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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To the TSA Screener,
Perhaps many passengers would not gripe so much if the screeners weren't so rude. So I left a bracelet on! I'm sorry, my fault, I'll put it in a bin and then pass through the security, no problem.
Why is it necessary for the officer to talk to me as if I just did the most stupid thing a person could do in her life?
I support the TSA's role in protecting passengers, however, I also think that respect is earned, and this is not the way the TSA will gain respect. Perhaps a little training in customer service is due? Manners seems like a thing of the past at the security check.
On a chartered flight from Nome, Alaska, my fellow passengers (almost all elderly tourists) and I were subjected to a three-hour in-depth scrutiny by TSA. The flight itself was less than 2 hours. Why?
On one trip I had to make several connecting flights. My checked baggage was checked at every airport. There were notes in it that it had been checked at every stop. When I arrived at my destination, something of little monetary but much personal value was missing. When I arrived back in this country and asked about it, I was told I should have reported it immediately. That's hard to do when you're in coastal Siberia for three weeks.
A friend, who is very intelligent and likable, took the TSA test for employment. She thought she did well on it, but was turned down. She has no criminal record. She never mentioned this, but to me it seems TSA is not interested in hiring the best people. I apologize to TSA employees, but that's the impression I get from her experience, and many of mine.
Because of TSA and airline problems I will no longer fly, except in emergencies. Even considering the price of gas, I would rather drive coast to coast.
When will TSA resurrect their efforts to "fast pass" people through the security checkpoints by providing a biometric based pass to individuals after a background check has been conducted? In the Washington, DC area many individuals have been cleared for Secret and Top Secret access to classified material, yet they have to pass through the security screening, wasting time and effort. The federal government is spending a fortune trying to develop "sniffers", yet the easiest way to reduce the number of individuals requiring detailed scrutiny at the security gates remains mothballed. Can the TSA management get anymore inept and myopic than they already are? They should be investing in means to focus their efforts the potential terrorist, not on individuals who have already been cleared by the same government the TSA purports to work for.
It seems to me that there is alot of Americans that have issues with Fedral Marshal's being on plans and with the TSA. I think that we all need not to forget what event brought this on. I feel much safer flying and with my relatives that fly for their jobs because of the security. It may seems like a pain when you go to travel by air and you have to deal with security features, but just remember that they are their to protect us and to keep us all safe. Since the events of 9/11 air travel has been much safer and I have never liked to fly but when I have to it eases my mind to know that they plane I am riding on is safe. I have all the respect in the world for the one's who put thier life's on the line for this country everyday whether it being in the airports, or on the ground. We as Americans need to stand behind our men and women in uniform and thank them for the work they do to protect this Country that we live in and us as citizens of this Country. So this is my THANKS TO EVRYONE IN UNIFORM.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry about the incident I had last year. The day before my flight I went on line to print my boarding pass. However, I was told that would not be possible as I had been randomly selected for a more indepth security check. If I were a terrorist they gave me plenty of warning, since I am not a danger it did not make me feel very secure.
I think having roaming "greeters", looking for people who seem confused, rushed, with kids, disabilities..etc is a great idea. Approaching those passengers while in the screening line and asking them, in a friendly manner, if they can be of any assistance in explaining the screening process to them, would be a small but hugely effective tool in creating a non-threatening atmosphere. Having two grim looking TSA agents standing by the line with arms crossed staring at everyone isn't really helping, just intimidating. As soon as you enter the screening areas, most people get anxious. Doing things like smiling and being pro-active doesn't take away the ability for the TSA to do their jobs. When the common citizen is treated like a terrorist everywhere they go, the terrorists have won a battle.
Grins: The TSA agent in Atlanta that helped me to find the door of the screening room through my tears. Read on...
Gripes: The female TSA agent that left me in that same Atlanta International screening room after thoroughly humiliating me. I am a 41 year old female, injured the night before the flight, with a crushed big toenail from dropping my suitcase. I was bandaged and limping, exhausted from the nearly 24 hour trip, but still thrilled to be back home in the United States.I was singled out and seperated from my 13 year old son, and the 35 other soccer family members that we had travelled with from Denmark, because a sterling "Lord's Prayer" bracelet set off the alarms. The bracelet does not come off. I tried to explain the bracelet, but was told by the female agent to "shut up and move to the screening room", a glass enclosure next to the xray machines. I moved to the room immediately because of her threatening tone. I did not question her authority. I did as she asked.
Before the humiliating and invasive rub down, I mean inspection, I tried to ask the woman about my things that were still sitting in the xray area. Most importantly, my son, but also my purse, my passport, my shoes. She told me again to shut up, moved back to the xray area and according to my son, who was left standing at the xray machine dumbfounded, and within earshot, told the xray technician that this "fat white woman thinks she's all that. Where the f... are her things?" My son was scared and quietly moved away from her, looking for our soccer friends to stay safe with.
