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,
Welcome (Commenting Disabled)
Please note that older content is archived for public record. This page may contain information that is outdated and may not reflect current policy or programs.
If you have questions about policies or procedures, please contact the TSA Contact Center.
Members of the news media may contact TSA Public Affairs.
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.
Why are certain messages not appearing? I have not cursed, or named names, or insuklted anyone. I have only expressed an opinion. Shouldn't all commenst be shown? Assuming they abide by the rules? Why are you screening som, and not others?
Please stop requiring passengers to remove their shoes at security checkpoints.
Please also stop confiscating my toothpaste and deodorant if they happen to exceed 3 ozs.
Procedures like these add no measurable security benefit. They serve only to confirm that TSA is performing "security theater." Well get a clue, the reviews are in and your performance is still getting panned.
Although I appreciate the efforts of the TSA to defeat threats, I learned at Christmas of 2006 not to put anything of value in my CHECKED baggage.
After going to the TSA web site at that time and registering a complaint about the disappearance of my video camera, I never even received an acknowledgment.
Forgive my cynicism, but I seriously doubt this web site will accomplish much either.
First, I want to thank TSA employees for their hard work and service to the law enforcement community. I know your jobs are not easy and that travelers sometimes forget their brains at home.
With that said, what concerns me about the TSA is the level of professionalism and attentiveness displayed by some (and I emphasis the word "some") of the agency's employees. I won't get into specifics, but I've encountered more than a few TSA employees who, based on my experience with and observing them, should not be working in any type of security capacity. In fact, I believe some should actually be considered threats to security due to their attitude and lack of awareness.
I don't know if it's a screening, training or management issue, but TSA needs to do something about workers who act as if their job is some sort of punishment. It concerns me when I see how little some TSA employees actually focus on their job.
Good luck and safe travels.
I am a citizen from the European Union, of pure European decent (no "foreign"-sounding name) with 2 passports and 2 citizenships (common in Europe). I am a business traveler bringing business to the US.
Every time I fly to the USA I get stripped down like a terrorist, as all my flight tickets bear the "SSSS" mark.
Screening is a joke and the level of incompetence is staggering. Why are there different standards at different airports? Who are we kidding with the "take off your shoes" gimmick? Why enact the "no large amounts of liquid" policy after it is PROVEN that you cannot create an effective explosive device out of them. This organization is designed to provide the appearence of security through the method of hassle. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.
Regarding the story of the cat mistakenly placed in a suitcase and brought on a trip--http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22841493/ - How did this happen with TSA security checks? I'm assuming pets are not permitted to be placed in one's luggage, so how, or why, did the TSA fail to find this cat? If they can miss a live animal, what else are they letting through?
Well, I vividly recall not to long ago, as I was going through phase I of the screening process at JFK on a Thursday morning around 7 am, the TSA genius asked for my ID and my plane ticket. Now I am one of the lucky few with an IL driver's license, which I think more or less stumped the TSA representative - not only did he look at my license like it was written in another language (chinese or arabic or something), he held up the line and called someone over to look at it as well. Now, in Illinois, when driver's licenses expire, if we have clean records, we are given the option of renewing our licenses via the mail or online. After we pay the requisite renewal fee, we have a renewal sticker mailed to us which we then affix to the back of our licenses. Now, I know this process sounds extremely complicated and could throw even the most intelligent of 12 year olds off track, but this TSA representative just could not fathom such a concept - after showing him other items that could identify me (including my California State Bar Card, a credit card with my picture on it, and another form of identification), this genius still did not believe that I in fact should be permitted to pass with my NON-expired license (that's right, he told me my license was expired, even with the affixed sticker and explaining to him that IL had a special system whereby this is how it renewed licenses), TSA representative told me I would have to go speak with someone else. After speaking to that person and ensuring them that short of calling the Illinois DMV (which I'm pretty sure was not open at that hour), he finally let me pass. I then proceeded to take the slip of paper I had been given identifying me as a miscreant to the TSA podium where I told them I would like to file a complaint against the screener. Little good that did - TSA manager took the sheet of paper, told me he would have a word with the individual, walked away, came back two minutes later, and told me it had been resolved. ? I then asked for the sheet of paper back but he told me there was no need, that it had been taken care of and for me to go on my way. I had wanted that sheet of paper to send it in to the TSA offices in order to express my disbelief that they were training people who had knowledge of apparently how IDs and licenses work in the other 49 states (and territories) of this great country.
