I raised my voice and they threatened me with arrest

Old May 19, 07, 6:14 pm
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I raised my voice and they threatened me with arrest

Traveling at IAD because the airline canceled our flight due to a mechanical and put my family on a different airline, we got SSSSSSed.

They put you through a great deal of rigamorale. There is a whole body air sampler scanner, the usual metal detectors and a large area past those where they do a wipe-test of your bags and an inspection.

I was put into the glass pen after I walked through the metal detector and I couldn't see my stuff. My stuff was miles away. No line of sight.

So I objected. Several times. Nobody paid attention. So I objected louder. I wasn't angry just talking loud.

A TSA person rushed over and told me that if I "kept being disruptive" they would have a policeman arrest me.

So, no line of sight with our bags and they are not responsible for any loss, of course. Fantastic.
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Old May 19, 07, 6:18 pm
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Originally Posted by richard View Post
Traveling at IAD because the airline canceled our flight due to a mechanical and put my family on a different airline, we got SSSSSSed.

They put you through a great deal of rigamorale. There is a whole body air sampler scanner, the usual metal detectors and a large area past those where they do a wipe-test of your bags and an inspection.

I was put into the glass pen after I walked through the metal detector and I couldn't see my stuff. My stuff was miles away. No line of sight.

So I objected. Several times. Nobody paid attention. So I objected louder. I wasn't angry just talking loud.

A TSA person rushed over and told me that if I "kept being disruptive" they would have a policeman arrest me.

So, no line of sight with our bags and they are not responsible for any loss, of course. Fantastic.
But think about the children!
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Old May 19, 07, 6:25 pm
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Originally Posted by richard View Post
Traveling at IAD because the airline canceled our flight due to a mechanical and put my family on a different airline, we got SSSSSSed.

They put you through a great deal of rigamorale. There is a whole body air sampler scanner, the usual metal detectors and a large area past those where they do a wipe-test of your bags and an inspection.

I was put into the glass pen after I walked through the metal detector and I couldn't see my stuff. My stuff was miles away. No line of sight.

So I objected. Several times. Nobody paid attention. So I objected louder. I wasn't angry just talking loud.

A TSA person rushed over and told me that if I "kept being disruptive" they would have a policeman arrest me.

So, no line of sight with our bags and they are not responsible for any loss, of course. Fantastic.
This is the kind of thing we bring up and TSA posters like Bart don't seem to get. Yes, agreed, you shouldn't yell or act out. But what is wrong with the TSA agent coming to him and saying "sir, please lower your voice a bit. Now, HOW CAN I HELP YOU?" I wonder sometimes if those words exist anywhere in TSA training. Too frequently we have all seen them immediately default to the "I'll have you arrested" nonsense. TSA should prohibit all but senior supervisors from using certain words and phrases, like arrest.
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Old May 19, 07, 6:48 pm
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Originally Posted by flyinbob View Post
This is the kind of thing we bring up and TSA posters like Bart don't seem to get. Yes, agreed, you shouldn't yell or act out. But what is wrong with the TSA agent coming to him and saying "sir, please lower your voice a bit. Now, HOW CAN I HELP YOU?" I wonder sometimes if those words exist anywhere in TSA training. Too frequently we have all seen them immediately default to the "I'll have you arrested" nonsense. TSA should prohibit all but senior supervisors from using certain words and phrases, like arrest.
Fair question. And I'm faced with my own challenges both on the floor and in the classroom. Coincidentally, our current training cycle focuses on customer service, and I take advantage of that to turn it into a discussion rather than a lecture. I address how our intent may be to communicate a set of instructions to help passengers process through more quickly, but we may be coming across as rude or abusive. As an example, I've heard someone tell passengers to be considerate of the person behind them by picking up their belongings and putting it together at the tables provided in the rear. I've challenged them with actually picking up a bin and saying something along the lines of, "sir (or ma'am), we have tables in the rear for you to use. Here, let me help you get your things over there." Just that little bit makes a difference between being perceived as rude and actually providing good customer service. I prompt others to come up with examples of situations they thought they handled well and situations where they intended to be helpful but things didn't come out so well. Point here is that I'm trying to get TSOs to look at things from the passenger's perspective.

And I always have a lead or supervisor in the class. I tell the class that at times there's that one passenger who perhaps has had a bad day, perhaps is on the way to a funeral or just left one, or for whatever reason has a lot going on in his or her life and the last thing that person needs is someone in a uniform telling them they can't take a half-empty bottle of water through the checkpoint. It's the last straw and they've decided to take a stand. I explain that supervisors make 25 cents an hour more than the rest of us (always gets a chuckle) and for that extra quarter, they have the wisdom, experience and maturity to handle these passengers. So we should never allow ourselves to lose our composure nor get into any pissing contests because we aren't paid that extra 25 cents to deal with it. But the supervisors ARE! So we should always refer such passengers to the supervisors. (For leads, I joke that we make an extra nickel more an hour. So we should make a nickel's worth of effort to resolve the situation before referring it to the supervisor who should be able to handle these situations five times more effectively!)
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Old May 19, 07, 6:58 pm
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Originally Posted by richard View Post
Traveling at IAD because the airline canceled our flight due to a mechanical and put my family on a different airline, we got SSSSSSed.

