USA Flag

Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

Live Aviation Security Chat with Secretary Napolitano on Facebook 3/9/10

Monday, March 08, 2010

Tomorrow at 3:00 PM EST, stop by White House Live or the White House Facebook App for a real-time chat with DHS Secretary Napolitano.

Go ahead and figure out your questions now and stop by tomorrow and maybe you’ll get your question answered. Remember, this is an aviation security chat, so if you have questions about carnivorous plants , it’s probably not the best forum.

Speaking of the Secretary, earlier today she announced President Obama's intent to nominate retired Army Major General Robert A. Harding as the new appointee for the job of TSA Administrator. Take a gander over at C-SPAN.

Thanks,

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

How many countries, today, have a mandatory shoe removal policy for all passengers?

How many planes have been brought down by shoe bombs anywhere in the world since Richard Reid?

How many planes were brought down by shoe bombs in the US before the shoe carnival was made mandatory in 2006?

How much has TSA spent on this project?

Why did TSA spend all that money to protect us from a threat so unlikely that it presents infinitesimal risk to anyone?

What Happens If My Hands Alarm During an Explosives Trace Detection Test?

Submitted by Anonymous on

How many bags flew through Denver International uninspected back in December?

Why does TSA get away with using human errors as an excuse when passengers can't do that?

What guarantees are there that this will not happen in the future? How many times has this happened at DIA?

Submitted by Anonymous on

How long does it take for the redress program to remove a child's name from the no fly list?

How long does it take for the redress program to remove the name of an adult, incorrectly placed on the no fly list.

Submitted by Anonymous on

While it is nice for the Secretary to host such a chat is there a way to submit questions ahead of time. With my day job I'm not sure I will be available to ask my question live....

Submitted by Seth Levy on

I am too busy for this, but will someone please ask why the best way to protect our freedoms is to give them up?

Submitted by R&R Palmer on

I flew out of LAX Terminal 5, gates 50-59 yesterday and was quite surprised to see a (rather not nice) Delta employee separating people into TSA security screening lines on the basis of whether they were first class/platinum gold or regular pax.

What possible legitimate basis can there be for dispensing government services on the basis of wealth or participation in a private business's frequent flyer program?

P.S. Officer LaFear processed about 20% more pax than the other two TSA officers working at the same time. And I observed her taking care to directly look at the faces and compare them to the ID. She is a real credit to your agency.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Here are some questions from the Identity Project (PapersPlease.org) for the nominee for TSA Administrator:

“As the nominee for Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, …

1. Do you believe that individuals should have a right to travel in the USA? Why or why not?

2. What substantive (e.g probable cause) and procedural (e.g. due process and judicial review) standards do you believe should apply to actions by or directed by your agency, or other government agencies, that would restrict that right?

3. Should individuals in the USA be required to have or display government ID in order to travel by common carrier or on public rights-of-way by plane? By train? By bus? By ship or ferry? By private car? On foot? Why or why not?

4. Should individuals in the USA be required to obtain government permission in order to travel by common carrier or on public rights-of-way by plane? By train? By bus? By ship or ferry? By private car? On foot? Why or why not?

5. Should US citizens be required to have a passport and/or obtain government permission in order to leave the USA? Why or why not?

6. Should US citizens be required to have a passport and/or obtain government permission in order to return to the USA from abroad? Why or why not?

7. Should the government maintain records of the travel or movement of people who are not suspected of a crime or subject to a court order authorizing surveillance and logging of their movements? Why or why not?

8. Should the government mandate the collection or maintenance by travel companies of records of the travel or movement of people who are not suspected of a crime or subject to a court order authorizing surveillance and logging of their movements? Why or why not?

9. Should travel companies or other third parties to whom individuals are required by the government to provide personal information be free to use, sell, or “share” that information, or should it be protected by laws? Why or why not?

10. What do you think should be done with existing government files of travel records about innocent people?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Quoted:
" R&R Palmer said...
I flew out of LAX Terminal 5, gates 50-59 yesterday and was quite surprised to see a (rather not nice) Delta employee separating people into TSA security screening lines on the basis of whether they were first class/platinum gold or regular pax.

