Is This Something New?

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Old Oct 27, 13, 3:20 pm
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Is This Something New?

On Friday, I went to meet a guest arriving at DEN. Since I had about 20 minutes before their flight, I walked around the 2 checkpoints in the main hall. It wasn't very busy at the time I was there. Anyways, at the entrance of both main checkpoints there is a TSA worker with an iPad looking device. As a passenger approaches, the worker intructs them to touch the screen. The screen then shows an arrow. Get a left arrow and you are directed to the regular screening line or get a right arrow and you join the TSA Pre-check line. If a family approached the line, only one person had to touch the screen. The arrow selection seemed to be fairly random but I didn't count the arrows vs passengers.
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Old Oct 27, 13, 3:36 pm
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Originally Posted by HawaiiTrvlr View Post
On Friday, I went to meet a guest arriving at DEN. Since I had about 20 minutes before their flight, I walked around the 2 checkpoints in the main hall. It wasn't very busy at the time I was there. Anyways, at the entrance of both main checkpoints there is a TSA worker with an iPad looking device. As a passenger approaches, the worker intructs them to touch the screen. The screen then shows an arrow. Get a left arrow and you are directed to the regular screening line or get a right arrow and you join the TSA Pre-check line. If a family approached the line, only one person had to touch the screen. The arrow selection seemed to be fairly random but I didn't count the arrows vs passengers.


Another massive waste of taxpayer $$, but to answer your question, yes, it's new. Some Canadian airports have had something similar for years, IIRC. It's a 'randomizer' that assigns people to a more or less invasive screening experience. It's one of many different things you may witness around the country right now.

The good news may be that TSA is trying to improve the screening process - to improve effectiveness and possibly, to even improve the pax experience.

As much as I deplore the waste of taxpayer$ on new gizmoes, better these over-priced new devices than more NoS machines.
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Old Oct 27, 13, 4:21 pm
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It reminded me of the Mexican customs procedure. You press a button and if you got green, you proceeded to the exit. If you got red, you were asked questions by their customs agents.

I don't mind a randomizer per se. I would be happy if I got the correct arrow. However, I can see people that paid $85 to use pre-check would be ticked off that regular passengers potentially got to leave their shoes on at the screening point without paying any fee.

It will be interesting if it improves the checkpoints. I am surprised that Blogger Bob hasn't mentioned this new "improvement".
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Old Oct 27, 13, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by HawaiiTrvlr View Post
It reminded me of the Mexican customs procedure. You press a button and if you got green, you proceeded to the exit. If you got red, you were asked questions by their customs agents.

I don't mind a randomizer per se. I would be happy if I got the correct arrow. However, I can see people that paid $85 to use pre-check would be ticked off that regular passengers potentially got to leave their shoes on at the screening point without paying any fee.

It will be interesting if it improves the checkpoints. I am surprised that Blogger Bob hasn't mentioned this new "improvement".
It's only in trial, as far as the TSA is concerned.

I sort of hoped for something like this approach, but that was on the basis of a few conditions ... including elimination of TSA boarding pass/ID checks -- which of course is unlikely to happen for (too) many years to come.

The randomizer approach may sort of mess up the screening checkpoint to some degree -- as differences in the screening process (at basically the same checkpoint area with much the same equipment) will lead to more passengers doing what they did the previous time and thus slowing others down more than may otherwise be the case -- that's because too many people will be unfamiliar with when to (not) do what.

Last edited by GUWonder; Oct 27, 13 at 4:43 pm
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Old Oct 27, 13, 4:42 pm
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For all the negativity on FT, this is a pilot for a program which will hopefully work and benefit all. The "randomizer" means that there is no way to game the system. Neither the Officer nor the pax has any way of knowing which way they will be directed. Could be 10 in a row to the slow boat line and then 2 to pre-check or vice-a-versa 10 mins. later.

The goal is to get 85% of the traveling public into a pre-check type of screening. Presumably that means a shift in the allocation of screening lines from standard to pre.

GE or the promised TSA system, will get you pre-check by selection rather than randomizer, so you should get it more often.
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Old Oct 27, 13, 5:07 pm
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fingerprints

are we sure it isn't just taking a picture of our fingerprint and logging it in to some giant database? If I touched the screen with a band-aided finger, would they allow that? Not that I am paranoid, and not that they don't already know where I am, what i am thinking and what I am planning to do, and to whom, I like to think I have managed to evade being fingerprinted...I'd rather keep some portion of my self un"databased"

just call me Chicken Little.....
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Old Oct 27, 13, 5:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
For all the negativity on FT, this is a pilot for a program which will hopefully work and benefit all. The "randomizer" means that there is no way to game the system. Neither the Officer nor the pax has any way of knowing which way they will be directed. Could be 10 in a row to the slow boat line and then 2 to pre-check or vice-a-versa 10 mins. later.

