USA Flag

Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

Inconsistencies, Part 1 (Commenting Disabled)

Archived Content

Please note that older content is archived for public record. This page may contain information that is outdated and may not reflect current policy or programs.

If you have questions about policies or procedures, please contact the TSA Contact Center.

Members of the news media may contact TSA Public Affairs.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Did you have to take your shoes off in Ohio but not Colorado? Post all of your thoughts about inconsistencies on this blog post.

In response to an cmac's frustration with those who seem ungrateful for the job TSOs do each day...

Don't take negative comments left by a few to heart. People have the right to voice their opinion even when some of those people don't do it with the same courtesy and respect they expect from you. Without question a lot of our brothers and sisters feel the very same way you do sometimes. This blog is intended to bridge the gap with people who have legitimate issues with the TSA, but let's put the negative into proper context. Consider there are at most a few hundred complaints on this site. Of those complaints there are without a doubt many posts by the same author. Now consider there are some 35, 000 domestic flights per day in the U.S. with millions of passengers using our transportation system, all of which have experienced the professionalism and security provided each day by our Officers (and don't forget this site is accessible worldwide as we've seen people from different countries leaving posts). So if this were an election one might consider those numbers to be a landslide victory.

There's no doubt some people have had a bad experience with the TSA. Our job is to fix what's broken, but hey let's face it - security is a tough business. There's an old saying, "Security is a great thing... until it applies to me". Sure some complaints are valid and we need to improve in many areas, but when you look at the posts there are an awful lot of complaints because people brought a prohibited item into the checkpoint which was identified, and when TSA identified the item they claimed the rules were stupid or ineffective. Those stupid rules weren't that ineffective obviously.

Keep doing the job you do, take constructive criticism constructively, and if it doesn't apply to you or your team – take it with a grain of salt. Your commitment and professionalism are appreciated and never go unnoticed.

Jay


lancifer, said

Q: For everyone telling the rest of us how we've not had another terrorist attack simply because of beefed up security, I ask you this: Prior to September 11, 2001, when was the previous terrorist attack against the US? Where was it? What happened? Now, when was the attack prior to that?" When was the last terror attack against the U.S.?"

A: Have you been living under a rock? The answer to that question is simple, available, and lengthy .

Q: "We've seen evidence of potential plots for attacks. The fact is, terrorist attacks in the US are rare and isolated incidents."

A: Thankfully yes terror attacks on U.S. soil are rare events. But when you consider these facts: the last terror attack cost 3000+ innocent lives in a matter of minutes, it has heavily impacted our foreign policy, it has placed military service personnel in harms way costing more lives, and in short order has cost our economy in lost capital and venture to the tune of more than one TRILLION dollars - the investment to protect U.S. interest if even only for the rare or isolated attack is worth the return.


Q: I could get a boat and troll Lake Michigan all day long, catching large fish, and talking about how my vigilance has kept the lake secure from shark attacks. Never mind that the likelihood of a shark attack in Lake Michigan is little to none. Prove that I don't prevent shark attacks in Lake Michigan. That is how I feel about our increased security. We've got the government telling us about how much danger there is around us, but only a handful of people are questioning the validity of their claims. So if you don't mind, I've got to go keep Lake Michigan free of shark attacks.

A: Lake Michigan is a fresh water body; there are no sharks in Lake Michigan.


Your fishing venture on Lake Michigan doesn't change the fact we are still surrounded by sharks.

Jay

Comments

Submitted by Nytso on

To Anonymous regarding misspellings... my point being errors here do not necessarily equate intelligence (or lack thereof). Perhaps if we can stay on point and work together, we can make this blog work as it should instead of insulting eachother through innuendos. I'm a TSO, and I'm a college educated woman. I want to be a part of the solution.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Let's get right to bottom line.

I live in the Phoneix metro area.

We are taking an Alaska cruise out of Seattle this summer.

We will drive to Seattle and back again rather than subject ourselves to the whims of TSA.

Submitted by Bob on

Let's get a REAL complaint up here.

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa - American Samoa's delegate to the U.S. Congress is calling for an investigation into the death of a baby at Honolulu International Airport.

Delegate Eni Faleomavaega has asked the Department of Homeland Security to begin an investigation into death of 14-day-old Michael Tony Futi last Friday.

The baby had been flown to Honolulu for emergency heart surgery. He died while detained inside a customs' room at the Honolulu airport with his mother and a nurse.