What possible legitimate basis can there be for dispensing government services on the basis of wealth or participation in a private business's frequent flyer program?"
-----------------
Yawn... This question has been answered before (many times). the airlines can do whatever they like outside of the Checkpoint. TSA processes passengers as they come through. We don't care nor get involved in how the airlines choose to line up thier passengers. Nor are "Gov't services" being dispensed versed on this. Everyone who comes through gets screened the same (with obvious exceptions such as handicapped special screening, etc.)

Submitted by Anonymous on

Quoted:
" Anonymous said...
How many countries, today, have a mandatory shoe removal policy for all passengers?

How many planes have been brought down by shoe bombs anywhere in the world since Richard Reid?

How many planes were brought down by shoe bombs in the US before the shoe carnival was made mandatory in 2006?

How much has TSA spent on this project?

Why did TSA spend all that money to protect us from a threat so unlikely that it presents infinitesimal risk to anyone?

What Happens If My Hands Alarm During an Explosives Trace Detection Test?

March 8, 2010 5:06 PM"
---------------------------
you just keep plugging away wasting your time, doncha?
Some of these have been answered already, some will never be. Deal with it.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Are passengers required to answer questions from DHS/TSA employees at airports?

If so, how is this consistent with our right to remain silent and the 5th amendment of the US Constitution?

How is the blacklist/NFL consistent with the due process requirements of the Constitution? How can someone be too dangerous to allow to fly domestically but harmless enough to be allowed to roam the streets (and busses and trains and ferries)?

If, as DHS has claimed, the NFL contains the names of only a few hundred Americans, wouldn't it be cheaper and more effective to abolish the NFL for domestic flights, perform old-fashioned police investigations on those few hundred Americans, and arrest them and allow them to answer legitimate charges in a public courtroom with due process preserved?

Submitted by Winstonsmith on

To my anonymous friend who writes:

Quoted:
" Anonymous said...
How many countries, today, have a mandatory shoe removal policy for all passengers?

How many planes have been brought down by shoe bombs anywhere in the world since Richard Reid?

How many planes were brought down by shoe bombs in the US before the shoe carnival was made mandatory in 2006?

How much has TSA spent on this project?

Why did TSA spend all that money to protect us from a threat so unlikely that it presents infinitesimal risk to anyone?

What Happens If My Hands Alarm During an Explosives Trace Detection Test?

March 8, 2010 5:06 PM"
---------------------------
you just keep plugging away wasting your time, doncha?
Some of these have been answered already, some will never be. Deal with it.

No, not one of these questions has been answered adequately on this blog or anywhere else in public TSA postings. As a taxpaying US Citizen and former frequent flyer I would certainly like to see TSA justify the billions it has wasted on its useless efforts and a genuine cost/benefit analysis.

Submitted by Anonymous on

That was a waste of time, more govt circle talk, and I know of at least 300 questions that were submitted by me and my colleagues were not answered at all. 95% were softball questions


that was a waste of time for no answers

Submitted by Robert Johnson on
Quote from Anonymous: "Yawn... This question has been answered before (many times). the airlines can do whatever they like outside of the Checkpoint. TSA processes passengers as they come through. We don't care nor get involved in how the airlines choose to line up thier passengers. Nor are "Gov't services" being dispensed versed on this. Everyone who comes through gets screened the same (with obvious exceptions such as handicapped special screening, etc.)"

So Anon, I understand this logic. Problem is, TSA is starting to screen people before getting to the checkpoint, while still waiting in line (and sometimes, like at BWI, no where near the checkpoint as the line can sometimes go to the next concourse). So if what you say is true, by what authority does TSA begin conducting screenings before the checkpoint? And what happens if I tell a screener to pound sand and that I won't participate in a hand swabbing UNTIL I'm in the checkpoint?

Robert
Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous @ 12:11, please provide links to the answers that have been made to these questions. Consider, before you post again, that it took a year of questioning to get Bob to admit that he has never posted virtual strip-search images the same size and resolution as those generated by the virtual strip-search machines.

Submitted by Cross Buckle on

I think now some company came out with this machine where you can just step on it without removing your shoes and they scan it. I think this might save a lot of time at airports like LAX.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Quoted:
" Anonymous said...
Anonymous @ 12:11, please provide links to the answers that have been made to these questions. Consider, before you post again, that it took a year of questioning to get Bob to admit that he has never posted virtual strip-search images the same size and resolution as those generated by the virtual strip-search machines.

