Observation today at DCA, ID checkers

Old Oct 23, 07, 10:42 pm
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Thumbs up Observation today at DCA, ID checkers

Today I went to DCA to unwind from a bad day, and decided to observe the new TSA ID checkers that took over the contract checkers, because of all the fuss about those ID checkers. They were pretty fast - everyone took less than a minute, and they seemed friendly, too. The lines were long, but they went quickly- there was a bit of congestion at the X-RAY area, past the ID checkers. (Yes, the ID checkers were wearing their blue gloves. No blacklights or microscopes.)

Just thought I'd add some good news to this forum - a lot of negative threads lately.
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Old Oct 24, 07, 4:12 am
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Originally Posted by Andy1369 View Post
Today I went to DCA to unwind from a bad day
It wasn't until the NTSU (Non-Traveladdicted Spousal Unit) pointed it out that I noticed that, to the uninitiated, the above could be seen as slightly odd.....what's wrong with us?
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Old Oct 24, 07, 9:56 am
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I've seen that work both ways at DCA... the contract ID checkers have been fine on an occasion, and awful on another (on the latter, they chatted with airline and other TSA employees for several minutes, ignoring the pax queuing up! )

DCA, IME, has been better on the whole than it used to be the past few times I've flown from there (admittedly, only three times in the past month).
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Old Oct 24, 07, 11:57 am
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Wonder if they have a new FSD? Or is Bart there training them now?

Thankfully, my days of going to DCA are over due to a recent job change!
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Old Oct 24, 07, 9:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Andy1369 View Post
Today I went to DCA to unwind from a bad day..
You went to an airport to unwind??
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Old Oct 24, 07, 9:08 pm
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Originally Posted by whirledtraveler View Post
You went to an airport to unwind??
Hey, some of us have withdrawl if we don't smell partly-burned Jet A fumes on a regular basis...
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Old Oct 24, 07, 9:44 pm
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Originally Posted by whirledtraveler View Post
You went to an airport to unwind??
Hahaha, I know it sounds kind of weird. It's just that DCA is so refreshing - it's always clean and the workers are friendly there. I'm a college student, and many of my friends go to bars to unwind, and it's very likely that none of them would go to DCA to "hang out." Also, DCA is unique because it's kind of like a shopping mall in a way... outside security. If you haven't been to DCA, and you're not in the area, when you go there, you'll understand. They also have wonderful art there and it's sparkling clean. Some of the places they have outside security (accessible to everyone) are:

-TGI Friday's
-Legal Sea Food
-Cosi
-Sushi restaurant
-Starbuck's
(more eateries but I don't know what)
-Border's
-Various fancy clothes stores
-Luggage store (expensive!)
-2 banks
-Musuem to look at old DCA pictures/history

Ironically, the stores/food places are actually better than inside security, from what I have seen so far, anyway.

Plus, they have seats all over the place in the main "terminal" where the piers meet where you can just sit, relax, and watch planes land/depart.

A warning: avoid Terminal A. It's isolated from the other terminals (and the main terminal area) and there's nothing to do there. It's also stuffy and ugly.

Last edited by MrAndy1369; Oct 24, 07 at 9:50 pm
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Old Oct 24, 07, 10:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Andy1369 View Post
Hahaha, I know it sounds kind of weird. It's just that DCA is so refreshing - it's always clean and the workers are friendly there. I'm a college student, and many of my friends go to bars to unwind, and it's very likely that none of them would go to DCA to "hang out." Also, DCA is unique because it's kind of like a shopping mall in a way... outside security. If you haven't been to DCA, and you're not in the area, when you go there, you'll understand. They also have wonderful art there and it's sparkling clean.
Interesting security related note.. Maybe that flies at DCA, but when I go to ORD, I notice signs all over the place that say that unless you are there for a flight, you're trespassing.
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Old Oct 25, 07, 10:24 am
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Originally Posted by whirledtraveler View Post
Interesting security related note.. Maybe that flies at DCA, but when I go to ORD, I notice signs all over the place that say that unless you are there for a flight, you're trespassing.
ORD had (still has ?) problems with the homeless sleeping in the airport and the underground connecting tunnels during the bad weather. The notices are there probably just to enable them to evict those homeless people, I doubt they'd use it against anyone else especially during 'regular' hours.
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Old Oct 25, 07, 12:42 pm
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Originally Posted by whirledtraveler View Post
Interesting security related note.. Maybe that flies at DCA, but when I go to ORD, I notice signs all over the place that say that unless you are there for a flight, you're trespassing.
DCA's terminal is essentially a shopping concourse outside security. Not that I'd want to pay the prices there, but there's not prohibition against being there without flying.
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Old Oct 25, 07, 1:42 pm
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Hahaha, the prices are def high! I just window shop or watch planes take off/land.

As for whirledtraveler, I decided, on a whim, to call DCA's police station's non-emergency line and ask if I was considered to be a trespasser if I went to DCA to just watch planes, or shop, and eat, and she was very nice and said that I was welcome at DCA anytime, that it was a public place, and that I just couldn't go in the secure areas, but that I was definitely welcome.
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