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Inconsistencies, Part 2 (Commenting Disabled)

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Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

Dear TSA,

I travel around 26-40 weeks out of the year working for a technology company and part of my job is on-site support. As part of my job I am required to carry a small bag of tools to verify installs and correct minor OEM mistakes. My comment is in regards to the interpretation of the seven inch rule. 90% of the TSO's I interface with question the items I carry and I have to debate my way through the checkpoint narrowly clinging to my much needed tools. Every single one of those TSO's has a different take on what I should be able to pass through with and every TSO targets a different item as "dangerous" from screwdrivers to a crescent wrench? Yes! I had a 6.5 crescent wrench confiscated. I'm not quite clear on what threat that item posed, but they took it. I have lost around a dozen tools in the last year. Some were probably out of range for the 7 inch rule. Others clearly weren't. In bringing this up, when will you come up with a clear guideline for people who have to carry-on tools? The seven inch rule is generic and leaves it wide open to opinion. Maybe a little education with the TSO's on what to look for when it comes to tools would be great. Sometimes I come across a TSO who has zero idea what any of the items in my bag are and has to go get a supervisor who also has no idea what any of them are, and that slows things way down. I don't have an option of checking my bag everywhere I go because of my travel schedule, so it only leaves me with dealing with this option and when I have to waste 20 minutes at the checkpoint alone due to lack of education about the items I carry, it can send the frustration level skyward. In closing, it would be nice if you came up with a standard, policy, and clear guidelines for the end users on what will be accepted so I don't have to buy anymore tools and get held back gratuitously, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Chris

Submitted by Anonymous on

Hi there. I would like to say that I support the TSA and feel grateful that you guys are there to protect us. However, I do have two comments.

Firstly, I am a farmer from Hawaii. When I go to the mainland US I bring back small packages of seeds, the same kind that anyone can buy in a garden shop. The amount of seeds in any one pack is less than a tablespoon. Seeds are very sensitive to radiation. If you X-ray them, most of them will not germinate. Although most TSA screeners have been kind enough to let me through with my seed packets, there have been some who insist that my seeds must be X-rayed, which destroys them, wastes my money and kills living things. (Hey, I know it's not a dog or a baby, but if you were a farmer you might feel that way about your plants too.) Despite being told that the X-ray will kill the seeds, and my offering to open the packets so the inspectors can see that they are seeds, they refuse, and insists on X-ray. This burns me up. If I mail the seeds or put them in my checked bags, they are subject X-ray and to extremes of temperature that also will effect germination.

Could you please have some guidelines for seeds? If you policy is that they are not allowed, so be it, but I would like to request that you consider allowing so many ounces of seeds, especially if they are pre-packaged.

My second comment is about TSA employees' moods and attitudes. I'm a cheerful happy go lucky person (hey, I live in Hawaii). I smile and say hello. I treat everyone with politeness. I value good manners. I would LOVE IT if TSA would have regular workshops addressing putting forward a positive image to the public. Honestly, many TSA representatives seem to have a mood disorder, lots of gruffness and hostility, which is really unnecessary. I (we) pay their salaries through taxes, and I can tell you, if I had a farm hand who acted like that they would be given a chance to improve their attitude and if they couldn't, it would be the end of the line. I know they have a difficult and stressful job, and I appreciate all that the TSA representatives do for our country. But the agency has to make them realize that being polite, positive and cheerful will actually make their job easier and improve how they feel every day. It will also decrease attrition.

All that being said, I just want to say "Thanks" and "Aloha"

Submitted by Anonymous on

I just wish the TSA screeners would follow their own rules. I was at an airport recently and I read all the signs posted while in line. The signs said that one did NOT have to take off one's shoes if they were flat. So I did not take off my shoes when I arrived at the pass throughs. I politely pointed out that there was a sign just a few feet away that said no shoes were to be taken off! Oh well, how sad that when passengers want to follow the rules they change on a whim. Now the screener did call someone to inform them of the sign but I heard a voice come over the radio that said "I don't care what it says" I think that is the key to all these problems, the screeners DON'T CARE!

Submitted by Anonymous on

To the anonymous poster who complained about the "little woman" and her children being able to knit in the airport: Read the TSA brochure! They are allowed! Believe me, they are not pointy and really couldn't be used as a weapon, even by a strong man.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I fly out of Orlando 3-4 times a year and they have there act together. Great overall job from an airport that sees thousands of tourist every day. I wish that was the same for Buffalo's airport. The first tsa agent is sitting on a stool and the expierance goes down hill from there. There is no effort on anyones part to speed the process. It seems like we are interupting there time. I have stopped showing my military id to the agents why? Because everytime i do they move me over to the side and i receive the frisk down. R they looking for safe people to check or potential terroists?
One comment about liquids. Why do people need to put liquids into the baggy to get past security when all they have to do is go to the bathroom and take them back out of the baggy? It is not the amount of liquid it is what the lquid is....

