BWI Screening stinks.

Old Jul 28, 07, 7:54 pm
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BWI Screening stinks.

Mrs. GHF, who was already unhappy because she had to stay at a hotel near BWI last night instead of coming home nearly missed her flight today because of the TSA screening process.

1 hour and 10 minutes to clear security for the A/B concourse at 8:30 this morning.

Part of the problem was that the ID Checkers (note that they're TSA employees) decided to walk away for a while. The customers - who had already been waiting for over an hour - didn't know when they'd return, so at least 50 of the customers (followed by the others) proceeded on their own to the screening stations, where they were chewed upon by the WTMD personnel. My wife was one of the 50, but not the first in line. When the WTMD folks chewed upon the customers, the lead customer in each line chewed back about the wait time and the TSA folks vanishing. That then led the WTMD folks to check boarding pass and ID, find a pen, and mark that they checked the boarding pass (the last being really stupid, IMHO).

Mrs. GHF reports that the line snaked around the ropes, and extended almost to the DL check-in postion in Terminal C for the left-side screening stations, and was out the door of the terminal for the right-side stations. There were only three X-Ray/WTMD devices in use on the left side.

Heads up for those headed to BWI on Saturday AM. Much as I loathe BWI - for a lot of reasons - her experience with screening there is the worst I've ever heard of.
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Old Jul 28, 07, 8:36 pm
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BWI has the worst TSA operation I've ever witnessed. Consistently unprofessional.
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Old Jul 28, 07, 10:52 pm
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How could this be the case? Mr. Daschole told us that if we federalized, we would professionalize???
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Old Jul 29, 07, 11:52 am
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Sad to say but BWI has been the butt of many jokes within TSA's ranks too.
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Old Jul 29, 07, 12:12 pm
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I flew out of BWI last Sunday at 1300. Got in the Security line at 1100, got to the other side of security at 1205. The C checkpoint had one ID checker, and one WTMD manned. Line was stretched around the C/P, past the elevators and down the hall to the N/W counters. TSA ID Checker was telling people that they had not anticipated this level of traffic and did not have the personnel to man the stations. Gee - guess TSA cannot read the news of how this summer has been one of the busiest on record, with load factors approaching 95% and higher.
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Old Jul 29, 07, 12:15 pm
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Flying out of BWI last week, I was amused that the overweight "ID checker" (wearing TSA uniform) was sitting on a bar stool and motioned for passengers to come over to her so she could check their ID.

Sheesh, get off your rear end and do your job!
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Old Jul 29, 07, 4:05 pm
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Originally Posted by PHLflying View Post
How could this be the case? Mr. Daschole told us that if we federalized, we would professionalize???
I chalk that up to his misunderestimating the ability (or intentions) of This Administration upon authorization of DHS.
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Old Jul 29, 07, 6:56 pm
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BWI security lines have always been long, but now with the liquid ban, mandatory shoe removal and short staffing they are very slow. I flew out of the D concourse about a month ago and only two lanes out of eight or so were open, at a busy time. Took at least 40 minutes from the back of the line to the time I was on the concourse.

The same lady as MileageAddict described in his previous post was there checking IDs (she looked pregnant to me, so maybe that's why she didn't move off her stool).
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Old Jul 29, 07, 7:10 pm
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Originally Posted by DevilDog438 View Post
TSA ID Checker was telling people that they had not anticipated this level of traffic and did not have the personnel to man the stations.
That's a load of crap. TSA gets daily updates on load levels.

And as you said, most airplanes are 95% full anyway.
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Old Jul 29, 07, 7:20 pm
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Originally Posted by wahooflyer View Post

The same lady as MileageAddict described in his previous post was there checking IDs (she looked pregnant to me, so maybe that's why she didn't move off her stool).
If I witnessed a pregnant woman sitting on a barstool, I would have been 100% understanding. The TSA agent I encountered was not obviously pregnant.
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Old Jul 29, 07, 9:55 pm
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Originally Posted by wahooflyer View Post
BWI security lines have always been long, but now with the liquid ban, mandatory shoe removal and short staffing they are very slow. I flew out of the D concourse about a month ago and only two lanes out of eight or so were open, at a busy time. Took at least 40 minutes from the back of the line to the time I was on the concourse.

The same lady as MileageAddict described in his previous post was there checking IDs (she looked pregnant to me, so maybe that's why she didn't move off her stool).
C concourse had only 2 open for afternoon flights.

BWI used to be quick (use that term loosely) even when the lines were long, but that's gotten steadily worse over the last year or so. Wait was unacceptable on Thursday considering how short the line was.

Unfortunately, all DC airports suck. I'd waste the time either traveling to DCA or IAD or in line but they're just as bad. BWI's at least close to home ...

And there was a guy and a woman on stools checking in the afternoon in C gates ... neither of them got off their duffs.

Super
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Old Jul 30, 07, 1:08 am
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Hi Superguy!

How come you think all DC airports suck? Curious for your opinion. =)
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Old Jul 30, 07, 5:31 am
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BWI Blows

BWI has had staffing issues when I was MSF there and will continue to hire from the bottom. It's a regional bad attitude. Dulles has a 33% turnover but at least their in competition with other security jobs around D.C. who pay better.
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Old Jul 30, 07, 9:34 am
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Originally Posted by Andy1369 View Post
Hi Superguy!

How come you think all DC airports suck? Curious for your opinion. =)
All 3 airports have barkers and I've run into idiocy at all of them.

BWI: particularly slow lines ... has capacity to open more, but never seems to. Also doesn't have much in shopping or eating.

DCA: Screeners tend to add to the rules and make up their own carnivals, like umbrella carnivals. Kippie usually does his press conferences or announcements here too. TSA had a particularly bad shoe fetish at this airport back in the day. I also don't like location and I don't like the parking situation there. Generally surly screeners.

IAD: Well, for me, it's the farthest out. I hate the moonbuggies. IAD never seems to have enough checkpoints open. I've seen a really short line before the liquid lunacy take nearly 30 minutes to get thru. Also received a good bit of shoe harassment here too. Also didn't supply a complaint form when I asked ... only a "customer advocate contact" slip. They're why I started to carry my own complaint forms with me. TSO also asked me to undo the top of my pants so he could see what was behind my waistline.

Of the 3, BWI's closest and I've experienced the least amount of hassle. However, there are airports the do things much better despite the moronic policies (SLC comes to mind).

Super
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Old Jul 30, 07, 9:54 am
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
DCA: Screeners tend to add to the rules and make up their own carnivals, like umbrella carnivals.
They really do make up their own rules at DCA. They're the worst ones about this in my experience. To add salt to the wound, they not only make up their own rules, but they act like you're an idiot for not knowing their little made up rules before you get to the front of the line. I want to scream at them "I am not an idiot! I know the rules! You're making that up, so don't treat me like I'm a moron!!!" Sends my blood pressure right over the roof because I am generally the most prepared person in the line at all other airports.

I still think BWI is even more unpleasant, though, due to their lack of professionalism, despite the shenanigans at DCA.
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