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.
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.
Inconsistencies, Part 1 (Commenting Disabled)
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Did you have to take your shoes off in Ohio but not Colorado? Post all of your thoughts about inconsistencies on this blog post.
I noticed an inconsistency the last time I went to the airport. When a passenger goes through the security checkpoint, all glass bottles and other items are to be discarded, which is a great plan because those are dangerous items. However, in the terminal stores after the security line, one can freely purchase glass items such as Snapple bottles. These are basically ready made knives because all a potential terrorist would have to do is break the bottle in the plane and have shards of glass to use as weapons. Is this not ludicrous? Someone should probably change that.
I am retired from the Military and on my key chain I have a military P-38 can opener, that I have carried since I was in Vietnam. I have flown numerous times since 911 and have never had a problem until I went through security at Tucson, AZ. Tucson considered my P-38 as a dangerous weapon and I went through two levels of supervisors before I was escorted out of the security area to a box where you can mail items to yourself. I was watched the entire time to make sure I put this dangerous weapon in a pouch, sealed it, and dropped it in the mail box.
Sierra Vista, AZ
My comment is specifically about Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. As the world's busiest, it should set the standard, but it does not! Some of the inconsistencies compared to better airports include:
1. All passengers for all concourses must go through the same security line. At other airports, there are security lines for each concourse. This makes the lines shorter and faster. Atlanta gets an F on this!
2. The floors around the area where you take your shoes off do not look or feel clean! Other airports appear to be much more clean. Isn't this an OSHA or CDC type of requirement?
3. Often I see TSA agents in Atlanta standing around talking to one another in a lazy manner while the customer lines are a disaster and need guidance. I know the TSA employees must get bored and deal with all sorts of people, but it's no reason to have an attitude (either nonchelant or rude) with me.
Please fix these problems!
I too have to agree with the TSA on the idenitification rule. I always use my proper name when traveling. nick names are for friends and family not when idenitifying yourself to security.
As a TSO, I can tell you no one dislikes inconsistency more than the average TSO.. There really is no good answer to the question “why didn’t they make me do this at XYZ airport?”..an answer such as “we are more secure( As mentioned above) is about all you can say…
Big Country Said “What is WRONG with you people? WE are the ones on the REAL front line. Not you. You need to be waaaaaaaay more respectful and realize we're all on the same team.”
Apparently YOU need realize we are all on the same side.. maybe YOU need to be a bit more respectful.. Could you be more of a hypocrite? I am a combat veteran who has served in Iraq, and many of the people I work with are veterans as well. You’re a contractor??? Not even the same.. I ALWAYS go out of my way to do everything I can to help military get through. I always thank them for their service, and always tell them to make sure they take care of themselves.. and btw, military in uniform traveling under orders are exempt from many of the processes.
Okay I know the answer to all of these questions I see from everyone. See, TSA recognizes a danger and wants to make a rule that no "Gizmos" should be allowed. Then, all the whining passengers who think they are so-o-special and will not be able to live without their "Gizmo" get one exception after another, and VOILA! Inconsistant rules. Then of course, it is the same ones who complain because of the inconsistancies. If we passengers paid attention the first go-round TSA wouldn't be forced to bend the rules for all of you "special" passengers (ie; snivelers). Finally, those asking how many terrorists have been stopped must have packed their brains in their bags. Silly people; They aren't there because we HAVE security. Have a nice day.
I have a complaint about getting a "Random" screening every time I go through the airport and check points because of my name being so common. My name is more common than John Smith. I won't give my first name, but my last name is Johnson.
Also, I understand MOST of the stuff that is done at screening checkpoints because I used to work as security at an airport. I've been screamed at, threatened with lawsuits and with bodily harm (I'm 6'4" 275 pounds). I have had kids think it's funny to say that they have a bomb in their bag or something else stupid.
I have seen undercover testers try to get through the check points to test security and also try to get something through the x-ray. Technology has advanced by leaps and bounds since I worked as a screener in 1992, but the person running the scanners or x-ray machines is only human and things will get by them. It's not that they are allowing things to come through on purpose, it's a very demanding job at times. The screener may have gotten side tracked by a traveler causing problems or any number of variables and then the media gets a hold of the story and makes a big deal of the screeners missing a test item.
It is a very thankless job, but a rewarding one at the same time.
