Have more TSA experiences that you want to share? This is the blog post to share your TSA experiences -- both the good or the bad. (Click here to see part 1)
Gripes & Grins, Part 2 (Commenting Disabled)
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I agree entirely with what the TSO above said about it is only as hard as you make it. The rules are very simple to follow and at some most Airports, I know my own does this, but we have constant announcements, TVs are looping the procedure over and over again, and even we the TSOs are shouting out what needs to be done. I get told by passangers alot that they don't have to do this at that Airport and for the most part I just figure they are telling me a lie so they can get their way. I'm pretty sure there are some really rude TSO's out there. Same way I'm sure there are some very rude people in every job in the world. So please everyone, get off your moral high horse and understand that the world has changed and for the worse, and that going through our checkpoints takes only a few minutes and most of that is spent waiting in the line. Get in line, unpack, go through, repack and get on your way. Also the less you bring the less we have to check and the less likely of a chance you have that you will be pulled aside. =D
I am a TSA Screener. I take my job very seriously. Most of the passengers who fly never even know that we find guns, knives and other dangerous material during our screening processes. More people should remember what happened on 9/11. If you are on a plane and a terriorist or whacko happens to get past security and ends up on your plane, you will be the first to wonder why we didn't stop them. All of our policies are in place to protect the passengers. We are not stupid, we are not trying to upset you and we do not want you to miss your plane. We just want to keep you safe. We don't make the rules but we do have to follow them. You may ask for a comment card at anytime or come to our website and post a comment. Please, have a great day!!
"However, I am just as concerned, if not more, by the whiny sucky bottle babies, that write the majority of these posts. It seems most of these people have been spoon fed their entire lives and who knows what they have been fed."
Oh, do you have "issues"? Perhaps you should get out more.
"I do not agree with a few of the procedures that we must follow, but I do not have a suggestion to repair them and I have not seen anyone offer up any realistic alternatives."
If you have problems with some of the proceedures, speak up, point them out to your superiors, post them here or on Flyer Talk, but please don't ignore them, and then bitch about how you feel you are being treated. Not all TSO's are the same, some care about the job and want to make it better.
I am absolutely disgusted at the treatment that is happening around our great nation. This type of disrespectful treatment, by both the TSO's and the passengers is completely unnecessary. The TSA has been placed in our airports for a reason and I for one fully support the reasoning and hope that we will never have another 9/11 again. Are there instances were a TSO is rude or disrespectful towards a passenger? absolutely, is it acceptable..never. Same goes for the passengers to the TSO's. As a Supervisor for the TSA I promise that any supervisor should/will not tolerate any disrespectful conduct directed towards anyone, this also includes the TSO's who work directly with us. We, unfortunately do not see all of the situations that occur at the checkpoints, but we do try our best. If there is a situation that is wrong, please feel free to ask for the supervisor. They should assist you in satisfactorily correcting the situation. You also can ask for the Customer Service number to also better assist with the resolution of the problem.
As a retired military member of 22 years, I thank each and every member of our armed services, past and present. Please understand that just because you are in the military does not exempt you from the same rules and regulations of our other travelers. There are bad eggs in all parts of society and as a former Military police officer, I have met some of them in the military. TSA does NOT have a problem with the military. My FSD and staff are about 75%-80% formerly military or retired military..ranging from the lowest enlisted to a Maj Gen. So I would perceive that as a personal issue with the TSO's alleged comments about the military being terrorist.
I have stood there and been berated by the best of them, but I will tell you this, I DO believe in what we are doing and will defend the policies that we have in place. I will also look at the gray areas and make a common sense decision based on the situation at hand. Passengers have pretty much called me everything known to man and a few others that are just not acceptable for anyone, but I will still treat you with more respect than you treat me. The ones who are doing this have come to the airport armed with the perception of negativity and no matter what we do we are blamed for everything, from the traffic getting there to all the other people who got there before them ausing them to stand in line. I have been accused of stealing your items instead of trowing them away. There is nothing..I repeat nothing worth stealing that is worth loosing my job over. I have been asked on many occassions "Do I look like a terrorist?" I can not answer that question rationally, knowing that terrorist come in all shapes, sizes, ages, sexes, and nationalities. I have seen the news on television, just as you have of all of the terrorist attacks that have involved the elderly, women, children and the mentally disabled being used to carry out these attacks. So please understand that we are trying to provide a safe environment for you and your family. I have to ask myself daily, "Would I want my family on one of the planes that I am directly responsible for providing security?" When I answer "NO" then I will walk away from this job and persue other options. If you can actually step back and observe the process with a neutral position, I believe that you will see that we are not as cruel and heartless as we have been depicted. I know that there have been some instances, more than I would like to admit. But I have also seen complaints blown way out of proportion and have been dismissed with the review of the recorded events.
By the way, Reasonable amounts of food ARE allowed for persons with medical needs, such as diabetes. I have seen some posting that have related they were refused by TSA to carry these through, please talk with the supervisor. Small, again reasonable amounts of food/juices are allowed for children.
Also, shoes for the elderly and disabled can remain on, you will have to have your shoes inspected once you enter the sterile area.
Please travel safe and hope all goes well for you on your next trip through the TSA line. Some may be there because they have to, but there are some who are there because they want to.