She continued to threaten me, when she returned to the room and threw the bucket of my belongings on the table, telling me to "stand up, hands up, shut up, sit down", nary a please or pleasantry from her mouth. I was always taught that you catch more bees with honey then vinegar, and so I said nothing, despite the tears and sobbing that I could not control. She finished her inspection, said nothing, and left me in the room. I was so shaken I couldn't read the name on her ID tag.
Grins again: The very nice man, another TSA employee, who saw my distress and came to help me out of the room. Not two feet out of the room, into the arms of a fellow travelling companion and my son, a man in a dark suit standing next to me yelled "Freeze....everybody freeze! This is a security breach! Freeze, everybody freeze!" After two minutes of total silence in this huge. room, he yelled again, "Great job everyone, thankyou for your support in our security exercise." Grins...the tears of frustration turned to tears of relief!
BEWARE: TSA STOLE A VIDEOCAMERA FROM MY CHECKED LUGGAGE AT CHICAGO O'HARE AIRPORT!!! The videocamera bag was securely in my checked-in luggage upon release to the TSA personnel at JetBlue. No one besides TSA/JetBlue had access to the bag after that point. Upon arrival in LA, we opened our luggage and EVERYTHING had been rifled through. The videocamera bag pockets were all opened, and the camera was gone. They even took all the power cords and our videos. We logged a complaint with the airline and they said they would "look for it" and if w/in 5 days it didn't turn up, tough luck. I thought TSA was designed to protect us, not steal from us. Is there nothing in place to ensure personnel don't steal or that there is any consequence for stealing passenger luggage items??? Seems like stealing is condoned by TSA.
I have 2 points to comment on,
1. Many complaints I see are about bringing food into a secured area. My wife and I flying from Cleve. OH to Fla. had no trouble or even questions about carrying in 2 large sub sandwiches from Subway, no drinks, but the sandwiches passed through just fine.
2. On that same trip however...we checked golf clubs. After opening the soft travel bag, checking it and zipping it back up, the inspector slid the bag off of the table which caused it to fall club heads first against the floor. Would he treat his own golf clubs that way??? NO. Since he just looked at the bag, he HAD to know which end was which. Worse off he knew we were standing right there-it was just one of those " hee hee watch me screw with you" moments
That type of action gives the inspectors a bad reputation, but they know there is nothing I can do about it at the time.
How can you possibly justify forcing a woman to remove her nipple piercings? That is inhumane and moronic. You need to stay serious but also realistic about what kind of person is a threat to your airline security. If a person were to somehow try to use a nipple piercing as a weapon, couldnt said person or a 60 year old lady use an ear ring as a weapon? Yet they dont remove those, wake up and remember safety is as important as respect.
I am 68 years old and had a titanium left knee replacement almost three years ago. I have a large scar on my left knee and a card from the hospital stating I have a knee replacement. The scanner goes off over my knee.
I don't mind the search, but I believe with all the elderly people with joint replacements, time could be well spent on other venues.
This is more of a Grin than a Gripe
Does anyone else chuckle / wonder about the "PSA Announcements" that seem to run non-stop?
Any idea how long we will need to endure hearing that the threat level has been "increased to orange"?
Since we have had the whole threat level matrix in place since shortly after 9/11, and we have been at orange for most of this time, is there a time limit on how long we can stick with "increased" as opposed to accepting that orange is now normal.
Alternatively, since there have been a couple of occurances where the threat level was increased to red, shouldn't the announcement say that the threat levels have been "decreased to orange"?
Just a random curiosity.
So far, we've had two digital cameras stolen from our luggage in the last three years. The first time it happened, I went to the TSA web site, filled out a claim form and waited. One year later, I received a letter in the mail basically saying "you can't prove we did it". It's true that airline luggage handlers would also have had access to the luggage, but without the ability to lock my luggage, I'm completely vulnerable to this type of abuse. About a month ago, I flew from Newark to Phoenix and when I opened my suitcase, I found that EVERY zipper on EVERY item inside my suitcase had been opened -- toiletries strewn all over the suitcase, computer accessories, office supplies that had been neatly organized in separate pouches. Do these people have any adult supervision?