March 9, 2010 5:23 PM"
----------------------------
Answer - search through the previous posts. You will find them. They may not be the answers you want, but they are there.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Answer - search through the previous posts. You will find them. They may not be the answers you want, but they are there."

I can't seem to find them. Since you have, please provide links to Bob's answers.

Submitted by RB on

http://www.bigbrotherwatch.org.uk/home/2010/03/un-official-warns-against...


UN Official warns against "ineffective" body scanners

"Our government won't listen, of course, as they're determined to have body scanners whatever the science and whatever the consequences - but I note that Martin Scheinin, the UN Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism, has said the scanners are more of a political response to terrorist attacks than a carefully designed security measure. Interestingly, he also said that technologies that intrude into privacy tend to be ineffective in preventing terrorism."
.................

Looks like TSA is once again wasting millions of taxpayers monies on gear that doesn't do what they say it does and does not add one iota to safety.

Submitted by LTSO With Answers on
How many countries, today, have a mandatory shoe removal policy for all passengers?

Most countries have a shoe removal policy. It may not be 100% all shoes removed but it will be at a person's discretion. TSA use to use a similar tactic but now does all shoes removed. Having all shoes removed will reduce human error in discretion and keep things consistent not to mention more secure.

How many planes have been brought down by shoe bombs anywhere in the world since Richard Reid?

Attempts have been made. Just because they did not succeed does not mean a terrorist can't perfect a shoe IED tactic. We don't want to give terrorists extra rope.

How many planes were brought down by shoe bombs in the US before the shoe carnival was made mandatory in 2006?

Having no planes brought down does not mean that it can not happen.

How much has TSA spent on this project?

Having the public remove their shoes for screening has no cost and the increase in security is increased. It is a free security measure. It costs inconvenience in time to remove and put your shoes back on which isn't very long.

Why did TSA spend all that money to protect us from a threat so unlikely that it presents infinitesimal risk to anyone?

The threat is there it just didn't work out as planned. Not having this security measure opens up that route again. What money was spent?

What Happens If My Hands Alarm During an Explosives Trace Detection Test?

You will be subject to a pat down and a search of your property.

Why do so many repeat questions? Do you not understand the answers being given? Do you just not accept the answers? I don't know what you are expecting.
Submitted by Anonymous on

RB Said
Looks like TSA is once again wasting millions of taxpayers monies on gear that doesn't do what they say it does and does not add one iota to safety.
--------------------------------

Tell me your not trusting the UN!!!!

Submitted by Anonymous on

UN Official warns against "ineffective" body scanners


RB! Since when has the UN done ANYTHING correctly? They havent. So WHY bother quoting them? If ronald mcdonald said screening happy meals was a complete waste of federal funding, you would quote him too. Give the google site a rest will ya.

Submitted by Anonymous on
"So Anon, I understand this logic. Problem is, TSA is starting to screen people before getting to the checkpoint, while still waiting in line (and sometimes, like at BWI, no where near the checkpoint as the line can sometimes go to the next concourse). So if what you say is true, by what authority does TSA begin conducting screenings before the checkpoint? And what happens if I tell a screener to pound sand and that I won't participate in a hand swabbing UNTIL I'm in the checkpoint?"

Robert




Mr. Johnson,

Have you ever personally witnessed an occasion where a TSO hand-swabbed a passenger who was standing in the ticket-check line past the point where the queue begins? The queue is still considered part of the TSA checkpoint, since the queue barriers are owned by TSA (TSA-related signs can also be seen within the queue, which are obviously also owned by the agency). The airport would more than likely not allow the agency to place its property in areas that are not considered part of the federal checkpoint. As such, this means that hand swabs conducted within the queue is still considered to be within the parameters of the "checkpoint".
I have never seen hand swabs conducted outside of the checkpoint as per my definiton of "checkpoint" above, and cannot speak on that matter anyway since I am not so familiar with the details of how or why the hand tests would be conducted completely outside of the checkpoint. As for telling a TSO to "pound sand", they should not retaliate aginst you for saying anything along those lines, but you and I both know that sometimes it does not always go that way.
It sure wouldn't help in terms of you assuming that you're being "retaliated" against if you were to be selected for other forms of additional screening further along in the checkpoint, but I have personally seen it happen, without the person intentionally being selected because of what occured earlier in the checkpoint.
I check this site fairly often and am open to discussing this further with you. Just know that I am well-educated and well-versed in the field, which you may think is a rarity within TSA; I assure you, there are more than a few like me within our agency.
Submitted by Anonymous on