The lady who had to remove her body piercings in Texas. She was offered the proper alarm resolution for that area. We, as TSO's are not, or were not permitted at that time to view what caused the alarm in sensitive areas, i.e, the breast area of a female passenger. When you use a hand held metal detector and pass it over a area containing metal, it will alarm. Now the only way to clear that alarm is to either have her remove the piercing and reinspect the area with the metal detector or now we can offer them the option of viewing the piercing to ensure that that is indeed what it is, a piercing and not a prohibited item. We do not want to view sensitive area of our passengers, we want to ensure that no prohibited items get through. Some have stated that their piercings did not alarm when they were checked, well guess what I guess this would throw up a red flag and say there was something more there. Luckily it was a piercing as stated, but it was still cleared.
Nicest ever TSA experience? Asheville, NC. Admittedly there were three screeners to one passenger (me) but it was all very convivial and also the most thorough screening I've ever had (certainly the first time in the US I've had my bag hand-searched because of my key-ring).
Consistently Dulles. I was once yelled at because I left on a scarf.
As many people have already pointed out all over this blog, the UK and US are the only countries that require passengers to do a little dance at their security checkpoint with their shoes, jackets, sweaters, scarves, belts, baggie of liquids, laptops. As a single male traveller I have my routine down pat (imagining a soft shoe shuffle seems to help) but how on earth do people travelling with small children do it?
knock on wood, so far i have no horror stories flying from SAT,
IAH or Aus and back.
However, when I read stories like the
sippie cup and nipple ring and then the TSA states the employees acted properly.
How are we supposed to take you guys seriously? These seem more like poorly trained bullies and perverts.
I think the biggest problem with security is inconsistency between airports. A month ago my mom and I flew from Anchorage to Fargo. She had a knee replaced last year and neither of us were surprised when it set off the alarm at the Anchorage airport. Imagine how surprised we were when she went through the metal detector at the Fargo airport and nothing happened. It doesn't make any sense to me that airports can seemingly have different security standards. If there's anything that endangers passenger safety, that's probably it.
There is gross inconsistency as to how policies are enforced. You can go through one airport in a breeze and then be hasseled at your connecting airport and have to surrender something that went through the first time.
I had one screener open my wallet and start going through it for "undeclared liquids." There is no way anyone is going through my wallet and have the opportunity to steal a credit card or cash. Besides, how ridiculous can this be. Give me a break. How could anyone put liquids in a wallet? These people use NO common sense and they act like they are God's anointed people -- acting like big shots just because they are given some power.
I purchased water "inside the steril area" only to have it appropriated at the gate -- and the seal wasn't even broken. I've been told I can't enter the concourse with a bag of food purchased in the terminal -- the fries were still hot.
A woman who had a mastectomy and was full of staples set off the device and even though she had medical documentation was subject to a humilitating experience. I saw wheelchair bound people being forced to get up and go through the machine. One lady I encountered in Atlanta in a wheelchair was in tears. She had been humilated and someone had removed her shoes but not bothered to help her get them on and she was unable to do so by herself. You people should be ashamed of yourselves. You are totally devoid of common decency and courtesy. My daughter is an insulin dependent diabetic and has problems getting her medicine through screening. We've had bags pilfered and no "TSA notes" put in the bags. Expensive "TSA locks" have been removed and not replaced. Luggage straps have been removed and not replaced. And the traveler has basically no recourse when these things happen.
In my own community one screener was stealing medications out of checked baggage.
Many of these policies are knee-jerk responses and I'm absolutely appalled at the recent incident involving body jewlery. This is obscene. And I would never submit to a body scan -- that is a gross invasion of privacy and all of your fancy talk can't color it any other way.
If there is another terrorist action on a plane, it will not be explosive. It will be biological. Anyone can have anthrax toxin in a container and release it on the plane. There is NO screening for biological materials.
I suspect the next step you guys will take is NO carry on stuff at all, strip down to your bare butt, and put on this disposable paper jump suit before you can board the plane.
You are ridiculous, rude, overbearing, obnoxious, without common sense (a large bottle of shampoo that has 1/4 of an inch of product in the bottom has to go into the garbage merely because the label doesn't indicate "the allowed ounces" -- can't people figure this out? Or are the IQs so low that can't?), intrusive, tyrannical, and just plain sucky. I'd rather take my chances than have my privacy invaded as you do and continue to push the limits of. I wish you would go away.
This probably won't pass your blog author, but at least I've had my say. As someone so profoundly said, I want my civil liberties back. I have to agree with Benjamin Franklin: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor
I understand the reasons behind the security measures that we all have to undergo while flying and although I don't agree with most of them, I am willing to jump through a lot of hoops to make people feel safer, but my biggest gripe about flying isn't the regulations, it is the attitude of the TSA officers that enforce those regulations. I am happy to obey rules that I don't understand or agree with when treated in a courteous manner but TSA Officers in large part have stopped treating fliers like people. Can't we adopt the attitude that we are all in this together rather than everyone being treated as a suspect? The security checks would still get done, but I think everyone would be a lot happier jumping through those hoops.
My mother is a frequent flyer and makes trips between Atlanta and New York and every once in a while internationally too. It was one thing when we used to be able to lock our baggage if we wanted to but since the recommended TSA locks came in place, she's always gotten to her final destination with things missing from her luggage. We sometimes overlook the little things that go missing when we travel but her last trip infuriated me because among some of the items stolen were panties, clothing, multivites, vitamines, lotions, and even tampons!!! Are you kidding me? It's bad enough that we can't get on the planes with half an ounce of lotion because it's in a 2 ounce container but we also have to worry about whose hands our belongings are going through as well?
Sometimes I tease her and say I hope your stuff make it there in one piece with you but all jokes aside how does one fly with any peace of mind?
