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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Two million travelers come in contact with the Transportation Security Administration every day. It is an intense experience all around -- extremely personal in some senses but also impersonal at the same time.

There is no time to talk, to listen, to engage with each other. There isn’t much opportunity for our Security Officers to explain the ‘why,’ of what we ask you to do at the checkpoint, just the ‘what’ needs to be done to clear security. The result is that the feedback and venting ends up circulating among passengers with no real opportunity for us to learn from you or vice versa. We get feedback verbally and non-verbally at the checkpoint and see a lot in the blogs, again without a real dialogue.

Our ambition is to provide here a forum for a lively, open discussion of TSA issues. While I and senior leadership of TSA will participate in the discussion, we are turning the keyboard over to several hosts who represent what’s best about TSA (its people). Our hosts aren’t responsible for TSA’s policies, nor will they have to defend them -- their job is to engage with you straight-up and take it from there. Our hosts will have access to senior leadership but will have very few editorial constraints. Our postings from the public will be reviewed to remove the destructive but not touch the critical or cranky.

Please be patient and good-humored as we get underway. The opportunity is that we will incorporate what we learn in this forum in our checkpoint process evolution. We will not only give you straight answers to your questions but we will challenge you with new ideas and involve you in upcoming changes.

One of my major goals of 2008 is to get TSA and passengers back on the same side, working together. We need your help to get the checkpoint to be a better environment for us to do our security job and for you to get through quickly and onto your flight. Seems like the way to get that going is for us to open up and hear your feedback...

Thanks for joining us,

Kip Hawley



Submitted by Ttakv on

Here is my situation...prior to this date 4 years ago I traveled without a hitch, then all of a sudden I am stopped every time I enter an airport.I get delayed I can't get an e-tkt, I get searched. I filed papers with the TSA to prove that I am not a terrorist. I supplied 3 or 4 forms of proof all notarized that I am an U.S. citizen. I am 55 yrs. old, I was born in the U,S,A, I am white, anglo-saxon, catholic, blah blah blah. Why am I still persecuted when I enter an airport? Why do others that are more profiled than myself, skating right through the gates?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I travel about 2 times a month for business, to and from various airports in the US and internationally. Being muslim with a lastname "Husain", I know I will be searched during 'random' searches (or by the SS on my boarding card). Since I travel so much and have nothing to fear, does TSA have some sort of list or something that I can apply to so I don't have to go through the hassel every time I fly? I heard about this sometime ago but have no been able to find any concrete application so far. Please advise.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I was a flight attendant for Pan Am and for United, and I still travel for pleasure more often than most. I have had far more good experiences with The TSA than bad ones.
My question is, how often does anyone actually say "Thank You" to these people? Whenever there is a slip up, it's national news, but do we hear about what The TSA does RIGHT every single day? They keep us safe and save our lives.
Try saying "Thank you" when you go through airport security. If you think about it, you will realize just what a thankless job these people have. They really do deserve some appreciation.

Submitted by B C on

I predict the answers to previously posted questions!:
1) Why the shoes off?
Shoes can contain a variety of objects. In fact, good shoes are usually built around a strong metal shank. They also can contain explosives like the one that English guy had. Other shoes have buckles, eyelets, and other materials which are made of (you guessed it) metal. Metals in sufficient quantities should set off metal detectors that result in extra screening procedures. The more times that metal detector goes off due to belt buckles and shoes the longer your lines get and the more people get the wand. This all results in extra time and hassle over something as trivial as a metal buckle or metal eyelets or a shoe shank in ones shoe. So making people take their shoes off is designed to increase security by causing a visual inspection of the shoes and keeping secondary screenings to a minimum by not having the metal detector endlessly alarm do to belt buckles and shoe shanks. (I think this can be selectively enforced depending on experience; I bet the screeners get to know which types of shoes are more apt to set off the metal detector than most would initially suspect)
2) Why isn't something done about different airports seemingly having different policies?
There are thousands of TSA screeners who must comply with a variety of evolving rules. It is nearly impossible for every screener to catch every object or spot every suspicious item entering a sterile area. The screenings are designed to reduce the risks as much as possible. To say it another way, the more checks and the more VARIED the checks from airport to airport actually decrease the odds that something bad will happen on your flight or others around the system. So, while the TSA takes rules seriously, it finds that the varied checks and rules actually reduce the odds of bad things happening. It is good if bad guys cannot depend on not having to remove a belt loaded with C4 explosives before going through a metal detector (sorry for the double negative). If everyone followed the same rules they could be exploited.
3) Liquids?
Again it is about reducing the odds of bad things happening. The amounts of liquid are arbitrary but there needed to be away of allowing pax to bring on liquids for personal use, rather than an outright ban on all liquids. Rather than a big chemistry experiment to see what shampoo reacts with what liquid oxidant, just allow personal amounts and one does not have to worry about things at all (i.e. the risks are brought back to practically zero).
4) Long lines and TSA standing around watching.
Working on this and they have had success in a few cities by redeploying manpower and better cooperation with the airlines wrt expected passenger loads.

