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Frequent Traveler's Experience on the Other Side of the Line

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My name is Christine, and I've worked for TSA for about 3 years now working on the Web team at Headquarters. I spend most of my time doing technical stuff, but I also dabble in some writing. I'm an avid traveler (it's a passion of mine) and I've had the pleasure of going through airport security in 22 countries across 6 continents. More on those experiences in later blog posts 'cause today's is about being on the other side of the security line....

I spent 4 hours volunteering at DCA's Terminal 'A' checkpoint on Monday. It was pretty busy and after a quick briefing with the Supervisory Transportation Security Officer, I was given the title of "bag loader"and jumped right in there to assist passengers with placing their carry-ons through the X-ray, and answer questions like, "Can I bring this through?" or "Do I have to take this off?"

I encountered many friendly passengers during the first half of my shift, and I have to hand it to the elderly, they were just so laid back and had a pretty good sense of humor about the whole thing. One elderly gentleman, sitting in a wheelchair no less, joked to his wife about having to get down to his "skivvies." After that, came the extra friendly passenger who winked at me...twice. Okay, maybe that will work in the grocery store checkout line but it's not going to get you too far in this scenario, buddy. Another female passenger asked whether or not she had to remove her "bling." I told her it would probably be a good idea.

Speaking of the metal detector - it's called that for a reason. Much to my surprise, many of the passengers did not check their pockets before going through it and guess what? They beeped. Repeatedly, I watched passengers get back in line for another bin and go through the metal detector again. In my opinion, this is the easiest part of security (metal=beep) yet it continued to be a sticky point for passengers throughout the day and probably cost them the most time.

Now for the second part of my shift. First up was a passenger who presented an expired airport ID to the travel document checker. A few minutes were added to his security experience to verify his identity and then he was cleared to go. Next up I encountered the stereotypical late, rushed passenger stressed out about having to make his flight (he was sweating and saying things under his breath). He got to the metal detector and X-ray with his with jacket, shoes, and tons of stuff in his pockets. I watched as he made not one, not two, but three trips to the metal detector to get it right. His last trip through was the kicker, though: he took his belt off it and swung it down on the conveyer belt so hard that it bounced up and almost hit me in the face.

By the end of the day I needed a break (I'm used to sitting at a desk all day, after all) so I took 15 minutes. On my way back to my post, I got in line to go through the metal detector in front of a woman holding her dog. I stepped through and the metal detector alarmed. Not sure why, but I might have brushed the side of the detector by accident. The woman with the dog rolled her eyes and sarcastically asked me if I spoke English. Clearly she wasn't in the holiday spirit with fellow passengers (she thought I was one). I wanted to say that I spoke English and Spanish but I smiled politely instead and went back to my post.

My experience on Monday made me acutely aware of just how fast everything happens at the checkpoint, even though, as a passenger, I feel that I go through at a normal pace. It was difficult for me to focus sometimes because of the chaos in the background. The most challenging part was placing the seemingly never-ending load of bags through the X-ray and watching passengers walk through the metal detector and back, over and over again. It's monotonous but also must be mentally challenging to officers who have to do their jobs while also looking for threats. Kudos to all the TSOs out there who do this every day.

Christine
EoS Guest Blogger

Comments

Submitted by RB on

So your point is..........?

Submitted by Anonymous on

One thing on metal. I know that the belt I usually wear has about a 30% chance of tripping the detectors (empirically). It's a PITA to take it off, so I usually just wear it through. 2/3 of the time it's fine, but 1/3 of the time I have to go back and take it off. Works for me.

I mean, of course it would be better if you had detectors that could tell the roughly 1 oz of oblong shaped perfectly rounded non-sharp steel wasn't a weapon, but whatever.

Anyway, did you find any tactics worked better at calming annoyed people than others? Was humor better? Or a strict voice? etc.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Nice post TSA. Great to see some of the non-officers actually taking some time to see what your screeners see. Christine, come write to us anytime ... ;) ;)

Submitted by Stephen on

"It's monotonous but also must be mentally challenging to officers who have to do their jobs while also looking for threats."