I'll also say that on a trip through JFK a few months ago, TSA members operating the security screenings were some of the rudest people I'd come across. Everyone has their ups and downs at work but you chose to work with people when you take up this job and I think if they dont feel like it, they can simply stay home or just quit!
I'm a healthcare worker and a very patient person. I have also been on the receiving end of tongue lashes which i know will happen as long as you continue to work with people so I''m especially understanding with people in such job positions. I'm conscious of my manners when i travel and make sure I do whatever is necessary to make my journey a safe, pleasant and quick one while allowing others to do their job. but THE THEFT HAS TO STOP!!!! I'd probably have an excuse for it if this was a third world country but we're boasting of being the biggest, baddest nation in the world and the people in whom we trust the safety of our lives and posessions are alse robbing us? Come on! I guess it shouldnt be new huh?
I was very disappointed, and disgusted, with the rudeness and lack of professionalism of the TSA employees at SFO. My family and I recently landed there on a trip from Asia, and, almost without exception, each TSA employee was barking orders, yelling at groups of tired travelers, and they generally acted as if we, as travelers, were getting in their way and disrupting their day. I am an American, and even I was ashamed of how the TSA employees were unhelpful and rude to every customer.
I had one upsetting interaction. I had my shoes, laptop, and carry-on ready to go into the x-ray machine. Then a TSA employee jumped in front of me, without even acknowledging me, shoved all of my bags back-- he didn't even ask for my assistance-- so that he could help what appeared to be two young (attractive) female travelers to get through security. He proceeded to put their bags into the machine in front of mine without even as much as saying a word to me.
Now, I understand that these women could be in danger of missing a flight, and I want to be helpful to other travelers (because there will be times when I will need help as well). But the TSA employee didn't even say a simple "Hi" or "I'm sorry" or "excuse me" or "These ladies are about to miss their flight". Realizing that the TSA have an important and stressful job, I certainly wouldn't have minded that. But the fact that that TSA employee was rude to me and that all the other SFO TSA employees were rude really really upset and disgusted me.
In addition to the rudeness, it seemed that the TSA employee was exercising his authority just to practice favoritism for a couple of young, attractive, female travelers.
As an American, I felt so ashamed for the foreign travelers who were subjected to the complete lack of professionalism. But as an American, I also felt I deserved much better treatment.
I understand that airport security is an important job for national and international security. But, all airport security employees in other countries seem to do a thorough and secure job while being at least pleasant if not helpful to customers. If the current TSA employees cannot be at least seemingly nice, then the TSA needs to hire more competent employees or the TSA needs to train better their employees to handle stress and not take out their aggressions on travelers, or both.
Unfortunately, this was not my only bad experience with the TSA-- it is merely the most recent.
I hope my observations and suggestions do not fall on deaf ears. I simply wish the TSA improved performance (much improved).
Most of the TSA employees that I have encountered on my travels have been polite, if not pleasant. However, the "rules" they "are required to enforce" border on the ridiculos. Charleston, SC Airport requires luggage to be searched (ok, I can see that), but to scan each shoe because "it might contain a bomb" (I usually travel with 20-25 pairs), hold up my bra and ask, "What's this?" and then take my neatly packed and layered suitcases (packed in accordance with the "rules") and make it look like a garbage heap - all this done at the curb, outside, in front of everyone. 2 hours later when I was finally allowed inside, then a complete "pat down", then walk thru a scanner, then have my inhalers confiscated (yep, I need them to breathe) with the statement "there's oxygen on board if you need it". I could go on and on and on............
Having traveled all over the world, these "rules" make America look ridiculos. Security is one thing, stupidity something else entirely.
I have a gripe. How is it that TSA can take the time to take my locks OFF of my bags, but can't be bothered to put them back on?
I pay extra money to get TSA approved locks, only to be told by TSA personnel... sorry Ma'am, sometimes they forget (don't bother) to put them back on.
The last time I was home I lost nearly 50 US dollars in locks because people couldn't be bothered.
Maybe I will just use sandwhich bag twist ties from now on? At least THOSE I won't mind losing.
What is TSA's policy on rescreening travelers whose plans have changed due to flight cancellations? My last trip through the Indianapolis airport at the end of February resulted in a flight cancellation. I had to exit the terminal and go back to ticketing to rebook on another flight. The sirline instructed me to let security know that I had already been screened and cleared so they may allow me to go through without additional screening. Unfortunately, not only did they rescreen me, I was marked for special screening because my plans had changed (albeit not by my choice). In fact, one of the TSA agents stated to the individual checking my ticket, "You could let her go on through since she has already been screened," to which he responded, "Nah, we'll screen her. It'll be good for her." I'm sure you can imagine how frustrated I was. I'm interested in your comments and explanation of the policy. Thanks.
I really think this is a great idea. its very easy to accomadate a frustrated or angered customer by simply letting them know you are listening and sympathize. i have had various experiences with TSA screeners. From friendly and courteous to down right rude. and the funny thing is they all did thier job well. but which do you think left a bad taste in my mouth. no one likes being treated rudely.
You still provide a customer service. why does it seem that so many who work for TSA are so awful they cant even smile or say thank when you tell them to have a nice day? i work for a 911 call center and believe me i know all aobut dealing with callers who cuss at me and yell at me.....but i dont take it out on the next caller who needs my help and is scared. I really think there is a lack of customer service training. cant that be include with the technical aspect of the job?
Oh! i really wish that the airlines woudl do something similar to this blog. i really think that the airline workers can be ust as bad or even worse that some of the TSA workers.
