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How We Do What We Do: Baggage Screening

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Monday, March 17, 2008
Click here to view the How we do what we do: Baggage Screening video

Click Here to watch how TSA does baggage screening (wmv, streaming).
The Aviation and Transportation Security Act, which created TSA, mandated 100 percent electronic screening of checked baggage. To meet this mandate, TSA installed minivan-sized explosive detection machines in airports across the country, typically in already crowded lobby areas.

Today, TSA is increasingly relying on advanced baggage screening technology. More than half of the 2 million people that fly each day use airports with automated, in-line baggage screening systems. The systems allow passengers to “drop-and-go” curbside or at the ticket counter instead of having to take bags to TSA after checking in with their airline.

This means pre-9/11 convenience for passengers and post-9/11 security for TSA, airports and airlines. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International is one of many airports where an in-line system is used. Click here to view a short video of the in-line system in use.

Jon

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

Dear TSA,

Did the wannabe terrorists in the London plot have a working binary liquid explosive?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I guess this begs the question, has this been in place long enough to provide any data on theft levels? Is this system making the traveler's checked luggage safer from loss of possessions?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Sorry, but an x-ray machine can't detect explosives. All it will do is to show you the varying densities of the contents. The image must be "read." To detect explosives you've got to go with something like the neutron backscatter system which, unlike x-rays tell you what is inside of the container. The problem is that the neutron backscatter is very expensive and difficult to use. A jar of peanut butter looks like plastic explosives under x-rays (remember density) which is probably why they insist on confiscating peanut butter from carry on luggage.

Submitted by Bob on
March 17, 2008 5:33 PM
anonymous said... Sorry, but an x-ray machine can't detect explosives. All it will do is to show you the varying densities of the contents. The image must be "read." To detect explosives you've got to go with something like the neutron backscatter system which, unlike x-rays tell you what is inside of the container. The problem is that the neutron backscatter is very expensive and difficult to use. A jar of peanut butter looks like plastic explosives under x-rays (remember density) which is probably why they insist on confiscating peanut butter from carry on luggage.

I’m sure you’ve heard of cat scans? Computed Tomography? (CT) That’s the technology we use to detect explosives in checked baggage.

However you are correct that we use X-ray technology at the checkpoints for carry-on luggage.

Bob

TSA EoS Blog Team
Submitted by Trollkiller on
Anonymous said...

Dear TSA,

Did the wannabe terrorists in the London plot have a working binary liquid explosive?

You know I keep hearing self called experts claiming a binary liquid explosive would be almost impossible to create in a plane lavatory.

It got me to thinking, how many times a year do you see a story concerning some fool that mixed a couple of common cleaning products and blew their commode across the room.

If someone can create a binary liquid explosive by accident, I would imagine someone with a chemistry background could create one on purpose.
Submitted by Anonymous on

OK, now, a goodly percentage of the traveling public thinks that you guys are all theives.

Not saying you are, mind you, but with a "no locking except with our approved crappy" locks" policy, and the number of TSA locks that mysteriously get broken off by the handing equipment -- there is a big perception problem right there in River city.

So what can you do?

Well, you can post a bunch of fairly self-serving blogs, which are probably the source of great hilarity among true frequent fliers, or you can offer an alternative.

Last time I flew out of Hong Kong, they strapped my bags with nylon straps. I marked the straps with my handy Sharpie, and was convinced the odds of my baggage being rummage through by security, a baggage handler or stowaway. (Don't laugh, they recntly busted a baggage theft ring in Austrailia where on long haul busses, one of the bags contained a midget, who while the bus was rolling along, slipped out his his bag and rummaged through all the others, stealing all the good stuff.)

Low tech, inexpensive, and something positive so that a traveller has some confidence that even if the TSA locks bust, the suitcase doesn't get rummaged through. It is also immediately obvious when the straps suddenly go missing.

That might quiet the rumbling here in River City. Heck, I'd pay $2.00 a bag to have it done.

Submitted by Anonymous on
I’m sure you’ve heard of cat scans? Computed Tomography? (CT) That’s the technology we use to detect explosives in checked baggage.

CT shows you the outline and relative density for items. It does not tell you what those items are made of. Sorry, nice try. X-rays do not detect explosives.
Submitted by Anonymous on

Well if the goal is to destroy the plumbing, you don't even need a binary or liquid explosive. There is one pure metallic element that could make short work of the toilet. Might not bring down the plane, however.

