What are YOU stepping in?

Old Jul 3, 06, 4:47 pm
  #1  
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What are YOU stepping in?

What do socked or barefooted passengers leave behind? 10News used petri dishes to gather samples where passengers picked up their carry-ons off the conveyer belt at the security checkpoint.

After sampling in San Diego, a 10News employee headed to Las Vegas and Phoenix -- two popular destinations for San Diegans.

.................

The lab identified a mold from McCarron Airport in Las Vegas as trichophyston, which causes ringworm and favus, a nasty disease of the scalp.

The next test was from Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, where samples were lifted to test for bacteria.

Scientists found bacteria and fungus unique to the areas where passengers removed their shoes.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/kgtv/20060703/lo_kgtv/9463455

All those who are surprised raise your hands.
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Old Jul 3, 06, 5:13 pm
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Originally Posted by redbeard911
http://news.yahoo.com/s/kgtv/20060703/lo_kgtv/9463455

All those who are surprised raise your hands.
But but but we're safe from shoe bombs!
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Old Jul 3, 06, 5:16 pm
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Hmmmm.....

I wonder if a mass dog-doo-on-soles demonstration would put the breaks on the shoe carnival...
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Old Jul 3, 06, 6:58 pm
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Originally Posted by empedocles
Hmmmm.....

I wonder if a mass dog-doo-on-soles demonstration would put the breaks on the shoe carnival...
Won't do anything. TSAers don't touch the shoes.
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Old Jul 3, 06, 9:05 pm
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Hey, if someone's shoe was covered in dog ...., we'd probably not allow them through without cleaning the shoe, so give it a whirl...

...Otherwise just leave your shoes on! it takes 30 seconds to do a quick shoe swipe... 'Sides, if human nature stands to reason the more people who don't take off shoes, the less people will be asked to take off shoes.
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Old Jul 3, 06, 9:10 pm
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That's it, after reading this I am going Howard Hughes and start wearing kleenex boxes on my feet.

I don't have to remove those, do I?

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Old Jul 3, 06, 10:59 pm
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Swab this, matey! :pirate smilie:
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Old Jul 4, 06, 1:19 am
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From the article:
It is illegal to force anyone to take off their shoes, but passengers who don't comply may be sent to a secondary security checkpoint.
This can't be right (too good to be true). Is is also illegal for a TSA agent to force someone to take their shoes off during secondary? If not, isn't this meaningless?

Edit: Oh, I get it. You're not forced to take off your shoes. You have the option of not flying.
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Old Jul 4, 06, 8:41 am
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Originally Posted by redbeard911
http://news.yahoo.com/s/kgtv/20060703/lo_kgtv/9463455

All those who are surprised raise your hands.
The only surprise is that it's taken this long to come out AND that the reporters were actually ABLE to get these samples off the floors @ the checkpoints in the first place!!

But then, I wonder how many of them are now on a no-fly list because of it??

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Old Jul 4, 06, 9:00 am
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From a screener point of view, our job is to make sure certain shoes are either screened by x-ray or scanned by ETD sampling. It's the passenger's choice. We cannot tell you to take off your shoes; however, we CAN recommend you remove them or undergo secondary screening. Again, it's your choice.

No TSA screener, lead, supervisor, screening manager or FSD can put anyone on any no-fly list or selectee list.

One thing that has always puzzled me is why the airport management doesn't clean the checkpoint more often. The janitors are hired by the city. It would make more sense for them to clean the one area where passengers are more exposed to dirt and bacteria than anywhere else in the airport: the security checkpoint. On top of that, there are often spills, and it takes a while before the maintenance personnel respond to our calls. Just makes sense to have someone essentially assigned to the checkpoint to periodically mop and sweep the floors and to respond immediately to spilled Starbucks cups.

While I'm not disputing that it's possible to transmit bacteria on checkpoint floors, I doubt that it's as easily transmitted as the article tends to suggest. A note to my critics: I advocate keeping the checkpoint clean as I just posted above; however, I don't think that the checkpoint is a public health hazzard. It may be for some, but not for the general public. But for those who want to give in to the panic, consider the following: public phones, public toilets, any seat in a public area, door handles, even the silverware used at public restaurants are subject to the exact same risk of exposure to bacteria. My point here is that you have to draw the line between a reasonable concern for sanitation and an unreasonable paranoia.

But here's the real kicker. You KNOW you may have to REMOVE your shoes when you get to the checkpoint. Why do people still travel sockless? My standing recommendation to travelers has always been to pack either a spare pair of socks or flip-flop shower shoes exclusively for checkpoint screening. Wear them temporarily while screening and, after you've cleared the checkpoint, remove them and any transmitted germs from your feet and either pack them inside your carry-on or (if you're really obsessed over this) throw them away. Either way, a little bit of reasonable prevention on your part certainly sounds smart.
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Old Jul 4, 06, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by Bart
One thing that has always puzzled me is why the airport management doesn't clean the checkpoint more often. The janitors are hired by the city. It would make more sense for them to clean the one area where passengers are more exposed to dirt and bacteria than anywhere else in the airport: the security checkpoint.
They would, but OSHA rules won't let the janitors take off their shoes when they mop the floor.
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Old Jul 4, 06, 9:23 am
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This probably won't be much of a hit with this crowd.....

Screener: "Ma'am, I also recommend you remove your shoes..."

Passenger: "You expect me to walk barefoot on these floors?"

Screener: "Oh, don't worry. You won't get our floors dirty."

(True story. This screener has amazing people skills and great sense of humor. The lady took his comment as intended and had a great laugh.)
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Old Jul 4, 06, 9:34 am
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Originally Posted by Bart
From a screener point of view, our job is to make sure certain shoes are either screened by x-ray or scanned by ETD sampling. It's the passenger's choice. We cannot tell you to take off your shoes; however, we CAN recommend you remove them or undergo secondary screening. Again, it's your choice.
Given that the usual choice at IAD is shoes off or secondary, i.e., no swab option, let me get this straight - I cannot be ordered to take my shoes off even in secondary?

I have specifically asked for the swab and been denied that option. I have been told that it was not my choice, i.e., not my decision to make. I have been told that if I go to secondary I will be ordered to take my shoes off, "if I want to fly today".
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Old Jul 4, 06, 9:36 am
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I wear thin flip flops to avoid having to take off my shoes....however in ORD they made me take them off. Really, though? I can't even fit a matchstick in the sole let alone anything else.
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Old Jul 4, 06, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by gre
Given that the usual choice at IAD is shoes off or secondary, i.e., no swab option, let me get this straight - I cannot be ordered to take my shoes off even in secondary?

I have specifically asked for the swab and been denied that option. I have been told that it was not my choice, i.e., not my decision to make. I have been told that if I go to secondary I will be ordered to take my shoes off, "if I want to fly today".
Or how about the guy in the 1st class AA line in BOS who was shouting, 'We're looking at ALL shoes today'??

Bart, as I've said before, the world you have created in SAN bears little, if ANY resemblense, to the one WE fly in day after day, airport after airport.
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