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Thursday, March 20, 2008
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Due to the new Got Feedback? program, we have disabled commenting on this page. This page was part of a pilot program that has evolved and this page is no longer needed. You are still welcome to leave general feedback on our blog, or you can visit our Got Feedback? page and leave specific feedback with a Customer Service Manager from any one of our 450+ airports.

Thanks,

EoS Blog Team

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

This is a particularly good idea, as the normal way that concerns are answered is to claim they must be a bad apple and that there is nothing to be done because there is no management structure to communicate with offices. However, blogger is a poor platform for it as things are not threaded, making it easy for questions to not be answered or answers linked to questions. Also and the the comments will get filled and then what?

Submitted by Phil on

The openness and interactivity of this blog is great.

I'd like to see you provide some way for people to suggest topics for you to address on the blog. Waiting for us to tack something on as a comment in response to one of your posts is sub-optimal. At the very least, I'd like to see a "suggestions" form to submit or address to e-mail. Better yet would be a system by which people could see and vote on others' suggestions.

One nit to pick:

Glen of the EOS Blog Team wrote:

"For now, bloggers that want to share their thoughts on other airports can tell us what they think at Gripes and Grins, Part 2"

By "bloggers" you meant "people". Bloggers are people who blog. To blog is to post blog entries -- not to read them and comment on them. You are the bloggers. Some of us may be bloggers, but when we're reading your blog and posting comments, we're not being bloggers.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The map does not work.

Submitted by Phil on

Please provide links to comment feeds. Blogger.com has this option.

Presently, if your readers want to track comments for a post in a feed reader we must construct a URI by concatenating "http://www.blogger.com/feeds/2336044328955501444/" with the post ID, with "/comments/default". This is workable but rather inconvenient.

The comment ID can be discovered by finding the "Post a comment" link from a particular post and examinging the target of that link. In it, there will be an HTTP GET parameter "postID=" that contains the number you need.

For instance, the ATOM feed for comments for this post is this URI.

Submitted by Marshall on

Under Hot Topics, please indicate that Liquids, Inconsistencies and Gripes & Grins are all now Part 2. Otherwise, people could think that they are still closed and unavailable for comment.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Phil said "By "bloggers" you meant "people". Bloggers are people who blog. To blog is to post blog entries -- not to read them and comment on them. You are the bloggers. Some of us may be bloggers, but when we're reading your blog and posting comments, we're not being bloggers."

See this is what i meant in my last post. Just because the TSA blog team abbreviates a sentence does not mean they are discirminating against you or anyone else. All they are doing is saving a second or two because I'm sure they have alot of work to do(ex:reading all these blogs that have nothing positve to say and alway trying to underminded the TSA).

So give the blog team a break or should I be PC and say "Give the team made up of people that work for the Transportation Serurity Administration that created a web page on a internet system to have an open forum to dicuss topics dealing with issues at security checkpoints a break."

I think that I would rather just type the TSA Blog Team , it saves me some time.
Glen, Bob,Is that ok with you?
oh sorry I should have wrote out: is that "OKAY" with you?

KBC

Submitted by Anonymous on

You should have started with some of the really notorius airports like O'hare, Newark and Atlanta.

Submitted by Anonymous on

should add SEA airport on that map. seattle tacoma is a nice big hub airport

Submitted by Anonymous on

I didn't know that DHS would relply to the blog about the Mac air book so swiftly. I am a current employee of TSA and feel that your response is very timely and shows to the public as well as those within the agency that we are really trying to become more transparent and in touch with the traveling public. I am very proud to say that I am working for a govrenment agency that really is trying to meet the needs of the people they serve. I also believe that this will cut down on a lot of attacks by the media and public. Thanks signed Proud TSA Officer

Submitted by Anonymous on

I like it! Hopefully people responding for the different airports will be reasonable and just in their remarks and maybe include good comments about the screeners who are doing their job well and treating the travelers in a respectable manner.

As well, I hope the TSA will take the remarks seriously and let us know in general what actions they will be taking.