Submitted by Trollkiller on
Anonymous said...

Well if the goal is to destroy the plumbing, you don't even need a binary or liquid explosive. There is one pure metallic element that could make short work of the toilet. Might not bring down the plane, however.

I had a high school science teacher demonstrate that pure metallic element. She was pretty cool, but she did not appreciate it when I yelled "boom" as she was adding it to the flask of water.

I don't know how much destructive power the cleaning products have, but I imagine any explosion on a plane could cause a few problems.
Submitted by Anonymous on

Who owns th surveillance video of the TSOs? Are they TSA cameras or airport cameras? If TSA, how long are the videos maintained?

H

Submitted by Dave X The First on

"This means pre-9/11 convenience for passengers and post-9/11 security..."

Pre-9/11 convenience is getting to the airport with less than an hour and still making your flight.

Is the post-9/11 security truly better than pre-9/11 security? Sure, it's more expensive and fancier looking, but is it really protecting against threats with a real probability of occurrence?

How does one use a bomb in checked baggage to hijack a plane?

Submitted by Hawthorn on
"I guess this begs the question, has this been in place long enough to provide any data on theft levels? Is this system making the traveler's checked luggage safer from loss of possessions?"

I keep reading these references to theft (a real problem - I have lost a couple of things in recent years) and I wonder, do people understand that baggage screening and baggage handling are two different jobs? TSA screens bags to try and keep bad stuff out. The airlines handle baggage. Handlers have the best opportunity to steal. TSA can't look over every handler's shoulder.
Submitted by Anonymous on

Ok Everyone always complains about TSA stealing. I was wondering if this blog team can get the percentages of check luggage thefts before 911 and compare them to after the TSA took over. My guess is that they are pretty much the same if not less.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I fly alot and everytime i fly I'm always behind the guy that doesnt realize his keys, coins, gold watch, cell phone, the giant belt buckle are all metal. So, my suggestion is the TSA posts a Periodic Table at every X-ray machine so people while know whats a metal and whats not.
and FYI
metals set of metal detectors!

Submitted by Anonymous on

The problem with theft isn't necessarily that the TSA is lifting things from our bas but their rules restricting the use of locks does allow baggage handlers free reign to lift anything from a bag since they can no longer be effectively secured.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Geez, when I have had CTs done it took a long time for just one organ. You guys must take shortcuts in order to keep the planes flying.

Do you CT everything that goes into the belly (like mail and packages) or just pax luggage?

Submitted by Anonymous on

My wife had jewelry stolen from a small pocket deep within her toiletries kit in her bag at LaGuardia in February. This is only possible if the TSA x-ray team were complicit. It turns out this had been a LaGuadia problem since at least 2004 (see http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C06EEDA163FF931A2575BC0A...). I have never felt that TSA improves my safety, but up to this point I thought of them just as a nuisance. No longer.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Yeah i am personally getting tired of the accusations of theft.

Im not saying that all TSO's are angels and it never happens, but I can say that the majority of thefts occur from the baggage handlers.

Like the video says, you give the bag to the airline, it goes through our maze of belts, we screen them, some of which we never actually touch depending on the airport.

Then you you know what happens, airline baggage handlers load them onto carts to haul over to the plane, they then load them onto the plane, when you arrive at your destination TSA never even sees the bags, however baggage handlers unload them on to carts, and then puts them on conveyors to get to those nifty little carousels where you pick them up.

Some of you just want to blame TSA for everything, but I think the airline employees handling your bags outside the view of cameras are stealing items from your checked baggage more often the TSA employees.

Submitted by Nick Catalano on

remember: not every airport has atlanta-level security features... a lot of places still have TSA agents loading manually...

As for detecting explosives via these scans as mentioned above... I'm sure the TSA has put enough test explosives through these things to make sure it works...

now lets just get more money in the system to pay for more-automated systems at more airports.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Could something non-windows media please be used for future video content.

My machine has real issues with Windows Media for some reason. (and I guess everyone who runs Linux will not be able to view the video?)

Something like Flash player (similar to YouTube) would be brilliant ;)

Submitted by John Walker on

"Ok Everyone always complains about TSA stealing. I was wondering if this blog team can get the percentages of check luggage thefts before 911 and compare them to after the TSA took over. My guess is that they are pretty much the same if not less."

