Dealing with mandatory shoe carnivals

Old Mar 3, 05, 8:21 pm
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Question Dealing with mandatory shoe carnivals

I'm taking a few trips in the next two months and they involve what seem to be infamous shoe carnival airports: IAD and SFO, and HNL later this summer.

I've been following the shoe carnival airport thread a bit and I'm curious as to how most of you experienced folks handle the mandatory carnival ... ie ones that DEMAND you take off your shoes. SFO was notoriously bad on my last trip. Haven't flown thru IAD in a couple years.

Do you typically just ignore the screener and walk thru with your shoes on, politely refuse, or make a scene? Also, what's the best way to deal with a secondary?

I'm guessing a secondary doesn't mean getting your bag dumped, rather just a wanding and grope, correct? How long are you delayed? And do you always ask for a complaint form?

BWI was inconsistent at best ... they didn't say anything when I walked thru last time (didn't even ask actually), but my cohorts at work were saying that they were running the carnival just a couple weeks ago.

Also, are shoe carnivals common in airports abroad? I thought I remembered some saying that FRA did it for flights going to the US. Any tips there? Currently, I figure I'll just comply there as I don't want trouble when I'm not on native soil.

I've already checked my sneakers at the WTMD at work and they didn't set them off. I'm hoping that helps.

Any tips are appreciated. I'd like to get thru without taking my shoes off.

Super
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Old Mar 3, 05, 8:31 pm
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I just tell them I want the free massage and walk through. Sometimes I get the massage, some time I don't.
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Old Mar 3, 05, 8:45 pm
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wear slip on shoes
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Old Mar 3, 05, 9:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Superguy
I'm taking a few trips in the next two months and they involve what seem to be infamous shoe carnival airports: IAD and SFO, and HNL later this summer.

I've been following the shoe carnival airport thread a bit and I'm curious as to how most of you experienced folks handle the mandatory carnival ... ie ones that DEMAND you take off your shoes. SFO was notoriously bad on my last trip. Haven't flown thru IAD in a couple years.

Do you typically just ignore the screener and walk thru with your shoes on, politely refuse, or make a scene? Also, what's the best way to deal with a secondary?

I'm guessing a secondary doesn't mean getting your bag dumped, rather just a wanding and grope, correct? How long are you delayed? And do you always ask for a complaint form?

BWI was inconsistent at best ... they didn't say anything when I walked thru last time (didn't even ask actually), but my cohorts at work were saying that they were running the carnival just a couple weeks ago.

Also, are shoe carnivals common in airports abroad? I thought I remembered some saying that FRA did it for flights going to the US. Any tips there? Currently, I figure I'll just comply there as I don't want trouble when I'm not on native soil.

I've already checked my sneakers at the WTMD at work and they didn't set them off. I'm hoping that helps.

Any tips are appreciated. I'd like to get thru without taking my shoes off.

Super
Nine times out of 10, you'll get the retaliatory groping should you not remove your shoes when they ask. Especially in DEN and SEA.

The wanding and grope will take about three minutes.

I usually ask for a complaint form even when I do remove my shoes. DEN has had so many complaints about various things (though someone will tell me that's an opinion), they have gone to a small card that directs people to the TSA e-mail address instead of the local FSD. Some other airports have done that as well. SEA is not one of them, you still mail it to SEA.

Shoe carnivals are not common abroad. MUC is the only European airport where I had to remove my shoes. I see a few people mention FRA as a carnival, but I have never had to remove my shoes there (and I've been there several times in the past 12 months). CDG, Richard Reid's departing airport, has never required shoe removal in my 10 trips to Paris post-Reid.

