Why must people leave their bags unattended?

Old Oct 9, 07, 11:36 pm
  #1  
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Why must people leave their bags unattended?

I see this all the time at the checkpoint. Person divests, and places their bag onto the table before putting it into the xray, and then they walk away and goes through the mag. They stand there waiting and waiting and complain that their belongings are not through yet. Other passenger's belongings are still coming out (as they will just move their items around pax #1's stuff and place their belongings into the xray). Pax #1 sees their belongings are still outside on the table and tells the passenger behind to push their stuff in for them.

And then there are people who are not even next in line to put their items through the xray and just leaves their stuff at the end of the table and walk past everyone else.

Personally, I rather just assume the bags are unattended and assume the bags to be suspicious as who would surely leave behind their laptop/purses/wallets/ jackets in such a crowded area.

Also, gotta love the husband and wife with toddler aged children combo. Husband divests all his stuff, puts his expensive items in first and walks through the mag leaving the wife behind with the child/children along with the baby stroller still on the floor and all their bags still outside not even on the table yet.

I can understand someone forgetting small items like laptops or one bag, but to leave nearly all your items outside because you expect them to magically push themselves in is beyond me.
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Old Oct 9, 07, 11:47 pm
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Are you a TSO?

When I'm waiting to push my items through, the TSOs always bark at me to go through the WTMD before they are all on the conveyor belt.
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Old Oct 10, 07, 1:02 am
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Originally Posted by vasantn View Post
Are you a TSO?

When I'm waiting to push my items through, the TSOs always bark at me to go through the WTMD before they are all on the conveyor belt.
And I ignore them until my last item is on its way into the X-ray. I also bark at TSO's who try to push my stuff through prematurely. I don't care how vehemenetly the burger flippers assure me that they know what they're doing, my stuff stays with me and in my sight.
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Old Oct 10, 07, 1:34 am
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Last edited by mikeon; Feb 4, 11 at 7:22 pm
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Old Oct 10, 07, 2:49 am
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Originally Posted by mikeon View Post
If the person is worried about losing important items such as their laptop, they should put it last, or near last so that by the time they put it in, and the time they are on the other side, the person won't have to worry about someone making off with their laptop before the passenger can get to it.
If the TSA didn't make us take all of our stuff out of our bags this wouldn't be a concern.
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Old Oct 10, 07, 7:03 am
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Originally Posted by alliance View Post
If the TSA didn't make us take all of our stuff out of our bags this wouldn't be a concern.
Stop making sense in this forum, please!
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Old Oct 10, 07, 7:41 am
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Originally Posted by MikeMpls View Post
And I ignore them until my last item is on its way into the X-ray. I also bark at TSO's who try to push my stuff through prematurely. I don't care how vehemenetly the burger flippers assure me that they know what they're doing, my stuff stays with me and in my sight.
+1!!
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Old Oct 10, 07, 8:28 am
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I never, ever, take my eyes off my belongings as I pass through Security. And always place wallet and other items of value inside my bags. Why do people leave their valuables unattended, the same reason they approach the Security Checkpoint totally clueless and unprepared-STUPIDITY.
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Old Oct 10, 07, 8:47 am
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Originally Posted by mikeon View Post
If the person is worried about losing important items such as their laptop, they should put it last, or near last so that by the time they put it in, and the time they are on the other side, the person won't have to worry about someone making off with their laptop before the passenger can get to it.
Putting it in last is no answer, as the belt is frequently reversed, leaving the laptop exposed to folks outside security.

Best place is in the middle.
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Old Oct 10, 07, 9:04 am
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My approach
  1. Laptop case
  2. Shoes
  3. Laptop in bin with KHIAI baggie
  4. Rollaboard
  5. Wait until rollaboard disappears completely, ignoring TSA ranting about holding up line, if applicable
As Global_Hi_Flyer mentioned, the belt frequently gets reversed and this order seems to accomplish several things:
  1. My shoes tend to stay together, since they are sandwiched between the laptop bag and the bin
  2. My laptop bag gets pulled an inordinate amount of times - the life of an IT professional with lots of cables and tools
  3. Laptop is usually not backed all the way out of the X-Ray machine
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Old Oct 10, 07, 10:11 am
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I always wait until my last bin or bag is on the belt before heading through the WTMD.