The GAO Calls for Further Analysis Before Deploying Whole Body Imaging Machines: The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report regarding the deployment of body scanners. The GAO cited its 2009 recommendations to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA): that the TSA conduct operational tests to ensure that the whole body imaging machines are reliable, and the that TSA conduct an assessment of the whole body imaging machines' vulnerabilities. In its latest report, the GAO warned TSA of the importance of full operational tests, citing the puffer machine debacle as an example of the government waste that results from insufficient operational testing. The GAO also expressed concern over TSA's lack of complete risk assessments and inability to "provide documentation to show how they have addressed the concerns raised in the 2009 GAO report regarding the susceptibility of the technology to terrorist tactics." Because of this, the GAO concluded that it is unclear whether the body scanners or other technologies would have detected the weapon used in the December 25 attempted attack. For more information, see EPIC: Whole Body Imaging Technology and Body Scanners. (Mar. 1, 2010)

Submitted by TSOWilliamReed on

Anonymous said...
Quoted:
" R&R Palmer said...
I flew out of LAX Terminal 5, gates 50-59 yesterday and was quite surprised to see a (rather not nice) Delta employee separating people into TSA security screening lines on the basis of whether they were first class/platinum gold or regular pax.

What possible legitimate basis can there be for dispensing government services on the basis of wealth or participation in a private business's frequent flyer program?"
-----------------
Yawn... This question has been answered before (many times). the airlines can do whatever they like outside of the Checkpoint. TSA processes passengers as they come through. We don't care nor get involved in how the airlines choose to line up thier passengers. Nor are "Gov't services" being dispensed versed on this. Everyone who comes through gets screened the same (with obvious exceptions such as handicapped special screening, etc.)

March 9, 2010 12:10 PM
----------------

Wow hold on a second there. Yes when people are being screened at the checkpoint we process them and their bags how they come. But that is because we screen everyone at the checkpoint. If an airline employee is dividing passengers in line at the gate so some don't get screened and some do that is interfering with security/law enforcment (if the leo is present and assisting). The airline agent has no say in how we randomly select passengers and does not have the permission to control who does and does not get screened.

Submitted by TSOWilliamReed on

Anonymous said...
Anonymous @ 12:11, please provide links to the answers that have been made to these questions. Consider, before you post again, that it took a year of questioning to get Bob to admit that he has never posted virtual strip-search images the same size and resolution as those generated by the virtual strip-search machines.

March 9, 2010 5:23 PM
---------------------

Just wanted to point out that bob did not really admit to anything. He stated the images are not the same resolution as the screen (which he has stated before) and that the company won't give him images of the same resolution. HOWEVER he did state that the VIDEO in his origional post has the actual screen the officer sees and is working with right there for everyone to see.

Go watch the video if you want to see the full size image.

Submitted by Rock on

You know what comments the mods need to remove? All the "if you don't like it, leave" and "this is the way it is so suck it up" and "just do what the government says" responses. ALL OF THEM.

Why? Let's be honest. While the blog might be a place to say "good job TSA" - and if you want to, go ahead - its mainly a place to complain about TSA abuses, ask questions, question the practice, etc. etc. It's a customer service blog essentially. 99% of the people who post are doing it because they want to complain, complain about service, complain about what they feel is intrusive government, ask questions that the TSA hasn't answered (they feel or in truth), etc.

To come on a blog that's primary about customer service for the unsatisfied and tell them to get a life or just accept it is trolling of the worst sort. It doesn't further the dialog, it doesn't get questioned answer, and it looks like the TSA is planting pro-TSA posters.

When you go to most customer service blogs, you see complaints, and you see a little praise, but I guarantee you you don't see much "suck it up" posts, because nobody would be it.

For the TSA blog to have any sense of legitimacy, these suck it up posts should be removed.