Submitted by Becca on

I have a question that maybe you'd address on your blog:

What actions are y'all taking to be ready for the increase in both the number and average size of carry-on bags that need to be screened at checkpoints - the increase is sure to come as airlines are now charging for a second checked bag? Its my understanding that baggage screening is done more efficiently on checked luggage than carry-ons, so why isn't TSA encouraging the airlines to allow as much baggage checking as possible?

Submitted by Anonymous on

On the subject of TSA approved locks: I use them and get really ticked off when they are CUT off by the TSA.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Answer the question regarding why very small knives are prohibited...PLEASE!

Submitted by Anonymous on

I wanted to comment on an incident I witnessed while clearing security at RDU last week. I was waiting for permission to go up the escalator to the security screening area in Terminal A, standing next a young female TSA employee who was controlling the waiting line of passengers. Two male TSA employees walked behind her, and as they passed, one of the male TSA agents said loudly to her "You look so SEXY with your hair like that". Then he pushed himself close to her from behind and flicked her hair off her neck and looked like he was going to nuzzle her. She looked mildly annoyed, and stepped away from him, but he was into his laughing/flirting/harassing behavior and enjoying himself. I wasn't the only passenger who noticed this interaction.
I can tell you, witnessing this episode did nothing to enhance my feeling of security while traveling. Perhaps TSA employees need to be instructed about how to maintain a PROFESSIONAL demeanor while working in a secure area.

Submitted by Anonymous on

From a press release issued by the Sikh Coalition, SALDEF and United Sikhs :

Under these procedures, a Sikh's turban will not be touched during additional screening, unless the Sikh traveler permits it.

Instead, if the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) believes a Sikh's turban needs to be screened, the passenger now has three options:

1. The passenger can have his/her head covering patted down in public or in private by TSA personnel;
2. The passenger can pat down his/her own head covering in public or private, and then have his/her hands swabbed with a cotton cloth to check for chemical residue; or
3. The passenger can opt to go through a "puffer machine," if one is available at that airport.

Submitted by Anonymous on

When will we see an end to the stupid policy of detaining travelers that have been through extensive interrogation( 18 times in my case)
You have my home details. my Iris details, my fingerprints, etc etc.
still I lose my bags, miss my flights, have to sit in a room for hours waiting to have the same inane questions thrown at me... why did you visit Canada in 2001!!!! The terrorists love ya'all

Submitted by Ibored on
I like it! Hopefully people responding for the different airports will be reasonable and just in their remarks and maybe include good comments about the screeners who are doing their job well and treating the travelers in a respectable manner.

I'm sorry but you can't expect praise for doing your job properly. If you go above and beyond then your earned praise. Being respectable is your job. This is part of the problem in our society is that people want praise for doing basically nothing...
Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
"Answer the question regarding why very small knives are prohibited...PLEASE!"

BECAUSE THEY ARE KNIVES!!!!!

KBC

Submitted by Anonymous on

The TSA and this blog in particular demonstrate what is wrong with "security" in America. A superficial obsession with conspicuous yet ineffective demonstrations of security by a Kafkaesque bureaucracy.

More concerned with the appearance of security rather than security itself, the TSA will continue to be a laughingstock to all but the most gullible Americans.

Congratulations on offering me all the inconvenience of actual protection without the hassle of actually ensuring my safety. But at least I know that I can expect to be excoriated by my local rent-a-cop TSO if I attempt to carry a MacBook Air onto a flight.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"KBC said:

BECAUSE THEY ARE KNIVES!!!!!"

Then why would the TSA permit Continental to hand out 150 metal serrated knives to its passengers on its BF 777 flights? Or permit the same knives in many of its Presidents Clubs?

Small knives are not credible threats and should be permitted.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Sorry to have to sound negative... everyone I know who has ever packed anything of value into their check-in luggage has had the items ripped off. The only time my brother was required to check-in his carry-on luggage at LAX and he decided not to pull his camera out of his luggage, it was gone when he opened it up at the destination. I knew almost immediately upon handing off the luggage that it'd be ripped off.

