USA Flag

Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

RUMOR ALERT! LAPTOPS

Archived Content

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 This page may contain information that is outdated and may not reflect current policy or programs.

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

Members of the news media may contact TSA Public Affairs.

Friday, February 08, 2008

We have received several questions, comments and links to other blogs about a Washington Post article on confiscating laptops and other electronic devices at airports.

» Click Here to read the Washington Post Article.

As the article correctly states, this is a customs issue and not one TSA is involved in.

TSA does not and will not confiscate laptops or other electronic devices at our checkpoints. Our officers’ are solely focused on the safety of the traveling public and are looking for explosives and other prohibited items. Should one of our officers find something suspicious, we will immediately contact local law enforcement and potentially the local bomb squad. We will not ask for any password, access to any files or take the laptop from you for longer than it takes to determine if it contains a threat.

Should anyone at a TSA checkpoint attempt to confiscate your laptop or gain your passwords or other information, please ask to see a supervisor or screening manager immediately.


Christopher
TSA Evolution Blog Team

2/14/08 8:41 a.m.

Nico Said:

The post referencing LAX Terminal 6 requiring all passengers remove all electronic items piqued our interest, so we have done some digging. First thing this morning we checked with our Lead TSO at Terminal 6 and we spoke with our Assistant Federal Security Director for Screening, who both refuted the posting and stated, "passengers are not required to remove all electronics, in fact, we are requesting they put all small electronic items in their carry-on bags to help keep them together." Additionally, the Screening Manager at LAX who is responsible for the operations in both Terminals 5 and 6, is in the process of conducting an employee by employee inquiry to determine if anyone has required this of passengers in the last couple of days. So far, there have been negative findings. Is it possible that one passenger had to remove all electronics after an initial pass through the X-ray because we had trouble identifying possible threat items? Yes. But again, all passengers are not required to remove all electronics.

Blog Team Member

Comments

Submitted by ZoomInfinite on

What a great use of the new blog. It was clear from the article that it related to customs officials and not the TSA. The internet has a way of spinning it's own story however. Being forced to hand over passwords is still a disturbing prospect, but crossing national borders is certainly much different than a flight from ORD-SEA.

Submitted by Anonymous on

thanks - so we need to curse US Customs now.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Please define "something suspicious". Thank you.

Submitted by Anonymous on

BTW... does this mean that we should ask to speak to screening managers if a supervisor is being unhelpful? I thought they didn't come to checkpoints.

Submitted by Anonymous on

On the topic of disclosure of policies, could you clarify exactly what sort of policies govern the behavior of TSA agents during screenings. I have been asked, by TSA agents, invasive questions regarding my sexual orientation and medical history. Do I have a right to refuse to answer these sorts of questions without fear of retaliation in the form of extended screening? Also, given the number of incidents of theft by TSA agents, can I request to remove sensitive documents from my wallet (i.e. credit cards and social security card) before it is searched?

Submitted by WTHDIK on

"please ask to see a supervisor or screening manager immediately."

Have you not read the numerous other comments about how these types of requests are answered by many TSA staff?

Tell us please, when we make this request and are told "I make the rules" or "you want to miss your flight?" or "I AM the supervisor/manger", etc, what do we do.

Seriously, when the person we are dealing with threatens us or is totally unresponsive: What do we do?

Submitted by Anonymous on

This is off-topic, but I didn't see a place to submit questions for future blog posts.

I've been baffled by something. Recently there were high-profile news reports that showed that it was very easy to sneak a bomb onto a plane back a year or two ago. However, during that time, there were no planes blown up. Doesn't that indicate that nobody is trying to blow up our planes and we're making travelers miserable for no reason?

(I'm not debating that we shouldn't have security, but more questioning the continued "threat level orange" and wondering why we haven't reverted to a more relaxed security stance. This is something that I've never seen addressed - there's just an assumption being made somewhere that I'm expected to buy into.)

Submitted by Anonymous on

I just found your blog and I think it's a great communication tool. I do have one concern though and it's not merely stylistic. The syntax and diction of the blog postings aren't really commensurate with the professionalism I'd expect from a government agency.

