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Old Feb 14, 12, 9:56 am   #46
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Originally Posted by gnolly View Post
I mostly travel through Denver and Seattle. I opt out every time I fly (several times a month) and have rarely had a problem. The TSO has always asked me to identify my belongings and then carried them to where the pat-down will take place. I absolutely agree that you must keep your belongings in sight at all times. Every pat-down I've had has been professional, and the TSOs have always been respectful. I don't think you have anything to worry about. DON'T be a wiseguy by offering to tip the screener when he's done!

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Old May 3, 12, 7:55 pm   #47
 
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"Having opted out many times at several airports, this is the action that consistently causes me the most grief. I believe this is because TSO's do not receive any guidance or training about this aspect of checkpoint screening."

They are all trained.

"They know they have to change their gloves when asked, and will begrudgingly do so if you press the issue"

They change the gloves for each passenger. They do not pay for them, so what do they care?

"but ensuring your items are safely within your eyesight is rarely, if ever, acknowledged by front line TSO's."

Your belongings should always be within visual range. If not, then nicely ask them to be. Do you think a TSO wants to have an investigation done on them. Plus, have you looked around... CCTV everywhere.

"The best way to handle this is as a statement, not a request."

The "best" way? Ask kindly.

"Remember, TSO's are not autonomous beings with the capability to reason and acquiesce to logical arguments."

WOW. I know lots of retired senior military and LEO's who work at TSA for extra cash. WHY would you demean those you do not know?

"They are creatures of rote habit and can get in quite a tizzy if you don't respond exactly the same way everyone else ahead of you has."

Maybe they are required to do things a certain way to protect the airplane from blowing up at 40,000 feet.

"So when a TSO directs you to "stand here" and your belongings are not in your line of sight, don't ask for your belongings to be brought to you (they don't care)."

"They don't care?" WOW. Again, painting everyone with the same brush. Maybe, you should saying something like "I'd like my belongings to be me with me or where I can see them, please." DO YOU REALLY think they want to listen you complain?

"Just state "I'm going to stand here where I can see my belongings." Remain calm and do not waver."

"Do not wavier."

Okay. Then would you be violating:

1. 1540.107 Submission to screening and inspection.
2. 1540.109 Prohibition against interference with screening personnel.

One can be fined civilly up to $11,000 per violation.

"Many TSO's will immediately resort to an aggressive offense, yelling that you must stand in a particular location or threatening to call law enforcement."

"Yelling" at you? Really? I am sure you have reported this behavior to TSA. (http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/civilr...complaint.shtm)

"Remember that they hold no power of detainment so they cannot force you to stand anywhere."

Correct. TSA TSO's do not detain anyone. Then again:

1. 1540.107 Submission to screening and inspection.
2. 1540.109 Prohibition against interference with screening personnel.

One can be fined civilly up to $11,000 per violation.

"If you remain calm and don't flee the checkpoint, they won't have anything to hold against you."

1. 1540.107 Submission to screening and inspection.
2. 1540.109 Prohibition against interference with screening personnel.

One can be fined civilly up to $11,000 per violation.

In the "end" you will not be allowed through the checkpoint without being properly screened.

"Do not back down in your stance, regardless of what they tell you. Here are some of their tactics:"

"- "Don't worry, we have cameras here" -> The cameras are to protect the TSA, not your belongings."

It appears you do not know what your are talking about. CCTV has been used as evidence against and for passengers, as well as others who work at the airport.

"A thief can steal your stuff in seconds; tapes, if made available at all, won't do you good hours, days, or even weeks later."

True enough. A thief (passengers, as well as those who "work" at the airport) can be pretty fast.

I guess you forgot to add that TSA investigators are the ones who have broken up major theft rings inside the airport (Airline baggage handlers - NOT TSA employees).

I think you also forgot to add TSA investigators have broken up theft rings (NOT TSA employees) who steal bags at the baggage carousals.

I think you forgot...

"- "Your stuff will be fine." -> The screener isn't personally watching it, so this is an outright fabrication."

I do not know, but maybe they said that because they know there is another TSO and CCTV observing your belongings. Regardless, you have the right to be able to observe your belongings. JUST ask.

"The TSA accepts no liability for lost, stolen, or damaged items at a checkpoint."

Not true. If TSA damages your property, file a claim. Just like in any other governmant location. If YOU lost it... why should we tax payers be responsible? TSA is not there to guard your property. WHICH is why YOU should keep an eye on it. Can you spell "CCTV" if your property is stolen?

"On average, one TSO per week is fired for theft of passenger belongings."

PLEASE PROVIDE YOUR SOURCE OF INFORMATION

"Regardless of what the TSA says, disobeying them is not a crime.

1. 1540.107 Submission to screening and inspection.
2. 1540.109 Prohibition against interference with screening personnel.

