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TSA PreCheck "Random" Extra Screening?

TSA PreCheck "Random" Extra Screening?

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Old Oct 10, 14, 1:31 pm
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by nrr View Post
I used TSA pre-check at JFK T8 (AA). More pax were being sent through the "other" machine--is this taking place at other airports?
Yes. If you alarm the WTMD you are now not given another chance to go through it - it's an immediate shuffle to the AIT scanner. Plus, the random beep now means you'll likely get the scanner instead of a hand swab.


PS: The TSA line was much shorter than two weeks ago. No more regular line diversions?
Don't know about "no more," but they do seem to be reduced at the airports I've been through recently.
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Old Oct 10, 14, 9:29 pm
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I've only seen this at JFK. All of the other airports interpret a "random" beep as an indication for a hand swab.

The swab is so incredibly fast that it doesn't bug me too much.

Being "randomized" to a millimeter wave scanner is a problem. It makes PreCheck rather pointless.
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Old Oct 11, 14, 12:21 am
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At ABQ, I received the random beep at a WTMD in the precheck line and was told to empty my pockets and go through the body scanner. I opted out and received a pat-down. I have read reports of this happening at PDX as well.

I asked the TSO giving the pat-down why this did not result in a hand swab ad he told me that this was the new procedure. He told me that it should be the new procedure for everywhere now. I feel like this procedure is a bait and switch for the people who paid 85 dollars to avoid the body scanners then being told that they have to go through them sometimes.

My issue with people setting off the WTMD not being given another chance is that sometimes, the TSO yells at people that they need to keep their belt, shoes, etc. on. At one instance that I encountered, a concern was raised about a belt potentially setting off the WTMD and the TSO told the passenger to try to go through and see if it did at first. I could see there being cases where the TSO tells people to leave belts on which set off the WTMD and result in the passenger being sent through the body scanner.
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Old Oct 11, 14, 3:14 pm
  #49  
 
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This is disheartening. The hand swab was so non-invasive. The scanner is prone to false alarms, takes longer, and requires the humiliating "I'm under arrest" stance. Considering that even Kleenex leads to a frisking, it really is something one must make every effort to avoid.

On one day, I got the "random" on three separate checkpoints. But it was a benign interference, and I joked with the TSA about buying lottery tickets.

I would not have such a good sense of humor if this is the "new" procedure.

One will have to be careful to avoid being in line behind crew members. Even when not on duty, they are exempt from random beeps. So it's almost a guarantee if there are half a dozen or so crew members in the line.

But the TSA varies its "new procedures" quite a bit. Perhaps they'll rethink this one too.
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Old Oct 11, 14, 4:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Mats View Post
I've only seen this at JFK. All of the other airports interpret a "random" beep as an indication for a hand swab.
Yeah, they initially implemented the AIT shuffle at a couple of airports, including JFK. now it's rolled out as SOP.

The swab is so incredibly fast that it doesn't bug me too much.
Most of the time it's fast. I was held up about 10 minutes at LGA for a hand swab due to the random beep. The TSA people were engrossed in shouting at a randomly included passenger who turned out to have a whole suitcase full of water bottles, so they were too busy to attend to anything else.

Being "randomized" to a millimeter wave scanner is a problem. It makes PreCheck rather pointless.
The overall utility of PreCheck has been on a downward slide since the beginning of this year. Bureaucrats can't resist tinkering with success until it becomes failure.
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Old Oct 12, 14, 11:22 pm
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I don't know what the hub bub about belts and Kleenex is, I have gone through the raise the roof scanner a bunch of times and keep all kinds of jazz in my pockets and on my person. YMMV?
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Old Oct 13, 14, 6:40 am
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Oh, I definitely got it for Kleenex... not a package of Kleenex, one piece of Kleenex, in my left pocket. That was at Cleveland/Hopkins. I got frisked and admonished for not emptying my pockets as instructed.

It's one of the joys of PreCheck. With the rare exception, it's a silent procedure. No yelling, no rules. It took all of the dread out of the experience.

