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Passenger Profiling

Passenger Profiling

Old Aug 10, 02, 7:56 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Bowling Green, Ky
Posts: 27
Passenger Profiling

I've just about had it with the 'random' searches at the airports. While I don't mind doing my part to help thwart terrorism, I DO mind getting stopped every leg of a domestic trip and getting pulled out of line to get searched. I wouldn't even mind if this was the first and only time this happened but this is the THIRD time in THREE trips that I've been nailed coming and going.(more than once per one-way of trip)

Can someone give me some clues as to why? I purchase my tickets well in in advance. I follow the 'rules' of carry on luggage- one small shoulder bag and a small purse. I am well-groomed, 45 yrs old, frequent flier female. I travel either with my husband or a male coworker. We don't travel with children and we are not handicapped.

Might I also add that I've never seen adults with children or business class travelers get searched?? I'm beginning to get a bit paranoid and am finding it increasingly humiliating to be searched so many times per trip.

Just call me - P#ssd in PA.

Luvmypt is offline  
Old Aug 11, 02, 12:58 pm
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA USA
Posts: 1,295
Welcome to FlyerTalk! If you've been lurking on the boards, you've probably seen numerous comments on *random* security searches. Rule #1 is never be first in line to board, and wait until the screeners are otherwise occupied. On the other hand, if the GA pulls you, you're stuck.
flowerchild is offline  
Old Aug 11, 02, 1:03 pm
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Over the Bay Bridge, CA
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Posts: 32,225
Oh the premium cabins are not immune. I got the "shoes off" frisking today and yesterday. One way a UA employee (not the ticket taker) sent me, and the other, the rent-a-security dude got me. I was seated in Row 1 both ways. Yesterday I was particularly pissed off because boarding was "halted" for about 10 minutes (before it really began but after announcement to board) and they could have started some screening. Instead, by the time I got on board, the F overhead bins were just about completely full.
Eastbay1K is offline  
Old Aug 12, 02, 12:44 am
Moderator: Delta SkyMiles, Luxury Hotels, TravelBuzz! and Italy
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Los Angeles
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Quote:"Might I also add that I've never seen adults with children or business class travelers get searched?? I'm beginning to get a bit paranoid and am finding it increasingly humiliating to be searched so many times per trip."

no need to feel paranoid--I normally fly business class and am routinely wanded and "randomly searched." Morevoer, I am a woman. Initially, the searches were a bit humiliating--now, I just take a deep breath and deal with it. Shoes off, all the mysterious places in my handbag searched, etc. Just regard it as a ridiculous inconvenience. El Al has the right attitude: They don't look for weapons, they look carefully at the passengers. El Al could care less about being "politically correct." They profile their passengers and do it with diligence, respect and intelligence.

obscure2k is offline  
Old Aug 25, 02, 8:19 am
Original Member
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Chicago, IL (2 miles from ORD)
Posts: 660
I have had it with these illegal and unconstitutional searches. I spoke up when they tried to search me. I only allowed the search after demanding they allow me to board without the search and requesting the names of everyone doing the search. I had to deal with 6 FAA/Police that night. By the time they were done, they racked up another constitutional violation. I plan to file suit against everyone involved - I hope the ACLU will be willing to take the case. I will be flying again next week and will do exactly the same, but more forceful. Maybe if even 20% of the population would stand up for their rights, the government would give up and decide to "give" our rights back.

Except for a flight next week, I am probably going to drive every where I would normally fly. My annual mileage has dropped from 60-70k to about 4k.

Maybe I am going too far - but it's my right!
Aubie is offline  
Old Aug 25, 02, 8:29 am
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 2,298
Sorry to say it, but the searches have been ruled legal and constitutional. Although the 4th Amendment requires reasonable suspicion, the courts argued that boarding an airline flight has implied consent to be searched (hence the signs about how bags and passengers are subject to search.)

My objection to the randomness is that it's inefficient and expensive. We're adding 2-3 extra employees per flight to randomly screen people... but what do we gain from this?

I also think it's humiliating. I hate it myself, but I've seen passengers burst into tears as they're yanked out of line.

Not to harp on the medical metaphor, but look at it this way: if I were to take five random people and give them physical exams, odds are I'd find absolutely nothing. But if I took five people who felt "under the weather" or had some sort of symptoms, it would be a higher-yield enterprise.

As I mentioned in another thread, there is hope. Now that TSA Director Loy has put an end to breast milk drinking and perhaps to the pointless security questions, he may well end the random screenings... or at least cut back.

My advice is to speak up! Write to the FAA, the TSA, lawmakers, etc... even a letter to a local paper is a step in the right direction.
Mats is offline  
Old Aug 25, 02, 8:35 am
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: From and of Boston.
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Aubie:
...Except for a flight next week, I am probably going to drive every where I would normally fly. My annual mileage has dropped from 60-70k to about 4k.</font>
Be sure to let the airline(s) on which you were an elite flyer know this.

Money is the motivating force for every significant government decision in the U.S., regardless which party is in power.

If 100,000 people complain that searches violate their constitutional rights, political leaders will get up on their hind legs and say the right things and nothing will change.

On the other hand, if 3 airline CEOs complain that searches are killing their profit margins, you'll hear no fine announcements, but something will be done.
wideman is offline  
Old Aug 25, 02, 9:55 am
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Nashua, NH USA
Programs: Seashore Trolley Museum "flight attendant"
Posts: 1,966
Once a passenger is selected for a search, do they normally search him at every connection point?

Yes I was searched on one journey with connections and I was searched before both flights going out although on neither flight coming back.

Searching a good number of random passengers including grandmothers and congressmen allows them to do real profiling as well and not having anybody notice that.

Question to ponder, would you rather go through the new imaging machine that reveals all the contours of your body without touching, or would you rather be patted down by a human searcher? Somehow at this point I don't have a preference either way.

Travel tips:

[This message has been edited by AllanJ (edited 08-25-2002).]
AllanJ is offline  
Old Aug 25, 02, 10:40 pm
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Athens, Alabama, USA
Posts: 569
Do they search families with children?

Yes, my family and I have been searched often when travelling.
Library Dragon is offline  
Old Aug 26, 02, 2:38 am
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Munich, Germany
Programs: UA
Posts: 1,077
I encountered it as random as it could get, had been flying with my brother and my Mom (all over 18, so no real kids), both my brother and me with Laptops, my Mom just with her huge carry-on backpack and cam+photobag, they gotten through Munich security within 2 minutes, shoes off, all through xrays and going on, I had been handsearched, had to unpack my carryon, turn on the notebook, empty my beautycase, been searched by a second person (it was her first day on the job, so add 10 extra minutes!)...thank god we were there with plenty of extra time!
In South Africa either my Mom or my Aunt once just couldnt understand what the officer wanted (both speak not much english) so they just let her pass!
Daydream is offline  

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