Submitted by Anonymous on

I travel at least once or twice a week. I do not ask for any special treatment by TSA because of my airlines travel status. I have adapted to their regulations, restrictions and all of the idiosyncrasies at each of the various check stations at each city.
Believe it or not being prepared has made my travel experience more pleasureful rather than all the complaining you folks are doing. I get to watch so many of you bitch and complaint when for the most part it is your lack of preparation that causes the rest of those in line the biggest headaches and delays.
Now I don’t necessarily agree with all the regulations either. Some of them are a bit on the hair brain idea. But do you really know why we cannot take more than 3 ounces in a container and why it has to be in the bag. Believe it or not we are not privileged to all the reasons why our security has the regulations they have in place at any given day. We may not understand why they don’t make it more stream line. But we would want the next shoe bomb wearing idiot to have an advantage by “learning” the system of the screening process.
Those of you that are complaining here are the very same people that will be complaining and demanding where the security was when we have the next 9-11 event! Which is it going to be people? You cannot have it both ways. When you do have to travel don’t forget that the TSA personnel at the gates are only there to enforce the current rules. When was the last time you thanked the TSA personnel as you went through the screening process? They are doing their jobs.

Submitted by Anonymous on

There are many inconsistancies. In Indiana we had to take off our shoes, but got to pick what line to go in (the shortest of corse), but then in Mexico we didnt have to take off our shoes, and there was a guy telling us what line to go in. He put us in the LONGEST line, and when we asked him, in Spanish even, he said we had to stay in the line we were assigned to. Talk about power trip! We nearly missed the flight! People behind us in the initial line were long gone, and us, yep still waiting to walk through the metal detectors. Someone please give these people standards and training. How are we supposed to know what to do, if nothing is consistant!!!!

Submitted by Darrell on

How many times in the process must a person show their boarding pass? I show it to the ticket agent and then I wait in a line to sow it to one TSA official before boarding a tram to the gates. After leaving the tram I wait in another line to again show my boarding pass to another TSA person
before going to the screening process. I then show it again to still another TSA person after going through the metal detector. Are all of the subsequent viewings of the boarding pass necessary just in case the previous screener missed it? It just seems like a huge duplication of effort. It just cannot be an efficient process
with all of this redundancy. This was in the Tampa airport by the way.

Submitted by Mary on

Looking forward to my first Express Lane security screening; hope it works and that the "special" pass so one does not have to remove shoes, "jackets" (more on "jackets" later), etc. every time!
Why do some airports get to hide their going through you stuff when others will open right in front of you?
Why can't the TSA change gloves for every case? I know that the gloves are to protect them, but it turns my stomach to have my clothing and other personal items by filthy hands/gloves. Ditto for bins that are covered in gunk, and I set in my baggie or clothing to have it come out dirty!
Why does Chris at Jackson Hole know that, eventhough, he'll be reported for, literally!!!!, slamming my bag down onto the belt to the back, nothing will happen so a smug, condescending smirk and a "so what" response when I ask for his name?
Why 24 (yes, I counted) TSA sitting in IAH where they could see massive lines and checking their watches for the five minutes they have left? Then walking deliberately slowly to their stations. That day 2 hours in line; other days 1.5 hours. In the last four years have never been in that line less than 1 hour.
Why DFW has the most rude TSA? Want my story on my shoes disappearing for 30 minutes in DFW?
And, yes, the inconsistancies!!! Too many to even remember in the last 5-6 years.
Kudos to the crew at HDN except for the hidden examination table. Kudos to the crew at COD except their lack of continuous control of the bag once it has been searched (they sit on a cart that is not always w/in sight of the TSA). Kudos to PKB especially on the crack-of-dawn shift.
You really need to have some sort of set up in which someone can empty a baby bottle or a personal nalgene, etc. w/out leaving security altogether and w/out having to ingest the total contents.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I do not understand why it is that the people that work at the Starbucks, etc and the flight crews can move to the front of the line at the check point. We are the customers, what happened to the customer is always right? It never fails that this happens to me when I am running late due for a flight normally because of long lines at the airport. Is there any other business that treats it's customers this badly? I spend approx 75,000.00 per year on flights.

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSA,
I travel 35-40 weeks a year and I have very few problems with the rules and regulations. The problem I have is with either incompetent, uneducated or power thirsty TSA employees. In Seattle, on a trip to Anaheim, I was asked about an itme in my carry-on. It was a 7 inch socket wrench handle. I had checked with TSA a few days earlier and confirmed that as long as it was no more than 7 inches, it was legal. When the agent pulled it out of my bag, he looked at it and said it was too long. I told him it was exactly 7 inches and that I had confirmed with TSA earlier that it was legal. He then took it over to a stand and held it up against something on the top of this booth and came back to me and said it was an inch and a half too long. I knew he was wrong and asked to see what "scale" he was using to measure it with. I was told I couldn't go into that area and I could either mail it or check the bag. I asked to see a supervisor and he told me he was the supervisor. I was furious but knowing you can't win that battle, went back to the ticket counter and checked the bag. When I arrived in Anaheim, I immediately went to a hardware store and bought a plastice ruler to measure the handle. Surprise, surprise, surprise!!! It was exactly SEVEN inches long. Now that's a reason you have furious passengers and why your agency cathes all the grief it does. We have no recourse against some power thirsty "wanna be a cop" mentality. The next time a situation arises and I know I am in the right, I will ask the local police (or port) authority to get involved and will file a complaint against the TSA individual.
Thank you,
Kirk in Seattle

ps If you would like to contact me:

NFLDeepSix@aol.com

Submitted by Keith on

I'm sure you've heard this before, but I'm posting to increase the frequency of which you hear these complaints (and in case you haven't heard these).