Wouldn't you think that if the number of thefts was less that the TSA would have this fact plastered all over their web site and this blog?

Someone posted on the blog a while back that the number of screeners arrested for theft from passengers was up near 400 as of last summer. As I recall, this was a quote from the TSA itself. Of course, this doesn't count the thiefs who haven't been caught and those incidents of theft that have gone unreported.

If the TSA was interested in dong this study right (and, of course, they aren't interested because they are afraid of the answer), you would have to compare apples to apples, such as the number of reported thefts per hundred bags or per "something". You would have to take into account that there is a higher percentage of passengers checking bags because of airline restrictions on the number of carryons. Also, more people are checking luggage in order to safely transport those large containers of thermonuclear toothpaste and shampoo. You would also somehow have to factor in the much higher percentage of bags that go through unlocked because of the fear of cutting locks that the TSA has instilled in the flying public.

It would be rigorous, but not impossible, to conduct a defendable study. But, the TSA has no interest in conducting this study for fear of the results.

Submitted by TSO PHX on

Dear Dave X,

It's possible to have parts of an explosive device in the belly of a plane and a remote detonator in the cabin of the plane. Computer technology has taken bomb making to a new level. The components have gotten smaller and more sophisticated. Detectable wires and batteries are no longer necessary. Although, still used.

Submitted by Anonymous on

A big problem with TSA and baggage screening is their detailed screening process for hiring new employees. I have heard of good people applying for TSA jobs and, after months of tests and screenings, deciding it just wasn't worth it for such a low paying job with few benefits. The word is out and it will become more and more difficult for TSA to hire quality people who will choose higher paying jobs with benefits and more opportunity. I wonder about the quality of people they are actually able to hire and how many of them will remain with the organization very long. Of course, I don't know. This is just rumor. Nonetheless, take a look at the people who screen you next time you go through a line at the airport and decide what you think.

Submitted by Shari on

am i the only one who thinks that the checked bags should be screened while the passenger is standing there? that way they can open the bag if they need to and if there's a problem with the bag or even the person whose bag it is they can be prevented from getting on the plane?? think El Al pre-flight security...

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Some of you just want to blame TSA for everything, but I think the airline employees handling your bags outside the view of cameras are stealing items from your checked baggage more often the TSA employees."

TSA cuts off the the "TSA approved" locks and in many cases does not close the baggage properly. Then the finger pointing begins. Oh, it's really the baggage handlers.

Use some kind of seal to replace the locks- tamper proof, and maybe the theft and complaints will lessen. Put your name, date and time on the search card. Otherwise, you put the system in place, so if it doesn't work, fix it. We would like to see our check in luggage more SECURE.

Submitted by Dave X The First on

TSO PHX: I understand that one could possibly remotely detonate a bomb in checked baggage using RC radios, bluetooth or wireless internet. My question was about how credible it was to use this to hijack an an airplane.

Jon invoked 9/11 for convenience and security, but the threat that this system is aimed at does not seem 9/11-like. In addition to locking the barn doors after the horses got out, it seems like you are locking the windows as well.

It is an excellent business plan for the X-ray detection companies, however.

Submitted by Jim Huggins on

See, the problem with the "it's not TSA's fault that baggage hanlders are stealing stuff from your luggage" argument is that TSA's policies help make theft easier.

By requiring that all (ok, most) baggage be unlocked, TSA creates the opportunity for unscrupulous folks to commit theft.

Yes, there are TSA-approved locks now available. But that doesn't do me any good on my trusty hard-sided Samsonite case with the built-in dial lock, that can't be locked any other way. I suppose I could go and buy a new suitcase with a built-in TSA lock ... but that's a cost to me for a suitcase that I don't need.

I don't know that there's an easy answer for this ... perhaps in-person baggage checking might help, at the cost of slowing the system down.

But I think that TSA could at least acknowledge that their policies are making theft more common. And then we could have an honest, rational discussion as to how the cost of such thefts to the traveler balances against the incremental increase in security from being able to inspect checked baggage.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Hi
I fly 4 times a week and each time I notice people alarming the metal detectors and then they are sent for secondary screening and they get mad at the TSO's. Then it turns out that they had a cell phone, keys, coin, or gum with an aluminum wrapper etc.. in their pockets.