Yah it must be quite tiring watching for nonexistant things. Those Boogeymen are really cunning like that. Look at this recent spate of constantly not attacking anything or anyone.

Yes, look out for all those threats. All those threats that made air travel so much more dangerous than driving a car for all these years.

Oh wait.... air travel has been perfectly safe for many years now, and hasn't gotten any more dangerous or really any safer either since the 80s.

Sorry, back to your regularly scheduled "security" love in.

-Steve, a taxpayer

Submitted by Tso Rachel on

I am a TSO, and I have to say... they way you wrote some of this feels very condescending towards the passengers. Phrases such as "Speaking of the metal detector - it's called that for a reason."...really? Traveling can be stressful. I know as a TSO, I have even forgotten that I had a metal hair clip in, or my cell phone was still in my pocket. It happens.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The CBS story that Bruce Schneier pointed to shows a TSA video where some woman's "bling" was stolen at the chekcpoint by another woman after she had to take it off.

It is not "a good idea" to let your valuables out of your sight. But I guess it makes it easier on the screeners.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Steve, Simple question... Would you prefer there was no security at all?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Christine, since your part of the TSA web team could you tell us why the TSA web pages still state 3oz liquid containers or less instead of the correct 3.4oz or 100ml amounts?

Don't you think it reflects poorly on your agency when information that is presented to the public is wrong?

Thanks!

Submitted by Anonymous on

wow - you spent 4 WHOLE hours at the security post - why am I not impressed? Were you there at the busiest times of the day? I'm tired of having to deal with the rude TSA employees at my home airport where it can take up to an hour to get through that line.

It is mentally challenging for the screeners because any psychology study can show you that you look at the same screen long enough your mind automatically blocks images out. It is mentally challenging to be obnoxious to people all day long. I have zero sympathy for any TSA employee. You sap the taxpayers of tax dollars with very little return.

And where is the blog post on the rash of thefts at LAX thanks to TSA employees?

Submitted by Anonymous on

So you think that the safety of air travel just happens? If so, then you my friend are very unaware. Take it from someone in the industry, but outside of TSA, thanks to them many issues are diffused well before it can create an issue in the air.

-Trent, a taxpayer, Airline employee, Frequent traveler.

Submitted by Omar on

Good writing. Guys, there's plenty to yell at TSA about, so no point in being snide to somebody who's not our usual target, isn't espousing something specific you're pissed about, AND has an interesting experience to share.

Christine, thanks for sharing, please do contribute anytime you like.

Submitted by Gunner on

And the point of your post was?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous Said --- "And where is the blog post on the rash of thefts at LAX thanks to TSA employees?"

Well ding dong, if you actually watched the story carefully, you would see that the story targeted airline contractors, because that is where the big problem is and has been. Now if you'll go back to the March timeframe, TSA already had a posting about theft. Follow along, please.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Would you prefer there was no security at all?"

I would prefer that the TSA apologists would stop trotting out this tired straw man. No one, absolutely no one, is calling for "no security at all." What citizens critical of TSA want is sensible security, proportionate to the actual likelihood of genuine threats. Water is not a threat. Shoes are not a threat. Earrings and snowglobes and pie are not a threat. Just roll things back to about where they were prior to 9/11: X-ray carry-ons, walk through a metal detector, bar guns and large knives, and be done with it. We would be precisely as safe as we are today and flying would be considerably less unpleasant than TSA has made it.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Trent said: Take it from someone in the industry, but outside of TSA, thanks to them many issues are diffused well before it can create an issue in the air.

Can you cite some major "issue" that directly affects security of the flight? We all know that TSA has apprehended many with false ID's, and we can't let them fly, as it is obvious that a person with a false ID can bring down an aircraft. Also those carrying too much cash on their person, those are really bad guys. And how about the guy that tries to bring in a cup of coffee. I guess if its hot enough, it could be a weapon if he threw it in the pilot's face.

I just want to say, with the recent happenings in India, the airport is the last place a terrorist would try to pull something. They are not that stupid, knowing that in all probability they will be caught. It's now fully understood that terrorists will exploit the weakest target.

