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Old May 19, 17, 4:58 pm   #1
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Why do they get shocked when your pockets are full of stuff in Precheck lane?

I've had this happen more than once. I got a random after going through the metal detector at ATL today, get directed over to the scanner. As I start to walk over, she says "do you have anything in your pockets?", and I say, "yeah, I've got a ton of stuff in my pockets." (Wallet, credit cards, chapstick, mints, handkerchief). Of course I had to take everything out...but she acted like completely shocked, as though I should not have had anything. What am I missing here...the precheck rules are, you go through metal detector, so just remove metal objects. I don't understand why they always seem so surprised when people have stuff in their pockets.
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Old May 19, 17, 5:16 pm   #2
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TSA!��

What more needs said?
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Old May 19, 17, 5:22 pm   #3
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What you are missing is that after the first time it happened you just dump everything in your bag and job done, no more randoms or non-randoms.
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Old May 19, 17, 5:25 pm   #4
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What you are missing is that after the first time it happened you just dump everything in your bag and job done, no more randoms or non-randoms.
Doesn't that defeat one of the big perks of Precheck? I carry a lot of stuff in my pockets, and one of the benefits is supposedly NOT having to empty them, other than keys or other metal items.
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Old May 19, 17, 5:27 pm   #5
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I think that TSA Officers are surprised because the vast majority of people with Pre-Check are experienced travelers and they simply dump the contents of their pockets into a pocket in a carry-on well before the checkpoint.

Random searches for Pre-Check ought to be extremely few and far between (an Officer at IAD Pre-Check recently told me that they had not had a "random" in 3 weeks). If you are experiencing these, they aren't random, they are likely due to something in your pockets which is metallic but which you don't realize is.

Just do what most people do and you will probably live happily ever after without a "non-random" secondary.
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Old May 19, 17, 5:32 pm   #6
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Originally Posted by LPCJr View Post
Doesn't that defeat one of the big perks of Precheck? I carry a lot of stuff in my pockets, and one of the benefits is supposedly NOT having to empty them, other than keys or other metal items.
I hear ya. Let someone else prove it is not working, you will lose the argument with TSA, you know it doesn't work so do what I do and just chuck it all in your bag and be done and breeze through. and let someone else be the TSA victim. Valuable drinking time in the lounge could be lost !
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Old May 20, 17, 5:59 am   #7
  
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
I think that TSA Officers are surprised because the vast majority of people with Pre-Check are experienced travelers and they simply dump the contents of their pockets into a pocket in a carry-on well before the checkpoint.

Random searches for Pre-Check ought to be extremely few and far between (an Officer at IAD Pre-Check recently told me that they had not had a "random" in 3 weeks). If you are experiencing these, they aren't random, they are likely due to something in your pockets which is metallic but which you don't realize is.

Just do what most people do and you will probably live happily ever after without a "non-random" secondary.
I'm one of those who hasn't changed their presecurity routine all that much. I still put things away in my carry-on like I did pre PreCheck.
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Old May 20, 17, 9:02 am   #8
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Random searches for Pre-Check ought to be extremely few and far between (an Officer at IAD Pre-Check recently told me that they had not had a "random" in 3 weeks). If you are experiencing these, they aren't random, they are likely due to something in your pockets which is metallic but which you don't realize is.
Well, I assumed that it was metal...I went through it beeped, and I said to her "Belt?" My experience is that my dress belt will occasionally set it off, depending how sensitive the machine is set. So I was all ready to just back out and take the belt off. She said, "No, it's random." So maybe someone with more experience in this area can clarify just what this was...the agent was pretty explicit that it wasn't the metal. I was under the impression that the machines do just beep at every X person to require them to go to the scanner. My point is, is there anything I really could have done from a behavior standpoint to avoid the secondary screening?
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Old May 20, 17, 9:30 am   #9
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Well, I assumed that it was metal...I went through it beeped, and I said to her "Belt?" My experience is that my dress belt will occasionally set it off, depending how sensitive the machine is set. So I was all ready to just back out and take the belt off. She said, "No, it's random." So maybe someone with more experience in this area can clarify just what this was...the agent was pretty explicit that it wasn't the metal. I was under the impression that the machines do just beep at every X person to require them to go to the scanner. My point is, is there anything I really could have done from a behavior standpoint to avoid the secondary screening?
If it was random then you couldn't have changed the outcome.
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Old May 20, 17, 10:31 am   #10
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IME, when it is a Random the metal detector beeps after you have already gone through it. I.E. If you have metal it beeps as you are going through it, in all my Random's I had already gone through the detector and after I already walked fully through it and both the TSA agent and me noting the detector didn't beep is when it then beeped.
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Old May 20, 17, 4:24 pm   #11
  
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
...Random searches for Pre-Check ought to be extremely few and far between (an Officer at IAD Pre-Check recently told me that they had not had a "random" in 3 weeks). If you are experiencing these, they aren't random, they are likely due to something in your pockets which is metallic but which you don't realize is...
Maybe things are changing? In less than 2 months I've had 2 randoms in precheck myself and my husband has had one. Metal wasn't the issue. My first time was at CHS and they didn't want to check my person at all. They were looking for electronic items in carryons. The metal detector beeped just after I emerged from it. They then asked me to bring my carryon items to them so they could check for electronic devices. My purse had already gone through the xray and was waiting for me on the other side. They didn't know it was mine, so it wasn't as if they had seen anything on the xray. They said it was a random check and I believed them.

The second time was a "regular" random at IAD. I had no metal on me apart from my gold wedding ring and nothing at all in my pockets. I opted out and got the usual. Same for my husband at RNO.
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Old May 21, 17, 3:35 pm   #12
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Originally Posted by LPCJr View Post
What am I missing here...the precheck rules are, you go through metal detector, so just remove metal objects.
I don't think that is correct. The rules are still that you have to remove all objects from your pockets. Of course this is difficult to enforce unless you get selected for a random check.
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Old May 21, 17, 5:16 pm   #13
  
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Originally Posted by LPCJr View Post
I've had this happen more than once. I got a random after going through the metal detector at ATL today, get directed over to the scanner. As I start to walk over, she says "do you have anything in your pockets?", and I say, "yeah, I've got a ton of stuff in my pockets." (Wallet, credit cards, chapstick, mints, handkerchief). Of course I had to take everything out...but she acted like completely shocked, as though I should not have had anything. What am I missing here...the precheck rules are, you go through metal detector, so just remove metal objects. I don't understand why they always seem so surprised when people have stuff in their pockets.

You inconveniece them.

You did not make it through the metal detector, which means someone has to work - inconvenience.
You have to be scanned, which means someone has to work - inconvenience.
You had none metalic items in you pockets, which means someone has to wait on you - inconvenience.
Removing items from your pockets takes time, which means someone has to wait on you - inconvenience
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Old May 21, 17, 6:11 pm   #14
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How many of you who routinely empty your pockets for screening are careful to remove any lint?

Because if you opt for/get randomed to the NoS, lint in your pocket will have to be resolved manually.
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Old May 22, 17, 7:33 am   #15
  
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Originally Posted by LPCJr View Post
What am I missing here...the precheck rules are, you go through metal detector, so just remove metal objects.
Perhaps they don't appreciate people who try to clear security with a ceramic knife (or any other non-permitted item that won't set off the metal detector) in their pocket?

Last edited by DoTheBartMan; May 22, 17 at 7:52 am
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