I don't know if any of that stuff above is true. I can tell you I have waited hundreds of hours in security lines and you get a lot of time to think about things like this when you see these things every week for four years. So I kind of convince myself why they do things like they do.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I'm probably sure this won't be read, but at least it might be.

My understanding of the current security screening process is that it is highly ineffective. It seems that every month a news report comes out about how "testers" slip through nearly every time. Nearly every time a travel (which is quite often) I always find a new loophole or something that I accidentally forgot to take out of my suitcase (lighter, pocket knife, razor, scissors etc.) I guess here are a few of my questions/concerns:

Real Security Means:
1) A slim chance of there being a threat to the plane.
Is there any realistic way of achieving this desired result? How can you implement policy without completely violating our basic privacy rights?

Unfortunately, without some ludicrous regulation (like not being allowed to travel with personal belongings) security screeners can receive all of the blame, but the system is set up to fail.

Therefore, again unfortunately, the greatest security measures must take place before someone even sets foot in an airport. With information technology making great strides every single year, this seems like the only logical place where increased and fair security measures can take place. Instead of "randomly" selecting people of color for secondary screenings, every single person should undergo the same pre-airport process. I'm sure that some level of security at this level already exists, but again focussing every bit of energy on this area is truly the only functional way to strengthen airport security.

Hopefully this is of some use to whomever it may concern.

Submitted by Deadman on

I recently came back to the U.S.from Madrid thru Newark Liberty airport and out side of thinking the whole operation at Newark Liberty left something to be desired,i have just two minor gripes.They are,i realize your employees responsibilities and sometimes less than ideal working conditions,but i don't feel like i should have to put up with their surliness or obnoxious attitude and if one of your employees is on break or has nothing to do,at least look busy,not alot in dealing with the public,a bad impression at the beginning of your shift is going to last all day,if all you got to do,is be ill-tempered when your day starts.I know you have a big responsibility,but you deal with thousands of people a day,so learn how to deal with it or find a new career.Like i said,two minor problems,overall,your employees do one heck of a job.

Thank you for listening!

Submitted by Anonymous on

To all the TSA personnel here, I would like to suggest some things for you to consider.

We, the civilian citizens of the US, do not believe you have our best interests at heart, and we do not believe that your rules and procedures make us safe. Whether or not you agree with these beliefs, you really need to recognize that we believe these things, and examine your agency's people's behavior to understand why. If you do not take steps immediately to ensure that TSA staff stop abusing innocent passengers and replace showy but ineffective screening procedures with actual effective procedures, we will continue to lose faith and trust in TSA.

Christopher posted that commenting on this blog will not get us on any TSA lists. Consider that I do not believe this, and I am posting anonymously because I am afraid that in criticizing TSA, I could find myself on a do-not-fly list when I next attempt to travel. You may believe I am paranoid, that this is ridiculous. But I ask you to consider that TSA's poor behavior has given me reason to fear. You should try to correct the behavior that makes TSA feared by the general public rather than brushing off the criticism.