So, with the TSA, reacting to the one unsuccessful attempt at liquid explosives, should we now be reacting a VERY real threat of attacks on hotels. I think you have your priorities backwards.

I fully agree with Stephen. The terrorist threat at the airport is non-existence. Terrorists have moved on to more vulnerable targets. Of course the TSA will never admit it, but not ONE person has been caught, tried, and convicted of terrorism at an airport.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Omar,

If the blogging strategy of this PR wing of TSA is to march a cute puppy out onto the stage instead of being responsive to the attacks, the puppy is going to have to bear the brunt of the attacks.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I don't think Steve should be called an idiot for his views and opinions on TSA.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Steve is it not possible that TSA has impacted the saftey of air travel merely because there is a risk of getting caught. Sure the catch rate is not 100% but there is a catch rate and most bad people do not want to take that chance. So that means the security works indirectly. The small amount of bad people are dumb and get caught. Some may go without getting caught but will get caught at some point. It is like you do not always get caught when you speed but eventually do.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Speaking of metal detectors... Is it possible to get the blog to give us a reason or post about why some metal detectors at airports are more sensitive than others. I don't want no "unpredictable" nonsense. I want to know why all the machines are not calibrated to the same standard. Maybe passengers could take off the metal they know will alarm if it alarmed every where in the nation. The belt buckle guy sparked me to ask this. It is kinda like the airports where you can wear your belt that alarms all other airports is less safe. Where is the reasoning behind this?

Submitted by RB on

Many people remark about their experiences when meeting up with TSA. Horror stories continue, people complain and TSA keeps saying they have a handle on the problems.

Here are a few of links, some a bit old, yet then and now the same complaints and problems still exist.

Why is it that TSA and its leadership cannot turn this agency around?

Just what must happen to get TSA serving travelers instead of itself?

How much longer can the excuse that TSA is a young agency continue?

Here are the links, please add on if you know of others;

http://www.govexec.com/story_page.cfm?articleid=40330&ref=rellink

http://boards.independenttraveler.com/showthread.php?t=5835

Submitted by RB on

I note that the post calling Steve an idiot has been removed but there is no indication of the post ever being on the blog. Wasn't the plan to just delete the text and make a note that the post had been deleted for not conforming to blog standards so all would know what happened?

Submitted by Phil on

At 2008-12-03 21:45 -0800, someone anonymously wrote:

"I enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing it.

"BTW Steve, you are an idiot."

That comment has since been removed.

RB asked:

"Wasn't the plan to just delete the text and make a note that the post had been deleted for not conforming to blog standards so all would know what happened?"

Yes.

On June 17, 2008, in a comment for the The Evolution Continues post, Bob at TSA wrote:

"It’s not our policy to delete post once they are approved. However, there have been a few times that I’m aware of when a comment was approved that should not have been. (Did not follow comment policy) We rarely have to do this and hate it when we do.

"From this point forward, if we have to delete a comment, we’ll leave a note stating what type of post we deleted and why. I have sent a note to the blog team communicating this."

Blog team, didn't you get the memo?

--
Phil
Add your own questions at TSAFAQ.net

Submitted by Anonymous on

These TSA comments get crazy real fast. I think I'm just going to read the blog without the commments. Doesn't TSA have comment cards or a customer service number? Some of you people should really look into that.

Also, some of you need to remember we are all americans(most of us at least). Its great to be patriotic but I can't imagine patriotism leading you to this web blog. Could the TSA employee's really say they would be on this blog if they didn't work for TSA? or a passenger who had a good or bad experience?

I mostly see the panssenger side as just being here because you had a bad experience.

I ,on the other hand, am here because I had such a good holiday experience. I just had to drop a compliment. I thought for sure TSA wasn't doing much since 2006 but instead I found a wealth of knowledge here. I'm happy with the direction you guys are going.

Happy holidays all

-Sam

Submitted by Anonymous on
Anon Said: "Can you cite some major "issue" that directly affects security of the flight?"

I can't really speak to the specific nature of every threat, and I doubt the moderators would allow that anyways; However, TSA is charged with the security of all flights. Their only goal is not to diffuse terrorist plots, they are also there to screen for items that can harm the safety of a flight, knowingly or otherwise. there are lots of items that are confiscated from passengers and their bags you would not want on a plane with you at 35000 ft.