Before 9/11, I was bothered by the laxity that I saw in the checkpoints. One day, I watched as this asian gentleman with a language issue repeatedly set off the metal detector while the screener sat there chatting away about her new nails to her boyfriend. (I'm NOT kidding.)
But, today, even after the horror of 9/11, I am still shocked at the number of screeners that I see every week that are not focused on their job.
STOP TALKING SPORTS!!!!
I love College basketball and the NFL as much as the next guy, but it is totally INAPPROPRIATE for screeners to be 'chatting up the scores' while I'm trying to get thru the checkpoint.
I realize that we are social beings, and it is part of our DNA to have a conversation with other people, but let's have that conversation be about SECURIY, not about SPORTS!
I really wish that the screening lines had was some kind of thing like the emergency pull string on a bus.. If I feel like the screeners aren't paying attention, I could 'ring the bell' and get everyone focused back on the task at hand.
Sure, go talk news/sports/weather on your break, but not within the checkpoint!!
I watched just last week in Philly as one screener called over and over for "female assist" and every TSO behind the line went about their drone job, ignoring the request completely. It took more than 2 minutes before someone finally responded.
My other pet peeve is that without fail.. EVERY time I'm in a airport (2-3 times per month), I hear over the loudspeaker.. "Will the person who left (article) return to the checkpoint to retrieve it?"
It just makes me want to scream - How DARE you let someone thru the checkpoint without all their belongings?!? Is not the DEFINITION of security that people are not allowed to randomly drop stuff off wherever they want? If you were WATCHING the people going thru security, then how is it that you allowed them to deposit (forget) anything and walk off???
In fact, how about that "ring the bell" idea?? A number of bars, etc, have a bell that you can tap as you put a tip in the jar for good service... how about a bell at the end of the line where travellers can say "good job" to the TSOs? (and thereby also remind them to stop talking sports...)
I want to know why, on a recent trip one airport, out of the 5 airports I had to go through, made me take the quart size baggies out of my carry on before sending them through, while others did not. I guess I had never had to do it that way for past air travel and just wondered if there was a specific reason for it or are separate airports given free rein over how they have such things put through the screening process. Also, does the airport size make a difference in how the screening process is set up?
To Whomever it has concerned.....
I have always hoped someone would come up with something like this...My curiosity includes how much of this actually gets read by TSA.
and Will they actually do anything about it...or is this just a place for people to vent?
Anyway...I am old enough to remember the days when you just bought your ticket ...got on board and went your happy way....Now,,,,I understand the reasons behind it...but my real only BIG gripe on TSA is this....how many of us have bought stuff from other countries ...or anywhere for that matter....got home to find what? IT BROKEN...TSA has gone through your luggage and checked it 3 times for terroroist things LOL...what a joke...This really UPSETS me.This stuff can not be replaced and very dissapointed when you see it....I can get over the long lines and the shoes taken off.,,,but be more careful....what if YOU went somewhere got home and found your PRECIOUS souvenir...busted...just because someone else didnt care ...because it wasnt theres.....I know this will never change because the people who work for TSA dont care.....but at least there is a place to B/////ch about it....Wecoyote Very p???d about it
Just wanted to quickly comment. My husband and I flew minimally before all of the new rules were in place. Since the rules change, we've flown regularly and luckily and thankfully haven't had any problems, nor witnessed any. We've see a few folks "pulled over" and checked more throughly, but anyone I've ever talked to about these new rules and the inconveniences they make are simply thankful that there is tighter security.
Honestly, I see thank a lot of folks on this board are mad because their food is being thrown away. While I can understand why you are angry (and even more so because buying anything beyond the checkpoint is, well, like buying gas at any gas station in the country right now), I would much rather pay for an overpriced banana than have some idiot think a device that looks like a banana would be a good tool to use to blow up an airplane, hid a weapon, etc. To me, the extra cost is worth it.
Simply, I say Thank You to the security employees. We appreciate all you do.
I fly frequently between Chicago and Paris. I am a young woman and I always dress nicely to fly; I am harassed every time. Not only am I patted down (to the point where I feel violated), but the keys to my apartment have been confiscated more than once.
My family and I recently took a trip from one side of the country to the other and back again, and I just want to say that it was actually a fairly pleasant experience for the most part. No one ever gave us a hard time about the formula or baby food that we carried, and Buffalo even had a line specifically for families. Which was a relief because, between the four of us, we took up what seemed like 25 bins with jackets, backpacks, shoes, a laptop, a stoller and a carseat. Having a seperate line really seemed to relieve some of our stress in holding up other passengers that carry just one bag through security. Hooray to Buffalo, maybe family and handicap lines should be a norm at all security checkpoints in the US!
