theflcowboy
Posts: 357
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2004 3:44 am

The Authority Of The TSA

Sun Jan 04, 2004 3:56 am

This is my first post to a.net and I wanted to get some opinions on something that has been bothering me lately. In catalogs for the holidays Brookestone was selling a lock that had a key to allow the TSA to open it. It got me thinking, checked luggage is sniffed for bombs, x-rayed at least once, and more than likely sniffed by a dog. So where exactly does the TSA get the authority to open my bag and go through it on a whim after its already been examined 2 or 3 times? I lock my luggage for a reason, to keep people out of it.

Just wanted to get some other opinions. I searched for something on this and it didn't look like anybody else had talked about this yet.

Regards,
MD
A318, A320, A332, A333, B1900, B722, B732, B733, B734, B735, B737, B738, B772, CR1, CR2, CR7, CR9, MD80, MD81, MD82, MD8
 
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Bruce
Posts: 4934
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RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Sun Jan 04, 2004 4:02 am

If the x ray machine detects something that they think looks suspicious then they would open it. Or of they consider it suspicious for any reason.

On my last trip, I used the curbside check in at BNA and after i got my boarding pass (southwest) i remembered i had parked my car in a handicapped space in the garage (it was close to the building) and i was going to have to quickly move my car further out on the lot. i did not park far out at first because i simply wanted to check in quick and get the A boarding pass and i would take me too long to walk all the way from the end of the lot.

Anyway, after they gave me the pass I started running back to the garage as i did not want to get a ticket. WEll, they must have thought it suspicious for a man to check in a bag and then RUN back to the garage so when i got to my destination and opend the suitcase there was a letter from the TSA saying they searched it.

bruce
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
FLY777UAL
Posts: 4830
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 3:49 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Sun Jan 04, 2004 4:02 am

TSA opening luggage is just another way for them to screen the baggage, if there aren't machines available or dogs around. Even if they were to open it after going through machines and past dogs, they would go through it for a reason and not just, "on a whim" like you seem to think. Osama would lock his luggage for the very same reason--to keep people out of it, don't ya think?

You seem very keen to keep people out of your luggage--what exactly are you hiding in there?  Big grin  Big grin

F L Y 7 7 7 U A L
 
NLINK
Posts: 301
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RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Sun Jan 04, 2004 4:05 am

The TSA has the right to open your bag at any time, as does the airlines if they deem it necessary, as does any federal law enforcement officer, and some local officers. It was that way also before 9-11, minus the TSA.
 
theflcowboy
Posts: 357
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2004 3:44 am

The Authority Of The TSA

Sun Jan 04, 2004 4:20 am

FLY777UAL-
I don't have anything to hide. I just don't like people going through my stuff without me being there. I'm just weird like that.

I guess it was just a misconception on my part. It's nice to know that they won't search it just because they want to break locks off and cause inconvenience.

I personally don't hold the TSA in very high regard anyway. When I go through the checkpoints, it looks to me like the same people are screening now that were pre 9-11.

Regards,
MD
A318, A320, A332, A333, B1900, B722, B732, B733, B734, B735, B737, B738, B772, CR1, CR2, CR7, CR9, MD80, MD81, MD82, MD8
 
NLINK
Posts: 301
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2003 3:20 pm

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Sun Jan 04, 2004 4:25 am

Believe me, at least in my local airport the employees are different, only kept 2 of the original group. They are much more professional, at least a majority are. I still have some gripes though about them for not doing all he checkpoint work, as they still make the airline employees do part of there job, which is crazy imo, as they did it before TSA took over the checkpoint did it all with 20 people and now they do less in our airport with 75 people.
 
PiedmontGirl
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RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Sun Jan 04, 2004 4:26 am

The hand search of luggage is just another way to screen it.

Some things are not readily identifiable when viewed on machines. For example, cheddar cheese and plastique have the same density. If a suitcase has both a curling iron and a blow dryer in it and the cords are not neatly bundled, it can just look like a bunch of unidentifiable wires.
 
jhooper
Posts: 5560
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Sun Jan 04, 2004 4:29 am

Welcome to Airliners.net, TheFLCowboy . Their authority to search your bag comes in the form of an "implied consent". By checking in your luggage and flying on the airlines, you voluntarily submit to the security measures in place. Sort of like the "inplied consent" law which gives law enforcement the right to administer a blood-alcohol test to drivers.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
MidnightMike
Posts: 2810
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RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Sun Jan 04, 2004 6:38 am


FL Cowboy
Welcome aboard, the minute you purchase a ticket you are giving consent for your luggage to be inspected. Just like driving a car , while driving the police can inspect your car if they have a suspicion that their something wrong.
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jhooper
Posts: 5560
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RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Sun Jan 04, 2004 8:14 am

Just like driving a car , while driving the police can inspect your car if they have a suspicion that their something wrong.

actually, in that case they need more than mere suspicion. They need either a search warrant indicating probable cause exists or specific consent.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
theflcowboy
Posts: 357
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2004 3:44 am

