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Inconsistencies, Part 1 (Commenting Disabled)

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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 Frankie on

I understand that there are inconsistencies in the screening depending on which airport you go to. We are (yes I work for TSA) under the same SOP and are "suppose" to apply the same rules to all. Unfortunately there are those that think their way is better than the standards set by TSA. I myself have experienced these people in my travels. It is truly up to the Supervisor on duty to make sure that they know the SOP and are "supervising" their employees to ensure that they are applying the standards. Yes there are times that I feel sorry for the traveling public when the get accousted by a screener that really has no customer service skills. They are quickly corrected (9/11 video usually gets them back on track)or eventually weeded out of my airport if they are not able to correct the problem. But in the same sense I am also feel sorry for my screeners when the passenger comes through just irrated at the world and we are their outlet whether it be for them running late, problems they have had at other airports, intoxicated, or just down right verbally abusive. I just want everyone to know that every airport is not the same (based on their support system). Nor can you make 46,000 people apply the same rules consistently based on one's interputation of the SOP. I know that at my airport we strive to go by the book and are customer friendly but also being security minded.

Submitted by Freedom Angel on

I am a Screener at OGG. I also come across alot of passengers who can go online to book a ticket with an airline.. They can take the time to go online and research the weather and hot spots to visit here in Maui... However, they can't give it a second thought about going online to look up the new rules of travel. of which that have been in place for at least a year now. I wasn't the terrorist who decided to be the thorn in your side and make you have to think about your safety when all your trying to do is relax on vacation.. So please when you are going to travel GO TO TSA.GOV!! LOOK UP OUR RULES AND REGULATIONS! Your not allowed to just get in a car and drive LEGALLY!! Therefore if you can't learn the rules of flying please try to understand that I am only here to make sure you are just as alive when your flight has come to an end as you are when you came through my checkpoint. I am here for YOU. Granted I get paid for every second I am there.. Sometimes thats not enough. The situation is going to be the situation no matter how much you agree or disagree. So can't we all just chill out and look at things as positively as we can?!!?! Please remember to thank and encourage the screeners! I would bet you a million dollars that will be the highlight of their day and its way more rewarding than the money we are paid. When you boil it down.. How much would you have to be paid to come into work for 4-10 hours straight knowing that someone is going to be cursing your name?! Sometimes its very hard to walk into work.. But its those passengers who remind me that they are PEOPLE and actually care and appreciate my job!

Remember when we travel we have to check our liquid/gel/aerosals too! Nobody is exempt from these rules. The less you try and distract everyone by wasting your energy yelling and screaming about the rules THE SAFER YOU WILL BE!! LESS DISTRACTIONS MEAN MORE FOCUS ON THE REAL ENEMY! TERRORISTS!!! Have you forgotten why we are here? JUST REMEMBER ALL THE LIVES THAT WERE TAKEN BY 9-11 THE NEXT TIME YOU ARE DELAYED BECAUSE YOU Neglected to research THE RULES. We don't create them.. we just enforce them...

Submitted by Anonymous on

"I have had a couple of joint replacements and always have to go through a separate screening. It is very difficult to get my shoes and socks off while standing and most security areas do not have chairs. What happened to the Americans with Disabilites Act?"

Same thing that happened to the Privacy Act at security checkpoints: Federal law totally ignored.

But something tells me that this won't get posted on the blog.

Submitted by Jack on

I recently flew from Columbia, SC to MPLS. After the grief I got at Columbia, and them not properly resecuring my tool chest, I talked with a TSA supervisor for about 15 minutes. That supervisor was polite, fyi not all TSA supervisors are polite. Did my problem get resolved? No. Someone did listen to me though. Am I on TSA's frequent complainer/crank list? Most likely and other than some issues with out of control airports (reading this O'hare?) TSA does at least go through the motions of attempting to provide people who infrequnetly travel a sense that something is being done to provide a secure flying environment. Potemkin security/grand theater/smoke and mirrors. All true.

The liquids ban is still a head shaker for me, since I know how volitile some liquid explosives are. They call TATP Satan's Sister because it is so unstable/deteriorates explosively. The terrorists know this and when they go for a high value attack they plan accordingly. They want success with their attack efforts because we close the barn door after the fact so as to block off that venue. You want good security? Adopt the El-Al methods. But be prepared to get to the airport 5 hours before your flight because given the volume of airtravelers and the screening methods involved you wouldn't much like that one either (i.e. why are you going to Chicago? Why are your carrying a tool chest?)

TSA is probably the best they could do on a short time scale. Does it need fixing? Yes, but do you have any suggestions for fixing it? Come on people I complain a whole lot about the snotty attitudes TSA types have. Would you like to deal with people on a daily basis that they do day after day?

TSA, open up your rules and regulations for inspection. Your SOP manuals keep classified. Spouting off made up stuff as fact and then hiding behind the "it's classified" doesn't hold much water.

Submitted by An Officer Of T... on

THIS IS A BLOG SUGGESTION>>>>>>>

Please make it so we can answer specific comments, not just throwing one more comment onto the end of a laundry list.