Often, I use the following order:
  1. Rollaboard: it's the heaviest, and largest, and I don't want it sliding down and slamming into anything like the bin with my laptop, etc. Plus, it will provide "padding" should something force my laptop through (like someone else's bag behind it), and "spacing" to keep my laptop from sliding all the way down the rollers on the other side of the x-ray (and possibly falling to the ground).
  2. Bin with my shoes and anything else which must be divested at the checkpoint (jacket, etc.)
  3. Bin with my laptop.
  4. My laptop bag, closed up so things like cell phone, etc. don't have a chance to fall out. Also helps pad things if the bags behind mine slam into my stuff before I can retrieve it.

I'm usually quicker through the checkpoint than anyone except those traveling with no carry-ons or a single item without a laptop in it.

Now, I have had some TSOs try to insist I go through ahead of my stuff, but I have played dumb and ignored them. I'm not going to leave it where (1) someone could possibly take it while I'm stuck waiting for it; and (2) where the x-ray operator reversing the belt could cause something to fall (like my laptop or camera).
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Old Oct 10, 07, 11:03 am
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Originally Posted by mikeon View Post
I see this all the time at the checkpoint. Person divests, and places their bag onto the table before putting it into the xray, and then they walk away and goes through the mag. They stand there waiting and waiting and complain that their belongings are not through yet. Other passenger's belongings are still coming out (as they will just move their items around pax #1's stuff and place their belongings into the xray). Pax #1 sees their belongings are still outside on the table and tells the passenger behind to push their stuff in for them.

And then there are people who are not even next in line to put their items through the xray and just leaves their stuff at the end of the table and walk past everyone else.

Personally, I rather just assume the bags are unattended and assume the bags to be suspicious as who would surely leave behind their laptop/purses/wallets/ jackets in such a crowded area.

Also, gotta love the husband and wife with toddler aged children combo. Husband divests all his stuff, puts his expensive items in first and walks through the mag leaving the wife behind with the child/children along with the baby stroller still on the floor and all their bags still outside not even on the table yet.

I can understand someone forgetting small items like laptops or one bag, but to leave nearly all your items outside because you expect them to magically push themselves in is beyond me.

Not trying to be snarky here, but I think you need to understand the passenger's viewpoint.

First, many airports have a bag feeder. Ma and Pa Kettle aren't likely to notice that DFW has a bag feeder and SFO doesn't.

Second, the TSA likes to portray itself as being everything secure. That's a perception the passengers have. Not only do people think the bags are automatically being fed in, they obviously think the bags will be okay.
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Old Oct 10, 07, 11:22 am
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I do the following order:

1. Shoes, so I have to spend as little time out of them as possible and can put them back on while things are still coming out of the x-ray machine.
2. Bin with laptop, wallet, and Freedom Baggie
3. Laptop backpack
4. Rollaround carryon
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Old Oct 10, 07, 5:50 pm
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Why do people put their wallet through x-ray? I keep mine in my pocket, as there is nothing metal in it.
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Old Oct 10, 07, 6:17 pm
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I can understand the confusion as some airports have bin loaders and others do not. Still, there are certain things pointed out by the OP that defy explanation.

For example: some passengers do remove money clips from their pockets and place them inside the x-ray----with the cash still inside. And I've seen $100 bills neatly folded inside of some of these money clips.

Another example: people who place jewelry or watches inside of the divest bowls. The smarter solution is to place these easily pilfered items inside a carry-on bag. If it results in a bag check, so what? At least the item is still in your possession.

The analogy is this: if I'm shopping at a grocery store, I'm not going to place my wallet unattended on the cashier conveyor belt even though it's fully within my sight the entire time.

Many of you are so preoccupied with a TSO reaching into a bin and stealing your valuables. The more realistic concern is the person next to you in line who could calmly reach into your bin, remove your wallet, and walk away without anyone else being the wiser.

As for the reversing of the conveyor belt, most, if not all, x-ray machines automatically reverse the belt so that the images of the item don't overlap. The operator doesn't reverse it.
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