Lubbock, Texas - shoes and goobers

Old Nov 22, 04, 8:58 am
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Lubbock, Texas - shoes and goobers

I flew through Lubbock this weekend for the 2nd time in three months and had the same terrible experience all over again with the local TSA goobers.

Back in August, I was wearing my rubber running shoes and was "advised" by the screener to remove my shoes to which I replied that they had no metal and had never set off a screening device. The screener agreed ("Oh, OK. Come on through.") and then without warning he immediately sent me to secondary screening. I asked why and he replied that it was because I had been "uncooperative" in refusing to remove my shoes, and furthermore, my incredulous attitude was becoming a "problem".

In other words, he specifically chose me for secondary screening as retribution for not removing my shoes.

Fast forward to yesterday, November 21. I warn my traveling companions about what happened the last time I flew in Lubbock: that it may be wrong, but it's still just easier to remove your shoes when they ask. My brother forgets my advice, declines to remove his sneakers when asked, and is not-surprisingly selected for a secondary screening. In the process he's separated from his bags and ends up leaving his laptop behind because he's in a hurry to get to make our flight, which is being held for us because it might just be the last departure of the day because of the weather.

Me, I was wearing the same sneakers as August and took them off without being asked... and was STILL selected. The wanding took forever, then I got a nice long patdown, then a lecture from the TSA supervisor for having a "bad attitude", and then threatened with arrest for being "non-cooperative" and "confrontational".

I kept asking, "what did I do to cause this?" and all I could get was, "it's a continuous process, sir."

"What the hell does that mean?" I asked. "I took off my shoes and didn't set off the alarm and yet you're still hassling me!"

"It means you should just be quiet and cooperate sir."

Finally, after about 10 minutes of this my wife came over and opened with her "I am an attorney" line and the supervisor miraculously let me go . We barely made the flight.

So my questions are thus:

1.) How can they get away with selecting people as retribution.

2.) Is there something about Lubbock that I need to know as to why I seem to be a threat there but at no other airport anywhere else in the country?

3.) What the hell does "continuous process" mean?


Personally, I think Lubbock is so boring and safe that the TSA feels the need to justify it's own existence by making up threats or otherwise acting ultra-vigilant because of some secret death cult among the crusty old cotton farmers. Whatever.
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Old Nov 22, 04, 9:05 am
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Welcome to FlyerTalk, cottonmather0!

You cannot be arrested or denied boarding for questioning the process. Politely, in not so many words, tell the TSA to bugger off. Get names and badge numbers.

Please file a complaint against the LBB FSD for allowing this harassment to occur. Be sure to name the screener(s) involved in your harassment.

Toll free complaint number: 866-289-9673
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Old Nov 22, 04, 9:16 am
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Old Nov 22, 04, 10:02 am
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ummm

Originally Posted by cottonmather0
I flew through Lubbock this weekend for the 2nd time in three months and had the same terrible experience all over again with the local TSA goobers.
as in peanuts?

Back in August, I was wearing my rubber running shoes and was "advised" by the screener to remove my shoes to which I replied that they had no metal and had never set off a screening device. The screener agreed ("Oh, OK. Come on through.") and then without warning he immediately sent me to secondary screening. I asked why and he replied that it was because I had been "uncooperative" in refusing to remove my shoes, and furthermore, my incredulous attitude was becoming a "problem".

In other words, he specifically chose me for secondary screening as retribution for not removing my shoes.
TSA is not allowed to tell you to remove your shoes! TSA can only "ask" "advise" or "strongly suggest" You need to keep in mind that all shoes need to be screened and when suggested you should remove them for x-ray examination. If you dont and you dont have to, they still have to be screened. It is not retribution. One could construe that it is a punishment but it is not. One could also construe that it is suggestive that the passenger is hiding something. This is not true either. Shoes must be screened.