Talk about a pathetic experience - oh, by the way, the screeners at JFK for some reason never catch people carrying liquids exceeding 3 ounces in their carry-ons - I have done this three times and each time have not had issues until I fly back, at which point those airport screeners always catch me with liquids and in fact, one of the TSA screeners at an airport on the West Coast was kind enough to help me transfer items from one plastic bag to two (apparently we didn't know that the size restrictions regarding plastic bags was heavily enforced).
Can someone please train these TSA screeners to recognize the IDs and licenses of each state and territory of the US - I know its asking for much to have our TSA screeners have to train to be able to recognize IDs and licenses, in addition to having to screen for weapons and lubriderm?
I'm an Airline Pilot. I was passing through the security line in DEN, when a sharply dressed man without an ID behind me just walked through the detector setting it off - "BEEP". He said hello to the bag screener, and continued on his way. Somewhat aghast, I politely inquired 'WHO' that was?. "He's the TSA supervisor here in Denver", the screener replied.
While I'm sure there was no security breach (and the Supervisor politely addressed my concern) - it still leaves me a bit miffed.
Airline Pilots with full ID credentials, IN uniform, must remove their shoes and belts for security screening but actually have the controls of the aircraft behind a bullet-proof door down the airport concourse, yet, other parties are not subject to the same high level of screening - even after setting the detector off. Further, what was he carrying that made the detector go off, and where were his picture ID credentials?
I respect the mission of the TSA everyday I go to work. They do a great, great job. I just wish the standard of screening is applied to everyone - Pilots, Flight Attendants, and TSA supervisors alike.
I hate how you guys hate your jobs and screen unnecessary people. I fly standby and I am 20 year old, white male. You tell me why you have to check through my carry ons and not smile. Like I am going to try to do something crazy...get over yourselves. If you don't like your job, quit and give it to someone who can enjoy it and be nice to people.
Thank God somebody wants to do the TSA's work. I wouldn't want that job in a million years BUT ... for whatever reason you chose to take the position, you also take the responsibilty of doing it RIGHT. I fly quite a bit and out of the country several times a year. I am a seasoned veteran. For the most part, I know what I can bring onboard. I know that I have to pull my laptop out. No Lighters ... Unfortunately, I have to carry a C-PAP Breathing Machine for sleep apnea and for reason always sends me to the top of the harrass list. Coming back into the USA last March through Philadelphia, I was totally taken aback by the rude, loud, and self-important attitude of the screener when he thought I was trying to sneak my CPAP into the country. To be honest with you, this was the first time I had travelled with it and had no issues leaving the US with it. Maybe because it was in my luggage. I had know idea what I had done incorrectly to be escorted into another area. As stated earlier, I do quite a bit of travelling and consider myself travel savvy. As I begin pulling things out of my backpack to assist this man with his duties, I am yelled at to not touch a thing. He wants to know what this thing is and starts checking it for explossives. I am further checked and humiliated by the terse language of this screener. I now know how to avoid this is the future. DO NOT FLY THROUGH PHILADELPHIA, PA. I have not had any issues anywhere else in the US with this machine. Overall, apart from having to wait extremely long times to pass through initial screening before a flight, I think most of us understand what to bring on board. No matter what your job, being rude is never a part of it! This is what you should learn the most!
I fly frequently back and forth from the Middle East because I have family there and I like to visit them. However, every time I go there I get stopped and put in a room for 15-30 minuets until they can call the Pentagon and clear my name. This has happened six times! I'm not doing anything illegal and I do what I can to respect the law of the land. I don't even speed on the highway! What's even worse is that the people are REALLY rude sometimes. Thank you for reading this and I hope these problems are remedied.