For example: "These practices were stopped on Monday afternoon and blackberrys, cords and iPods began to flow through checkpoints like the booze was flowing on Bourbon Street Tuesday night. (Fat Tuesday of course)."

I applaud your efforts to include the general public in policy making but don't make it at the expense of professionalism and maturity.

Submitted by TSA TSO NY on
Seriously, when the person we are dealing with threatens us or is totally unresponsive: What do we do?

Copy down as much identifying info as possible. Ask for the name of the AFSD/DFSD/FSD, etc. When you get to where you are going call and as to speak to the AFSD/DFSD/FSD, whatever that airport has as it's top dog. Believe me, that is the person who will act because he hates it when complaints get to his level.
Submitted by Anonymous on

Oh, well, that makes it all better. TSA isn't asking me to surrender my data, some other government organ is. WHEW!

/me goes looking for customs blog.

Submitted by TSO Tom on

Anonymous said...
Please define "something suspicious". Thank you.

February 8, 2008 12:57 PM
***********************************
I will give you an example of something suspicious. A laptop came through our checkpoint with shoes on top of it. I was going to simply re-run the laptop and the shoes separately, until I noticed a rather large hole in the lid that had been covered with epoxy glue. I decided instead to ETD the laptop. Upon further investigation, I tried to open the laptop to inspect between the lid and keyboard, but the lid would not open. So I contacted the supervisor who agreed that this particular laptop looked "suspicious". The passenger was delayed in making his flight as we investigated a little further. This is only one example that I personally was involved in. Hope this answers any questions as to why laptops need to be removed from the carrying case.

Submitted by Anonymous on

tsa tso ny - Huh? None of those acronyms mean anything to anyone not in the TSA structure

Submitted by Anonymous on

I don't suppose that US Customs has a blog so that we can berate them for their unreasonable searches and theft of property.

This blog is a great move by the TSA. I appreciate that this form of dialog is possible.

Submitted by Tallanvor on

Speaking of laptops... Passing through Heathrow this week, I was overjoyed that they have stopped requiring us to take laptops out of our bags. Considering that the second busiest airport in the world can safely screen laptops in the bag, why can't our airports manage the same thing?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Agree -- too many acronyms!

TSO = Transportation Security Officer. TSA has taken to calling screeners TSOs in the past few years.

FSD = Federal Security Director. That would be the most senior TSA employee at that airport, i.e. the top dog or "sheriff."

AFSD = Assistant FSD, or the # 2.

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSA should have a right to visually inspect electronic devices to ensure the safety of the traveling public and to ensure that there is no illegal contraband entering in the sterile boarding areas.

However, there must be and there should be accessible legal recourse for travelers to file federal lawsuit against the TSA worker and the agency to recover the cost of computer including the cost of attorneys, court costs.

If electronic devices are not banned by federal law or executive order. Then TSA has no business of confiscating property that is not their own.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why do you not require the staff to wear photo ID, or at _least_ a name tag where we can _easily_ see them?


Please consider making easily readable ids a requirement. If you are serious about improving things, we need a way to id the problem person without being vulnerable to their retaliation.

Submitted by Jeremy on

"ask to see a supervisor or screening manager immediately"? You're kidding, right?

If you think that would work, or that we would have even the most remote chance of either talking to a supervisor or getting on our flight after saying something like that, you have some serious disconnect with the reality of the situation.

That you would even suggest someone do that shows that you have a long, long way to go here.

Submitted by Luis on

OK, the its the customs the will be correcting my post. Any way its kind of scary to be asked to log in to my laptop just to show the content.

Submitted by Dcstattic on

For the most part I approve of many of TSA's policies to protect airline travelers, however there is one policy that is difficult for me to understand. What is the problem with a mother who is traveling without her child carrying milk she has pumped onto an airplane? Many studies have shown the benefits of breast milk for infants and throwing away such a precious lifegiving liquid just doesn't make sense. Why can't there be an exception for breast milk?

Submitted by Devwild on

I appreciate this post, which directly addresses my previous post, though I would note that there are documented cases of the TSA confiscating data in the same manner as described about Customs.