TSA employees have posted here to say that TSA's bad image is a result of the press only reporting negative stories about TSA. Perhaps so. But consider the fact that the negative stories happened. Consider all the complaints already posted on this blog. Even if TSA does much good work, it is nevertheless abusing many innocents.

Before 9/11 I was a very frequent business traveler, sometimes taking as many as six flights a week on business. I was very experienced at preparing my belongings for security to make it as easy as possible for everyone, and in general security was a smooth and courteous procedure in my travel experience, and I had no fear of travel. In the one instance in which I had a problem with badly behaved security people, I complained to the airline and the problem was resolved.

After 9/11, I have taken exactly one trip by airline - not out of fear of terrorists, but out of fear of TSA, because I do not trust TSA people to obey the law, and I recognize that TSA screeners have the power to ruin my trip, if not my life, and will almost certainly refuse to allow me to complain to anyone who could overrule any poor decisions they make.

In my one trip since 9/11, I was treated abusively by TSA people at both airports despite that I was making a serious attempt to comply with every rule and be completely courteous to the TSA people. This does not instill confidence in me that TSA's bad image is merely the result of poor reporting.

I am particularly offended by the TSA employee who posted here that air travel is not a constitutionally protected right. Aside from the fact that I disagree with that specifically, the constitution grants us equal protection under the law, and that means TSA violates our rights when it arbitrarily applies confusing rules to some passengers while allowing others to travel unmolested while doing the same thing that some passengers were permitted to do.

Submitted by JR on

I had an interesting encounter when a guard at Melb airport swabbed passengers bags pre-check in. he swabbed an old lady's in front of me, put the swab into his machine and said "this says the bag contains TNT explosive". He then asked the lady to open her bag so he could look inside. Sorry, but I was 1 metre away and not too happy about a bag being opened that apparently contains dynamite inside it. The machine obviously wasnt trusted, which is why he wanted the bag opened for the all clear. If you put all this money into security, you need to trust it and take appropriate precautions when there is an indication of an explosive in a bag, including clearing the immediate area.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I travel by air about 10 times a year and I get tested for explosive residue EVERY time. My husband and I often travel together and it is a bit of a joke between us. But honestly, how many overweight women in their late forties have been the cause of a bomb threat or hijacking.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why is there the perception that first class passengers are safer then a coach passenger? My blood boils when I hear that we must be patient with the long TSA lines and that it is some how connected to our national security. The only long line is the coach line. Where is the first class passengers sacrifice for national security? How often have you stood over an hour in a line and another line was available, with a guard and full working security system and yet, you couldn’t use it? You are paying for it. BUT, it is the privileged line.

Here is a suggestion for TSA, stop burning the middle class. We are all suppose to be sharing the same boat when it comes to “national security”

Submitted by Anonymous on

Short Version: Please dont dump all my wrenches/sockets out all over my toolbox, and please dont take anymore of my tools.

Long Version: I travel for Industrial Machine installations, and I check my toolbox... Big Yellow 2ft sqare Toolbox with all my tools. I do not lock it per the rules. I'm trying to help you out. Inevitably every time I travel my tools are scattered all over within my toolbox and I'm usually missing a tool or two. Please be nice to my stuff.

Submitted by Stellarsaint on

With all due respect to those who have special disabilities, most of the rules can be view on the TSA's
website. As a former employee of the Sky Harbor Airport, I often seen both flight crew, workers, and regular passengers fail to obey simple rules. Again, this is with respect to those with disabilities. It's understandable that airports should have uniform policies (i.e. shoes off at ALL airport security checkpoints when asked to). However, to complain about small travel size items to be carried on, what you can and cannot bring, etc. why not try this:

1. Leave items you want in a larger size at home, and buy them at destination.

2. Buy a travel size in an airport/hotel (yes, I understand they are expensive, I used to work for a company that sold them high)!

3. When in doubt about policies or rules, read TSA's website PRIOR to flying, OR at the least, read the signs that are littered at every checkpoint.

