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Tuesday, September 23, 2008
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For those of you that have noticed TSA's Diamond Self-Select Lanes, you're not the only ones; Budget Travel magazine has rewarded TSA and the program with a 2008 Extra Mile Award for innovative efforts to make travel easier. For the past four years, Budget Travel has offered Extra Mile Awards as special recognition for notable ideas and advancements that make travel simpler, more enjoyable or more affordable across the travel industry. Thanks Budget Travel!

We also thank those who have commented on the Black Diamond blog posts (here and here ) for your feedback.

Diamond Self-Select Lanes were first launched in Denver back in February and the program can now be found in 40 airports nationwide, from Honolulu and San Juan to Seattle and Manchester, N.H. The most recent addition was last week's roll-out in Omaha, Nebraska. Our goal is to try to provide travelers with dedicated screening lanes based on their needs, including "black diamond" lanes for frequent fliers who know the drill and "green" lanes for families and those with special needs who
need a little more time to go through security. To learn more about the program and to see which airports have self-select lanes, click here .

Annie
Guest EoS Blogger

Comments

Submitted by Gunner on

I sure wish you would use this blog less to congratulate yourselves on your overall wonderfulness, and use it more to address the real issues: a petty, out-of-control agency that routinely tramples the rights of the American public.

Submitted by Jim Huggins on

Annie,

I looked at the web page to which you linked, describing the Black Diamond program, and found this interesting item as a sidebar:

Did you know? 42% of the checkpoint bottlenecks are caused by delays in composing after screening.

I find this particularly interesting ... in part because passengers on this blog has noted for years that something as simple as a row of benches or chairs past the checkpoint would be of great assistance (while passengers put their shoes back on, put stuff back in their luggage, etc.). Usually, the response given by TSA employees has been "it's up to the airport whether or not they put chairs there".

I know that composure areas are supposed to be a part of Checkpoint Evolution. But given the massive restructuring of the checkpoints that this program involves, fully deploying these new checkpoints is going to be slow.

In the meantime ... do you think TSA could put some priority on adding more chairs after the screening area? As TSA points out itself ... making recomposure easier will only help y'all to eliminate congestion.

Submitted by Womyn2me on

I love the concept, except when there is a guy standing at the front directing everyone down the black diamond lane unless they have a kid...
I wish Southwest would use the same concept for their kiosks.. nothing annoys me more than the average fly once every year or two standing at the kiosk unable to cope with reading the instructions and use it appropriately...

Submitted by Anonymous on

Much like anything TSA related this blog has lost any value. This is soley due to;

The poor maintenance of the site.

Slow or no updates for hours and days.

Excessive censorship!

Political Spin that puts Washington career politicians to shame.

It's time for TSA to make a decision. Either have an excellent blog or no blog at all.

The current state of affairs discredits any TSA Blog Operator.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Still no answer on who paid for the repairs on the aircraft damaged by a TSI on a midnight raid.

Anonymous:
Much like anything TSA related this blog has lost any value. This is soley due to;

The poor maintenance of the site.

Slow or no updates for hours and days.

Excessive censorship!

Political Spin that puts Washington career politicians to shame.

It's time for TSA to make a decision. Either have an excellent blog or no blog at all.

The current state of affairs discredits any TSA Blog Operator.

I happen to agree with you. These folks work for the DHS and as such know that if they post politically unpopular (from management's view) that DHS' vindictive management might take it out on the moderators.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Much like anything TSA related this blog has lost any value....It's time for TSA to make a decision. Either have an excellent blog or no blog at all.
The current state of affairs discredits any TSA Blog Operator."

If you don't like it, don't read it!

Which other gov't agency has made any effort whatsoever to provide answers and get feedback from the public like TSA has done? NONE.

I appreciate the fact that efforts are being made to keep that going.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"In the meantime ... do you think TSA could put some priority on adding more chairs after the screening area? As TSA points out itself ... making recomposure easier will only help y'all to eliminate congestion."