A lawyer for the family announced plans to sue the federal government over the baby's death.

Faleomavaega called for the probe in a letter issued to Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff.


An infant flown in for emergency heart surgery died because of being detained. Pilots can rush to get a plane on the ground in an emergency, but the TSA can hold things up until the kid is dead.

This is unacceptable. I hope the TSA will at least do the family the courtesy of settling this matter rather than dragging this through a prolonged legal battle that the family can ill-afford. A family who just buried their infant son.

There is no way that this can garner good-will, but maybe, just MAYBE, if the TSA is willing to step up, they might earn a little respect.

Submitted by Mr Helper on

Bob, If your gripe is that the baby died while being held in the Customs holding room, seems to me you are on the wrong blog. TSA doesn't have interaction with those coming into the country.

Submitted by Anonymous on

One annoying inconsistency that I've noted occurs in the TSA's own backyard--at DCA. I frequently travel with a portable DVD player, and in recent months I've been stopped when a screener at the x-ray machine notices what they think is a laptop in my bag.

They then call for a second person to come look at the image, and then inspect my bag and send the DVD player through the x-ray by itself. Mind you, all of this is holding up the line.

I was hopeful that this problem was solved when I saw Kip's post last week presumably hailing the correction of inconsistencies with the screening of electronics. However, I just flew out of DCA yesterday (Feb 14) and again, this happened to me. When the second TSA screener asked if I had a laptop in my bag I informed him that it was a DVD player, to which he replied, "well, that's like a laptop."

I honestly am fine with removing my DVD player--if it is a TSA policy to do so (i.e., to remove laptops and items that "look like" laptops on x-ray machines). But I also find it odd that this only seems to occur at DCA; I've never been stopped on my return flight. Also, this only started happening within the past 6 months; I've traveled with a portable DVD player for about 2 years, and was never stopped until recently. Kip, what's going on?

Submitted by Marshall on

"Let's get right to bottom line.

I live in the Phoneix metro area.

We are taking an Alaska cruise out of Seattle this summer.

We will drive to Seattle and back again rather than subject ourselves to the whims of TSA.

Good for you! You're accomplishing two things: reducing the airline's revenue (which if enough people would do the TSA as it is today would disappear) and you are reducing the carbon footprint the trip entails.

nytso said:

"I'm a TSO, and I'm a college educated woman. I want to be a part of the solution."

If you want to be part of the solution, find another job. The TSA is just a show and is doing next to nothing to prevent "terrorists" from boarding planes. Oh yes, you are finding lots of fake ID's, toothpaste, and perhaps a weapon or two once in a while, but nothing that would bring down a plane.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Inconsistencies? I am troubled by the tendency of the TSA's in different airports to allow flight crews through screening with liquids (from Starbuck's and Panera) and shoes. I have seen this several times at LGA which I think is one of the most likely airports to be assaulted by some kind of attack.

Submitted by Anonymous on

How about we put an end to the security theater?

First off, boarding passes can be printed at home just as easily as they can be FORGED at home.

Checking for a boarding pass will not stop a terrorist, it won't stop a 5th grader.

Since faking a boarding pass takes under a minute, it is easy enough to create a boarding pass that matches whichever ID you have. Fake IDs are also relatively easy to produce.

Checking IDs against boarding passes will not stop a terrorist, it won't stop a high school freshmen.

After the "liquid explosive" scare it was determined that the plot could not have worked. This wasn't determined by the Government, but by chemists. There is no reason to ban liquids.

A terrorist can get on a place wrapped in explosives, but I can't bring on a Pepsi.

Still, the TSA claims to be worried about people smuggling binary compounds onto a plane, but then dump these same "suspicious liquids" into one big container. If there was a danger? Screeners would have blown themselves up by now.

We're worried about people bringing bombs aboard planes, so we crowd everyone into nice compact bundles so that terrorists could detonate a bomb while AT the checkpoint and kill more people than they could by bringing down a plane.

The TSA even posts rules, and updates what can and cannot be brought on a plane. HOWEVER the TSA agents across the country aren't even kept in the loop. That isn't THEIR fault, it is the fault of the TSA.

The TSA screeners I've met have mostly been nice folks who are ordered to enforce idiotic laws that are more harmful than helpful.

We've set up a system that makes people think that they are safer, when they aren't and have created bottleneck points where people are at even GREATER risk than they were before.

Bravo TSA, you've made us LESS safe under the guise of improving our safety.