4. Pay ATTENTION to the folks around you! Often times, they make mistakes others are bound to follow. I've seen hundreds of folks for example, not take dvd players / laptops out when asked to. Learn from the mistakes of others so you don't share in their sufferings!

5. Come early. 'nuff said. Most lines are a result of 1-4 but also because of folks not paying attention to their flight time and anticipating sescurity wait times.

6. Take shoes (again, not applicable to everyone) off when you see 3 or less folks ahead of you.

7. Leave enough space for your belongings in the x ray machine - never know if they need to rescan it!

If folks did hese things, even airline employees and flight crews; the security lines would be much faster.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The last time I was at O'Hare, I was lucky enough to go through security during a down-time (not very busy), and I put my coin change, along with my watch, in one of the dog-bowl containers to go through the x-ray. When it went through the machine, the container got tipped over. My watch came through and was just turning over on the rollers. I saw it and grabbed it. No harm done. My change was still in there. It was only a couple of dollars, maybe 3 at most, in change, but I asked about it anyway. The TSA officer seemed barely interested in helping (as I said, they weren't busy; he was mostly just chatting up his co-worker). He opened some hatch below and said there was no change. Then another TSA officer came over as though I was making a scene or something. I hadn't even slightly raised my voice. I had just politely inquired if they had my change. Then the latest officer to come over asked me if I wanted to speak to the supervisor, but it sounded more like a threat than an offer. I declined. I didn't want to spend 20 minutes on the issue, but I still think it was lame that they couldn't recover my money for me right away. Where do you think it went - up to the heavens?? It WAS, obviously, in the machine, and my guess is that it probably could have been extracted in under a minute. Maybe TSA employees are underpaid. If so, I sympathize, and I hope they get better pay. But I didn't exactly feel like giving a "tip" to a couple of employees for their lame, unhelpful behavior. I'll keep my change in a zippered coat pocket from now on, but my bet is that some lucky screeners open up the machine once a week or whatever to collect their "tips" from passengers too afraid or not willing to bother to speak to a supervisor about it.

Also, I agree with other commenters about the typical lack of seating at the security checkpoints where people are removing shoes. It's no problem for me to remove my shoes while standing, but for pregnant women, older people, and those with some weight issues, it can be a real problem. Put some chairs in there, please!

And, finally, my wife has noticed that, when travelling with our child (without me), she rarely gets any help trying to juggle her bags, shoes, and the kid. She doesn't expect anything major, but perhaps just a quick bit of assistance. It's happened, and is greatly appreciated, but it's too rare.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Hello, I want to thank all other TSO's For being where you are. We do put up with alot Passengers throwing shoes and other items and they want us to smile and say thank-you for the items. We have called everything under the sun but nice. I know there are a few tso's with attitude out there but there is anywhere. Do you throw groceries at a rude clerk at the store? We follow what we are told to the best of Humane abilities.. We are not Super Humane,We are mothers, sisters,daughters, Dads, Brothers....Respect does go both ways

Submitted by Anonymous on

My husband is an airline pilot and I"m a retired flight attendant. We travel weekly, either for him to commute to work or to ski, visit friends or to play. The complete lack of consistency between TSA screeners is appalling. One week I have to take my shoes off, the next airport I don't. Last week I had my plastic bag of liquids separated and when I arrived home, I put my hand in my purse and found a small bottle of Purell and two tubes of hand lotion that I had forgotten to take out. No one found them. What kind of security is this? I can walk thru the magnetometer in SJC with my jewelry on and not set off the alarm, go through it again on the same trip in Salt Lake City and have it alarm. Wearing the same clothing on the way home, with the exact same jewelry, I could trip the magnetometers in the opposite cities on the way home. There is NO CONSISTENCY. Thanks for all you do, but good heavens, please make it consistent. That's the ONLY way to stop goofy people from doing horrid things.

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSA screeners seem to make up rules out of whole cloth. During a recent pass through security in Orlando I was told that my non-video digital cameras had to be scanned separately because they were "big".

They were normal size Canon EOS digital cameras that I've been taking on-board for years but, of course, the screener was backed up by her know-nothing supervisor and so my expensive gear was plopped into a tray and taken away.

