"Screener discretion" and "Final say"

Old Jul 7, 17, 9:17 am
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: where the chile is hot
Programs: AA,RR,NW,Delta ,UA,CO
Posts: 32,726
"Screener discretion" and "Final say"

Yeah, one tweeter got a Reese's candy bar confiscated. The screener gave him no reason for the confiscation.

They started teaching 'final say' at the 'academy'. There was a clip posted in this forum that included a segment with an instructor, a guy who had been with TSA for two years, IIRC. The gist of what he said was "Pax says what they want, I let them say it, and then I confiscate the item anyway", all said with a big smile.

That was the beginning of the shift from 'screener discretion' to 'final say'.
chollie is offline  
Old Jul 7, 17, 9:39 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: RDU
Posts: 4,183
I suppose screeners can and do retaliate against pax who get angry, talk back, or give them the finger?
zitsky is offline  
Old Jul 7, 17, 10:33 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 5,279
Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
I suppose screeners can and do retaliate against pax who get angry, talk back, or give them the finger?
Presuming the screeners are within the range of typical humans, this seems a quite possible outcome.
richarddd is offline  
Old Jul 7, 17, 10:56 am
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: DFW
Posts: 17,879
Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
I suppose screeners can and do retaliate against pax who get angry, talk back, or give them the finger?
Several years ago a screener playing the "Say Your Name" game at DFW got so angry with me that I was very concerned he was about to hit me. There are plenty of citizen reports where TSA screeners retaliate if one should challenge their authority in any way.
Boggie Dog is offline  
Old Jul 7, 17, 11:12 am
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: where the chile is hot
Programs: AA,RR,NW,Delta ,UA,CO
Posts: 32,726
From things I'm reading posted on various sites, a lot of TSOs are really having a great time with the 'final say'. I have now read of multiple confiscations of solid foods: granola bars, bags of chips, a Reese's candy bar.

I've noted before: AskTSA is a very good tool for TSA, if they chose to use it for good purposes, and not just to mock and insult people. When people start asking about the same things over and over again, it is a clear sign that 1) the website is useless/out-of-date/inaccurate and 2) people are asking because word has gotten around that something is being confiscated at the checkpoint, even though it appears to comply with the rules.

There are regular tweets on AskTSA asking if snacks are allowed, how many, what kind, etc. Some TSOs are confiscating snacks because the pax allegedly has too many.
chollie is offline  
Old Jul 7, 17, 11:22 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: RDU
Posts: 4,183
So pax are expected to shut up and just take it.
zitsky is offline  
Old Jul 7, 17, 11:26 am
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: where the chile is hot
Programs: AA,RR,NW,Delta ,UA,CO
Posts: 32,726
Well, according to some TSOs, if TSA HQ doesn't formally acknowledge that it is happening, it isn't.

It's all just a bunch of evil pax making up lies and fabricating videos to make TSOs look bad.

Last edited by chollie; Jul 7, 17 at 11:53 am
chollie is offline  
Old Jul 7, 17, 11:42 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: DFW
Posts: 17,879
Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
So pax are expected to shut up and just take it.
Yes. They no longer say DY...T but the message is clear.

edit to add:

Not sure why FT masks " Do You Want To Fly Today".

Last edited by Boggie Dog; Jul 7, 17 at 12:58 pm
Boggie Dog is offline  
Old Jul 7, 17, 12:20 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,657
Originally Posted by chollie View Post
They started teaching 'final say' at the 'academy'. There was a clip posted in this forum that included a segment with an instructor, a guy who had been with TSA for two years, IIRC. The gist of what he said was "Pax says what they want, I let them say it, and then I confiscate the item anyway", all said with a big smile.
Link?
jkhuggins is offline  
Old Jul 7, 17, 1:23 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Programs: Southwest Rapid Rewards. Tha... that's about it.
Posts: 4,078
Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Yes. They no longer say DY...T but the message is clear.

edit to add:

Not sure why FT masks " Do You Want To Fly Today".
Because the three letters of the acronym beginning with W happen to correspond to a profanity typically used to express utter astonishment.
WillCAD is offline  
Old Jul 7, 17, 1:35 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: where the chile is hot
Programs: AA,RR,NW,Delta ,UA,CO
Posts: 32,726
Originally Posted by jkhuggins View Post
Link?
I'll have to dig for it. It was posted on this forum and the instructor being interviewed was a young light-haired guy who, IIRC, had only been on the job for two years.
chollie is offline  
Old Jul 12, 17, 9:37 pm
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: where the chile is hot
Programs: AA,RR,NW,Delta ,UA,CO
Posts: 32,726
Two instances today of people tweeting AskTSA (one with pictures) about items. AskTSA said they would be OK (but did not point out that nothing AskTSA says is binding at the checkpoint.