Thank you

Submitted by Anonymous on

So, why does the TSA feel a need to engage in propaganda to convince the American public that giving up our rights is a good thing?

Take, for example, this blog. Or the column published in the Washington Post that was written by a DHS PR person (but was not attributed as a PR post) discussing how great it was to work as a screener for the day.

Most True Americans see though the charade and kabuki theater at the checkpoint. That it is inconsistant from checkpoint to checkpoint is exactly counter to what was intended. And then there are the arrogant screeners at some airports (BWI comes to mind) that couldn't care less about the passenger - if the screener I encountered worked in a customer-facing job at any commercial enterprise, they wourd be summarily fired. The Supervisor did nothing, and I had to fight to get a complaint form, which was ignored by the agency.

Submitted by Mxs360 on

Hello, I have been hassled by one airline every time I fly with them, I have to go through extra security check and they search my bag. They say it is random, but it has happened past 7 times. After countless phone calls and emails, they have finally told me that it's TSA question and they can't discuss it nor can they help me. The thing is, it doesn't happen with any other airline but them. Could you please email me in order to help me clear this up. It is becoming a major hassle to fly with them.
Thanks so much.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I get a kick out of reading and hearing passengers complain about inconsistancy. According to some (unseen statement), it's a matter of convenience vs. security. I don't like taking off my shoes... Why was he allowed to go through without taking his shoes off??? This airport is so inconsistant. Waaa waaa waaa. Think about it. That person which did not remove their shoes probably went through an extensive prior 10 year background investigation, was questioned, probed, ect. They probably also have an airport ID. Passengers... Why not ask yourself this... Do I really want all of TSA to be consistant? Yes??? The answer is NO! Why? Because if you know TSA procedures, then you can bet the terrorists and criminals do also. That is why TSA has so many different layers of security. Everyone cannot be apprised of all procedures. Over 300 U.S. airports cannot be consistant either. The trickle down effect prevents consistancy, which is Ok by me. I don't want Osama and his buddies knowing what is going on at the airport I am flying. Do you? Just because you are some high end corporate frequent flyer does not mean that you are above the law. The next time you decide to complain about inonsistancy, instead of complaining, why not thank a Transportation Security Officer for doing their job and keeping you safe.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Jay Maynard said...

Jay do we really want absolute consistancy? I would think that would allow the bad guys to find ways to beat the system. I think it is better to keep em guessing. Thats just me I guess.

Submitted by Roy on

In response to those who question the removal of ID from their wallet: I once asked a person to remove the ID, she removed what was a perfectly printer-copy of her ID on glossy paper. She then told me, she kept the original ID in another safe place so she would not lose it. How do I know the photo or ID is real without doing what I have been trained to look for? She provided the original ID and was on her way. I read our internal briefs and you would be suprised at how many people have been stopped with fradulent IDs. Thank you for your continued support.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Its perfectly righteous to be perterbed that TSA has what seems at times unreasonable rules. Lets just be sure that our anger/aggervation is NOT towards TSA but TOWARDS THE TERRORISTS! If it weren't for the Terrorists we wouldn't need TSA. If it weren't for Evil we wouldn't be subject to search. So I understand you were delayed and I understand you feel harassed and singled out... BUT WE ARE A TEAM! TSA CAN NOT DO THEIR JOB WITHOUT THE HELP/COMPLIANCE OF THE PASSENGERS! So go ahead be mad But try to keep in mind that when you misplace your anger on a TSA representative its as if you are taking every american that was murdered and laid down their life for your freedom for granted. Terrorists may have won a battle in attacking the american way of life but if we pull together as a nation there is no way they can win the WAR!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Security Through The Checkpoint is nothing more than an attempt to make the general public think they are safe to fly.

Consider this:

The TSA will allow you to take 12 inch knitting needles, 7 inch screwdrivers and very sharp pointed pens and pencils....but not a keychain swiss army knife with a 2 inch blade!!!

Are you kidding me??? Just think about that one statement. When is the last time you felt safe armed with only a keychain swiss army knife? But give me a 7 inch screwdriver or a 12 inch knitting needle and I can actually kill a person with these tools. The TSA is needed to stop bombs but when it comes to common sense about other weapons the TSA has none.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The one consistency is unhappiness. The public voicing opinions is generally unhappy with the TSA; the TSA is unhappy at having to answer to the public (except in a pseudo-blog they can load up with shills.)

Submitted by Anonymous on

Several thoughts:

a: Quote "Please do not assume TSA is responsible if your baggage is damaged and/or items are missing."