And since I'd rather stay OFF the mysterious "No Fly List" I'll keep my identity to myself.

- Ceronomus

Submitted by Nytso on

Marshall - thanks for the attack. That's a mature attitude. I plan on staying with the TSA, improving the issues that need work, and helping to secure the aircraft and flying public. This is a fledgling agency, nobody promised perfection at the outset, and the improvements are numerous. Contrary to your belief, we, the TSA, are doing a helluva job.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Here are my questions about this:
1. Is this normal policy at all airports? (to remove animals that are traveling in passenger cabins from their carriers)
2. Couldn’t the animal stay in the carrier & have the carrier go through the scanning machine or is there a fear that the x-ray would harm the animal?

Yes it's normal for animals to be removed. The animal has to be screened and the bag/carrier has to be screened as well.

The x-rays in the machines used to screen carryon bags are not approved for humans or animals. I'm not peronsally sure if it would be safe, but we don't want to take a chance in harming your animals.

TSA Screener

Submitted by Anonymous on

I honestly am fine with removing my DVD player--if it is a TSA policy to do so (i.e., to remove laptops and items that "look like" laptops on x-ray machines). But I also find it odd that this only seems to occur at DCA; I've never been stopped on my return flight. Also, this only started happening within the past 6 months; I've traveled with a portable DVD player for about 2 years, and was never stopped until recently. Kip, what's going on?

DVD players can be close to laptop sized. Back when the lighters being allowed policy changed another policy changed that didn't get much publicity. Large electronics should be removed from the bags. Dvd players in a bag full of other things are hard to clear through x-ray.

Cell phones, palm pilots, digital cameras and other small electronics should remain in the bag, but larger electronics such as laptops, xbox's, cpap machines, should be removed. The list isn't all inclusive because the number of large electronics carried on by passengers is beyond what we can list.

Just because it's removed or small enough to not need to be removed doesn't necessarily mean it won't be screened more thoroughly by a TSO.

TSA screener

Submitted by Anonymous on

mag lights are Not allowed. flashlights are not a prob but this particular type is considered a club like item.

Submitted by Anonymous on

To Anonymous February 15, 2008 7:01
"Let's get right to bottom line.

I live in the Phoneix metro area.
To anonymous
We are taking an Alaska cruise out of Seattle this summer.

We will drive to Seattle and back again rather than subject ourselves to the whims of TSA."

I am sure TSA won't miss you!!

Submitted by TSA Employee on

For those of you who are on here showing appreciation for the great work we do at the TSA, thank you. This comment is directed, however, toward the individuals who are on this blog who can do nothing better than to complain about everything. Removing shoes, rude officers, minding their liquids. You folks should be ashamed of yourselves.

Those of you who have nothing better to do than to gripe have obviously forgotten the very difficult lessons of 9/11 already. Do you really think that there hasn't been another significant terrorist attack in this country since 9/11 because of a lack of interest or effort on the part of our enemies? Do you think these people woke up one morning and decided not to hate us anymore?

The reason we haven't suffered another tragedy is due to the hard work and dedication of all of our federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. This includes your local police officer or deputy sheriff, the CBP, the FBI, and even the TSA. Thousands of skilled law enforcement officers work day and night, in your view and behind the scenes, in order to prevent further aggression.

In addition, our proud military is waging a proactive offensive in order to keep the war as far away from the homeland as possible. As far away from your back yard as possible. All of these folks working together toward the common goal of protecting YOU are responsible for the absence of terror at home.

Over three thousand people died on that day because radical extremist Islamic terrorists infiltrated our aviation system and used jets, just like the ones you fly in, as weapons of mass destruction. If you think for one second that they would hesitate to do it again if the opportunity presents itself you are foolish. The point is, however, that the task undertaken by those hateful people many years ago is today nearly an impossible feat thanks to the TSA and other law enforcement agencies. The very regulations that you complain about, regardless of whether or not you agree with them or feel they serve a purpose, are what prevent a repeat performance and safeguard your life, and the lives of your loved ones, from terror.

Have some respect for the very many of us who are highly trained, constantly tested, and dedicated to the mission of protecting you from terror. Have some appreciation for the fact that you make it to your destination in one piece and without having been shot, stabbed, incinerated, or blown up in the process. When your plane lands the first thoughts in your mind should be ones of thanks, not of having to suffer the minor inconvenience of removing your shoes, having to leave behind your oversize liquid, or having to undergo random screening as part of our layered protection.

