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Does secondary automatically include hand-search of bags?

Does secondary automatically include hand-search of bags?

Old Dec 29, 04, 11:27 am
  #1  
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Does secondary automatically include hand-search of bags?

I have been fortunate enough to not being subject to secondary/patdown/HHMD in a while, but the issues involving shoes and secondary brings up a question.

What happens to my bag if I get pulled for secondary when going though the WTMD? Is my carry-on baggage automatically going to be hand-searched (even if the x-ray showed nothing)?

Is it any different if I get pulled for secondary under each of these scenarios:

1. Wear shoes, no alarm (whether it be retaliatory or shoe thickness)
2. Wear shoes, alarm
3. No shoes, alarm

Because of my job (US Govt), when I travel for work, I carry aviation safety/security-related documents, notes, reports, airplane drawings/diagrams, etc., and I'd just as soon not have a TSA screener see them and possibly perceive me as some sort of threat (being non-white with a south-asian/mideast-sounding name doesn't help, either) and then have to go though extra explanations/questions.

To minimize the chance of having my bags opened, I generally succumb to whatever shoe carnival nonsense is in place at a given airport, but I'm getting pretty tired of it. So if secondary involves just me, I may assert my rights more, endure the occasional 'full treatment' and file complaints, but if it means my bags will get opened every time too, I'll (sadly) have to continue behaving like the sheeple.
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Old Dec 29, 04, 11:38 am
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Unhappy It depends. . .

Max,

In my experience, when I have been SSSS'd my bags are hand searched thoroughly, but the screeners don't read the contents of my files.

When have just been selected for secondary, usually because I am on the first flight out to DC at 6:20 am and the WTMD screeners want to get a jump on their quota all they do to my carry on bags is to test them for traces of explosives while I am getting a wanding from the designated groper.

I also work on TSA and Airport projects and have found that the screeners could care less.
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Old Dec 29, 04, 12:00 pm
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Nope

Originally Posted by Maxwell Smart
I have been fortunate enough to not being subject to secondary/patdown/HHMD in a while, but the issues involving shoes and secondary brings up a question.

What happens to my bag if I get pulled for secondary when going though the WTMD? Is my carry-on baggage automatically going to be hand-searched (even if the x-ray showed nothing)?

Is it any different if I get pulled for secondary under each of these scenarios:

1. Wear shoes, no alarm (whether it be retaliatory or shoe thickness)
2. Wear shoes, alarm
3. No shoes, alarm

Because of my job (US Govt), when I travel for work, I carry aviation safety/security-related documents, notes, reports, airplane drawings/diagrams, etc., and I'd just as soon not have a TSA screener see them and possibly perceive me as some sort of threat (being non-white with a south-asian/mideast-sounding name doesn't help, either) and then have to go though extra explanations/questions.

To minimize the chance of having my bags opened, I generally succumb to whatever shoe carnival nonsense is in place at a given airport, but I'm getting pretty tired of it. So if secondary involves just me, I may assert my rights more, endure the occasional 'full treatment' and file complaints, but if it means my bags will get opened every time too, I'll (sadly) have to continue behaving like the sheeple.
Depends on the alarm. If a shoe tests + for explosives. They are going to look in your bags. IF you are SSSS they are going to look in your carry on. If you get sent for secondary screening in a normal lane and no alarms occur, you are not likely to get carry on searched. But you of all people should not be getting tired of the security requirements.
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Old Dec 29, 04, 3:11 pm
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Max,

If any of the documents you carry are marked For Official Use Only (FOUO), you can restrict access to anyone whom you deem does not have a valid need-to-know. FOUO is the same category of information as the TSA's beloved SSI. If any of your material is proprietary or competition-sensitive, you're obligated to protect it under the Procurement Integrity Act. That means that anyone viewing it must sign a non-disclosure agreement. This is a big deal. When I was in the private sector until about a year ago, I carried NDAs in my briefcase and got to the point where I pulled one out for a screener to sign. He called the supervisor over and they agreed that they could feel the outside of the envelope to make sure there weren't any WMD in there. (They had already x-rayed the briefcase.)
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Old Dec 29, 04, 3:19 pm
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Handcuff your bag to your wrist, Max, and tell them that a person at the other end of your flight has the key.
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Old Dec 29, 04, 4:42 pm
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Wink

Originally Posted by red456
Handcuff your bag to your wrist, Max, and tell them that a person at the other end of your flight has the key.
Or better yet tell them you have to call "The Boss" and then speak into the heel of your shoe....
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Old Dec 29, 04, 5:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Cholula
Or better yet tell them you have to call "The Boss" and then speak into the heel of your shoe....
I can just picture a whole long line of people talking into the shoes they have taken off to go through the WTMD!!! It would be a good thing.
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Old Dec 29, 04, 7:29 pm
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Originally Posted by FliesWay2Much
Max,

If any of the documents you carry are marked For Official Use Only (FOUO), you can restrict access to anyone whom you deem does not have a valid need-to-know. FOUO is the same category of information as the TSA's beloved SSI. If any of your material is proprietary or competition-sensitive, you're obligated to protect it under the Procurement Integrity Act. That means that anyone viewing it must sign a non-disclosure agreement. This is a big deal. When I was in the private sector until about a year ago, I carried NDAs in my briefcase and got to the point where I pulled one out for a screener to sign. He called the supervisor over and they agreed that they could feel the outside of the envelope to make sure there weren't any WMD in there. (They had already x-rayed the briefcase.)
Quite right here. While not classified, FOUO is supposed to be protected as much as classified material (CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET, TOP SECRET). Best option is to have the material sealed and carry a courrier card. If that isn't good enough, ask to speak with the Screening Manager immediately who should set the Screener straight.