I travel fairly frequently (I've boarded 20 airplanes so far this year) and there are several inconsistencies with TSA security check points:
- The sensitivity of the metal detector varies. Sometimes I get through with my belt on. Other times I have to go back and take it off...depends on the airport.
- Some airports REQUIRE that shoes are taken off and other don't. Of the airports that don't require the removal of shoes, sometimes the shoes trigger the metal detector and other times they don't (even with the same pair of shoes).
- Sometimes travelers are required to keep their boarding pass with them and sometimes they're not. This depends on the airport. The funny part is the TSA personnel don't seem to know that the rules vary by airport. They speak to travelers as if we should know their specific rules. My home airport is ORD. There's a woman there (I've seen her a few times) who gets annoyed at travelers that keep their boarding pass in their hands! I guess she gets tired of everyone trying to show her their pass. Not sure what the harm is. She could simply say thanks & have them move on. Instead she makes obnoxious announcements telling people to put their boarding passes away!

That's all I've got. I think everyone would get through security faster if they knew in advance that they must take off their shoes and belts, that they must keep their boarding passes in their hands, and any amount of metal (even high iron in the blood) could potentially set off the detector. I've gotten into the habit of always removing my belt and shoes, and keeping my boarding pass in my back pocket as I go through...just in case.

Thanks for listening! Keith Harrison

Submitted by Anonymous on

In your directions for the blog you say you expect people to be respectful in what they post. What about the TSA people being respectful of us? Most of them I have encounter in many airports are not respectful, they are rude, expect me to do what ever they ask, depending on what mood they are in, they treat me like I am a terrorist. There is never any kind of consistently from trip to trip of what is allowed and not allowed. Food should not be an issue, especially an unopened item, in plastic that is small. Or fresh fruit. So you take this from us so you can have lunch. There is no rhyme or reason. Flights are long and difficult and you would like to have a small snack. The food in airports is not what a healthy person whats, nor do I want to pay the high prices of food in airports. Sometimes you do not have time to buy anything in the first place. I sometimes think all of you are in this together so you can all profit from the terrorists. I in general do not have a problem with doing things to protect myself and others in this terrorist time of ours. But some common sense on a lot of this would go along way. I think you all have gotten way out of hand with your demands. I think it is a control issue on your part, lets see what we can get them to do today, next week or next month. One guy wanted my purse to go one way and me the other way, no way in hell, so you can steal something out of it. My purse does not get out of my sight and you should not expect anyone to let their personal belongs be out of their sight. I know someone that had something stolen from her bag, you know it happens more often than we hear about. This new deal about charging us to take the same amount of baggage for 20 years plus, we are now reduced to take only one bag. Is this for the airlines or for you all, or are all of you profitting from this? What does it matter if you take 2 bags, as long as things are not overloaded? Flying is a pain in the butt now on so many levels!!! And it does not have to be, everyone has just gotten way out of line on so many things. Passengers can not even say anything to you, or question you that you do not gang up together against the passenger that said something. I would hate to have a job like yours.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I travel for business every week all over the USA and western Europe. Please answer me this! why is there so much inconsistency in TSA protocol regarding items allowed and removal of items? I'll travel through three different airports (in the US) on the same travel day and be required to do different things at all three airports (remove all electronics at one airport but only the laptop at the other...). Just when you think you understand and thus, prepare for the TSA requirements (which facilitates faster through put!), the TSA changes requirements.

My other frustration is to be in a long TSA line with maybe one or two lanes open but many TSA staff just standing around. Here's a concept, OPEN ANOTHER LINE!!! My job requires me to be as efficient as possible, why can't we expect the TSA to be functioning the same way? After all, we are paying for it! I think it's time for the bureaucrats to step aside (yes, I know, it's job security and it makes you feel important!) and let the TSA do the job they are designed to do!

Submitted by Anonymous on

I bought TSA-approved combination locks for our luggage when we went on a family vacation 2 or 3 years ago. No problems that trip, but ...

May 2007, using those same TSA-approved locks, I attended my brother's retirement ceremony in Tucson. Problem #1: Combo lock missing after return trip. Inside was a TSA slip saying it was cut off because they couldn't open the (TSA-approved) lock. Huh?!? Thought they had keys for all those special, approved locks?

July 2007 my son returned via Atlanta from a month in Germany as an exchange student. Problem #2: Another missing a lock. Again, a TSA slip saying it was cut off because they couldn't open the (TSA-approved) lock. Hmmm, lazy or vandalism? Problem #3: Six carefully wrapped/cushioned bottles of special German beer(can't get it here) bought as a gift for his dad were totally unwrapped. No problem IF re-wrapped after inspecting. Instead they put unprotected glass bottles back in the suitcase. Between beer stink and glass shards, the bag I loaned him and its contents were ruined!

Bottom line: I'm out two locks, one piece of luggage, and the contents of that suitcase. All because someone couldn't or wouldn't do their job correctly.

To give credit where due, though: Going through security in Tucson 3/6/08 a TSA employee was extremely kind. I should have known better but had packed a jar of salsa in my carry-on, not my checked luggage. Instead of confiscating it, he ran the salsa back down the terminal to the security checkpoint and handed it to my mom.
--Lynn C.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Yes the terrorist have won and Bin Laden and company are layghing thier @@##$% of.

When TSA opens luggage they should be required to place thier name and contat info inside the luggage. I have had merchandise stolen from inside my luggage with a TSA checkes sticker on the bag.

