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-   -   New Belt Rules (Different experiences @ BOS this weekend, Follow-up to TSA) (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/practical-travel-safety-security-issues/1117463-new-belt-rules-different-experiences-bos-weekend-follow-up-tsa.html)

GregL Aug 17, 10 10:19 pm

New Belt Rules (Different experiences @ BOS this weekend, Follow-up to TSA)
 
This past Sunday, I was scheduled to fly BOS-DCA-STL on American.

Arrived at the American portion of Terminal B about 12pm -- went through security with no problems: Shoes off, laptop & liquids out.

Flight to DCA was overbooked by 6 -- got my first bump in 3 years (woohoo!). Rebooked on USAirways BOS-DCA and a later American flight DCA-STL. Went over to the USAirways portion of Terminal B after printing my boarding pass from USAirways.com.

Knew there was trouble to be had when -- upon walking up to the checkpoint area -- the barker (the TSA agent in front of the WTMD) was saying "All items must be put through the scanners. Everything out of your pockets. Shoes off. Belts off." Funny -- I had gone through BOS security less than three hours ago and I didn't have to remove my belt.

As I approached the WTMD, I did what I always did -- shoes off, laptop out, liquids out, belt on, boarding pass and ID in my pocket. The agent said I had to remove my belt. I refused. He then ordered me over to the Nude-O-Scope (totally retaliatory).

I waited in line behind two people already up for the Nude-O-Scope. When it was my turn, I opted out -- and was told my belt had to be removed. I complied at this point (realizing they would probably ban me from flying otherwise). Went through the manual patdown and -- during my exchange with that officer -- he didn't understand why I was sent to the Nude-o-Scope for refusing to remove my belt.

Asked for a comment card from the 3-striper. He said "we're following procedure" -- apparently no one else is.

Called the # on the BOS comment card today. Spent about 15 minutes on the phone with someone who was actually friendly and mostly helpful.

Gave enough information which raised some of her suspicions (she claimed I may have been sent over to the Nude-O-Scope as they were supposed to have someone there at all times -- I told her there were 2 people waiting when I was sent there). She asked for enough information to review CC TV recordings to see what happened -- and promised a call back.

However, she indicated there were new rules coming down from Washington this week -- with BOS & LAS being the initial airports -- where all passengers were to remove their belts. I"m suspicious.. any experiences at those airports this week to indicate this is true?

Greg

VH-RMD Aug 17, 10 10:26 pm

it's begining to sound as if you will ultimately get a strip search whether you go through the scanner or not...

RadioGirl Aug 17, 10 10:54 pm


Originally Posted by GregL (Post 14500820)
... However, she indicated there were new rules coming down from Washington this week -- with BOS & LAS being the initial airports -- where all passengers were to remove their belts. I"m suspicious.. any experiences at those airports this week to indicate this is true?

No experience but I'd be suspicious, too. If there was a new "all belts off" policy, wouldn't it just go into effect? Even for TSA, it's not like it's so complicated that they'd need to trial it at two airports first. :rolleyes: (Although "all belts off" is certainly stupid enough to be a new TSA policy.)

I'm beginning to believe that the only thing consistent about TSA is that when they make up rules, they claim it's a new policy the other airports don't know about/ haven't implemented yet.

bhatnasx Aug 17, 10 11:50 pm

I rarely take off my belt (LAS based) when I travel - but if I have a removeable belt buckle on (i.e. if I'm not dressed for biz travel), I'll usually take off the buckle & walk through...I've never had an issue. I used to be DC based, and my untucked shirt often covered my belt with no problem...

Mudfish Aug 18, 10 12:57 am

Last week on Wednesday afternoon I went through BOS security and had the barker saying the same thing. Peep show booth was in effect and I had to opt out as I was the chosen one. Not retaliatory as far as I could tell, the booth just opened up as I was next in line.

Monday of this week I went through again but on a busy Monday morning and the booth was not in use at all and there was no barking about putting everything in the x-ray.