I can't find the best place to write this, so I'm putting it here. Perhaps there needs to be an "other" section???
I once read a really good article about how Israel has never had a plane hijacked. That would be Israel 0, America 4 for those keeping score. There was no new technology they were using, no dogs sniffing luggage, no random screenings, or large military presence at the airport. Their secret was to talk to the passengers . They said their best method for picking out terrorists was to actually have a conversation about the flight, reason for flying, where flying to, etc. Probably some nonverbal language training wouldn't hurt, either. The article stated that it is easy to pick out terrorists once they begin to talk to them. In our rush rush rush society we try to get people to the gate as quickly as possible, but safety shouldn't be a time issue. I don't mind 30 more minutes in line if it means a safer flight for everyone. I also feel that sometimes America feels we are so powerful that we can go it alone and don't need anyone's help. If I were head of TSA, I'd be calling Israel and asking for their training manual because the score is still Israel 0, America 4!
Who was the genius that made up the rule that you can carry a pair of 4" sissors with pointed blades on board but not a pocket knife with a 1" blade. I would rather have the sissors in a fight they are way easier to hold and more dangerous. Course my pointed 3" nail file will do in a pinch.
I now have to buy slip on shoes because I have back problems and can't bend over. How do I get a reimbursement from TSA for added shoe costs and costs associated with purchasing special items to contain my liquids (so they don't spill) that are now in my check-in luggage?
Where is the reimbursement address? I have all my receipts.
TSA is so inconsistent. Here's a USA Today article stating the amount of thefts midgets cause when they are improperly stowed in luggage. The TSA needs to start cracking down on this:
I bet most passengers wouldn't run into these "inconsistencies" if they actually followed the rules. Being a former screener myself, I know at times, for example, one screener may let a liquid that is in its proper bag, but possibly slightly larger than the size limit. Using their judgement they decide its allowed, while another screener may not. Some passengers may get mad when they are told it can't go through that time. But remember, that screener is strictly following the rules they are told to enforce. They may not even agree, but thats the rule, so why not just follow it, then there would be no chance for these inconsistencies. Many of the screeners I have worked with are educated, hard working individuals who deserve respect, not mocking. Most incidents that do make the news could be avoided with use of better technology on the checkpoints. Possibly use of TSA K9 units doing more active sweeps, instead of the local police departments being funded by DHS at the airports, which at least in my opinion are only used after an incident has occured.
How many terrorists have the TSA stopped? What is the ratio of dollars spent per terrorist caught? $100 million to one terrorist?
Wouldn't it be cheaper to fire all the TSA people and hire a few fully armed, federal marshalls per flight?
Seems to me that one way to minimize inconsistencies between airports would be to set up roadblocks large enough to prevent TSOs from making inappropriate arbitrary and local policy decisions, but not so large as to weaken security or prevent TSOs from enforcing actual policy and dealing with true security threats.
One, but certainly not the only, possiblity in this regard might be uniform signage required to be posted at all TSA checkpoints describing screening procedures and travelers' rights, including the right to know a screener's name and badge number and to obtain a complaint form. The signs could clearly state that these are official TSA policies and that they cannot be overridden by screeners without the approval of a superior (or something like that), keeping screeners honest while giving them flexibilty to deal with any situation.
It's not a perfect idea -- I can think of a few flaws -- but hopefully you understand what I'm trying to say. In a perfect world, screeners would follow the policies as-written and no roadblocks to misbehavior would be required, but that is simply not the situation at TSA right now.
Both my husband and I have replacement joints. We have cards and he even has a x-ray on the card from our doctors stating we have replacement joints. EVERY time we fly, we have to get wanded, take off our shoes, sit in chairs which are hard to get up from because of no arms and usually too low. We get no help getting up and have to get up, sit down, get up again. A simple wanding of the pointed out joint should be sufficient.Why do you put us thru this all the time. Makes flying unpleasant. AND we are 59 & 66 respectively. GIVE US REPLACEMENT JOINT FOLKS A BREAK.
TSA should look more closely at the lock that they are cutting off. Even though mine was a TSA lock and I told them that it was a TSA. I got home and it had been cut off, they didn't even go through my bag!