Is there any form of checks and balance for these TSA security folks?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why is Gripes and Grins 2 closed off to additional comments already??

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous yelled on 3/24/2008 at 10:34 AM "BECAUSE THEY ARE KNIVES !!!!! That's not an answer. The point of security is to keep WEAPONS off of airplanes. A 1 1/2" knife is simply not a weapon. 4" sharp pointed scissors may be. Metal knitting needles may be. The crash axe in the cockpit may be. A broken wine bottle may be. A portable oxygen bottle may be. A thin nylon cord or ladies' stocking used as a garrote may be. A Cross ball point pen may be. A sharpened credit card may be.A hard-sided briefcase may be. The trained hands and feet of a martial artist may be. A camera tripod may be.A glass sliver may be. A walking cane may be. But a 1 1/2" folding pocket knife is just not. Every airplane is full of things that MAY be dangerous to one degree or another, but that fall short of being called weapons. To prohibit something because it has the same name as a REAL weapon is absurd and illustrates just how ridiculous some of the TSA policies and procedures really are and why some rules that may be actually justified are perceived to be just more TSA nonsense. We in the travelling public are not stupid, but we sure can recognize it when we see it. Justify the small knife ban or modify it...maybe call them "toothpicks," or "thread cutters" or something so you won't have to deal with (shudder) "knives".

Submitted by Anonymous on

" everyone I know who has ever packed anything of value into their check-in luggage has had the items ripped off"

Everyone I know has never had anything every ripped off. Should I blame the TSA for that?

Submitted by Anonymous on

" When will we see an end to the stupid policy of detaining travelers that have been through extensive interrogation( 18 times in my case)
You have my home details. my Iris details, my fingerprints, etc etc."

WHAT airport have you been in? I've never had this done by anyone. More details, please...

Submitted by Anonymous on

Interesting that Grips and Grins 2 had such a short lifespan. As soon as it was created, I put together my two cents on experiences at Orlando, Flint, Atlanta and Pensacola. Unfortunately, they were mostly gripes, and never appeared on the blog.

Although the post was lengthy, the level of detail showed specifically where (1) the TSO's could have handled simple, routine situations better and (2) the screening experience could be made less unpleasant.

Questions for the moderators:

-- Do you delete posts based on length?

-- If you delete a post due to length that otherwise complies with posting guidelines, is its content still used in the TSA's review of the traveler's opinions as expressed on this blog?

Thanks...

Submitted by Dan S on
anonymous wrote:
I wanted to comment on an incident I witnessed while clearing security at RDU last week. I was waiting for permission to go up the escalator to the security screening area in Terminal A, standing next a young female TSA employee who was controlling the waiting line of passengers...

This is in line with my experience every single time I've passed through the RDU terminal A security checkpoint since TSA took it over. The line (note the use of the singular) is usually ridiculously long (20-30 minutes just to get up the escalator, to another line), the "escalator attendant" is oblivious to his/her (most often, her) surroundings and paying no attention to the passengers waiting at the foot of the escalator. The TSO's are uniformly brusque, oft-times rude and/or vaguely hostile and often more interested in conversing/flirting with each other than paying any mind to passengers. (And there seems to be a definitive pattern to which passengers get more scrutiny during the screening.)

---

KBC wrote:
BECAUSE THEY ARE KNIVES!!!!!

KBC, I'd hate to tell you, but a cheapo Bic Stic ballpoint is a significantly more dangerous item than pen knives or nail clippers with blades shorter than 2 inches.

There's about 10 ways to almost instantly kill or incapacitate someone with an unmodified ballpoint. A short pen knife might hurt someone, but there's almost nowhere on the human body that it can be used to immediately incapacitate/kill (other than the throat).
Submitted by VKurtB on

As a former government employee, I know that "mirth" is not in any manual, and I appreciate that you at the TSA have a serious job to do, but please, can there be a little more emphasis on not making flying an excruciating experience?

Just a little, perhaps?

There is a stand-up comic doing a bit that goes, "Don't people know that the whole point of airport security is to make you not want to fly?!?!"