That said, having a from-the-horse's-mouth statement that this is inappropriate for a TSA officer is certainly appreciated.

Submitted by Winston_of_minitruth on

tsa tso ny,

It's all well and good that we know what to do afterward. However, what do we do when we don't agree to their request? What if it is a request that is in direct violation of our 4th Amendment rights, or the TSO has no right to make? For example, if I refuse to let the TSO rifle through my wallet, which is not something that they should be doing. After all, it could easily be run through the x-ray machine. If I refuse to comply, then I am punished with whatever retaliation they decide to serve up. Is there something that I can do while I'm there, since it's possible that I'll miss my flight, to resolve the issue? I guess I'm asking who do I speak to if the TSO is uncooperative? Mind you, I've never run into that situation, but it'd be nice to know should a similar situation arise.

Submitted by ToastyKen on

I read about the Customs issue the day before I read about the existence of this blog, and it made me really appreciate this blog! While Customs is being sued by the EFF and Asian Law Caucus because they ignored a Freedom of Information request, the TSA has done the opposite: It has decided on openness and transparency. On engaging the people its serves in dialog instead of just telling us to shut up and trust them.

Thank you for starting this blog, TSA. I hope it continues being useful for further communication in both directions.

(And here's hoping Customs decides to be this open!)

Submitted by Anonymous on

Thanks for the blog, keep up the work and I hope you can respond to the many questions and concerns raised here.

I particularly appreciate the tone of writing, in that it is informal, extremely readable, and puts a human face on TSA.

Please ignore the anonymous commenter who thought the blog was unprofessional -- they clearly do not understand the dynamics of modern online communications.

Submitted by MSP TSO on

In answer to the "Breast Milk" question... You CAN bring breast milk. If you are traveling with a toddler or infant, milk, jars of baby food, and juices are allowed. It just needs to be a reasonable amount for your flight.For example, someone with one child wouldn't need 16 juice boxes for a two hour flight.

As a TSO in Minneapolis, I know that if you request to speak to a supervisor, you will get a supervisor. Usually TSO's are all too happy to turn a disgruntled passenger over to a lead or a supervisor.

Also, I have NEVER asked a passenger to turn on their laptop or hand over their password, nor have I ever been TOLD to do that. So, I don't understand what that is all about...I can only speak for Minneapolis.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I've never met anyone more critical of the TSA than myself, but this blog just might thaw my cold cynical heart. It's too easy to scapegoat government agencies as faceless, nameless Big Brother entities but this is a great reminder that behind every (at times seemingly idiotic) policy, there is a person or group of people sincerely trying to do the right thing.

Thanks for showing those faces and shedding light on some of the decisions behind the policies. Maybe they aren't so idiotic after all and maybe I'll stop being so passive-aggressively rude to screeners.

Submitted by Anonymous on

So here's a question, why is it that when you go through the screening you have to take your laptop out of the bag but not camera's and other electronic devices? I would think in the age of x-ray, that a simple laptop bag would be easily scanned by such expensive and sophisticated machines.

On the same note, has anyone really looked into efficiency gains in terms of ways that you can speed up the lines? Have you ever noticed where the bottle necks really are? It seems like the line sort of just waits and waits and waits and then all at once for a period of say a minute you are in a frenzy to:

- take your jacket off
- hats
- shoes
- belts
- empty pockets
- cell phones and other devices off your person
- carry on bags
- laptop
- laptop bag

all of this has to be disassembled and then put into too small bins, that you end up having at least 2 of, plus your carry on, plus your laptop bag that you are pushing through to the conveyor, and then you have to walk through and reassemble yourself on the other side, when there aren't enough chairs or people trying to do this at the table and holding up the people behind them.

This isn't rocket science, so for people who have taken so much time thinking about the 3-1-1 (I'm figuring that took several million of my tax dollars to figure out by the way), that you should be spending time figuring out how to speed up the lines and make it more efficient. Here are some thoughts.

First, let's make the tables longer. So instead of waiting until you are at the point of entry and you have to disrobe, start that process well in advance. If you are in the line anyways for several minutes waiting, then you could be waiting and doing all of this at the same time and you are just then pushing your stuff on the table long to the conveyor to the x-ray machine.