Also I agree wuth another poster that has metal implants, Hips as was his and my case. I go through security trip the detectors and I go stand on a pad and wait till someone waves the wand. I tell them that I have artificial hips and even though there is nothing present in any pocket I have been requested to submit for a private screening in order to fly. Since when would a TSA employee know where to look for a scar from an implant.

All in all I will sacrifice time and drive to a location rather than be subjected to the humiliation that TSA puts passengers through.

Submitted by Wisdom on

Anonymous on March 30, 2008 6:56 AM
says that inconsistencies make it harder for the terrorists. So do you some how specifically know that terrorists are trying to cause harm with their shoes, toothepaste, olive oil, or sweatshirts? None of the new items being scrutinized at airport checkpoints since the 9/11 attacks have been used to cause any damage on any flight.
The fact that millions of innocent people are hassled daily at airports, and the fact that our time and money is being lost on this nonsense is likely just as pleasing to "the terrorists" that you speak of.
You should also know that many inconsistencies that occur at TSA checkpoints are not part of any strategy rather they are based on the personality, mood and training of the TSA employees. Through my non-TSA related airport job and my frequent travels I have witnessed and experienced daily inconsistencies and tremendous differences in employees conduct and their ability to deal with people and the task at hand.

Submitted by Anonymous on

It is increasingly frustrating that the TSA staff from airport to airport interput the rules so differnetly. I recently flew from Omaha to San Diego with my 2 cats. They were each in their own airline approved carrier and in a pet stroller. I was told I need to take the cats out of the bags and carry then through the security check point as their stroller and carriers went through the X ray. Traveling alone, I asked if I could carry one cat through put her in her carrier (after it had passed the xray), then step back through the metal detector to grab the other cat and carry her through. I was told that I was not allowed to do this because I would not be allowed to touch the stroller or carrier and then step back through the metal detector. Don't the TSA staff have travelers step back and forth all the time if they set off the detector?? I was lucky. Another traveler carried one of my cats and I carriered the other. I have flown with my cats several times and this is the 1st time I have ever been told I was not allowed to take on cat through and then grab the other.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I travel several times a month and have come to expect minimal seucirty from TSA. After 9/11, I had a swiss army knife that slipped into the lining of my suitcase so I had no clue it was even there but for one full year it traveled with me with no indication through TSA... Unintentially I have gone through TSA in LaGuardia with a bottle of water, through several other airports without having to take out my my carry-on liquids and lastly in Richmond where TSA allowed someone to go through security after telling them they did not have photo ID. The whole thing is ridiculous and we are no safer today. Maybe if TSA wasn't so concerned when their break was or about me taking off my shoes and would pay attention to what is on the screen in front of them I'd feel better. It would be great if the training was across the board and the same at every airport as well as having the same quality people - maybe take some lessons from security people in Las Vegas... Its sad and if people think we are any safer, they are mistaken...

Submitted by Anonymous on

My husband and I just recently flew roundtrip from RDU to LBB. We had exactly the same items in our carry on bags when leaving RDU and we did when leaving LBB to come back home...sailed right thru RDU without a problem. Both of us were "selected" for additional screening when we presented our driver's license and boarding pass to the agent at security. All of our carry on bags were emptied, wiped down and checked...as were our shoes. One would think if things were ok going from RDU to LBB that they would also have been ok coming back. Neither of us triggered the metal detector as we both had already removed everything but clothes and placed them in the bins for screening. Only remaining metal items on were wedding rings and the metal screws in my husband's ankle! Still have no idea why we required the additional screening other than the fact that the agent spent a full 5 minutes scrutinizing our driver's licenses before allowing us to move thru metal detector then be patted down and almost strip searched. A little consistency would go a long way.

I found the comment interesting about selecting those passengers who have arrived 2 hours prior to flight time for extra screening because they have the time. So because I follow the rules and arrive 2 hours early like I am asked to by TSA I get punished by having to endure additional screening? Next time I will arrive an hour before departure and see if it helps move me along.

Don't get me wrong...I am no opposed to security screenings at the airport. I feel that we have to do whatever is necessary to make air travel safer for all of us. Just make it fair also. I am in medicine and if I treated my patients the way some of the screeners treat the passengers I would be looking for another job. We are paying their salary...treat us with a little respect and maybe we will return the favor.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"I am sure TSA has thousands of reports about people "who tried to get a real weapon in, just to see if they could"

Provide even one iota of evidence to back this type of TSA sensationalism reporting up. If it were not for the 1000's of TSA horror stories and the absurdity of Mr. Ridge's comments about only needing to be right one in a million times. The facts that many many in government and the public sector are making millions and millions of dollars on this whole "terrorists are everywhere" concept, it would be nice to see or read even a few credible "wins" for this department. Otherwise it is just so much hyperbol and fluff and just a really annoying aspect of air travel, because as we all know the only way a terrorist can do evil deeds is by use of an airplane, car bombs, bus bombs, IED's and such things are just made up stories in the press every single day.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I just flew into Philly this past week from Providence and was amazed by the fact the travelers with children can bring sippy cups through the check points but I cannot bring a water. I understand the need for breast milk for infants but sippy cups? Come on now, they should have to do the same as everyone else. Buy your childs drink on the other side. And the three ounce limits and quart sized plastic bags. What is the difference if it is in a plastic bag or brought out for inspection from a toiletries kit.My gel deoderant made it through withouta problem buty my toothpaste had to be discarded because I did not have a plastic bag. There are way too many inconsistancies.