I understand with the large amount of passengers, the are some irritated passengers and security. but please, the TSA works for us. When i travel with my wife she goes through first and her purse goes thru with her, it contanins all our money, credit cards and the like. I stay behind until the purse has cleared and she has it. The security gets mad at me and demands that I come thru. I have refused and have been subjected to searches. They accuse me of holding up the line, yet i let peole go ahead of me until my wife has her purse. The told me they will watch the purse, yet i witnessed an incident in Detroit where a woman put het purse on the table and walked thru and someone syole her purse before it go to the xray, TSA told the woman it was not their problem. I will not allow it to happen to us. I dont care it they get mad. I simply take care of my own..
OK, this is a good thing but I can't possibly understand how anyone at the TSA is going to be reviewing this thing, and categorize comments, to become worthwhile. I agree that there should be categories, not just an open blog to post. While some of the comments read are rhetoric, some are extremely useful. I think the most beneficial are the comments about having every TSO at every airport operating with the same rules and guidelines and enforcing them the same. That's why passengers are so frustrated. It's not the rules per se, it's the manner in which they are enforced.
This is a great link that highlights the need for better security measures. http://techdirt.com/articles/20080124/17341363.shtml
If the security was effective, we'd be able to travel anonymously. They'd catch dangerous stuff and everyone else would go through easily. Who someone is shouldn't matter.
Also, being a frequent traveller I can say that for every customer-driven TSA agent there seem to be 10 who don't care, are rude, are mad with power, etc. There needs to be a better system of accountability for the TSA. It's not a transparent organization. It should be. We should know why we have to do things like take off shoes (they don't in Canada) or have little baggies full of liquids.
I am aa retired US Navy captain who held a Top Secret security clearance. I am also a retired airline captain, who for 30 years was required by my airline and the FAA to carry some small tools, including an electrician's knife with a 3" blade. After 9/11, going through security in my airline uniform, my 1 1/2" Swiss army knife with the scissors,toothpick and tweezers was confiscated and I've never been allowed to carry one since.Why,since you allow sharp pointed scissors up to 4" and metal knitting needles, can't some small knives be carried? Are you seriously afraid that your highly trained and qualified screeners can't tell the difference between a Bowie knife and a gentleman's accessory? Also, do you claim that you have prevented even one actual highjacking attempt by disallowing and confiscating such small items or by having elderly people remove their shoes. I know you can cite thousands of instances of such confiscations, but that won't answer the question, will it? Retired captain.
On one particular return trip home, a pair of my boots were stolen from my luggage, and my hand-held mirror was broken, but instead of disposing it, taped a message of "sorry" across it and WRAPPED MY TOWEL AROUND IT and placed it back in my luggage. When I unpacked, glass was everywhere.
I appreciate this forum, and hope for an obvious was of reporting stolen property from luggage that doesn't make you go through a lot of red tape.
TSA is just another of the myriad of government boondoggles: It employs a lot of people to do an unnecessay task. No hijackers will ever be successfull again because the passengers won't be complacent after what happened to them on 9/11. The airlines should be responsible for passenger safety. They will do a good job of it because they could be held liable. The government is immune from all liability; therefore, they do a lousey job (at everything they do).
I fly quite frequently for my job (basically on a weekly basis) and I have encountered nothing but problems everytime I fly. On a repeated basis I am asked to take off my suit jackets, sweaters leaving me standing in the airport in nothing but a tanktop for all to see. Pretty soon all clothes will be forbidden. On a few occassions I have been reprimanded by TSA employees and had the privilege of one employee explain to me (in an aggressive tone) why my sweater was considered an "outer garment".
I also enjoy being singled out as I am about to get on the plane for a random frisk. Because traveling as a business woman in a suit really makes me look like I am going to do anything bad.
I am tired of the attitude expressed by these TSA employees. And as someone who travels a lot, I can tell you that this is occurring at airports all over the nation.
My initial reaction is that this is too little, too late, and that it's merely a token gesture, nothing that will actually make a difference in the long run.
I hope you prove me wrong, however. The TSA began with a noble intent, but it has degenerated into little more than a boogeyman that rules by instilling fear and intimidation, not by empathy and respect. If you can change that, we'll be on the right track for sure.
Question: News has arrived that you are shutting down one of the security lines at Las Vegas D Gates. Since this appears to me as one of the most crowded airports for security in the world, why would you consider ever eliminating and line for security?