Second, once you get through, put CLEAR instructions on what you expect people to do on the other side. So taking your 3-1-1 approach, say 1-2-3, 1-pick up your items, 2-take them to a chair, 3-put yourself together (that took no effort at all and saved you a million bucks!) This will move the line along because you don't have people standing in line on the other side of the detectors trying to balance on one foot while putting on their shoes and jackets.

Third, put enough chairs on the other side to accomodate people putting themselves back together. This seems fairly common sense, you have nice plastic rooms and things to give people a pat down, but no place to sit and no place then to put the bins after you are done putting yourself together?

Fourth, monitor your staff to make sure they are using their time wisely. At most jobs people have to focus at their task and the time for watercooler conversation is set to breaks and lunches. Talking of the TSA staff should be limited to business only conversation. Every time I go through the lines, it seems like the people are gossiping and gabbing about something else other than how they can work just a little harder or a little faster to ensure people get moved through. I understand you feel like a robot you are doing the same thing over and over and over again, but that's life. Take pride in the fact that you help people stay safe, but you do it respecting their need to speed through what is a major inconvenience. STOP CHATTING or waiting for your breaks or taking your time walking from here to there. You are paid to do a job, and it would seem like a lot of efficiencies can be gained by more careful monitoring of the people who are suppose to be the ones monitoring us. I was in a line once and the TSA agents basically just stopped because it was a minute or two from their breaks, and they just waited and chatted while the line was standing patiently until someone relieved them from their tiring day of sitting on a stool and looking at a monitor--only then did the line start to move again. What do you do, you don't say anything for fear of what they will do or can do because of their power, but still you feel that you are getting the low end of the stick because you want to move on with your life.

Lastly, power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Take the power away from the TSA agents to do ANYTHING but screen. Have actual police offices or federal marshalls monitoring the lines and keeping the peace. TSA agents should be trained on customer service or service delivery as this is no different than any other job. You want people to fly more, than make it easy to do just that. Take a lesson out of the Southwest playbook, and teach your staff to be nice, you will get more reception from that.

Submitted by TSA TSO NY on
"However, there must be and there should be accessible legal recourse for travelers to file federal lawsuit against the TSA worker and the agency to recover the cost of computer including the cost of attorneys, court costs.

If electronic devices are not banned by federal law or executive order. Then TSA has no business of confiscating property that is not their own.

February 8, 2008 3:45 PM


Did you actually read both the header for this comment section and then all the comments above yours before you actually posted?

TSA DOES NOT CONFISCATE LAPTOPS!!
On RARE occasions we will examine one more closely if the is suspicion that it may have been altered. If this was in fact the case, it would be turned over to a Law Enforcement entity or one of the Bomb Appraisal Officers. We DO NOT examine data!!

2nd - And I know people will argue semantics here but here goes anyway - TSA DOES NOT CONFISCATE ANYTHING!
We allow you to go put a prohibited item in a checked bag, give it to a family member, drop it into your car, etc. If YOU can't figure out a way to get rid of it OUTSIDE the screening area, we ALLOW YOU to VOLUNTARILY surrender it to us for disposal.

You can not fly until that item is resolved. If you don't have time to leave the Checkpoint or have no other way to get rid of it then you give it to us. Trust me, we would rather not have to PAY for a hazmat disposal company to come and pick up all the crap that we have to store from passengers who can't read a few simple signs.

We have a steady stream of traffic her of people leaving the checkpoint to go back to the airlines to try to get back thier checked bag so they can throw in their bottles of liquids that shouldn't have been brought to the checkpoint to begin with.

The airline will usually NOT get the bag back as it's already loaded on the plane. Then the passenger, now frustrated, comes back to the checkpoint, throws the liquids (pocketknife, straight razor, belt buckle that looks like a derringer, etc.) at us and says "Here, take it then."

Then they have to get screened all over again, MAY make the flight, then go home and say "TSA took away my --------"!
Submitted by TSA TSO NY on

To the person who spoke about having thier wallet searched.