Submitted by Anonymous on

One issue that I have had is how TSA employees get upset with you when you don't know exactly how their line works. For example, in Greensboro you always have to had your boarding pass to a TSA employee before and after the metal detector. When I tried to had my boarding pass after the metal detector to a TSA employee I was spoken to like I was an idiot because someone had already checked it. Its not my fault they all operate differently, they need to be trained to be much more polite because the systems ARE very much different and various airports.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Good Evening TSA,

I have a concern in regards to what I experienced when I took my mother to the airport for an international flight. She is an elderly woman who takes a great amount of medication daily. She had documentation from all her doctor's abotu the medication that she takes and the specific reasons she takes them. Before her flight I checked the TSA website in regards to her medication and was able to determine that all of her medication can be placed in the same carry-on bag and she would still be allowed another carry-on bag for clothing, etc. Well, when I took my mother to the airport we were berrated and told that she is not allowed to have a carry-on for her medication and that she has to check it in with the remainder of her luggage. I then had to explain to the worker that I did research and found that she is allowed to have her medication with her on the flight and that not allowing her was discriminatory against her. After me saying this and then me opening her medication carry-on bag she was allowed to take her medication carry-on bag with her. I was wondering if it is possible if the TSA can inform thier workers and the general public of this right to have their medication with them becuase I am sure that this is not the first time a passenger with documented disabilites was denied this right. Thank you so much.

Sincerely,

Anonymous

Submitted by Anonymous on

We were between flights in Portland, Oregon, and my 3 year old daughter was hungry. My wife and daughter left the 'sterile area' to goto the food court. Upon trying to re-enter, they refused to let the three year old in because the screener in Medford had written on her ticket in the wrong place! They forced my wife and daughter to endure 'extra screening' which included both of them to be patted down. When they got back towhere I was (I had our 1 year old and all the carry ons with me), my wife was on the verge of crying. I went back to the security area and asked why they were forced to go through this embarrassment. NO ONE could answer my simple question. Even the several supervisors could not come up with an answer. One said one thing, another the complete opposite-in fact, two of them began arguing policy!

IF YOUR SUPERVISORS DON'T KNOW THE RULES, HOW CAN THE LINE WORKERS THAT ARE BELOW THEM???!!!

and..

IF YOUR SUPERVISORY WORKERS DON'T KNOW THE RULES, HOW THE HELL DO YOU EXPECT THE PUBLIC TO KNOW THEM?

It seems to me that you have your work cut out for you. If you were a private comany and I was the boss, I would have fired the whole lot of them in Portland that day. But your employees are protected Civil Servants, whose incompetancy can be overlooked.

After all, you're ONLY in charge of keeping the skies safe for the flying public (Not to mention the people on the ground!)-RIGHT?!

I mean, it's not like you had to make sure my hamburger was fully cooked...

Submitted by FrequentFlier on

It is baffling why SEATAC consistently and chronically has the longest and fewest security lines, much higher wait-times and apparently least active TSA staff (more TSA officers loiter around unopened security points instead of opening up more security lanes) compared with the busier, larger hubs like LAX, SFO, BOS and IAD.
Is it the airport, weather, latte or typical northwest efficiency?

Submitted by FrequentFlier on

It is baffling why SEATAC consistently and chronically has the longest and fewest security lines, much higher wait-times and apparently least active TSA staff (more TSA officers loiter around unopened security points instead of opening up more security lanes) compared with the busier, larger hubs like LAX, SFO, BOS and IAD.
Is it the airport, weather, latte or typical northwest efficiency?

Submitted by Disgruntled Flyer #9 on

Let me just get right into it. I fly 3-4 times a month on average and have no patience for this any more. Here's a horror story and a few things to think about:

1. I have never seen more incompetent TSA personnel than those at JFK airport. They are by far the rudest, crankiest, and most stubborn. Last time I flew in there they pulled this 80-something year old grandmother off the line for a special search. Seriously!? Honestly, what do you think poor old granny is going to do?!? What made it worse was that she didn't speak much English, so TSA security decides to watch her struggle with her oversized carry-on (I thought TSA was supposed to carry a person's bags when they get pulled aside!), and drag it over to the quarantine zone. Not once did any of the TSA workers offer to help her as she struggled, and when another flyer that she was with (looked like her son) tried to help her, security swooped in and literally grabbed him and dragged him across the ground. By this time poor granny was crying and looked shell-shocked and TSA just made her stand in the quarantine zone while they harassed her son. TSA ignored her and ignored the pleading of all the other passengers waiting in line that were trying to get the poor woman some medical attention because she was hyperventilating! Way to go TSA! Thanks for harassing poor travelers as they are just trying to go visit family.

2. Oh, but at least we all know that you are saving us from the evils of bottled water and hand lotion. Has anybody else realized that all the over-priced items (waters snacks, magazines, etc.) that they sell after you get through the security checkpoint all come in through that same security checkpoint that you do?!? Someone want to tell me why I can't bring in my own bottled water if that's the case?!? Maybe TSA is getting a kickback from all the airport vendors!?!