One can be fined civilly up to $11,000 per violation.

"The anger and hostility directed towards you is intended to make you comply."

It appears, by your writing, that you run into a lot of angry and mean TSA folks. I would suggest you start getting names and badge numbers, then post ALL of them.

"Since you know you're not a terrorist, their aggression isn't making anyone any safer."

Interesting. "YOU know you are not a terrorist." Shall we have a "NON-TERRORIST" lane? No, wait. Since there are more decent passengers than terrorists... let's have a "TERRORISTS ONLY" LANE.

WONDERFUL IDEA. I guess DHS has been on thier butt for 10 years. WHY did they not think of this before? FIRE THEM ALL!

"Stand your ground calmly and peacefully, and escalate to a supervisor as necessary.

Calmly and peacefully. EXACTLY!






Awesome post....I agree if you don't like the pat down don't opt out...seems to me there is a lot less to complain about if you simply go through the scanners.
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Old May 7, 12, 6:09 am   #48
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Originally Posted by nabco View Post
I guess you forgot to add that TSA investigators are the ones who have broken up major theft rings inside the airport (Airline baggage handlers - NOT TSA employees).
Cite? ("PLEASE PROVIDE YOUR SOURCE OF INFORMATION").
Sounds like the sort of thing Blogger Bob would be documenting in his blog.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nabco View Post
I think you also forgot to add TSA investigators have broken up theft rings (NOT TSA employees) who steal bags at the baggage carousals.
Cite? ("PLEASE PROVIDE YOUR SOURCE OF INFORMATION").

Quote:
Originally Posted by nabco View Post
"The anger and hostility directed towards you is intended to make you comply."

It appears, by your writing, that you run into a lot of angry and mean TSA folks. I would suggest you start getting names and badge numbers, then post ALL of them.
That would be against the TOS of this website, as I am sure you are aware.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nabco View Post

"Since you know you're not a terrorist, their aggression isn't making anyone any safer."

Interesting. "YOU know you are not a terrorist." Shall we have a "NON-TERRORIST" lane? No, wait. Since there are more decent passengers than terrorists... let's have a "TERRORISTS ONLY" LANE.
?? How is your comment relevant? Poster is pointing out that TSO aggression is not making anyone safer. Do you disagree with this or do you believe that TSO aggression is professional or that it contributes to pax safety?


Quote:
Originally Posted by nabco View Post
Awesome post....I agree if you don't like the pat down don't opt out...seems to me there is a lot less to complain about if you simply go through the scanners.
Any bright suggestions for those folks who are physically unable to use the scanners?
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Old Jun 8, 12, 9:17 pm   #49
 
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I just had my first last week- I told the agent in front of the machine- " I can't hold my arms up like that- I have a shoulder injury. What do I do?" (look worried and pitaful helps) They sent me through the metal detector like the families with no pat down at all.
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Old Jun 10, 12, 9:45 am   #50
 
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Originally Posted by Vidiot View Post
There's ream upon ream of advice here, some contradictory, but here's what I'm planning to do:

[snip]

--Insist that my belongings be brought to me or within my sight;
Quote:
Originally Posted by baliktad View Post
Having opted out many times at several airports, this is the action that consistently causes me the most grief. I believe this is because TSO's do not receive any guidance or training about this aspect of checkpoint screening. They know they have to change their gloves when asked, and will begrudgingly do so if you press the issue, but ensuring your items are safely within your eyesight is rarely, if ever, acknowledged by front line TSO's.
Last time I flew out of JFK everyone was being directed through the backscatter machine. A woman in front of me was already waiting for an opt-out screening, so I told the TSO I would be opting out and simply waited on the pre-screening side, my belongings binned and on the table ready to go on the belt, and told others to go past me. Pax seemed confused/bemused, and it was a bit awkward, but as the wait for a female screener was at least 10 minutes I avoided losing sight of my things for that time. TSOs didn't seem to think this approach was a problem, and when a screener was finally available, only then did I let my things pass through the X-ray.

Previously at the same checkpoint I'd had confrontations when insisting that I watch my property when I let it go through the X-ray before a screener was free to pat me down.
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Old Aug 30, 12, 9:56 pm   #51
 
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I always opt-out and I never have any problems. However, when I opted in DEN few days ago, I got a very sarcastic and irritated TSO. Even though it is not a back-scatter radiation, I still don't want to be exposed to extra health risks. The TSO that told the male agent that I wanted to opt out, rolled her eyes and pointed at me. Then I told them I wanted to keep my eye on my stuff, so the agent sarcastically picked it up and said I can't touch it. During the pat-down, he asked me if I do this often and I said every time I have to walk through a scanner I ask to opt-out. He said, if you do this all the time, I should know that the scanner at DEN is safe and does not utilize radiation. I said I know, but still would prefer not to go through it. It wasn't that bad of an experience, but left a bad taste in my mouth.
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Old Oct 25, 12, 9:18 pm   #52
 
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Dj, I also had a terrible experience opting out at DEN. My usual MO is to walk authoritatively through the metal detector and if stopped, to request an opt-out. My request was also met with eye rolling and an attitude problem.