There's a kernel of truth in that.

I frequently travel from the PHL/MDT/BWI triangle to the Huntsville, Alabama area, and the hassle of flying in these days leaves me opting to drive the 825 miles.

Flying is just too much bother. Can something be done, long term, to mitigate that?

Submitted by Anonymous on

My exhusband tried to get a job as an airport security screener...then he found out how much they pay... $8.00 an hour...you get what you pay for!

I just flew through Fargo, ND and was detained for excessive makeup (I'm a makeup artist), a laptop and a block of cheese! They ran a cloth across my cheese! I had to give away new facial cleanser, hand sanitizer, concealer, etc. This stuff went through my airport with no problem...I certainly had nothing that would blow up a plane. I was treated like a highjacker...had a woman stick her hand up my blouse and into my bra...all in full view of the public. They spoke to me like I was a criminal, it was so embarrassing. The guy kept telling me to hurry up and I was the only one around! Have any of you been to the Fargo Airport? It's tiny! I just had 2 foot operations and this guy is telling me to hurry up?
I actually had people come up to me when I was done being detained and searched! They told me how sorry they felt for me! They were as horrified as I was! Come on!
What's the purpose of being mean and rude to the public? Can't you put cameras on these people and monitor them? It's out of control!

Submitted by Anonymous on

A recent news article stated that if you've been harassed at an airport security checkpoint, "you've just been TSA'd".

Submitted by Anonymous on
TSA in Action (again)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) ― A woman was forced by the Transportation Security Administration to remove her nipple rings before she was allowed to board a flight, a local attorney said on Thursday.

"The woman was given a pair of pliers in order to remove the rings in her nipples," said Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred. "The rings had been in her nipples for many years."


Good job TSA, those rings surely could have been a dangerous weapon threatening the safe counduct of the flight!

Can't TSA learn anything?
Submitted by Anonymous on
Can't TSA learn anything?

At least it was nipple rings and not something in the nether region.

I hope they had her do this in private and not out in public. The original meaning of stupid is incapable of learning. I guess in this case TSA is stupid.

Kippie, do you have any comments on your workers doing this? How about the woman who had one of your workers up inside of the woman's bra?

Kip, since you're in charge of the operation, we, the American taxpayers, would like a full accounting for your inability to control your screeners.

We would like a full accounting for the liquids policy that has some items being confiscated not by wolume, but instead by weight.

We would like a full accounting for your workers inability to properly resecure luggage after they've inspected it.

We would like a full accounting for the ongoing abuse visited upon the eldery, infirm, and children in what seems to be an effort by your organization to get those groups to stop flying.

We want a full accounting and hiding behind SSI only confirms the belief that we have that TSA is running out of control and responsible to no one.
Submitted by Trollkiller on
Anonymous said...
Can't TSA learn anything?

At least it was nipple rings and not something in the nether region.

I hope they had her do this in private and not out in public. The original meaning of stupid is incapable of learning. I guess in this case TSA is stupid.

I read this story a couple of days ago, the article I read was written by the woman with the nipple rings.

According to her the metal detector went off. She told them she had the nipple rings and they told her she has to remove them so they can wand her. She throws a fuss about “they can't come out without the pliers”. So they get her pliers and let her take them out in private.

She said in the article she wrote that she left her belly ring in. The TSO told her she did not have to remove that one because they could SEE it.

Think about it for a second, what choice did the TSO have?

Something on this person made the metal detector beep. The TSO has to verify that what made the metal detector beep was something harmless.

The TSO could do like they did and make her remove them so they could wand her again.

Or

The TSO could have frisked her nipples.

OR

The TSO could have made her lift her shirt to expose her nipples.

If the TSO had done either of the last two the story would have been "A perverted TSO tweaked my nipples!" or "A perverted TSO made me flash them some boob in order to fly!"

Come on if you want to harp about the TSA & TSOs at least pick something they did wrong, this is not it.

BTW I am in agreement with the rest of your post.
Submitted by Anonymous on

re...At least it was nipple rings and not something in the nether region.


