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2012 Survey: How Effective is the Transportation Security Administration?

2012 Survey: How Effective is the Transportation Security Administration?

Old Sep 11, 12, 8:28 am
  #121  
 
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From my perspective the TSA is simply performance art designed by politicians to convince voters they were doing something after 9/11.
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Old Sep 11, 12, 9:20 am
  #122  
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Originally Posted by suzeshoes
TSA agent said "NO! that's the price you pay to OPT OUT".
TSA agent lied.

As usual.
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Old Sep 11, 12, 10:15 am
  #123  
 
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Originally Posted by larry91403
I have to agree with Travis and also add that it really shouldn't matter what we think of TSA just like it shouldn't matter if we like the police or firefighters. Their popularity is not at issue. And lay people really aren't qualified to make gut judgements on effectiveness. What we might deem to be security theater might very well be something else.

I received a parking ticket the other day from a motorcycle cop. You bet I would rate motorcycle cops ineffective in a survey. But that's not really relevant.

We have to stop treating everything like a popularity contest. Not everything gets to have constant public condemnation just because it's inconvenient. I don't like going trough TSA anymore then anyone else. I've experiences inconsistencies just as much as anyone else. But think of it another way - if you are a criminal and TSA is always doing everything the same way every single time, then it would be very easy to beat the system.

Nothing is perfect. Let's gives these men and women and break and focus on the management.
This is not a popularity contest.

This has nothing to do with our likes or dislikes.

This has nothing to do with hassles or inconvenience.

Some of TSA's procedures are un-Constitutional. They are illegal. And they are morally and ethically repugnant.

"But think of it another way - if you are a criminal and TSA is always doing everything the same way every single time, then it would be very easy to beat the system."

Firstly, criminals are not what TSA is supposed to be looking for, fighting against, protecting us against, or even paying any attention to. Threats to the plane are what TSA is tasked with keeping off the plane. I couldn't care less whether criminals - smugglers, theives, whatever - can get past TSA. They are law enforcement's problem.

Secondly, the argument that consistency is key to security is also BS. Just because a "Bad Guy" knows what security is in place doesn't mean he can automatically defeat it; if security is good enough, it can be exactly the same 24/7/365, all around the country, and the Bad Guys won't get through.

Besides, the "inconsistency is a layer" argument is a load of fertilizer that TSA throws out like a soundbite specifically to cover up the fact that their training programs are so incompetent that no airport in the US does the same thing the same way twice. Their own people don't even know the rules, and when called on their lack of knowledge, they pull the childish trick of saying, "Well, we do it differently here," or, "We do it differently now."

And as far as giving these men and women a break - phooey. These men and woman have as much responsibility as their management does to know their jobs and do their jobs correctly and consitently. Not only that, but if the rules they follow are wrong, or their agency is violating the law, they have the same responsibility as anyone else to report violations up their respective chains of command. And they are failing.
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Old Sep 11, 12, 10:36 am
  #124  
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Originally Posted by larry91403
I have to agree with Travis and also add that it really shouldn't matter what we think of TSA just like it shouldn't matter if we like the police or firefighters. Their popularity is not at issue. And lay people really aren't qualified to make gut judgements on effectiveness. What we might deem to be security theater might very well be something else.

I received a parking ticket the other day from a motorcycle cop. You bet I would rate motorcycle cops ineffective in a survey. But that's not really relevant.

We have to stop treating everything like a popularity contest. Not everything gets to have constant public condemnation just because it's inconvenient. I don't like going trough TSA anymore then anyone else. I've experiences inconsistencies just as much as anyone else. But think of it another way - if you are a criminal and TSA is always doing everything the same way every single time, then it would be very easy to beat the system.

Nothing is perfect. Let's gives these men and women and break and focus on the management.
I relate to the tenor of that post, having recently paid a Red Light Violation in the US. It took a while, and I ended up chasing the relevant PD about it, as time was rolling on and I didn't want problems at the Border next week. A very nice Lt responded to my e-mail, the paperwork was hastened … and I paid my $50. At which point he invited us for a tour of their new Police HQ next time we're in Town.

Do I object to the fine? No … having seen the photos and videos I was guilty as they come.
Do I object to Policing such activity? No I don't. I was potentially hazarding someone else.
But I was very, very, impressed with the communications from the PD as a Brit trying to pay a violation in the US.

I like American police. ^
And yes, larry, they were presumably effective in your case as well?

(That may bit a bit OT, but larry's post just touched a nice nerve.)
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Old Sep 11, 12, 10:52 am
  #125  
 
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Just for the record

I've been EXP on American for the past 6 years at least (and have over 3 million miles there). I have had [and seen] just about zero problems with the TSA, ever. In fact, because I have status, I usually get the short line treatment. I don't even factor the wait for security lines into my plans. If you're on this forum, you pretty much know the drill and if you're not part of the solution...

No offense intended, but all this other stuff about constitutional rights is just so much hot air. How many people think that smuggling weapons and unsafe materials on board a plane is a constitutionally protected right?