But there are FAA regulations regarding what can be brought on a plane. And its not unheard of for a hazmat item to be packed in a passengers bag.

-Trent
Submitted by Anonymous on

[quote]Anon said: rude TSA employees at my home airport [/quote]

As much as you want to believe it, we are not all the same. Maybe when you go through the airport your mind set is "Oh I know I'm going to have a bad time here at TSA Security", but your so tangled up in how bad everything is, you can't chillax & just let it go & stroll on through.

Also, does everyone think that TSA people don't actually fly through? Because we do, and some of us so often you wouldn't realise it.

Submitted by Robert Johnson on
Quote from Anonymous: "Steve, Simple question... Would you prefer there was no security at all?"

I hate this false choice agrument. The choice isn't just between TSA or no security at all. There are other options. Like pre 9/11 security. TSA scaling back on the more unrealistic things. Going back to the pre-water carnival era. Those are just a few options.

Just because we bag on TSA doesn't mean we don't want security. It means we want real security without the harassment and theater.

Robert
Submitted by Robert Johnson on
Quote from yet another Anonymous: "Speaking of metal detectors... Is it possible to get the blog to give us a reason or post about why some metal detectors at airports are more sensitive than others. I don't want no "unpredictable" nonsense. I want to know why all the machines are not calibrated to the same standard. Maybe passengers could take off the metal they know will alarm if it alarmed every where in the nation. The belt buckle guy sparked me to ask this. It is kinda like the airports where you can wear your belt that alarms all other airports is less safe. Where is the reasoning behind this?"

I'm with you there. I can wear my belt thru BWI with no problems. SLC trips me up depending on the WTMD. AGS tripped me up both times. Then of course, they look at me like I'm stupid for not taking it off.

Well, I'm not taking it off if I don't have to. And considering it's difficult or impossible to know if it's going to trip the mag most of the time, I'm going to default to the least hassle for me.

It's annoying to say the least. It seems like I'm having to disrobe a bit more each year I travel.

Robert
Submitted by Robert Johnson on
Quote from Sam: "These TSA comments get crazy real fast. I think I'm just going to read the blog without the commments. Doesn't TSA have comment cards or a customer service number? Some of you people should really look into that."

I can't speak to how the new online complaint form is working. However, based on my experiences and those of my associates, TSA has largely shown that it doesn't take complaints seriously. If your complaint is even acknowledged (I've had valid ones ... not whines) never receive a response. If you write in, often times you'll get a response that shows that the person didn't even read it or the response is automated. If a person calls and they're promised a callback, they won't get one the vast majority of the time. I know people who were promised a call back in 2004 and still haven't gotten it.

"Also, some of you need to remember we are all americans(most of us at least). Its great to be patriotic but I can't imagine patriotism leading you to this web blog. Could the TSA employee's really say they would be on this blog if they didn't work for TSA? or a passenger who had a good or bad experience?"

I'm not sure what you're getting at here. Many of us express our patriotism by challenging TSA because we don't like what they're doing to freedom and that some of their practices are illegal.

"I mostly see the panssenger side as just being here because you had a bad experience.

I ,on the other hand, am here because I had such a good holiday experience. I just had to drop a compliment. I thought for sure TSA wasn't doing much since 2006 but instead I found a wealth of knowledge here. I'm happy with the direction you guys are going."

I'm glad you had a good experience. Seriously, I am. I wish more of us did. While some aspects have gotten better (namely, the barkers shutting up), there has been sliding in other ways with TSA getting more invasive in its searches.

I've seen some nice screeners (one even remembered me at AGS a month later, but it was honestly hard to forget the shirt I was wearing and it's a small airport) and they moved a long line fairly quickly at BWI earlier this week. That doesn't mean I appreciate being patted down, seeing children on the no fly list, giving up my liquids, and so forth, even if it's done with smiles and laughs.

"Happy holidays all"

Likewise. :)

Robert
Submitted by Anonymous on
I fully agree with Stephen. The terrorist threat at the airport is non-existence. Terrorists have moved on to more vulnerable targets. Of course the TSA will never admit it, but not ONE person has been caught, tried, and convicted of terrorism at an airport.