But now that relief has been taken away.
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Old Oct 13, 14, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Mats View Post
Oh, I definitely got it for Kleenex... not a package of Kleenex, one piece of Kleenex, in my left pocket. That was at Cleveland/Hopkins. I got frisked and admonished for not emptying my pockets as instructed.
Wow, guess I'll keep that in mind. Ughh... I sneeze a lot...
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Old Oct 14, 14, 12:04 pm
  #54  
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Ugh. And I saw this yesterday at BOS; lady went through after being admonished not to remove her shoes, alarmed, and they sent her over to the nude-o-scan because of the shoes alarming. (The WTMD agent even said, "Her shoes alarmed.")

I wondered what the deal was... now I know.

I hope that the "RANDOM" alarms still mean just a hand swab? As I get those fairly regularly. I'm used to walking through, no beep, and about a second later, the WTMD beeps and they do the hand swab.

This as locations roll out new & improved ETD swab machines to boot! (Wonder who and how much profited from that?!)


Originally Posted by pragakhan View Post
I don't know what the hub bub about belts and Kleenex is, I have gone through the raise the roof scanner a bunch of times and keep all kinds of jazz in my pockets and on my person. YMMV?
I have been yelled at for having a dime in my pocket. I've been patted down for a necklace and a watch. I've also been fussed at by the TSA for having a contact lens case in my pocket.

Also, I'm not exactly thrilled to be able to have my wallet at the WTMD, then be sent to the nude-o-scope and required to remove my wallet. I'm separated from my carry-ons, and now my wallet. Not good.
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Old Oct 15, 14, 9:34 am
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I got the random from the PreCheck WTMD and the TSO did a cursory patdown. That was earlier this year.
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Old Oct 16, 14, 4:37 am
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Just went through JFK T8. 4 TDCs, with 2 feeding 1 checkpoint lane. Precheck had random people sent in as they approached the normal line. Random ETD swabbing in the precheck line.

The normal line was backing up because of the MMW. The precheck lane was backing up because people kept trying to take things out of their bags (like the PA loop said to) and weren't moving up towards the WTMD.

Only 2 lanes open this morning. Enough TSOs to man 5.
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Old Oct 16, 14, 5:34 am
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Originally Posted by exerda View Post

This as locations roll out new & improved ETD swab machines to boot! (Wonder who and how much profited from that?!)
"Improved" ETD machines? Not unless they stop alarming on hand lotion/soap, fertilizers, and so on.
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Old Oct 16, 14, 7:40 am
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Here in Seattle, the PreCheck WTMDs are clearly calibrated at a much more sensitive level. I have a pair of timberlands with not the slightest identifiable bit of metal, but they set off the PreCheck WTMD. So I now carry "PreCheck Shoes." It's better than being barefoot. I wear running shoes now.

At Cleveland a few weeks ago, the smurf said to the guy in front of me, "It is your footwear, sir." Who uses the word "footwear?"

But at least in Seattle and Cleveland they just had people take off their shoes and have them x-rayed (because that's a magical way of finding terrorists.) The use of the Millimeter Wave Machine seems particularly counterproductive if only the shoes alarmed. Wouldn't one want to investigate only the shoes if nothing else alarmed?

Oh wait, I'm applying logic again. Darn!
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Old Oct 18, 14, 1:04 pm
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In Terminal 3 of ORD on Sunday, it appeared that one of the TSOs was touching buttons and/or making some adjustment at the top of the precheck WTMD. Does anyone know what they were doing? I did not think that this was a good sign and was happy to have someone else go through the WTMD before me, thinking that perhaps it meant that a random beep was going to come shortly afterward. The person in front of me went through with no issue so I went through and also had no problem. The person after me got the random beep and was sent through the body scanner. They also called for a male assist for him and while I am not sure what happened, my guess is that he probably had something in his pocket that alerted the body scanner that one is supposed to be able to keep in one's pocket while going through precheck.

I was wondering about whether the adjustment at the top of the WTMD perhaps changes the frequency of the random beep?

Himeno, when you mentioned that there were random hand swabs in the precheck line, do you mean that people with the random beep received hand swabs or was this separate?
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Old Oct 18, 14, 2:16 pm
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Just a guess, but there may be a counter up there that's reset at certain times.
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