This information from FlyerTalk.com:
seems to indicate that the closure of the lane is not being well met from travelers.
Your comments please and your solutions for nothing less than a 5-minute wait.
"Click Here To Post A Comment"
Should be larger and in a different colored type.
Also, there should be a way to come in whre you were at last time you were on so you don't have to scan through all the blogs to find out whre you left off.
I travel a lot for work, mostly internationally, so I have a lot of questions/comments/gripes about airline security. Still, I'll try to keep my comments civil.
One thing I encountered a few years ago was that the 'increased scrutiny criteria for passengers seemed to be heavily weighted against passengers with one-way tickets. I found this out during a work trip which had multiple legs, requiring a series of 5 one-way tickets. Imagine my irritation when I was stopped for a full luggage search on each leg of the trip. It was the first and only time this has ever happened to me.
As a frequent traveller, however, my irritation wasn't due to the perceived insult of having to endure this treatment. In fact, I wouldn't mind if all passengers had to go through a full search before every flight. Rather, my anger was due to the decreased security that resulted from this apparently poorly-thought-out policy.
"Decrease?" you ask.
Sure: TSA only has a limited number of resources to spend on searching passengers, so only a subset are selected for intensive search. It appears that having a one-way ticket puts a passenger at the top of the list -- as if a real terrorist lacked the money for a round trip ticket or lacked the foresight to buy a round trip ticket to avoid the extra scrutiny. Other factors, like the fact that my tickets were purchased through a major U.S. Defense Contractor's travel agency, appeared to have no significance in this equation. So, while the TSA was busy searching one way ticket holders, the wily terrorists could just breeze through security with their round trip tickets.
Good strategy? No.
I seriously hope this has been corrected.
Hi one and all,
I have no complaints. My recent flight to NYC found everyone being searched/screened, right down to my cat's carrier. Lines are long, yea yea, so what..lines are long on Guam too for something as simple as picking up one's mail. So while some will be disgruntled I say THANK YOU.
1. Why the inconsistencies between airports?
2. Atlanta and the necessity for international arrivals to pass through security in order to get to the parking lot and pick up my old buick?
Your policies are a big waste of time and stupid. Who cares about a small tube of toothpaste being in my bag vs. the little plastic bag. The whole process is a waste of time and doesn't do anything. If someone is really going to do something "bad" then they will find some way, and you are just spending time harassing normal people trying to go about their business. If you see a mom and her kid do you really need to mess with her formula. What about a small bottle of water. Do you really think our shoes are going blow something up. I doubt there are many Richard Reids around. The whole security process is ill advised and poorly run and completely stupid.
Why does the TSA not follow their own policy? I had a TSA approved Lock with the TSA emblem on it. It has been used at many airports. The Syracuse, NY cut it off. I understand the need for security, but if your telling people to buy TSA approved locks then use the master keys. I filed a complaint, was told the TSA airport mananger would call me back. I never expected someone would actually call over a lock and of course they did not. The TSA people are rude, yes I work customer service and I know how people can complain about policies. I take the train everywhere that I can, its cheaper and I don't have to deal with rude security.
I went flying in August 2007. I flew out of JFK, and I must say that you have hired some of the worst screeners. There needs to be an age limit and a competency minimum. When I was going through the screening, there were no trays available for me to put my items in. WHY? Because all of the TSA screeners were to busy joking, and texting on their cell phones. The only person doing her job was the girl looking at the X-ray screen.
Don't let your employees even look at their phones when they should be making sure OUR FLIGHTS should be SAFE!! BAN CELL PHONES ON THE JOB!
I would like to know if there has been any training to help screeners excercise better common sense, when warranted. My husband, who was active duty at the time this incident occured, was being hand-searched, and, when the screener tried to disassemble- yes, DISASSEMBLE- an irreplacable and very valuable musical instrument, he offered to take the horn apart himself, because he know how to do so without damaging it. The screener replied, "Touch that horn and I will slap you." I was there, and heard the whole exchange. This incident happened in Nashville, where you would think there would be some working familiarity with musical instruments. Thankfully, a supervisor overheard this exchange, and stepped in, but it gives you cause to wonder....