Fast forward to yesterday, November 21. I warn my traveling companions about what happened the last time I flew in Lubbock: that it may be wrong, but it's still just easier to remove your shoes when they ask. My brother forgets my advice, declines to remove his sneakers when asked, and is not-surprisingly selected for a secondary screening. In the process he's separated from his bags and ends up leaving his laptop behind because he's in a hurry to get to make our flight, which is being held for us because it might just be the last departure of the day because of the weather.
I doubt that your brother in law "forgot your advice" especially after they asked him to. He was testing the system or trying to make a point.

Me, I was wearing the same sneakers as August and took them off without being asked... and was STILL selected. The wanding took forever, then I got a nice long patdown, then a lecture from the TSA supervisor for having a "bad attitude", and then threatened with arrest for being "non-cooperative" and "confrontational".
You make this sound like you did nothing to deserve any kind of warning. I doubt that you had nothing to say. Remember that wars and murders are committed due to words that come out of mouths. If you lipped off, you got warned. The arrest threat is over the top unless you got really mouthy.

I kept asking, "what did I do to cause this?" and all I could get was, "it's a continuous process, sir."

"What the hell does that mean?" I asked. "I took off my shoes and didn't set off the alarm and yet you're still hassling me!"
This is starting to show that I am corrrect in my summation of the incident. Your choice of words here is probably indictative of your real attitude only milder here for sympathy sake.


Finally, after about 10 minutes of this my wife came over and opened with her "I am an attorney" line and the supervisor miraculously let me go . We barely made the flight.
This is a coincidence. The fact that your wife used that line had nothing to do with the release. Dont count on this working for you ever. It could be construed that your wife is attempting to influence the screening process.

So my questions are thus:

1.) How can they get away with selecting people as retribution.

2.) Is there something about Lubbock that I need to know as to why I seem to be a threat there but at no other airport anywhere else in the country?

3.) What the hell does "continuous process" mean?
1. The selecting of people has nothing to do with retribution. It has everything to do with screening. It may appear to you that your action or inaction has caused this but that is not the case. You may argue otherwise from your point of view.
2. Everything is bigger in Texas? Maybe they remember you?
3. Continuous process means the random selection of passengers for secondary screening.


Personally, I think Lubbock is so boring and safe that the TSA feels the need to justify it's own existence by making up threats or otherwise acting ultra-vigilant because of some secret death cult among the crusty old cotton farmers. Whatever.
You need to think in a broader spectrum. The entire air transport system is interconnected to several hundred airports. All of them are a link for attempts at exploitation and therefore all are subject to the same requirments, even Lubbock.
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Old Nov 22, 04, 10:39 am
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Originally Posted by cottonmather0
What the hell does "continuous process" mean?
Continuous screening is one of those evil TSA phrases that strikes fear into my heart. It means, basically, that you can be selected to get the feel-up even if you jump through every single hoop perfectly. Even if you strip down to your undershirt, wear tight revealing clothes, remove your shoes, socks, and jewelry, and keep your head down silently like a good convict - I meant passenger - you can get selected for an intrusive patdown of your sexual organs by a stranger.

In fact, the man running the show could easily select the young and pretty girls with large breasts for "continuous" screening just to get his jollies, and there would be nothing anyone could do or say about it, because there are zero criteria for getting continous screening.


There is one way to lower your chances of getting sent to continuous screening: don't enter a screening station that is completely empty. Just sit and wait for a line to form, and then get in line. The first person through the station is often sent to secondary, as arbitrary as that seems.
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Old Nov 22, 04, 11:07 am
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Originally Posted by eyecue
TSA is not allowed to tell you to remove your shoes! TSA can only "ask" "advise" or "strongly suggest" You need to keep in mind that all shoes need to be screened and when suggested you should remove them for x-ray examination. If you dont and you dont have to, they still have to be screened. . . Shoes must be screened. . . .

You need to think in a broader spectrum. The entire air transport system is interconnected to several hundred airports. All of them are a link for attempts at exploitation and therefore all are subject to the same requirments, even Lubbock.
If all shoes must be screened, then I am confused as to why then many airports don't require a secondary screening if you don't take your shoes off.