So my suggestion is to post a sign with a picture of the Periodic Table on it so that before you walk through the metal detector you can look and the picture and find out that aluminum is in fact a metal.

This I'm sure will speed up lines.

and FYI:
METAL ALARMS METAL DETECTORS

Submitted by Txrus on

Shari said...
am i the only one who thinks that the checked bags should be screened while the passenger is standing there? that way they can open the bag if they need to and if there's a problem with the bag or even the person whose bag it is they can be prevented from getting on the plane??
********************************

No, Shari, you aren't the only one who thinks that, not but a long shot. Given how many screeners have been caught stealing from checked baggage, any reasonable person would think the powers that be @ the TSA would be eager to implement such a system, but alas, we are not dealing w/reasonable people in the upper echelons of TSA. Granted, there are issues w/physical structure layout in some airports, but even in those where the screening of checked baggage is done in the passenger check-in area (such as PHX & LAX, for example) the screeners manning those areas are often hostile to passengers who do want to wait for the bags to be cleared & the TSA itself has set up those areas in such a way as to make it as difficult as possible for the passenger to actually see what is going on w/their own property. That is completely unacceptable & will only encourage inappropriate behavior of the screeners (while waiting for my bag @ LAX once I watched while 3 screeners rifled different bags & one of the screeners took great glee in taking different items out of the suitcase & holding those items up for all to see; bet she'd have a different attitude if it were her belongings being rifled!)

Leaving aside the question of sticky-fingered screeners, there is also the pesky little problem of a unlocked bag being ripe for the insertion of all sorts of bad things, which somehow, many people seem to forget.

For the record, I have never checked an unlocked bag nor will I. If it is locked when it leaves my hands, I will have done my part to ensure that nothing goes missing & nothing gets put in that shouldn't be there during the time it is out of my control. Since this whole 'leave the checked bags unlocked' foolishness started, I have had 1 lock I strongly suspect was intentionally cut off by the TSA & 1 I'm pretty sure got caught in the conveyor belt & pulled off (pull tabs on the zippers were missing, too). I can live w/that.

Submitted by Anonymous on

2 comments which may not follow directly on anything preceeding, but based on my experience:

1.) when screening luggage and the screener does not recognize an item, I have seen them run the
luggage back and forth and consult with others...taking valuable time, while the bag sits within 2-3 feet inside the machine.
Why not open the bag and find out what it is you are looking at in the machine--and don't recognize.
Then you would know.
It would take a shorter time,
with immediate validation and learning.

2.) At your Fargo, ND airport operation, several flights leave at 7:30am, notably Frontier. It's early and some people arrive late to go through a line that also has people sauntering through for a 9 am flight. The screeners do not ask who is in a hurry, had a 7:30am flight, and get real authoritarian with anyone who expresses displeasure about having to be on that plane in 5 minutes. How about sorting out those who have to be on the 7:30 am flight? The others can wait.

If the Frontier flight waits, it
puts them behind for the rest of the day...or they have to burn more fuel to catch up.

Submitted by Shari on

"We would like to see our check in luggage more SECURE."

especially since we now have the pleasure of paying EXTRA to check these bags! (not TSA's fault i know...)

Submitted by Anonymous on

trollkiller:

how many times a year do you see a story concerning some fool that mixed a couple of common cleaning products and blew their commode across the room.

Uh...zero? Yeah, that's it zero. Because it doesn't happen. Bad things happen when bleach-based and ammonia-based cleaners are mixed. And by "bad things" I mean, "chlorine gas." Chlorine gas will do a rather efficient job of poisoning you, but it won't explode. Small amounts of NCl3 and N2H4 might be created, both of which have more explosive potential. However, if you're cleaning your potty with bleach and ammonia that are strong enough to produce large quantities of those gases, you've got waaaaay bigger problems on your hands than the potential for a little boom-boom.

But go right ahead, and show me one of the phantom articles about an exploding crapper.

Submitted by TSA TSO NY on

"2.) At your Fargo, ND airport operation, several flights leave at 7:30am, notably Frontier. It's early and some people arrive late to go through a line that also has people sauntering through for a 9 am flight. The screeners do not ask who is in a hurry, had a 7:30am flight, and get real authoritarian with anyone who expresses displeasure about having to be on that plane in 5 minutes. How about sorting out those who have to be on the 7:30 am flight? The others can wait."