As a frequent business flier, I feel it fair for me to make a couple of comments based upon my observations.
1. It seems to me that that TSA artificially inflates the size/length of security screening lines thru the inefficient use TSA personnel. I frequently see multiple TSA personnel either routinely just standing around “smokin’ and jokin’” or outright disappear from the security area at what seems to me to be a most inopportune time. Part of this could a staffing numbers issue, and part of this could be a union thing (“When it’s break time, it’s break time”). However I ask all TSA personnel to put yourself in the travelers’ shoes and maybe delay your break by ten minutes and keep that additional screening line open just a little longer.
2. By far and away, the most frustrating thing, probably not only to me but also to yourselves, about airport security delays is the number of individuals that still have no clue about how pass thru said screening efficiently. This, to me, seems like an education issue, and as such, I’m not certain how you would rectify it. I realize at most airports you do have a video and/or audio tape explaining the 3-1-1 concept and also detailing prohibited items, but for some reason it seems your messages are just not reaching everybody. Possibly the creation of “Frequent Flier Only” lines would allow you more time to educate those travelers while minimizing the inconvenience to the rest of us. I realize it has been proposed before, but I am not suggesting a special ID card or pre-approved status class. All I’m asking is that, since a frequent flier’s ticket is imprinted with said flier’s account number and status, you send that person to a different, segregated line dedicated to and for frequent fliers. As the frequent flier line should more efficiently, possibly requiring maybe one to two less TSA screeners, I would think this would give the remaining TSA personnel more time to address the “problem children.”
Thanks for listening…
Thank you for spending my (taxes) money to pay for this great website. Now I can complain about something that wastes more of my tax money. I just traveled overseas with a small gym bag as carry on and found the 3 inch knife in side pocket when cleaning out bag. Glad your people are up on job.
I have a military background and this blog is a potentially terrible idea. Yes, it will be informative for both the public and the screening force, but it will also be informative for would-be terrorists. It is known that terrorists read myspace pages to get intel about our soldiers and missions overseas. Now we have a blog detailing our aiport security. Every message has to be analyzed with extreme scrutiny before posting to make sure it does not give terrorists an idea that otherwise would not have had. Ever think about how dumb terrorist plans are? 9/11 happened because of box-cutters, think about how much damage could be done if they actually had good intel on us. Be very careful of what you post on this blog.
I am a federal employee with the Department of Justice. I travel often and with DOJ credentials, which I always show at each airport. TSA personnel do not appear to have been trained in what other government credentials are, and what they look like. I am more often than not still checked as if I am a potential terrorist. One TSA employee even had to ask me what the Department of Justice was, I responded, call your supervisor. I do not feel secure when I fly on business or pleasure. I am also retired military, I feel more tense at a TSA checkpoint than in combat. Is this the best that our country can do, to provide security at airports?
I understand that this blog had been mainly been set up to hear the complaints people may have about the service that the TSA supplies to travelers. It is a great idea and I appreciate having a forum where people can voice their concerns. But this is not a complaint; rather it is a post to commend the great service I received at the Minneapolis Airport. The TSA personnel there were extremely efficient, very friendly, and wonderfully personable people and I wish that every TSA representative could learn from their example. I was dealt with in a respectful manner but at the same time they did their security checks in a manner which made me feel safe in knowing that potential threats were being minimized. I am not one to dish out praise easily but when a commendable job like the service I received at the Minneapolis airport is found I felt compelled to make my experience known. Thank you TSA for making me feel safe without making me feel violated.
Ok here is my beef we have TSA which is doing it's job at the airport but we have NO SECURITY on the rails or on the borders.. It's kinda of usless because a smart terrorist would land in Mexico or Canada and walk accross the border.... So yeah we are safe in the airport but nowhere else
I complained in writing a few weeks ago about a guy at the Santa Rosa Airport being unduly harsh with older women. Really harsh. It as embarrassing to watch. I received two response letters, and an assurance from the manager of the Santa Rosa Airport that it was being dealt with. I expected NO RESPONSE. I was amazed that they responded quickly to my complaint letter. It is not necessary to treat the routine flying public like criminals. That should be steered away from very, very strongly. Just because of 9/11, doesnt mean we want any hints of Marshall Law in our daily lives. Be courteous, TSA. Be friendly. Regardless of what a few passengers say to you. They are the few. Most people just need a little smile.