Submitted by Anonymous on

what is the point of having invested in full body scanners and then having the passenger choose whether or not they will submit to the scan?
Am I missing something here - or are you all incredibly stupid?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
what is the point of having invested in full body scanners and then having the passenger choose whether or not they will submit to the scan?
Am I missing something here - or are you all incredibly stupid?

March 11, 2010 8:43 PM
.......................

If TSA had their way they would scan everybody.

You can point your blame on this one at the American people and the politicians that represent them. And probably the lawyers too.(ACLU)

Submitted by RB on

Anonymous said...
RB Said
Looks like TSA is once again wasting millions of taxpayers monies on gear that doesn't do what they say it does and does not add one iota to safety.
--------------------------------

Tell me your not trusting the UN!!!!

March 10, 2010 3:19 PM
.....................
Trust the UN over TSA?

Any day!

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSA listen to the GAO?

Hahahahahahaha.

DHS/TSA doesn't even listen to Congress.

Perhaps when we start seeing DHS/TSA employees led away in handcuffs for on the job misconduct, then and only then will you see TSA listening to a GAO recommendation. Until then, no way.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"HOWEVER he did state that the VIDEO in his origional post has the actual screen the officer sees and is working with right there for everyone to see.

Go watch the video if you want to see the full size image."

Is the video life size, Mr. Reed? If it's not, then it doesn't provide the images at the same size and resolution as those seen by the operator of the strip-search machine.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Since when has the UN done ANYTHING correctly? They havent."

You're right. Why trust an organization that sided with us on the invasion of Iraq?

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSOWilliamReed made the irrelevant observation:

" If an airline employee is dividing passengers in line at the gate so some don't get screened and some do that is "

TSOWilliamReed, your replies get worse and worse. Go read what
R&R Palmer said...

"Delta employee... separating people into TSA security screening lines,"

More signal and less noise please TSOWilliamReed.

Submitted by RB on

LTSO with Answers said...
How many countries, today, have a mandatory shoe removal policy for all passengers?

Most countries have a shoe removal policy. It may not be 100% all shoes removed but it will be at a person's discretion. TSA use to use a similar tactic but now does all shoes removed. Having all shoes removed will reduce human error in discretion and keep things consistent not to mention more secure.

.............
Why is it that you TSA types can't name those countries that require 100% shoe removal?

Is it that hard?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Rock said:
"When you go to most customer service blogs, you see complaints, and you see a little praise, but I guarantee you you don't see much "suck it up" posts,"

I have to agree with Rock's point- if you have to tell someone to "suck it up" you have already lost whatever argument or point that you are trying to make.

I have no problem with TSOs who know their job and do it in a respectful and professional manner.
When I go through a check point I expect no less, and in turn, try to follow the rules, at least the ones TSA has disclosed. Pettiness, resentment, hostility or criminal behavior have no place in the TSA workplace.

Submitted by LTSO With Answers on
Why is it that you TSA types can't name those countries that require 100% shoe removal?

Is it that hard?

RB I said...It may not be 100% all shoes removed So I can not name countries that do 100% shoe removal. Sorry to disappoint.
Submitted by RB on

LTSO with Answers said...
Why is it that you TSA types can't name those countries that require 100% shoe removal?

Is it that hard?

RB I said...It may not be 100% all shoes removed So I can not name countries that do 100% shoe removal. Sorry to disappoint.

March 15, 2010 11:50 AM
.................
You can't name even one other country that requires 100% removal of shoes to clear secuity?

Perhaps shoes are not really a threat!

Submitted by LTSO With Answers on
You can't name even one other country that requires 100% removal of shoes to clear secuity?

Perhaps shoes are not really a threat!


It does not mean that shoes pose no threat. It means that other countries accept that risk of not having 100% screening of footwear. Please understand the difference. You of all these bloggers want everyone screened that works in an airport but you accept opening a vulnerability by not screening shoes? I don't understand RB.
Submitted by RB on

LTSO with Answers said...
You can't name even one other country that requires 100% removal of shoes to clear secuity?

Perhaps shoes are not really a threat!


It does not mean that shoes pose no threat. It means that other countries accept that risk of not having 100% screening of footwear. Please understand the difference. You of all these bloggers want everyone screened that works in an airport but you accept opening a vulnerability by not screening shoes? I don't understand RB.