Agree, but on one recent trip I arrived at my destination with someone else's jean jacket in my suit case. Conclusion: TSA opened up two suitcases and did not care what suitcase they placed items into. I am sure the other person thought theft was involved. When I returned to the originating airport, I could not convince TSA that they should take the jacket and figure out who was the real owner, looking for a missing item report at the date, time and airport that this happened at.

b) I recently traveled through LAX asking for hand inspection of a camera loaded with film. They swabbed it and announced it registered as an explosive and had to be x-rayed. When I pointed out there was no problem at my previous airport with the item, I was surrounded by TSA folk who gave me a thorough pat down with two policemen standing by, ready to arrest me for questioning why the camera suddenly became suspect.

c) In the past year I boarded about ten flights in South America and Europe and at no time had to remove shoes or produce liquids, and I felt perfectly safe on those planes knowing that other passengers also did not do these things.

d) The TSA folk at Ithaca, NY are friendly and courteous while they do their job.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Hey, I have an idea about consistency:
I'm in the military. Let's allow me the freedom to shoot at whomever I want without any oversight or UCMJ, and then say afterward that any inconsistency I displayed in picking targets is to confuse them (the targets.)

And another point: I swore to uphold the Constitution, including the Fourth Amendment. When I'm on orders, in uniform and presenting ID, my commanders have told me that I'm exempt from your exhaustive searches--and sometimes I am, and sometimes I'm not. How's that for consistency?

When I asked for the badge number and name of the TSO that most recently did this, I was told that "this number doesn't mean anything, it's just a laundry tag." This certainly reinforces the idea that TSA doesn't hold itself accountable for anything. And yes, I wrote it down anyway, put it on a card, and mailed it in, complete with my information, and asked for a response. I never got one.

So, just to protect my privacy, and because it's easier than entering a password, I'll just post anonymously, because my experiences with your agency have proven your disinterest.

When I vote, this will be a factor in deciding who I pick.

Submitted by Toby on

Anonymous at February 5, 2008 2:50 PM said:

"Its perfectly righteous to be perterbed that TSA has what seems at times unreasonable rules. Lets just be sure that our anger/aggervation is NOT towards TSA but TOWARDS THE TERRORISTS! If it weren't for the Terrorists we wouldn't need TSA. If it weren't for Evil we wouldn't be subject to search. So I understand you were delayed and I understand you feel harassed and singled out... BUT WE ARE A TEAM! TSA CAN NOT DO THEIR JOB WITHOUT THE HELP/COMPLIANCE OF THE PASSENGERS! So go ahead be mad But try to keep in mind that when you misplace your anger on a TSA representative its as if you are taking every american that was murdered and laid down their life for your freedom for granted. Terrorists may have won a battle in attacking the american way of life but if we pull together as a nation there is no way they can win the WAR!"

Are you for real? You sound like some fascist poster-boy from the Hitler youth.

Your statement "we are a team" is a joke. We are not a team. I believe in freedom, liberty, personal responsibility, and constitutionally limited government. You believe in winning a war even at the cost of all those things--a war I don't even believe is real.

So, how can we be on the same team when we don't even believe remotely the same things? We are at odds with one another. This is unfortunate, but it is reality.

It is in fact the fundamental reality underlying this blog. If I believed in the same things you did, I wouldn't mind the inconveniences either. But since I think those small inconveniences represent the encroachment of fascism the I cry "FOUL!" at the first sign of them.

I simply believe that the elected officials who took and oath to the Constitution violated that oath in enacting the Patriot Act, et. al. It irks me that no one cares that they violated their oath since they did it "to protect us."

Read some Thomas Jefferson, C.S. Lewis, something written by Patrick Henry, Ludwig Von Mises, or even Lew Rockwell to get a little more of my drift.

Submitted by Jack on
And another point: I swore to uphold the Constitution, including the Fourth Amendment. When I'm on orders, in uniform and presenting ID, my commanders have told me that I'm exempt from your exhaustive searches--and sometimes I am, and sometimes I'm not. How's that for consistency?

I agree with you. My son was at the range firing a .50 cal machine gun the morning that he was scheduled to fly. They detected explosives residue (gun powder)and nearly kept him from flying. He is an NCO in the Navy. Another military man said that he was given the 'treatment' because his gear tested positive for explosives (he recently was in an IED and survived). Military, traveling with orders, military ID card, and uniform, should get the walk through. An E9 with lots of ribbons (think metal backing) was also given the 'treatment'. So what is it TSA? Why is the US military treated so shabbily by you when they travel via aircraft? Why is the military telling military personel one thing and TSA spouts off something else. TSA get your act together.
Submitted by Anonymous on

Purchased some Olive Oil in Turkey; more than 3 oz. Packed it for carry on to Minneapolis and decided if there was a fuss, I would simply check the bag.

I asked in Turkey they said sure, fly with the olive oil in the cabin. Flew it to Amsterdam. Amsterdam x-rayed it and okayed it through the first check point when I was issued a boarding pass. But, at the gate, there was a fuss.

No problem, I asked them to simply check the bag with the 5+ oz of olive oil.

I got a nasty lecture about my obnoxious request for 'special treatment' and my suspicious request to check a bag with 5+ oz of olive oil.

I believe the quote from the American NWA employee was "...If I had to take the time to check every bag with a bottle of water I couldn't do my job!"

They refused to let me check the bag with the offending liquid. They simply took the olive oil.

I shrugged...a gamble and a loss with the TSA. I am not going to be tazered or worse over an $10 bottle of olive oil.

