TSA going through wallets now?

Old May 1, 11, 11:05 am
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TSA going through wallets now?

I just got the oh so lovely pat down yet again at SEA and had a rather new experience. The TSO told me he was going to do a 'visual inspection' of my wallet. and proceeded to open my wallet and tried to rifle through it. I've been through quite a few pat downs, but have never had this happen. Is this new, or have I just managed to avoid it so far?
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Old May 1, 11, 11:14 am
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Originally Posted by packet View Post
The TSO told me he was going to do a 'visual inspection' of my wallet. and proceeded to open my wallet and tried to rifle through it.
Probably just looking for something to steal. There's nothing that'll fit in a wallet that could conceivably be used to threaten flight safety.

We've all heard the stories about concealed razor blades, sharpened credit cards, etc., but they simply do not present a credible threat post-9/11.
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Old May 1, 11, 11:14 am
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Originally Posted by packet View Post
I just got the oh so lovely pat down yet again at SEA and had a rather new experience. The TSO told me he was going to do a 'visual inspection' of my wallet. and proceeded to open my wallet and tried to rifle through it. I've been through quite a few pat downs, but have never had this happen. Is this new, or have I just managed to avoid it so far?
You've managed to avoid it. Get used to it happening more often when you opt out. Guess you are supposed to totaly empty your pockets so as to give the TSOs with sticky fingers a chance at taking what was yours and making it theirs.

I've worked in areas that authorized the use of lethal force and had the people there to use lethal force. Funny thing is that it took less to access those areas than it now does to fly.
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Old May 1, 11, 11:21 am
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And then they start taking notes? - and if you tell them to stop? It's 'do you want to fly today?'

The reality has become - if you wish to fly (or travel) then be prepared to give up ALL your rights.

Each new SOP pushes the boundary back another inch... The question is not, "what will you permit them to do?' but "at what point do we stop flying... Traveling?"

Something somewhere has to happen to bring this issue to a boil.

We have become a world of simpering cowards.
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Old May 1, 11, 11:25 am
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I've been subjected to the ridiculous wallet inspection as well. Did it go something like this?

I assume they're checking for either "contraband" or what they deem to be an inappropriate about of money. They best way to avoid it is to pace your wallet in a carry-on that goes through the x-ray and hope they don't decide to do a bag check.

TSO: "I can't believe that worked!"

Last edited by hgdf; May 1, 11 at 11:34 am
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Old May 1, 11, 11:32 am
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Originally Posted by Darkumbra View Post
And then they start taking notes? - and if you tell them to stop? It's 'do you want to fly today?'

The reality has become - if you wish to fly (or travel) then be prepared to give up ALL your rights.

Each new SOP pushes the boundary back another inch... The question is not, "what will you permit them to do?' but "at what point do we stop flying... Traveling?"

Something somewhere has to happen to bring this issue to a boil.

We have become a world of simpering cowards.

Would like to stop all air travel, but my job requires it. Before saying 'find another job' remember that I am over 55 and good paying jobs are hard to find when you are that old. Got the wallet check once and I told the TSO doing it that I trusted him as much as he trusted me. Said 'you think I am a terrorist and I think you are a thief.' Got the D.Y.W.T.F.T from him over that.

Just because we want to travel doesn't automatically make us suspects. I would expect things like this out of Nazi, Germany or Stalinist, USSR, not out of the US. Some of us have personally witnessed TSOs stating that the checkpoint is a Constitution free zone. What's up with that? I never signed away any of my Constitutional rights by needing to fly somewhere.
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Old May 1, 11, 11:46 am
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Last week, I opted out at IND. My wallet was in my pocket and I was told they needed to examine it.
I was given the choice of it being run through the x-ray machine or a manual inspection "that would require them to dump everything out into a bin".
When I asked what the motivation was for the procedure, I was told it was SOP and could not shared with me.
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Old May 1, 11, 11:48 am
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After having my wallet checked at Manchester-Boston in 2009, I changed two travel habits.

My wallet is now locked in my carry-on and I no longer fly out of MHT.

I did not know that Barny Fife had so many brothers and cousins until I had to deal with the TSA at this airport. Second only to Bloomington, IL.
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Old May 1, 11, 11:56 am
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Originally Posted by packet View Post
I just got the oh so lovely pat down yet again at SEA and had a rather new experience.
Not new for SEA, the home of "we can do whatever we want".

Oafs (is 'oafs' OK ? )
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Old May 1, 11, 12:01 pm
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Originally Posted by packet View Post
I just got the oh so lovely pat down yet again at SEA and had a rather new experience. The TSO told me he was going to do a 'visual inspection' of my wallet. and proceeded to open my wallet and tried to rifle through it. I've been through quite a few pat downs, but have never had this happen. Is this new, or have I just managed to avoid it so far?
I recently had yet another encounter with the TSA where they would not let me pass through the WTMD unless I removed my wallet. Only problem was, the x-ray belt / machine being used was not within my line of sight. All other items had already been sent through.

In this case I requested a 'visual inspection' and was denied the 'visual inspection' - I was carrying a decent amount of cash in a few currencies and just did not feel it was safe to separate myself from the cash and have it out of sight.

