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Does a contract employee at security have authority to deny carry on bag?

Does a contract employee at security have authority to deny carry on bag?

Old Nov 24, 15, 3:46 pm
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Does a contract employee at security have authority to deny carry on bag?

Traveling in BF on PS today. Guy at security (not TSA, not UA) told me my second carry on bag was too big, and I couldn't go through.

Truth is, it was too big (for the sizer). I almost never have more than one bag, and my second bag was a rolling briefcase. No, it doesn't fit under the seat in PS, though it does in regular FC.

The guy told me that if UA allows it, I could go through.

UA agent comes over and rolls her eyes at contact guy, saying "that looks fine."

Yes, I was the guy with an oversized bag. My bad.

But does the guy who checks if we are in the right security line have authority to be a bag gatekeeper?
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Old Nov 24, 15, 4:23 pm
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Originally Posted by zrs70 View Post
But does the guy who checks if we are in the right security line have authority to be a bag gatekeeper?
AFAIK - they are considered as UA vendors.

I would say unless UA employee steps in, I will listen to them.
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Old Nov 24, 15, 4:26 pm
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He has the authority if the airline has given it to him. More likely, he will refer the matter to one of their staff for a decision.
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Old Nov 24, 15, 4:48 pm
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
AFAIK - they are considered as UA vendors.

I would say unless UA employee steps in, I will listen to them.
If they are wearing a UA uniform then I usually listen to them. More often than not they have a non-airline (and non-TSA) uniform on. If so, I politely tell them since they don't have the airline uniform on I'll talk to the airline later and then I keep walking.
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Old Nov 24, 15, 5:40 pm
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No, they don't.

I once had a clearly-compliant bag with me and was challenged by a vendor line monitor to go back to the counter and check it. I just kept walking. She yelled at me, "Do you want to fly today?" I replied, "Do you want a job tomorrow?" I approached the TSA ID checker and he smiled
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Old Nov 24, 15, 6:06 pm
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Originally Posted by zrs70 View Post
Traveling in BF on PS today. Guy at security (not TSA, not UA) told me my second carry on bag was too big, and I couldn't go through.
this was at EWR, correct? it's been reported on FT that it happens there all the time.
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Old Nov 24, 15, 6:12 pm
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Absolutely not. They have no authority in denying you into the security checkpoint. Airlines don't own the checkpoint.
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Old Nov 24, 15, 6:26 pm
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Originally Posted by riphamilton View Post
this was at EWR, correct? it's been reported on FT that it happens there all the time.
LAX
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Old Nov 24, 15, 6:39 pm
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UA should have denied OP boarding with the non-compliant bag.

Turning people back at the checkpoint makes sense but, making sense is against FT rules.

Would like to see some of the contractors file whistleblower complaints with FAA about an incident such as this. Clearly a violation of UA's policy and thus FAA rules. The contractor gets a piece of the fine and UA maybe starts telling its own employees not to interfere.
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Old Nov 24, 15, 6:42 pm
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Originally Posted by zrs70 View Post
Traveling in BF on PS today. Guy at security (not TSA, not UA) told me my second carry on bag was too big, and I couldn't go through.

Truth is, it was too big (for the sizer). I almost never have more than one bag, and my second bag was a rolling briefcase. No, it doesn't fit under the seat in PS, though it does in regular FC.

The guy told me that if UA allows it, I could go through.

UA agent comes over and rolls her eyes at contact guy, saying "that looks fine."

Yes, I was the guy with an oversized bag. My bad.

But does the guy who checks if we are in the right security line have authority to be a bag gatekeeper?
Yes. Just because you're a contractor as opposed to an employee doesn't change the status of the work you do or who you represent.
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Old Nov 24, 15, 6:44 pm
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Originally Posted by wxguy View Post
No, they don't.

I once had a clearly-compliant bag with me and was challenged by a vendor line monitor to go back to the counter and check it. I just kept walking. She yelled at me, "Do you want to fly today?" I replied, "Do you want a job tomorrow?" I approached the TSA ID checker and he smiled
Kind of a DYKWIA move. You're lucky. Most people I know had the been in the place of the TSA agent would have sided with the co-worker simply because of your threat. Not a really bright move on your part.
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Old Nov 24, 15, 6:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
UA should have denied OP boarding with the non-compliant bag.

Turning people back at the checkpoint makes sense but, making sense is against FT rules.

Would like to see some of the contractors file whistleblower complaints with FAA about an incident such as this. Clearly a violation of UA's policy and thus FAA rules. The contractor gets a piece of the fine and UA maybe starts telling its own employees not to interfere.
What is also tells me is that, as much as we all want consistency, discretion makes sense. If I were traveling internstionsl F to ... (does UA fly international f anymore from lax?) ... There would be ample room for more person carry on.

at many airports, you can buy full suitcases post security.

But as i said early, I am first to admit my carry on was larger than sizer.
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Old Nov 24, 15, 6:54 pm
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Originally Posted by riphamilton View Post
this was at EWR, correct? it's been reported on FT that it happens there all the time.
My experience at EWR is that the contractors at the entrances to the various security lines don't really pay much attention or care what is going on.
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Old Nov 24, 15, 8:22 pm
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Originally Posted by zrs70 View Post
What is also tells me is that, as much as we all want consistency, discretion makes sense.
a/k/a "I should be able to break the rules when I want to."



And then there will be all the complaints about the "kettles" and no room for bags in the overheads. Even though it is the elites rewriting the rules in their own favor when convenient.

Originally Posted by zrs70 View Post
I almost never have more than one bag, and my second bag was a rolling briefcase.
So both bags are actually bigger than they should be??
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Old Nov 24, 15, 8:27 pm
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Originally Posted by zrs70 View Post
at many airports, you can buy full suitcases post security.
True, and many people don't travel with more than a personal item, so one could buy a standard 22 and still be compliant even after buying a suitcase. (also people's suitcases break, usually when they are in use, and replacements for broken ones get purchased at airports. A few times a year, I see someone freaking out over a broken suitcase in the garbage outside of a store that sells luggage <Brookstone>, thinking it is a security threat.)
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