Sorry folks, While we appreciate that wallets contain person information, they are sometimes searched. We ARE allowed to do this.

MOST of the razor blades we find here are concealed ("forgotten") in a wallet. We have seen them placed INSIDE of drivers licenses which have been seperated and resealed. That is why we do not allow you to remove anything from your wallet until it is searched. I personally have found X-acto blades, razor blades and falsified ID in wallets.

To answer another poster jeremy said...
"ask to see a supervisor or screening manager immediately"? You're kidding, right?

If you think that would work, or that we would have even the most remote chance of either talking to a supervisor or getting on our flight after saying something like that, you have some serious disconnect with the reality of the situation.

No, I'm not kidding. I work on the floor. I've been promoted from Screener to Lead to Supe and am now a Manager so I've seen checkpoints operate since day one. I can GUARANTEE that if you keep a level head and a civil voice and ask to speak to a Supervisor or Manager, one will be gotten for you. Unfortunately, if you are screaming at a TSO they are likely to respond in turn and you may in fact be targeted for addition screening.
Some TSOs and employees on here will tell you different - that there is no retaliation & I probably won't be popular for saying this but it is a fact.

We are human. When someone gets in MY face and starts screaming profanities, threatening me, even physically abusing me, sorry but I'm probably gonna react in kind. Sorry folks - fact of life.

however, the person who may be upset over the loss of thier shaving cream or who fels they were traeted unfairly and asks for a supervisor in a calm tone is gonna get satisfaction.

If that fails, and I'm sure it will in some cases, Simply write down the time, place, as many details as you can remember about the screeners descriptions and what occurred and call later. Ask for those individuals in charge.

Believe me, a TSA FSD who sits in an office and is far removed from checkpoint activities DOES NOT want a complaint going to his boss and will respond! Remember, he's the ultimate authority at the airport and he's making over $100 grand a year and doesn't want that jeopardized!

HOWEVER, a passenger screaming at a TSO is perceived to be a threat, unstable, whatever, and is treated as such. Sorry, but your credibility just went out the window. Not only that but you're yelling at someone who makes about $12 an hour and (sorry TSOs) in SOME cases really doesn't give a crap about customer service.

I know this may not be the way things are supposed to be but I'm being honest here.

TSOs are constantly being disciplined for "Customer Service" issues and we DO try to weed out the abusive ones, but it's hard to identify who is wrong when 2 parties are screaming at each other and a passenger is being led away in handcuffs because they got so frustrated that they pushed a TSO.

Keep calm, comply with any thing you are asked to do (I know, but this is not the time to start an argument). THEN ask to speak to a Supervisor or Manager. Failing that, take notes and call later. Witnesses who will collaborate on paper what happened are always an asset. You will see resolution this way.

Not a perfect system folks but there are WAY MORE good TSOs then bad apples. Try thanking a couple for thier service as you come through a checkpoint and you would be FRICKEN AMAZED at the type of service you will get!

Submitted by Sirbrent on

Its particularly upsetting to me that I am constantly told that the laptop has to be alone in the plastic crate -- i cant put it on top of my sweater or the laptop case. But the plastic tubs have two problems... they constantly scratch laptops (it doesnt help that security is pushing them around without thought to the precious content) and they often have a very strong static charge, which is very bad for electronics! Please change this policy!

Submitted by FEHERTO on

Hi, one strnage thing I experienced in the last years.
I am from Austria and frequetly travel to the USA and also I make a lot of doemstic flights.
In the last year I made 28 doemstic flighst and had been each single flight selected for the Special Security Screening, irrespective with airline or class I had been flying.
Are foreigners generally selected ? I am definitely in favour of strong security actions, but this seems to be more than by accident.
Thanks for any comments or additional infos.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Thanks for running this blog. Maybe you could explain in a post my the hell boarding pass/ID are checked TWICE during screening. At most airports you have to show ID and boarding pass to get in line and they do check both fairly thoroughly and mark something on it. Then you unpack all your crap ... but have to keep the boarding pass in your hand and some TSA official will glimpse at it. Thats retarded. It slows everything down having to keep the boarding pass out, people keep forgetting (and get yelled at), or they leave it somewhere and have to be called through the PA system. I travel a lot and I have seen this at several airports, including SNA (Orange County). I am all for security, but check the boarding pass/ID once and do it right the first time.

