Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Safety/Security > Checkpoints and Borders Policy Debate
Reload this Page >

Double Opt-Out at Dulles this morning, barred from my flight

Double Opt-Out at Dulles this morning, barred from my flight

Old Nov 18, 2011, 9:06 am
  #31  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Nashville, TN
Programs: WN Nothing and spending the half million points from too many flights, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 8,043
Originally Posted by tkey75
After the TDC but before the belt, seal you ID in an envelope. TSA cannot compel you to open it, nor can they open it themselves. Of course and as always, a big YMMV.
And of course, since they will claim it can not be screened, they can prevent its entry into the sterile area.
InkUnderNails is offline  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 9:31 am
  #32  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 7,700
I hate the case where it looks like you'll be able to go through the metal detector then you're redirected. Happens all too often.

Sympathize with the OP and understand how her backstory makes her perhaps more sensitive than other pax; she might have gotten a better outcome if she had disengaged, left, and flown later that day or from another checkpoint if available. Not sure the specifics of IAD since I avoid that place like the plague.
Mikey likes it is offline  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 9:40 am
  #33  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: KRNT
Programs: AS MVPG, Hilton Gold
Posts: 359
Originally Posted by mybodyismyown
Wow, interesting connection! Someone made a supportive comment to my husband on the secure side of the line this morning also. Perhaps that was you?

As I stated above, the only reason I had a ticket from IAD was that I was misinformed about the presence of blue box scanners. I have gone to extraordinary lengths: cancelling trips, taking trains, driving two hours out of the way, paying double for certain airlines to get to a checkpoint without blue boxes. I can't really explain why I had the wrong information about Dulles.

I am actually coming away from this experience more hopeful than I was last week, because I was able to exert control over what happens to my body and to refuse the TSA's disgusting and offensive suggestions about what I should allow them to do to it. And as Skiff says, TSA people were respectful of my refusal and my reasoning even when I lost my cool. That might indicate some level of compassion for me, or just explicit instructions not to be confrontational. But I maintain, every last one of those TSA employees is personally responsible for the pain they are causing to innocent travelers.

To understand why TSA screeners claim they aren't responsible even as they watch with their own eyes how much distress they cause, how much senseless violence they do to human dignity, I read: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/pol116/milgram.htm

"The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority."
That wasn't me who talked to your husband, but if I can give my perspective:

The TSA reps that I saw were surprised more than anything. They didn't seem to see you as a threat or a troublemaker, but they had absolutely no idea how to respond to someone who was in hysterics. I think if it had been a standard (whatever that is) double opt-out they would have just told you you weren't flying today. But since you were obviously troubled, there seemed to be a level of reasonableness that's usually lacking from the blue shirts.
Skiff is offline  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 9:56 am
  #34  
Suspended
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 4,953
Originally Posted by Skiff
That wasn't me who talked to your husband, but if I can give my perspective:

The TSA reps that I saw were surprised more than anything. They didn't seem to see you as a threat or a troublemaker, but they had absolutely no idea how to respond to someone who was in hysterics. I think if it had been a standard (whatever that is) double opt-out they would have just told you you weren't flying today. But since you were obviously troubled, there seemed to be a level of reasonableness that's usually lacking from the blue shirts.
One would hope that all of those screeners lost some sleep last night and are now thinking long and hard about what they are doing to passengers at checkpoints.
doober is offline  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 10:32 am
  #35  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: DCA / WAS
Programs: DL 2+ million/PM, YX, Marriott Plt, *wood gold, HHonors, CO Plt, UA, AA EXP, WN, AGR
Posts: 9,388
Originally Posted by mikeef
Who took your DL and BP to photocopy it. The TSA?

Mike
And more importantly, why? Now you're in a government database as a troublemaker.

Originally Posted by Mientree
But, I suppose, in TSA fantasy land, because she wanted to go through the metal detector unmolested, she had to be hiding something and, thus, had to have her level of screening escalated.
That's exactly the logic that they'll use. And that's exactly the logic that will be used as they enter the BP and DL data into a database.
Global_Hi_Flyer is offline  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 10:56 am
  #36  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Programs: Southwest Rapid Rewards. Tha... that's about it.
Posts: 4,321
Originally Posted by Global_Hi_Flyer
And more importantly, why? Now you're in a government database as a troublemaker.



That's exactly the logic that they'll use. And that's exactly the logic that will be used as they enter the BP and DL data into a database.
The logic is quite simple, flawed though it is - only those who have evil intent have ANYTHING to hide.

There is a prevailing attitude, not only amongst TSA, but in much of the US, that the only reason to hide ANYTHING from the government - including what you and your children look like naked - is when you have evil intent, like a terrorist. The attidude goes further, as well; anyone who does ANYTHING out of the "ordinary", such as taking pics in a place that doesn't interest YOU like a bridge or airport or subway platform, must have evil intent, and needs to proove their innocence.

It's not just TSOs and LEOs who feel this way; most Americans feel this way, it's just that LEOs and TSOs have the power to hassle those whom they judge to have evil intent because they're "hiding something" or are "behaving suspiciously" in public.

There's a name for this attitude - paranoia.
WillCAD is offline  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 11:39 am
  #37  
Suspended
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 4,953
Originally Posted by WillCAD
The logic is quite simple, flawed though it is - only those who have evil intent have ANYTHING to hide.

There is a prevailing attitude, not only amongst TSA, but in much of the US, that the only reason to hide ANYTHING from the government - including what you and your children look like naked - is when you have evil intent, like a terrorist. The attidude goes further, as well; anyone who does ANYTHING out of the "ordinary", such as taking pics in a place that doesn't interest YOU like a bridge or airport or subway platform, must have evil intent, and needs to proove their innocence.