So, you are saying that the people who arrived early for thier flight should wait for those that arrived late AND the TSA should be the referee of this? get real!! Arrive early! You arrive late, you should have to get in line behind those who were actually prepared!
The TSA has more to be concerned with then whose flight leaves when and when you arrived. As the bags come in, they are screened. If the airline wants someone expedited, let them pull the luggage and bring it to the front of the screening line. They do it here.

Submitted by Anonymous on

dave x:

Better yet, consider the following scenario. In the middle of the flight some guy stands up and starts waving around a Bluetooth headset or a RC car remote and says, "There's a bomb in the hold! By the beard of Allah, I shall detonate it if you infidels do not do as I say!"*

Regardless of the amount of screening that goes on, one would have to regard that as a potential threat. I think even TSA would agree.

Of course, the solution to that dilemma is always clear: The passengers rise up and beat the crap out of him. If he's lying, they get to blow off some steam. If he's not...well, you've just prevented him from leveraging that hijacking event into another 9/11.

*This should in no way be interpreted to imply that Muslims are more likely than any other religious group to commit terrorist acts. If it helps, just replace the dialog above with, "By my shiny red hat and silly car," and imagine it's a Shriner hijacking the plane.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said:
Who owns th surveillance video of the TSOs? Are they TSA cameras or airport cameras? If TSA, how long are the videos maintained?

You're kidding, right? Of all the things to pester TSA about, you're concerned about how long it keeps videos!?!

Submitted by Trollkiller on
Anonymous said...

Yeah i am personally getting tired of the accusations of theft.

Im not saying that all TSO's are angels and it never happens, but I can say that the majority of thefts occur from the baggage handlers.

Like the video says, you give the bag to the airline, it goes through our maze of belts, we screen them, some of which we never actually touch depending on the airport.

Then you you know what happens, airline baggage handlers load them onto carts to haul over to the plane, they then load them onto the plane, when you arrive at your destination TSA never even sees the bags, however baggage handlers unload them on to carts, and then puts them on conveyors to get to those nifty little carousels where you pick them up.

Some of you just want to blame TSA for everything, but I think the airline employees handling your bags outside the view of cameras are stealing items from your checked baggage more often the TSA employees.
**************************

I'm sorry Anonymous, the TSA took responsibility for the bag. Anything that happens to that bag in transit is the TSA's responsibility.

If the TSA & TSOs are getting tired of the accusation of theft, they need to fix the problem.

Problem:
Any place that the luggage can be hidden from view is a security risk. If you can remove items from a bag without detection, you can place items without detection.

It seems like the TSA has no clue about chain of custody. Luggage should never be out of site and out of the control of the TSA.

Solution:
Do a critical survey of all airports. Identify all areas that are unsupervised by camera or TSA personnel.

Place working cameras in the areas where that is practical, in areas that a camera would not be practical place a two person team to guard the luggage.
Submitted by Marshall on

Anonymous said

"You're kidding, right? Of all the things to pester TSA about, you're concerned about how long it keeps videos!?!"

It's rather interesting how the information on tapes can manage to disappear if there is an issue. Are you too young to remember the Watergate tapes and the missing 18 1/2 minutes?

Submitted by Trollkiller on
Anonymous said:

You're kidding, right? Of all the things to pester TSA about, you're concerned about how long it keeps videos!?!

You're kidding right? You really can't see the legitimacy of that question? Let me help you out.

Assuming the video is stored on tape or hard drive, at some point you will need to reuse the media the video is stored on.

Say someone reports an abusive TSO. It takes three or four days for the complaint to wind its way through the proper channels.

If the TSA only stores the video for 24 or 48 hours, someone will have a problem proving an allegation that happened last week.

In the future before you try to scold someone for a silly question, think the question through.
Submitted by Trollkiller on
Marshall said...

It's rather interesting how the information on tapes can manage to disappear if there is an issue. Are you too young to remember the Watergate tapes and the missing 18 1/2 minutes?

You do know that "Alice's Restaurant" was 18 1/2 minutes long don't you?

Just saying. And sorry in advance for the ear worm.
Submitted by Anonymous on

anonymous @ March 18, 2008 10:05 AM, said:

"Use some kind of seal to replace the locks- tamper proof, and maybe the theft and complaints will lessen. Put your name, date and time on the search card. "

I've seen several times on this blog where the TSA blog team members say that they are looking and hoping for an open discussion of ways TSA can improve its practices. The post I've quoted is a good example of what has been asked for.