Submitted by Chrisqi on

The problem with TSA isn't so much TSA itself, it is the U.S. Congress which passes the laws giving TSA the authority to do what it does -- however lacking in common sense it may be.

To make matters worse surrounding this fact, Congressmen and women have exempted themselves from airport screening. All they have to do is show their US Congress IDs and they can bypass all the lines and aggravation the rest of us have to go through.

Now I don't know about you, but I think there are probably more career criminals in the US Congress than there are in the general flying public.

Until citizens tell Congress it needs to follow the same rules they subject the rest of us to, nothing will be done.

How can these clowns in DC know how bad it is if they don't ever have to experience it themselves?

Call your member of Congress and tell them to fix TSA and to quit exempting themselves from all the rules the rest of us have to live by!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Dear TSA,

Did the would-be conspirators in the UK "liquid explosive" plot actually have a working, binary liquid explosive? Please answer yes or no. Thank you.

Submitted by Anonymous on

This is in reply to chrisqi- The airport knows when VIPs are arriving ahead of time. VIPs are escorted through the airport by an "airport representative" or "security detail". I assure you they are not just arriving at the airport and jumping line.
Although, it may appear this way to the average airport passenger.

Submitted by Anonymous on

To Anonymous on the boarding pass checks. Airport checkpoint configurations vary from airport to airport. YOu may show your ticket and ID once at one airport and twice at another. The ticket checkers are looking at your ID and your boarding pass to make sure they are legitimate and also to make sure you are at the right gate. The person farther down the line is making sure everyone that passes thru the checkpoint has a boarding pass or an escort pass. You are not allowed in the secure area without one.

Submitted by Andy on

I am confused about what is valid ID. On a recent flight I used my drivers license as ID. My license had expired but I had been issued a paper extension by my states DMV. I was told this was not a valid form of id because the license with the picture on it had expired. When I showed the extension I was told that was not valid since it does not have a photo. I then used my city issued fire department ID that has both my name and photo. I was told this was not valid because it was not a standard ID. I was asked if I had my social security card available. I did not. Why is a social security card, which has no picture or any security measures on it, a valid form of ID yet my drivers license extension and department ID are not? Why is a drivers license that had expired not a valid form of ID? It was still issued to you after having verified your identity.

Submitted by Hawthorn on

Sorry, I accidentally hit Publish too fast...

chrisqi said "The problem with TSA isn't so much TSA itself..."

This word-for-word identical posting appeared in the Liquids section three days ago, where it was immediately refuted by an anonymous TSO, obviously with no effect. Members of Congress are screened like anyone else.

This blog is big enough with repetitive spam.

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSA IS OK WITH ME. I WISH THE SUPREME COURT WOULD MAKE CLEAR THE EXPANSION OUR FREEDOMS IN THE EVER CHANGING LANDSCAPE TO REPRESENT THE EBB AND FLOW OF OUR FUNCTIONAL SOCIETY. I AM A MEMBER OF BOTH THE FEDERALIST SOCIETY AND THE ACLU AND REALIZE THAT OUR SAFETY IS DEPENDANT ON OUR TOLERANCE BUT THE GOVT NEEDS TO STEP UP TO THEIR GAME AND USE CURRENT TECHNOLOGY TO ELIMINATE DUPLICATE INVESTIGATIONS. THIS IS AN EXCITING TIME!!!

Submitted by Steve on

if you officially don't confiscate laptops, i'd like to report one of your employees for theft.

i find what the TSA says and what the TSA does are two entirely different things.

Submitted by JMink on

Does anyone at the TSA work on optimizing the speed of lines?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Thank you for this blog. My one confusion about the article is the story of Maria Udy. She was flying from Dulles to London, so I don't think it would have been US Customs that would have confiscated her laptop since they only search inbound luggage. The article in this part just says "federal agent". Who else would that be other than the TSA?