3. I tried bringing my $350 custom made pool cue as a carry-on on a trip to Boston. Little did I know that pool cues are considered "deadly weapons" by the TSA. Well I didn't find this out until after I waited on line for 30 minutes, and passed my duffel bag and pool cue bag through the x-ray machine. Then TSA informed me that a pool cue is a "deadly weapon" and that I could either throw it out or go back to the airline desk and put it with the checked baggage. Well I didn't have a choice, so I chanced it getting broken by all the other checked luggage. Then I waited on line for another 20 minutes to go through security again. Here's the kicker that I realized when I unpacked later that night...I had my pocketknife (with a 2.5 inch blade) in my duffel the whole time. I had forgotten that I had put it in there. Well that pocketknife made it through 2 security scans. Thank God I'm NOT a terrorist! But once again, I'm glad to see the TSA doing such a great job!

4. Think about this...TSA airport security screeners get paid $14.63/hour to "protect" us. Ever notice that the people they hire are the bottom of the barrel, bootscraping, trash that can't get jobs elsewhere, and who get their kicks from harassing poor old granny on her trip to Florida?

5. Last week I got through security with a bottle of Gatorade. Glad to see TSA is so thorough with their screenings! Or maybe you only screen certain flavors...is that why my orange Gatorade got through? Must be. Thanks for really doing a great job! Well, at least I didn't have to go and buy another drink for $5 a bottle after I got through security. Sorry you didn't get your kickback.


Let's hear it for the most incompetent government agency ever! Thanks for pretending to keep us safe. Keep up the great work guys, thanks for protecting me from bottles of hand lotion larger than 3oz.!

-Disgruntled Flyer #9

Submitted by Anonymous on

The 3.4 ounce rule sounds reasonable, except for the fact that when shopping in any grocery store or drug store for "travel size" containers of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc., the smallest size one can find is 4 ounce containers (or .75 ounce toothpastes. The next largest size of toothpaste is 6 ounces). Traveling out of Mexico and through DFW, all 4 ounce and larger containers were confiscated. Can't Homeland Security coordinate container sizes with the product manufacturers to make air travel a "user friendly" experience? Does .6 ounce mean the difference between a safe product and a potentially explosive device?

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSA Need to start re locking the very expensive TSA locks that passengers have to buy if they want their bags locked. On more that one occasions I get to my destination only to find my TSA lock missing from my suitcase. On one occasion I guess I can call myself lucky because my bag arrived at my destination with the lock opened and barely attached to the bag. What is the purpose of the TSA lock if you guys are not going to re lock a bag after is is screened?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Each airport has a different policy. When you ask them why, they say (with a straight face no less) that it's to keep the terrorists guessing. But, from what I have seen, each airport is consistent in its own policies, so any terrorist just has to watch one check in procedure to figure it out. But, it's a huge inconvenience for any normal traveler just trying to get from point A to point B.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The 3oz liquid, 1 gallon bag is silly. It wouldn't be that hard for one person to cram 4 3oz liquid bottles of explosive into one of those baggies (I believe it was 12oz of c4 that brought down the Pan Am flight. Or, if that wasn't viable, just make sure they travelled with another terrorist with his/her own plastic baggy of liquids. But, for the rest of us law abiding folks (particularly women), we have to figure out how to cram our liquid makeup and toiletries into that baggy (and some airports consider lipgloss and mascara liquids, while others don't). And, invariably, we end up having to throw something out, only to find later that the hand sanitier or lip gloss we accidentally left in our purse made it through the screening.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Would someone please explain why you have to take a laptop out of it's case? Can't an x-ray machine see through the case?

Submitted by Anonymous on

What bothers me is the new "training" that must be gone thru to be able to be "awarded" our uniforms? I think we need more information on that.

Submitted by Anonymous on

As a frequent business traveler I agree with most all of the postings. What I find most frustrating is that this is another example of our Governments inability to implement and oversee another one of its agencies!

Submitted by Jim Huggins on

Anon from Orlando: I'm just another fellow traveler ... but my understanding is the purpose of the quart-size baggie is to limit the total quantity of liquids you bring on board, not the individual sizes. This (in principle) helps to limit risk further; even if "bad stuff" makes it through the screening, there's a limit to the amount "bad stuff", leading to a limit to the size of the bomb someone could (hypothetically) make.

So, yeah, you could always empty the baggie out once you're on the concourse, but at that point, you've still just got a very small amount of liquid.

Submitted by A Bridges on

I posted this also in the Liquids section, however, I would like to re-iterate it here because I feel it applies to Inconsistencies as well.

I agree with someone who posted earlier that I understand the reasoning for a lot of these rules many of you are complaining about. I am not here to complain about the rules, but more so about the clarification of some rules and the inconsistency in enforcing these rules.

I am a mother of a 9 month old baby boy. I have been flying with him since he was a week and a half old as my in-laws live in WA, and we live in PA. His father is also Military, so we travel a lot for that reason as well. My main concern relates to traveling with my son. I think the policy on traveling with children needs to be clarified. From reading the TSA website, it leads me to believe that I am able to travel with more water than would normally be allowed because it is for my son as long as I declare it at security. I have done this and depending on which airport I am at, have had to either empty all of his water from his bottles, had to mix formula into all of it (which formula once mixed only is good for up to two hours unrefrigerated), or I was able to go through with no problem.