1. TSA bag inspectors should reseal any bag they open with a tamper-proof seal. These can be obtained cheaply on the open market. The presence of a seal does two things: First, it identifies to any other TSA employee that this bag has been examined and no further examination is necessary, potentially saving some time and effort. Second, if a passenger has an item missing from a bag with the seal intact, there is no doubt about where it went missing. The video would show whether it was the result of theft or carelessness (inspector just forgot to replace the item or placed it in the wrong bag).

2. The inspection notice should be marked with the time and the employee number conducting the search. Thus if items are repacked improperly, causing damage or if items are missing, TSA management is able to determine who was responsible.

Both of those excellent suggestions are easy and cheap to implement and would add to passenger confidence by providing greater accountability for TSA inspectors.

If TSA truly wants to improve its performance and image both suggestions will be implemented quickly or a plausible statement will be given explaining why not. Were TSA to simply ignore both suggestions it will confirm that the call for constructive suggestions is a sham just like the current security theater. I'll admit I'm pretty cynical so my bet is that both suggestions will be ignored.

T-the-B on flyertalk

Submitted by Anonymous on

For trollkiller:

"...And I walked over to the bench, and there is Group W's where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army, and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly
looking people on the bench there. Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father rapers! And they was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the bench next to me. And the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one, the meanest father raper of them all, was coming over to me and he was mean 'n' ugly 'n' nasty 'n' horrible and all kind of things and he sat down next to me and said, "What were you arrested for, kid?" And I said, "Trying to sneak 12 oz of water past TSA." And they all moved away from me on the bench there, and the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things..."

Submitted by Marshall on

To trollkiller

Actually, I thought it was about 20 or 25 minutes.

:-)

Submitted by Anonymous on

I was just talking to a friend who goes on scuba diving trips. There have been complaints that camera gear is being damaged by TSO's that improperly repack the equipment.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Would anyone from TSA respond to these remarks by TSO NY please?

TSO NY said the following;

"that may be true, but without a prescription it doesn't go."

"It's all well to know the rules, but when you're on the checkpoint sometimes the rules get "changed" to suit the situation."

"TSA states that if those bottles are not labeled, they aren't allowed to go."

This employee of yours seems to be using a different set of guidelines than what is published on the TSA webpage.

Are your rules so flexible that a TSO can on their on rewrite the guidlines thereby keeping the public in a very confused and untrusting state?

Surely someone within TSA has something to say about this!

Submitted by SeeSaw on

" So my suggestion is to post a sign with a picture of the Periodic Table on it so that before you walk through the metal detector you can look and the picture and find out that aluminum is in fact a metal."

Yeah, in theory this could work. But, the same people who don't know that their cell phones contain metal DON'T read signs, and probably couldn't figure out the periodic table.

Submitted by SeeSaw on

"2.) At your Fargo, ND airport operation, several flights leave at 7:30am, notably Frontier. It's early and some people arrive late to go through a line that also has people sauntering through for a 9 am flight. The screeners do not ask who is in a hurry, had a 7:30am flight, and get real authoritarian with anyone who expresses displeasure about having to be on that plane in 5 minutes. How about sorting out those who have to be on the 7:30 am flight? The others can wait."

Totally unsympathetic to you...why don't YOU get there early, to avoid the rush of the early 9 am people? Not the job of the TSA or the airline to get you thru the line if you can't plan properly.

Submitted by Trollkiller on

For anonymous:

till I said, "And creating a nuisance." And they all came back, shook my hand, and we had a great time on the bench, talkin about crime, mother stabbing,
father raping, all kinds of groovy things that we was talking about on the bench.

For Marshall:

I stole that joke from Arlo Guthrie.

For everybody:

This is why this generation can't get anything done. No good protest songs. Maybe one of you talented people can write one up about the TSA. TSOs feel free to join in with your effort.

Submitted by Trollkiller on
Anonymous said...