I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU TO ALL THE TSA EMPLOYEES OUT THERE!! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK...If it takes me all day long to get through the airport and I can fly with a peace of mind knowing I am safe, than do it. AMERICANS NEED MORE PEOPLE LIKE YOU!! Thanks for paying attention to details and help keep our skys terror free....what ever they are paying you, they should double it...no amount of tax is high enough to shoulder the reponsibility that you do. I, again, say thank you!
The right to travel is protected by the U.S. Constitution and has been expressly so held by the Supreme Court. In the 1968 case of Shapiro vs Thompson the court stated: "Freedom to travel throughout the United States has long been recognized as a basic right under the Constitution." Yes, you have the freedom to travel, it’s your right. By automobile: follow rules or you will go to jail or get ticketed. By airplane: follow RULES or you will not board the flight. Flying is a privilege, not a right. TSA was formed for your protection, these rules are for your protection. I assure you the TSO who gave the guy in front of you a hard time won’t be on that flight with you, (s)he does this for your safety. TSA is still evolving, improving, making your travel safer. For everyone’s sake take your shoes off, put your liquids in the containers specified, follow the rules and find something else to complain about.
Keep up the good work Mr. Hawley and all of the other TSA members!
Quote: ... " 3. Why do TSA employees have to loudly yell to no one in particular exactly what is posted on several signs around the screening area and announced on the airport PA system regarding security rules? A little bit of politeness and respect for travelers seems to be needed."
!!! THIS !!!
FIX THIS !!!
Fixing this issue will cost NO additional funds, and will greatly reduce the contempt held for your organization, and the stress of the travelers.
WE are your PAYING GUESTS !!!
While I understand that some of these TSA "gatekeepers" feel that they are doing a service by barking out the obvious, it is ABSOLUTELY RUDE to be yelled at and treated like cattle.
If people are unsure of policy, post signs. If there are concerns of illiteracy or dyslexia, offer assistance one-on-one. For foreign visitors this irreprehensible TSA behavior is an example of the collapse of our culture.
If you yell at travelers that you "process" they you dehumanize. That leads to abuse of power.
FIX THIS !!!
1,000,000 + mile frequent traveler
My wife, who is Hispanic, got flagged every time we got on a plane. I could print out my ticket and boarding pass beforehand, but not hers. Finally, I had had enough. I got a phone number and called, and, in typical governmental fashion, was put on hold forever. Eventually called back, and told whomever was on the other end to quit harassing my wife. I was told "there is a person with your wife's name who is a 'person of interest'". I responded that I doubt an Hispanic would be a terrorist, but in any case, this person did not have my wife's social security number, or her driver's license number...so leave my wife alone! Eventually, they did! From what other government agents tell me, the TSA is incredibly inefficient, and is not very well respected. I can see why.
As a TSA screener I have a few comments for people out there. Please, read signs as you enter a screening check point. Some people that are "seasoned travelers" seem to think TSA is going overboard with the signs and the announcements made over the intercom. The "seasoned travelers" may know what they are doing and think these are pointless and rude but, other travelers have no clue what is really going on and fail to read any signs nor do they listen to the announcements.
As for screeners being rude, I can speak for a lot of them in saying, most travelers are not all that respectful to us either. We have a thankless job. We don't get paid enough, if you ask me, to do what we do and put up with what we put up with. Also, the screeners are not the ones making up the rules in which passengers must abide by. We have no control over these rules and are simply trying to do our jobs.
If you have a problem with how things are done or the whole process itself. Take it up with someone higher up than the screeners or their supervisors. Neither of them can change how things are done nor do they appreciate being yelled at for it.
I sweat alot (especially in San Antonio), but because of that, I am always taken aside and patted down. They act suspicious like "Why are you sweating? You should be used to this weather." It's profiling.