AskTSA told one woman she could take cookie dough. The screener confiscated $80 of dough.

AskTSA told a man he could take a small drill bit/punch guides and included a picture. One airport didn't have a problem, the second airport confiscated the items even after he showed them AskTSA's tweet telling him the items were OK.

AskTSA response: the screener has the 'final say'.

TSA defenders: what exactly is the point of AskTSA if it means nothing at the checkpoint?
chollie is offline  
Old Jul 12, 17, 11:43 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Nashville, TN
Programs: WN Nothing and spending the half million points from too many flights, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 8,034
About a year ago, the person giving me a bag rape pulled out my screwdriver bits and said they were not permitted. I informed him that those tools had enough miles and trips for their own frequent flyer account and no one in airports all over the USA including the one I was standing in had ever had a problem with them. He said he had discretion. I said let's talk to your boss. The FSM would be fine.

Uh, oh.

A very unhappy important looking man came into our presence asking what the problem was. The screener said that I was trying to take drill bits on the plane. I said the screener was an idiot because it was screwdriver bits and not drill bits. Well, I did not say idiot, but I did not say he was a genius either. Anyway, the FSM overruled him and said they were OK. However, he gave the screener permission to check everything in my bag. Everything. He used enough little swabs on a stick to wax a Lincoln. It took a loooooong time, but I had plenty and I was enjoying this. The FSM stood there the whole time. In the end, I thanked him for coming, but he did not seem to have gotten a bit happier.

Woo Hoo! I got to keep my screwdriver bits. However, I got to thinking about this. I could have replaced the whole lot at Home Depot or Lowe's for about $25. That was a whole bunch of risk for very little gain. I should have just let it go, but I do not tolerate fools easily. It is a serious character flaw. I guess there were at least two idiots in that group and one of them was not the FSM.
InkUnderNails is offline  
Old Jul 13, 17, 8:14 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: BOS and vicinity
Programs: Former UA 1P
Posts: 3,717
Originally Posted by InkUnderNails View Post
Woo Hoo! I got to keep my screwdriver bits. However, I got to thinking about this. I could have replaced the whole lot at Home Depot or Lowe's for about $25. That was a whole bunch of risk for very little gain. I should have just let it go, but I do not tolerate fools easily. It is a serious character flaw. I guess there were at least two idiots in that group and one of them was not the FSM.
I wouldn't think of it this way.

You made a screener look bad in front of management and made management look bad in front of the public; both are wins. Management threw screener a bone by letting him do a retaliatory search, but that just makes them more petty. I hope more people saw it. And you're here to write about it.

You may have saved some future traveler from having a permitted item confiscated. Maybe a more valuable item. Maybe someone who needed the tools for their trip and would not be able to drive by a Home Depot and get replacements because of remote location, time constraints, etc.

Fools and even non-fools working for TSA have very little real power, and most of their real power is the ability to force passengers to miss a flight. Frequent travelers can often mitigate that power by either allowing extra time or just managing the missed flight, which may not be bad for an experienced traveler who isn't on a tight schedule.
studentff is offline  
Old Jul 13, 17, 9:06 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: where the chile is hot
Programs: AA,RR,NW,Delta ,UA,CO
Posts: 32,726
Originally Posted by studentff View Post
I wouldn't think of it this way.

You made a screener look bad in front of management and made management look bad in front of the public; both are wins. Management threw screener a bone by letting him do a retaliatory search, but that just makes them more petty. I hope more people saw it. And you're here to write about it.

You may have saved some future traveler from having a permitted item confiscated. Maybe a more valuable item. Maybe someone who needed the tools for their trip and would not be able to drive by a Home Depot and get replacements because of remote location, time constraints, etc.

Fools and even non-fools working for TSA have very little real power, and most of their real power is the ability to force passengers to miss a flight. Frequent travelers can often mitigate that power by either allowing extra time or just managing the missed flight, which may not be bad for an experienced traveler who isn't on a tight schedule.
+1000

Pax have zero input into the TSA process. They make the rules of the game. I see nothing wrong with playing the game according to the rules, if you have the time and the patience.

The TSA game says we can ask for a second opinion on the screener's 'final say'. The game also says that in the unlikely but possible event that the second opinion does the unthinkable and rules in favor of the pax, the screener will be placated by being allowed to retaliate against the pax to cause maximum inconvenience: there's the possibility of making the pax miss his flight and the added possibility of either an extended genital rubbing session or the the opportunity to find something else, anything else, to confiscate - even a granola bar..

Last edited by chollie; Jul 13, 17 at 9:13 am
chollie is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: