New stupidity at HNL

Old Feb 7, 05, 2:18 am
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New stupidity at HNL

As most here know HNL is a shoe carnival airport.

The FSD has now come up with a "new rule." Today when passing through security, I showed my boarding pass to the usual disinterested airport employee and was admitted into the lane area.

After passing through the WTMD (but before collecting my items from the x-ray belt, the TSA agent actually blocked my path and asked for my boarding pass and ID. Then he initialled the boarding pass! Huh? This one is new. I asked what it was for and his response was that "some" (read: SSSS) had gotten through, so now they have to initial each boarding pass. Okie dokie.

I collect my belongings and am blocked from leaving the area this time by a different TSA agent (about 15 feet beyond the first one) and he asks to see my boarding pass again. His job is to check to see if the agent 15 feet behind me has actually initialled my boarding pass. I asked him when this all started. He claimed it was two months ago. When I told him I was here two weeks ago and they didn't do it then. He said that I must have been in the other lane. I told him that I was in this very same lane his response was, "Well somebody didn't do what they were supposed to then."

According to the Hawaii Department of Transportation, the Honolulu Airport handled 18,690,888 passengers in 2003. 2004 figures are unavailable.

The additional time this takes, not to mention the waste of ink and writer's cramp involved, is just insane.

Oh and a word of warning to people who have Eclipse mints in their carry on luggage, these brilliant people thought it was butane! My guess is that they would also think Altoids or any mint in a tin "fit the profile"
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Old Feb 7, 05, 6:50 am
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The "initialing" at Honolulu has been there for a couple of years. But I've never come across an "initial inspector."

It's like a case study in security mismanagement.

At least I've never been secondaried or SSSS'd in Honolulu.
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Old Feb 7, 05, 9:22 am
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Thumbs down

Looks like they're trying to copy the management styles of the California DMV.

Really though, I think they're trying to justify an increase in their budget by saying they need more screeners. Gotta love poor management in action.
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Old Feb 7, 05, 6:08 pm
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So you scribble "TSA" circle it and date where you circle it. not hard.
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Old Feb 7, 05, 6:15 pm
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It's gotten pretty silly most places. I haven't had the initials, but did have a guy punch my SSSS stub with some sort of heart punch about 5 times. You get the first line checker, then the next checker, and then they check the boarding pass once you go through the WOMDD. Sheeeesh.
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Old Feb 8, 05, 12:36 am
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Just to clarify. I was not an SSSS. They are doing this to ALL passengers going through security.

I fly out of HNL 8 times a year and this is a first for me at that airport.
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Old Feb 8, 05, 12:42 am
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I've flown in and out of HNL over 100 times since 9/11 and can say that they've initaled my boarding pass every once in awhile. Perhaps when the screener or manager on duty feels it necessary? The last time I flew was a few weeks ago and was SSSS'ed... The ID checker did inital and circle the SSSS on my boarding pass. My SO, who was traveling with me, but arrived at the airport late, did not get her BP initaled. I have a feeling that the whole inital process goes down the drain when the line starts backing up.

In all those flying, I can recall being SSSS over a handful of times, given last minute ticket changes, bumps etc. and can say that I always dread the SSSS experience at HNL. Gotta love that BIG red stamp they put on the boarding passes though. Used to be a nice engraved stamp too...
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Old Feb 8, 05, 1:12 am
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Question: Why don't they have somebody to stamp the card verifying that the initialer actually initialed it?

This seems like a very serious lapse in security.
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Old Feb 8, 05, 5:06 am
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This is micromanagement by the TSA staff.

In the past, TSA used to screen selectees at the gate. Now, we screen selectees at the checkpoint. In order to do that, we have to inspect the boarding passes to identify selectees and have them screened with the additional protocols. The private contractor hired by the airline has the primary responsibility of identifying selectees when inspecting boarding passes and ID cards. After you've entered the checkpoint security area, all you should have to show beyond this point is your boarding pass.

There are basically two types of configurations at the checkpoint. In one, you show your boarding pass to the WTMD screener so that if you are a selectee, you can be referred to the mandatory secondary screening. In another, there is a specific lane set aside for selectee screening, and the WTMD screener of that lane and only that lane will inspect boarding passes while the other lanes will not.

When a selectee is not given the secondary screening at the checkpoint, the screening has to be performed at the departure gate. The airline gate agent either visually inspects all boarding passes or electronically scans the boarding passes. I've seen it when the electronic scanner identifies the passenger as a selectee even though there was no SSSS on the boarding pass. I've also seen it when a passenger is given a "security pass," that is, a document that serves as a boarding pass but has no seat assignment until the individual checks in at the gate; and then the actual boarding pass end up being a selectee pass with the ever-unpopular SSSS computer-printed on it.

What happens when TSA sends screeners to the departure gate to screen selectees missed at the checkpoint can turn into a finger-pointing exercise between TSA and the private security contractor. Without all the facts or knowing how HNL is configured, sounds to me that the FSD decided to take the bull by the horns by instituting a check-double check procedure to make sure his/her screeners inspect the boarding passes. I don't agree with this micromanagement style; I believe in pinning responsibility where it belongs.
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Old Feb 10, 05, 3:16 am
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Yeah there have been many an arguement over this at my checkpoint when a selectee gets through the checkpoint without going through selectee screening. The management simplified things by stopping TSA screeners from checking boarding passes so now there can be no arguement who missed them.

I do agree that the selectee system is largely a waste of time and needs to be seriously revamped but not all of this is squarely on the TSA. Take canceled flights as a great example, your flight is canceled and you are put on another plane a few hours later. The computer thinks you bought your ticket last minute and flags you as a selectee. In that situation the airline should de-select you but often times they don't bother.
Or I have heard stories about ticket agents getting payback on rude passengers by making them selectees.
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Old Feb 10, 05, 7:05 am
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Originally Posted by Decomposing Screener
The computer thinks you bought your ticket last minute and flags you as a selectee. In that situation the airline should de-select you but often times they don't bother.
I saw a red "EXEMPT" stamp covering the SSSS for the first time last week at Charlottesville airport. A United Express flight to IAD was cancelled (what else is new) so several passengers were put on my US Airways flight to CLT. Of course, the profiling system selected all of them for haraSSSSment, but the US Airways agent, seeing that none of them were selectees on the UA flight, must have been the one who stamped their BPs.

CHO is a very small airport, with only one lane at the checkpoint and a maximum of 4 screeners working at any given time, so giving the full treatment to a group of several selectees would have been quite time-consuming.
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Old Feb 10, 05, 8:27 am
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Originally Posted by Decomposing Screener
Or I have heard stories about ticket agents getting payback on rude passengers by making them secondary screening selectees.
If the ticket agent has a quota of selectees, maybe this procedure is not so bad because fewer nice guys and fewer people rebooked at the last minute because of cancellations would become selectees. But this procedure would distort the intended random designation of selectees.

Daydreaming on the job.

About the checking and double checking, perhaps there could have been a short term special task force checking the attentiveness of ID checkers, and it could go so far as to put an infraction against an ID checker who failed to properly initial a boarding pass.

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