You have to love all these people who get mad at someone when they are ignorant of, or get found to not be in compliance with established rules and policies. It's easy to call us morons and whatnot from behind the safety of a computer screen and under and anonymous nickname, but I propose to you if you know the rules, whether you agree with them or not, and still violate them, that doesn't say much for your overall cognitive abilities either. You can disagree with the rules all you want to, many of us doing this job also have reservations about some of the things we have to do, but they aren't 'arbitrary' or 'random rulings'. We have to follow the rules set forth by our standard operating procedures and our management directives and staff. There are inconsistencies, yes, and there is always going to be a human error factor, but the responsibility for compliance and research prior to arriving rests with each individual passenger. We are merely performing a job, an essential one, and I for one wish we could do even more. For those who are content to complain while offering no real possible solutions, I submit to you this: Go fly out of Israel. Or Russia. After dealing with their idea of security, you will hopefully be awakened to a few things. I do have a nationall accredited college degree, am a partially disabled veteran, and a single parent, and a HUMAN BEING and proud american in addition to a TSA Screener. It pains me to see such venom coming from the people we are here on behalf of, mainly due to inconvenience and ignorance, but in this new 'what have you done for me lately' society I suppose I should resign myself to dealing with it. The inconsistencies are being addressed, locally and nationally, but there are inconsistencies among the travellers just as much as there is among the airlines, the airports, and the security. Adapt. We had to, we still are. You had to, so still do.
Several Canadian Airports have the privilege of feeding passengers directly to the US without having them further screened for security at US locations for their connecting flights.
Here is a very disturbing incident that occurred at 6:45pm Dec 31, 2007, at Gate C Domestic Terminal, Vancouver Airport.
I was going through security behind a Sikh gentleman wearing pink turban. It was very clear that he was not properly screened by the Private Security Contractor called CASA that does screening at most Canadian Airports.
The Sikh was wearing a turban, and he was not required to remove his turban even though he set off the metal detectors. Furthermore, I observed that he was not "wanded" about his head / turban to verify that there are no hidden weapons in his turban.
On the other hand, all other passengers required to remove all jackets, etc.
I understand that the Sikhs religion require them to wear a comb, a knife, be unshaved and wear a turban.
It is patently clear that a knife or other weapon could be hidden in turban.
Furthermore, I noticed that the screeners spoke to him in his own language (i cannot make it out), and it was clear that Sikhs were given preferential treatment by people of the same ethnic group that work for CASA - most of them appear to be ethnic Indians.
What is the point of having great security in the USA when countries like Canada is a gaping hole in the system.
I might point out that Sikh terrorists was responsible for the bombing of several aircraft that originated in Canada.
Security is a trade-off. You can have 100% security, checking every bag, bottle and backside, but soon the airlines (and the USA) will go bankrupt. Not acceptable.
Or, you can have no security at all and 1 in every 1000 planes blows up in the sky. Equally unacceptable.
But you must have consistency - and common sense.
Because no hijacker will ever be able to control an airplane ever again (they'd be lynched by the passengers, no matter what weapons they have), that means scissors, nailfiles and all the other not-very-dangerous-at-all items are NOT worth wasting time over.
The real danger is explosives. For that, you should have sniffer detectors on all people and all luggage. You don't. Inconsistent!
What is the point of only allowing liquids in checked-in luggage? Are the holds of aircraft bomb-proof? Inconsistent!
I urge you to read the excellent articles of Mr Bruce Schneier, the famous security expert. Better training, more intelligent staff and less reliance on pointless 'jobsworth' types is far better than banning toothpaste and baby-milk.
And allowing lighters because the tobacco industry moaned...? Dear God, people. Consistency!
I'm an American who travels all over the world, but never get scrutinized like I do in the US. Over the holidays I went through security at Singapore and Frankfurt without having to do the "shoes thing", but once inside the US, the rules change.
I can't help feeling that the TSA rules are a pretty arbitrary way to make passengers feel safer without actually affecting their security.
I get irritated because I am sure that I am being held up at security primarily so that I retain my faith in the safety of the transportation system.
Happy to walk through metal detectors, et al. But taking my wife's mascara from her purse? That's ridiculous.
I am an airline employee that works in Internal Audit, thus, I do not wear a uniform. I was at the Burbank Airport and attempted to get to the boarding area; however, the TSA agent informed me that my airline badge is no longer adequate to gain access to the area that my company occupies (we are a tenant there!!!!!!!). I was not flying. He informed me that I need to show a passport or driver's license, and that this new "rule" was effective today (Sunday, Jan 20, 2008), and that all airports are implementing this "rule."