Another way to deal with the congestion would be to eliminate the mandatory shoe screenings that do absolutely nothing to make anyone safer.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I travel frequently, and know what I´m doing, but I never take the "expert" lane, because I know I am going to be super searched and annoy the busy business persons behind me. Traveling on a foreign passport automatically qualifies me to poor treatment and super searches, no matter how experienced (and innocent) I am. I am tired of being treated like dirt. The only reason that I return to the US is because I know there are good people there, outside the horrid airports. If I were a first time traveler in post-TSA days, I probably never go back.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I've noticed the last few times I've flown through Denver airport, they're not using the diamond lanes anymore. Families were in the black lane, etc.. Are they only supported at certain times or something?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I love the black diamond idea, but the few times I have had the opportunity to get into the line marked with the black diamond at LAX, it just eventually merges back with the main line and I look like I'm taking cuts into the other, longer line.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
Another way to deal with the congestion would be to eliminate the mandatory shoe screenings that do absolutely nothing to make anyone safer.

How do you know that? Richard Reid got a full blown bomb on a plane... guess where he hid it??????

Submitted by Tomas on
Annie, Guest EoS Blogger, wrote...
Our goal is to try to provide travelers with dedicated screening lanes based on their needs, including "black diamond" lanes for frequent fliers who know the drill and "green" lanes for families and those with special needs who need a little more time to go through security.

Hi, Annie. I understand the desire to separate those who are "quick like a bunny" from those who plod through the line like the tortoise, and it is a good move.

There is one problem that has totally dropped out of the thought and planning that went into this.

I am a handicapped individual.

Yes, I can stand, walk, sit, remove shoes, carry my minimal carry-on valuables, put my shoes back on, and eventually get to my plane, possibly with a number of rest stops along the way.

The problem is that standing or walking for longer periods is not only tiring, but eventually causes great pain.

For this reason, even though I'm not a "frequent traveler" nor a fast mover, I most definitely need to be in a lane that does not overtax my limited abilities by forcing long standing waits.

I also absolutely need a place to SIT to remove shoes and another place to SIT to put them back on. I'm no longer able to hop about on one foot with the other raised to remove a shoe, nor am I able to bend to remove my shoes while both feet are on the floor.

(I won't even get into having my cane taken from me then being yelled at when I touch the edge of the walk-through metal detector to maintain balance while trying to hobble through.)

I don't need some airline attendant pushing me in a wheelchair (I spent three years in a wheelchair, and I've fought my way OUT), but I do need minimal standing times, a place to sit while removing and replacing shoes, and some consideration that my speed of movement is somewhat less than optimum.

Missing the needs of the handicapped when planning seems often to be caused by everyone involved in the planning being hale and hearty. Not only are those directly involved not handicapped, those who ARE handicapped are seldom asked.

Planning is often done with little to no consideration to those people you ignore, or look the other way to avoid eye contact with (you know you do, be honest), and their needs are only addressed, if at all, AFTER the plan has gone into effect and the handicapped are causing problems with your nice plan because they are physically unable to comply.

Rather than worrying about what color lane I "belong in" because of my speed or lack thereof, I am more concerned with the length of time I will be forced to stand and the availability of seating for the shoe circus.

Is there a special 'purple with green polkadots cloverleaf lane' set up for those with limitations - or at least one clearly and plainly marked with the blue international handicapped symbol? http://www.ada.gov/

So far, I've not seen one.

Tom (1 of 5-6)
Submitted by Bob Eucher on

Anonymous said:
Which other gov't agency has made any effort whatsoever to provide answers and get feedback from the public like TSA has done? NONE.

Oh really? Take a look here:
Blogs from the U.S. Government

Submitted by Anonymous on

"I travel frequently, and know what I´m doing, but I never take the "expert" lane, because I know I am going to be super searched and annoy the busy business persons behind me. Traveling on a foreign passport automatically qualifies me to poor treatment and super searches, no matter how experienced (and innocent) I am. I am tired of being treated like dirt. The only reason that I return to the US is because I know there are good people there, outside the horrid airports. If I were a first time traveler in post-TSA days, I probably never go back."
___________________________________

So sad!

Submitted by Andy on

I would like you folks to make a post on this blog about your activities at train stations. On Tuesday, your agency along with law enforcement agencies participated in a "show of force"/"training exercise" at train stations in the northeast. I have asked for information about the TSA's activities at train stations, ferry terminals, and bus stations/stops before. I am particularly concerned about your VIPR teams attempting to bring your airport security measures to locations outside an airport.