After re-checking the TSA web site (which I do before every trip) I can find NO suggestion or rule that this is supposed to take place and, in fact, it goes against the rules posted on the site that say that any additional searching/testing is supposed to take place in front of me.

It's no wonder that the TSA has such a poor reputation.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I think this is a wonderful idea.
I do agree with a lot of the people posting here about consistency and unprofessionalism.
While this is frustrating to the passengers, it is also frustrating to those of us at TSA. We constantly hear, "I didn't have to do that at the last airport" or "I just took this through XXX".
We do need help in the customer service and communication area. Part of this is the hiring process. If we would screen the people that are applying for these jobs you could find out whether or not they are customer oriented. Unfortunately, a lot of this stems from the area you are in. But we could still make adjustments in our efforts to hire more respectful people not just someone that wants the money.
As for those of you that are waiting in line to have your documents checked, please be patient. This is a new section to TSA, the airlines used to hire the document checkers. It takes time to get efficient. As for your expired ID's, why do you feel they are still valid, if you are driving and get stopped, is a police officer going to allow you to go while driving on an expired license? Can you reenter a country with an expired passport?
Just a few things to think about.
Thanks TSA for supporting an open line of communication for us and the traveling public.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Categorization and organization is needed for these pages.
Has anyone been to USA jobs and noticed that TSA does not have any education requirements for employment other than GED, even for a postiton as important as FSD of an airport? This might explain the lack of professionalism within the organization including this not so well thought out blog system.

The lack of consistency liabilty should be directed at the senior executive staff as well as middle management staff! No accountability!

Has anyone noticed how supervisors at airports can walk through metal detector and alarm without anybody even questioning the alarm. Why does it seem that the only employees held to scrutiny are the screeners? Has anyone seen the interaction between supervisors and screeners, it is just as bad as screeners to passengers, no respect? I wonder where the seed got planted?

Give the screeners a real security management team instead of laid off pilots, wanna be rock stars, retired school teachers, and inexperienced just out of high school kids.

Submitted by Anonymous on

At the beginning of Jan I was stuck in Chicago airport all day. I am a smoker so going outside a few times and having to go back through security was a pain but the TSA were nice. Since I was in no hurry I didn't feel the tighter security was a problem. I felt that I was going to be safe on the plane. What I didn't like is them opening my checked bag and looking at my under garments. Don't they x-ray the bags? Don't they have dogs to sniff out drugs & bombs? I am a white middle-aged female born in America raising a family. Instead of paying for extra people get more dogs and leave my panties alone.

Submitted by DickL on

My wife has a life threatening allergy to some unknown but common food and has made several trips to emergency rooms. As a result, she must always carry emergency medications, including Epi-pens. On one flight, the Epi-pens were confiscated WITHOUT COMMENT and she only learned upon arrival that she had been traveling without that vital protection. She could easily have died on that trip. She should, at least, have been notified and given the option of canceling her travel plans. It should, also, be possible to let the flight crew take possession of such materials for the duration of the flight.

Submitted by PEDRO on

Recently I was departing from Washington Dulles Airport. My flight was scheduled to leave at 7am. I was in the security line at 5:15 am The line was very very long. There were only two xray machines open that were feeding the line. When I asked a TSA rep what the problem was he said and I quote "you don't have to travel. The Federal Government has determined that we are adequately staffed for this time of day". I was through the security checkpoint at 6:45 amd had to really run to make the gate. While I was running with another passenger the airline announced our names and said we had 5 minutes before the door closed. We did make it but barely. Just another tale of woe in the security dilema.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I would like to respectfully invite Commercial Pilots to use this communication tool. I have been a TSO since day one (July 2002) and although most of them don't say much when they come through security, an unacceptable portion of them publicly give us a hard time and vocally express their negative views about our processes. They clearly think they should not have to go through the security process and don't hesitate to express this to the public. I would like to ask these Commercial Pilots to direct their negative feedback to the proper TSA department and not in front of passengers while they are standing in the security lines. This behavior makes our job more difficult. Thank you.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I would like to understand the experience/education requirements to become a TSA employee. It appears to be a welfare type employment as you have scores of employees that can't put together a coherent sentence.