Submitted by Marshall on

"nytso said...
Marshall - thanks for the attack. That's a mature attitude. I plan on staying with the TSA, improving the issues that need work, and helping to secure the aircraft and flying public. This is a fledgling agency, nobody promised perfection at the outset, and the improvements are numerous. Contrary to your belief, we, the TSA, are doing a helluva job."

Yeppers, just like "Brownie" did during Katrina.

Keep telling yourself that, nytso.

Submitted by Anonymous on

A comment for all who think TSA is a waist of time or who complain about going through a process that is here to help keep us all safe. Is it really that much of a inconvience to take your shoes off, or to seperate your liquids or to get a pat down. Let us not for get that the people who lost their lives on 9/11 or family members of those would not or don't complain about going through these procedures. How soon we forget about the people who didn't have a choice that day, they went about their day minding their own business at work when a plane was flown into the side of the building they worked in... why because there are people out there with the mentality that no matter if they are pregnant, 80 years old or whatever the case maybe they will strap explosives to themselves and kill themselves, innocent bystanders and their own unborn children because they believe so strongly in what they are doing. Let us think twice before going off on any of the TSA officers who do not make the rules, they enforce them!!! My belief is I would rather go through 15 minutes of screening than get on a plane that was not screened at all. As my father would say... if you have nothing to hide than you have nothing to worry about.

Submitted by Sandra on

9/11 happened; it was a tragedy. Now it's time to get over it.

5,500 people die per day in this country, some just as horribly as those unlucky folks on that day.

I personally know people who lost loved ones. They have moved on with their lives and most of them in no way support the TSA's procedures as they realize that the "procedures" are purely security theater.

If you believe that you have nothing to worry about if you have nothing to hide, I strongly urge you to read "A Nation of Sheep" by Andrew P. Napolitano and "'I've Got Nothing to Hide' and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy" by Daniel J. Solove.

Submitted by Anonymous on

This is unacceptable. I hope the TSA will at least do the family the courtesy of settling this matter rather than dragging this through a prolonged legal battle that the family can ill-afford. A family who just buried their infant son.

There is no way that this can garner good-will, but maybe, just MAYBE, if the TSA is willing to step up, they might earn a little respect.


ok seriously? tsa is not part of customs. both customs and tsa might be part of the department of homeland security but you cannot blame tsa for a family being detained in customs. im not saying that i dont feel sympathy for this family, but please dont blame one company the problems of another.

Submitted by JD on

Why is it that a 30 year veteran of the United States Marine Corps who served in Korea and Viet Nam feels like a criminal when passing through your checkpoints just because he has a rebuilt knee? There is a serious flaws in your system. American citizens, especially military veterans, should not be treated as suspects. I have felt the same way when singled out for special inspection even though I possess a military ID card. Your policies are wrong and your people are morons. Semper Fidelis from a United States Marine. Ooh-rah!

Submitted by Anonymous on

"American citizens, especially military veterans, should not be treated as suspects."

Ummm, Timothy McVeigh (OK City bombing) was a veteran, as was John Muhammad (Washington, D.C. sniper).

I believe there also was an incident in Iraq in which a disgruntled military man threw a bomb into a tent, killing his superior.

Past or present military service is no guarantee of lack of criminal intent, sadly.

Submitted by Lancifer on
"STOP COMPLAINING! Notice that not one plane has just dropped out of the sky since 911? Before that an average of 4 did a year! If you dont like how we (TSA) does its job, DONT FLY!"

I'd like to see a source for those statistics. As far as I've seen, equipment failure was more likely than hijackings and bombings combined.

Even if what you said were true, you were still more likely to end up injured or dead from equipment failure than hijackings or bombings. With the exception of 1978-1982, hijackings and bombings were rare instances. Bombings were the lowest occurrences, while hijackings were more likely to occur. Also, previous to the September 11 attacks, the odds of surviving a hijacking were quite high. Thus, the passengers were not aware of their imminent danger until it was too late. Up until that time, the procedure was: Person hijacks plane, the plane gets flown to where they want to go, hijacker makes demands to the government, negotiators stall them, passengers get released, and hijackers get dealt with in the appropriate manner.