In addition to the eye roller, the person that did the pat down seemed inconvenienced when I requested not to stack a heavy suitcase on top of my Versace sunglasses.

As a person who makes their living off of testing the safety of medical imaging equipment (among other things), that scanner is simply money out of the pockets of people like me. Add that to the potential for negative longterm health effects that are currently not known, I refuse to go through them under any circumstance too. I make that choice every week, but there's no excuse for TSA acting inconvenienced when a passenger exercises their right to opt out.
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Old Oct 27, 12, 4:45 am   #53
 
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Opted out on the 17th October at lax tsa agent was friendly allowed me to collect my carry on luggage as it came out of the X-ray machine and take it over to the area where the pat down was conducted. Pat down was quick and unobtrusive. Opting out was one of the things I was stressing over as I'd never done it before and had read some horrible stories on here, either it was my lucky night or the tsa are trying hard to restore their image.
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Old Oct 28, 12, 12:28 pm   #54
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Originally Posted by Mojo1980 View Post
Opted out on the 17th October at lax tsa agent was friendly allowed me to collect my carry on luggage as it came out of the X-ray machine and take it over to the area where the pat down was conducted. Pat down was quick and unobtrusive. Opting out was one of the things I was stressing over as I'd never done it before and had read some horrible stories on here, either it was my lucky night or the tsa are trying hard to restore their image.
Bolding mine: That's a big TSA no-no as if one is selected for secondary screening and/or opts-out, the pax is not supposed to handle their belongings until "cleared"
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Old Oct 29, 12, 4:47 pm   #55
 
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I have not had any real problems, and I opt out every time.

I politely but firmly state to the TSA agent that I am unable to raise my arm over my head. I would like to go through the X Ray lane, but if you are not comfortable with that, I want a private search.

Interestingly, many more male TSA agents than female TSA agents agree to let me go through the X Ray lane.

I cannot recall a time when my belongings were not brought with me.

I go through DEN about 4 times a year, same there.
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Old Oct 29, 12, 6:21 pm   #56
 
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Originally Posted by eturowski View Post
I think your plan sounds pretty good.

One more thing you might try is if they ask you if you have any "sensitive areas" pre-pat down, tell them your crotch area is sensitive - although I think some have reported that this earns them an extra-vigorous karate chop.
Or tell them you took 2 Viagra this morning and you're looking forward to a little extra search in that area.
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Old Oct 30, 12, 3:05 pm   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
I have not had any real problems, and I opt out every time.

I politely but firmly state to the TSA agent that I am unable to raise my arm over my head. I would like to go through the X Ray lane, but if you are not comfortable with that, I want a private search.

Interestingly, many more male TSA agents than female TSA agents agree to let me go through the X Ray lane.

I cannot recall a time when my belongings were not brought with me.

I go through DEN about 4 times a year, same there.
X-ray lane?
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Old Dec 8, 12, 7:21 am   #58
 
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I'm not sure what the point is of going to so much trouble of destroying your TSA friendly locks or buying non-TSA friendly locks when it's really easy to open a suitcase whether it's locked or not. Ever see that video on Youtube of opening a suitcase with a pen? Unless there are zippers out there that can't be opened like that, they're going to be able to get inside it.
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Old Dec 10, 12, 10:20 pm   #59
 
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Originally Posted by Dracia View Post
I'm not sure what the point is of going to so much trouble of destroying your TSA friendly locks or buying non-TSA friendly locks when it's really easy to open a suitcase whether it's locked or not. Ever see that video on Youtube of opening a suitcase with a pen? Unless there are zippers out there that can't be opened like that, they're going to be able to get inside it.
The point of buying a non-TSA friendly lock is to make it harder for the TSA to quickly steal an item from your carry-on bag at the checkpoint while you are still in the MMW or backscatter X-ray or opting out and can't see what they are doing. Breaking into your bag using the "pen technique" is more conspicuous at the checkpoint. Having to wait for you to unlock the carry-on is a deterrent to theft.

I don't lock my checked bag (if I check one at all) nor put anything of value into a checked bag for the very reason you list. If something of value is too large to bring on board, I Fedex it ahead.
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Old Dec 12, 12, 11:52 am   #60
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Meet up at RDU for a mass opt-out?

So as I'm reading this thread and learning how difficult specific airports can be (RDU), I'm thinking how fun it would be to have a FT meet-up where we all show up and opt-out at the same time...
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