BUT: 4 flyers behind me a loud fuss while they took a 'check on bag' from a woman and insisted she check it. It had to be checked instead of carry on because it had some sort of contraband liquid.(wine?) She was angry because her bag also had some fragile items, apparently.

So, mine is taken, hers is checked; it is all BS.

It is all about control and teaching us not to question the police state.

My friends and I just laughed and reenacted the Soup Nazi episode from Seinfeld. One of us ordered 'correctly'. One of us didn't.

Oh, and I am sure that all this "lost luggage" site has plenty of wine, perfume, make up, and somewhere, my olive oil from Turkey.

http://www.unclaimedbaggage.com/

Submitted by JL on

in response to "safetyfirst" who wrote:
"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!"
You really need to read up on your history, El Al, the national airline of Israel, has had 1 hijacking in it's history. The country of Israel may have had many aircraft depart from it's airports that have been hijacked but only El Al is mentioned. They have a sterling record since that unfortunate day back in 1968. The way they do business is not without it's own problems. they do not "just talk" to passengers they surveil them. Most of the complainers on this blog would find their brand of security unacceptable just like the TSA's policies. I have worked on El Al flights and am knowledgable in their methods and some of them would have people screaming about their rights as soon as they got off the plane. Regardless of how they do business they are successful but at a significant cost. In 2002 it cost them over $90 million to operate their security system, and that is for about 40 flights a day to only 50-60 destinations. I can not imagine what it would cost to cover all of the domestic flights in this country on a daily basis alone, not to mention the internatuional ones. American Airlines alone flies 50 times as many daily flights alone, that is a lot of air marshals not to mention the support personnel on the ground. How well do you think it would sit with the American public to know they are being profiled? That is one of the major tools El Al uses, down to ethnic profiling. I can hear the clamor from the ACLU already. How about being pulled aside for extra screening, and we are talking full interrogation and strip searches, just because you do not speak english. How about when you call to book a ticket your complete background is checked before you are issued one. Could you imagine trying to book a flight when the airline, frequently, systematically and randomly keeps changing their schedule and flight numbers, El Al does this. I can not see American travellers sit quietly while up to 3 different "screeners" ask them questions at different points during the screening process. I can also not fathom how they would react every time a flight is delayed because of extra screening processes and questioning which El Al does. El Al clears checked bags almost the same way the TSA does except they also use a decompression chamber to simulate an aircraft ascending to detonate an IED with an altimeter switch. Some of these processes are used by the TSA but some would definitely be costly, while others would bring a stampeding herd of lawyers and activist's the likes of have never been seen in the history of this great nation. I for one am not opposed to the screening we go through and see it as a necessary hiccup in our daily lives. Then again I have had an Uzi pointed in my direction while carrying out my duties around an El Al aircraft so maybe I'm biased. I think though that a little research into the subject would have been better than to point fingers and spout inaccuracies. It is not easy to pick out terrorists, no matter what an article says, because if it were there would be no terrorists left, and we all know that is not the case. Take it from someone who knows a little about the subject of security, you are never as safe as you think you are but there are people at the DHS and TSA who are working night and day to make sure you are as safe as possible.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Hello People I am a TSO in ATL and would like to comment on the complaints we get from passengers about inconsistency from one airport to the other. I agree totally that we should all do the same thing across the board, but unfortunately it does that happen that way. In fact there are standard operation procedures we should follow. When you feel inconvenienced the most, chances are that screener is following the proper procedures. Passengers think we come to work in the morning just to get on their nerves, what about my nerves and how i feel? I am here at 0430am everyday trying to keep them alive and in return a simple thank you for doing your best to keep me alive would be nice. God forbid if another aircraft gets hi-jacked we will be the first to blame for not being thorough enough in the screening process. Either you want us to protect or you dont.

cmac ATL

Submitted by Anonymous on

ps: to those who think our job is pointless i would love for the president to eliminate all security in all airports and allow whomever, where ever and when ever entry onto the concourses and the planes without checking anything just for one week. no just one day will be suffice. or better yet those who despise security, just allow every person flying on that flight with the HATERS free checkpoint entry into the checkpoint without us looking at any of their property. how safe would you feel then knowing that no one had to remove their shoes, no one put their bags through the xray, no one was wanded for alarming the metal detector and they are sitting next to you on your 3-4 hour flight. I can tell that you people obviously don't care about your lives or the lives of your fellow co passengers, so a word of advice grey hound runs world wide, hertz enterprise, dollar, and budget all have plenty of rental cars and you could drive to your destinations without even taking your shoes off.

cmac

Submitted by Frankie on

There will always be inconstancies across all the airports in the United States. Although TSA does follow the same Standard Operating Procedures and it should enforce the same rules all around it doesn't. This is due to the human factor. People interpret things different. Different supervisors and employees of TSA view the rules in many different ways and apply them as they see fit. There are also many grey areas in the Standard Operating Procedures that force TSO's to make their own rules on things. For example there was a point where if you didn't put your liquids in the zip lock back they would go straight to the trash. Even if you had some kind of a plastic bag, if it wasn't zip lock it would get trashed. Now the SOP procedure hasn't changed on this, but now some airports are more lenient on the rule. Why? Too many people complaining? Who knows, but again, just go with the flow at whatever airport you are going through because yes there will be inconsistencies. But look at it this way, your still getting on your plane, and because of all the rules you must follow you will be safer believe it or not, TSA isn't trying to annoy people although in many cases it seems that way. They are just trying to do a job like you and me, so next time you fly, try not to give them such a hard time.