SATTSO Aug 18, 10 1:56 am


Originally Posted by RadioGirl (Post 14500962)
No experience but I'd be suspicious, too. If there was a new "all belts off" policy, wouldn't it just go into effect? Even for TSA, it's not like it's so complicated that they'd need to trial it at two airports first. :rolleyes: (Although "all belts off" is certainly stupid enough to be a new TSA policy.)

I'm beginning to believe that the only thing consistent about TSA is that when they make up rules, they claim it's a new policy the other airports don't know about/ haven't implemented yet.

If there is a policy it has to do with the WBI, which are not at all airports, in fact, most airports currently do not have WBIs. If you opt out of the WBI you receive a pat-down, and belt has to come off. If you go through the WBI, belt has to come off.

RadioGirl Aug 18, 10 2:11 am


Originally Posted by SATTSO (Post 14501503)
If there is a policy it has to do with the WBI, which are not at all airports, in fact, most airports currently do not have WBIs. If you opt out of the WBI you receive a pat-down, and belt has to come off. If you go through the WBI, belt has to come off.

Uh, nice theory but it doesn't address the point. OP was told that BOS and LAS were the "initial airports" for this "new policy" and there are a lot more airports with WBI than BOS and LAS. Furthermore the OP indicated that he was instructed to remove his belt as he was headed for the WTMD (not the WBI) and he was later told the policy was for all passengers, not just those going to/through the nude-o-scope.

Unless of course, there's a "new" policy of belts off for the WBI, but the idiot in BOS thought it would be easier (for him) to claim it was for all passengers.

Or BOS is setting up to be the next "everyone goes through the nude-o-scope" like ELP.

We Will Never Forget Aug 18, 10 4:41 am


Originally Posted by RadioGirl (Post 14501535)
Uh, nice theory but it doesn't address the point. OP was told that BOS and LAS were the "initial airports" for this "new policy" and there are a lot more airports with WBI than BOS and LAS. Furthermore the OP indicated that he was instructed to remove his belt as he was headed for the WTMD (not the WBI) and he was later told the policy was for all passengers, not just those going to/through the nude-o-scope.

Unless of course, there's a "new" policy of belts off for the WBI, but the idiot in BOS thought it would be easier (for him) to claim it was for all passengers.

Or BOS is setting up to be the next "everyone goes through the nude-o-scope" like ELP.

I hate to say it, but if the screener was claiming it was for all passengers, you've justified the argument. You have said "Why BOS and not all airports", which inevitably translates to "why me and not everyone else?". Rather than having that conversation with a hundred passengers, they probably thought it was more efficient to do it that way. I don't always fault screeners for trying to avoid the whole "WTMD debate" scenario. I've been behind plenty of people in line who claim "this doesn't ring" while watching the metal detector go off. This is inevitably followed by the "it didn't go off in XXX" conversation. I really don't care where it did or didn't go off, shut up and get through the mag so I can get my stocking feet of this nasty floor. ;)

doober Aug 18, 10 6:36 am

There's a upside to this: the more hassle passengers get from TSA, the more people will complain. People start losing their trou at WBI, being embarrassed or humiliated by such, more complaints will ensue.

The more items that go missing at WBI due to the divest yourself of everything, more complaints will ensue.

Mr. Elliott Aug 18, 10 7:40 am

I am what you would call a road warrior, yet I have never had any problems going through the WTMD because of my belt, why, because I always take my belt off and put in my carry-on along with everything else in my pockets, including my wallet. The less you have on you that could cause any problems with screening, the faster you get through screening and less chances of being patted down.

I can count on one hand the amount of times I have been patted down or have had my carry-on luggage opened for inspection by the TSA over the past few years, and thatís from flying over a million miles on AA alone since 9-11. Why, because I play by their rules, it keeps them happy and I am less stressed out because of it, argue with the TSA and they can make life more difficult and possibly delay you enough to miss your flight.

Mr. Elliott

N965VJ Aug 18, 10 9:17 am


Originally Posted by Mr. Elliott (Post 14502354)
Why, because I play by their rules, it keeps them happy and I am less stressed out because of it, argue with the TSA and they can make life more difficult and possibly delay you enough to miss your flight.