I travel quite a bit and have seen professionals as well s unprofessionals, especially in Atlanta and Houston. Some of the employees are very thuggish looking, earings, braids, etc., some of the women simply sit around doing their nails, standing around chatting with their co workers, and really doing a sloppy job. I aplaud the DHS for implementing the TSA but there must be a level of reasonableness in the hiring practices.

We need to ensure the perception is security ... not some derelicts who can barely read/write acting as out front line defenses.

Submitted by Green Go on

This is a comment directed to the TSO (and really to all of those members of the public, TSA/DHS staff, and others) who stated flying is not a right. Air Travel IS a right. Not all rights of US citizens are listed in the bill of rights.

Article IV of the Articles of Confederation (predecessor to the US constitution) states as such, and the right has been upheld by the US supreme court on numerous occasions (see Saenz v. Roe, Zemel v. Rusk, and Aptheker v. Secretary of State among other cases)

Furthermore, Title 49 of the U.S Code: Section 40103. Sovereignty and use of airspace states:

(a) Sovereignty and Public Right of Transit. - (1) The United
States Government has exclusive sovereignty of airspace of the
United States.
(2) A citizen of the United States has a public right of transit
through the navigable airspace. To further that right, the
Secretary of Transportation shall consult with the Architectural
and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board established under
section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 792)
before prescribing a regulation or issuing an order or procedure
that will have a significant impact on the accessibility of
commercial airports or commercial air transportation for
handicapped individuals.

Have a nice day :)

Submitted by Michael on

I want to let you folks at the TSA know that I have not experienced anything but kindness and excellent customer service in the past year. I fly a lot on the east coast and I would even go as far as to say the screeners at EWR (Newark NJ) Terminal C are the nicest I have encountered. I know what you are doing is important so keep up the good work!

Submitted by Anonymous on

What do you guys do with all of the nail-clippers, lighters, and pocket knives after they are confiscated?

Are they recycled or do they end up in landfills?


Submitted by Solublesaltremover on

I just traveled Newark to Phoenix via Atlanta round trip and I thought the TSA folks were efficient. They took their time, as I would, in order to do as thorough a job as possible. Clearly the extra staff helped and I was even selected both times for extra screening. No problems. My only advice for all travelers is to add a hefty hour in so as to avoid anxiety at all levels. I would like to offer that this is akin to trying to rush a surgeon working on your own body, a toll taker making sure everyone has paid their fees, or a teacher making sure everyone is handing in their own test paper. Thanks, and yes I know I am paying for this, but I would rather pay this way than the alternative by having unwanted misery.

Submitted by Bill on

I travel frequently. Far too often when my bag is physically inspected my belongings are put back in the bag as if they were thrown back in, rather than being taken out in the folded condition that they were packed in. I have no objections to the screening. I do have objections to having my bag ransacked.
I no longer place anything of value in my bags after having several things (of a non-security nature)stolen from my belongings. Since the bags cannot be secured I am unable to determine who was relieving me of my belongings.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Two questions:
1. Do the TSA screening managers get incentives to load this comment board ?
2. If the shoe bomber had put the explosives in his underwear, would we have to remove our pants?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I think the screening folks are very professional and reassuring, but I am on a "watch list" based on my name, Bob Smith, and cannot get off of it, no matter what I do... people with common names are discriminated against.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Not too long ago, I was going through the checkpoint at Dulles and my back pack had a non-TSA approved gym locker lock attached to one of the zipper loops. It was not locked and they had full access to the bag at any time. However, they cut the lock off anyway and I just lost a new lock and had to buy a new one at my destination. How does this make it safe for travelers?