The way in which the TSA conducts business varies from airport to airport. While flying from Pittsburgh to San Francisco, I went through the checkpoint with a large bottle of water and a container of Mandarin oranges. NOTHING was confiscated. However on the way back from San Francisco, I had a layover in another city before going back to Pittsburgh and at that checkpoint, my water and other food items were confiscated. The rules seem to depend on who's manning the checkpoints. In additon, I was very pissed of when my new bottle of very expensive perfume was taken without any way of retrieving it. I'm sure one of the TSA agents made a present of that to a wife, girlfriend, mom etc. And another thing, where does the confiscated stuff go? Who takes it? What happens to it? We are a country running scared from our own shadows. And when it's all said and done, if the terrorists put their minds to it - as proven on Sept. 11th - they can and will get us again and again, regardless of our 'security measures', security alerts, screeners etc. What we need to do is pray for guidance and protection from the God we've forsaken, for the Bible says, "Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." Wake up and smell the coffee - if God doesn't protect us, the TSA and our goofy government certainly cannot!
All of the TSA requirements were made for our safety not for their personal pleasure of torturing fliers. After all riding on a plane is dangerous, you are 10, 000 feet in air if you get hijacked, it's hard to do anything about it. So if you aren't worried for your safety, and still don't like these regulations, then DON'T FLY. It's simple as that. TSA isn't torturing children and elderly and if you believe that again DON'T FLY. Have a I made my point clear?
Why is there not a method of identifying the person(s) who inspect checked luggage? I have had checked items damaged, "removed" and obviously mistreated by the inspectors. When they put the slip stating the TSA has inspected the bag, why isn’t there a spot for badge number or employee ID? There should be some accountability and way to identify good and bad employees. If there is someone who is careless with other people’s belongings they should not continue to be employed in a position where they have access to them. I have had experiences where the sheet of paper is the only way I knew someone had been in my luggage, but unfortunately most of the time it is the opposite. An example: On my last trip to Hawaii, I took my golf clubs. When I arrived I was waiting for my ride and decided to check on my clubs as the case looked like it wasn’t closed properly. I had packed them (clubs in a golf bag) in a hard case which has a foam lining. The case had been opened to be inspected, understandable and fine. What was not fine was that it looked like the bag had been dumped out by a mad child throwing a tantrum, and the items jammed back inside the bag and case. The golf bag has separate sleeve for each individual club, but the clubs had been jammed 2-3 to a sleeve. And my Driver’s head cover was torn. I was also missing a souvenir divot tool/ball marker. The bag with my clothing which I had carefully packed was in the same condition (looked like it was dumped out and “shoveled” back in. I went into the airport to talk to someone, but they just told me that the TSA is not accountable for their actions. They told me to fill out some paperwork and submit it to the airline to be reimbursed for the items damaged, but eh TSA (the inspecting party) was not liable for damage. Ridiculous! I asked if there was a way to identify the person(s) responsible for the damage and mishandling of my belongings. They said no to that also. There should be some way to hold these people accountable for their actions. Save your "breath" This is anonymous because it is easier. I don't have and open id or anything.
Someone mentioned TSO's getting paid $10 an hour, well this may not be what you want to hear, but they start @ 14.10 - I have been here 6 years and my NET income for '07 was 78k - OUCH -It's hard work and hazardous dealing with most of you, but I think i'll stick with it a little longer. See you on the checkpoint :)
To the people complaining about their civil liberties, where in the world, in what founding document were you granted "The right to fly on a commercial airliner"? As long as there are people that want to make a statement by hurting Americans I will gladly put up with a little inconvience. And by the way, how do I know or the TSA know for that matter that Your not the terrorist? If you don't like security, drive your car, then nobody can bother you and you can't bother anybody else.
Start profiling and quit wasting time on little old ladies. Everytime I see a little old lady getting "extra attention", I can only think how the terrorists must laugh and how much of the tax dollar is wasted.
What a bunch of whining babies. Granted, handicapped people do have special needs and they should be accomadated but the rest of you just need to shut up. Yes, there are some rude people with TSA jobs but the major majority of them are polite and just doing their jobs. Thank you TSA employees!!!
I am not sure if my comment was ever passed on to the TSA. Because of the luggage rules, I think it falls in their jurisdiction.
I just found the TSA link on the Internet and think it's a wonderful idea--provided these letters are actually read and acted upon (perhaps in some small way to alter procedures for the better).
I wrote the following letter to US Airways, the Philadelphia airport and copied my Congressman, Dennis Moore. The response I got from the airport was basically, too bad, so sad, it happens. Congressman Moore said he would look into it. US Airways was apologetic.
In May 2006 my son, a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps., flew US Airways from North Carolina to Hartford, Connecticut. His connecting flight was through Philadelphia. He was to attend a wedding and was to wear his Marine Dress Blues. As is his custom, he removed his campaign ribbons, medals, and the neck band and placed them in a bag in one of the pockets of his suitcase.
His suitcase was lost somewhere between departure and final destination. After numerous urgent phone calls to US Airways, his suitcase was delivered to him late Friday evening. Needless to say, he was relieved to have his uniform.