Some posters on this very blog have stated that, [paraphrase] "if you don't like the TSA's security measures, you can go Greyhound (or Amtrak)". Yet, we can't avoid you if we take other modes of transportation. Many of the comments on this blog have been dedicated to the laws, rules, regulations, and procedures we must follow at airport chackpoints. I would like to know what laws, rules, regulations, and procedures you expect me to follow at train stations, ferry terminals, and bus stations/stops. How long will it be before the TSA establishes airport-style (TDC matching ticket to Real ID- comliant document, 3-1-1, etc.) checkpoints at train stations, ferry terminals, and bus stations/stops?

Submitted by Dan on

At the PDX airport, they tested this method for a while but it seems to have disappeared. Will it come back? I really liked having designated lanes.

Submitted by Anonymous on

All these wonderfully cute marketing slogan based practices could be eliminated and replaced by a working security system by doing five simple things:

- Hire the correct people.
Talk your HR department into screening out the applicants who are the 'want a badge so I can bully' type. Hire those applicants who could be trained to do your job for you, but that don't want to deal with the political infighting between you and your superiors.

- Fire the correct people Get rid of those people who can't do their jobs correctly. Dereliction of Duty is your friend, as it is a 'just cause'.

- Train your people correctly
Death-by-power-point training is as valuable as the weight of the slides. Encourage the learning of other languages. Teach the defusing of situations instead of their escalation. Understand what the ADA means.

- Insist on professional dress and behaviour from your people TSO's are in the public eye, so their every action and deed is a direct modifier of the flying publics perception of the TSA. So, while on duty there should be:
- No wearing of 'doo-rags' (LAX)
- No painting of nails (SEA)
- No making sexist jokes/remarks (ORD)
- No personal Phonecalls. (LAS)
- No food or drinks on the equipment.
(LAS, LAX, ORD, SEA, DFW, JFK..)
- No wearing of political buttons (SEA, LAX)
- No use of MP3/PSP/Soduku/etc on duty (SFO)



- Focus on mission performance instead of theatrics.
Security is not a 'slap everything together and hope it works' process. Build a system that seems to work, then figure out how to break it. Then fix it. Attach personal responsibility to everyone involved in each step of the process to improve their steps in the process, and listen to those persons for ideas on how to improve that step.
If a step has holes, fix it.

'For the want of a nail' is a good parable to live by when you live in the public eye. It only takes one.

Submitted by Anonymous on

This is a relatively dry topic that doesn't lend itself to very much useful debate, so I'll address others' concerns about the blog in general. Perhaps the format of the blog could change, perhaps like this: http://www.vbulletin.com/ . A format like that would keep each thread on topic. I also propose that when someone registers to post on the blog, that their post is viewable immediately like many other online forums. Filters could be added so that obviously inappropriate posts/terminology would be automatically deleted, while the moderators would moderate posts only after they're posted and infraction points may assessed against frequent violators of published posting guidelines. If a user decides to remain anonymous, then it would be appropriate to approve a post before it's publicly available. At least we won't have to go long weekends without seeing any replies, plus multiple threads addressing various subjects could go on at the same time. I'd rather visit one thread containing all the comments about showing ID at the checkpoint, rather than the blogger.com format where it appears every thread gets off topic and addresses this point regardless of the topic at hand. Finally, users could start threads and ask questions, so that the responsibility doesn't fall solely upon part-time TSA bloggers who do this as an additional duty. Yes, this proposal does give more control over the blog to the users, but I believe it will be a better blog because of that, and you will retain full ability as you do now to delete posts that don't conform to the guidelines.

Submitted by Naruto on

black diamond it's very good,

Submitted by Anonymous on

How can TSA limit free speech on a government funded website?

Submitted by Mr Gel-pack on

So, just what is "the drill"? And how the heck do you learn what it is?

I flew out through RIC with a gel-pack in a cooler keeping breast milk cold with no issues. Coming back through STL, the TSA supervisor confiscated the gel-pack saying that it was only allowed for medical items, not for infants. 13 oz of breast milk spoiled during that flight, and my wife cried.

Pouring out 13 oz of spoiled breast milk and watching my wife cry because of TSA wrongly confiscating a gel-pack did not in any way "make travel simpler, more enjoyable".

I might have more respect for TSA if it was capable of teaching its own agents "the drill", but with its ever-changing secret and unwritten rules, that can never be the case. From my 13 oz of spoiled breast milk to your 2,800,000 person-hours per day of fear tax, TSA is pure waste.

Submitted by Gratis on

Very interesting.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Changed the lanes. Good. Eliminated laptop removal. Good. Now, when are you going to change or explain the absolute prohibition on tiny, harmless pocket knives ? Please don't respond that "a knife is a knife is a knife." You allow metal knitting needles and 4" sharp-pointed scissor. What's the essential difference?