Submitted by EverWatching on

Things can be dramatically improved with just a little understanding and common sense on both sides...
Travelling Public-
Learn the rules and think for a sec....
-An X-ray machine converts your 3d luggage into a 2d image... take the metal and wires out, things will be easier
-liquids, as an explosive deterent.. I think 5 oz would be just as effective, and easier to shop for. Keep in mind though... most of the liquids probably look like explosives on an x-ray... I hear stories about penut butter panics. Think of the job the TSOs must have, trying to use ill-suited equipment to find things that could look like anything.
-Shoes... Just take them off. Most have shanks anyway, why should they reduce the effectiveness of coverage for you. I do think they could loosen a little... flip flops... can store less matter than your quart bag.
TSA: (Cont)

Submitted by Anonymous on

Who hires the screening personnel at airports, TSA or the airport itself? Also, why is it contracted out

Submitted by Anonymous on

I don't travel a lot by air and handn't flown since before 9/11. I didn't know what to expect as far as wait time and inconvenience of airport security.I made sure to read the website for what I was able to pack in carry-ons and what was prohibited. I was still nervous. To my surprise, it went incredibly smooth and fast. I even forgot to declare my daughters nebulizer in her carry on but it still only took under two minutes for them to check it. Maybe this isn't always the experience with others but it was mine. A few minutes of our time is nothing to give for security. Good job.

Submitted by Anonymous on

in December, I flew overseas and when I got my suitcase at baggage claim, I found TSA had put a lock on it (it didn't have a lock on it when I checked it in). Who can I talk to at TSA for compensation? Whoever put the lock on wrote "TSA" on one side and a "$" on the othe side of the baggage tag put on my suitcase when I checked it in

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why screen the airline crews. They have all had criminal background checks, and are all ready in command of the aircraft. They don't need to sneak something through to take over. They are all ready in charge. Screening them just slows down the line for the rest of us.

Submitted by Vietnamveteran on

I am a diabetic and I went through the Orlando International Airport on December 20, 2007, afternoon. Prior to flying I called the airlines and TSA to see if there would be a problem bringing a bottle of water with me. I was told it would be okay. However, one of TSA's old black male officers just threw my water in the garbage. I told him I was a diabetic and was allowed to bring it with me. He replied "right". I did not protest, because I had to catch a flight and I did not want to be stripped searched and have all of my body cavities explored by TSA agents. We are at their mercy and if they happen to be racist, we are screwed.

Submitted by EverWatching on

-Train your front line better and allow them to use reasoning. Nothing is more annoying than watching their irrational fear of all electronics. Putty seems to confound most of them, when not causing a panic. Clearly, you're training them like dogs, rather than rational beings. If you don't think they can grasp making judgements on their own... shouldn't you raise standards... but then I guess you'd have to break the 23k salary mark and treat them like people, not thralls.
-Tell your Law Enforcement to stop flounting liquids clearly not available after the checkpoint when they're in plainclothes.
-Again.. Let the checkpoint have some common sense, because clearly, your rigid procedures leave much to be desired... political correctness has stopped you from doing the function you're designed for... might as well be hated for doing the job well while intruding.
Just look at the panic in the eyes of the screeners when ever someone is in line next to you wearing certain headwear... They seem more afraid to search them than of letting things through..
I guess they have no liability insurance

Submitted by Anonymous on

I have to say that since TSA has taken over, my luggage has been literally TRASHED by them six times. I've received the "card" about 15 times, but that's still a rotten percentage of times to be disrespected. They have taken breakables which I have packed within layers of clothing, unwrapped them and stuck them together on the top so they would be chipped and broken upon arrival. Maybe they aren't intentionally trying to damage my stuff. Maybe they just don't have comon sense. When I complained, I was told to fill out a form that was never responded to in almost two years.

That said, I'm sure there are some wonderful people in TSA, but my opinion is, since they have been there, prices went up and quality went down.

Submitted by Precious on

why check your own wheel chairs?, why should we have to take shoes off to risk the possibility of catching something from someone elses feet? the attitude of most screeners is rudeness in the first degree-and this is at most all airports...........