The truth is that planes haven't been bombed on US soil in a long time, because bombing a plane is not a common tactic of terrorist groups. It happens, but bombings are more likely to occur on the streets than on a plane. It takes more work to bomb a plane. Even before September 11, it took getting past airport security measures and actually buying a plane ticket to bomb a plane. It just takes a nut getting a hold of some explosive materials and big coat to bomb a market.
Submitted by Lancifer on

For everyone telling the rest of us how we've not had another terrorist attack simply because of beefed up security, I ask you this:

Prior to September 11, 2001, when was the previous terrorist attack against the US? Where was it? What happened? Now, when was the attack prior to that?

We've seen evidence of potential plots for attacks. The fact is, terrorist attacks in the US are rare and isolated incidents. I could get a boat and troll Lake Michigan all day long, catching large fish, and talking about how my vigilance has kept the lake secure from shark attacks. Never mind that the likelihood of a shark attack in Lake Michigan is little to none. Prove that I don't prevent shark attacks in Lake Michigan. That is how I feel about our increased security. We've got the government telling us about how much danger there is around us, but only a handful of people are questioning the validity of their claims. So if you don't mind, I've got to go keep Lake Michigan free of shark attacks.

Submitted by Anonymous on

This entire blog seems to be an inconsistency. The blog authors are blithely ignoring the fundamental failures of the TSA and, instead, write Lewis Carrol-like Alice-in-Wonderland puff pieces.

I'm boggled.

I recommend that everyone who has a beef with the TSA to write to your congressmen about it. It should now be obvious that this blog is just a publicity piece, not an honest request for feedback.

If enough people make their voices heard in congress -then- the TSA will change.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I would have to agree with Michael Borgstrom's comment on the TWIC Card. This card should be acceptable as a form of ID at Airports. TSA estimates that 1.5 million people have to get this card by Sept.08. Why is TSA not accepting a form of ID that it issued?

I think we need a Section in this Blog to just adress TWIC Issues. With the trouble I had to go through to get my card, I am sure others would like to comment on the process to make it better for the 1.2 million who still have to get thier card by this fall.

Submitted by Aninterestingman on

So - where are the answers and replies to comments?

Here is the LAW - not TSA procedure - not TSO wishful thinking - but the LAW.

The airlines put the names into CAPPS or CAPPSII or whatever the system is called and the system checks the names against the DNF list.

The airline CONTRACT requires that you present identification - NOT TSA.

You do NOT need identification at ANY TSA checkpoint.

There is NO legal requirement, no law, no regulation, which requires or even ALLOWS TSA to request identification from travelers.

So, all you TSO's out there who reply here - show me some evidence that you have the legal authority to request identification prior to accessing a checkpoint? You do NOT have that authority.

Absent that legal authority, we do not have to present identification of ANY kind to access the checkpoint.

If I refuse, fail or simply stand on my right to no show id, what is the LEGAL basis to demand SSSS? There is none. None.

There is NOT legal or regulatory requirement that a passenger present ID, nor is there any legal or regulatory requirement which states that not presenting ID is a sufficient basis to mandate SSSS.

So, all you TSO's out there - are you violating the law every time you require ID from a passenger?

You certainly are if you refuse access to a checkpoint for various kinds of ID other than a 'government issued photo identfication card.'

YOU are responsible to SERVE the Citizens of the United States.

YOU have a responsibility to do the right thing and comply with the law - not with what you are told.

YOU need to education yourselves on the law - instead of blindly claiming 'it is policy' or it is the 'rules,' because YOU are exercising the only ability of government to search Americans without any suspicion of a crime being committed.


YOU need to stop giving people the SS defense of 'we were just following orders' and exercise common sense and what you know the law is. Or is that $10 an hour job worth that much to you that you allow yourself to violate the law every single day and do nothing about it?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I am TSA says: "I respect the individual needs of each traveler, carrying out my duties with dignity, courtesy and integrity."

Yea, right.

That's why women get patted down with the palm of the hand and not the back side.

That's why TSA views every passenger as a criminal having to prove their innocence.

That's why TSA employees are ranked right down there with IRS employees of those the public does not trust.

I'd never want a job where I have to view everyone as a criminal.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I think that the people complaining about TSA should be happy that they are still alive to complain, find something better to do with their time besides complaining. Ride the bus, ride the train, or drive your car to your destination if you don't want to fly, and simply stop all the whining. Go to the TSA website (www.tsa.gov) for information on the screening process and/or call TSA Customer Service if you have questions.

