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Old Mar 6, 08, 12:05 am   #1
 
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TSA at ORD: Passport "scrutiny"

I transited ORD last week, on Thursday, coming home from NRT with a connection to SPI and bliss at home.

At the Terminal 2 line, the TSA ID checker took my boarding pass and passport, and instead of the cursory matching of names and faces, he proceeded to flip through each and every page of my passport. He also inspected each of the visas (India, China, Austria) with a magnifying loupe, as well as the picture page.

I think he was trying to see if I was passing a fake passport, full of visas, stamps, extra pages, etc., from 5 years of travel. It didn't hurt me at all, but I found it rather odd and invasive that he needed to examine my Indian visa in order to let me through to security in Chicago.

I <3 the TSA
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Old Mar 6, 08, 1:26 am   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dartagnan View Post
I transited ORD last week, on Thursday, coming home from NRT with a connection to SPI and bliss at home.

At the Terminal 2 line, the TSA ID checker took my boarding pass and passport, and instead of the cursory matching of names and faces, he proceeded to flip through each and every page of my passport. He also inspected each of the visas (India, China, Austria) with a magnifying loupe, as well as the picture page.

I think he was trying to see if I was passing a fake passport, full of visas, stamps, extra pages, etc., from 5 years of travel. It didn't hurt me at all, but I found it rather odd and invasive that he needed to examine my Indian visa in order to let me through to security in Chicago.

I <3 the TSA
Perhaps he wasn't sure which country he was working for.
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Old Mar 6, 08, 1:50 am   #3
 
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Wasteful mission creep and security theater designed to impress the infrequent travellers in line behind you that their tax dollars are going towards something that'll make them safe in the air.
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Old Mar 6, 08, 2:00 am   #4
 
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For now on, because of this post and other posts similar, I will never relinquish my grip on my passport when dealing with the TSA.
"Sir, please let go so I may examine your passport"
"I have it opened to the photo page. You may examine it while I hold it."
"Sir, I need to hold it to make sure it's not fake."
"Well, I'm sorry, but that's not going to be possible. Treat me as a NO ID passenger and send me to secondary, but I'm not giving you my passport to rifle through."

Looking forward more & more to the passport card.
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Old Mar 6, 08, 2:40 am   #5
 
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It seems like every time I travel internationally, I'm more embarrassed when I get back home. In places like CPH, ZRH, SVO, AKL, etc, the airline security workers are very professional. Their uniforms are neat and tidy with shirts tucked in. They are courteous and helpful, yet firm. When I came back from my last trip, I also transited through ORD, to be confronted with a TSA agent who had his shirt untucked from his pants, talking to the female agent about his girlfriend, and generally paying little attention to the IDs shown to him. He would occsionally bark orders like "laptops out!" and "make two lines!" seemingly at random. The difference between our TSA agents and those in foreign countries is like night and day, and it reflects poorly on our country.
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Old Mar 6, 08, 7:08 am   #6
 
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TSA has bounty on phony documents. Even though you are not required to show ID to travel, those IDS presented will be scrutinized.
Mission creep and stupidity are a terrible thing to waste.
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Old Mar 6, 08, 7:36 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by dlflyer2 View Post
TSA has bounty on phony documents. Even though you are not required to show ID to travel, those IDS presented will be scrutinized.
Mission creep and stupidity are a terrible thing to waste.
We have a winner.

I'm just waiting for them to claim that a foreign visa is phony.....
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Old Mar 6, 08, 7:39 am   #8
 
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Originally Posted by dlflyer2 View Post
TSA has bounty on phony documents. Even though you are not required to show ID to travel, those IDS presented will be scrutinized.
Mission creep and stupidity are a terrible thing to waste.
I wouldn't doubt this, but do we have proof or at least a TSA poster who will confirm?
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Old Mar 6, 08, 7:41 am   #9
 
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I wouldn't doubt this, but do we have proof or at least a TSA poster who will confirm?
I have no clue what is being referenced, could you please elaborate? Mission creep?
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Old Mar 6, 08, 7:55 am   #10
 
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I have no clue what is being referenced, could you please elaborate? Mission creep?
Iworkhere, is there a cash bonus for every fake ID document seized by a TSA employee?
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Old Mar 6, 08, 7:59 am   #11
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My Russian visa (expired) has never failed to garner increased attention from anyone. Perversely it garnered the most attention at Canadian Immigration, but whatever. I understand using a passport to go through TSA "screening", but the last thing I want is my passport in their hands. The last thing I need is some 8$/hr lackey confiscating my passport, and messing up my travel plans.
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Old Mar 6, 08, 8:06 am   #12
 
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I have four large paper clips securing the pages behind the photo page on my passport. This after an ID checker in LBB decided to rifle through the pages, despite my loud protest.