If we need to think in the broader spectrum, then shouldn't we be worried about exploitation through airports outside of the United States that have flights to the U.S. In that case, I would think at a minimum we should screen all passengers (and their shoes) that come in to the U.S. from foreign countries and are connecting on U.S. domestic flights
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Old Nov 22, 04, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by ND Sol
If all shoes must be screened, then I am confused as to why then many airports don't require a secondary screening if you don't take your shoes off.
We have it from TSAMGR that shoes are routinely passed without removal or X-ray, and from eyecue that ALL shoes must be X-rayed. The explanation ? Someone at eyecue's airport has decided to ignore the TSA policy(sic) and implement their own. I'll leave you to speculate as to why.
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Old Nov 22, 04, 11:18 am
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I'm really confused why the TSA just doesn't dictate a 100% shoe removal policy. They have successfully social-engineered 90% of us to remove them anyway. Given that groping is now the high-visibility issue, I'll bet they could just mandate 100% shoe removal and nobody would even notice. Even if we did complain, they would just blow us off anyway.
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Old Nov 22, 04, 11:25 am
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Originally Posted by FliesWay2Much
I'm really confused why the TSA just doesn't dictate a 100% shoe removal policy. They have successfully social-engineered 90% of us to remove them anyway. Given that groping is now the high-visibility issue, I'll bet they could just mandate 100% shoe removal and nobody would even notice. Even if we did complain, they would just blow us off anyway.
That would seem to simplify the process. However, TSA seems to think foggy directives are best...which might explain why the procedures are so inconsistent from airport to airport.
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Old Nov 22, 04, 11:45 am
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Originally Posted by eyecue
as in peanuts?

TSA is not allowed to tell you to remove your shoes! TSA can only "ask" "advise" or "strongly suggest" You need to keep in mind that all shoes need to be screened and when suggested you should remove them for x-ray examination. If you dont and you dont have to, they still have to be screened. It is not retribution. One could construe that it is a punishment but it is not. One could also construe that it is suggestive that the passenger is hiding something. This is not true either. Shoes must be screened.

I doubt that your brother in law "forgot your advice" especially after they asked him to. He was testing the system or trying to make a point.

You make this sound like you did nothing to deserve any kind of warning. I doubt that you had nothing to say. Remember that wars and murders are committed due to words that come out of mouths. If you lipped off, you got warned. The arrest threat is over the top unless you got really mouthy.


This is starting to show that I am corrrect in my summation of the incident. Your choice of words here is probably indictative of your real attitude only milder here for sympathy sake.


This is a coincidence. The fact that your wife used that line had nothing to do with the release. Dont count on this working for you ever. It could be construed that your wife is attempting to influence the screening process.


1. The selecting of people has nothing to do with retribution. It has everything to do with screening. It may appear to you that your action or inaction has caused this but that is not the case. You may argue otherwise from your point of view.
2. Everything is bigger in Texas? Maybe they remember you?
3. Continuous process means the random selection of passengers for secondary screening.


You need to think in a broader spectrum. The entire air transport system is interconnected to several hundred airports. All of them are a link for attempts at exploitation and therefore all are subject to the same requirments, even Lubbock.
Truly scary. This "you deserved it" attitude, along with the ridiculous notion that someone can't say he/she is an attorney without being secretly fined or arrested for "influencing the screening process" is the wacko stuff of authoritarianism and people with little judgment being given too much power.
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Old Nov 22, 04, 12:51 pm
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Originally Posted by cottonmather0
I flew through Lubbock this weekend for the 2nd time in three months and had the same terrible experience all over again with the local TSA goobers.
Please cool it with the name-calling. It doesn't help the atmosphere around here.

