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On all five flights this weekend the "randomly" screened pax was the 1st one in line

On all five flights this weekend the "randomly" screened pax was the 1st one in line

Old Mar 18, 02, 9:29 am
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 685
I believe I posted about this before, but recently on an ORD-RSW flight, I was pretty close to the only person in the FC lineup who was under the age of 55 (aside from my wife, who was not standing next to me at the time). I happened to make eye contact with the large male security screener, who came over and pulled me out of line. As a young, olive-complexion person on that flight, I stuck out like a sore thumb. He was a smart screener, he picked the person who needed to be screened on that flight (me). On the other hand, we have the quiet timid screeners in SEA who pick #1 and #5 in line on every flight, because they think that's what they're supposed to do. I wonder if they go back to the screeners' room and say "look, boss, that is just a stupid rule, can you talk to your superior about it and try to inject some sense?" I bet you that guy in ORD would have done that.
usoftie is offline  
Old Mar 18, 02, 10:03 am
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robvberg---Thanks for taking exception with my previous statement. I now know that Omaha is where I going to retire. Obviously, that's where there are more highly trained and educated security employees, or perhaps you haven't seen some of our finest front line "Carnation Gang". My qualifications for forming my opinions---LAPD (retired) 6 years @ LAX (Motor Officer)---the other 14 in the ghetto. Telling these people to always take the first two in line is "DISCRIMINATION", in my book. IT IS NOT RANDOM, and if I were still on the job and I did what they're doing, I'd have the ACLU all over my ..., because I'd be picking on the "Poor-Rich People" .
Old Mar 18, 02, 4:21 pm
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Additional for my friend from Nebraska---regarding his statement--- "The whole system is up in the air"! You're correct, and that's kind of where I'd like to stay, "up in the air". What's wrong with this picture? AUTOMATICALLY, ALWAYS secondary screen the first two pax's. You might walk "Willy-Nilly" onto a plane without questioning the reasons for this procedure, but I think the professionals on FT are wondering "what's going on". My daughter-in-law works for a major airline and received one day of education on how to "spot" terrorists. Then she was directed to supervise the "secondary screeners" when & if she was a gate agent. In other words, tell them who to search. So now the gate agents AUTOMATICALLY search the first TWO in line, and anyone flying on a one-way ticket. These highly (one day)trained professionals, aren't getting on the plane with us, but they're making sure that the blocks are pulled on time, and they aren't charged with a delay. Since 9/11 we have all had to suffer alot of inconviences, and getting on the plane FIRST isn't one of the "biggies". As we have found out, there are alot of "Bad Guys" out there that really hate Americans. I'm kind of hoping that the gate agents don't feel that it's the FIRST TWO 1k's in line.
Old Mar 19, 02, 7:28 pm
Join Date: May 2001
Location: omaha,Ne,usa
Programs: UAL, AA, Hilton, Marriott, and Northwest
Posts: 464
TUFBEAR I thank you for your service as a police officer. I am/am not surprised that you would have your attitude about poorly trained security. You, as well as I, see a cluster f*** and know that it is not providing security. At the same time my friends on the Platte County sherriffs dept.(MCI), Omaha Police, Ne. State Patrol and even Military Police always get upset when they are deemed inferior to either the City Police, State or a Federal agency. I have seen the same thing in the military between Rangers, Special Forces and SEALs to name a few. My response is that it is all apples to oranges. I do not expect and do not think it is smart to place someone that has all the skills of a LAPD police officer at either the initial security check point or the secondary one. It is a waste of resources and skills!!!!!!!! Just as I am sure you felt, if you ever pulled a Secret Service support assignment of standing in a doorway 2 blocks away from a potential Presidential wannabe.

