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Old Oct 15, 12, 11:37 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Keep carryons in view while awaiting patdown?

I searched for this topic in the forum and didn't find any hits.

My question is this -- is the TSA required to let me keep my carryon bags in view while I'm detained on the pre-screen side of the millimeter wave x-ray scanner? Yesterday in Seattle I was held for five minutes after opting out. A supervisor could not be found to do the patdown. In the meantime, my laptop, wallet, passport and other valuable material in my carryon bags was out of my sight and easily available for anybody to steal.

If there is a work practice standard that I could cite which requires TSOs to let me keep any eye on my stuff while I await the patdown, I'd sure like to know about that.
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Old Oct 16, 12, 12:19 am   #2
 
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You are allowed to keep your items in view. In the debate forum there are a LOT of stories of how various posters handled your situation, with varying degrees of success. Some of the suggestions I recall include:
  • Firmly and loudly objecting "I can't see my items. I need to be let through so I can see my items."
  • Informing the moat dragon "I'm going to opt out. Can you let me know when the assist is ready so I can place my things through?"
  • Shifting around so that your items are in sight.
  • Yelling "Supervisor!"

Many of the above have both worked well and failed depending on the circumstances. YMMV.
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Old Oct 16, 12, 5:11 am   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FidalgoRob View Post
I searched for this topic in the forum and didn't find any hits.

My question is this -- is the TSA required to let me keep my carryon bags in view while I'm detained on the pre-screen side of the millimeter wave x-ray scanner? Yesterday in Seattle I was held for five minutes after opting out. A supervisor could not be found to do the patdown. In the meantime, my laptop, wallet, passport and other valuable material in my carryon bags was out of my sight and easily available for anybody to steal.

If there is a work practice standard that I could cite which requires TSOs to let me keep any eye on my stuff while I await the patdown, I'd sure like to know about that.
At SEA, I believe Checkpoint 1 is WTMD only. (But I can't find it; if somebody can tell me exactly where it is; I'd appreciate it. The southernmost one I can find is Checkpoint 2).

At Checkpoint 5, SDOO is pretty easy, you just head way to the left.

There's lots of discussion about your question; and I'm sure you'll get plenty of good answers here, but at SEA, anyway, it's not that hard to avoid the issue altogether.
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Old Oct 16, 12, 6:26 am   #4
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 739
ALWAYS keep your eyes on your gear. The TSA ain't about security. It is a jobs
program for those that are otherwise unemployable.

Do not let them separate you from your gear when doing the patdown. Also; do not
let them position/turn you so that that you cannot keep your eyes on your gear.
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Old Oct 16, 12, 6:48 am   #5
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Thanks for the tips on locations, but using the United Premium line is pretty important to me, as well. That line funnels to a scanner.
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Old Oct 16, 12, 7:03 am   #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UshuaiaHammerfest View Post
You are allowed to keep your items in view. In the debate forum there are a LOT of stories of how various posters handled your situation, with varying degrees of success. Some of the suggestions I recall include:
  • Firmly and loudly objecting "I can't see my items. I need to be let through so I can see my items."
  • Informing the moat dragon "I'm going to opt out. Can you let me know when the assist is ready so I can place my things through?"
  • Shifting around so that your items are in sight.
  • Yelling "Supervisor!"

Many of the above have both worked well and failed depending on the circumstances. YMMV.
The last of these is the one I had to use at DTW, since while I was waiting for a patdown I watched one of the DTW TSA guys pull an item out of my bag.

I'm still convinced my yelling of supervisor stopped a theft, although the supervisor and TSA employee insisted "I was just adjusting things so we could get a better look".

(and my attempt to file a formal complaint got circular-filed)
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Old Oct 16, 12, 7:08 am   #7
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I was once told - you give up the right to see your things if you choose to opt out.



A supervisor apologized when called over.
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Old Oct 17, 12, 12:00 am   #8
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
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i have been having good luck with getting them to watch my bag for me. I put a locking strap around the bag and my own locks. I have a lunch bag with cold cheese & fruit inside i am taking to my gramma.

They want to see the cold bag! They will pull my bag aside and watch it until I can get over to unlock it from my opt out. So they only thing anyone could steal is my shoes and ditty bag. But they usually keep them together.
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Old Oct 18, 12, 12:51 am   #9
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Although the signs for the elite line at Checkpoint 5 don't include United, I've gone through there twice with my 1K card and boarding pass. Since United is gradually moving from the N gates to the B gates, some United flights already are leaving from gates that are closest to Checkpoint 5.

Not saying it would always work, but my last two flights it did. So you can use the shorter elite line and still have an easy SDOO.
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Old Oct 18, 12, 7:13 pm   #10
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I simply move until I can see my bags. No exceptions. Barking at me to the contrary merely elicits icy stares and verbal resistance.
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Old Oct 19, 12, 9:16 pm   #11
 
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Today in St Louis it was a charlie foxtrot. I opted out and moved to see my stuff and they started yelling in on me fast to wait in a certain spot; I was then told there was nothing they could do since the machine blocked the view but to his credit he called a supervisor quickly.

The funniest part was they would not let me walk through the WTMD, I had to walk around it. Every other opt out I have I go through the WTMD first, which makes sense but at STL I had to wait on a different guy to lift the latch on the plexiglass to go around.
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