They put you through a great deal of rigamorale. There is a whole body air sampler scanner, the usual metal detectors and a large area past those where they do a wipe-test of your bags and an inspection.

I was put into the glass pen after I walked through the metal detector and I couldn't see my stuff. My stuff was miles away. No line of sight.

So I objected. Several times. Nobody paid attention. So I objected louder. I wasn't angry just talking loud.

A TSA person rushed over and told me that if I "kept being disruptive" they would have a policeman arrest me.

So, no line of sight with our bags and they are not responsible for any loss, of course. Fantastic.
Richard,

A TSA screener can no more direct a LEO to arrest someone than you can direct them to.

At the end of the day its the LEO's call as to whether or not your actions rise to the level of an arrestable offense, which it doesn't appear in this case to have been.
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Old May 19, 07, 7:03 pm
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Originally Posted by richard View Post
So, no line of sight with our bags and they are not responsible for any loss, of course. Fantastic.
"Freedom isn't free."

(Especially as long as McDonald's is still paying less than the government's airport security racket.)
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Old May 19, 07, 8:20 pm
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"I'm not being disruptive, I just want to ensure that you are following SOP that is intended to protect me and my belongings. Would you please send over a supervisor (and if necessary the GSC)."

You can ask the airline to remove the SSSS in this case since the reason was due to a mechanical cancellation.

And I thought that the puffers were out of service right now. I never saw the $100k+ machine ever in action at IAH.
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Old May 19, 07, 8:43 pm
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Originally Posted by ND Sol View Post
"I'm not being disruptive, I just want to ensure that you are following SOP that is intended to protect me and my belongings. Would you please send over a supervisor (and if necessary the GSC)."


When I've gotten hit with the dreaded SSSS or the extra search, I always ask someone on end of the conveyor belt to bring my belongings to my screening area after x-ray. Oftentimes, this is someone different than a (power-hungry?) screener who directs you towards the extra search zone. I leave the power-hungry ones alone to soak up in their ego.
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Old May 19, 07, 8:43 pm
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Bart - I've read plenty of your posts. And whilst i appreciate what you're trying to do on this forum i have to make the following point.

I find the following statement hilariously funny and absurd;

"I've challenged them with actually picking up a bin and saying something along the lines of, "sir (or ma'am), we have tables in the rear for you to use. Here, let me help you get your things over there.""

Bart - have you ever "worked the floor" at a major airport during rush hour? For some reason i can't for the life of me imagine a TSO saying that to me. The majority of your colleagues are ill-trained, ill-mannered, and ill-tempered. There are no buts to it.

I'll give you a specific example that relates to the OP's post. In SFO earlier this year, I was pulled aside for secondary screening - my hand luggage did not get pulled aside. I mentioned this to the officer, who said "it was being looked after." When i got back to the x-ray, the smaller of my two bags was missing. I immediately told this to the officer and was told "Are you sure you had two bags?" HELLO?!?!? Luckily at that moment, a lady comes back to the screening area and says she picked up a bag by mistake...and gives it back to TSA. How does that happen? Luckily nothing was missing from the bag.

As someone who has to travel to the US for business on a regular basis, i am used to being pushed around like a subservient sheep. A point to ponder - I take two big holidays a year with my family. From 1997-2001, that involved 8 trips to the US, probably spending around US$20k-30k each trip - from 2001 to now : Absolutely no family holidays to the US. Zilch. Why do you think that is?


In fact, i think the following sign should be erected at every check-in counter;

"Basic human rights are not permitted beyond the check-in area. Please ensure they are packed in your checked luggage. They will be returned to you upon arrival at your destination."

Sorry for the ramble....but i think there are sooooo many things fundamentally wrong with your organization. The passengers who fly day in and day out are your country's best defence against terrorism. They will be able to spot things that muppets like certain TSO officers will never be able to spot and alienating them is not doing you, your organization, or your country any favors.
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Old May 19, 07, 9:00 pm
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You nailed it!

Originally Posted by slickalick View Post
...
"Basic human rights are not permitted beyond the check-in area. Please ensure they are packed in your checked luggage. They will be returned to you upon arrival at your destination."
...The passengers who fly day in and day out are your country's best defence against terrorism. They will be able to spot things that muppets like certain TSO officers will never be able to spot and alienating them is not doing you, your organization, or your country any favors.
Can't improve on that.

I dread it when I HAVE to fly, and go out of my way to avoid it.