When he opened his suitcase the morning of the wedding though, he found that his campaign ribbons, medals, and the neck band had been removed from his luggage! As there are no Marine bases in New England, he had to scramble like a madman to try to replace the missing pieces of his Dress Blues in time to wear it to the wedding. He was still “out of uniform.” Thankfully, there were no Marine officers at the wedding.
Marines take great pride in their uniforms--especially their Dress Blues. It takes two Marines to dress one properly. If one button is turned sideways, they are “out of uniform.” There cannot be so much as a finger print on the brass buckle or the brim of the cap. Needless to say, he was quite dismayed when his campaign ribbons were gone.
I know there is a necessity for luggage to be screened and checked. We are no longer allowed to lock our suitcases. To cooperate and to avoid things being stolen from my bags, I have put “TSA approved” locks on my suitcases. If I still lose something, so be it; but I really must draw the line at dishonoring and vandalizing our servicemen! When one sees a crisp, new dress uniform, is it really necessary to go through all the pockets and remove pieces? It is not a costume--it is a tangible emblem of their service to our country and deserves respect. Is nothing safe? Will the security people also go through closed military Orders folios to make sure they approve of what is in there as well?
I travel frequently and while the TSA is usually polite and sometimes efficient, the word friendly does not apply. While going through security recently, the TSA hit on something in my bag and asked that I open it. They rustled through and located my cosmetics bag. Inside, there mas a extremely small pair of scissors (the kind from hotel mending kits that are about two inches with rounded edges that honestly barely cuts through thread). I was give a stern look and told that the sign clearly states no scissors. ok...my bad. But-and here is my issue- I was allowed to carry my umbrella through. A metal contraption with a thousand metal pieces that can be broken apart by a two year old and could easily be used as a weapon. If someone came at you with mending scissors, you might die...laughing. My flight was fine -and safer, maybe- sans mending scissors.
To the passanger that had to be "rescreened" Once you leave the sterile area, we have no idea where you went, what you purchased(a knife perhaps?) ect.. Therefore re-screening is neccessary. As for the "extra screening" your second time around, that was the airlines doing. I am not at liberty to explain "why", but please be assured it wasn't you or anything personal
I just have a question. If TSA's job is to screen for possible terroist threat items, then why would they detain you for drug paraphernalia? The last time I checked a pipe didn't pose a threat. Is this TSA's way of disguising as the police?
I fly once a week minimum, and often much more- and amongst the Hawaii airports. I have found that all of the islands provide quick, experienced and polite security with the exception of Kona.
I have personally witnessed 3 acts of rudeness that were completely unnecessary to the task of keeping our airways secure. The general atmosphere is often grumpy. The bullying nature of the agents is, in my opinion, a clear attitude issue.
One example was an elderly gentleman who was confused by the request of the agent for him to remove his belt. The man was obviously hard of hearing, and the agent was clearly without any patience or aloha.
In the coming years of economic downturn, we need to maintain our aloha to our visitors- or even increase it- as we face fewer tourist dollars, and possibly fewer tourists. Do you job TSA- but bullying isn't part of it.
I am a frequent international traveler going back and forth between LAX and several destinations in Mexico. I dread the screening process and take issue with the general lack of professionalism and an obvious lack of a command of the English language on the part of most of the screeners. Most are very rude and condescending. I find absolutely incredible that with today's technology, you still have screeners yelling out orders to a group of people being herded through a line while stripping their clothing off. It is a very belittling experience, especially considering those yelling out the instructions are doing it in less-than-perfect English. Does this whole scenario remind you of a particularly ugly event in the world's history? It reminds me honestly of the Jews being herded by the Germans into the death camps. I know that sounds extreme, but think about it. You have people who seem angry yelling and hurrying people through a processing line while forcing them to remove clothing. Shame on you. Shame on us as a country. We can and should do better for our citizens. Might I suggest that instead of having screeners yelling out instructions, you create an instructional video using a friendly and familiar voice to inform travelers of what is expected of them during the screeing process. Serioulsy, contract with a well know celebrity voice, or preferably several to mix it up a little bit, and play those videos during the screening process. You could even inject a little light humor. Can you image some well-known voices like Mel Gibson or Julia Roberts giving out these instructions? This would bring the stress level way down and greatly improve communication, which I would think is your ultimate goal. You could produce the video using animation technology -- similar to the safety videos you see on board the airplane. I'm sure the celebrities would be more than happy to do it once you point out to them the huge public service they would be performing. This would be the single biggest improvement in the whole unpleasant process. Thank you for considering my suggestion.