ORD, BOS, LAX and JFK are some of the larger airports that do not have shoe carnivals.
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Old Mar 3, 05, 10:34 pm
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first

Let me say right off the bat that TSA doesnt retailiate against you for not removing your shoes. If they are over the profiled criteria for sole height, you are asked to emove them. Some screeners seem to think that all shoes should be x-rayed (they like to xray everything) and some cant tell height very well. Such being the case if your shoes are picked to be removed by the screener and you dont, you will get sent down to secondary screening to ensure that you dont have anything hidden in them. The amount of time it takes is dependant on who busy the screeners are at the time that you get sent down. Another way to look at this is to say that those airports that you walk right through the checkpoint with high heeled shoes, are not doint everything that they should be doing to protect the passengers on the planes. Hey we dont make this stuff up. If it was a credible threat or had not been tried we wouldnt be doing it and we dont do it just to hassle you. The airports that dont do it are not being nice, they arent doing their jobs.
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Old Mar 4, 05, 5:17 am
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Originally Posted by eyecue
Let me say right off the bat that TSA doesnt retailiate against you for not removing your shoes.
Opinion


Originally Posted by eyecue
If they are over the profiled criteria for sole height, you are asked to emove them. Some screeners seem to think that all shoes should be x-rayed (they like to xray everything) and some cant tell height very well.
What is it? Profile, or screener incompetence? If the shoes do not meet the profile, there should be no groping. PERIOD. If any screener thinks all shoes should be x-rayed, they should be FIRED, since that is not the SOP. Same goes for any screener not intelligent enough to determine 1" of thickness.


Originally Posted by eyecue
Such being the case if your shoes are picked to be removed by the screener and you dont, you will get sent down to secondary screening to ensure that you dont have anything hidden in them. The amount of time it takes is dependant on who busy the screeners are at the time that you get sent down.
This is the retaliatory part.


Originally Posted by eyecue
Another way to look at this is to say that those airports that you walk right through the checkpoint with high heeled shoes, are not doint everything that they should be doing to protect the passengers on the planes. Hey we dont make this stuff up. If it was a credible threat or had not been tried we wouldnt be doing it and we dont do it just to hassle you. The airports that dont do it are not being nice, they arent doing their jobs.
It is NOT a credible threat. Anyone who thinks such has NO idea about how to provide security.
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Old Mar 4, 05, 5:58 am
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Originally Posted by CameraGuy
What is it? Profile, or screener incompetence? If the shoes do not meet the profile, there should be no groping. PERIOD. If any screener thinks all shoes should be x-rayed, they should be FIRED, since that is not the SOP. Same goes for any screener not intelligent enough to determine 1" of thickness.
I can't tell you how many times, passenger look me in the eye and say, "These shoes do not fit the profile," when it's clear that they do.


This is the retaliatory part.
Getting sent to secondary is not retaliatory, it's good screening. Profiled shoes need screened. It is your choice how that screening is to be handled. Your choice - to removed then and get them screened via x-ray or go through secondary to get them xrayed or swabbed.
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Old Mar 4, 05, 6:04 am
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Originally Posted by myrgirl
I can't tell you how many times, passenger look me in the eye and say, "These shoes do not fit the profile," when it's clear that they do.
My shoes are 0.75" in thickness at thickest point, yet I am still sent for groping at many airports. I don't care what other Pax do, I care what the overpaid, poorly trained screeners are doing wrong.



Originally Posted by myrgirl
Getting sent to secondary is not retaliatory, it's good screening. Profiled shoes need screened. It is your choice how that screening is to be handled. Your choice - to removed then and get them screened via x-ray or go through secondary to get them xrayed or swabbed.
My shoes do NOT meet the profile. Thus being sent for groping is 100% retaliatory.

Regardless of "profile", the entire policy is idiotic. Shoe thickness is NOT an identifier of a credible threat.
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Old Mar 4, 05, 7:26 am
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At IAD, due to the general madness there and unpredictable delays, I generally give in and have my shoes off by the time I get to the belt. I just don't have time for a secondary grope-down and need to get through security as quickly as possible.

Times that I've been on a less-tight schedule, I have tried to go through with shoes on of various sorts--from sandals to tennis shoes to my comfy Rockport shoes I wear to work. I've been told to remove the sandals, allowed through sometimes with the Rockports and tennis shoes, and once been allowed through with tennis shoes and then been sent back through by a different screener than the one at the WTMD to put my shoes on the belt (after the one at the WTMD let me through!) I've never actually gotten the grope-down at IAD (only at MSP, MCO, JAX, and XNA over the past few years), although I'm sure if when told I had to remove my shoes I flatly refused, I would have been sent over.