That said, there is plenty of technology to scan all passengers, similar to what you see in the movie "Total Recall". The current technology can do it, but it's expensive.
It's obvious the TSA is nothing more than a poorly planned federal jobs program. Most TSA agents were either on welfare, or working at McDonalds before they were hired as federal transportation and security agents. Brilliant.
If I get some foot disease from taking off my shoes - I'll sue your incompetent asses.
I recently flew from Detroit to Miami and back again for a business conference. I decided to wear "el cheapo" flip flops to go through Detroit security figuring that I wouldn't have to remove them and could just show my feet to the TSA agent. WRONG! I had to remove the flip flops and walk barefoot through the security checkpoint.
When checking in for my return flight in Miami, I decided to wear tennis shoes and just walk through the security checkpoint in my stocking feet. WRONG! I was told NOT to remove my shoes and just walk through the metal detector.
So which is it? 1/2" thick flip flops on bare feet need extra scrutiny, but regular athletic shoes on stocking feet do not?
I'm not too terribly optimistic about this blog. I hope that some good will come of it, but I have the feeling that it is just so much hand waving. "Gee... Look what we've done to improve things!" Something to pacify the unwashed masses while no policies or procedures actually change and no problems are actually addressed.
As a frequent traveler with over 100,000 miles per year, I pass through many airports. For the most part, the TSA screeners are pleasant and try to do their best. But, as we all know from personal experience, a few bad apples are always floating around and earn a bad rep for the entire TSA.
I have been pulled for screening a few times and am always polite and cooperative. They're just doing their job. However, I ask that they treat me with the same respect I give them...not the disrespect someone showed them before me. Most of them do and they try to make the process as quick and painless as possible.
We have whistle blowing programs in the corporate world, why not allow an anonymous system where TSA screeners can report misconduct and the unacceptable behavior of their peers? When I had an extremely rude screener once, I asked to speak to the supervisor...his first comment was "I saw the whole thing and you are wrong." He wasn't even there...they radioed him to come to the area. When he walked away, refusing to take a complaint or hear me out, one agent told me that it wasn't me and it was not acceptable. Sad...your own people don't support your power trips and conduct.
As for the liquids, be consistent. 3.4 oz is on your site and guidelines...but the agents yell out "3 oz or less". NO, YOUR GUIDELINES STATE 3.4oz or less. If it fits in my quart size bag, it's really not all that big of a difference anyway. Let's do away with this one because terrorists can pool their bottles once they clear security anyway. It wasn't a single terrorist on 9/11...and if they each had a few bottles in their bag, it would add up pooled together.
End of day, TSA agents are people and want us to remember that...but please remember we are people as well. Treat me as you would have me treat you.
OK putting the soap box away now.
On a flight from Detroit to Chicago, I didn't have anything stolen from my bag, but additional articles were actually placed INTO my checked luggage (7 or 8 articles of clothing that did NOT belong to me). When I arrived at my hotel in Chicago and opened my luggage, at first I thought I had somehow collected the wrong bag. But my clothes were there, underneath someone elses shirts, pants, and sweatsuit. I tried calling TSA right away, because I felt so badly for whomever the articles of clothing belonged to. The person I spoke with didn't seem to know what to do, and said I could just throw away the clothes that weren't mine. But they belonged to somebody else who's bag they had searched in Detroit, and that response was just unacceptable. On my return flight, I gave a TSO at the Chicago Airport a shopping bag full of the clothes that weren't mine and explained the situation. Who knows what that person did with it (I hope some effort was made to return the clothes to their rightful owner)?
We had items taken from our luggage and received no help from TSA. We had a digital camera, memory cards, extra batteries, battery charger and a carrying case taken. The claim process was not difficult but it did require a lot of documentation that one may not have (receipts,current value of the property, etc). After waiting about 6 months for a response to our claimm, we received a letter stating that our claim had been denied. The letter than advised us that to proceed, we would have to file a suit against TSA in FEDERAL COURT. Imagine that, us suing the TSA in fedral court - incredible. Since we knew exactly where and when we went thru inspection, TSA must have known who was performing the inspections, a little detective work would have uncovered the thief(s). So our national security and safety rests in the hands of people more interested in personal gain that security.