I understand that delays are going to happen. I also understand that the airlines do what they can to get passengers to their destinations as quickly as possible. However, when delays happen, shouldn't the airline also be responsible for making sure that those inconvenienced people are made comfortable? Or at least given a free meal if they have to wait? I was sending my son out of Nashville on Southwest. His plane got grounded for maintenance. OK fine, glad to see they are taking care of the aircraft. He ended up being changed to a flight that was 3 hours later, and even that plane got grounded. We were sitting for 6 hours before his plane left the ground. Not only was I out for meals because of the time, my parking fee was kind of steep. When I asked about the parking I was told that "We aren't responsible for that". Oh really? And I guess it was my fault I was here 4 hours longer than I should have? I did manage to get a number to customer service, but it was a recording telling me that they would be in a meeting on Thursday and to call back after the meeting. Huh? This is Saturday folks. Bottom line is this: If you get poor service at a restaurant or hotel, you get something either taken off your bill or you get a freebie. I got neither nor did anyone offer the first thing. Folks, take care of your customers. If your customers have to wait, offer them a free cheeseburger, a soft drink, a coupon for a free magazine or something. At least don't make them spend more money along with the time. (Thnak GOD there is a shop with a Wii hooked up or my son would have driven me over the edge)
These words should be comforting to the average traveler. What they really mean is that a rediculus set of rules is being enforced by overworked, under trained and inept so called TSA agents. The fact is that they are always going to be one step behind the bad guy. I fly 4-5 times a year and have been to airports around the country and some overseas. if you watch these agents, they spend more time talking to each other about personel issues than their job at hand. Me or my carry-on bag is searched on almost every flight. Do I fit the profile of a terrorist? Or is it that I travel with a laptop and a breathing machine? In Jamaica, EVERY passenger carry on is checked, not the select few that are profiled. Should USA learn from Isreal? They are the only country exempt from a terriorist activity involving an aircraft.
In My opinion, our homeland security has done a poor job since 9/11 in averting another catastrophy. The smoke screen that they have assembled to give us this sense of "security" while flying has given jobs to many that would otherwise be unemployed.
I fly every week-often two round trips a week. While in some airports I can use the "elite flyer" line, they are not available everywhere. Why not have a road warrior line for frequent flyers who complete a background check? A special ID could get us through the line quickly and efficiently, since we all know the drill. I know some airports have special lines like this but the idea that I have to pay a fairly large fee and it's only available in a couple of airports makes it pretty useless when you're headed to a different airport every week.
In regards to the disabled person who has had difficulty traveling. I have found the same difficulty in traveling when pregnant. Why can't they put chairs on the side of the screening area where you are supposed to take your shoes off. Try removing shoes while 7 months pregnant and carrying an almost 2 year old who is throwing a tantrum due to the fact that he is frustrated from having to sit in a stroller forever waiting in a security line. I have pretty much decided that TSA does not like people traveling with kids. We get searched EVERY time we travel with our kids and the only airport I have come across friendly TSA agents is in Tulsa, OK. (Unfortunatley, that is not somewhere I travel frequently.) The other interesting thing I have found is that when I travel with my kids alone I get NO assistance. (You have to put the stroller on the conveyor belt UPSIDE DOWN - to go through the X-Ray along with everything else you own, while trying to hold onto your kids.) However, when my husband has traveled with our kids alone, EVERY TIME, he has someone assisting him getting all the stuff on the conveyor belt so he can keep a better eye on our children. I guess Moms are supposed to be super people and do everything themselves. My biggest complaint from TSA is how rude they are. They should be aware that the rules seem to be different every time you travel and depending on which airport you travel from but they act like you are stupid if you make a mistake. For example, I once tried to bring on a lotion under 3oz so it was okay, but I didn't have a ziploc bag to put it in, so they tossed it. I had pulled the lotion out separately and it was the ONLY liquid item I had, but without the ziploc bag apparently it was dangerous. In general, they are very condescending and rude.
I have simply refused to fly now. I have one friend and one relative that were each required to have a private screening that they were told was random, both white as can be and both timid and non threatening. One was so traumatized she will never forget the humiliation. I know of another who had breast plates and was required to remove her top even though she had a medical note. I will not be patted down, have my luggage opened for no reason, or anything else that is being required of flying these days. I simply will not give my business to the airlines. I think they have gone far too overboard with totally untrained security, it does not make me feel safer to fly. Something needs to be done NOW to make things more consistent through security and to make it less embarrasing.
Who schedules the # of TSA personnel working a given shift?
As a business traveler, I have noticed TSA lacks the manpower to handle the large number of passengers traveling on the first flight in the AM from DFW and many other airports across the U.S.
I realize TSA does not control the number of flights, but one would think with modern technology, number of flights x passengers per flight would factor in more or less screening lines and personnel for any given shift. We all have seen the red eye land at 10pm and the airport a ghost town and all have seen the 6am travelers in a 50 minute security line due to lack of screeners.
Conduct a study, study the study, do an analysis of the results, study the results and maybe add one more post retirement screener to check my boarding pass and ID please.
I fly out of a small regional airport in Bradford, PA. weekly. Every time I go though security no one ever sets off the metal detector, but we still have to go through the extra screening process with the wands and the pat downs. There is no way 5-8 passengers per flight are all selectees. What is up with the over zealous TSO's there?
Flying is convienent, quicker than driving, and, at times a major pain. I have read several of the blogs posted and from where I sit, everything has been negative. I feel the need to add some possitive comments here.
I have a physically challenged husband and a mentally challenged daughter. Recently we had to travel from Phoenix to Tampa with a stop in Altanta. I have to say JOB WELL DONE! Both my husband and daughter had to have special handling in order to get through security. We found the TSA agents very personable--they did their jobs but were also very gentle when dealing with my daughter. Kudos to an agent by the name of Gerry Lynn in Tampa!!
I am finding the TSA agents owning more "people skills" lately. This is a far cry from the early days of the TSA when everyone was treated rudely.
I have found where the confiscated items go. Not even recently but almost a year ago I was looking through eBay and found knives, scissors, etc. and all advertised as TSA SEIZED. I actually bought some of the Swiss Army Knives on eBay and picked them up personally as they were local. I found a TSA SCREENER who was seling the confiscated items on eBay. I called in to TSA and reported the matter and have heard nothing since. Just to let you know what is being done to you in the name of security.
