How to meet the Air Marshall and other cheap tricks!

Old Aug 13, 07, 10:28 pm
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Question How to meet the Air Marshall and other cheap tricks!

Yesterday while flying through a major airline hub on one of those 1 stop flights I got to meet the security for my flight.
I had decided to stay on the plane while the cleaners came on board. I had a rollerboard suitcase that was pretty heavy and loaded with valuables so I opted out of deplaning.
The FA's said goodbye, I guess airline policy dictates that they have to wait for the other crew to come on board before they could leave as I was staying behind.
It was interesting watching the cleaning crew; they really do try in the 15 minutes allowed them and also have two people to clean the 1st class section and four more to do the rest of the plane.
The FA's started to do the briefing and I moved out of the way.
Just as the briefing was ending two very clean cut young men entered the plane and produced what looked to me like a laminated ID card, it didn't look like a badge combo thing that some of my LEO friends carry but it sure made the FA jump to attention. She screamed at me to move away, you think she could draw anymore attention to the situation? I laughed and walked up to the front of the plane. Talk about the deer in the headlights look.
BTW I had flown with one of these guys a few times (more than five) before; I think he is NYC based.
If the FA would have not made a big deal it could of just have been a non event.
Anyone else been in this situation before?
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Old Aug 13, 07, 11:33 pm
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Got a pic of either of them, so we could tell you if we've seen them before?
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Old Aug 13, 07, 11:37 pm
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We should start an Air Marshal gallery hall of fame. I'm willing to host it.

Last edited by SNA_Flyer; Aug 14, 07 at 11:02 am Reason: Spell Check Police ;)
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Old Aug 14, 07, 2:45 am
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Originally Posted by SNA_Flyer View Post
We should start an Air Marshall gallery hall of fame. I'm willing to host it.
It's Marshal.
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Old Aug 14, 07, 9:03 am
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Originally Posted by bbc1969 View Post
It's Marshal.
Marshal (also sometimes spelled marshall in American English, but not in British English) is a word used in several official titles of various branches of society. The word derives from Old Germanic marh "horse" and scalc "servant", and originally meant "stable keeper". As marshals became trusted members of the courts of Medieval Europe, the title grew in reputation. During the last few centuries, it has been used for the most elevated offices. The American English spelling of the name ("Marshall") is often confused with the spelling of the title ("Marshal"). It is approximate to the position of Constable.
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Old Aug 14, 07, 9:46 am
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Originally Posted by SNA_Flyer View Post
We should start an Air Marshall gallery hall of fame. I'm willing to host it.
What's the goal here?

If it makes anyone feel special to identify the FAM, I have news for you. You're not the only one. Children can spot them. FAMs know they're easily spotted, so you're not one-upping them.

Yeah, I'll admit I chuckle when I see them on a plane (something else I'm sure they see all the time), but if there's some sort of nostalgia seen about identifying them, then write the head of the FAM program and DHS in efforts to improve the program.

The thread started off noting the naiveté of the FA, which was an amusing read. But let's not turn this into another "I can spot the FAM, I'm special" thread.
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Old Aug 14, 07, 10:10 am
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Originally Posted by LessO2 View Post
What's the goal here?

If it makes anyone feel special to identify the FAM, I have news for you. You're not the only one. Children can spot them. FAMs know they're easily spotted, so you're not one-upping them.

Yeah, I'll admit I chuckle when I see them on a plane (something else I'm sure they see all the time), but if there's some sort of nostalgia seen about identifying them, then write the head of the FAM program and DHS in efforts to improve the program.

The thread started off noting the naiveté of the FA, which was an amusing read. But let's not turn this into another "I can spot the FAM, I'm special" thread.
As the OP I agree with you. The system is flawed and if they really wanted to be undercover they wouldn't tell the FA or the GA.
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Old Aug 14, 07, 10:10 am
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Originally Posted by SNA_Flyer View Post
We should start an Air Marshall gallery hall of fame. I'm willing to host it.
This could spawn a new game for non-FAMs: play the air marshal. Act like an air marshal and try to get into the hall of fame.
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Old Aug 14, 07, 10:58 am
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i'm surprised that all pax were not asked to leave the a/c "so it could be cleaned as fast as possible" (but could leave their bags behind if they chose) as the airline knows ahead of time that fam's will be on board. also, to the op, did anyone say anything to you after the fam briefing (fams, f/a's)? i'm surprised that once outed, they didn't' vacate the flight.

also, like you, i have flown with the same fams on several occasions as well.
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Old Aug 14, 07, 7:52 pm
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Originally Posted by LessO2 View Post
What's the goal here?