It's not just TSOs and LEOs who feel this way; most Americans feel this way, it's just that LEOs and TSOs have the power to hassle those whom they judge to have evil intent because they're "hiding something" or are "behaving suspiciously" in public.

There's a name for this attitude - paranoia.
Hence the promotion of the "see something, say something" campaign.
doober is offline  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 12:28 pm
  #38  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 171
Originally Posted by Skiff
That wasn't me who talked to your husband, but if I can give my perspective:

The TSA reps that I saw were surprised more than anything. They didn't seem to see you as a threat or a troublemaker, but they had absolutely no idea how to respond to someone who was in hysterics. I think if it had been a standard (whatever that is) double opt-out they would have just told you you weren't flying today. But since you were obviously troubled, there seemed to be a level of reasonableness that's usually lacking from the blue shirts.
Thank you for the observation. All of that emotion was entirely genuine and the high pressure situation they placed me into would have made it very difficult for me to conceal how I was feeling. I do not regret letting my emotional reaction be seen by all present. As Amy Alkon suggested, I'm not into making it easy for these people to abuse women. I think they should be forced to face up to the pain they cause.
mybodyismyown is offline  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 3:10 pm
  #39  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Finally back in Boston after escaping from New York
Posts: 13,641
Originally Posted by mybodyismyown
The TSA took my DL and BP to photocopy them. I should have pressed for a Privacy Act notice.
Well, don't be hard on yourself at all. It's much easier to think about what we should have done on an IBB.

I like to think that I'm prepared going to the airport, but if I ever get in a really nasty one, I'll have to see what happens at the time.

Mike
mikeef is offline  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 6:47 pm
  #40  
KDS
 
Join Date: May 2011
Programs: Delta Diamond Medallion 1MM, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold, National Car Executive Elite
Posts: 550
Originally Posted by nachtnebel
The point is, we have no expectations of any particular behavior on the part of these people. They could decide tomorrow to do something different and you'd be stuck.
And you, the traveler, have absolutely no recourse or appeal when a TSO or 3-striper decides that the rules have just changed, or that they fake the ETD test results to force a secondary screening, or just lie to you and LEOs.

The TSA is its own prosecutor, investigator, judge, and jury. You have no rights and the TSA people know it.

And the airlines and Congress still don't care...
KDS is offline  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 7:28 pm
  #41  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: twitter:TSAABUSEWATCH
Posts: 100
Thumbs up

Originally Posted by mybodyismyown
But I maintain, every last one of those TSA employees is personally responsible for the pain they are causing to innocent travelers. ."
^

The courts at Nuremberg felt the same way.
TsaAbuseWatch is offline  
Old Nov 20, 2011, 1:51 pm
  #42  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 629
I want to thank you, mybodyismyown. By defending your own rights not to be sexually violated in order to travel, you have defended all of ours as well. I only wish more people had the courage to double opt out. We should all be calling them on their false choice between one kind of sexual violation (visual) vs. another (tactile).

It is good to see that you didn't lose your airfare. However we cannot rely on that. Especially those of us who are not frequent fliers. We should favor the airlines that have a good record in this regard.

I see the practical consequences of double opting out as the price of flying in the US. Eventually the scope 'n grope will be primary and this 'loophole' will be closed. I hope to flee the US before that happens. Until it does however we can still enjoy the freedom we have to fly unmolested at the price of some inconvenience and possibly higher cost if the airline is not as understanding as they were with you this time.

Based on TSO estimates only about 1 in 5 passengers is 'randomly' chosen for the scope 'n grope at most checkpoints. That means an 80% chance of making it through unscathed. Until that ratio changes significantly I think DOOing whenever selected for the NoS is the most rational way to fly.

At least for a solo traveler. For a family of four traveling together the statistics are not so good. 80% against everyone making it through. For families the double opt out is not a practical choice. For international travel, such families who live in northern or southern states could take ground transport to Canada or Mexico respectively before getting an international flight from there. For interstate travel ground transportation is really the only option and even that is risky now that the TSA has started to invade nearly all forms of public transportation. Still, railway stations and bus stations have not yet had NoS machines installed. Until that happens (and it will happen) they will still be an alternative.

Or there is always driving. As long as we don't stray within 100 miles of a border (the DMZ) or travel late at night and risk a DUI checkpoint or exceed posted speed limits, we still have some travel freedom by car. But that won't last forever either. Eventually interstate highway checkpoints with x-ray NoS, geiger counters, and angry German Shephards will be ubiquitous. Driving is another freedom that we should enjoy while it lasts.

The more I think about the name "double opt out" the more unfortunate it seems. Choosing to be physically violated instead of visually violated doesn't strike me as much of an 'opt out'. It's more like an opt-in since physical touching is usually considered more of a violation than just looking. Even in the case of the x-ray NoS I think the choice of genital stimulation over nude imaging and being bathed in x-rays should not be characterized as an 'opt out'. You are opting in as much as you are opting out since both choices are horrible violations.

The only genuine 'opt out' is the double opt out. But I think something like genuine opt out or real opt out is more fitting. Not flying at all that day is a big F U to both the TSA and the airlines. It is a way of saying "NO!" to their false choice. It is the only real protest we have. Well short of not flying at all. We should not be playing their games or allowing them to frame our choices in their terms. They want us to believe that sexual activity with a TSA screener is a valid choice. A way out. But we should know better. Our only real choice is to simply walk away. Bravo for effectively doing exactly that. It's a freedom that we still have. I suggest that we should all take advantage of it before it too is gone.

Last edited by gojirasan; Nov 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm
gojirasan is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.