Submitted by Tammy on

With regard to the person who apparently had his laptop confiscated and says this is theft, if a TSA employee confiscates something of value (whether they should or not), do they issue a receipt? Which includes the employee's name (or some other form of id, to id the employee but protect his or her privacy)?

I disagree with the TSA poster who said if a passenger becomes upset the TSA employee has the right to become upset also. Do the police act that way? No, they (hopefully) remain civil, at least they are supposed to. Passengers should not be put into a state of fear that if a normal protest is interpreted by the TSA employee as being upset the passenger will be subject to some retribution.

A physical assault is one thing, but intimidating people, which apparently happens quite frequently, by TSA employees on power trips is something else entirely.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why isn't there a "post a comment" link on the home page?

Submitted by Anonymous on

On 21 Jan 07 the Washington Post published a reader's description of her experience with two TSA screeners at BWI. One TSA screener was a no-class bully, and the other TSA screener seemed to act as though he didn't notice any inappropriate behavior by the first TSA screener.

Of course, TSA can't tell us what discipline wasn't applied -- privacy blah blah blah -- but TSA should try to give citizens and other travelers some feeling that the behavior described in the Washington Post is not actually built into TSA training.

Here's a link to the Washington Post article; if TSA responded, the Post apparently didn't publish the TSA response: http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=%22black%20girl%22%20BWI

Submitted by TSO Tom on

Anonymous said...
Why do you not require the staff to wear photo ID, or at _least_ a name tag where we can _easily_ see them?
***********************************
FYI we ARE required to wear a local airport ID card, AND a name tag with our employee number is part of our standard uniform protocol. So the answer is, WE ARE

Submitted by Anonymous on

"3 ounces" is the TSA version of metric "100 millilitres", which is actually 3.5 ounces and is the size of a lot of small bottles of stuff sold in the U.S.

This traveler assumes that TSA screeners aren't able to accept a bottle labeled 3.5 ounces or 100 millilitres because the TSA screeners have heard "3 ounces" endlessly and don't comprehend the interplay between U.S. measure and the metric measure that is used by 95 percent of the world's population.

Why won't TSA publish acknowledgment that the 100 millilitre screening standard used in Europe (and presumably other parts of the world) is acceptable even if 100 millilitres is more than 3 ounces?

Submitted by Anonymous on

It is very refreshing to see this blog. At a minimum this shines a light on the typical opaque & faceless Govt bureaucracy. On the laptop issue, even though it is the CBP and not TSA that is perpetrating this egregious 4th amendment violation - most of the US traveling public cannot distinguish between the myriad US Govt agencies that all have 3 letter acronyms. You can be guaranteed that DHS, CBP, ICE, TSA, DOJ will all be tainted with the same brush in the eyes of the typical American.

Submitted by Anonymous on

RE commnets by TSA TSO NY said...

So you condone your TSO's going off on a citizen passing through your checkpoint.

Abuse happens does it? Thats what the people paying your salary have been saying here. Abuse happens all to often.

I think you have just explained fully why you should not be in charge of anything much greater than the fryolator at McDonalds.

You and your people probably do have some very tough days and some very hard to deal with travelers, but to ever allow yourself or other people on duty to abuse a citizen in anyway puts you in the wrong at once, no matter what led to the situation. Nothing else you can say will change that fact.

My suggestion to you is to find a line of work that is more suitable to your temperment. Maybe the fryolator position is still open.

Submitted by Anonymous on

To msp tso --

Is there a rule about bottles v. sippy cups? When I travel with my 14 month old, I have had breast milk confiscated because it was in a sippy cup, not a bottle. Since her doctor recommends that 14 month olds not use bottles, I don't understand why the TSA at MSP (out of which we fly) continuously makes me dump my milk because she doesn't use bottles.

Also, I read that now nursing moms who are traveling without kids can bring milk with them? I've been allowed to bring back my pumped milk when I've been traveling solo from diverse airports such as EWR, LGA, SFO, ORD, XNA, LAX, and BNA (within the last 4 months). Before that I was Fed Exing milk on dry ice, which adds up. What is the exact policy?

Pages