So what you are saying is if TSA stopped security at airports then airports would not become vulnerable again. Keep in mind that it is not just the people TSA is keeping safe but also in a way they are protecting the economy. Air travel is big bucks. I don't think the government wants a disaster to effect the economy as much as air travel can. Remember if one thing happens to a major airliner then it is kind of a domino effect all of the nation.
Submitted by Anonymous on
"Would you prefer there was no security at all?"

I would prefer that the TSA apologists would stop trotting out this tired straw man. No one, absolutely no one, is calling for "no security at all." What citizens critical of TSA want is sensible security, proportionate to the actual likelihood of genuine threats. Water is not a threat. Shoes are not a threat. Earrings and snowglobes and pie are not a threat. Just roll things back to about where they were prior to 9/11: X-ray carry-ons, walk through a metal detector, bar guns and large knives, and be done with it. We would be precisely as safe as we are today and flying would be considerably less unpleasant than TSA has made it.

Your opinion sir is not sensible good security. I don't think that people honestly think a shoe is a threat. It is what can be hid in a shoe that is a threat. You can't see that if shoes do not go through x-ray. Water is not a threat. We all know that. No duh. It is what else could be in the water bottle that could be bad. Pretty much the security measures are in place because any item can be tampered with and there are items that are tampered with. Good security to me is the more you have to go through the harder it is to circumvent. Well that is TSA. You do go through a big long hassle.
Submitted by Dave on

Christine,

Since you have been fortunate enough to travel abroad and experience security in other airports, I'm sure you have enjoyed the fact that you don't have to take off your shoes in foreign countries. I wish the TSA would wake up and stop this stupid and nonsensical fetish. Hopefully you were able to go to Australia and travel domestically where none of the stupid ID checks, liquid or shoe fetishes apply. And yet it's still very safe to fly there.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
Anon Said: "Can you cite some major "issue" that directly affects security of the flight?"

I can't really speak to the specific nature of every threat, and I doubt the moderators would allow that anyways; However, TSA is charged with the security of all flights
........................................
If TSA was interested in the security of any flight then all cargo would be inspected, All checked baggage would be secure, all TSA and Airport employees would be screened each and every time they entered a secure area.

TSA is only interested in a Show of Security.
Check baggage has been and continues to be tampered with. TSA and Airport employees are able to introduce any kind of contraband to the airport. TSA employees have gone so far as to bring weapons to the checkpoint and yet they still work for TSA.

TSA does not bring any security to the table. Just an extremly long play!

Submitted by Ayn R Key on

Anonymous TSO wrote:
I don't think that people honestly think a shoe is a threat. It is what can be hid in a shoe that is a threat. You can't see that if shoes do not go through x-ray. Water is not a threat. We all know that. No duh. It is what else could be in the water bottle that could be bad.

Actually, anonymous TSO, we know that what can be put into the water bottle is NOT a threat. At least according to every chemist that has looked at the issue. I suppose something could theoretically be sneaked in the shoes, but that's nothing a chemical sniffer can't handle. There is no reason for the TSA to require us to remove shoes, other then them having spent money on MMW machines instead of chemical sniffers.

Good security to me is the more you have to go through the harder it is to circumvent. Well that is TSA. You do go through a big long hassle.

Just because it's a big hassle doesn't mean it's an effective hassle. Good security is effective security, not hassle security. Is your policy of "the more the hassle, the more the security" the policy you use at the terminals when screening pasengers?

Submitted by Anonymous on

It would be totally refreshing if TSA would answer questions instead of the ongoing bitch session. I would also like to see the Blog Team honor the posting rules and stop the censoring of post that comply with stated standards.

I know wishful thinking. No one expects anything straight forward from the likes of TSA.