March 16, 2010 3:04 PM
........
So you think shoes are a threat but cannot name one other country that requires 100% shoe removal.

Pretty much dashes your argument to bits.

Submitted by LTSO With Answers on
RB said...

So you think shoes are a threat but cannot name one other country that requires 100% shoe removal.

Pretty much dashes your argument to bits.

I don't see how it dashes my argument. It is not shoes that are dangerous it is what can be concealed within footwear. If someone wants to smuggle something and we don't screen footwear then it is very easy to place the item in your shoe and walk on through. And yes, I can not personally or professionally name another country that does 100% screening of footwear. That doesn't mean my argument holds no bounds. I want you to try and look at a bigger picture here.
Submitted by Anonymous on
LTSO with Answers said...

RB said...

So you think shoes are a threat but cannot name one other country that requires 100% shoe removal.

Pretty much dashes your argument to bits.

I don't see how it dashes my argument. It is not shoes that are dangerous it is what can be concealed within footwear. If someone wants to smuggle something and we don't screen footwear then it is very easy to place the item in your shoe and walk on through. And yes, I can not personally or professionally name another country that does 100% screening of footwear. That doesn't mean my argument holds no bounds. I want you to try and look at a bigger picture here.

So only in America do shoes pose a threat to aviation? Dry that one out and you can use it to fertilize your lawn. Big picture? It has come down to control of the people, not security.
Submitted by RB on

LTSO with Answers said...
RB said...

So you think shoes are a threat but cannot name one other country that requires 100% shoe removal.

Pretty much dashes your argument to bits.

I don't see how it dashes my argument. It is not shoes that are dangerous it is what can be concealed within footwear. If someone wants to smuggle something and we don't screen footwear then it is very easy to place the item in your shoe and walk on through. And yes, I can not personally or professionally name another country that does 100% screening of footwear. That doesn't mean my argument holds no bounds. I want you to try and look at a bigger picture here.

March 17, 2010 9:25 PM
...............
Have you ever heard of risk analysis or ROI (return on invetment)?

Try applying either of those concepts to the TSA Shoe Drill and see what you get.

No Return On Investment.

Near Zero Risk.

And still you can't named just one other country that requires 100% shoe removal.

It's not I that is missing the big picture.

It is your agency and employees.

Submitted by LTSO With Answers on
Have you ever heard of risk analysis or ROI (return on invetment)?

Try applying either of those concepts to the TSA Shoe Drill and see what you get.

No Return On Investment.

Near Zero Risk.

And still you can't named just one other country that requires 100% shoe removal.

It's not I that is missing the big picture.

It is your agency and employees.


RB if I apply the ROI analysis to the shoe procedures then I see an increase in security that costs the government nothing. They want to purchase scanners for shoes because there is a lot of complaining about taking off shoes but in doing so they are about to spend lots of our tax money. There is return because I have seen and found items in a person's shoes. Is the risk high for item concealment in shoes? I don't know how high or low but the possiblity remains. To screen shoes eliminates that possibility.
Submitted by Ryan62 on

R.B - your argument makes no sense. If no other country does something, then it must be a bad idea? No other country has a Bill of Rights 100% like ours. I guess we should get rid of it... it must not be a good idea if no one else is doing it, right?

There are multiple ways to skin the proverbial cat. If you start to play the "they don't do X in country Y" game you can remove pretty much all security. There are things they do in Germany they don't do in Canada or the US and vice versa.

To answer the rest of your question...
Has anyone tried to bring an explosive device on a shoe prior to Richard Reid? Yes, Ramzi Yousef had some (not all) of the components of his device for the Bojinka Plot in his shoes. So it has been done before.
Has anyone done it SINCE we started taking the shoes off? No, they haven't, because it wouldn't work with the shoes being X-rayed. Your point is like arguing "The cows haven't gotten out since we closed the gate that proves the gate doesn't need to be closed".
How much has it cost? Close to nothing. They didn't need any new equipment or training; I can't imagine it was too expensive to send out an email telling all the employees the new policy.
Rock-
This isn't just a customer service blog. To argue that it can only be "legitimate" by silencing one point of view is laughable at best. If "anon" has the right to constantly accuse TSA of lying and worse, I certainly have the right to say that I think many of the complaints here are a bunch of cry babies who don't know nearly as much about security as they claim.
If you want to post on the McDonald's website that they burned your Happy Meal and your shake tasted bad go right ahead. It doesn't make a single bit of difference to me. You are complaining about what happened in the past.
However, as a regular flyer the direction that TSA goes in makes a big difference to me. That’s the future and those of us not prone to hysteric complaining have a right to voice our view on that future. I have every right to say "suck it up and take your shoes off" because the notion that taking your shoes off is a horrible indignity is ridiculous and I have every right to say so.