Even if the TSA Screener claims to have a security clearance (which they don't, a background check IS NOT a clearance), they do not have the need to know. Clearance + Need to Know = Access.
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Old Dec 29, 04, 9:09 pm
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I guess I should clarify a little more--

I was referring to a non-SSSS situation, and where I either alarm at the WTMD and require a patdown/HHMD or where anyone who wears shoes through the WTMD is automatically sent for patdown/HHMD. In those cases, would my bags also be opened?
I think eyecue answered the question, that the bags wouldn't be opened unless me/my shoes/my bags tested positive for something bad. Thanks eyecue.

As far as the documents go, it's not Classified, FOUO, or anything of the sort (not authorized to hand-carry class. materials on commercial flights).
And I ensure that anything that we might consider potentially sensitive is buried inside other stuff, so it can't be 'accidentally' read by someone during a cursory security look.

It's more for stuff like technical books or thick reports or airplane drawings that someone would see (not necessarily 'read') that might make them concerned. (hypothetical-- "hey, this mideastern-looking guy has literature about shooting down airplanes in his bag; we better check him out!!" You can imagine the ensuing delays I could be subjected to...)

So I'd just as soon keep my bags away from any prying eyes. If nothing else, I don't want to waste time repacking my meticulously-packed carryon in full view of the traveling public. (I've had at least a couple of miserable SSSS-related repacking experiences while the departure-time clock was ticking towards zero!)

And eyecue, I don't get tired of security, I get tired of pointless, inconsistently-applied security procedures, like having to remove thin-soled moccasins that are well below the sole thickness requirements just because the screener wants ALL shoes off. (and I can't argue because I can't afford to risk losing time at a possible secondary).
That said, TSA staff at some airports are great, others not so. I'm sure you fall in the first category!

And the shoe phone stays in my carry-on till AFTER security!
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Old Dec 29, 04, 10:45 pm
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I've been secondaried several times for declining to follow the "suggestion" that I remove my shoes... that never resulted in a bag search.

The one time I got SSSS'ed I had my carry-ons hand-searched, of course, but it was pretty cursory. Still, I'm glad I wasn't carrying any client files at the time (I'm an attorney).
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Old Dec 29, 04, 10:52 pm
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Originally Posted by deephouse
I've been secondaried several times for declining to follow the "suggestion" that I remove my shoes... that never resulted in a bag search.
.

Great, that's the kind of info I was hoping to hear!
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Old Dec 29, 04, 11:05 pm
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Originally Posted by eyecue
But you of all people should not be getting tired of the security requirements.
Do government employees/affiliated types give up their right to question senseless government security?

Or did you mean by the nature of working for the government, one should be desensitized to senseless actions and this not get tired of them?
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Old Dec 30, 04, 12:21 am
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Originally Posted by AArlington
Do government employees/affiliated types give up their right to question senseless government security?

Or did you mean by the nature of working for the government, one should be desensitized to senseless actions and this not get tired of them?
screeners have a job to do. some gov't employees probably think they are exempt, or otherwise privelidged when going through security. lots of people can, and do question "senseless government security". one individual who announced that he worked for the army, stated that his bags don't need to be checked. he made a big scene... and generally tried to make the procedure as painful as possible for all involved.

you can question procedures et all... but what's the point of trying to sidestep steps that we all know all too well? if you know what's coming, either comply or turn around and don't fly.

just a tangent. statement in general...
 
Old Dec 30, 04, 9:51 am
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[QUOTE=deephouse]I've been secondaried several times for declining to follow the "suggestion" that I remove my shoes... that never resulted in a bag search.[QUOTE]

In my experience not volunteeering to remove my shoes used to involve the full treatment including having my bag tossed. More recently they have just wanded/patted me down and x-rayed the shoes, leaving my bags alone (of course, not removing nonbeeping shoes still triggers a retaliatory secondary).
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Old Dec 30, 04, 10:45 am
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Originally Posted by bstrickmma
Quite right here. While not classified, FOUO is supposed to be protected as much as classified material (CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET, TOP SECRET). Best option is to have the material sealed and carry a courrier card. If that isn't good enough, ask to speak with the Screening Manager immediately who should set the Screener straight.

Even if the TSA Screener claims to have a security clearance (which they don't, a background check IS NOT a clearance), they do not have the need to know. Clearance + Need to Know = Access.
Only Diplomatic Pouches and classified documents are covered under the "do not open" category... And to be eligible you must have proper Govt ID and an official courier letter or you are not exempt and the items can be inspected...
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