Well, no other airports are implementing this rule. I have asked other TSA employees about it and they have never heard of it.
You need to take care of the problem you have with rogue TSA agents arbitrarily implementing their own "rules" when on the lines.
Anything that can be hidden in a shoe could easily be hidden somewhere else on the body, right?
Either x-ray everyone completely, or let people wear their shoes.
I'd just like to comment on the inconsistency of the TSOs themselves. I fly about 4 or 5 times a year, and since the arrival of the TSA, I've been struck by the vast variation of TSO competence. Many (not the majority, alas) have had a sharp attentiveness & shrewd decision making ability that made me feel nervous, like I was under investigation. I mean that in a good way: I like knowing that there are people that are willing to take a sharp look at everyone, while knowing when not to go any further than a look.
Sadly, a large number of TSOs have been analogous to mall security - it's a job to them, little more; or worse they're power hungry children who take any authority they're given as an excuse to bully. When mistakes or errors are pointed out to such people, their response is belligerence & anger toward those they're supposed to be protecting. I've seen and been the recipient of far too many lectures on the importance of following vague rules, the rationale behind which are not even fully understood by those that enforce them.
What bugs me is those times (and I've seen this happen several times) when one TSO is clearly more aggressive than he or she need be, and while the pained & embarrassed expressions on the faces of other TSOs around them say how they feel, they're not going to stop the bad egg, just because they know how it looks to their organization.
I'd like to see more hard rules, less frivolous interpretation and more TSOs that are smart enough to know that most of the time, people don't want to do anything but get where they're going safely, but also quickly without unnecessary hassle & stress.
I just wanted to point out that even though TSA employees will insist it's a law, you do not have to show any type of ID to fly within the continental US.
When I was in Brazil it was like the old days in the US. You threw your bag down on the belt, walked through the metal detector, grabbed your bag and went on your way. I feel like much of the world doesn't not obsess like we do in the States. I think we have given up too many rights.
Yet you take a train or bus and there are no security checks. Yes, a train can't do damage like a plane can, but people could be killed. There have been train bombings (London subway), you know.
I traveled last week with my infant son. Leaving from Atlanta I had baby food, formula, baby juice, and water to prepare the baby formula power all in my carry on as he needs this obviously for the trip. I did not have to take it from my bag at security.
On the return trip from Salt Lake City they made me take everything out of the diaper bag, all food, juice, diaper cream, ALL while managing a squirmy child. Then they told me they had to keep my water that I use to mix my formula but would let me continue on with my juice. He told me I could mix the formula there and go through with it. First the formula once mixed is only good for 1 hour so that wasn't going to be an option on our long travel day. Secondly, what is the point of that it is the same liquid now just combined with formula powder? Is the juice somehow different than water? I could just put water in the juice bottle and tell them it is juice? It is silly they make such a big deal out of a small thing then the big stuff can slip right through....
Every airport seems to be different.
I have a pair of shorts with a zippered pocket on the left leg. I have worn them at PDX, SFO, JFK, LAX, AUS, SEA and HNL without setting off the metal detectors. I wear them for precisely that reason.
But I wore them at Lihue Airport in Kauai, set off the metal detector twice, and was forced to go through a secondary screening with an absolute jerk of a TSA employee. I know nothing happens in Lihue and the screeners are bored, but that's no excuse for turning up the metal detector sensitivity.
Ahh yes .... Inconsistency ... I'll not suggest that the American TSA can solve the world's issues, but I'll say anyway that the name of the game is exactly that .. inconsistency. The bottom line to me, is that the modern world is very tightly, very effectively, inhibiting the freedom of movement. All in the name of a perceived safety threat, which to be honest, I disbelieve. Even if I did believe it in its entirety as the dog has been wagged, I still find it unacceptable that the TSA and others have become a major negative force in the world of business, pleasure and life in general. I'd like to hop a quick Friday flight to Disney ... nope, sorry, the lines are too long "you'cew already missed your flight Sir" ... while I stand looking at an hour between myself and take-off. Insane. Uncomfortable. Unnecessary.