Wow! I can't believe the blog calling the military member a "liar" was posted and not screened!
It is because of the military that anyone in this nation has the right to any freedom of speech (SUCH AS THIS BLOG). The military step up to do what others won't or can't--act to defend our freedoms knowing that it might very well cost them their own life. They pay taxes just like any other citizen, they have families, and yet they believe so strongly in what the U.S. stands for they are willing to work most of their young lives to ensure we remain a great country. They are a very different kind of person than most US citizens--they feel a responsibility to their country. I have seen so many people without a clue that if we didn't have these brave people we could not live the way we do. My thought is if you don't like it then please leave this country and go somewhere else--we don't need you or your dangerous attitudes. That TSA person should be fired. I have a problem with the uneducated, poorly dressed, unprofessional manner of these people--some who can barely speak English. I'll bet they get a kick out of coming to our country, getting a TSA job, and telling us what to do.
The issue that I have with the TSA is the inconsistency of TSA officials from airport to airport. Some airports are very reasonable, they know what a lipstick tube is vs. a dangerous explosive, while at others, people have to unload bags and purses and prove that yes, it really is lipstick. In addition, some TSA officials are downright rude. For instance, flying through JFK this past summer was an absolute nightmare. My family and I had to go through domestic check-in due to a baggage tag error on our previous connecting flight. However, after dealing with fairly incompetent airline agents (not the TSA's problems, but aggravating nonetheless), we had to deal with a group of TSA agents who decided to go on various kinds of power trips. For example, one lady decided that if you happened to be double-file, she would yell at you and make you go back to the end of the line (which wound around the corner and back through the airline counter).
Some sort of training in terms of passenger courtesy or pre-hiring screening for personality might help in this regard because this kind of behavior not only reflects badly on the airport and the city, but also on the TSA. I have to say, having gone through security in foreign countries, I have never had to remove my shoes and everyone is treated fairly similarly, unless you look like a suspicious character. And when I say suspicious character, I'm not talking about grandmothers or families traveling together.
To Anonymous at 3/38 10:50 PM
To your post:
People, please get your facts straight or at least attempt to do some research before you start throwing stones. I do not agree with a few of the procedures that we must follow, but I do not have a suggestion to repair them and I have not seen anyone offer up any realistic alternatives.
The traveling public cannot offer suggestions to peocedures that we do not know, but seem to experience on a regular basis. Since your program are designated as Sensitive Security Information (SSI) they cannot be divulged, so we, the traveling public, can only comment on the uneven treatment we receive. I am glad to have read theat the ASAC is being reborn and hopefully some actual users of the system, i.e. passengers, can make meaningful suggestions.
There was a post pon another blog of 19 firearms seized at checkpoints. A question I asked before was how many of these seizures resulted in investigations that the people had terrorist intentions?
Americans are more likelty of being killed by another American rather than a terrorist given the murder rate on an ANNUAL basis is almost 10 times as great as the number of people killed be terrorists on 2001.
My mom just went from CLE to ELP with a pocket knife in her purse by accident. She didn't realize it was still in her purse when she went through security. What upset her even more is that security didn't find it. How are they supposed to stop terrorists if they can't even find a pocket knife???
A recent trip last October my wife and I took from JFK on American we missed our flight. Even though we were at the airport 1-1/2 hrs before the departure time the lines were so long going through security it took more than the 1-1/2 to get to the gate, in the new American Terminal it feels like miles away. There were lines not open, was this because of the shortage of TSA screeners or just poor work scheduling of them? The American Terminal lacks secondary or back-up security screening. TSA should consider using outside sources such as Fly Clear or something similar for added security lines to move the masses through. Some terminals at JFK have this service but American doesn't. To much inconsistency through out the system.
I travel a lot for work and must say that I have had very few specific problems. In general the TSA employees don't hassle me much but I have recently experienced two polar opposits.
I recently went through the Wichita KS airport. I must say of all airports I have been in the TSA employees here stood out. They were the most curtious and friendly group that I have ever run into in my travelling experience so I definately wanted to give a "grin" to them.
On the negative side when flying out of Sky Harbor in Phoenix AZ I came across a very confrontational TSA agent. It was so bad that the gentleman in front of me stepped in.
Those of us that travel frequently understand the rules and regulations. I feel that the TSA needs to focus their training on the importance of "customer" relations. When an agent smiles and is friendly people don't mind the hassle. When spending hours in airports and travelling the last thing a person wants is to run into an agent with a bad attitude.
I feel that the TSA should look at what Wichita has done and see how it can be implemented across the nation.
TSA Leadership -- I beg of you, PLEASE make it part of standard training nationwide to clearly instruct inspectors who open checked luggage to return the zippers of the checked luggage to a position at the TOP of the suitcase. Every time I have checked luggage inspected, the TSA inspector zips my case shut with the zipper pulls at the bottom -- and one is ALWAYS then ripped off in the baggage-handling process. I am a frequent flyer and have had to take luggage in for expensive repair or simply ditch the suitcase as unusable due to zipper pulls being destroyed by TSA mishandling of my luggage during inspection.
If my luggage manages to avoid inspection, my zipper pulls are protected at the TOP of my bag (where I put them) from the vagaries of baggage handling, and I actually have intact zipper pulls when I reach my destination. PLEASE try to have more consideration and thoughtfulness. Travel is hell as it is without this problem to worry about.