Of course, IAD's video screens have people continually advising you remove your shoes, and then some TSA guy will always shout over it, "You must remove your shoes, shoes off, please!" Great consistency!
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Old Mar 4, 05, 7:58 am
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IAD and DCA are two of the least consistent airports I've seen in terms of shoe removal. Sometimes it's all shoes off, sometimes they don't care.

At IAD it seems like the shoe carnival is in greater force at less busy times, when the screeners need something to do. (i.e. "continuous screening" that we'll call random but is really retaliatory for not removing your shoes.)
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Old Mar 4, 05, 8:06 am
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Continuous, random screening ...

Originally Posted by exerda
Of course, IAD's video screens have people continually advising you remove your shoes, and then some TSA guy will always shout over it, "You must remove your shoes, shoes off, please!" Great consistency!
Funny story -- flew through IAD yesterday on my way to PHX and was wearing a pair of retro Adidas from the 60s. The sole is just about .25 inches thick across the entire shoe -- should fit the thin sole shoe exemption, right?

Well, I go through the WTMD and the TSA agent tells me all shoes must come off. I respond that these soles are super thin and walk through. The agent just shakes his head and promptly sends me to the penalty box. I tell him to get a complaint form and mention that the TSA website says thin soles, etc. etc.

So while I'm waiting for the massage and wand, a manager comes over with a complaint form. I asked her what the story was, pointed out my shoes, etc. and while I'm doing this, the first (referring agent) steps in and says "Sir, you weren't selected for shoes. It is just continuous, random screening."

Some days, you just can't win.

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Old Mar 4, 05, 8:28 am
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Remove your shoes, Don't remove your shoes it's up to you. Since you have followed the other posts and threads you should know what to expect. If you feel this or any policy is not right you can "protest" in any way you see fit as long as you are willing to accept getting SSSS or hiring a lawyer....

I for one file a complaint EVERY time I'm told I HAVE to take off my shoes, or the screener is over the top when it comes to rudeness, etc. I don't ask for the form anymore, just use TSA.gov. I always try and get a name if warranted.

To date I have emailed 9 complaints and 1 complement(MKE)

IMO feedback overtime will show patterns that can be addressed.
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Old Mar 4, 05, 9:17 am
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Originally Posted by Hoya Saxa
So while I'm waiting for the massage and wand, a manager comes over with a complaint form. I asked her what the story was, pointed out my shoes, etc. and while I'm doing this, the first (referring agent) steps in and says "Sir, you weren't selected for shoes. It is just continuous, random screening."
Idiocy. They pulled the same trick on me at IAD a few months ago.
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Old Mar 4, 05, 9:40 am
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Just to play devil's advocate, doesn't it take more time to fill out a complaint, etc. than to take your shoes off and walk through?
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Old Mar 4, 05, 10:16 am
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ahhh

Originally Posted by CameraGuy
Opinion
Nope,point of view.




What is it profile, or screener incompetence? If the shoes do not meet the profile, there should be no groping. PERIOD. If any screener thinks all shoes should be x-rayed, they should be FIRED, since that is not the SOP. Same goes for any screener not intelligent enough to determine 1" of thickness.
Ah narrow minds! The groping is a dead issue. You arent groped either anymore. As far as profile goes, it is a JUDGEMENT call.




This is the retaliatory part.
Retaliation is something that is done to get back at someone. TSA isnt getting back at anyone. IF your shoes are deemed through interpretation or judgement, necessary of additional screening, then you get sent for the screening.




It is NOT a credible threat. Anyone who thinks such has NO idea about how to provide security.
IF that is what you believe then so be it, that is why you are not in the TSA and I am. Just ask the infamous shoe bomber why he thought it would work, just ask the EOD people that took the shoes for examination. I have seen the videos on it, it would have worked had he had time to light it.
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