TSA Wants to Know Where I'm Going

Old Aug 8, 07, 10:10 am
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TSA Wants to Know Where I'm Going

PHX this a.m., UA, T2, TSA is checking ID's instead of some company hired by the airlines. Is this a result of the recent security breach? Maybe you FT's who frequent PHX can shed some light.

But here's the kicker: TSO asks me, as he's checking my boarding pass, "where are you going today?" Even though I get asked this question on int'l routes, I was surprised to hear a TSO, looking at a domestic BP, asking me where I was going, to which I responded in a nice tone of voice, "home." Not good enough, he wants to know 'where are you going?" Now I'm ticked, and I say "it says on the BP where I'm going. Why?" "Just want to know." Silence on my part. He stares at BP for at least 30 add'l seconds, scribbles on it, and I move on.

Before you jump to conclusions (and I was worried about his scribbles) no secondary screening...
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Old Aug 8, 07, 10:27 am
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Sounds like you were being SPOT'ted.

I've gotten that routine before. The first time, I think it was at TPA; it was a little old lady doing the asking, as I picked yup my stuff from the bins. I suspect the TSA put her in that job because people would talk to the little old lady whereas a big brawney guy might get an argument from pax. For her, the answer "Home" drew the question, "Where's home?" I was not feeling surly enough to tell her to read the darn BP and tell me.

I have also had it happen at BWI (where I WAS feeling surly enough to tell the screener, "You've got my boarding pass; you tell me where I'm going." He just handed the BP back without further comment. I have been tempted to say, "To the land of none of your GD business," but so far have resisted the urge.

I much prefer the SPOT'ters who can make any sort of reasonable conversation, without resorting to artificial topics like something they can read right off my BP. Like the guy at BWI who commented on the birds in his backyard and asked me what sort I hoped to see (having seen a Sibley's guide and my camera during a hand-check of my carry-on), or the guy at CRW who asked how I liked XM and if I'd considered Sirius when he saw my XM radio in a bag check. Heck, they could have just been making real conversation and not been doing SPOT at all--and that, IMHO, is the way SPOT should work.
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Old Aug 8, 07, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by exerda View Post
Sounds like you were being SPOT'ted.
More like an ID-checking TSO wishing he was a SPOT'ting TSO .

I can certainly detect some kind of behavior there.
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Old Aug 8, 07, 10:40 am
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Originally Posted by DC-COFlyer View Post
But here's the kicker: TSO asks me, as he's checking my boarding pass, "where are you going today?"
I suppose his next logical question should be, "so what airline are you flying on?"
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Old Aug 8, 07, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by Fredd View Post
I suppose his next logical question should be, "so what airline are you flying on?"
I'd guess "Do you want to fly today?"
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Old Aug 8, 07, 11:18 am
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Has been posted here before, but if that is ever asked of me, I'll say "I'm sorry, I don't discuss my travel plans with people I don't know really well. Is there anything else I can help you with to move along"?


I agree, tying SPOT into normal conversation about stuff is the only way this can work gently.
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Old Aug 8, 07, 11:26 am
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see SPOT run

my answers would be as ambiguous as possible

on a plane
home
to see my <family member's-friend's-s/o's name here>
uh, it's right there on my boarding pass.
why are you asking? would you like to come with me?
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Old Aug 8, 07, 11:26 am
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Just tell them to screw them selves. What it says on the boarding pass.
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Old Aug 8, 07, 11:31 am
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Possible responses:

BF Egypt
Rooster Fart, Arkansas
Hell, if I don't pray
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Old Aug 8, 07, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by vassilipan View Post
Possible responses:

BF Egypt
I thought BF was in Indiana?
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Old Aug 8, 07, 11:43 am
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TSO: "where are you headed today?"

Me: "where it says on the boarding pass"

TSO: "no, I mean where are you headed...what's the purpose of your trip?"

Me: "That's a private matter and not your concern"

Voila...end of story.
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Old Aug 8, 07, 1:27 pm
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Code Q on Aisle 3!

I wonder what their programmed auto response is if you ask them a question?

TSO: "What's the purpose of your trip?"

Pax: "To get home. In one piece. Without being flown into a tall building. What are YOU doing to make sure all three of those things happen today?"
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Old Aug 8, 07, 1:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Flaflyer View Post
I wonder what their programmed auto response is if you ask them a question?

TSO: "What's the purpose of your trip?"

Pax: "To get home. In one piece. Without being flown into a tall building. What are YOU doing to make sure all three of those things happen today?"
Taking your bottled water.
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Old Aug 8, 07, 1:41 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
TSO: "where are you headed today?"

Me: "where it says on the boarding pass"

TSO: "no, I mean where are you headed...what's the purpose of your trip?"

Me: "That's a private matter and not your concern"

Voila...end of story.

I got asked who I was travelling with the other day at COS. I was travelling alone, and was keeping an eye on my things as they went through the xray. I handed my boarding pass to the person, and she started up with Are you travelling with anyone?

I did not take my eyes off my things-I have a NICE Ipod, Bose headphones, a new blackberry, as well as a wallet filled with the usual valuable items. I took the boarding pass back and went to my things. She was not pleased and started demanding an answer. Once my personal property was securely back in my possession, I began to walk away. She left off then and turned to the next person.

I am not going to tell some stranger whether I am alone or not. And I wondered afterward if this additional inquisition was to distract me from my personal property so someone could grab it.
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Old Aug 8, 07, 1:42 pm
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Lmao. Some of the posts here are classics. Esp #13.

I hope TSA doesn't start asking WHY we travel/where we're headed domestically. If they do then that's overstepping their bounds. It's already becoming a police state - we don't need more bs.
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