I feel that this rule should be clarified and should be enforced consistently throughout each airport. I never know what I can take for him, including baby food, juice, water, and formula. And when traveling with a small child, it is much harder to just empty out all of these items or throw them away while trying to balance him, a carry on, and his diaper bag let alone if we are traveling with a stroller or car seat.

I feel that the rules should be clarified and consistent among what is printed, posted on the TSA website, and educated to TSOs. I tried explaining to one TSO at SEA that I had carried on the amount of water on my way from AVP to SEA and had no problem going through security and even gave him a printout from the TSA website. However, trying to fly back from SEA to AVP, I was told I either needed to make the formula there or empty all of the water. I also needed to go to the back of the security line (which I had already waited in for an hour) and start over once I emptied the water. This, I believe was completely unnecessary.

I appreciate the efforts the TSA has made to keep us safe while flying, however, a little consistency between airports and clarification of some procedures would be greatly appreciated, especially for those traveling with children.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would someone please explain why you have to take a laptop out of it's case? Can't an x-ray machine see through the case?

Most people carry a lot more than just the laptop inside the laptop bag and all those items make clearing the bag much more difficult or result in more time on the other side of xray due to bag checks. Removing the large electronics although a pain to passengers actually greatly speeds up the process.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I am currently a TSO working in PHL airport and I am amazed by some of the comments on this blog. While I understand the frustration of every passenger traveling, you guys have to understand that this is a job we signed up for and every job has rules. We are only following the policy that we all were taught in an 8 hour class, five days a week. So if you guys should be questioning anything, you should be questioning the people in Washington that actually write these policies.
What really frustrates me is that when people look at me, they only see the uniform and automatically I'm "the enemy" that's gonna take your liquids. What you people don't know is that I am a human being just like you: I have a 7 month old child, a wonderful husband, and I have a college degree(this goes to the person that said TSA should hire "smarter" people). I also don't like when we are categorized as being the same; just because one person from TSA was rude to you does not automatically make me rude...I am one of the most polite people you will ever meet; I say real words like "please" and "thank you", just like any human being would say.
All I can say is we are doing our job and you all should appreciate the fact that you do not have to do this challenging job and that time is not taken away from your family because you didn't want to take your shoes off or take your liquids out of your bag.

Submitted by Anonymous on
I am currently a TSO working in PHL airport and I am amazed by some of the comments on this blog.

How many posts do you think are lies? How many posts do you think are accurate?


While I understand the frustration of every passenger traveling, you guys have to understand that this is a job we signed up for and every job has rules.

It is your job. If you don't like it then quit. Do you yell and scream at elderly, children, military members traveling under orders and in uniform? If you do those things then you have no right to that job. You have become what you were supposed to protect us against.

We are only following the policy that we all were taught in an 8 hour class, five days a week. So if you guys should be questioning anything, you should be questioning the people in Washington that actually write these policies.

We've tried and gotten nowhere. We've heard nearly every lie you could imagine from TSA and your credibility is worse than that of lawyers. Hey, but you can say that you're not at the bottom of the barrel. That honor goes to Congress, and FEMA.

What really frustrates me is that when people look at me, they only see the uniform and automatically I'm "the enemy" that's gonna take your liquids.

No, we don't know what you're going to confiscate since that is your priviledge to confiscate anything you deem a 'risk to transportation.' You've become a terrorist and the traveling public is afraid of your nearly unlimited power.

What you people don't know is that I am a human being just like you: I have a 7 month old child, a wonderful husband, and I have a college degree(this goes to the person that said TSA should hire "smarter" people).

So do some of the people that your coworkers torment with made up on the spot SOPs.

I also don't like when we are categorized as being the same; just because one person from TSA was rude to you does not automatically make me rude...I am one of the most polite people you will ever meet; I say real words like "please" and "thank you", just like any human being would say.

I try to avoid any conversation with TSA personel. I find the process unpleasant and want to be on my way ASAP.

All I can say is we are doing our job and you all should appreciate the fact that you do not have to do this challenging job and that time is not taken away from your family because you didn't want to take your shoes off or take your liquids out of your bag.

The Nurenburg defense doesn't protect anyone. For a college graduate to even attempt the 'I was just following orders' argument, speaks volumes.
Submitted by Inna on

My mother has had double knee replacement and always sets off the metal detectors at the airport every times she flies. She knows beyond a doubt that when ever she flies she will have to go through extra screening. While flying from Miami Int to Newark Int she was throughly checked by an agent with a hand held metal detector and visually. On her way out of Newark Int back to Miami Int she set off the metal detector but the screening was incredibly lax. As soon as the agent found out she had knee replacement she spent more time telling my mom about her family and their story with knee replacement than checking my mother. She swiped her once with the metal detector and let her go. We both found this to be very upsetting.

Another fault that i found is that i was able to get on the line at the security check point even though i did not have a ticket. There was an agent standing at the beginning of the line but she did not ask anyone for tickets or ID. Once we reached the metal detectors i stepped off the to the side of the line (still inside the secure area) to see my mother off, i was there for at-least 5-10 min before the security agent i was standing in front of noticed i was there and asked me to leave.

I know people on this blog complain that security takes too long and is a nuisance but i would like to say i feel safer getting on a flight when i know that the TSA agents have been thorough. Security lines are already long as is, waiting another 10 min for a thorough screening is a small price to pay for safety.