Submitted by Anonymous on

There are many inconsistent things at a TSA checkpoint, granted, but in the end you have to decide whether or not it’s worth it to get from one airport to the next. You can ask all of the questions you want and complain till your blue in the face, but no matter what answer you are told for any given question you will still not be satisfied. Complainers will always complain about something. The reason for the security measures will never be good enough or pacify them. The majority of complaints come from people who want to be treated as special. They feel as though they are the exception to the rule and shouldn't have to do a certain task. Also, if you are asked to do something at one airport and not at another, just comply with what you’re asked to do. Stop trying to do the least amount possible to get through the checkpoint and be consistent yourself. If your asked to take your shoes off in Ohio and not in Dallas then always take your shoes off. There is YOUR consistency! It amazes me to see how many people stop using their higher level problem solving skills when they try to come through a checkpoint. All common sense is lost. This blog is to open up lines of communication and to be fair 99% of passengers have no problems with the security process. Most of the people I interact with on a day to day basis are great people and I enjoy interacting with them, but the complainers will never be content. They will always have an issue that needs to be addressed.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I can't believe some of you people. I used to be a corrections officer at a federal prison and the inmates treated us better than passengers treat TSOs. I hope someone shows up at your work some day and treats you like garbage and then has the nerve to complain about you. I have one word for you.... GREYHOUND!!!!

Submitted by Anonymous on

I can't believe some of you people. I used to be a corrections officer at a federal prison and the inmates treated us better than passengers treat TSOs. I hope someone shows up at your work some day and treats you like garbage and then has the nerve to complain about you. I have one word for you.... GREYHOUND!!!!

February 6, 2008 11:13 AM

Chill out.... Or better yet, get yourself some professional help, before you become a real problem to yourself, TSA, or the passengers you are supposed to protect. You seem to have some unresolved "issues".

Submitted by Dr Know on

This is all rubbish!

There is no way that security checks ever made travelling safer. Simply because you cannot find everything. When I travelled last year from Madrid to Washington I went through a couple of checks that all cleared. Arriving home I found in my carry on luggage a huge "Rambo Knife" that I used at a BBQ prior to departure. I accidentally took it in my carry on luggage. Thus all the security checks are just there to make people feel safe and feeding the legitimacy of the "security maffia". However the result is that clearing security nowadays takes a whole lotta time with all the frustration of missing connections ect ect. When I am transit (e.g. flying Europe/Canada/South America/Asia withou a stop-over in the US) I try to avoid to connect in the US like the plaque.

Submitted by Jimbo46920 on

The first thing I'm wondering is why most of you have to post your comments anonymously. Maybe it's because some of them are so stupid that you don't want anyone to know who you are....hmm that could be. The worst comment I have read was left by someone named "colin" who said that he hates TSA and everything is stands for.....well I don't know about you, but I haven't seen any planes blow up lately. It is ridiculous that you are going to complain that your shampoo and toothpaste were not allowed in your carry-on, but yet you were allowed to take the rest of your liquids without a plastic bag. The ONLY reason your liquids have to be in plastic bag is to LIMIT the quantity of them you can take with you. I do not agree with the fact that you personally have NEVER had to put your liquids in a plastic bag, unless you were coming through with only a few. If you are trying to get through with just a couple little liquids, maybe they gave you a break, especially at larger airports who might not be able to stop everyone. Obvioulsy if someone only has a few small liquids, they are going to fit in a quart size plastic bag. You should just be thankful that you were given a break. And if you try to bring liquids through that are too large, that is your own fault. You need to be prepared before you fly and know the rules. Yes, there are always going to be inconsistencies...there's really no way around that. Yes, there are some small factors that vary from airport to airport, but you have to remember that there are also CONSISTENCIES. It's funny how everyone seems to get caught up in the small inconsistencies that we forget what TSA is doing for us.....and that is keeping our airports safe. And to the person that said TSA is nothing but "entry-level harassment jobs", TSO's are not there to give you a hard time. They are there to keep the airports SAFE. You may think that getting your shampoo that is too large taken away is harassment, but if you want to avoid being "harassed", then put it in your checked baggage....it's as simple as that.