Back in August, I was wearing my rubber running shoes and was "advised" by the screener to remove my shoes to which I replied that they had no metal and had never set off a screening device. The screener agreed ("Oh, OK. Come on through.") and then without warning he immediately sent me to secondary screening. I asked why and he replied that it was because I had been "uncooperative" in refusing to remove my shoes, and furthermore, my incredulous attitude was becoming a "problem".
Metal in shoes are only one criteria for specifically screening shoes. You state you were wearing running shoes so I'm guessing that they have really thick soles on them. When I'm at the metal detector, I avoid the whole, "Oh there's no metal in them," problem by just saying, "Sir/Ma'am, I suggest you remove your shoes due to the thickness of the soles." I figure that way the passenger knows why I'm requesting he/she remove the shoes, yet not saying anything I'm not supposed to. If the passenger refuses, I'm certainly not going to argue or refuse entry. I just say, "Okay, come on through," and then I send the person to secondary.

In other words, he specifically chose me for secondary screening as retribution for not removing my shoes.
No, he specifically chose you for secondary because your shoes fit the profile to be screened. You didn't want to remove the to be xrayed, so that's cool; you made that decision for yourself. I would have done the same thing, sans the comment on your attitude.
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Old Nov 22, 04, 1:35 pm
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I will be honest, I did indeed have a bad attitude. I was angry. I was exasperated. I was upset and made certain that all of the TSA dopes involved knew that I was upset. Don't worry, I'm not trying to minimize it or make my story sound more sympathetic.

My point is this: I want to know why I was selected for secondary screening when I followed all of the directions. If it truly is "random" or a "continuous process", that's fine, but tell me how I can fly through there just twice in 3 months and be picked both times. That sure doesn't seem random to me.

And if it's not random - if it's something like, "I don't like the look of your shaved head" then I want to know about it and I think that's legitimate grounds for a complaint. Either it's random or it's not random and if it's not truly random then they are choosing me for a reason and I want to know what that reason is.

As far as the shoe thing goes - back in August - if the guy had just said, "Sir, your shoes will need to be checked, so you can either take them off and be x-rayed or you will have to be searched separately," then I would have taken the damn shoes off. All he had to do was warn me, but instead it sure seemed like a deliberate attempt to get back at me for not following his "advice" in the first place.
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Old Nov 22, 04, 4:22 pm
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Please inform your TSA brethren at SJC

Originally Posted by eyecue

TSA is not allowed to tell you to remove your shoes! TSA can only "ask" "advise" or "strongly suggest" You need to keep in mind that all shoes need to be screened and when suggested you should remove them for x-ray examination. If you dont and you dont have to, they still have to be screened. It is not retribution. One could construe that it is a punishment but it is not. One could also construe that it is suggestive that the passenger is hiding something. This is not true either. Shoes must be screened.
that TSA is not allowed to "tell you" to remove shoes. SJC TSA now tells us that 100% shoe removal is policy, and is required. Not a suggestion, but a requirement. It's the inconsistency, and the lack of sensibility, that irritates us.
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Old Nov 22, 04, 7:14 pm
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I will be honest, I did indeed have a bad attitude. I was angry. I was exasperated. I was upset and made certain that all of the TSA dopes involved knew that I was upset. Don't worry, I'm not trying to minimize it or make my story sound more sympathetic.
Sir, don't feel for a nanosecond that you have to apologize for speaking your mind about a government policy, personified in your treatment by TSA government officials, that you disagree with. God help us (literally) when we become too scared in the USA to disagree with our government and its employees.
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Old Nov 22, 04, 7:26 pm
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Originally Posted by SJCFlyerLG
that TSA is not allowed to "tell you" to remove shoes. SJC TSA now tells us that 100% shoe removal is policy, and is required. Not a suggestion, but a requirement. It's the inconsistency, and the lack of sensibility, that irritates us.
Tell me about it. I can add the Customs clearance area at MSP that doesn't require show removal or my belt setting off the magnetometer.

Did a couple of walk-throughs in the south security checkpoints recently at DEN. One magnetometer ringed with my belt, the other did not. Nice job TSA.
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