If it makes anyone feel special to identify the FAM, I have news for you. You're not the only one. Children can spot them. FAMs know they're easily spotted, so you're not one-upping them.

Yeah, I'll admit I chuckle when I see them on a plane (something else I'm sure they see all the time), but if there's some sort of nostalgia seen about identifying them, then write the head of the FAM program and DHS in efforts to improve the program.

The thread started off noting the naiveté of the FA, which was an amusing read. But let's not turn this into another "I can spot the FAM, I'm special" thread.
They remind me of the Billy Crystal movie where they are driving around in a vehicle with the words "UNMARKED POLICE CAR" spray painted on the side.

At a radio station I worked at, one of the DJs became absoltuely convinced that I had hidden a "secret microphone" in the studio to hear what the DJs were saying after hours. He apparently ignored the several very high quality mikes that were hung on shock mounts around the room that they normally talked into--that I could take a feed off of any time I wanted.

After hearing this nonsense from the local general maanger, from my boss at corporate and also from the company's attorneys, I decided to take the episode to the most ridiculous possible extreme. I got an old mike that looked like it was about 50 years old and must have weighted 10 pounds, painted it bright yellow and hung it from the ceiling with a sign reading "HIDDEN SURVEILLANCE MICROPHONE"

I was treated to a fax from the corporate office two days later that the DJ had sent in with a picture of this device hanging from the ceiling. His comment was "See? Here's PROOF!!"

--PP
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Old Aug 14, 07, 8:58 pm
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Yesterday's flight, I saw two FAMs walk to the cockpit to chat with the pilot, before the door was closed, but after everyone was on board. Real subtle.
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Old Aug 15, 07, 1:29 am
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Originally Posted by ralfp View Post
This could spawn a new game for non-FAMs: play the air marshal. Act like an air marshal and try to get into the hall of fame.


Advice:
VERY BAD IDEA. Impersonating federal officer can get you
to the slammer in a hurry.

BTW, usually more than just one FAM aboard. There's no need for
them to act as undercover operatives. they are NOT CIA or worse
NSA agents who will neither confirm nor deny their existence....

(smirk)

Last edited by Cholula; Aug 15, 07 at 8:12 am
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Old Aug 15, 07, 1:36 am
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Originally Posted by UALfromMSN View Post
Yesterday's flight, I saw two FAMs walk to the cockpit to chat with the pilot, before the door was closed, but after everyone was on board. Real subtle.


And just WHO says there were indeed FAMs?

Could it possibly be other Delta personnel possibly from corporate?
They don't stay in their Atlanta perches you know.

And even IF they were FAM, what's the big deal?

Everyone knows that there are at least two on most flights and often
interchanged with an opposite pair.

Sometimes there can be more than two aboard and even sitting in FC

The real spookies are the NSA whom even the President cant control

Last edited by Cholula; Aug 15, 07 at 8:13 am Reason: Standardized color/font size
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Old Aug 15, 07, 2:57 am
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Originally Posted by BDLORD View Post
Just as the briefing was ending two very clean cut young men entered the plane and produced what looked to me like a laminated ID card, it didn't look like a badge combo thing that some of my LEO friends carry but it sure made the FA jump to attention. She screamed at me to move away, you think she could draw anymore attention to the situation?
We don't carry a laminated ID cards. And FA's sure don't jump to attention when I walk on the plane. I don't think they were FAM's.
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Old Aug 15, 07, 4:41 am
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Originally Posted by Krakajax View Post
Everyone knows that there are at least two on most flights and often interchanged with an opposite pair.
I would not be so sure that it is most flights.
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