Next regarding pulling the first 2 in line being discrimination. I would think that the rule is the same in California as it is in Nebraska, since I thought it was based on Supreme Court precedent. A police force can set up check points and either stop all cars or every so many cars. I realize it is not exactly the same but the closest anaolgy that I know of. I also do not believe that pulling the first couple of people regardless of race, religion etc could be discriminatory. Place in line is not a protected status, I would think. Here is where I agree though. It is stupid security policy to always pull the first 2. Unfortunately it is the fear of political backlash and then lawsuits from offended parties, that has so far prevented the TSA from doing the logical thing and actually profiling who gets secondary screenings.

Unfortunately to make the public think stuff is doing the FAA set rules that basically cause airlines to fear being penalized by having agents that are not busy during the boarding process. Again it is stupid but not necessarily the person screening you's fault.

Finally I do not board the plane 'Willy Nilly' not considering the silliness of this and many other rules. If you would look at my posts, I have discussed the likely at the time, and confirmed since the start of the take over that the government was going to implement many stupid procedures. The first and probably most stupid was calling the Nat. Guard to duty, and then wasting whatever service they could have provided. The only real security reason to place the troops at the airport is if you really feel that there was a risk of a Rome style assault on a facility. If we ever had that type of fear it was not ever publicized and the troops assigned were improperly positioned and equipped to deal with that possibility. The more logical response at the time would have been to place these same troops at major facilities and in roving patrols. There were threats to these facilities and they were a much more logical point for terrorists to continue their operations against.

Maybe unlike you I feel that the future response of passengers and crews has limited the viability of this target and that the only real defense against these bad guys is our frontline defenses. CIA, FBI, military and even INS etc.

robvberg is offline  
Old Mar 19, 02, 7:49 pm
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 222
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by cblaisd:
On Friday flew SFO-SAN-LAX-DFW, and returned today DFW-DEN-SFO.

On all five flights the "random" secondary screening was of the first pax to the jetway door.

If it wasn't so farcically annoying, it would be humorous: Clearly most FC and many Premier pax have caught on; today on the DEN-SFO flight boarding for FC and Premier and *G was announced, and not a single person headed for the gate reader (all of us standing about 15 feet back waiting to see who would be the victim). So the CSR announced general boarding and the first hapless pax to the door got screened. And at LAX Friday night, inside the 20 minute upgrade window (please, no off-topic and undeserved "employee class" responses ) and a couple of minutes before boarding, several FA's were upgraded; I and one other "civilan" FC pax and those 4 UA FA's stood milling around waiting for someone to go first, like one of those bad Monty Python sketches ("No, no, after you. No! I insist! After you. But no, after YOU.....")

I feel so much safer. How about you?

[This message has been edited by cblaisd (edited 03-12-2002).]

Hi everybody -

I'm new on this board, but am having SO much fun with this thread.

I have an idea -

I'm travelling on UA from Sun 26 May thru Wed May 29 as part of a Star RTW in C/F...

How about I agree to be the first to board on all my internal US flights, (LGA-IAD-ATL-ORD-IAH-ORD-MCI-DEN-SFO), thus alleviating the nifty footwork of the other waiting regular pax?

I can't promise to get picked, but statistically it looks probable.

Is this an example of a Poisson distribution with a perfect outcome??

Magnanimously yours

MikeinSIN is offline  
Old Mar 19, 02, 8:05 pm
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Promoted to Chairman of the Most Wonderful Continental Airlines Highly Valuable OnePass Program Security and Ideological Purity Bureau
Posts: 4,130
Count me as among those who doesn't feel much safer flying now on an airplane in the U.S. than before 9/11. With the partial exception of the new checked baggage rules, none of the initiatives employed will make a major difference in the safety of U.S. commercial aviation.

For instance, showing an ID and ticket three times will NOT stop a suicide bomber intent on blowing up the plane with the device in his bag-matched but explosives-unscreened luggage. In that regard, I see flying in the U.S. as a lottery of sorts, where you hope that your number NEVER comes up...
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Old Mar 19, 02, 11:19 pm
Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: BWI, MD
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On one of my monday's flights the screener used a unique screening profile. He came up to the first in line (I was fourth) and asked him to pick a number between one and 5. When he picked the number 2, the screener counted 2 back from him and took the guy in front of me.