Submitted by Ayn R Key on

So are you planning on giving me the legal and constitutional basis for conducting MMW searches on those not trying to access the sterile area of the airport as I requested in both entries on the new MMW technology?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I don´t care about lane types. I want to know why you are keeping the war on shoes and liquids. If you can´t scan for metals or trace chemicals without bothering all of us, it is better not to do anything.

Bombs take fire to light, yet lighters and matches are allowed. Ban lighters and matches and stop the war on liquids and shoes. There are a lot more shoe wearers and toothpaste users around than smokers - you would have a lot less unhappy people. Simple.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
Changed the lanes. Good. Eliminated laptop removal. Good. Now, when are you going to change or explain the absolute prohibition on tiny, harmless pocket knives ? Please don't respond that "a knife is a knife is a knife." You allow metal knitting needles and 4" sharp-pointed scissor. What's the essential difference?


As a TSO I agree, IEDs are the real threat... not some silly item that could never be used as a weapon to take down a plane (people will remember 9/11 and the andrenaline will kick in, and the whole plane will fight back) plus we now have Air Mashalls (NOT ENOUGH!) and hardened cockpit doors.

If it's under X amount of inches it should be able to go.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Mr. Gel-pack said...
So, just what is "the drill"? And how the heck do you learn what it is?

I flew out through RIC with a gel-pack in a cooler keeping breast milk cold with no issues. Coming back through STL, the TSA supervisor confiscated the gel-pack saying that it was only allowed for medical items, not for infants. 13 oz of breast milk spoiled during that flight, and my wife cried.

Pouring out 13 oz of spoiled breast milk and watching my wife cry because of TSA wrongly confiscating a gel-pack did not in any way "make travel simpler, more enjoyable".

I might have more respect for TSA if it was capable of teaching its own agents "the drill", but with its ever-changing secret and unwritten rules, that can never be the case. From my 13 oz of spoiled breast milk to your 2,800,000 person-hours per day of fear tax, TSA is pure waste.

September 25, 2008 11:36 AM

..............................
Standing Ovations to you Sir!

In one short post you have demonstrated why TSA is a total failure.

TSA has no rules for the public.
TSA violates your constitutional rights.
TSA employees are guilty of theft when taking items not prohibited.

All good reasons to call for the disestablishment of TSA!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
I don´t care about lane types. I want to know why you are keeping the war on shoes and liquids. If you can´t scan for metals or trace chemicals without bothering all of us, it is better not to do anything.

Bombs take fire to light, yet lighters and matches are allowed. Ban lighters and matches and stop the war on liquids and shoes. There are a lot more shoe wearers and toothpaste users around than smokers - you would have a lot less unhappy people. Simple.


It's clear you haven't even the most basic idea of how IEDs are made... or do you think that all IEDS are comically sized ACME black bombs.

Why should we ban guns?! We can just stick our fingers in the barrel of the gun and the gun will explode leaving the terrorist covered in black soot.

Submitted by Trollkiller on
Ayn R. Key said...

So are you planning on giving me the legal and constitutional basis for conducting MMW searches on those not trying to access the sterile area of the airport as I requested in both entries on the new MMW technology?

It will be interesting to see the spin put on that explanation.

I expect it will be a song and dance like the legal basis of the forced ID verification.
Submitted by Trollkiller on

I was expecting the Friday puppy post to read something like this.

Trick Or Treat, Smell My Feet

As many of the people on this blag have told us, they don't like taking off their shows and then walking on a dirty floor.

While the TSA knows that shoe screenings are very important to defend this country against terrorist attacks we do listen to your concerns.

In a benevolent act, Kip Hawley has mandated the carpet be cleaned at the checkpoints at least once every year.

This sweeping change should allow you to own a more pleasant checkpoint experience.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Self select lines help no one if at the end of them we still have to submit to secret nonsensical rules based on "classified" (translation = nonexistent or distorted) science.

Maybe it is time for joint action. We should set an "away with TSA" day, in which we get people to refuse to submit. If 10% of people entering the airport just walk through the gates, there is no way they can get enough people together to stop us.

Submitted by Anonymous on
Anonymous said... Bombs take fire to light

Only if you shop for your bombs at ACME.