Submitted by Jared on

I am a pilot for a regional airline and I had problems in BNA TSA. It took 15 minutes to get thru in uniform. My tie and crew badge were xrayed. Nothing was found. That is very embarrassing as passangers watch there flight crew get frisked. Rampers are not checked before they are allowed onto the ramp area. Why am I, and with such throughness? I have watched the Japanese crew get treated very poorly in ATL. I was embarrassed to have witnessed that verbal abuse they received. I hope they didn't understand english very well.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Okay, attempt number two at this since it didn't make it through the censors the first time. I'd like to know why the TSA needs to copy down my personal information when I request a complaint form. I'd also like to know why the TSOs never give me a copy of my rights under the Privacy Act of 1974. While the TSA is exempt from certain aspects of the Act, it is still subject to 5 USC 552a (e)(3), which requires them to provide disclosure on how my personal information is used.

Mike

Submitted by Anonymous on

Complaints have been filed with the TSA about the "all electronics out" stations for weeks, if not months.

I think it shows a profound administrative problem that you read aboutit first in this blog.

Submitted by TSA TSO NY on
" Anonymous said...
Okay, attempt number two at this since it didn't make it through the censors the first time. I'd like to know why the TSA needs to copy down my personal information when I request a complaint form. I'd also like to know why the TSOs never give me a copy of my rights under the Privacy Act of 1974. While the TSA is exempt from certain aspects of the Act, it is still subject to 5 USC 552a (e)(3), which requires them to provide disclosure on how my personal information is used.

Mike

February 6, 2008 5:00 PM


The reason TSA fills out an incident report when you ask for a complaint form is as much for your protection as ours. I know some people are doubting this but days, weeks or even months from now if someone looks at your complaint they will have no way of knowing what the circumstances were without that incident report.

You are going to fill out your complaint but I doubt you will have the complete info such as:

Who was working that xray machine when your laptop fell off the conveyer belt? (retraining/liability issue).

What actions (if any) did the Supervisor take to rectify the situation?

How much damage actually occurred to the laptop (protects both you and us).

It also serves to weed out those false complaints which will untimately cost the taxpayer. Believe it or not, there are people out there who will claim damage when there was no incident at all.

By us taking an incident report we can state such.
It also gives us a chance to list all screeners who may have witnessed the event and may need to be interviewed later, etc.

As far as the privacy act, we should not be asking for your Social Security number and you should refuse to give it if one of us asks for it. It is NOT required and we were told not to ask for it.

As far as name/address, etc. We do have the right to ask for this info just by virtue of the fact that you are coming through the checkpoint. It does help us to match your complaint to the incident reports and providing it can help in seeing that you are paid if there is really damage.
Submitted by Anonymous on

My sister and I flew from Tampa International's Airside A on New Year's Day. We passed through two separate security lines at about 7:15 a.m. We both were addressed very rudely by TSA agents who barked orders in broken English. As a college writing and speech instructor who has worked extensively with ESL students, I concluded that these agents did not have sufficient command of the language to have mastered its inflections. I do not blame the agents for their lack of English-language proficiency, but I do blame TSA for placing them in a position where clear communication is so important. The market is bursting with unemployed workers. I urge TSA to find and hire the ones who can do the job.

Submitted by Anonymous on

In his response to cmac on the home page of this blog, Jay clearly discounts the vast majority of posts in this blog.

35,000 people -not- posting goes not mean they are happy campers. It most likely just means that they haven't heard of this blog.

We don't need apologists for the TSA running this site. We don't need an Agony Aunt assuaging screeners battered feelings. We need someone with honesty and integrity clearly addressing specific complaints with concrete action.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Frankly I can't believe what I just read at the top of this page. If the re are TSOs who are amazed at the rudeness of people commenting on this blog then maybe instead of calling all of us rude you should be pointing out that usually where there's smoke there's fire... people are being rude because they've been treated in a rude and inappropriate manner by TSOs all over the country. If this were an occasional problem I doubt the volume of complaints and ill will would exist, this is a consistent problem that is drowning out whatever good will might be generated by those who are polite and reasonable on the job.

Submitted by Totally Annoyed on

Anonymous at 8:03 pm wrote:
"As a college writing and speech instructor who has worked extensively with ESL students, I concluded that these agents did not have sufficient command of the language to have mastered its inflections. I do not blame the agents for their lack of English-language proficiency, but I do blame TSA for placing them in a position where clear communication is so important. The market is bursting with unemployed workers. I urge TSA to find and hire the ones who can do the job."

Are you serious??? Maybe you are in the wrong field, because you surely lack sympathy!
Furthermore, those screeners are essential to the TSA by having the ability to bridge any communication gaps there may be with passengers who don't speak English. I guess the TSA should apologize to you for not hiding these employees in a closet until they are needed to translate!!

Submitted by B on

Is it or is it not *required* to remove your shoes. I keep reading that it's not a requirement, but there we all are, walking in bare feet on the gross airport floors... thanks!

Submitted by Anonymous on

whine, whine, whine,
waaah waaah waaah,
Some of you commenting on here need to get over yourselves. Sure security isn't perfect, and there's room for improvement. But to disparage the individuals who are actually trying to protect travellers every day, you're all just ungrateful. It's fine to comment on inconsistencies and the like, but to castigate an entire workforce based on the uncomfortable experiences you may have had at certain airports is just not helpful. Some of you leaving negative remarks, I'd like to know what you do for a living and I bet most of you are being hypocritcal as well. And no, I am not a TSA employee, and some of these rules are senseless and frustrating, but I'm not even going to pretend to know what happens out there, because I'm not there. Most of you are whining about a miniscule amount of time in your lives complaining about the screening process. Spare me the drama!!!!!!!!!!!