Used to be a great experience at one time; have fond memories of the former 'KaiTak (sp?) heart attack into HK and then the train ride into mainland China to where you appear to live (?).
Funny (maybe) but it was more pleasant to go through Communist China Customs as a US citizen in the 80s than it is to go through US TSA on a domestic flight now!

I have become a frequent driver indeed.
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Old May 19, 07, 9:02 pm
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Lots of Variability in Airports

I think Bart must be training the folks in San Antonio. I have actually observed TSA agents following Bart's training example. On the other hand, Bart needs to get cracking. Other airports do need training. I can't think of any off the top of my head that stand out. I'm sure others can.

In my experience, the higher the cost of living in an area, the worse the airport security experience.

In San Antonio and other cities in Texas, TSA provides a living wage and is rewarded with better than average workers.
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Old May 19, 07, 9:12 pm
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Originally Posted by runarut View Post
I think Bart must be training the folks in San Antonio. I have actually observed TSA agents following Bart's training example. On the other hand, Bart needs to get cracking. Other airports do need training. I can't think of any off the top of my head that stand out. I'm sure others can.

In my experience, the higher the cost of living in an area, the worse the airport security experience.

In San Antonio and other cities in Texas, TSA provides a living wage and is rewarded with better than average workers.
San Antonio is not JFK, EWR, LAS, IAD, BOS, LAX, SFO, DFW, ORD, or MIA.

And yes, traveling through communist China is a lot more pleasurable than traveling through commu....err....democratic America.
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Old May 19, 07, 9:13 pm
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Actually, the person running the screening machine should also have the common sense to stop the machine when bags get backed up - just as they do when they want to take a closer look at something. The delay of trying to get your bag out of a bag pile probably is more than if the operator stopped the machine for 3 seconds to give pax the chance to put their computer back in their briefcase and put their shoes on.

What's more, I often find TSA employees chatting with each other about personal issues and generally distracted. The entire set-up is a disgrace and I am highly doubtful this group could stop a well planned attack.
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Old May 19, 07, 9:16 pm
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Originally Posted by slickalick View Post
Bart - I've read plenty of your posts. And whilst i appreciate what you're trying to do on this forum i have to make the following point.

I find the following statement hilariously funny and absurd;

"I've challenged them with actually picking up a bin and saying something along the lines of, "sir (or ma'am), we have tables in the rear for you to use. Here, let me help you get your things over there.""

Bart - have you ever "worked the floor" at a major airport during rush hour? For some reason i can't for the life of me imagine a TSO saying that to me. The majority of your colleagues are ill-trained, ill-mannered, and ill-tempered. There are no buts to it.
I'm at San Antonio. I'm not at LAX, BWI, ORD or DFW. I train my screeners accordingly. I don't doubt your experiences at other airports. I can only control my little corner of the world.

Originally Posted by slickalick
Sorry for the ramble....but i think there are sooooo many things fundamentally wrong with your organization. The passengers who fly day in and day out are your country's best defence against terrorism. They will be able to spot things that muppets like certain TSO officers will never be able to spot and alienating them is not doing you, your organization, or your country any favors.
Best defense against terrorism is carried out by highly-trained men whom the government denies exist who wear black masks and come in the dark of night to plant two rounds of ammunition in the center of the foreheads of men designated as targets by their government before they disappear back into the dark. Efforts by TSA will stop the amateur terrorist or the non-terrorist passenger who failed to pay attention in high school chemistry and was dumb enough to pack flammables, corrosives, or explosive materials in his or her luggage. Same applies to the irresponsible gun owner who either failed to properly pack his firearm in checked luggage or packed a firearm in carry-on.

No airport security agency in the world can stop a determined, well-trained terrorist from smuggling dangerous weapons onto a commercial airplane. The very best that can be accomplished is to attempt to increase the odds of detection, and to some degree, hope that blind luck is on the side of security forces while Mr. Murphy (as in "anything that can go wrong will go wrong") is on the side of the bad guys. I have never said otherwise. I base this on my personal experience of penetrating supposedly impenetrable high security facilities and then passing recommendations to the commanders of these facilities on how to improve their defenses. Some of it is also based on my personal operational experience. I'm not fooled by the PR. Hope I never gave that impression to anyone whenever I've discussed airport security.

Still, it's a worthwhile effort. And unlike the critics in this forum, I'm not ready to give up just because it's too difficult. How un-American is that! Or perhaps it is fast becoming an American trait since we've "progressed" into this century with the belief that it's okay sometimes to lose.

It's never okay to lose. It's even worse to give up trying.
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Old May 19, 07, 9:20 pm
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Originally Posted by elitetraveler View Post
What's more, I often find TSA employees chatting with each other about personal issues and generally distracted. The entire set-up is a disgrace and I am highly doubtful this group could stop a well planned attack.
Slightly OT - but 5 million miles?!?! What do you do to fly so much? I don't know if i envy or pity you??
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