Since the paper clips have been in place, no one has looked past the photo page. YMMV.
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Old Mar 6, 08, 10:15 am   #13
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Originally Posted by HeHateY View Post
Iworkhere, is there a cash bonus for every fake ID document seized by a TSA employee?
I am not Iworkhere, but the answer is no.
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Old Mar 6, 08, 11:04 am   #14
 
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Originally Posted by colpuck View Post
My Russian visa (expired) has never failed to garner increased attention from anyone. Perversely it garnered the most attention at Canadian Immigration, but whatever. I understand using a passport to go through TSA "screening", but the last thing I want is my passport in their hands. The last thing I need is some 8$/hr lackey confiscating my passport, and messing up my travel plans.
If one of these TSA ID check goons even attempts to confiscate my passport, there will be $@#! to pay.

If one of them every attempts to take your passport here is what to do, and do not back down: Politely ask for both a LEO and someone from ICS (if the airport has international in it, or has international flights there is a representative from ICS at the airport) to come to checkpoint. You may have to wait a while for ICS to get there, but the LEO may get you through quicker. Then ask the ICS representative in the presence of the LEO to verify the document. If they need to take it somewhere to "verify it" ask to go with them. They should comply with this request as this is the way they handle document questions at immigration. (think the great side room, if the inspector questions anything you go there). This may take time and you may miss your flight, but is absolutely necessary.

If you do not do this and your passport is taken by TSA the likelihood of you getting another passport is quite low. the reason is that you will not have your old passport to submitt on the new applicaiton. Further, you will have to submitt on the form the reason why you cannot submit the old passport. You will have to say it was siezed at the airport (anything else is a lie, and they will know that because they will have the old one, but may not know the facts around the siezure) the fact that it was siezed at the airport will likely cause them to question your use of the passport (i.e. did you loan it to someone else). If they question the reason for the siezure, it is up to you to prove everything was kosher and not the otherway around. (in other words you have to prove you are not guilty of any misuse of the passport) I have had two lost/stolen passports and it was a royal PITA to get the second replacement as I had to prove everything beyond submitting the associated police reports. The person I ended up working with at State informed me that you do not have the right to a passport, it is given at the discretion of the U.S. Government. (though you have the right to apply)

Now someone at TSA may be able to correct me on this, but my understanding of the ID check is that if you present an ID at the checkpoint the checker must take physical possession of the document (i.e. you cannot hold it, nor can you withdraw it after presenting it), inspect it, and then either return it to you (if it passes) or keep it (if it doesn't pass), or ask you for more documents. Further, if they do keep the document, it is my understanding that you do not get to go through as NO ID, but are going to be waiting for LEO et al. to show up and give you the 3rd degree.
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Old Mar 6, 08, 11:20 am   #15
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[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSY-MSP View Post
If you do not do this and your passport is taken by TSA the likelihood of you getting another passport is quite low.
The TSA doesn't "take away" passports.

Quote:
Now someone at TSA may be able to correct me on this, but my understanding of the ID check is that if you present an ID at the checkpoint the checker must take physical possession of the document (i.e. you cannot hold it, nor can you withdraw it after presenting it), inspect it, and then either return it to you (if it passes) or keep it (if it doesn't pass), or ask you for more documents. Further, if they do keep the document, it is my understanding that you do not get to go through as NO ID, but are going to be waiting for LEO et al. to show up and give you the 3rd degree.
Until the black light crap was started, I didn't have a problem if someone hung on to their I.D. as long as I could see what I needed to see. Now, because of the "lights and loupes" we pretty much gotta have 'em in our hands. I would assume that if you tried to withdraw your I.D. while the TSO is looking at it, that would appear suspicious. Chances are that that would result in a LEO call.

If you don't want the TSA to look at your I.D., just tell 'em you don't have one.
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