This particular checkpoint had two lanes feeding into one x-ray -- one cancer box and one walk-thru metal detector. Agent tried to assure me it was "safe" because this checkpoint was for international passengers only who had already cleared customs.

Long story short, I was forced to put my wallet in a coin container and sent it thru the x-ray. Thankfully I wasn't held up with an alarm or secondary and was able to rush over to claim my wallet and then my belongings.

Wallets going thru an x-ray machine in the open (and out of pax site) are perfect opportunities for criminals.

OT - but noteworthy: I have a cousin who dropped out of High School, he got his GED in jail, but he apparently can't read at an adult level; he has a long criminal rap sheet as well. I was traveling with his mother (my aunt) about a year ago; we had just attended a family funeral and we were all on the same flight to ATL .. from ATL we went to SDF while she went onto DTW.

At any rate, I was telling her about the cancer boxes ... she didn't seem to think they were an issue, in fact she thought they were a great idea because of a joint replacement; during our conversation she tells me that most of "cousin's name" friends work out at DTW as TSA screeners. Sadly that didn't surprise me, and let me tell you, these are not people you want working at TSO's.
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Old May 1, 11, 12:29 pm
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If you do a search on "wallet" in this forum, you'll find lots of threads on the topic of TSA demanding to go through them. I've had that experience maybe a dozen times and made a Federal case out of it every time. They never get to walk away with my wallet until I've removed everything of value. They still carry away the empty wallet and x-ray it. How idiotic!

Bruce
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Old May 1, 11, 12:35 pm
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WIN the wallet check game!

Originally Posted by packet View Post
I just got the oh so lovely pat down yet again at SEA and had a rather new experience. The TSO told me he was going to do a 'visual inspection' of my wallet. and proceeded to open my wallet and tried to rifle through it. I've been through quite a few pat downs, but have never had this happen. Is this new, or have I just managed to avoid it so far?
==================================================
IF this wallet check is a regular part of tsa's procedures then make them play by your rules. Carry your wallet with a minimum amount of cash, id, and credit card. One $20, one passport card(if poss.), one minimum amt prepaid credit card mt for show.
Put all regular money, credit cards and other id in a stamped, sealed, addressed envelope(to whoever you want) and place it with your carryon.
Its ideal if its addressed to someone in the vicinity of where you are going.
I can't believe they would insist on opening your mail for you to fly when it can easily be x-rayed.
IF they do I would vigorously protest and ask for a supervisor to justify it.
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Old May 1, 11, 12:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Darkumbra View Post
The question is not, "what will you permit them to do?' but "at what point do we stop flying... Traveling?"
Many of us already have -- join the club.

My wife & I were in the air 30 weekends a year plus a vacation or two. Between the two of us, that's about 200 flights not being flown in 2010.

The airlines collectively will end up reducing their schedules by ~2 flights annually to compensate just for us. The more people who quit flying, the more they will have to cut back.

The current economic situation only compounds this:

  • Due to higher fuel prices, airlines need more passengers paying higher fares.
  • Due to higher fuel prices, fewer passengers can afford to buy airline tickets.

The bottom line is that right now the airlines need every paying passenger they can get. At some point they will realize that a large portion of their customer base has been alienated for reasons other than energy costs.

Last edited by MikeMpls; May 1, 11 at 1:06 pm
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Old May 1, 11, 12:55 pm
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Got the D.Y.W.T.F.T from him over that.
It's awesome there is no an acronym assigned to their increasingly popular coercion tactics to take away all of our rights.

Like many of us have a choice. This is why they don't do this stuff at malls, because people DO have a choice to go to malls, and they simply won't go.

How do we falsify DY...T?

Who really has the authority to block a passenger from flying? Is it at the FSD level or Supervisor? Can the molester actually block you from flying or does it have to be escalated? To block you from flying, what specifically do they need to do, show, or prove?

I think on my next flight (won't be for awhile), I'm really going to get into this with them. The authority to block you from flying, the mechanics behind it. That really is the key thing here. The TSA asserting that it can prevent you from using public transportation. They say you "must complete screening", but that's not really what they are doing when they say this, they are making a much more broad claim that they can prevent you from using public transportation (without probable cause).

Last edited by Popperian; May 1, 11 at 1:00 pm
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Old May 1, 11, 1:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Popperian View Post
It's awesome there is no an acronym assigned to their increasingly popular coercion tactics to take away all of our rights.

Like many of us have a choice. This is why they don't do this stuff at malls, because people DO have a choice to go to malls, and they simply won't go.

How do we falsify DY...T?

Who really has the authority to block a passenger from flying? Is it at the FSD level or Supervisor? Can the molester actually block you from flying or does it have to be escalated? To block you from flying, what specifically do they need to do, show, or prove?

I think on my next flight (won't be for awhile), I'm really going to get into this with them. The authority to block you from flying, the mechanics behind it. That really is the key thing here. The TSA asserting that it can prevent you from using public transportation. They say you "must complete screening", but that's not really what they are doing when they say this, they are making a much more broad claim that they can prevent you from using public transportation (without probable cause).
Usually, a 'bring it on' type comment gets them to back off. When you start mentioning getting the FSD, GSC, LEOs, they rapidly back down. They don't want that sort of scrutiny on their operations.
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