Submitted by Robert Johnson on

LTSO with answers, TSA may have only considered the costs to the organization itself (and I highly doubt that ever happened). If it did do any sort of cost analysis, it surely didn't calculate the cost to the people in wasted time and productivity.

Let's just do a real quick and dirty example. Let's suppose that forcing people thru the nude-o-scope for primary screening adds an extra 10 minutes of time a person waits in line.

TSA also tells us that there is an average of 2 million passengers a day. So that is 20 million minutes wasted daily, or 333,333 hours per day.

Now, as people from various walks of life transit a checkpoint, let's just say that the average cost per hour is $30 (including what customers may be billed for time, what people are paid if they're on business, etc). That's $10 million in wasted productivity. Over the course of a year, that's $3.65 billion in wasted productivity that the economy as a whole loses.

Now, that's quick and dirty. But the point I'm making is even if it doesn't cost TSA a cent as you guys are doing your job for the same amount of time every day, it does cost the economy. This also ignores the whether the mitigation is effective and cost effective or not.

Let's also be realistic - what can really be hidden in shoes? We know no one has tried since Reid - TSA admitted that a few years back and it would have trumpeted that as a success if it didn't find something that dangerous. Plus, planes weren't falling out of the sky even when the shoe carnival wasn't mandatory. So it really brings into question whether it's worth it in its current form, let alone whether we need shoe scanners.

Even if the shoe carnival as it stands doesn't cost TSA a thing, it still costs the economy. And from what we've seen elsewhere in the world, it's a waste of resources that could be better spent elsewhere - like screening cargo.

Robert

Submitted by Anonymous on

Has anyone bothered to do a return on investment - cost analysis to see if these programs are cost effective?

Submitted by RB on

LTSO with Answers said...
Have you ever heard of risk analysis or ROI (return on invetment)?

Try applying either of those concepts to the TSA Shoe Drill and see what you get.

No Return On Investment.

Near Zero Risk.

And still you can't named just one other country that requires 100% shoe removal.

It's not I that is missing the big picture.

It is your agency and employees.
.........................

RB if I apply the ROI analysis to the shoe procedures then I see an increase in security that costs the government nothing.....
.....................
But there is a real cost to useless screening of shoes.

The lost time of travelers is one cost.

The extra manpower expended by TSA to screen shoes is a major cost.

The extra time needed to xray shoes is a real cost.

The TSA employee totting bins around that carried shoes is a real cost.

But even with all of these real cost TSA has never found a shoe bomb.

Millions and millions of shoes screened and no weapon found.

That is the bottom line.

Submitted by Anonymous on

It has come to my attention that whatever incidents involving people entering the sterile area through the exit has caused airports all over the country to do second and third searches and screenings even at the gate, far past the security checkpoint. From my point of view, this is very unnecessary and it violates people's rights and can make them very uncomfortable and uneasy. Therefore, after doing research, I believe I have found the perfect solution to keeping people from entering the sterile area via the exit. Many of you have probably seen them at train and subway stations, a few amusement parks, and other places, and it is time that they are installed at the airport. The solution; full height one-way turnstiles. That is correct, those tall iron bar turnstiles that are exactly like revolving gates and only allow people to go one way. They are also known by some as 'rotogates.' And for extra security, the space between the ceiling and the top of the turnstile can be fenced and/or walled off to prevent anyone from trying to climb over the turnstile.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The TSA's new operation at Dulles' UAL terminal is a disgrace - an outright disgrace. Far too few lines open for the volume of traffic. When I asked one of the manGers present, he shrugged. "We tell management, they do't listen. They don't care," he said. All iknow is that the TSA should be profoundly ashamed of the job they're doing keeping lines to a reasonable length. We waited 40 minutes to get through, and it was the middle of the afternoon. Ugh!

Pages