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A New X-Ray Procedure at FNT - TSA says it's the same as always

A New X-Ray Procedure at FNT - TSA says it's the same as always

Old Sep 26, 11, 9:50 am
  #1  
KDS
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A New X-Ray Procedure at FNT - TSA says it's the same as always

Had a real chuckle yesterday at FNT airport. Put my shoes and "ziplock liquid" bag in a bin and was ready to push into the X-Ray machine when the TSA gal stopped me and said my shoes had to go on the conveyor belt.

I said, no, my shoes will stay in the bin, thank you very much. She stated her case again, and I declined.

So, to my amusement, she then says, "Well, then, if that's what you're going to do, then you cannot have anything else in the bin with your shoes. The shoes must be the only thing in the bin."

I inquired, "what?" She gets a full-size bin and hands it to me. I moved the ziplock bag to the new, empty bin.

I asked, "Is this a new procedure?" She says, no, it's always been this way. "Hmmm, it wasn't this way last week," I said. She said it is not a new procedure.

So, for giggles, I then said, "I guess it's pretty hard for everyone to keep up with the changing procedures." She replied, "Yeah, we have trouble keeping up too."

(Thought it was not a new procedure?)
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Old Sep 26, 11, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by KDS View Post
Had a real chuckle yesterday at FNT airport. Put my shoes and "ziplock liquid" bag in a bin and was ready to push into the X-Ray machine when the TSA gal stopped me and said my shoes had to go on the conveyor belt.

I said, no, my shoes will stay in the bin, thank you very much. She stated her case again, and I declined.

So, to my amusement, she then says, "Well, then, if that's what you're going to do, then you cannot have anything else in the bin with your shoes. The shoes must be the only thing in the bin."

I inquired, "what?" She gets a full-size bin and hands it to me. I moved the ziplock bag to the new, empty bin.

I asked, "Is this a new procedure?" She says, no, it's always been this way. "Hmmm, it wasn't this way last week," I said. She said it is not a new procedure.

So, for giggles, I then said, "I guess it's pretty hard for everyone to keep up with the changing procedures." She replied, "Yeah, we have trouble keeping up too."

(Thought it was not a new procedure?)

Last edited by chollie; Sep 27, 11 at 3:11 pm
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Old Sep 26, 11, 10:48 am
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Some of them are probably liars, but I think that most of them are simply, well, stupid.

I'd be willing to bet that the TSO whom KDS referenced in the OP truly believed that it was always the policy that shoes had to go in the bin by themselves, but that some TSOs were simply doing it wrong all along.

Rather than clarifying the apparently discontinuity with her superiors, she simply proceded on her merry way, telling pax that shoes must be in a bin by themselves, because she was so sure she was right, nothing could disuade her.

Obviously, anything that a traveler tells a TSO cannot be acknowledged as right, because if a TSO acceeds to a traveler's request or demand, or accepts what a traveler tells them as being more correct than what they already knew, then they are handing over some measure of power to the traveler. And, just like most LEOs today, TSOs seem to be either trained or pre-disposed to always maintain complete, iron control of any situation and any person with whom they interract on the job, and will use whatever means they have at their disposal to maintain that control, including punative searches and interrogations, denial of flight, and even false accusations designed to have a traveler arrested.
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Old Sep 26, 11, 1:31 pm
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The TSA has been going back and forth on this for years. I always just put my shoes directly on the belt and have never had a problem.
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Old Sep 26, 11, 4:18 pm
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I've seen FNT go back and forth on this ... often within hours.

A year or two ago, I had a flight scheduled to leave FNT. Went through screening, put my shoes in the bin, no remarks from anyone. Had to leave security about an hour later when the flight I was on got severely delayed. The gate agent rebooked me on a different (smaller) airline, which required me to leave security to go back to the front desk to check-in, get my new boarding pass, and then re-enter security. On the second trip through security, another TSO, who wasn't on duty when I came through the first time, was removing all shoes from bins and placing them on the belt directly.

Consistent inconsistency, I guess.
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Old Sep 27, 11, 3:10 am
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I always find this topic amusing, seeing that you can have a pair of shoes in your carry-on and you don't have to remove them. Also, if the argument is that they can't get a clear view of the shoes if they're in the bin, wouldn't that also mean they're not getting a clear view of the inside of your wallet, iPod, book, or anything else you put in the bin? Am I to assume that x-rays are thwarted by plastic?
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Old Sep 27, 11, 9:47 am
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All of the x-ray technical arguments are bogus. It's because they don't want to clean the bins that get obvious shoe-shmutz in them. A mere work-avoidance tactic by folks who should be questioning the shoe-removal process instead of annoying its other victims.

Of course, putting shoes on the belt ensures the bottom of the next bin that touches that spot gets the shmutz on its bottom, then transfers some of the shmutz to the inside of the next bin to get stacked in it, so there is NO escaping the pervasive shmutz all around one's property after it transits the checkpoint.

I swear they should be forced to offer us sterilized one-time-use bin-liners because certainly the bins are filthier than the average toilet seat. There's another tactic WE can adopt - bring-your-own-garbage-bag-bin-liner-day.
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Old Sep 27, 11, 9:53 am
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Originally Posted by SFOSpiff View Post
I always find this topic amusing, seeing that you can have a pair of shoes in your carry-on and you don't have to remove them. Also, if the argument is that they can't get a clear view of the shoes if they're in the bin, wouldn't that also mean they're not getting a clear view of the inside of your wallet, iPod, book, or anything else you put in the bin? Am I to assume that x-rays are thwarted by plastic?

Last edited by chollie; Sep 27, 11 at 3:11 pm
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Old Sep 27, 11, 12:20 pm
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This sounds more like a procedure appropriate for FNJ rather than FNT.
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Old Sep 27, 11, 2:26 pm
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A couple of years ago I ran into the shoes on the belt procedure. The next time I went through security, I put my shoes on the belt figuring that was the new way of doing things. The screener took my shoes and put them in my bin. I've just kept putting my shoes in the bin since then and think I've only had to put my shoes on the belt once.

I'm not sure what difference it makes since you can have shoes in a carry on. I also haven't figured out why shoes are safer in the rest of the world or why children's shoes are safer here now.
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Old Sep 27, 11, 8:10 pm
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Originally Posted by spd476 View Post
A couple of years ago I ran into the shoes on the belt procedure. The next time I went through security, I put my shoes on the belt figuring that was the new way of doing things. The screener took my shoes and put them in my bin. I've just kept putting my shoes in the bin since then and think I've only had to put my shoes on the belt once.

I'm not sure what difference it makes since you can have shoes in a carry on. I also haven't figured out why shoes are safer in the rest of the world or why children's shoes are safer here now.
Frankly, I don't see the point of removing our shoes, period!?!?
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Old Sep 27, 11, 8:33 pm
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Originally Posted by DeafBlonde View Post
Frankly, I don't see the point of removing our shoes, period!?!?
The point, of course, is that there was one guy who put a bomb in his shoes and tried to blow up a plane. Ten years ago. And many people are afraid that someone will try it again if they don't x-ray every single shoe that goes on every single plane.

I see the point, and although it's a pain and probably an over-reaction and an outdated precaution, it's not as invasive, abusive, or un-Constitutional as the NOS or rubdowns, so it's not something I would focus my energy on. At least not until the procedures that are outright government abuses are abolished; then we can focus on the inefficiency, wastefulness, and uselessness of having pax take off their shoes for x-ray scanning rather than having ETD portals and sniffer dogs checking for explosives.
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Old Sep 27, 11, 8:42 pm
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I'm sure the "no shoes in the bin" happens at random locations, but the only times I have personally experienced this is on snowy winter days. Seems like a good reason to change the procedure to me, frankly. Nobody wants salt and slush on their jacket.
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Old Sep 27, 11, 9:28 pm
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Old Sep 28, 11, 11:19 am
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Shoes in or out is not a fight I care about. While the validity of the whole shoe carnival can be debated, this is one of those situations where its not really worth picking a fight. I just put my shoes on the belt, as it helps me remember to get all my stuff (studies have shown that you are least likely to walk away without your bag if your shoes are on last) and it saves bins for other people. Since I always take 2 bins (1 laptop bin and 1 freedom baggie/coat/etc. bin), I don't want to bother with the rest.

Indeed, I think where this is "policy" directly relates to how much of an issue the airport has with bin shortages. At LAX, its always shoes on the belt and they always have an issue with running out of bins (especially at T7).
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