Submitted by Curtis on

cmac,

I have a TS SCI and authorization to carry a firearm so why is it so easy for a guy wearing a cop uniform so easy to waltz into the security area but because I am extensively contaminated with metal I get the 3rd degree every time I go through security?

Is there some way to get beyond all this BS?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Another inconsistency here is that this is not a "blog" so much as a "rolling press release" by the TSA.

Do you folks know what a blog is?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Good to know, all we need to do is comaplain too much and the terrorists can get what they need on to the planes

Submitted by Anonymous on

Hey Kip,
Treat your employees with a little respect and maybe, just maybe, they will pass it on and treat the American Public with the respect they deserve. I'm not saying give us a million dollar raise or promote everyone to G-Band (who's not an ex-cop or ex-military), but come on. In certain urban areas COL expenses have gone up more than 4%. You want us to stay, give us a liveable wage. The stress of living in a high cost area adds to work stress wich is unintentionaly passed on to travelers.
Just trying to pass on info that airport mangement won't relay to the AFSD.

TSOs Nation Wide

Submitted by SSmall on

While I think airline security is very important, the way the U.S. goverment goes about it is questionable. The employees at TSA only make about $12.00 hr. The requirements are minimal U.S. citizen (I Think) no criminal history.A pain inthe butt job I am sure. My biggest complaint is the interpretation of the rules. An example my wife, infant son and myself flew from Baltimore to Orlanda. Tha trip was SMOOTH getting through TSA at BWI. My wife, breast feeding at the time went to the BWI website to determine what we could and could not bring through the security check point, she was directed to the TSA website. My wife having additional questions about bringing breast milk and the ice paks called the TSA help line. They answered all of her questions appropriately or so we thought. After having a nice vacation we returned to the Orlando airport were my wife was treated like a criminal.Our first introduction to TSA at the Orlando airport was a young woman giving the passengers instructions in very broken English.I could not understand a word. Our second meeting with TSA went like this. I had gone through the metal detector and sent my other carry on items through x-ray while carrying our infant son without any problems. Now here comes the problem. My wife sends the bag with breast milk and the ice paks through the xray machine. She gets flagged by some J/O TSA guy who proceeds to open the bag and inspect it.He was very rude! NO problem I understand that, they need to visualize certain things, but he doesn't need to be rude. He then proceeds to swipe the bag for explosive residue which it comes up negative and then proceeds to tell my wife she has to throw away the contents of the bag because of the ice paks. This is were it gets heated. I work in public safety myself so I am used to rules and we have no problem following the rules.I go over and ask for the supevisor, the supervisor comes over and says she has to throw the ice paks away.OK not a problem except the TSA Hotline has already told my wife she can take those through. We had already been through security with the exact bag and contents at BWI and nothing was said other than can you open the bag for a visual inspection. We go round and round wit th TSA supervisor where she proceeds to tell us we should keep the milk cold with bags of ice. I ask her can I take water through security? She states no! I then ask isn't ice nothing more than frozen water? UMM UMM UMM YES! What's the difference? Water is still water even if its frozen. I advise tell her again that we went through BWI no problem and we talked with the TSA hotline and they advised us this would not be a problem. The supervisor finally relents and allows us to leave and we get on the plane without throwing anything away. The TSA agent admitted to us and she was a supervisor that the rules are to hard to understand. So if a TSA supervisor can't understand the rules how can the everyday flying public understand them?
I must say the majority of the TSA folks I have dealt with are nice cordial people, a few are jerks. The TSA needs to do a much better job at training their employees so that there is a common message among all of its employees.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Look...the rules are simple...there are thousands of ways to figure out the best way to get through security safely and efficiently...unfortunately, people don't seem to want to take a minute to understand and/or just READ what they can/can't take on a plane with them nowadays...when you guys enter an airport, ever read the signs around you?? have you ever listened to the announcements being played over the intercom?? have you ever watched the advertisments being played over and over?? have you ever listened to a TSA person telling you what you need to do?? honestly..cmon!!! what more do you need???

Second, there are a standard set of rules that are supposed to be followed at every airport. Just like you and me, we're going to have different opinions on things...WE'RE HUMAN!!! it's just our nature!! granted some people do lack sensibility and brains, but you just have to do the best ya can.

Third, WHY BRING a HUGE CARRY-ON suitcase?? extra stuff for TSA to check...extra stuff for you to worry about having to take out, etc. why don't you CHECK it as checked luggage?? SAVE EVERYONE a lot of time.