It seems that people do not understand that TSA is a government organization and will do what they want. Passangers have no rights. If you read thru the blogs, you can see how easily TSA employees attack or simply ignore the needs of the passangers and use the blanket statement "I am doing my job". One even askes if you have ever "seen what an IED can do" when trying to redicule a handicapped person. As a matter of fact I have seen what an IED can do but I am not sure what that has to do with TSA thinking that they can do what they want, to who ever they want. There are good TSA employees out there who are considerate (an example is one at the Huntington WV airport) but many are undertrained and down right mean to the passangers. The pasangers do not have the time to argue with them and they know it. I would like to see just one supervisor who was on the side of the passangers during a dispute, but that will never happen.
I appreciate the fact that the TSA is doing their jobs. What bothers me the most is the attitude in which they do it to people who come through security and are kind, respectful and comply with every request without hesitation of comment. I recently flew with the mother who was recovering from a car accident. Her arm had been badly broken and after removal of the cast she was required to wear a compression glove. This glove was no different then glove one would wear in the winter. The female officer at the check point was rude and verbally abusive to my injured 63 year old mother. I don't get the point of that. How does mistreatment of american citizens help ensure security at the airports? This is not the first occasion in which TSA officers were rude or verbally beligerant. I flew over 50 trips last year and in almost 50% of the cases, TSA officers were down right mean. I hope that through education this can be remedied. It really is not necessary to treat kind, compliant people rudely in an effort to fulfill the requirements of this job and ensure security. There is no need for the power trip and attitude they display.
I picked up my suitcase form the baggage area only to find it torn open with a "Notice of Baggage Inspection" inside. I completely under baggage inspections but the first thing I read was that the agent was not responsible for any damage or loss. Who is? I did not pitch a fit as the bag is several years old but it was still in good shape. It would, however, be nice if someone would pull me to one side and say "Sorry we damaged your bag and thanks for you patience." As an EOD Technicion who has supported Law enforcement, the Secret Service, etc, I have searched thousands of bags but I never once destroyed on.
First, I would like to thank the TSA for providing this opportunity for feedback. Second, I would state that I object to the fundamental mission of TSA to disarm all passengers. It panders to an objective of terroristic activity which is to disrupt the lives of many through the actions of a few. It also provides a false sense of security to passengers who are unaware of the risks they still face. It prevents a means of effective deterrence to terroristic activity by other passengers who may be inclined to resist. I would prefer to see TSA handing every passenger a Kabar knife as they board the plane; although that plan would be equally ridiculous in the opposite direction.
Overall, I must admit that I am surprised and pleased at the general level of efficiency and courtesy extended by TSOs that I have encountered. There are exceptions of course, but I believe you are doing a good job of accomplishing your mission; even though I feel that mission is a misguided attempt to lull the general public into a false sense of security.
I know the American is becoming a minority in the good old US of A, but English is still the primary language. Why can't we get a few more of the TSO's on the floor that speak FLUENT English? It really sucks having to ask them 3 times to repeat what they said because you can't understand it due to a strong accent or the fact that it is broken English.
I haven't traveled much since the 9/11 attacks, and the first since was Mar 2007, and only a few times since. Everytime I've had the utmost polite and considerate TSA inspectors. They've answered my questions and happily guided me through the process, very keen and perseptive I don't do this very often. So my upmost respect and regards for a job well done goes out to a majority of these agents. It is not/would not be an easy job to perform, at least I don't think I could do it and maintain the friendly, helpful and professional attidude demonstrated by most.
That was all good, until my last return trip from a Las Vegas business trip. My laptop had been removed and put in a separate bin (as always), my laptop bag open and top/bottom spread apart, and jacket, shoes, wallet, cell phone and other items in a separate bin. The agent was frustrated by others not taking laptops out of their bag, and I'm sure he meant to demonstrate/show what I had done, but he picked up my laptop and put back in the open bag, then picked it back up in a demonstration motion and slammed it back into the empty bin. He then picked up my laptop bag and turned it upside down, all the while opening all the compartments within, dumping the mouse, network card, pens, power cords, and cables all over the place. Then as he proceeded through my jacket, dumping all the contents, such as eye glasses, and my migraine medications onto the floor. He even confiscated the migraine medications, stating they we not allowed when I challenged him that no other TSA checkpoint had confiscated them, and had stated as long as they are in their original packaging and clearly labeled from the doctor/pharmacy it was allowed. No dice on his part, and note these are not liquids, they are dry pills, Imitrex and Fiornal-3. Needless to say, this was a long flight for me back to Charlotte. One of my triggers for migraine is altitude, and needless to about 30 minutes up, I began experiencing the Aura of a migraine coming on, but without my medications to try to stop/end the headache, I was helpless. By the time we landed in Charlotte, I was mostly without vision (flickering lights, spots and lines with loss of sight), numbness (pins & needles) in my extremities (hands, feet) and suffering dysphasic speech. Luckily my wife had accompanied me on this trip, and she could help direct me to our car in long term parking, where she drove home.
This was not the end of the story and I spent all of Easter weekend in the bed. On Monday we began trying to obtain authorizations from the Insurance to obtain refills, then contacting the doctor to call in the refills. Of course, Insurance companies don't work swiftly when "you" need something and we ended up contacting my employer benefits to request a refill override. Once complete, I had missed another day (Tuesday) at work due to the stress of this, and it wasn't until Friday, 8 days later I was able to obtain the refills.