I'm really not trying to poke fun of your suggestion but I couldn't resist. :)
Submitted by ReVeLaTeD on

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around why a government agency is hosting a blog on Blogger of all sites...which of course is owned by Google, the paramount of "we're not giving up customer data". Irony of ironies.

Anyway, to that last anonymous: A bomb does NOT require fire. Basic chemistry teaches you that. All you need are the right chemicals to combine and it causes a chemical reaction which can be just as dangerous as a lit fuse bomb.

THAT SAID...some common sense would really be nice. If I have a Dasani water bottle that is clearly still plastic-sealed, I should get a pass. If the TSA guy just watched me get a drink from the vending machine, I should get a pass. Materials to make explosives hidden in shoes would be caught by the metal detector (unless they cheaped out on the parts), so I should get a pass. Courthouse doesn't make you remove shoes, they catch all sorts of stuff; what's the problem here?

Then there's downright silly stuff...the whole laptop issue is just ignorant, I'm sorry but it is. It's not our fault the machines can't Xray the bags - buy better tech instead of forcing us to inconvenience ourselves.

Finally, you need consistency between airports. On my last travel, I had a stopover in PHX from CLE. CLE, I passed right through, no issues whatsoever. PHX, same items, I get stopped and hassled for nearly 30 minutes while they rummage through my stuff. Turns out the X-ray flagged out my cell phone charger and two AA batteries for my portable mouse,. According to the TSA guy, "...the way it's all folded up like that, looked like a bomb". Come on now. That's just stupid; you looked dead at my laptop, dead at my cell phone, can't you figure it out from there?

Submitted by Sandra on

Excellent post on the issue of travelers with handicaps, Tomas.

The TSA seems to have a belief that everyone is as they are and they can't think out of the box enough to accommodate those who fall outside their own insulated view of the world.

The unwarranteded harassment, discrimination and abuse (and yes, I do mean abuse, i.e., your being reprimanded for attempting to keep your balance by touching the side of the WTMD is abuse) of the handicapped and elderly by the TSA is very sad.

Submitted by Anonymous on

This blog is slower than security lines in LAX.

Submitted by Anonymous on
Another way to deal with the congestion would be to eliminate the mandatory shoe screenings that do absolutely nothing to make anyone safer.

Shoe screenings prevent shoe bombs. If your arguement is that since no one has tried it since Richard Reid we should stop, then its sort of a flawed one. Shoe screenings are more of a deterrent than anything else. If you do away with shoe removel it opens up a hole that we know can be exploited. The next guy would take Reid's mistakes and perfect his strategy. IMHO.

All these wonderfully cute marketing slogan based practices could be eliminated and replaced by a working security system by doing five simple things...

I'm a supervisor TSO and I agree with all five things. Not enough is being done to hire and train quality officers and not enough is being done too fire the bad ones we've got.

Bombs take fire to light, yet lighters and matches are allowed. Ban lighters and matches and stop the war on liquids and shoes. There are a lot more shoe wearers and toothpaste users around than smokers - you would have a lot less unhappy people. Simple.

Bombs can be set off with electricity as well. One thing every bomb needs is the main charge. It makes more sense to look for the explosive components than the ignition source. Again, IMHO.

On a side note, not every one in the TSA is bad. Some of us try to do our jobs with your guys' feelings and needs in mind. I like the constructive criticism in the comments of this blog when they're not malicious. Its definitly an oppourtunity for you guys to impact the way we do things.
Submitted by Robert Johnson on
Quote from an Anonymous TSO: "Shoe screenings prevent shoe bombs. If your arguement is that since no one has tried it since Richard Reid we should stop, then its sort of a flawed one. Shoe screenings are more of a deterrent than anything else. If you do away with shoe removel it opens up a hole that we know can be exploited. The next guy would take Reid's mistakes and perfect his strategy. IMHO."

So if shoe removal is such a deterrent, how come we don't we read about shoe bombs elsewhere in the world where the shoe carnivals is NOT enacted? How often is this hole exploited abroad if it's so important?

Yeah, lots of shoe bombers out there that planes are just falling out of the sky across the world ... :rolleyes: If you really want to argue that the shoe carnival is an effective deterrent, then you need to show that other nations that don't have the shoe carnival have planes falling out of the sky. Since they don't ...

Robert
Submitted by Kellymae81 on

Revelated said:
If I have a Dasani water bottle that is clearly still plastic-sealed, I should get a pass. If the TSA guy just watched me get a drink from the vending machine, I should get a pass.

