Dulles TSA Bag test

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Old Sep 18, 07, 6:17 am
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Dulles TSA Bag test

Hello from sunny Aruba:

Last Saturday my wife and I were on Jet Blue from IAD-AUA via JFK. Just before entering the line to go through the metal detector, my wife was pulled aside and asked (by a clearly marked TSA employee) to carry an additional bag through the line and out it on the belt. The bag would have some suspicious object in it that the screener was to identify.

I did not see my wife asked to do this and she refused. Although the guy was uniformed, she felt VERY uncomfortable about accepting packages from others-since you hear the recording not o do so every 5 mins in the PA system. She didn't know if she was being tested and if she took the bag, maybe she would require additional screening on her stuff because she may have taken other people's things as well. She also didn't know if the guy was totally legit. Odds were that he was, but TSA uniforms are missing all of the time and she didn't want to take any chances.

I probably would have done it, but I understand why she didn't want too.

What if the screener over reacted and yelled BOMB or GUN or something?

So why the thread on this? I was quite surprised this is a TSA procedure. It seems pretty flimsy and unprofessional. If they don't want their uniforms being identified when putting a the bag on, use a plain clothes employee.

FYI: The man put the bag on himself behind my wife's bag and the screener did recognize something and called for a supervisor. Didn't see anything else as we were on our way.


What say you?

Last edited by Mr. Vker; Sep 18, 07 at 6:37 am
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Old Sep 18, 07, 6:38 am
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Originally Posted by Mr. Vker View Post
Hello from sunny Aruba:

Last Saturday my wife and I were on Jet Blue from IAD-AUA via JFK. Just before entering the line to go through the metal detector, my wife was pulled aside and asked (by a clearly marked TSA employee) to carry an additional bag through the line and out it on the belt. The bag would have some suspicious object in it that the screener ws to identify.

I did not see my wife asked to do this and she refused. Although the guy was uniformed, she felt VERY uncomfortable about accepting packages from others-since you hear the recording not o do so every 5 mins in the PA system.

I probably would have done it, but I understand why she didn't want too. It seems to be a pretty flimsy procedure to pull someone out of line and ask them to do this for the TSA.

What if the screener over reacted and yelled BOMB or GUN or something?

What say you?
Perhaps the TSA is short on manpower and they are asking pax to do their work for them, thus saving on payroll expenses?

Whatever the reason, I see it as just plain WRONG.
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Old Sep 18, 07, 7:21 am
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No kidding. Can you imagine if they assumed your wife was the one bringing the weapon or whatever it was through the checkpoint - how long would it have taken her to talk her way out of that? Even if they believed her that it wasn't really her stuff, she was right that they could very well have punished her for accepting carriage of unknown packages from unknown people. Sheesh. Very, very stupid. (But your wife was smart, so kudos to her!)
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Old Sep 18, 07, 7:26 am
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That's the stupidest thing I've heard in a while. Someone would have to be insane to accept the back.

Related: I was asked to carry the yellow card to time the line last night at MIA. The screener asked "Can you do me a favor?" My response: "I pay taxes for this. That's all the favor you're going to get from me."
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Old Sep 18, 07, 7:35 am
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Timing card

I've been asked to run that timing card thru security in the past.

I kept the card as a souvenir.

Then I threw it away.
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Old Sep 18, 07, 8:18 am
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Originally Posted by jcwoman View Post
No kidding. Can you imagine if they assumed your wife was the one bringing the weapon or whatever it was through the checkpoint - how long would it have taken her to talk her way out of that? Even if they believed her that it wasn't really her stuff, she was right that they could very well have punished her for accepting carriage of unknown packages from unknown people. Sheesh. Very, very stupid. (But your wife was smart, so kudos to her!)
In my shallow, masculine mind, I thought it would have been "cool" to be asked to do this.

In retrospect, my wife made the correct choice and I appreciate your comments supporting her.
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Old Sep 18, 07, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by RonDace View Post
I've been asked to run that timing card thru security in the past.

I kept the card as a souvenir.

Then I threw it away.

Come to DEN, where they have a stack of them right in front of the magnetometer.
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Old Sep 18, 07, 11:46 am
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I wouldn't trust 'em one bit.

In today's world of zero-tolerance, accepting a package and bringing it through like that (even/especially from a TSA person) may well earn you a secondary, detention, and/or a permanent spot on the SSSS list.

Good on her for not accepting the bag.
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Old Sep 18, 07, 11:54 am
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I think the OP's wife made the right call. In spades.

The "test" may not have been of the screeners, but of the passengers. How so? Maybe the TSA is trolling to find pax willing to carry a bag for someone else. Had she accepted, she would have failed the test right then and there. SOP at that point may well have been a stern lecture from some moron (maybe even from the LEOs) plus an escort out of security and to the back of the line to edumacate (actually, punish) her.

There's no professionalism here. Just Kabuki Theatre.
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Old Sep 18, 07, 12:18 pm
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Condi Made Me Do It, Really

Originally Posted by Mr. Vker View Post
she felt VERY uncomfortable about accepting packages from others-since you hear the recording not to do so every 5 mins in the PA system.
Next time, look at them with a straight face and tell them truthfully "I am under direct orders from the Secretary of State of the United States of America to not accept that package."

When they start to hassle you, pull out your US passport, show them page one where it is issued from the Secretary of State, then flip to page 6 "Tips for Travelers" and point to number 6. "Do not leave luggage unattended or accept packages from strangers."

We loyal airborne foot soldiers in the Waw on Tewwow must follow direct orders from Commander Condi!
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Old Sep 18, 07, 12:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Flaflyer View Post
Next time, look at them with a straight face and tell them truthfully "I am under direct orders from the Secretary of State of the United States of America to not accept that package."

When they start to hassle you, pull out your US passport, show them page one where it is issued from the Secretary of State, then flip to page 6 "Tips for Travelers" and point to number 6. "Do not leave luggage unattended or accept packages from strangers."

We loyal airborne foot soldiers in the Waw on Tewwow must follow direct orders from Commander Condi!
Without the Passport quote, this is exactly what she did.

She told the man, "We are not supposed to accept items from strangers."
He said, "That's just for the general public, you can take this from me."
She replied, "I am the general public." He made a goofy face and she walked away.
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Old Sep 18, 07, 1:16 pm
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short of the "time entering the line card", the tsa imho, has absolutely no business in asking the traveling public to assist them in their security duties.

i would have asked the "tsa person" for their i/d on the spot and recorded it as a uni doesn't cut it. if you are asked why, it's very simple...anyone can get a uniform but if they are in fact a tsa, and thus a gub'ment employee [save sfo as they are still private], they must by law show you their i/d. if they refuse, get a leo involved.

you could have also accepted the bag in question but when you approached the checkpoint, inform the screeners that a fellow tsa employee asked you to put this bag thru as a test.
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Old Sep 18, 07, 3:45 pm
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I would have starting yelling "There's a strange man here trying to get me to take a bag through security!!"
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Old Sep 18, 07, 3:58 pm
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Originally Posted by breny View Post
I would have starting yelling "There's a strange man here trying to get me to take a bag through security!!"
Follow that up with "Bravo!"
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Old Sep 18, 07, 4:10 pm
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Originally Posted by HeHateY View Post
Follow that up with "Bravo!"
Then there would be a terminal dump and I (and everyone else) would be delayed.

I think the OP's wife did the right thing. My initial instinct is to point out any stupidity when I see it.
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