Submitted by Anonymous on

What does a person look like that would hurt me? Look at all the shooting in public places. Timothy McVeigh was a white male, Military.
Be thankful tsa does not check you like air israel. There needs to be more checks no carry ons.

Submitted by TSA Employee on

---------------------

Lancifer said...

For everyone telling the rest of us how we've not had another terrorist attack simply because of beefed up security, I ask you this:

Prior to September 11, 2001, when was the previous terrorist attack against the US? Where was it? What happened? Now, when was the attack prior to that?

We've seen evidence of potential plots for attacks. The fact is, terrorist attacks in the US are rare and isolated incidents. I could get a boat and troll Lake Michigan all day long, catching large fish, and talking about how my vigilance has kept the lake secure from shark attacks. Never mind that the likelihood of a shark attack in Lake Michigan is little to none. Prove that I don't prevent shark attacks in Lake Michigan. That is how I feel about our increased security. We've got the government telling us about how much danger there is around us, but only a handful of people are questioning the validity of their claims. So if you don't mind, I've got to go keep Lake Michigan free of shark attacks.

---------------------

Lancifer,
First and foremost, the terrorist attacks are now taking place entirely overseas, because the opportunity for them to occur here is now nearly infinitesimal. Also, our brave troops are keeping the violence away from the homeland for us. If you need incidents of terrorism or a body count to justify what we're doing here at homeland security then take a look at how many of our soldiers have been wounded and killed during combat in the war on terror. These brave men and women are taking the hits from terrorism that, in their absence, would be directed at you and I here at home. Be thankful. Stop complaining.
A short reverse chronological history of terrorist attacks against the US:

September 11th 2001 - WTC Attack

October 2000 - Attack against USS Cole. 17 killed.

August 1998 - Simultaneous bombings of US Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Tanzania. 263 killed, 5000 injured.

June 1998 - Attack against the US Embassy in Lebanon

November 1997 - Five American oil company employees murdered in Pakistan as retribution for conviction of a pakistani terrorist who killed two CIA agents.

July 1996 - Bomb at Atlanta Georgia olympic games. 2 killed, 110 injured.

February 1996 - Attack against US Embassy in Athens.

November 1995 - Bomb attack against US military headquarters in Saudi Arabia. 7 killed.

This list only goes back through the 1990's. The complete list goes on and on and on all the way back to the 70's and prior. Terrorism has been around for a very long time and is not going to go away anytime soon. These people have hated all those who don't believe as they do since the beginning of time. They believe that killing infidels is the path to heaven. This belief will not change which is why you need to support your government in protecting you from those who would love to harm you for no reason at all.

Submitted by Jon on

Hi TSA,

I flew from Baltimore airport to Cleveland this past weekend, and I had a really strange experience. I work at a think tank in DC, where I do Homeland Security research, so I never have any quibbles with the rules (our program actually suggested some of them before they were adopted).

Anyway, as I was coming through the security checkpoint, I placed my bag and jacket on the conveyor, then walked up to the metal detector. I had forgotten to take my belt off, and I set the detector off. Whoops. I stepped back, put my belt on the conveyor, and stepped through again, with no problems. I thought something seemed odd, but I didn't realize it until I was collecting my bags.

I hadn't taken my shoes off.

And as I looked around, neither had the man in front of me or the two people behind me. From what I could tell, no one who came through my line had taken their shoes off, and the screeners never said a word. Granted, it was right at the station change (they were rotating the person on the x-ray machine), but it seemed really strange that this happened not just to me, but to a bunch of people.

Anyway, an inconsistency.

Keep up the great work, you all do a tiring, (nearly) thankless job, but some of us really do appreciate it. Thanks to everyone at TSA.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Terrorist: a radical who employs terror as a political weapon; usually organizes with other terrorists in small cells; often uses religion as a cover for terrorist activities.

From reading this board, it is rather clear that the TSA are terrorists. They have inspired terror in the populace in order to justify their own existence. They have become the bogeyman they claim to defend us against and we thank them for it. They treat us like criminals and we thank them for it. We are too afraid of having our mobility curtailed to complain, and we thank them for it. They have no hesitation at comment acts of thievery, sexual assault, and harassment and we thank them for it.

The TSA is terrific, they inspire terror.

Submitted by Anonymous on

What is not generally discussed here is the fact that the 3000 or so airports that the TSA doesn't protect have had the same number of post 9/11 attacks... zero. Looks like we are safe with or without them... It is nice to get on a plane without being treated like a suspect. Maybe the TSA could learn a lesson from General Aviation on how security should be handled.