Submitted by NoClu on

Inna,

Please take a bit of time to read the concerns addressed in this and other threads. Security is welcomed. Made up rules, inefficient practices, significant security omissions, Federal Employees who are rude, inconsiderate, marginally competent, etc. are the problem.

So is passing off employee whim as planned inconsistency to identify or frustrate terrorists.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Government Issued" ID needs to be better clarified. TSA does not seem to recognize FEMA, DHHS or other governmental ID cards (even at times from their same Agency).
There need to be mechanisms for Government travelers who have Government ID that denotes they have undergone the extensive fingerprinting, background checks and interviews by Homeland Security are ironically automatically selected for the more extensive additional TSA search and pat down because of the Government rules of travel booking which are one way tickets purchased less than 48 hrs in advance. These are likely the most prescreened and safe travelers and instead are treated like high risk.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I recently traveled to and from Albuquerque. At the first security checkpoint, my driver's license and boarding pass were both scanned with a blue light device. I'm a frequent flyer, but this was the first time I have encountered this. Anyone know why or what the blue light is supposed to show?

Submitted by Anonymous on
I'm a frequent flyer, but this was the first time I have encountered this. Anyone know why or what the blue light is supposed to show?

If you have a newer license then there are some UV (blue light) inks imbedded in the license that glow when exposed to the UV light. That is part of the anti fraudulent credentials instituted by the government under the real license program.
Submitted by Anonymous on

"Anonymous said...

I'm a frequent flyer, but this was the first time I have encountered this. Anyone know why or what the blue light is supposed to show?

If you have a newer license then there are some UV (blue light) inks imbedded in the license that glow when exposed to the UV light. That is part of the anti fraudulent credentials instituted by the government under the real license program."

Write SSSS in invisible fluorescent ink on your license and find out what confusion is like.

Submitted by Wisconsin on

Why on earth would we want to do the same thing, every time, every day? How easy would it be to observe, look for weaknesses to exploit, and beat the security? Our country is a country of spoiled brats.

If TSA were doing it's job, then the terrorists would be caught. Screening for liquids, shoes, etc are pretty commonplace and as such should be standardized. If you are a TSA screener then I would suggest finding another job before you get fired for your bad attitude.

While I agree using the term "spoiled brats" would be inappropriate in a professional setting, this is a blog so the use of emotion is pretty liberal.
I am confused by most of these complaints... you want all or most of TSA fired yet you also say they are understaffed. Keep in mind that there are over 42,000 officers in this country. Given the human factor, it's impossible for them all to be perfect. Perhaps instead of focusing on how many terrorists TSA has not caught, look at how many terrorist attakcs have not happened since TSA began.
And the "customer service" complaints: if a cop pulls you over for a traffic violation, do you give him a hard time and complain about his lack of customer service? No, because you are not his customer even though your taxes pay his salary. You are not TSA's customer when you fly even though your taxes pay their salary. You are the airlines and airports customer. Which, isn't to say TSA shouldn't be courteous. I just think the extent of courtesy most of you expect is a little unrealistic and over the top. sometimes.

Submitted by Anonymous on

" "I am sure TSA has thousands of reports about people "who tried to get a real weapon in, just to see if they could"

Provide even one iota of evidence to back this type of TSA sensationalism reporting up. "

Why don't you back up half of the intentional exaggerations and flat out lies you try to "sensationalize"?
Have you ever thought that maybe providing the proof you request could tell the real bad guys how to bypass security? If TSA posted all the details of all the threats they discover and prevent everyday, no one would fly. Just be blissfully ignorant and say "thank you".

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would someone please explain why you have to take a laptop out of it's case? Can't an x-ray machine see through the case?
An x-ray machine doesn't allow a screener to see into things as if were a true to life image. Think of it like an xray at the doctor's office. If the doc has you cover up with a led vest, than the xray won't be able to see inside your body. It also gives about the same type of image.

As for the poster who ripped apart the PHL TSO, you will never be happy. She was earnestly trying to let you know that not all TSOs are the stupid, thug-like bullies you complain about. I think you should feel fortunate that the biggest problem in your life is airport security. All though you seem very bitter and calloused, at least you don't have any other problems. Lucky you.

Submitted by Dunstan on

wisconsin said
"You are not TSA's customer when you fly even though your taxes pay their salary. You are the airlines and airports customer. Which, isn't to say TSA shouldn't be courteous. I just think the extent of courtesy most of you expect is a little unrealistic and over the top. sometimes."

TSA Said:

"Our ultimate goal is to create an atmosphere that aligns with our passenger's need to be secure, while ensuring the freedom of movement for people. In doing so, our employees will assure customer confidence and ultimately establish a standard for passenger satisfaction.

Our culture provides passengers a secure and pleasant travel experience. We achieve this through highly-competent and dedicated customer service teamwork and respect. We strive to earn the respect and trust of all airline passengers by practicing the following five principles:

* Security that is Professional - Service that delivers positive lasting impressions with proper image and effective communications.
* Security with Customer Service - Service is efficient while maintaining the dignity of all passengers.
* Security that is Attentive - Service that acknowledges the passenger strives to minimize passenger anxiety and put them at ease.
* Security that Encourages Teamwork - Service of the highest quality resulting from combined individual efforts.
* Security that Protects Civil Rights - Service that is delivered with respect and equity."

They refer to passengers as customers.

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