Out of my 43 flights so far this year, I have been first in line for about 30 of these and have been picked for security screening once (on a UX flight of course). The other 13 flights where I have been further back in line I have not been chosen.

ontherun (MSP this week)
MD but only on weekends
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Old Mar 20, 02, 4:00 am
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Alameda, CA, USA
Posts: 794
I traveled NRT/SFO on 3/18 and I was the first passenger through and I WAS selected for the random check as was the person (2nd) behind me. Now that I look back, there wern't the RUSH to board,like usual, on all of my segments.
sf4dfish is offline  
Old Mar 20, 02, 9:11 am
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The only thing that is "Random" is which drivers license the "bad guys" will present, prior to boarding. Several weeks ago my checkbook was stolen and eight checks were cashed all with a eight different forged drivers license's, all with my name and address on them, but with their picture. But have "no fear" if they're the first two in line our "front line troops" will "nab-em".
Old Mar 20, 02, 11:34 am
Moderator: Coupon Connection & S.P.A.M
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Location: Louisville, KY
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It's time we stopped worrying about "randomness" and focused on the real problem. These checks are pointless. All they do is show that there is no confidence in the main security checkpoints while adding nothing to security and wasting the passengers' and employees' time.

Stop these useless checks. If the FAA wants some "constantly busy" "security" people doing things, let them clean the gate area and the bathrooms. These checks are useless, but I guarantee better cleanliness = better safety (health) for all!

"Those who would sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither." - Ben Franklin
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Old Mar 20, 02, 1:17 pm
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SPIFF---You said it all! But your dreaming! Do you really think that the Local Janitors Union is gonna let these highly trained security professionals "horn in" on their territory??? However, business cards are being printed as we speak---"Have rubber gloves, will travel"!!!
Old Mar 20, 02, 4:11 pm
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: SFO, EZE
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by sf4dfish:
I traveled NRT/SFO on 3/18 and I was the first passenger through and I WAS selected for the random check as was the person (2nd) behind me. Now that I look back, there wern't the RUSH to board,like usual, on all of my segments. </font>
I did that segment on 3/12 and they had 3 security agents inside the jetway out of sight. They nabbed the first 3 passengers, and then everytime an agent was free they nabbed the next available passenger. I got asked if I had a pair of scissors in my luggage - I said no - but they didn't bother to check ... (and I didn't). X-ray checking seems to be picking up scissors and pocket knives very efficiently these days - so why even ask?


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Old Mar 20, 02, 5:03 pm
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MSNBC headlines (today 3-20-2002) "Air security slow in coming- FAA & airlines blamed". DUH!!! Who can't see that? It's now finger pointing time, again. It's been 6 months since the government decided that they were taking over security. ANYTIME the government takes control of something it's usually screwed up. But, if we want to get from point A to point B in the air we are all subject to this incompetence. I realize it's going to take time, but they're really off to a good start. "Ladies and gentlemen, we will now board FIRST CLASS and PREMIER MEMBERS first." "Put your carry-on luggage on the table and take your shoes off". "The rest of you may proceed on the plane".
Old Mar 20, 02, 5:53 pm
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: bringing sexy back
Posts: 7,751
MikeInSIN, I'm looking forward to hearing the results -- a simple count of times picked should be informative. And I will restrain myself from making any Poisson puns.
pynchonesque is offline  
Old Mar 20, 02, 6:04 pm
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I'm beginning to be sorry I started this thread, given some of the comments above....

The faint whiff of racism and the denigration and oh-so-cute put-down's of working folks who are simply doing a distasteful job according to the rules that management has given them (would you prefer that these folks not have jobs so that you could then complain about their being on welfare?) are not edifying.
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