I can't take my bottle of water onto the plane ... but Joey behind me can, because he bought it on the airport. My toothpaste and mouthwash and deodorant must fit into a ziplock ... my daughter will never again know the joys of those cute little shampoo bottles from the hotels. Life has changed .... I feel so much safer now ... don't I?
I was recently (not a TSA issue) reminded that a non-US citizen US permanent resident travelling to Europe MUST apply in person for a visa to Europe. And MUST take a retinal and fingerprint scan. And there are TWO locations in the US to do this ... SF and DC. Will I travel 1100 miles just to apply for a Visa? NO. What's the end result? I changed plans, now I'm travelling elsewhere... no more Europe for me. Guess US citizens have some magical born-in inability to commit acts of terror, because US citizens have to show ONLY their passport when entering Europe. Inconsistent? Whatever. You guys and the world are all putting up fancy birdies to look at, while the net effect of your work is to change life as we know it, and make travel REALLY difficult.
In all honesty, I'm afraid that pointing out any inconsistencies I've experienced will just result in the most restrictive behavior being expanded to all my travel locations.
I've seen rules continue to become more restrictive, with no elimination of policies that don't produce desired results.
I've never actually had a problem with the screeners or the screening process. The only thing that bugs me a bit is the fact i have to get to the airport so far ahead of my flight. Otherwise, i just simply do what they ask of me, and it's goes without a hitch. I have changed only one thing since my first time dealing with the screening process, and that is to wear flip flops to the airport and during the flight, and keep my boots in my checked luggage. It greatly speeds up the game, you know?
Inconsistencies? How about illogical?
Not allowed 6 oz tube of toothpaste
Allowed butane lighter
Please explain. Thanks.
I would like to know what the TSA is doing to prevent a terrorist from setting off a bomb *in the security line*. It seems to me that a lot of work has been done to prevent anything bad from getting onto the airplanes themselves, but doesn't a tightly-packed crowd of hundreds (if not thousands) of people and the shutdown of an entire major international airport present a far better target to terrorists than a single airplane?
Yes, over all the experience has been fine, but the ones that stay with you are the ones that when I was in Philly airport, they treat you like cattle, come on keeping moving, come on, come on, it was like a round up, very hilmilitating!!! My sister in law no matter where we fly, she always gets taken aside and searched, it always holds us up and she is getting very annoyed over the whole thing, I can't blame her. thank you for you letting me tell you about our experiences.
Nothing is consistent when human judgment is involved. I can understand why even high quality TSA employees can differ in their understanding of regulations.
TSA screeners need often deal with cranky, overbearing individuals that don't understand the importance of their own safety. I've seen these Federal employees put up with people that go beyond reason.
Hats off to the TSA employees that keep America safe.
4 oz of liquids are considered dangerous, but why are the following not?
a) A regular AA battery and steel wool can be used to start a fire. No check is made of checked or carry on luggage to be sure that a loose regular battery and steel wool are not near each other. Farfetched? No more than 4 oz of liquid being dangerous.
b) No check is made of pills being carried on board to be sure than there are no cyanide tablets. All it takes is one cyanide tablet and a little water to create a deadly gas in the cabin. This is a much more dangerous scenario than trying to set one's shoe on fire.
I would like to know on what planet some TSA employees live on when they COMMAND that I send my 3 year old son through security ON HIS OWN without a parent to hold his hand or carry him through? I understand the need for security, howevr I need the TSA to understand the need for SAFETY. At any givn time there are THOUSANDS of people in an airport that any one could snatch my child on the other side of security before I could get to him. It is not the responsbility of TSA screeners to watch my child even for a moment while I am being processed. Their eyes should be on the scanners and potential threats!
I am an employee for the airlines. Before the liquid and gel issues, we were able to go through security in our regular clothes and our badge without trouble. Now we need to be in uniform and badge to go through security with our liquids and gels. What is the difference between me in my uniform and me without...I am still a crew member.
I now have to do the Superman thing...change into regular clothes in the bathroom after I get through TSA.