You know, it would probably be a good idea to stop and ponder for a moment what life would be like today if, in the course of history, people just did whatever it took to keep the government happy.

PhoenixRev Aug 18, 10 9:29 am


Originally Posted by Mr. Elliott (Post 14502354)
I am what you would call a road warrior, yet I have never had any problems going through the WTMD because of my belt, why, because I always take my belt off and put in my carry-on along with everything else in my pockets, including my wallet. The less you have on you that could cause any problems with screening, the faster you get through screening and less chances of being patted down.

I can count on one hand the amount of times I have been patted down or have had my carry-on luggage opened for inspection by the TSA over the past few years, and thatís from flying over a million miles on AA alone since 9-11. Why, because I play by their rules, it keeps them happy and I am less stressed out because of it, argue with the TSA and they can make life more difficult and possibly delay you enough to miss your flight.

Mr. Elliott

By the same token, I have never taken off my belt when going through security. It is the same belt I always wear when traveling (for comfort). That belt has never set off an alarm at PHX, SNA, LAX, BUR, SAN, SEA, ABQ, ONT, OAK, MHT, JFK, EWR, ORD, MDW, DFW, and several others. At some point, I have to know why the belt that has never set off any alarm in about, oh, hundreds of trips over the last few years now needs to come off.

Did I miss the story about how someone hapless "terrorist" threatened to take down a plane by removing his belt and letting his pants drop?

debua1k Aug 18, 10 9:50 am


Originally Posted by Mr. Elliott (Post 14502354)
I am what you would call a road warrior, yet I have never had any problems going through the WTMD because of my belt, why, because I always take my belt off and put in my carry-on along with everything else in my pockets, including my wallet. The less you have on you that could cause any problems with screening, the faster you get through screening and less chances of being patted down.

I can count on one hand the amount of times I have been patted down or have had my carry-on luggage opened for inspection by the TSA over the past few years, and thatís from flying over a million miles on AA alone since 9-11. Why, because I play by their rules, it keeps them happy and I am less stressed out because of it, argue with the TSA and they can make life more difficult and possibly delay you enough to miss your flight.

Mr. Elliott

I am also a road warrior, having been a 1K for 8 of the last 12 years and having had top tier status on other airlines the other 4 years.

I am patted down each time I fly. The reason? I have health conditions that preclude me from removing my shoes or from going thru the nude-o-scope, and I travel with a medical device (CPAP) that for whatever reason, they feel the need to secondary. I play by their rules, but because of issues beyond my control, I am patted down twice a week.

This faux security costs me 2 hours a week, as there have been times it has taken my an hour each way, so I have to plan for it to take that long or risk missing my flight. Since I work 50-60 hours each week and travel 12 hours each week, these two hours are precious to me.

I am happy for you that you do not have to go thru what I do, but you should realize that it is not all happy, happy, joy, joy for all of us.

If I thought there was a single benefit for the pat downs, I would probably not have as big an issue with it, but my home airport (LAS) is very aware of who I am and yet, they still waste my time (and theirs) with this garbage. Since I got the Customer Relations people at the TSA involved, they have improved, but they are still very rude to me. They just now, do not try to throw away my medical supplies.

So, do you suggest that I should forego my health concerns, remove my shoes, be exposed to radiation (as a skin cancer survivor) and allow them to throw away my medically required supplies?

IslandBased Aug 18, 10 9:51 am


Originally Posted by N965VJ (Post 14502827)
You know, it would probably be a good idea to stop and ponder for a moment what life would be like today if, in the course of history, people just did whatever it took to keep the government happy.

Building pyramids or Feudalism would be about it.

JSmith1969 Aug 18, 10 10:13 am


Originally Posted by SATTSO (Post 14501503)
If there is a policy it has to do with the WBI, which are not at all airports, in fact, most airports currently do not have WBIs. If you opt out of the WBI you receive a pat-down, and belt has to come off. If you go through the WBI, belt has to come off.

Right, because belts are almost as dangerous as Pepsi or flip-flops. Idiots. :rolleyes:


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