I have a question? Since I work on the water ways. And Am now Required To pay the government a fee to work. referring to the Transportation workers Identification Card(TWIC). Which allows me to enter and roam freely unescorted in chemicial plants. That my boat goes to. And am
already the holder of a Merchant Mariner's Document. And have had more
Back ground checks conducted on myself than any one of the TSO's ever think about getting. And am entrusted by the United States Coast Guard. to handle any kind or chemical that you can think of. to load and unload at our river and sea ports. I already work on a bomb. Load 28,000 barrels at 42 gallons a barrel.And have 3 or 4 of these at the dock at the same time. and this is what I'm entrusted with. Will this card help me at any airport that I go to? I think the answer is no! But according to the TSA it will make things easier for all of us.
It seems as though the screeners are so concerned with liquids, aerosoles, medications, food, eta. that they forget the obvious threats. I made a trip from Seattle to Houston and forgot that I had taken my pocket knife out of my pocket and stuck in my carry-on while on the bus to the airport, intending to put it in my checked bag, and forgot about it. The TSA screener was so focussed on the bag of the person behind my that had aerosole sunscreen in it that they let me through security with the knife (only a 2" blade) and onto the plane. It wasn't until I disembarked the plane that I remembered the knife and shared the info with the people I was travelling with. That may not be a "real" threat, but it shows how gels and liquids are driving the screening process causing screeners overlook obvious threats. What's next? A post of somebody getting a big knife on? or a GUN?
Go back and look at the history of airline hijackings......last time I checked nobody took over a plane with peanut butter......
The comments regarding the limits on medical items at the checkpoint stations encouraged me to post my experience regarding medical devices. TSA really needs to educate their screeners on common medical devices. I have asthma carry an inhaler with me at all times. I have a severe allergy to dogs. Dogs can trigger a severe asthma attack for me and having had a bad experience on one flight where I became ill because another passenger brought a dog on board the plane, I am careful to make sure that I always have an inhaler with me when I board a plane. Anyway, in two different airports I have had my inhaler nearly confiscated because the screeners did not know what it was. Since I will not get on board a plane without the inhaler after my previous experience I was forced to spend nearly 30 minutes with different TSA employees explaining my problem until I found an employee who knew what the inhaler was. The problem was that there was no "prescription sticker" on the device (the pharmacy puts it on the box - so carry the box with you if you are in this situation). This is a very common medical device - I couldn't believe that so many people didn't understand what it was. I went through this not once, but twice at two different airports nearly missing my flights both times.
Making 95 yr-old obviously frail women remove their shoes is just plain stupid, and shows an alarming lack of common sense. And then, to pull them aside for individual screening (at least it was by a female) with a wand, again, shows an alarming lack of common sense. The time and money would be better spent by, yes, PROFILING, and doing more frequent in-depth checking of carry-on luggage than checking little old ladies who have approximately ZERO chance of having been radicalized to the degree that they might be in any way dangerous.
TSA is a joke. They check the sick, disabled and children while missing the actual people of importance. They make my severely diabled Aunt move around in her wheelchair and remove her shoes. They let a young mother with a baby struggle with no assistance.
We have to worry about how and what to eat while flying, what we are going to feed our children, if we'll be allowed enough, did we go over the limit and will it be confiscated?
As far as I am concerned the terrorists don't have to do anything further, they've already won the war on terror.
Greetings, dear TSA folks,
I've got a question. I've flown off and on my whole life, and never had any troubles with security. 9/11 did not change this. However, moving to Lubbock, TX changed everything.
Since moving here, I have been frisked every single time I have flown. At one point I was told to undo my belt, and the top button of my jeans, and the zipper of my jeans, and then also to hold out the front of said jeans. It was as though the security officer thought I was concealing a bomb in my panties. She also ran her hands much more closely along my chest than other officers have done in the past, and my bra was sans underwire. The previous passenger got through without a problem, wearing a heavily studded belt that wasn't even unbuckled.
This happens to me regardless of the airport in question. I've had my bags emptied, swabbed, and left scattered on a table to me to reassemble because of a suspicious notebook. I'm not sure what's so suspicious about a notebook, to be honest. The clipboard I can understand, because the metal clip part could look odd in the x-ray. But a 3-ring binder?
I'm just wondering why from 2004 on, I get patted down (skirts), unzippered (jeans and trousers), unpacked, etc. at every security checkpoint I encounter. I can think of nothing I've done differently since 2004. It's just the address.
And the address is still a TX address, so I'm still dealing with the same TX airports. I just added the Lubbock one. But the Lubbock one isn't the only airport I use, and the others started this bizarre behavior all at the same time.
I'm short, female, young. I'm a graduate student, usually travelling with textbooks and pen/paper combos. I know terrorists don't have a "look" per say, but I'm not sure what it is that's setting this off.
Anyway, that's the question. Why am I always (seriously every single time... I keep track in a journal because it amuses me on some level) pulled aside, wanded, patted down, unzippered, unpacked, etc. these days, when before 2004 I was not?
Thanks a bunch,
I recently returned from my vacation. I had various transits on my way to NY. My baggage was tagged all the way to NY, so the other airports would not check my luggage. When I retrieved my suitcase, someone had broken the zipper portion where you insert a lock, in order to break it open. Just to make sure my luggage is not damanged, I had used TSA approved locks that we get at Walgreens. I was under the impression that TSA agents have a master key, and would use them to open the lock. But my brand new suitcase was damaged. When I talked to the airport official, they explained their policy that is " damaged zippers are not compensated", besides that any other damage is considered. Now those luggage is of no use. If I had known they would break the lock either way, I would not have gone to the trouble of getting TSA approved locks. I have enough of the regular locs.
I want to suggest that the reason we have limited problems with hijackers/terrorists is because we as a people have installed security. 9/11 gave us two choices, tighten security or continue to be victims. I am glad that we chose to tighten security. I fly frequently and have a knee replacement that requires a hand check each time I enter the secure area. One day alone, I went through the process four times. Is it annoying? Sometimes. Is it inconvenient? Sometimes. Is it necessary? Absolutely. The TSA screeners I have experienced have been very polite and helpful. I have not met many that were rude or indifferent. I think the key is to not give them an attitude while they are trying to do their job. It is human nature to be cautious with someone who is obviously upset or angry, so when I smile and tell them a little joke, it allows them to relax and interact with someone who is not mad at them. It has always made my experiences with TSA a positive thing. In closing, I would pay for a chip or documentation that would let me go through the process without the constant hand searches. Until something like that is implemented, I will continue to smile and tell jokes to make the process more human for the TSA workers and myself.
I don't know if this issue is from TSA or just from all of the airlines I've ever flown on. Whenever I fly I'm always asked if I packed my own bag, if it has been out of my care since being packed, if someone else put something in my bag, if someone else put something in my bag without my knowledge, etc. Now wait a second, if it was without my knowledge, how would I know? Any time I've asked "if it was done without my knowledge, how would I know to be able to tell you?" the agent gives me a suspicious look and wants to go through my stuff. They don't see the problem with asking that question. I've learned to just grin and say "Nope, nobody has done anything to that bag without my knowledge" and move on.
If that is a TSA question, can you please stop asking such a dumb question? If something is done without my knowledge, I can't exactly tell the questioner because, wait for it... it was done without my knowledge.
Each time a new threat possibility hits the TSA radar, we change the travel rules, this causes a new set of delays that hamper both the TSA and the traveler- as a frequent traveler, I say the simple solution is NO carry on bags, you get to carry what will go under your seat- all other bags are checked- this will cause the vast majority of people to wait at baggage claim, but the increase in speed through the security checkpoints and the ability to actually board an airplane in a orderly manner (and take off on time) will eat up the additional time at baggage claim and then some.If you cannot travel without carring your luggage on the plane,pehaps you should be using your trunk- its the wide open space located in the rear of your car- added bonus... you make your own rules when using your own car- but if your flying you follow the TSA's!!!!!!!
A few gripes-
First, on traveling with children- I have two kids under 3. It is very difficult to travel with them. I don't believe it is necessary for me to take off their shoes and coats and fold up their strollers, however if you must subject me to this, then don't yell at me to move forward and expect that i will do anything less than clog the security line. That's right- it is very hard to juggle two kids, two umbrella strollers, 3 pairs of shoes, my purse, their toys and coats. Parents in my position should receive immediate and helpful assistance. The only people who seem sympathetic are elderly people who stop to help me even though they are struggling themselves!
Secondly, the food restrictions for children (and really all people) are ridiculous. There is nothing at an airport for me to feed my kids. I already paid for the overpriced airline tickets and i can not afford to buy junk food for extreme prices. Put a foodstore with reasonable prices in an airport if you think you can take away my home packed snacks. I'd love to hear how wrapped organic baby crackers can be a terrorist tool. And while I understand the need for rules and comformity I think its sad that the security screeners don't use common sense- an old person who cannot walk and a mom with two kids who have food are a little different than a guy wearing sheets with two suspicuous shopping bags full of food.
And that brings me to my last gripe. I once got wanded 4 times on a trip from Indianapolis to New York while a man who looked like Bin Laden's twin brother carried on two brown paper bags. No one even opened them to take a look at what was inside. He sailed through the check point and then he ended up being seated next to me on the flight. When he was given his sandwich he started sniffing it and cursing before offering it to me. Then he began eating cherries from his shopping bag and spitting the pits about the cabin. True story.
It is NO secret what the terrorist demographic is. I'm sorry but it is not a 25 yr old white woman with 2 small kids, or even a 25 year old black or asian woman with two kids. We KNOW who the typical terrorists are and smart people know who is acting suspicious. It's not that difficult.
We are NEVER going to catch the terrorists if we do not use the information we have- we know it is typically Middle Eastern men from 18 to 65. These are the people we should focus on. Sure there may be exceptions but it is unlikely that an old white guy in a wheelchair traveling with his 3 yr old granddaughter is a terrorist. Let's get smart here! This political correctness is ridiculous. If I were in the demographic that most of the terrorists were in(my brother in law is and he agrees), knowing that and knowing that I am not one, I'd gladly submit to screening because I'd have nothing to hide. Meanwhile, other people would not have to get harrassed. I'm sorry if it singles out a certain demographic, but it is stupid to ignore the facts just to pretend to not offend anyone.
If you were looking for the person that killed your loved one and the cop asked you to ID the suspect I doubt you'd refrain from telling them it was a 30 yr old short white bald guy to not offend anyone because saying it could be anyone will not point the cop in the direction of the guilty party.
I have no problem with having my carry on toiletry items limited. I have no problm with having to remove my shoes prior to going through security. I understand that these procedures are in place to protect me and my family. What I DO have a problem with is the rudeness and poor attitudes of many of the TSA personnel. Yes, dealing with the public can be a real trying experience, especially when doing this day in and day out. However, this is your JOB! If you can't stand it, get out. Realize that the forced procedures the public is having shoved down their throats to protect their own security is an inconvenience and annoying as well. A smile and an understanding word can go a long way towards making the whole demeaning process more bearable. I get riled up myself when having to pass through security with a TSA employee who clearly shoves their authority down your throat with a holier than thou attitude. Raleigh/Durham in NC is a prime example. Train your personnel in customer service as well. You might be surprised how much it might help!
The TSA agents at SW Florida International (Fort Myers) have a serious problem with people who are not easily racially identifiable. Personally, I know of four different incidents where racially mixed people were taunted, harrassed and unnecessarily searched by TSA agents. The last time it occurred, I happened to glance back and saw the two main perpetrators "high-fiving" each other and howling with laughter. I get nowhere with TSA; they don't even acknowledge that I complain. My stomach starts to churn whenever I approach these surly, unpleasant, obviously bored and not too bright "defenders of our liberty." At the very least, they need to understand that the flying public, not George Bush or some other Federal Bogeyman, is the reason they even have a job. My suggestion: Start a no-muss, no-fuss, no X-ray, bypass TSA, present ID, pay cash, walk-on airline and call it "Take Your Chances." I'd fly that any day.
My brother is a soldier with the United States Army. He was recently home on leave and when we took him to the Lincoln, NE Airport so he could return to his unit, my family and friends witnessed disrespect towards him by the TSA bag screening crew. He of course was checking a military duffel, and his flight was due to leave before the other flight being screened by that particular group of TSA employees. My brother's duffel was continuously ignored at other customer's put their luggage in line to be screened. The most outrageous sign of disrespect was the point at which one screener picked up his duffel and put it behind a bunch of other luggage, even though his had been waiting to be checked first. What was even more upsetting was the fact that the screeners did not show any signs of caring when we asked them to please check his duffel. It was already a stressful day for our family, and sadly the TSA employees just added to that stress. I would, however, greatly like to thank the woman that did finally check his bag. She was our family's hero that day!
I travel weekly and I have to say the the TSA staff at Sky Harbor International Airport (Phoenix, Arizona) has the rudest personnel staff. They seem to have different rules from every other airport. Someone really needs to check into how they are handling the customers and why they are making up their own rules.
On December 31, 2007, I flew from Orlando airport. I had spent 5 days at Disney World and had bought a bottle of wine. I had the bottle wrapped and boxed and sealed before I left the shop. I wrapped the box with clothes, put it inside a bag, and secured it in the middle of my checked luggage. When I returned home and opened my luggage, it was obvious that the box was opened and the bottle examined. However, it was not replaced in the middle of my luggage and it is a miracle that it did not break in transit. Are we so parinoid that we mistrust Mickey Mouse?
The TSA needs to be privatized. Or dissolved completely, leaving transportation security to private companies like it used to be.
After reading in our local newspaper that TSA welcomes our gripes,here goes.
A few months ago, passing through security at Sea-Tac Airport, the line was approximately 200 people long and moving very slowly.
