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Inconsistencies, Part 2 (Commenting Disabled)

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Submitted by Anonymous on

Shawn said...
At the Ontario, California airport on Thursday, May 1 at 6pm, a young female TSA agent checking my ID and boarding pass asked why I had removed the receipt from my boarding pass (it's perforated). I explained that the receipt is not the boarding's my receipt for my personal records and not required for anything. (The Southwest boarding passes generated at the kiosk have a small perforated receipt). Well, the fact that it was detached threw her into a tizzy. Even though she had my boarding pass and ID (and the detached receipt that I retrieved from my wallet), she had to call other TSA agents over, get approvals, holding up the line, etc. (the boarding passes printed at home don't have receipts, so what's the big deal?). So I was "tagged" for the full body search, inquiry, etc. upstairs at the X-ray area, just because this TSA agent didn't know the rules.

May 11, 2008 3:13 PM

yea thats total b.s. sorry you had to go through that

Submitted by Anonymous on

Carbon Freeze said...
Probably the best side-effect of the TSA's ramp-up following 9/11 was the sudden change from terse, unhelpful, discourteous, unknowledgeable agents to human, effective, courteous, knowledgeable ones. I found this remarkable at the time, but since then the pendulum has slowly and inconsistently drifted back in the other direction. Are we simply no longer engaging in the excellent training program that those initial post-9/11 employees obviously undertook? Or is it rather that we are no longer willing to offer the salaries that we did immediately after 9/11?
In either case, we travelers deserve to be treated as humans, and if the only way to do that is to spend more on salaries and/or training, I say do it.
Even better: Offer, at the cost of $1, a security line where the traveler is guaranteed to be served by one of these better-trained employees. Compared to $300 and $400 airfares, it'll feel like a drop in the bucket!

May 14, 2008 9:46 AM

same tsa same training. BUT back then people were complaining about small scissors being taken and lighters being taken away. so the complaining really hasnt just began. its been there it just might not have applied to you. you either didnt smoke or didnt have any use for small scissors on your flight so you probably didnt notice.

intel that tsa gets makes tsa alter their screening. ok let me use adjust their screening procedures. you are quite lucky as the first day after hearing about the incident overseas tsa employees didnt receive anything more than an abrupt briefing saying "ok we are taking liquids now" so imagine the hold up in lines. imagine that within an hour the trash bins were full. imagine that NO LIQUIDS AT ALL could go. i say now its better. besides. its not like you have to do anything special. there are grocery stores as well as rite aids, cvs pharmacy duane reade stores that sell travel sized products for everything that is being taken.

Submitted by Anonymous on

alexander said...
First of all, adding to the cart topic, it really isn't under the tsa athority, it would be good to have free carts AFTER security. This way, there would be no risk of loseing them. Second of all, I have a comment/suggestion. It would be very easy to gain access to the secure section of the airport by terrorists, by using online check in, while we law-abiding, non terrorists, can't. If it is so easy for a terrorist to get by the security checkpoint by just using a fake boarding pass, why are we not allowed to go to see our family off. Along with that, the ability to electronically check in without seeing an agent, and the fact that you do not need an ID to board a flight, this first of all, renders the no-fly list usless, and second of all, can alow someone to fly on someone elses name. By reinstating the ID check at the gate, and letting non-flyers into the secure zone (and maybe adding a security tax of 1-2 dollars to do so), the process will become safer (as ID's would be checked at the gate, and there would be more people to notice suspicious behavior in a 9/11 concous public), and fares would be lowered (as airports would charge less of a tax, as there would be more people to buy in their shops). The only change to the pre 9/11 system that would have to be made would be that people without boarding passes would only be able to bring through security one small personal item, and NO liquids (this would be less of a hassle for them, as they would be able to go and return those items to their cars, and there would be less prohibited items through the checkpoint for this same reason) For some airports (most notibly large ones like JFK), during peak times, this may be an issue, so it should be at the airport's discression. To impliment this, at smaller airports non-passengers could go through the regular line, but at medium-large airports, a one lane "well-wishers" lane could set up, and priority given to passengers.

May 22, 2008 5:19 PM

you do not need an id to board a flight because tsa has already checked your id and even if you have a fake boarding pass it has to be valid to board as the gate agent has to scan it.

as i stated if your name is different on your boarding pass than it is on your id you are not just allowed to board the plane you wont even be allowed through security. PERIOD. i have checked tickets before and thats never happened. please tell me that you have witnessed first hand. first hand i say meaning no word of mouth. that a passenger whose name is totally different than the name on the ticket to get through security and board a plane.

Submitted by Anonymous on

2nd of all alexander to see your family off you simply just ask your airline to issue you a gate pass....people blame tsa for not telling passengers but thats clearly information the airline has not told you about.