1st of all, it does not matter if it is sealed or not. IED's can take any form and it only depends on the creativity of the terrorist. 2nd of all, we don't watch where each individual gets his/her drinks, liquids, etc that they wish to bring in. I understand it is a pain, but liquids have not been allowed for over 2 years now, so if you are going to buy a drink at the airport anyways, why not just get it on the OTHER side of security?!!!

Materials to make explosives hidden in shoes would be caught by the metal detector

How do you expect "PLASTIC" explosives to set off a "METAL" detector? Terrorists don't necessarily bring IEDs through assembled.

not our fault the machines can't Xray the bags - buy better tech instead of forcing us to inconvenience ourselves.

Okay, on this note, the x-rays CAN penetrate the bag, but there are so many other things in the bags (wires, other electronics, etc) that you can't clearly see the computer or see it at all. We have to have a totally unobstructed view of that computer.

According to the TSA guy, "...the way it's all folded up like that, looked like a bomb". Come on now. That's just stupid; you looked dead at my laptop, dead at my cell phone, can't you figure it out from there?

The answer is YES, we can. But that is totally irrelevant. If something looks like something it should not be, then we have to treat it accordingly. We are trained to see what is "out of the ordinary" and if we see something questionable, we have to deal with it..we can't just let it go b/c you have other things with it that "should" explain its existence in your bag.

I understand some rules don't make sense to you and are a pain to follow, and trust me, they are a pain to enforce but most things have a high relevancy to the aid in security. If we didnt have rules, then things WOULD get on aircraft that most definately should not be there.

SDF TSO

Submitted by Anonymous on

Are we down to one dry post per week now? Is TSA giving up on the debate and trying to phase out the blog? Have you run out of things to talk about? If so, why don't you let us control the topics of the week? We still have plenty to discuss.

TSA continues to "moderate" posts conforming to the guidelines but that you don't like, while you show that you can't even moderate other posts which clearly violate your posting guidelines (i.e. posts referring to Federal Civil Service employees by name). That appears to be the same philosophy you bring to the airport checkpoints.

Submitted by Anonymous on

About lighters and matches, the interesting point is not that they aren't banned (I don't think they should be), but why they are allowed and liquids aren't. I cannot think of any justification why they are less dangerous than liquids. Indeed, lighters can mess up traces scanners because they have lighter fluid.

The truth is that nothing that inconveniences the public should be done. Do like reasonable countries do - Use a metal detector, normal X-ray machine (without removing anything from luggage) or trace chemical detector, if you must. Get rid of liquid baggies and shoe removal. Stop bothering us innocent folk.

Submitted by Anonymous on

It is not only disabled persons and lactating women who are harassed by the TSA. Foreigners are too. To TSA folk, passport = terrorist (they must learn that in the 3 days training they get). It does not even matter where the person is from: I have heard the same story from people from New Zealand, Russia, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Argentina and even Canada! I wish I could, just once, fly through the USA without being barked at, having my carry on belongings piled on tables for everyone to see, being puffed, poked and prodded and having my checked luggage rummaged through and delivered a total mess.

Submitted by Trollkiller on
ReVeLaTeD said...

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around why a government agency is hosting a blog on Blogger of all sites...which of course is owned by Google, the paramount of "we're not giving up customer data". Irony of ironies.

I know cost and time set up was a factor when I decided to use Blogger.com for my blog. The irony is for once the TSA did the right thing by not pissing away a bunch of money rolling their own blog.

As for not accepting your sealed water, assuming that a water bottle can pose a risk, you can't expect the TSOs to assume that the bottle has not been tampered with.

It is very easy to unseal a factory sealed bottle, replace the liquid, then "factory seal" it again.

Or they could be lazy about it and spend less than $100 for a case of new bottles with the same type of tamper evident lids used on bottled water.

Then they could either remove a legit label from a bottle and attach it to the bogus bottle, or create their own with PhotoShop or similar program.

Sorry, your reason for the water bottle exemption doesn't hold water.
Submitted by Anonymous on

Ayn R. Key said...

So are you planning on giving me the legal and constitutional basis for conducting MMW searches on those not trying to access the sterile area of the airport as I requested in both entries on the new MMW technology?