I'm not one to complain or whine, but when you are following the guidelines and rules, and you end up with some TSA agent having a bad day, his girlfriend left or he's just showing his arrogance that day, something needs to be done. First step, as others have stated, is a course on being considerate, compassionate and caring towards their fellow man. Another would be a course on admitting they are wrong, as no one is always correct. All it would have taken is for this man to go check his TSA guidelines on the medication and he could have admitted he either misunderstood or wrong, but because it was the Thursday before "Good Friday" and "Spring Break" and traveling was heavy, he either didn't want or care to check - he could have even been instructed before shift by the supervisor not to check on questionable issues as not to delay the lines.
Please, before someone is seriously hurt or passes away, please get this information out to your agents about medications.
Thank you, and above all, keep up the good work and work on the areas that cause frustration, medical, special needs, etc - for both the customers and your agents.
I fly a lot, internationally on business. While I like the idea of using the elderly, or in some airports, mentally challenged individuals to check ID's and boarding passes, they hardly provide a buffer from the abrasive, yelling agents at the check points. In no other country I've visited, do security agents exhibit such a loud, angry, exasperated tone. The general impression is 'we don't like you. American or not, you're probably a terrorist.' I do not like feeling that I am the 'enemy' in my own country, as opposed to feeling my tax dollars are going to pay these people to protect me. Again, in no other airport have I felt this as strongly as in the US (I am American). In most countries, security treats the flyers with respect, as though they are paying customers, which we are. Many times I have been pulled out of line, and subjected to a more intense screening, simply because I was standing in line behind foreigners, who were also singled out. Once at Dulles, I was made to stand in a little pen, with clear plexiglass sides. Other passengers would be sent in, then sent through. When I asked why every one else got to go ahead of me (they were all foreigners), the woman gave me a look like she was ready to strangle me. The level of anger in these people is not healthy for them or us.
In short, no yelling, less intimidation, and more professionalism and respect. As the American economy continues to tank, less and less people are going to want to deal with us and our BS, and will take their business elsewhere.
Thanks for reading this.
I think that TSA is doing a good job. But I also feel that there could be a few more security implements involved. For instance if you go to DFW and check out the loading docks for Sky Chef any one can jump on the dock and put anything in the food carts. DFW is big on hiring people for the middle east, the very groups of people that hate Americans with a passion and want to kill us in masses. Don't forget they are the ones that killed so many of us on September 11. I have no problem with profiling when it comes to weeding out dangers. If you want to do an extra security check on me that is ok. I have had it done simply because of the lottery system with ticketing. I have nothing to hide and if is helps security no problem. I applaude the security at DFW and Love Field in Dallas. I travel with my little boy so much and don't want the unspeakable to happen to him or I. Thanks for doing such a great job.
I have a problem with the policy on laptops. I always travel with my laptop, and I always keep it in a bag that is padded enough to absorb shock that may occur while traveling.
Often times, there are rollers prior to and after the conveyor belt in screening at the security check point. Rolling or shoving (as some careless people might do to my bin) the bin on the rollers makes the bin bounce quite a bit. This can cause some of sensitive connections in the laptop to loosen up over time.
I'm sure that many travelers like myself have paid quite a bit for their laptops and don't appreciate it when you $2000 being shoved around carelessly.
I would like to suggest that if the TSA doesn't allow me to put my laptop on top of a coat or sweater, that they provide a foam padding to place in the bins for the laptops to rest on.
If due to the expense this should not happen, I think that it is not unreasonable to allow concerned customers to bring some type of padding.
I have a comment not regarding policy or procedure, but the manner in which these things are carried out.
I am a frequent flier and have been to over 9 countries in the past year alone. Most of the world has jumped on board with the U.S. for increased security. But, I have noticed a large difference in the way that these countries carry out their screenings.
In each of these nine countries, no agent was shouting "TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES, COATS, HATS!" etc. There was an air of friendliness and peace throughout. Now, I also have many stopovers so the planes I occupy have many nationalities, and yet all are treated with the highest respect.
I feel TSA should do a better job of how to prepare the agents to look more professional. It is our face to the world, and I have to say, it is the least courteous and professional I have seen so far, from Japan to Cambodia to France. Please get a better system!
Someone intimated that TSA violates the 4th amendment so I had to read the amendment.
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
Being required to walk through metal detectors and putting your carryons through the x-ray machine is not unreasonable, just a pain in the a**.
Having to remove shoes is unreasonable. If explosives were in my shoes and I walked through the airport, (1) my body language would give me away and (2) the dogs that I constantly see would pick up the odor. At least, those are my thoughts. Since I am required to remove shoes (if I want to fly), put out a few chairs so I don't have to do a balancing act or sit on the table or the floor.
Anonymous TSO employee wrote "People, please get your facts straight or at least attempt to do some research before you start throwing stones." Give us the facts or at least tell us where we can find them. Has TSA actually thwarted any hijacking attempts? Found any bombs? "Research" by one blogger (www.bmj.com, archive, 2007, Dec 22) provided good solid questions about the validity of "work" done by TSA and no one has answered those questions. So, Anonymous employee, maybe YOU should have done your own research.
I have worked as an airline employee and still have friends who do work for airlines. We all admit that we are not safer but, as one friend stated, "The public feels safer". Huh?
Is there a security system in place to record TSA inspections of checked luggage? I fly very frequently and on different airlines. I find the little inspection card in my bags about half the time. The only airport where anything comes up missing is Minneapolis. A perfect 4 for 4 where electronics turn up missing and nothing stating the item was confiscated; just the standard TSA inspection card inside. I've never had anything else missing at any other airport. My brother (using a different airline) has had similar experiences. Being a baggage inspector is probably a thankless job, but what is being done to remove the 'temptations'.