Submitted by Lancifer on

I see my comment on duty free liquids was deleted, and the website now explains it more clearly. Thank you. I don't intend to travel internationally soon, but will some day. Hopefully, our ridiculous 3-1-1 rule will be done away with by then. After all, I have yet to see any soft drinks, bottled waters, or beverages of any kind be sold in doubleshot portions. Maybe the higher ups can wake up and look at things realistically.

Submitted by Anonymous on

i believe TSA regulates General Aviation...they may not screen every flight but they are responsible for GA.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I am amazed at the ignorance and repugnance that majority of these flyers (bloggers)have for TSA. My question is, did you feel the same right after 911 when the threat for terroist activity was high? If there have been changes to certain procedures since 911, it's because we have to try and predict what the bad guys next move will be and adjust. There are important reasons for what we do and why we do it. But the cosmopolitan flyer does not accept it because it's easier to ridicule, blame, and defame than to accept the fact that we the TSOs have chosen this job to protect you and your family while flying. So, please remember that we work to protect you. We are also humans and have feelings. Keep in mind that when you post you've opened yourself up to the public and it shows how much of a person you are. Please offer constructive criticism as it will help us do our work better. You talk about us not having customer service well, give respect and you shall receive respect. Also on a last note TSOs everywhere please, please, please give customer service to the cosmopolitan flyer. That's part of our job. Also bloggers please identify the airports in which you are having a terrible time with, because when you complain generally, it affects all other faithful workers and airports that are definitely doing their jobs.

Submitted by Rdwaryer on

I am a professional photographer. Three years ago, traveling from Detroit to Washington, the TSA refused to hand inspect my film, even though a) the web site clearly says that I can request hand inspections, and b) the web site clearly says that professional film and sheet film should not be scanned. All of my film was ruined ... yet the TSA refused my request to have the film's cost refunded to me.

Like most people, I have the option of NOT flying. Flying in many cases is more convenient, but I can't afford to lose hundreds of dollars every time I fly because the TSA gate agents don't know their jobs and their management backs them up.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said;

TSA senior staff wants each officer to have more opportunities to make judgment calls, lead officers and supervisors have been making judgment calls since 2002.

With these increased opportunities, some passengers will complain that each airport has inconsistencies, they would be correct. Each time a perceived prohibited item is found there is a chance that one officer will let it go and another will not.

With everyone having different experiences with computers, not all folks traveling will know about the TSA website or the link from their air carrier to the TSA, or their airport’s link to TSA.

These are in place to help educate the public, to enhance the knowledge of each traveler allowing them to be better prepared to comply with all the ever changing policies.
A nation wide change in policy might take several days to take effect, causing more inconsistencies.

If you will be traveling by air in the USA, educate yourself before you reach the airport to effectively process thru security, read the signs posted, and follow the directions given by the TSA and airport staffs.

Lastly, enjoy your safe flying opportunity, or take Greyhound.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Jay, I don't expect this to be posted, but I hope you read it. It looks like you are becoming a bit testy from all the criticism.

It is pretty obvious from reading the comments that the complaints are coming from different people.

Try to step back and take a look at the big picture.

Remove all the "anything for the children" posts and the knee-jerk anti-TSA comments, and you will begin to see how the TSA is failing to meet its goals and, indeed, cannot meet its goals given the current management.

I write to my legislators regularly advocating that sweeping changes be made to the TSA. I suggest that everyone reading this blog do the same.

Administrator Hawley seems out of ideas. You need new leadership who can reconcile actual security needs with the reality of air travel.

On a separate point, I suggest that you implement some way of verifying that people who claim to be TSA actually are TSA. Some of the comments made by those claiming to be TSA reflect very poorly upon your agency.

Submitted by Jay on

Anonymous...

Thank you for taking the time to provide your thoughts. Your post was received and noted...

If I come across as testy please accept my apologies. Our officers (our team) are like family. And like family I will defend my team. My team of airports reflects but only a portion of the agency so I don't comment on areas of this Blog that don't pertain to my team (which explains why I don't have a lot of posts on this Blog). I can say I've had enough exposure to other operations to know all of our people take a great deal of pride in what they do.

On leadership...

