TSA Precheck Problems

Old Feb 7, 14, 2:49 pm
  #1  
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TSA Precheck Problems

Hello,

I have recently had some difficulties with the TSA. I fly frequently for work and am enrolled in the TSA Precheck Program (which allows for expedited security through TSA checkpoints).

About three months ago, I was travelling through San Diego airport (which at the time was a NON Precheck station). I had just had my suitcase repaired the day before. The repair shop had accidentally left a small, foldable pair of pliers (about 3 inches in length, which would make it a permitted item) in the lining of my bag. TSA found the item on Xray inspection and after a search. They confiscated the item and photographed my boarding pass and ID. I was allowed to continue on my flight.

However, I have subsequently been unable to use Precheck, which for a frequent flyer is very inconvenient. After contacting TSA, I was informed that I had been officially banned from Precheck consideration for one year. TSA never sent me any notice of this consequence or any avenues of appeal.

I was wondering if there was any method of correcting this issue considering the whole incident was accidental (and that the item should have been permitted). I have not found any information from TSA.

The penalty seems extremely harsh.

Thanks for your help. I very much appreciate your time.
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Old Feb 8, 14, 4:12 pm
  #2  
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I suspect what happened is that the officers felt that the pair of pliers was a "concealment" because they were hidden inside the lining of your bag (which is why you didn't notice them and remove them before your trip). It was an innocent mistake on your part. But to the officers, it might have looked like you were trying to sneak the pliers through the checkpoint without proper inspection.

It doesn't really matter what you said about the repair shop (just a story, after all); what matters to them is what the evidence shows....and frankly, if it weren't what you said it was, it would seem a lot like a concealment.

Potential concealment = less likely for TSA to want to trust you.

You could apply for Redress, but that process is more for pax who continually get SSSS.
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Old Feb 9, 14, 6:03 am
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Originally Posted by ESpen36 View Post
I suspect what happened is that the officers felt that the pair of pliers was a "concealment" because they were hidden inside the lining of your bag (which is why you didn't notice them and remove them before your trip). It was an innocent mistake on your part. But to the officers, it might have looked like you were trying to sneak the pliers through the checkpoint without proper inspection.

It doesn't really matter what you said about the repair shop (just a story, after all); what matters to them is what the evidence shows....and frankly, if it weren't what you said it was, it would seem a lot like a concealment.

Potential concealment = less likely for TSA to want to trust you.

You could apply for Redress, but that process is more for pax who continually get SSSS.
Concealment of what? It's a permitted item; it doesn't matter what it is. This is the problem with the TSA mentality, fostered by telling them they are on the "frontlines" against 3-inch pliers.

OP, the problem is finding somebody in the TSA who will admit that they are in authority. "Pre-check," as a program of the US government, is not a favor to be granted or withheld on a whim; it is the right of everybody who meets the requirements. The problem is that the TSA keeps things as secret as they can (as I would, if I were in charge of an organization as badly run, and as detrimental to aviation security, as it is) and I'm sure they have no one in charge of protecting the rights of passengers, nor any official avenues of appeal.

Maybe you can file a Freedom of Information Act request about your case? That would give you an idea where to start looking for satisfaction. You may have to sue them, but you have to be an activist to be willing to take on the aggravation. If you do sue them, consider suing everyone involved, in their personal capacity, for damages. I think there are good-faith arguments that can be made, considering how greatly their actions deviate from any rational understanding of their jobs - keeping prohibited items off planes.
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Old Feb 9, 14, 6:59 am
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Perhaps, you might want to contact your congressman or Senator's office and explain the situation.
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Old Feb 9, 14, 11:54 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by ESpen36 View Post
I suspect what happened is that the officers felt that the pair of pliers was a "concealment" because they were hidden inside the lining of your bag (which is why you didn't notice them and remove them before your trip). It was an innocent mistake on your part. But to the officers, it might have looked like you were trying to sneak the pliers through the checkpoint without proper inspection.

It doesn't really matter what you said about the repair shop (just a story, after all); what matters to them is what the evidence shows....and frankly, if it weren't what you said it was, it would seem a lot like a concealment.

Potential concealment = less likely for TSA to want to trust you.

You could apply for Redress, but that process is more for pax who continually get SSSS.
Sorry. I should clarify. The pliers were left in a pocket in the bottom of the bag. While in the lining, the pocket is easily accessible.

Also, the TSA agent taking the report said she doubted that I was trying to conceal the tool.

Last edited by fliestoomuch310; Feb 10, 14 at 12:02 am
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