Uh...zero? Yeah, that's it zero. Because it doesn't happen. Bad things happen when bleach-based and ammonia-based cleaners are mixed. And by "bad things" I mean, "chlorine gas." Chlorine gas will do a rather efficient job of poisoning you, but it won't explode. Small amounts of NCl3 and N2H4 might be created, both of which have more explosive potential. However, if you're cleaning your potty with bleach and ammonia that are strong enough to produce large quantities of those gases, you've got waaaaay bigger problems on your hands than the potential for a little boom-boom.

But go right ahead, and show me one of the phantom articles about an exploding crapper.

Sorry I did not see your post before I left for work. I have a feeling it was being held and discussed because you included the chemical names.

In any case, I distinctly remember news stories from legitimate outlets showing "survivors" of cleaning explosions. I have a good memory when it comes to things I have seen. (I am also pretty good at picking out the hoax stories)

I also remember the warning my science teacher gave about mixing the two.

Before I posted about seeing the news stories I double checked to make sure the two would be capable of creating an explosion. I found plenty of websites to confirm that.

So finding a dozen stories should be easy. Yeah right.

The fact that the only place I can find any stories on exploding toilets is a pay news site. (http://www.highbeam.com use the search "exploding toilet" )

Unfortunately the story teasers I found on this site did not include exactly what blew the toilets up and I am much too cheap to pay to find out.

So being without a smoking gun to point you to, I will withdraw the statement about the news stories. I retain full right to bring the news stories up again if I stumble across one.

BTW just so everybody knows this is the proper way to debate. I made a claim and was unable to back it.

A lot of time on blogs, newsgroups, forums or whatnot the person that can’t back their claim either hides until they think the stink has blown over, tells you they don’t have time to do your homework for you, or just ignores the detracting post.

So far I have seen a TSO hide when questioned on their “if it doesn’t have a prescription it doesn’t fly” rule and I have seen several of the blog team hide out from questions that have been asked. Such as “Who was the UK TSA person before Mike?” or “What avenues do the TSOs have to turn in abusive or corrupt coworkers”.

If I can be honest and say I can’t find any articles that support me, the blog team can at least answer the questions posed to them.
Submitted by Anonymous on

hey trollkiller heres the thing, you don't release the bags to TSA you give them to the airline we then screen them and the airline takes them to where they need to go.

Why is it TSA's responsibility and not the airlines. TSA's job is to ensure your bag is free of prohibited items not babysit them until they get into the cargo hold.

Its a ridiculous notion that TSA should be responsible for your checked luggage merely because we screen them. How about the responsibility stays where it belongs after TSA has done their part. Why is it that airlines aren't held accountable? why isn't it the airline the ones to install cameras on the tarmac? Why should the airline be released from any and all responsibility? Should we install cameras in the cargo hold as well, I would think thats where the majority of theft occurs.


The way I see it we are only responsible for your bags during the screening process both before and after its the airlines responsibility to ensure your bags remain safe from theft.

Have you ever really thought how many different places an airline keeps your bags. where they are stored until they even get to the plane. just because you checked your bag 2 hours before your flight doesn't mean it actually gets onto the plane immediately, they sit in carts until about 30 minutes before the flight is scheduled to leave to ensure all bags get to the plane. The man power requirements for that alone is just ridiculous.

THEN, you want TSA to be there when they are unloaded and brought to the terminal? Should we be in all the unclaimed baggage offices as well to ensure that airline employees don't steal from them and wait for you to claim them or for them to find you? Should we sit at the baggage claim to ensure other passengers don't steal your bag? Should we stand on the sidewalks where the airline will pile unclaimed bags? Exactly where does the line end when TSA shouldn't be responsible for your bag?

Hey if you want to pay me to stand around and watch your bags thats fine I could use a break from the checkpoint. However if TSA employees are supposedly responsible for alot of thefts why should you trust TSA officers to ensure items aren't be stolen. Fox in the hen house kind of comes to mind.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Its a ridiculous notion that TSA should be responsible for your checked luggage merely because we screen them. How about the responsibility stays where it belongs after TSA has done their part. Why is it that airlines aren't held accountable?"

TSA sets the policy for checked luggage, and screens it. Cuts off lock, and is supposed to repack it neatly, and leave a card inside that it was searched. You set the standard for the security of the luggage, not the airline.

Add a tamper proof seal to the luggage afterward. Put your agent number, date and time on the card.
Those two things would at least make travelers feel that you were taking some pride in the security job that you are supposed to be doing, and if that seal is tampered with, at least give a starting point for an investigation.

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