Now U.S. CUSTOMS, there is some serious line waiting...

Pete
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Old Sep 11, 12, 11:03 am
  #126  
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Originally Posted by pjhaas57
Now U.S. CUSTOMS, there is some serious line waiting...
Pete
Curious perhaps location-related? IAD we find Customs is about 1>2 minutes during the International surge around 1300. And that's when we're declaring several kg. of chocolate candy for friends

My beef, as an International Arrival, is the lines at IAD where the Govt website claims they have 51 Immigration desks open at 1300-1400. Yeah, right
Try 6 for US citizens and 6 for us furriners - and one for Crew.
They built a new Arrivals Building with 52 desks they just don't have the staff do operate them.

Anyway TSA causes me as little grief as the Security people in UK. They're low-paid, doing a staggeringly boring job. I don't get my panties in a twist over 'rights', otherwise I could try waving my UK Passport which says " to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance "
Time to re-visit 1776, perhaps?
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Old Sep 11, 12, 1:20 pm
  #127  
 
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Originally Posted by T8191
And the basis of that statement is what?
Two eyes and a brain.
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Old Sep 11, 12, 1:25 pm
  #128  
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Originally Posted by Bidkat
Two eyes and a brain.
Good for you. I must work on that aspect.
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Old Sep 11, 12, 2:39 pm
  #129  
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Originally Posted by WillCAD
...the argument that consistency is key to security is also BS. Just because a "Bad Guy" knows what security is in place doesn't mean he can automatically defeat it; if security is good enough, it can be exactly the same 24/7/365, all around the country, and the Bad Guys won't get through....
I've entered the White House complex quite a few times during my working career. Security was basically the same every time, over 30 or so years. I kept my shoes on every time. And I can assure you that no bad guys got in there. Not one. Not ever.

Bruce
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Old Sep 11, 12, 6:25 pm
  #130  
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Originally Posted by larry91403
We have to stop treating everything like a popularity contest. <snip>
Perhaps it wasn't your intent but this post and your previous one come off as dismissive.

Suggesting that "lay people" -- btw, what exactly do you mean by that? -- aren't competent to judge the TSA's effectiveness raises the serious question about who is. If laypersons are incompetent to understand why the TSA does what they do how are our duly elected laypersons any more competent? The fact that is we do have the right to question our representatives' judgement and by extension the agencies they create and the impact their rules have on us as we go about our daily affairs.

Originally Posted by pjhaas57
How many people think that smuggling weapons and unsafe materials on board a plane is a constitutionally protected right?
No one here that I know of -- pro or contra TSA -- thinks that, and I've been around here since the beginning.

What else ya got?
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Old Sep 12, 12, 1:15 am
  #131  
 
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TSA = Thick, Stupid and Arrogant

The single most unpleasant thing about travelling to the USA is the TSA. They are surley and unpleasant, cause long delays and every security check performs differently - one requires you to remove your shoes while another doesn't; one reacts to a belt buckle that got through the scanner on your first flight, etc. I can't help but feel they are part of a government scheme to put us in our place, control our freedom and remind us that they are in control.

Has the TSA actually found more than the occasional tube of toothpaste hidden in our luggage? I did hear that the only weapon they found was a 9" penis on Jonah Falcon travelling out of SFO; they mistook an Insulin Pump for a gun on a lady travelling out of LAX; at LAS they confiscated a box of cup cakes because the frosting looked like and a gel so violated TSA liquid restrictions; at JFK they made an 85 year-old lady undergo a body search because she carried a defibrulator, and made the 89 year-old Ruth Sherman pull down her pants to reveal her colostomy bag. On another occsion they even forced a 95 year-old cancer patient to remove her adult diaper so they could investigate its contents. Hardly impressive stuff, or anything to make America feel proud!

Last edited by Plum1; Sep 12, 12 at 1:19 am Reason: correction
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Old Sep 14, 12, 4:43 pm
  #132  
 
