afternoon to destinations in the US and the precheck line should be open at all of the terminals!!!

Submitted by Leslie Martin on

I am currently traveling to Virginia from Orlando! I am so upset. I actually called Tara in advance to let them know I would be traveling with my autistic 13 year old son! They pulled us out of line checked his hands the test was not inconclusive. They took his shoes off his belt off and put his hands up and patted him down! They were suppose to help us not make it worse! He was so upset! So the steps I took to prepare were worthless!! Am not done! This was uncalled for! U don’t help people with disabilities that way).

Submitted by Jake on

Recently flew my father in law out of Watertwown, SD. Had a wonderful experience with the TSA staff. There were so patient and kind to my very limited English speaking father in law. He required a wheelchair which was provided. He was treated with utmost dignity and respect. Cannot say enough good things about the whole staff there at (ATY). THANK YOU!!

Submitted by M Brown on

JFK international terminal TSA is the worst run operation I have ever seen. First, if you’re coming from a domestic apt. You have to go through TSA all over again (stupid terminal setup). Second, even though your ticket is marked TSA Pre, they don’t honor it. I’m a government worker and have been a known traveler since it was offered. Lastly, the agents here are the most surly I have run into. Overall experience, poor.

Submitted by Lulu on

I am hoping that this post gets some attention because it has happened to me several times now, and I'm not sure where to go with my issue/concern. I have been asked to return back through the body screening machine on a few occasions. While nothing has ever turned up, and they eventually send me on through, I am not complaining about this extra measure for security. However, what does bother me is that my carryons - which are usually my most valuable possessions loaded with personal identity information (i.e., my laptop, phone, wallet; not to mention, my cash!) - are all at the end of the conveyor belt. This is not so problematic when I travel with a partner, but when I'm alone, someone could easily take something of mine and just walk off with it. When I've complained to TSA personnel at the checkpoint, they assure me that there are cameras and they'd be able to locate a thief. I disagree - especially in large, busy airports; by the time the 'hunt' begins, the thief could be in a cab and I could miss my flight. And, I feel this flies in the face of the automated announcements to make sure that you have your personal items in your possession at all times! To some, this may seem minor or insignificant, but I think it needs attention.

Submitted by Jason Adams, Sc... on

1. TSA agents are asking to search bags looking for "Bitcoins." A Bitcoin does not exist, it is a virtual i.e. digital currency. TSA agents need to be trained properly for this. 2. An object proves its intent by its content, or pattern. It is self-evident therefore, that TSA has nothing to do with protecting the public, facilitating ease in travel nor in enhancing travel security. The pattern - and therefore the purpose - of TSA is control; control of the general public through intimidation tactics, threats and fear.

Submitted by Ryan C on

GREAT SERVICE AT MSP AIRPORT!! Always fast and pleasant agents. Keep up the great work.