The Authority Of The TSA

Sun Jan 04, 2004 9:17 am

I personally just don't like people going through my stuff without me being there. What if they "forget" to put some of it back in my bag. It would be like an act of congress to try to get it back.
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AA777MIA
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RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Sun Jan 04, 2004 9:28 am

Its part of traveling these days.. I flew to NY, and even as a crewmember for a different airline (i checked my luggage), my bag had been searched and their was a note stating that it had... I think it was very professional..
 
sprxflySWA
Posts: 587
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 3:37 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Sun Jan 04, 2004 9:32 am

Believe me, I see many times when items are accidentally left out of checked bags after being inspected by the TSA. They usually make an effort to locate bag item came out of, but they never know what airline or what destination it belongs to.
I would think they would put all items from a bag in one tub, and when the tub was empty, then close bag and send it on its way. But then again, I have seen many 1/2 zipped bags they send out!
 
AirDude66
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 12:48 pm

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Sun Jan 04, 2004 10:28 am

A certain percentage of checked luggage must be physically searched. It is the law.

If you want your privacy, ship it Fedex or go Greyhound. Meanwhile lets remember those who died on 9/11.

Everything would be a lot better in this industry if everyone just simply determined to comply with the regulations.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Sun Jan 04, 2004 1:19 pm

What I want to know is who the hell gave the TSA the right to pull anybodies certificate without cause, and without a way to appeal it?

Thats right pilots, All the TSA has to say is no more and there isn't a damm thing you can do about it!
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
necigrad
Posts: 173
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 2:25 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Sun Jan 04, 2004 11:55 pm

I think I might feel a bit violated too, to be honest. But then again, I've searched bags before, even locked ones. I've seen so many vibrating bags it's not even funny. OK, well there WAS that one time shortly after 9/11 when there was two foreign girls that had a.... "rideable" sex toy. If the bag vibrates, it's going to be searched. And while YOU might not feel comfortable about it, you'd probably feel just as uncomfortable about being pulled off the plane last minute in front of all the other passengers to be present for the search. And some people do check embarassing items. Especially here in Vegas. We get quite a few vibrators. And yes, gloves are definatly worn!
 
BR715-A1-30
Posts: 6525
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 9:30 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Mon Jan 05, 2004 12:12 am

I only check my bags at the gate after the TSA has screened it. I will take it through the checkpoint, let them X-Ray it, then lock it up and check it at the gate.
Puhdiddle
 
Filterboy
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 12:01 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Mon Jan 05, 2004 1:30 am

I have no problem with the TSA inspecting my luggage. ( I feel sorry for them having to go through my used clothes ewwwww)

The only thing that concerns me is that my luggage is left unlocked. How secure is my luggage from the TSA having inspected it and it being loaded onto the aircraft? If I arrive back in the UK and someone has placed an illegal substance in my case to smuggle it in I am still Liable and will be doing the jail time, is this the same in the US?

Just my 2p

Filter
 
HlywdCatft
Posts: 5232
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2001 6:21 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Mon Jan 05, 2004 1:38 am

I don't know if the "Thousands Standing Around" have a place to search your luggage also in the back, but I was watching them search luggage at MCO and DTW the other day and when I gave them my bags I watched over them like a hawk before they put it on the conveyor to be sent to the plane. Now I don't know if they will search it again in the back.

I have heard many stories of "Tom's (Ridge) Stupid Assholes" stealing items from bags. If you have anything really valuable, I would suggest you pack it on carryon.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Mon Jan 05, 2004 1:42 am

In TXL,Berlin, Germany, if something suspicious was found on X-ray, the passenger would get called up and the bag hand searched in his/her presence. The security guards wouldn´t open it without the owner being present, to protect themselves against being sued. I would also object strongly against having my luggage searched without me being present.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
MidnightMike
Posts: 2810
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:07 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Mon Jan 05, 2004 1:44 am


There is nothing wrong with the TSA, people are just so paranoid. If the TSA was stealing items out of people's luggage, it would be on the news in about "5" minutes.
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theflcowboy
Posts: 357
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2004 3:44 am

The Authority Of The TSA

Mon Jan 05, 2004 1:54 am

It just seems to me that it is one more freedom taken away after 9-11. Don't get me wrong 9-11 was a horrible thing and yes we need to make changes in the way we handle ourselves, but between the acts that give the government the right to hold people indefinitely, have the authority to look into our backgrounds before a flight, and then going through our stuff. What's next? Are they going to look at someone's history and say "Gee, he looks like a terrorist, let's go search his house to make sure." To me, when I take my stuff on the road, that is my house because it holds all my belongings in it when I travel.

Oh well. What can ya do?

MD
A318, A320, A332, A333, B1900, B722, B732, B733, B734, B735, B737, B738, B772, CR1, CR2, CR7, CR9, MD80, MD81, MD82, MD8
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Mon Jan 05, 2004 1:56 am

How do you want to prove it if the TSA people steal something out of your bag?

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Dtw757
Posts: 1270
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2003 10:05 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:10 am

I have to wonder about the brilliance of the TSA people examining luggage.

Last month I returned from Germany on NW from FRA-DTW. After clearing customs in DTW, you turn your luggage over to the TSA if you have a connecting flight.