Submitted by TSO Tom (PHL) on

Christine;
thank you for sharing your experience on a TSA checkpoint. This gives an insider view of what happens daily and tells the story of the typical TSO just trying to get through his/her shift without incident. Yes indeed the metal detector is the most challening part of a shift on any given day, BUT...if the TSO at the Walk Through is giving proper advisements, few if any alarms will be encountered in a 30 minute rotation. The toughest part is working in harmony with the x-ray operator as the metal detector officer is the one who determines how many bag checks will be encountered by the x-ray operator (again, proper advisements), divest, divest, divest some more. LOL But thank you again for sharing your experience on the checkpoint, now if only we can get some HQ people down to PHL for a visit at our buisiest checkpoints. (hint hint)

TOM

Submitted by Robert Johnson on
Quote from Anonymous: "Your opinion sir is not sensible good security. I don't think that people honestly think a shoe is a threat. It is what can be hid in a shoe that is a threat. You can't see that if shoes do not go through x-ray. Water is not a threat. We all know that. No duh. It is what else could be in the water bottle that could be bad. Pretty much the security measures are in place because any item can be tampered with and there are items that are tampered with. Good security to me is the more you have to go through the harder it is to circumvent. Well that is TSA. You do go through a big long hassle."

What, and TSA's security is good, sensible security? You've got to be kidding.

TSA has shown no evidence that anyone has tried to sneak anything in shoes. It and the FBI publicly admitted this to the LA Times in 2006. They have produced no evidence that shoes "are the number 1 threat" to aviation as claimed in their "Why" videos.

What I have seen is an increasing shoe fetish. Ironically, the mandatory shoe carnival was instituted as part of the liquid lunacy and had nothing to do with it.

We see a few nutjobs talking big about liquid explosives when it turns out the plot wasn't even viable. Now we have restrictions on shampoos, pies (despite what Bob's said), drinks, and so forth. Technology has existed for years in Japan as others have said. Some on here have said that if it worked in Japan, TSA would use it but it must not work as well. I think of it being a "not invented here" mentality and "development" throws more pork to DHS contractors.

What I see isn't good, sensible security. I see CYA security. Terrorists say boo, TSA goes into a tizzy fit and the terrorists win. They don't actually have to do anything ... just say something and they accomplish their goals.

Airport security wasn't what caused 9/11. I wish TSA would get that.

Robert
Submitted by Anonymous on

Is taking off your shoes really that big of a deal?

Submitted by Anonymous on

"I don't think that people honestly think a shoe is a threat. It is what can be hid in a shoe that is a threat."

No one is hiding anything dangerous in their shoes. No other country in the world engages in such nonsense. TSA must end this foolish charade if it wants to be taken seriously.

"You can't see that if shoes do not go through x-ray."

You can't see what isn't there, and there is no threat in anyone's shoes.

"Water is not a threat. We all know that. No duh. It is what else could be in the water bottle that could be bad."

Nothing bad is in anyone's water bottle, or shampoo bottle, or gel pack, or breast milk. The liquid policies are utterly indefensible on scientific grounds: TSA is unable to point to a single independent piece of peer-reviewed research that supports its current policies. It is a pointless waste of time that makes citizens' lives more difficult with no benefit, and should be ended immediately. TO do so would do absolutely nothing to endanger anyone's safety.

"Pretty much the security measures are in place because any item can be tampered with and there are items that are tampered with. Good security to me is the more you have to go through the harder it is to circumvent. Well that is TSA."

TSA is not good security. Its procedures are needlessly intrusive and do nothing to enhance safety, and do much to harm citizens and make air travel less secure. Rolling back security to pre-9/11 levels would make everyone's travel easier and do nothing to make citizens traveling by air less safe.

"You do go through a big long hassle."

A hassle which provides absolutely no benefit to travelers.

Submitted by Anonymous on

as far as shoes go, im glad to take mine off, there are sooo many things that can be hidden in shoes that aren't going to set off a metal detector. Putting shoes through the Xray results in the Officers being able to see what is in a shoe. There is enough space in many shoes to hide no metal knives, drugs, explosives, and more. Even a foam flip flop can have a blade slid into it and reglued shut.

Wear some socks when you travel, its so funny watching people complain about cold feet on the checkpoint floor. Especially when they are wearing flip flops in winter!

