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‘Stress Test’ in Global Entry line at IAD

‘Stress Test’ in Global Entry line at IAD

Old Nov 14, 18, 1:24 pm
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‘Stress Test’ in Global Entry line at IAD

BIZARRE experience at IAD GE today. As the queue of people with GE receipts backed up it became clear they were not letting people past the receipt check among the machines.

We stood there about 5 minutes. The regular line was moving but not GE. Then 2 CBP people come out with little devices that looked like pagers and start waving them in everyone in the line’s face saying ‘this is a stress test, are you stressed!?’

it was sooo weird and elicited quite a few smartass responses from folks in the queue.

We stood there another 5 minutes then a new CBP person came out and just took the receipts from everyone with barely a glance.

I took a surripticous video but it only shows the queue and not the ‘stress test’.

Anyway. Bizarre.

ETA, was able to grab this screenshot from my video of one of the CBP dudes with his ‘stress tester’:




Last edited by kokonutz; Nov 14, 18 at 2:21 pm
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Old Nov 14, 18, 3:29 pm
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It wasn’t a Geiger counter of sorts? That or scanning people for exhibiting a fever? CBP at IAD was scanning people for fever signs during the previous Ebola outbreak.
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Old Nov 14, 18, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
It wasn’t a Geiger counter of sorts? That or scanning people for exhibiting a fever? CBP at IAD was scanning people for fever signs during the previous Ebola outbreak.
It didn't appear to have a display. Clearly had a light or lights that were green/red. But my wife heard the two CBPers chatting with each other at one point and one said to the other, "I have a 4." The other said, "Oh, you have a 4? I have a 1."

Pretty much everyone in line was on the flight from BRU, so it's not like we were coming out of a hot zone....
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Old Nov 14, 18, 11:02 pm
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
It didn't appear to have a display. Clearly had a light or lights that were green/red. But my wife heard the two CBPers chatting with each other at one point and one said to the other, "I have a 4." The other said, "Oh, you have a 4? I have a 1."

Pretty much everyone in line was on the flight from BRU, so it's not like we were coming out of a hot zone....
BRU-US is a hot zone to check for Ebola, or at least it was last time. Check out the Africa flight network coverage for BRU airport, and you may see why. Last major breakout of concern over spread to the US, BRU flights were targeted, and the aim for intervention was at five US airports, IAD included, related to flights via BRU but also via some other airports in EMEA:

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2...screening.html
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Last edited by GUWonder; Nov 14, 18 at 11:07 pm
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Old Nov 15, 18, 1:33 am
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kokonutz, did it look like the device in the following article’s photo?

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...33076820070129

It has a picture of one of the kind of handheld devices CBP has purchased and shows a reading of 9.


Last edited by TWA884; Nov 15, 18 at 8:23 am Reason: Reference to a deleted post
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Old Nov 15, 18, 6:50 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
kokonutz, did it look like the device in the following article’s photo?

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...33076820070129

It has a picture of one of the kind of handheld devices CBP has purchased and shows a reading of 9.

Yeah, that might have been it. Hard to tell from that close-up photo.

What's odd though...why stop and only test the folks in the GE queue. They seem LEAST likely to be a threat from Ebola, radioactivity, etc...
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Old Nov 16, 18, 1:42 am
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Yeah, that might have been it. Hard to tell from that close-up photo.

What's odd though...why stop and only test the folks in the GE queue. They seem LEAST likely to be a threat from Ebola, radioactivity, etc...
They don’t stop and only test folks in the GE line for fevers and radioactive emissions, as I’ve seen this done to non-GE passengers too at various times and in various ways at IAD. Late September, I saw the same guy at IAD as in your still from the video but his beard wasn’t as bushy at that point and he wasn’t doing this to GE members.

GE doesn’t exempt a person from being hit by an infectious disease whose international travel vectors are of serious concern to the CDC; and I doubt that there is any empirical evidence showing that GE membership status correlates with being the least likely to be transporting, or having otherwise been exposed to, higher than average amounts of radioactive material. And so we as GE users at IAD will at times experience this,

Previous times when CDC and DHS were concerned about Ebola or Africa-sourced uranium, they were doing fever checks or dosimeters at IAD and GE members got screened in much the same way or had additional questions.
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Old Nov 16, 18, 7:12 am
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If they are targetting people from 'hot zones' for Ebola and other serious diseases etc etc then the place to do it is on the jetway (or close to it) so that people can be isolated quickly rather then let them mix with the general public.
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Old Nov 16, 18, 8:21 am
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
If they are targetting people from 'hot zones' for Ebola and other serious diseases etc etc then the place to do it is on the jetway (or close to it) so that people can be isolated quickly rather then let them mix with the general public.
Previously, when screening for diseases of sort or for radioactive material, CBP would mostly do this near where passengers gather for passport control processing or for baggage claim/customs processing. The exception may be when they have a likely known case on board a particular flight and then gate reception chances may increase. But IAD international flights mainly get deplaned by using roving moon buggies.