Didn't some of the TSA's responding here say that once the item causing the alarm had been determined and the item was not restricted then no futher action was needed?

So as disgusting as it seems to have to do, shouldn't the lady have been able to DISPLAY her rings and then be excused from additional poor treatment at the hands of our Stazi trained screeners? Why was she forced to remove the rings?

TSA seems to want to ring their own bell all the time, so I'm waiting for their response on how good of a job they did in this instance!

Submitted by Anonymous on

The woman passed initial screening. They detected the nipple rings when they hand wanded her. FYI if you hand wand jeans, the rivets in the jeans will set off the hand wand and you will get the 'treatment' due just to those rivets. I've had them attempt to reach into the front of my pants and said "hold on that won't be necessary and unfastened and unzipped the pants. That nearly got me arrested. I was wearing underwear at the time.

We now know that TSA views 100% of the traveling public as potential terrorists and instead of reacting to real threats waste time and resources on all travelers.

Submitted by Anonymous on
re...At least it was nipple rings and not something in the nether region.

For the TSA types here, did you ever want to just hang your head down, give a few oh no shakes and just walk away from the lunacy?

How can you face the public each day when you have issues like this that every traveler will have heard about by the next day?

I don't much care for you guys but I still feel sorry for you! Your performance is a reflection of your leaders, and I use that word loosely!
Submitted by Dave Nelson on

Kippie,

All I have to say is that Gloria Allred is about to become your worst nightmare. You've crossed the line this time.

I hope you have a gig at Fox News Channel lined up.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said: "From a press release issued by the Sikh Coalition, SALDEF and United Sikhs: Under these procedures, a Sikh's turban will not be touched during additional screening, unless the Sikh traveler permits it. Instead, if the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) believes a Sikh's turban needs to be screened, the passenger now has three options:

1. The passenger can have his/her head covering patted down in public or in private by TSA personnel;
2. The passenger can pat down his/her own head covering in public or private, and then have his/her hands swabbed with a cotton cloth to check for chemical residue; or
3. The passenger can opt to go through a "puffer machine," if one is available at that airport."

Maybe Option #2 should also be made available to people with piercings in private areas.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Any plans to do a post on the nipple issue? I'd like to know before I next fly.

Thanks!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Would anyone from TSA like to comment on how many nipple rings constitute an effective weapon?

I know that calculations such as critical mass and such are probably SSI but maybe just a hint could be given. I guess if you had enough of them you could fashion a chain of sorts and chain up the flight crew.

How about some insight into your next major target?

Submitted by Joe Screener on

"Answer the question regarding why very small knives are prohibited...PLEASE!"

The difficulty in establishing any sort of limiting regulation is in setting the limits. How small is too small? What I think of as small and what someone else thinks is small could too easily be different things. In order to be fair and avoid confusion it is necessary to simply prohibit all knives.

Submitted by Joe Screener on

anonymous said on March 26th:

"They ran a cloth across my cheese!"

That is an incorrect use of TSA procedures. That screener was wrong.

"...had a woman stick her hand up my blouse and into my bra...all in full view of the public."

That is an incorrect use of TSA procedures. That screener was wrong.

Thank you for identifying exactly which airport had the problem. May I suggest that you attempt to contact the TSA office there and address the issue directly to them.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Joe Screener said on 3/28/2008 at 10:26 AM that "In order to be fair and avoid confusion it is necessary to simply prohibit all knives." That is a very disappointing answer on several levels. First; Joe is a screener, not a TSA spokesperson. We already know that TSA does not allow screeners any discretion at all-probably with good reason. Second; Setting limits is not difficult at all, providing there is a will to do it. We already are allowed 4" sharp-pointed scissors, 7" screwdrivers and 3.4oz liquid containers in a 1qt baggie, plus a host of completely unregulated sharps, such as knitting needles, ball point pens,corkscrews,nail files and cuticle cutters. Someone in authority set those limits, and someone in authority is capable of setting reasonable limits on knife size and type-if there were only the will to do so. Judging from the many comments on the subject, a fairly significant number of folks on this blog feel needlessly inconvenienced by the mindless and inexplicable prohibition on small keychain size knives. Why can't TSA, not Joe Screener who is not trusted by his agency to exercize discretion,address this issue and either explain the rule or modify it? The expressed pupose behind this blog is to facilitate communication between TSA and the travelling public. Continually ignoring an often expressed question does not foster communication, and exposes TSA to the valid charge that it is an unreasonably secretive bullying agency that makes up and enforces arbitrary and baseless rules that serve no valid security purpose and that seem to be designed only to harass and intimidate the flying public. C'mon, Kip. Prove me wrong!