Submitted by TSO Tom (PHL) on

Anonymous said...
I fully agree with Stephen. The terrorist threat at the airport is non-existence. Terrorists have moved on to more vulnerable targets. Of course the TSA will never admit it, but not ONE person has been caught, tried, and convicted of terrorism at an airport.
************************************************
So we should now make it easier for terrorists to attack airports because they have "moved on to more vulnerable targets"? Is that what you're saying anon?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Only in America can we read criticism about taking off a belt between airports...

or better still,

Only in America can we have the freedom to voice opinion and this freedom reminds me why I served our great country in the military and am proud to work for the Department of Homeland Security..

How many blog complainers served?

-- TSA Officer and Air Force veteran
(oh yeah, taxpayer too)

Submitted by Anonymous on

I want to know about walk-through metal detector calibrations too. I think that we should alarm the same everywhere. If we don't alarm at some airport and we did at another does that mean that the airport we did not alarm at is less secure?

Submitted by Kellymae81 on

Anon said: I just want to say, with the recent happenings in India, the airport is the last place a terrorist would try to pull something. They are not that stupid, knowing that in all probability they will be caught. It's now fully understood that terrorists will exploit the weakest target. The terrorist threat at the airport is non-existence. Terrorists have moved on to more vulnerable targets. Of course the TSA will never admit it, but not ONE person has been caught, tried, and convicted of terrorism at an airport.

You are right that the probability of terrorists getting caught in the airport is higher, thus the main reason for TSA's existence. We cant help the attacks elsewhere. Just b/c they target elsewhere doesnt mean we (TSA) dont belong at the airport to continue protecting aviation. If we say "Okay, they are not hitting the airports now, so we can cut back on security"...I dont think so, sorry. That's what they want. If we do that, then who becomes weak again? Aviation.

If there has not been news about major issues happening within our airports, then that is GOOD news!! That means we are keeping them away, which is the whole point.

Submitted by Kellymae81 on

Anon said: I just want to say, with the recent happenings in India, the airport is the last place a terrorist would try to pull something. They are not that stupid, knowing that in all probability they will be caught. It's now fully understood that terrorists will exploit the weakest target. The terrorist threat at the airport is non-existence. Terrorists have moved on to more vulnerable targets. Of course the TSA will never admit it, but not ONE person has been caught, tried, and convicted of terrorism at an airport.

You are right that the probability of terrorists getting caught in the airport is higher, thus the main reason for TSA's existence. We cant help the attacks elsewhere. Just b/c they target elsewhere doesnt mean we (TSA) dont belong at the airport to continue protecting aviation. If we say "Okay, they are not hitting the airports now, so we can cut back on security"...I dont think so, sorry. That's what they want. If we do that, then who becomes weak again? Aviation.

If there has not been news about major issues happening within our airports, then that is GOOD news!! That means we are keeping them away, which is the whole point.

Submitted by Anonymous on

First of all. You guys are not very fast or good at posting peoples comments. I post all the time and my posts never get through. I am a TSO and there is nothing wrong with what I post. I could see maybe 1 or 2 of my comments not coming through, but there has been quite a bit. I don't want to be one of the complainers on here, but it is really irritating that my posts never show up.

Another thing. We shouldn't even have this blog. It is the same babbling over and over. And it always will be until we get rid of this site. It does not matter what the blog is positive or negative. The people who comment on here are so negative and repetative, its pointless. Everything about this blog is pointless!

Submitted by Kellymae81 on
I want to know why all the machines are not calibrated to the same standard.

I am a TSO at SDF(louisville) and we calibrate all 5 of our metal detectors the same way, but for some reason, we have 1 that is just a little more sensitive that the other 4. It must just be the manufacturing. Also, you may have a belt that normally doesn't alarm, but you may not have had the same other metal on you as last time. That other metal combined with the belt can push you just past the alarm level and to eliminate you alarming, the belt is usually the biggest and easiest to take off. That is why we ask for belts. Does that help?
Submitted by Anonymous on

Bloggers take a day off!

Submitted by PHILantroPISSED on

Question: What would Phil do if TSA were disbanded? no more blog would make Phil a sad panda :-(

Submitted by NoClu on

You folks closed for the holidays?

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