Submitted by Anonymous on

The first requirement of any security policy is the need for the security workers to have flexible common sense. Let me recount an experience that shows just the opposite:

I was flying out of Boston's Logan Airport. I had a small carry-on box containing antique glassware. Going through security, I had to do the full range of emptying pockets, taking off shoes, etc. and as I got everything together and walked away, I realized that I had left my box behind. Remember, every thirty seconds the airport public address system is telling everyone to beware of unattended packages.

I returned to the security check-in station to collect my box and I asked the security worker, who was looking right at it, why he had said nothing to me when I left it behind. He replied, "That's not my job."

Submitted by Anonymous on

Hello. I travel between Europe and Atlanta fairly regularly. I have direct flights between Paris or Amsterdam mostly and go through strict security screening at both airports. I sit for 10 or hours in the plane but when I get to Atlanta I have to go through screening AGAIN (remove shoes, belt, iPod, etc) to exit the international terminal. Why go through this again since I've been through the screening once before boarding the plane?

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSA, you have IDIOTS working your security lines at Reagan National in Washington DC. I got hauled out of line, a special "supervisor" was called over and a big production was made over a set of hot rollers in my carry-on, which the screener had insisted was an "undeclared electronic device." I tried to explain that the presence of a cord with a plug indicates an "electrical device," not a sophisticated series of integrated circuitry...Oh never mind. I nearly missed my flight. Dear God, isn't this hard enough already with the plastic bags and the belts, shoes, coats and laptops? I HATE THIS. And I'm beginning to hate you.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I think overall the TSA has done a fantastic job & doesn't get credit for the fine work they are doing.

Submitted by Anonymous on

My kids came home round trip from FLL to MCO with shaving razors and multiple large bottles of hair and face gel and cream in their carry on bags. No one at either airport stopped them. I told them to leave the stuff at home before they left but they said they carry this stuff regularly and no one really cares. How scary it is for me to want to fly now that I know security is really just a joke.

Submitted by Anonymous on

At LAX, I was somewhat surprised when, after "checking with his supervisor" to see if my five jars of jam would be okay to go onboard, the TSA employee returned them in their plastic bag and neatly tucked them back in my suitcase, patted them and waved me on. I was REALLY surprised when I got home and found that he had stolen one.

Submitted by Anonymous on

My wife and I flew from Memphis to Tampa on 01/24 via NW 878. The Northwest ticket agent at the counter did not compare our Id's (drivers license) to our boarding pass. Then as we passed through security, the TSA agent at the walk through metal detector did not even look at our boarding pass. You now have 2 votes of 'no confidence' for Memphis.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I hadn't flown since 9/11 and found the web site very helpful before flying to Pittsburgh to Denver last summer for a backpacking trip. Things went smoothly in PA and although the line looked really long in CO, it went surprising fast. I was shocked however, when I reached into my pocket after my return flight and found a Swiss Army knife that neither I nor the screeners found when I boarded the return flight in Denver.

Submitted by Larry on

I am a frequent traveler out of Orlando. I have noticed something new of late that bothers me and I'm wondering what's going on. To me, TSA should represent an image of security, monitoring and response in the area of securing the gates and access to aircraft. I think you would agree with that but in the past couple of months I have seen TSA agents now being utilized as crowd control agents directing the boarding of the trams to and from the gates. I'm sorry but it should be "beneath" a trained security force to appear to be employees of some Central Florida amusement park. The truth is that image and perception is everything. This is just one more thing that countermands the perceived effectiveness of the TSA.

Just my thoughts.



Submitted by Jim on

In my opinion, it's not the policies that cause issues, it's the lack of customer service. Numerous times I've witnessed TSA security agents treating passengers with total disrespect. TSA agents in direct contact with the public should be required to complete a customer service training course before taking their place on the line, and there should be an easy way to lodge a formal complaint against a particular agent.

To agents: remember that the people you deal with on a daily basis are others' mothers, fathers, friends, and family. Treat them with the same respect and care with which you would treat your own!

To passengers: It's very easy for us to forget that the agents are performing a very important service. Remember that they are also someone's mother, father, friend, or family, and treat them as though they were yours!

BTW, blog is a good idea, just be sure to take the time to process the comments!