I'm not here to defend one person, nor am I inclined to debate on behalf of the agency at large. I can offer what holds true and new ideas to improve the agency do receive a fair hearing by leadership components when possible, and in some cases the ideas generated by our workforce have not only been heard but implemented. Not in all cases, and perhaps not near as often as we'd like them to be but we are heard and that's more than most people can expect from an employer.

As a point of discussion allow me to comment on a tool used internally to TSA to promote new ideas called the Idea Factory. The Idea Factory has its issues and the similarities between this Blog and the Idea Factory are uncanny. The Idea Factory has its share of complaints as the officers who post want to see action from their post. There are also complaints about functionality as officers want more features built in. While most want their idea acted upon it doesn't always happen and there isn't in most cases a feedback post on it...bear in mind there are a lot of posts on the Idea Factory and a lack of feedback can be frustrating. Uncanny similarities between the two.

Considering all the problems associated with the Idea Factory there are indisputable facts about each. Like this Blog there is no two-way communication tool anywhere in TSA being more heavily utilized right now than the Idea Factory. The Idea Factory's value to the agency is further emphasized because of the complaints on user features and functionality. In other words, if people weren't complaining on the Idea Factory that would be cause for concern. And TSA's leadership regularly reviews each site so each is one more way we can get (all) ideas for improvement some much needed visibility. Do these tools exist in other government agencies? Maybe; but I'm not aware of it nor do I know how they are being used.

The Idea Factory (like this Blog) is a tool. It isn't perfect, it seems slow and there doesn't seem to be enough feedback. With all these faults each is better than the alternative. Like all people I credit any leadership which listens to and values the voice of its employees or customers.

Submitted by Lynn on

In response to Anonymous:

"You need new leadership who can reconcile actual security needs with the reality of air travel."

Balancing security and ease of travel is something we think about every day. Part of the reason we launched this blog is to share the ideas we have to improve the checkpoint process and get ideas and feedback from people who post comments. As Jay said, we seek ideas from our workforce through the the IdeaFactory, and now we have this blog so you can suggest ideas as well.

Another way we get ideas on how to improve is having members of TSA's leadership also go out and work at a checkpoint for a day to see how the process works and get input from our workforce on ways we can improve. We also have an employee council that comes to HQ four times a year to discuss workplace and security improvements.

There's a post up in the main section of the blog now that talks about a pilot program we're trying out to let people choose the security lane that works for them - either families or people with special needs, casual travelers, or expert travelers. We know some people need extra time to go through security while others know the drill and breeze right through. So far, we're getting positive feedback, and we're looking at this to see if and how it can be implemented elsewhere.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I first submitted this post on February 2, 2008 but since I am unable to locate it anywhere on this site I will try posting it again.

In August I travelled from Logan Airport in Boston through Miami to Lima, Peru. I arrived at Logan Airport at 9am for a 12:30 pm flight. The conveyor belt was not working that day and everything was being done by hand. I didn’t get to the check in counter until 12 noon.

As I approached the Security area I heard my name being called to report to the gate. I have had a hip replacement and therefore set off the alarm. I was told to step over to a certain area to be further checked. All of my belongings (including a laptop, my purse with all of my money and passport etc.) had been scanned and were lying on the counter up for grabs. I asked if I could first gather my belongings. In a gruff unfriendly manner I was told, “STEP OVER THERE.” I mentioned that my name had been announced and asked if they could alert the gate that I was in security. Again in a gruff and unfriendly tone I was told, “WE’RE SECURITY, WE HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE GATE.”

By contrast on the return trip in Miami I once again set off the alarm. This time I was politely asked by the security person where my belongings were. On this occasion I had a companion with me and told her that they were being watched. I then thanked her for her concern. She said, “It’s only natural that you would be concerned about your belongings, if you were travelling alone we would have somebody watch them for you.”

Submitted by Anonymous on

I just flew to New York from Amsterdam. You can tell the folks in Europe take security seriously. They put me in this high tech body scanner that looked like a piece of medical equipment, instead of a regular metal detector. The whole process was respectful and dignified, and not intrusive in any way. TSA could learn alot from the Dutch. I know the idea of these body scanners is controversial in the U.S., but in the end I believe they will be accepted as the next logical step in effective screening.

Submitted by Neil on

Because of the large number of comments to this post (500+) we are disabling additional commenting. Please use the other topics to point out relavant inconsistencies.

In the future we will limit posts to approximately 250 comments before we cut-off additional comments. This will allow for faster blog performance.

Thx!
Neil
TSA Blog Team

Pages