As we got closer, we could see eight checkpoints, but only two were in service. No wonder the line moved so slowly. As we got to about 50 people from the checkpoint, one of the TSA officers let a group of TSA officals through directly to the checkpoint without any waiting in line. I was so chagrined, I wnated to yell out; but realized it would have been counterproductive and would have probably ended up with my expulsion of arrest. Several other in-line people were also very unhappy. Maybe if the TSA officals had to stand in line the 45 minutes we did, all eight stations would have been in operation.
I think this is a fantastic initiative
I am an Indian married to an american.When I go thro security,I am almost always checked...its not a problem as you have to do your job but can you get your employees to treat us better,they greet my husband very warmly and dont respond to me,they treat me like I am a suitcase,in a very inconsiderate manner.Can they be trained to treat people like human beings ?
I too frequently travel across the country and have found inconsistencies in the screening policies.
I don't like taking my shoes off, I hate being hand searched and I am livid when they take items away from me, but the thing that gets me the most, having to leave my personal items on the belt, while I'm hand screened.
TSA there has got to be another way- You ask us to empty our pockets into the trays and then ask us to leave it unattended while you hand screen us! We should be able to pick up our personal belongings.
I've asked this question many times, but have never received an answer: Why do TSA staff shout at passengers? What specific contribution to our security does yelling provide? I am shouted at in most of the airports I travel through; the exceptions are outside the US, where I have never been yelled at by security personnel. I daresay security is a lot better in Paris DeGaulle and Tel Aviv than anywhere in the US, and the security staff there are always calm, professional and courteous. When I arrived at PHL recently with a planeload of foreign visitors, I was appalled at the way we were treated. It is actually scary for people who don't understand English perfectly to be loudly harangued by someone in a uniform. It's not necessary, and would simply request that you stop it.
I travel about every two or three months and I am always amazed at this "inspection" process. It is a charade that is supposed to make us feel safer and that we have the upper hand over the terrorists. I have metal in my back, shoulder replacement and two knee replacement. I've learned to wear slip on shoes with no socks and tank tops. I am wanded and patted beyond good sense. I have bare arms and feet and they still wand me and pat me down. My arms were totally visible and the TSA lady told me to remove my watch! I guess she was afraid I had a hidden explosive device. These are regular folks that have been given a bit of power and they mean to exercise it as often as possible. As for checking the ID, they give my driver's license a cursory glance but practically strip search me! Are we safer? No way! We are more inconvenienced and this is the Bush Administrations way of distracting us from the real issues. Just as the war in Iraq was a war on terror which now has exploded into a civil war, while Afganistan's Taliban are actually growing in strength our country's infrastructure is falling apart because we are spending millions and millions on "Homeland Security" to strip search old disabled people. How silly of us to believe for one minute that just because some guy with a wand is searching the flying public that we are safe. I am sure that a terorist is going to be stupid enough to pack his explosive device in his carry on luggage whether it be in toothpaste, face cream or baby formula! Historically no airline terrorist has ever used an explosive device. They made the airplane the weapon! I bwet they didn't even have carry on and what need did they have for luggage? So I go back to my original thought and I will declare it out loud:
It is a sham and a charade and the Emperor is naked!
I realize that TSA personnel screening and eximining bags see hundreds of people a day. But there was no excuse for the arrogant, snotty, behavior of TSA personnel at JFK on March 8, 2008. As a US citizen I did not appreciate the treatment I received from an TSA individual who was obviously enamored by her position of "authority". Other countries do not have these problems why should we have them or allow them here?
On a recent trip, I had my ID and boarding pass out, showed them to the agent, and asked if I would need them again when I got to the next phase of screening - all of 15 feet away, and was told no. I placed everything into trays, removed my shoes and prepared to walk through the metal detector. Just as I was entering it, another agent demanded my boarding pass which I had returned to a pocket in my bag along with my ID. I told the agent I had replaced it in my bag as I was told it would not be needed at this stage of the screening. WRONG. They demanded to know where it was and I tried to tell them, but it's sort of difficult to communicate when you're referring to a part of your bag as one thing and it's being interpreted in another way by the person doing the actual looking. Finally, the bag was thrust at me, and I was told to get the boarding pass out and go back through the x-ray and metal detector. It took me all of a second to locate the boarding pass but by then there was a line and going back through took longer. All the time I'm standing around in my stocking feet, my belongings have already gone through the x-ray and other people have gone through ahead of me. No one apologized for the misunderstanding, my belongings were just sitting at the end of the x-ray ramp underneath the belongings of others and I'm grappling to gather my things and get my slip-on shoes back on without losing my balance. All the time I'm thinking and the point of this is?? Why one agent tells a CUSTOMER (and that is what we are) one thing and 15 feet away we're told something completely different and NONE of them even bothers to listen is beyond me. How is this supposed to make people feel safer?? If common sense can't be expected, how on earth are we supposed to expect the kind of sense it takes to stop someone from committing a crime??