Submitted by Alexander on

to whoever commented on one of my last posts,

It is very easy to get around the no-fly list. My way is very easy, accually, my 10 year old thought it up. If the following is deleted, then it is entirily plausible, and even if it isn't deleted, it should still be considered (also, a varation on this can get you pased security without an actual flight):

If you book a ticket on an assumed name, and check in online, you do not see a gate agent. The person would print the ticket, and save a version of it on his computer. On this version, he would edit the name on paint to his real name, and go through security with this pass. The person would bring many sharpies with him, and copy the initals on the pass he used to get through security with the one he printed online, and he has secsessfully avoided the no-fly list. Also, he can edit this pass saved on his computer to get through security any day he want's to, as long as the airline doesn't go out of buisness.

Ok, so there, also, you cannot just ask an airline for a gate pass.

Submitted by Anonymous on

re: to this hard of hearing/seeing person.

So do you just lock the front door to your home and not the rear because it takes to much time?

TSA's job is to make Civil Aviation as safe as they can. By not clearing airport workers, vehicles entering the ramp areas or cargo/mail that goes on some aircraft then little reason exist to clear the passengers.

Yes it will take more people to do the job right but to not do the job at all is crimminal!

Submitted by Auntie_Mayhem on

Regarding the post by anonymous (amazing, how many of you choose this ID)...

"Thanks for encouraging dialog with the public through this blog!

This is a small point, but I can guarantee that thousands of hours of screener and passenger time have been wasted because of it. Some screeners are apparently unfamiliar with the details of some state driver's licences. My co-worker and I were just subjected to full searches at LAX because our older but valid driver's licenses were unfamiliar to all three of the screeners present. Maybe a simple photo booklet of various licenses would be of help to some of these more novice workers.

Thanks again!

March 21, 2008 11:06 PM"

We have books to help us identify various State, US, and Foreign IDs. These books are old, however, and state right on the cover something to the effect of "not to be used after 2/2008." A couple of us asked our manager when we could expect updated books. We were told "Someday maybe, whenever they send them, it's not that big of a deal."

You think you feel frustrated? Those of us who want to do the right things in our jobs are probably more frustrated than you are... Typical government, eh? When we get the tools to do the job right, and stop getting punished for doing the job "as best we can" without the tools, then you and we will all be happier. In the meantime, please have patience with us, because we're doing the best we can do with the limited tools we're given. Thanks for flying, and thanks for your smile even though you weren't totally impressed with the system as it exists today.

Submitted by Anonymous on

On a trip to Tokyo a few years back, I saw a huge difference between the security staff in Tokyo and the security staff in LAX. In Tokyo on our return flight, security asked to inspect my suitcase. Note that they ASKED to inspect my suitcase. The officer allowed me to open the suitcase and requested that I moved a few items so he could see under them. When he was satisfied, he allowed me to pack things back the way I wanted them and close the suitcase myself.

In LAX, a friend was selected for a random luggage check. The officer was in a roped off area, though we could still see him. He rummaged through the suitcase and ignored my friend's request to pack a breakable item more carefully in the middle of the suitcase rather than on top. This item cost him the equivalent of $80 and when we got home in Phoenix it was badly damaged thanks to the TSA officer.

This is why I try to avoid flying altogether (it certainly isn't because there is some looming threat of a terrorist hijacking), and when I do fly everything is packed into one small bag that I carry on with me and keep with me at all times. If I need to bring more with me, I'll sooner pay to have those items overnighted via UPS or FedEx than let the TSA have their way with them.

Submitted by Anonymous on

So many complaints! Wow... Just what if TSA was not there? Would you get on that plane? So what if you lost your tube of toothpaste, bottle of water, you have your life! Explosives take lives! So sad Americans have forgotten 9/11.

I will gladly stand in line, remove my shoes and lose my liquids to ensure I make it to my destination.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I am sure thats not the reason. TSA is not there to bully you. There was something with your behavior or something you aren't telling. Maybe your airline selected you for additional screening.

Online check in has NOTHING to do with TSA. You buy your tickets from your airline. Your airline decides if you get a full body pat down, look for the SSSS on your boarding pass. If you see the SSSS...look forward to the additional screening. Remember to thank your airline!

Submitted by Jim Huggins on

TSA folks ... care to talk about the inherent inconsistency in TSA's
new policy
regarding IDs? If I tell you that I don't want to show you an ID, I can't fly ... but if I tell you that I don't have an ID, I can (subject to secondary screening).

(So, I suppose, all I have to do is lie about having an ID ...)

Submitted by Anonymous on
Question one: Asthma inhalers.

In one airport only (SLC) I've had big trouble over asthma inhalers in my carry on. At least three times, "we can't tell them from pepper spray", they tell me, and I've been told that in the future I will may have to check them (bad idea!), but for now, put them in my "quart bag". But other airports have complained when I put them in my "quart bag", because "that is just for liquids and gels". At least I get yelled at either way. What if it is not a liquid but a powder? How should I classify that?

Question Two: Carry-on procedures

At some airports, I put my carryon bag on the x-ray machine conveyer-rollers and walk on, but twice now I've had snotty comments like "do you want to take that with you?" from screeners, as I am expected to manually push my bag into the machine and wait until it is inside. Both times were at small airports. At larger airports, I found myself doing that (because I am trying not to get yelled at) and I had a security guy tell me that they can handle it, and I was not supposed to get close to their machine.

What I am supposed to do? I try my best to follow their rules, and still cop-wannabe comes over and gives me a hard time.

Question Three: Empty bottles.

I had my entire carry-on dumped out and searched over what I later learned was they thought I had an empty water bottle in my bag. I later figured out that this was probably my hard-shell eyeglass case (they never could find anything). Aside from displaying my medical supplies to everyone from my office, is there a reason for this? Why would an empty water bottle be forbidden anyway? Are empty plastic containers that might hold liquid now considered liquid? If so, should an empty ziplock bag not be considered a quart or gallon?
Submitted by NoClu on

Time to start a new Gripes and Grins, we haven't had too many Grins lately.

ID check doesn't equal security.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why do people get different letters after receiving a response from the DHS TRIP office? My neighbor's letter had something to do with an appeal process, while my letter didn't. What is up with this? Mr. Jim Kennedy's electronic signature is on both letter. So why the difference?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I fly weekly and most weeks I have several flights. Recently I've had as many as 10 flights in 7 days.

So you could call me an experienced flyer.

However, I have no idea what any one screening station is going to ask of me, nor do I know what an individual screener is going to command.

- Will I be screamed at for putting my shoes on the belt or for putting them in bin (current stats show personal preferences by screeners to be 80% on the belt, 20% in the bin).

- Will I be screamed at for staying with my possessions while they are held up going through the x-ray (again, about 80-20). I always wait for my items to clear the x-ray area prior to moving on (see note below).

- Will I be screamed at for refusing to allow my possessions to be moved to different areas of the screening area, outside my sight? (95% of the time I get the screaming when I do this).

- Will I be screamed at for using too many bins when I put my laptop all alone in one bin or for not following the screener's preference for piling everything into one bin? (50-50).

- Will I be allowed to wait for all my items to come out of the x-ray before I am screamed at to move along (25% that I will be screamed at for attempting to collect my belongings.)

- When I am being screamed at by two separate TSOs to do different things (Stay there! Move over here! Pass through the x-ray! Wait!)

The inconsistencies are maddening. I want to be one of those travelers who follows the rules, has everything ready, every thing out that's supposed to be out and everything packed away that is supposed to be packed away...but this is physically impossible due to the wide variety of screener personal preferences.

I come from a long line of police officers. I am very familiar with the polite but stern method of communicating instructions to the general public and I sorely wish that TSOs received even a small amount of training on how to pull this off. The screaming is just annoying. I'm not referring to the louder voice used to get a clueless passenger's attention, but the screeching that emits from the mouths of some rude, obnoxious TSO on a power trip.

Yes, I know you've been told that all airports require that shoes be placed on the belt, but I'm telling you, many have just the opposite rule. Until these rules are made available to the public, we're going to need you to tell us, politely, what your personal preferences are. Because when I fly through here tomorrow, the rule will be different. I can guarantee it because it happens all the time.

*I am one of the frequent flyers who used PDX on a regular basis when all the security screener theft was going on. I lost money, travelers checks, personal items, and very sentimental items from my purse on a regular basis. I no longer let my personal items be taken to other areas of the screening area, nor am I going to respond positively to your requiring me to do so. I will definitely be polite when you try to do that, but I will not just bend over when you tell me that you threaten me with arrest or baring me from my flight. You may do so, but I'm not going to fall for that type of diversion ever again.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Let's just operate like Israel does at their airports. I don't see the Israelis whining about the agent not smiling and telling them to have a good day.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I find it interesting that I can not bring a 25 cent bottle of water through security and if thirsty must fork over 2 dollars for the same bottle of water while the TSA employees waltz through screening with their 25 cent bottles of water they brought from home. I guess TSA employees can't afford to pay 2 dollars for a 25 cent bottle of water.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The Article on Complete Body Searc via Xray, you said you could opt out & have a pat down instead, wonderful i tried Refusing this Xray machine at Tampa in October 2009 & was literlly pushed into it with you have to go in ,& even after that screening they did a full Pat Down after stepping out of the dreadful machine, 74 Year old Caucasion Blonde Blue eyed Lady i felt humiliated by these two bullies, One Male the second
one Female.