The goal is to get 85% of the traveling public into a pre-check type of screening. Presumably that means a shift in the allocation of screening lines from standard to pre.

GE or the promised TSA system, will get you pre-check by selection rather than randomizer, so you should get it more often.
(bolding mine)

Not in the OP's scenario.

The determination (pre or regular) was made by touching the screen, not by scanning the BP or traveling in uniform while active duty military with ID.
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Old Oct 27, 13, 5:27 pm
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Originally Posted by chollie View Post
(bolding mine)

Not in the OP's scenario.

The determination (pre or regular) was made by touching the screen, not by scanning the BP or traveling in uniform while active duty military with ID.
Iirc, they're only being used in the regular line. Pax who are already eligible for PreCheck shouldn't be pressing the randomizer screen.
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Old Oct 27, 13, 5:35 pm
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Dupe post..
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Old Oct 27, 13, 6:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
For all the negativity on FT, this is a pilot for a program which will hopefully work and benefit all. The "randomizer" means that there is no way to game the system. Neither the Officer nor the pax has any way of knowing which way they will be directed. Could be 10 in a row to the slow boat line and then 2 to pre-check or vice-a-versa 10 mins. later.

The goal is to get 85% of the traveling public into a pre-check type of screening. Presumably that means a shift in the allocation of screening lines from standard to pre.

GE or the promised TSA system, will get you pre-check by selection rather than randomizer, so you should get it more often.
Pre-check type screening for all travelers escalating for cause is a much simpler solution , maintains security, and TSA meets the 85% goal immediately.
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Old Oct 27, 13, 6:08 pm
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Originally Posted by FriendlySkies View Post
Iirc, they're only being used in the regular line. Pax who are already eligible for PreCheck shouldn't be pressing the randomizer screen.
That's the sensible approach, but not what the OP described.
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Old Oct 27, 13, 6:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
GE or the promised TSA system, will get you pre-check by selection rather than randomizer, so you should get it more often.
So no randomizers will be used to send GE/Pay-for-Pre-Play members for (non-Pre-LLL type of) additional screening? That's hopeful -- as in wishful -- thinking, for currently there is no certainty at TSA HQ that it is going to work out that way everywhere.
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Old Oct 27, 13, 6:41 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
So no randomizers will be used to send GE/Pay-for-Pre-Play members for (non-Pre-LLL type of) additional screening? That's hopeful -- as in wishful -- thinking, for currently there is no certainty at TSA HQ that it is going to work out that way everywhere.
I can't find a link, but I was sure there was something in pre-Check that made it clear that you still could be 'randomly' selected at any time for a higher level of screening.

I personally witnessed at SEA once. I was in the regular lane, and every single Pre pax was swabbed and bag checked while I was waiting for/getting my grope. They only swabbed hands and the bag check was pretty cursory (right on the belt), but there were some surprised and not happy people.
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Old Oct 27, 13, 9:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
For all the negativity on FT, this is a pilot for a program which will hopefully work and benefit all. The "randomizer" means that there is no way to game the system. Neither the Officer nor the pax has any way of knowing which way they will be directed. Could be 10 in a row to the slow boat line and then 2 to pre-check or vice-a-versa 10 mins. later.

The goal is to get 85% of the traveling public into a pre-check type of screening. Presumably that means a shift in the allocation of screening lines from standard to pre.

GE or the promised TSA system, will get you pre-check by selection rather than randomizer, so you should get it more often.
Benefit of all? Hardly. On my last flight, we had a whole host of Kettles that were sent over from the regular lines to precheck, which totally destroyed the advantage of precheck, given that the kettles didn't understand why they didn't have to remove their belts, shoes and coats, kept taking their liquid baggies out, etc. Leave it to TSA to F up the one good thing they've ever done.
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Old Oct 27, 13, 9:07 pm
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
Benefit of all? Hardly. On my last flight, we had a whole host of Kettles that were sent over from the regular lines to precheck, which totally destroyed the advantage of precheck, given that the kettles didn't understand why they didn't have to remove their belts, shoes and coats, kept taking their liquid baggies out, etc. Leave it to TSA to F up the one good thing they've ever done.
There you go, being all negative again. Just no pleasing some people.
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