Resource constraints is why they tend to do this stuff at choke-points that hit larger number of passengers rather than to do this at gates, even where flights come in directly into an arrival terminal jetbridge for deplaning.

But this case at IAD this time may have been an issue of use of a dosimeter for detecting radioactive emissions than for detecting people exhibiting a fever.

Last edited by GUWonder; Nov 16, 18 at 8:27 am
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Old Nov 16, 18, 10:19 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
. But IAD international flights mainly get deplaned by using roving moon buggies.

Resource constraints is why they tend to do this stuff at choke-points that hit larger number of passengers rather than to do this at gates, even where flights come in directly into an arrival terminal jetbridge for deplaning.
False. At IAD the choke point is in the glass walled walkway between jetbridge and the escalator. After that some portion of pax go to main terminal CBP and some portion go to connections CBP.

Testing people at MT CBP is only testing a fraction of pax. Only testing GE pax at MT CBP is testing a fraction of a fraction.

Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
If they are targetting people from 'hot zones' for Ebola and other serious diseases etc etc then the place to do it is on the jetway (or close to it) so that people can be isolated quickly rather then let them mix with the general public.
Well sure.

But this is the US government we are talking about. Logic does not apply. No reason to achieve containment when lazy (bushy bearded) feds are involved!

Last edited by kokonutz; Nov 16, 18 at 10:24 pm
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Old Nov 17, 18, 1:31 am
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
False. At IAD the choke point is in the glass walled walkway between jetbridge and the escalator. After that some portion of pax go to main terminal CBP and some portion go to connections CBP.

Testing people at MT CBP is only testing a fraction of pax. Only testing GE pax at MT CBP is testing a fraction of a fraction.


Well sure.

But this is the US government we are talking about. Logic does not apply. No reason to achieve containment when lazy (bushy bearded) feds are involved!
Isn’t it a fact that international arrival passengers at IAD mainly still get deplaned by the moon buggies? If that is false, that is news to me.

If you want choke points language to only be used when there is a bottle neck that catches every passenger deplaning any and every given plane at IAD, then it’s not where you mention above; rather it’s at each of the individual plane’s doors being used by deplaning passengers at IAD. [I said choke-points — in the plural — for a reason.] But CBP at IAD isn’t staffed to be able to do that for all IAD arrivals without causing what may be costly delays for no good reason. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are still well under 300 CBP employees assigned there full time to deal with the full load of IAD-using passengers and goods entering and exiting the country over the course of the year and all that involves. And so sampling, surveying, random selection and targeted selection will be part of the array of tools used by CBP for very logical reasons that don’t exempt GE members.

Doing this screening at different choke points — or “bottle necks” of sorts if you wish for that language instead — as a layer to try to mitigate for the risk from a threat vector at a port of entry is a logical use of resources in a world where resources are constrained and it’s not certain which individual or individuals are posing the threat and when they are posing a given threat. In many cases, it may not even be certain knowledge to the carrier passenger that the passenger is a carrier of a targeted disease or is a carrier of more radioactive material than average. Absolute containment may be considered too costly in the absence of there being an identified clear and present danger in the form of an already identified carrier person.

GE members do sometimes also get subjected to checks for radioactivity or fevers. It’s not new, and it will continue to happen without there being “absolute containment” since GE won’t be left to be an absolute leak in a world where CBP resources are limited.

Last edited by GUWonder; Nov 17, 18 at 1:40 am
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Old Nov 17, 18, 9:29 am
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Folks,

Just a gentle reminder that the Trusted Travelers forum is informational.

Members come here in search of information and practical advice about the various Trusted Travelers programs; please limit your postings in this thread to asking and providing practical information, and sharing news, experiences and data points about the radiation detection devices used by the CBP to screen international travelers arriving in the US.

Commentary, opinions and rants about about CBP practices and procedures, and government bureaucracy belong in the Checkpoints and Borders Policy Debate forum.

Future non-informational content will be summarily deleted.

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Old Nov 17, 18, 11:32 am
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I suspect that kokonutz was describing the UA midfield terminal (MF) setup while you were describing the international arrivals (IAB) setup for other passengers.

The UA process would involve passengers with onward connections being processed at UA's MF facility while O&D passengers would head into IAB (via moon buggy) and be processed there. For other carriers, it is generally all passengers at IAB.

Nonetheless, unless CBP is screening 100% of arriving passengers, these "mini-secondaries" are random and this particular chokepoint was the GE line at IAB. Perhaps 30 minutes later, the chokepoint is connections at MF.

Last edited by Often1; Nov 18, 18 at 10:21 am
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