Submitted by Anonymous on

What a sorry state we have when the IRS is liked and appreciated more than the TSA.

I have to give the TSA credit though. Thanks to them, I no longer fly. It's too much of a hassle!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Joe Screener said...

and TSO NY said, "without a presciption it doesn't go."

Joe are you now the official spokesperson for TSA?

Care to comment on the new nipple ring removal policy?

To TSA Management, if your looking to hire a few "nipple inspectors" I think I would qualify. I am also versatile and can identify other genitalia if needed. Give me a call!

Submitted by Anonymous on

The ability of a TSO to make up rules on the spot is an important part of airport security. Think of it as the "21st layer".

Submitted by Anonymous on

I have just watched a video on Fox News about the TSA and passengers with nipple rings. Apparently there will a policy change to not force the passenger to remove the nipple ring but now allow a "visual inspection" to pass security checks.

My question is what will you do with the hundreds of women (and men) with other genital piercings? Visually inspect those too? That's a bit too far with the invasion of privacy!

http://www.foxnews.com/video2/video08.html?videoId=88247202-c2ed-4543-a7...

Submitted by Anonymous on

Working with the public never changes. First of all they forget so easy about what has happen to us. They only want to be treated like little babies don't hurt my feelings, your invading my rights. Well I'll let you in on something, we do to little for security we should be more harder on the public like so many other contries are. We have had it to easy here and one day we may pay a bigger price. Terrorist come in many forms if the public can pick them out for the TSO workers fine let us know then we won't have to trouble you.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I'm not going to write my my real comment here because the 'TSA' doesn't have the guts to post it. I'm a 55-year old businessman. Wife, two kids, house, dog. I just came back from a long trip to China. The 'TSA' and most of the other 'Departments' of 'our' government (really feel like it belongs to you ?) are no different from what I saw in China, but of course I knew that before I went. And I'm not kidding. This business about the woman with the nipple ring sickens me. It sickens me to think of the leering perverts in the 'TSA' suits at the airport. Pre-invasion, Bush told us about the 'rape rooms' in Iraq. Well, there are 'rape rooms' at every U.S. airport. For reference, read the earlier comment by the 'TSA' guy who volunteered to inspect genital piercings ('heh, heh'). Somehow, lost in all of this is the fact that a U.S. Citizen who had a tiny piece of metal embedded in her skin was strip-searched and humiliated at the airport rape room in Lubbock. Was there some risk that she was going to take down an aircraft with a nipple ring ? No. But this is what dictatorships do, isn't it ? They start by putting the least capable in the population into positions of 'authority'. The idea is to intimidate and harass. Ask yourself : The leering 'TSA' 'staff' ; they're 'authorities' on what ? Physics ? Medicine ?

The Chinese 'government'. 'Our' 'government'. What's the difference ? The Chinese have their own TSA. And from what I could tell, it operates in a much more professional manner than 'our' 'TSA'. I felt far safer on Chinese aircraft than I ever have here. The Chinese TSA is much more likely to protect plane passengers against hijackers. They spend their time looking for weapons and bombs, not looking for the next opportunity to inspect someone's genitalia. ('heh, heh'). That's the difference. The only difference.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The way you handled the nipple ring situation was terrible!!! It sound's like, to me, you were trying to make an example out of this lady. There are more and more people getting body piercing, so you might as well accept it. What are they going to do.... blow up a plane with a nipple ring?

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