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I hear a lot of these stories and even though yours "might" be true I find most are exaggerated. I fly two to three times a week and have only had problems with TSA officers when they were new, the senior officers usually set them straight. Now if this officer actually said this to you then it's YOUR fault he/she got away with it. You have the right to request a supervisor when you feel you are being treated unfairly of being harassed. TSA even encourages passengers to speak to someone in charge when things like this happen. My experience with irate passenger has always been with the whiners and cry babies. I was in line a few weeks ago and a man complained about having to remove his liquids, turned out he had several very large bottles which he knew couldn't go through. He complained about having to go through the metal detector and when he did he alarmed. He was given three or four chances to remove any metal but insisted that the machine was "f***ed" in his own words. Well he got a pat down and whined about that but guess what? He had his car keys in his pocket even after he swore he had nothing. Now why wouldn't he just put the keys in a bin instead of acting like a jerk and holding everyone else up? Because he though he was "special", special ed that is. Another passenger complained about having to remove what looked to be 200 hair pins from her monster beehive hair. She was setting off the metal detector and got mad because the TSA wouldn't let her pass through even after she told them she didn't have a weapon (that was words right out of her mouth). I was right behind her and running late because of traffic and this stupid woman along with others like her held the line up almost making me miss my flight. I have no problem with TSA and have always been treated with a lot of respect. They always call me Sir and tell me to have a nice flight. I have had to go through the pat down a few times because the machine picked me but it was no big deal, and I can tell you the officer didn't enjoy giving a pat down anymore than I enjoyed receiving one, we just got through with it and continued our day. I have had TSA officers at a smaller airport I fly out of take my tooth paste (which was too large but I forgot it was in that bag) and take it to my checked bag for me so I could keep it and not through it away.
Here's my take on the stories. The one's who do the most complaining are the ones who feel they shouldn't have to follow any rules. They feel they are above everyone else or to important to listen to anyone. TSA's rules are pretty easy to follow and preparing your bag correctly before leaving home/hotel allows you to pass through with no problem. Dressing properly also allows you to pass through with no problem. What cracks me up, and pisses me off, is when women wear so much jewelry that the walk through just about shorts out when they try to pass through. Then they go back and take one piece off and alarms again. Why wear all that jewelry? Nobody on the plain gives a crap how you look. Wait till you arrive at your destination to get all blinged up. Why wear shoes or boots that take 20 minutes to unlace and then lace back up? Get real people. I wear sneakers I can slip off easy, I wear a watch I know will not alarm, I don't have a ton of metal in my pockets, I don't wear a belt buckle the size of Texas. I want to be comfortable on my flight since it usually takes 2 1/2 to 3 hrs. What I see in the complainers are people who are to dumb to follow rules or just want to be a-holes and not follow the rules. I'm sure I will get flamed for all of this but who cares. Next time you complainers are holding up the screening line watch for the person who goes through with no problem that will be me.

Originally Posted by suzeshoes
Just flew from ATL in the "Expert Traveler" Lane. When I asked to opt out of the full body scan (per doctor's orders), TSA agent was visibly annoyed and at once proceeded to tell me all the horrors of what this entailed ("pat down", additional screening.. etc.) I told him I was familiar with this and waited for "female assist". Then about 10 people went through metal detector because full body scanner resets itself every 45 minutes. TSA agent informs me that if I had waited a few minutes, I wouldn't have had to go through pat down. After watching all the people go through and my computer, purse, wallet all at the end of the line now, I asked if I could keep my eye on my valuables. TSA agent said "NO! that's the price you pay to OPT OUT". So I suppose we are punished if we are medically unable to go through the body scan....not my best ATL/TSA experience.
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Old Sep 14, 12, 4:54 pm
  #133  
 
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Sorry but your video proved nothing. You did not film yourself walking through the machine with the object on your body. Watching your video I get the feeling you removed the item, placed it in a bin and then put it back in your pocket once on the other side before starting your video again. I fly through Love Field in Dallas a few times a week and have seen several people caught with pocket knives, keys, lighters and such. Needless to say most honestly forgot they had them in their pockets but the machine zeroed righ in on them. I hate to admit it but it even caught me a few months ago when I had a small holster in my waistband on my side. I wasn't thinking about the metal clip and that is what it picked up, that tiny metal clip. No I did not have a firearm, it was declared and in my checked bag as always. The TSA officer was friendly and just ran the holster though the x ray, yes i had to recieve a pat down but it was my fault not the officers. I'm the one who forgot the holster was there, hasn't happened again.

Originally Posted by Affection
Police officers actually stop criminals. TSA screeners don't stop terrorists. There are so many loopholes in TSA security that any terrorist could penetrate them, first and foremost being that the body scanners don't work (see my video below).



--Jon
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Old Sep 15, 12, 5:02 am
  #134  
 
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Originally Posted by EastTexMan
Sorry but your video proved nothing. You did not film yourself walking through the machine with the object on your body. Watching your video I get the feeling you removed the item, placed it in a bin and then put it back in your pocket once on the other side before starting your video again.
o.O Did we watch the same video? What part of the video even makes you think that?
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Old Sep 15, 12, 5:12 am
  #135  
 
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Originally Posted by suzeshoes
Just flew from ATL in the "Expert Traveler" Lane. When I asked to opt out of the full body scan (per doctor's orders), TSA agent was visibly annoyed and at once proceeded to tell me all the horrors of what this entailed ("pat down", additional screening.. etc.) I told him I was familiar with this and waited for "female assist". Then about 10 people went through metal detector because full body scanner resets itself every 45 minutes. TSA agent informs me that if I had waited a few minutes, I wouldn't have had to go through pat down. After watching all the people go through and my computer, purse, wallet all at the end of the line now, I asked if I could keep my eye on my valuables. TSA agent said "NO! that's the price you pay to OPT OUT". So I suppose we are punished if we are medically unable to go through the body scan....not my best ATL/TSA experience.
Last time I was in ATL, they directed me to the scanner when I was in front of the WTMD. I looked over at the scanner, looked back and said "no". They let me through the WTMD, then when I was expecting a screener to come over to give me a pat down, they all left the checkpoint. Shift change.
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