I say:

I am reasonably sure they can´t answer that one because there was no assessment in this case. I see it going something like this:

TSA guy 1: do we need a privacy assessment with our new toy?
TSA guy 2: No, we already did that with the MMW chambers, and this guy does not show us images of naked people, so we can do as we like.
TSA guy 1: OK, lets play!

As horrid as it is that they are searching unknowing people, at least with these "portable" machines the screeners seem to be working out in the open. I think that is a lot more logical than the creepy hidden away screeners for the MMW strip search machines, who sit in an "undisclosed location". I will not be screened by a person if I can´t see him.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I went through the DFW Terminal D gates 6-22 security checkpoint, last week. The screening area had new equipment from Smith's Detection Systems stacked around apparently for future use. Many of the cartons were marked: "Table, Made in China". Why doesn't the TSA require it's vendors purchase from American suppliers?

Submitted by Anonymous on

commercial real estate loans said...
Man they lost my laptop last week. It sucks.

September 26, 2008 2:11 AM


This post over on the Update for Laptop Bags thread has imbedded SPAM yet you blog ops did not censor the post. I have posted several on-topic post that have been censor that comply with all posting rules.

So what gives? What are you real CENSOR standards? Spam is ok, but on topic post are not ok?

How about a straight answer for a change!

Submitted by Honey on

Wow!! So many angry people. I am torn between trying to defend TSAs and posting my original thought. People are very angry, but have to remember that we are actually at odds with factions who have and will blow up an airplane if given half a chance. No constitutional rights have been taken away- we do not have the right to be instantly gratified. If you can't stand waiting in a little hour long line, you can drive, ride a rail, or take a boat just about anywhere. Rent a private jet or hook up with someone with a sesna at your local town airport. They don't go down that often... Darn it, I forgot my original thought /:
Oh yeah! speaking of ideas to speed up the line- you know, it may also help to make airports more loiter friendly, so that we infrequent fliers would want to come early. Less expensive stores, fun places for the kids, wi-fi areas and places to plug in my laptop would be nice.

Submitted by Honey on

oh and a reply to anonymous who suggested the vbulletin replacement for the blog. That is a forum, not a blog. It has been my experience that forums are filled with experts who don't know what they are talking about. I really like this existing TSA format where an author presents information in news-form, and we are given the opportunity to express our ideas, opinions, and perceptions. I think this is most beneficial in helping TSA improve themselves, rather than a free-for-all pig pile on TSA forum.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why was my post on the lack of speed of this blog delete-o-metered? There was nothing offensive about it, although it was critical of the speed of posts on this site and of security lines.

Submitted by Sandra on

Anonymous wrote:

"It is not only disabled persons and lactating women who are harassed by the TSA. Foreigners are too. To TSA folk, passport = terrorist (they must learn that in the 3 days training they get). It does not even matter where the person is from: I have heard the same story from people from New Zealand, Russia, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Argentina and even Canada! I wish I could, just once, fly through the USA without being barked at, having my carry on belongings piled on tables for everyone to see, being puffed, poked and prodded and having my checked luggage rummaged through and delivered a total mess.

Tom Friedman in his wonderful new book, Hot, Flat and Crowded
writes:

"Have no doubt, millions of foreigners would still line up for visas at American embassies even if we charged $1,000 per entry stamp and demanded their dental x-rays. But others, especially young Europeans, are thinking twice, because they don't want the hassle, particularly the fact that they have to get fingerprinted. Roger Dow, president and CEO of the American Travel Industry Association, told me his organization estimates that by 2007 America had lost several million overseas visitors since 9/11-even though the dollars has stadily weakened, which means that America and everything in it is on sale to foreigners with euros or yen. "Only the U.S. is losing traveler volume among major countries.....The travel industry's 2007 Discover America Partnership study concluded that the U.S. entry process "has created a climate of fear and frustration that is turning away foreign business and leisure travelers from visiting the United States and damaging America's image abroad."

So on top of the billions of dollars being thrown away on the TSA's toys and gadgets, we are also losing millions, perhaps billions, of dollars with the slow down of foreign visits.

Way to go again, TSA and DHS.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Sandra: "So on top of the billions of dollars being thrown away on the TSA's toys and gadgets, we are also losing millions, perhaps billions, of dollars with the slow down of foreign visits."

Absolutely. I am a young European who is weary of going to the US (although I still do, primarily because of business needs). My mother, a highly educated senior citizen who was also repeatedly mistreated, has declared she will not go again until she gets a written apology (in other words, never).

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