Seriously though, if you just read what's listed on TSA.gov and can comprehend...you'll be just fine. Also, READ, READ, READ the signs at the airport, don't just rely fully on previous security experiences.
Be kind. We're just exhausted from some of the traveling public giving us a hard time and FORGETTING to properly package their liquids. Remember, the TSA personel on the floor did not make the rules up, we just have to enforce them. Just trying to do our job, like any other U.S.tax paying citizen. Just my two cents. Thanks.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Be kind. We're just exhausted from some of the traveling public giving us a hard time and FORGETTING to properly package their liquids. Remember, the TSA personel on the floor did not make the rules up, we just have to enforce them. Just trying to do our job, like any other U.S.tax paying citizen."

I suggest that a bunch of you TSA people leave your TSA ID behind and take a few flights around the country. Have one of your kids pack your bag for you after reading the rules, and see how YOU get treated.
Don't forget to bring some gels and liquids, some food items, and a bottle of water, a laptop, and wear lace up boots. Then get back on your private TSA blog, and share your experiences. I hope you learn something from the trip.

Happy Traveling....

Submitted by Anonymous on

My girlfriend and I were flying to an ABA meeting in the Southwest a few years ago, out of Logan. We boarder the plane and were seated in 2 of 3 seats on one side of the isle. A man boarded who was groggy and the attendants had a difficult time figuring out what his problem was, and the flight was delayed for well over an hour. Finally our seat mate, a nurse, assessed the man and determined he was a diabetic and had not taken his insulin shot. Finally EMT's arrived and gently removed him from the plane, probably saving his life. We were rather surprised that he managed to get through the TSA screening. He wasn't very coherent.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The most annoying inconsistency is that between what the official regulations are and what individual screeners think the regulations are, or they simply don't know! Small example: Tweezers have always been allowed; however, some screeners insist they are not, and confiscate them. What would happen if I showed them a print-off from the TSA website showing allowed and prohibited items? Would I end up in jail? I understand the necessity for caution and appreciate the protection and can handle a little incovenience in return. What I deserve and have a right to, is people who do their jobs correctly and have the knowledge and information to do it.

Submitted by Pike on

I have experience a lot of inconsistancies between Phoenix, AZ and SLC, UT. For instance: I have never had a lighter taken from me by the Phoenix TSA agents but always in SLC. I was alone with my 18 month child I went through security in Phx with two bottles FULL of water with no problem. In SLC I only had about 1/4 of a single bottle of water and security would not let me through. Neither time was the liquid in a clear plastic quart size bag.

Thanks,
Ty

Submitted by Anonymous on

tsa tso ny states
By us taking an incident report we can state such.
It also gives us a chance to list all screeners who may have witnessed the event and may need to be interviewed later, etc.

As far as the privacy act, we should not be asking for your Social Security number and you should refuse to give it if one of us asks for it. It is NOT required and we were told not to ask for it.

As far as name/address, etc. We do have the right to ask for this info just by virtue of the fact that you are coming through the checkpoint. It does help us to match your complaint to the incident reports and providing it can help in seeing that you are paid if there is really damage.

Asking for complaint forms has consistently resulting in threat and retaliation from screeners as noted numerous times on this site. I personally would not ask for a complaint form with out a police escort. WHY- because you have not proven to be trustworthy.
And the fact that some one who does try to follow the rules (prints them out and checks them off as I'm packing) feels this need, shows that inconsistency in enforcement of said rules, fears you. Well it should say something. And it's not something good.
Besides, are you not suppose to be taping the interactions with your "customers". Can you not use that to determine who is involved in a compliant?

And to those who accuse the customers of "whining". We are not whining about the rules, and we are not two year old brats trying to get out of them. We are trying to demonstrate that even following the rules as posted by TSA (even having them in hand)is NO GUARANTEE of ANYTHING.
THAT is a problem and a real one.

Submitted by Annoyed on

Anonymous at 10:03 Feb.7 said:My girlfriend and I were flying to an ABA meeting in the Southwest a few years ago, out of Logan. We boarder the plane and were seated in 2 of 3 seats on one side of the isle. A man boarded who was groggy and the attendants had a difficult time figuring out what his problem was, and the flight was delayed for well over an hour. Finally our seat mate, a nurse, assessed the man and determined he was a diabetic and had not taken his insulin shot. Finally EMT's arrived and gently removed him from the plane, probably saving his life. We were rather surprised that he managed to get through the TSA screening. He wasn't very coherent.

Yep, just another thing to blame on TSA!!
As a diabetic I know that for people who don't properly care for themselves, the onset of those symptoms you described can happen rather quickly. Since you know so much, do you know where that man had been previous to boarding your flight? For all you know that man had been on a layover for 3 hours waiting for that flight. Assuming that the man did the minimum preparation, and arrived at the airport 30 minutes prior to his boarding time, his medical state would have been better at the time he passed through securtity then at the time you saw him!
Seriously??? Seriously!

Submitted by Anonymous on

I dont mind the whole TSA process.

I do mind TSA not rezipping my bags properly after screening.

Four times out of the last 5 times that I've travelled the outer pocket on my suitcase was left unzipped. After losing items in that pocket the I stopped putting items in there.
This is in ATL.

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