My story begins in Mexico City where I went through security (Yes they enforce the 3-1-1 requirement) and into the waiting area. At that time, I purchased a bottle of tequila at the duty free store and it was given to me as I boarded the plane. It was wrapped in clear plastic and banded. When I got to Dallas, I went through CBP and then walked to catch my connecting flight. However they made us go through TSA again (Only international passengers went through this checkpoint) and they would not allow the bottle on the plane. I had just had it on the previous plane. It was the same airline (American). This makes no sense to me at all and an inconsistancy with TSA. If I flown direct to BWI, there would have been no problem. In addition, what is the difference between 2 3oz bottles and 1 6 oz bottle except the later is not allowed?
Some TSA X Ray lines have long tables, some have short tables. Having been thru the lines many times I have found the lines with long tables move much much faster then ones with a single table. Even where there is space some airports do not have enough tables. Buy some tables! Also some airports have a lot of gray bins, others have only a few causing us to wait until they are collected and brought back thru the x ray machine. Buy some more bins please!
What I don't get is this: When I was at Burbank Airport this week, the officer confiscated my toothpaste because he said the tube held 4 oz, more than is allowed. But I pointed out that it was almost finished, so it clearly didn't have 4 oz of anything in it. Is it the containers that are dangerous of the contents?
I have been through so many screenings at airports where the people doing the screenings never looked at the screens of their X-ray machines. So while I am partialy undressing to pass my shoes, belt, watch , computer etc through the X-ray, they are chatting with the opther inspectors and not watching. Boy do I feel secure!
Am I correct in assuming that the reason for the selective enforcement is to "keep the ter'ests guessing"?
Okay - what's the deal with the laptops in bins? Do they have to be in a separate bin or no? At some stations I'm yelled at for "wasting bins" and at others I'm told laptops have to be completely separate.
And on the other side, after 5 years of the TSA, I still can't take you guys seriously if you're on your cell phone or having an unprofessional conversation with your coworker. I'd love to know how a screener working the x-ray can watch the x-ray if they're sending a text message. It's beyond me.
Every TSA checkpoint should have a "passenger advocate" that should be in a separate uniform and make themselves available to customers who have concerns about the screening process and keep an eye out for rogue and unproffesional agents.
As it stands now, I have very little confidence in the TSA.
Oh, and can we stop the whole yelling at passengers thing. It's rude, it's unprofessional, and it's insulting.
To whom it may be a wake up of common sense:
You have a gate/concourse security breech. Some one enters improperly, an object is found near a gate, whatever and the WHOLE airport is shut down as every one is pushed out onto the street and forced to return through security points.
Why the whole airport? Dump only the gate/concourse out into the street and let the passengers know why. Make those removed from the area join the back of the line.
Will not take long before the other passengers take note and you will find a number of people pointing to the offender, so their own trip is not disrupted.
Hello, i just wanted to ad that recently while going through security on two separate occasions, the person screening the x-ray machine that your carry'ons go through was having a personal conversation with another employee and even turning around to face them rather than looking at the screen. i was so annoyed the last time, because they didn't provide the little booties that you can put on if you are wearing sandles, so you don't have to walk around in bare feet, so i was standing there, barefoot, waiting for my sandles to come out the other end and i see the screener talking about where some McDonald's is and stopping the machine twice to turn around and give directions. all the while, my luggage was still under the machine. at least he stopped it rather than mindlessly running it through while talking, but it's still very rude and unprofessional in such an important part of the security process. seems like irresponsible workers like this are the reason people get illegal things on planes in the first place.
The TSA has got to come up with a criteria other than "a terrorist tried to blow up a plane with this, so it's banned" to make security policy. Otherwise we are going to end up naked and anesthetized in coach class until the plane lands.
Otherwise, clever terrorists will start to beat the TSA at its own policy game: The first terrorist that tries to blow up a plane with an explosive identification card is going to get ID cards banned. Then the whole identity infrastructure falls apart.
It seems as though inconsistency is the order of the day with every airport. In the Portland, OR, airport my mother-in-law's knitting needles were confiscated, but not when she went through Denver, CO. In Denver, CO, her cheese and crackers were confiscated. I find it incomprehensible that a frail, tiny woman with health issues should have her cheese and crackers taken away. How does that make all of us safer?
But my biggest complaint with the TSA is how my husband fares in the security lines. With a 68% hearing loss, my husband wears hearing aids and reads lips. Because he reads lips, he has to make eye contact to understand what people say. If he does not make eye contact with TSA officials, he is not searched. But every time he makes eye contact, he is taken out of line and his belongings searched. We both find this puzzling and frustrating.