I understand the need to examine new luggage entering the country. My thing is this. I was connecting to a flight on a Saab 340 to TOL, a 49 mile flight. The TSA agent chose to open my suitcase. I was going on a flight that's 20 minutes and on an airplane that holds 30 people.

If you're going to open luggage, let's be opening it for someone alot more suspicious. Let's not be wasting time with someone connecting to a twin engine turbo prop. Maybe someone going on a farther flight on a much larger aircraft.
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AirDude66
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 12:48 pm

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Mon Jan 05, 2004 11:14 am

DTW757

So Sorry we forgot to inform the TSA that you and the other TOL passengers are exempt. There certainly would be no reason to suspect anyone traveling to or from Toledo or any other close to hub cities. Terrorists are well known for boarding long distance flights only.

You can email TellTSA@tsa.gov, I am sure they will exempt you in the future.
 
robsawatsky
Posts: 477
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 7:07 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 4:13 am

As a Canadian, I am amazed by the number of posts from the US that willingly support the loss of freedom and civil liberties in the name of security - under the administration of US president from Texas!
 
C17Glbm
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 1:06 pm

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 4:21 am

I think that some aspects of TSA authority are blasted way out of proportion in aspect of constant threats.
I feel that opening baggage is OK if there is a well documented suspicion at hand. For example and object that looks like a bomb or gun. However, I feel that most TSA screeners are taking their role a little too serious and remind more and more of the rude and power-hungry behavior of some of our police officers. I've had a real nasty run-in with a TSA screener. I should've knows better to protest but I don't think that it is necessary to go through my paperwork and read it as well! I'm a USAF pilot and unfortunately had to go through a TSA check in order to get to the exit and my car. I had flown myself that day and was observed getting out of the aircraft by the security personnel. However, they stopped our crew and administered an "extra close" search because they couldn't understand that USAF pilots had business to do in a civilian airport.
I don't know about others opinion but I feel we reached a point where people are starting to get ridiculous.
 
Kempa
Posts: 364
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 2:47 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 4:30 am

I believe that people who object to the manual search of their luggage without their presence should be entitled to have their luggage thoroughly x-rayed and hand-searched in their presence by a TSA officer, and then being able to lock and check their luggage. No guarantees that it wouldn't be searched again should be extended, but common courtesy should dictate that only extreme cases would be searched again.
 
syncmaster
Posts: 1926
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2002 9:55 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 4:35 am

All the times my bags have been hand searched (it always seems like there is at least 1 both going and coming back) they allowed me to stand next to the barrier and watch what they were doing, and none of the agents had a problem with it. And this is in a fairly small town (South Bend, IN) and large cities as well (Seattle and Orlando).

Once they were down and I saw them hand the bag back to the airline/porter I just went on my way to the security checkpoint and to the gate.

Also, welcome to A.net TheFLCowboy!
 
jhooper
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Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 5:48 am

However, I feel that most TSA screeners are taking their role a little too serious

I sure hope they're taking their jobs seriously...

Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
C17Glbm
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 1:06 pm

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 5:54 am

"I sure hope they're taking their jobs seriously..."

Belittling and humiliating people and TSA security procedures are two completely different things................or are they??????

I don't really like to put my behind on the line and then come home to receive a treatment like a scumbag.
 
Kempa
Posts: 364
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 2:47 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 6:00 am

I have never been belittled or humiliated by the TSA. Inconvenienced, yes, but it is their job to suspect everyone, and do a search so that people with bad intentions do not get their hopes up. I put up with inconvenience in the name of security. If I am belittled or humiliated, you can bet that I will report the employee. Until now, all TSA personnel that I have encountered have been very professional and courteous.
 
C17Glbm
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 1:06 pm

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 6:10 am

Inconveniencing travelers is not an issue. However, telling me that I have no reason to be dressed up in an Air Force flightsuit and walking through an civilian airport is something very different. I admit it's not a everyday thing for us to fly out of or into CIV airports. But stopping the entire crew because of our uniform is the stupidest thing I've ever seen.
Also, last time I checked I didn't hear anyone checking peoples personal planners and papers.
 
B747-4U3
Posts: 617
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2002 8:08 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 6:20 am

I agree with an earlier post in this thread which said that they dislike people searching their bags without being there. I completely agree with this. I don't have a problem with my bags being searched, but, if they are I want to be there to make sure that everthing is put back correctly and that nothing is planted.

One thing that bothers me is that the TSA workers could quiet easily plant something without my knowledge and then I have to take the wrap for it.

I think it would be much better to have baggage screening before check-in (like many Middle Eastern Airports), so that if my bag needs to be searched it can be done whilst I am watching.
 
Kempa
Posts: 364
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 2:47 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 6:26 am

Walking through a civilian airport in a military flightsuit should evoke respect. However, during these times, it also arouses suspicion. I don't know if TSA has a procedure for this type of situation, but it certainly shouldn't include telling military personnel not to use military clothes. My opinion is that they should have approached you and verified that you and your fellow crew are indeed entitled to wear military flightsuits. A simple ID check would have been enough.

These times, anything slightly out of the ordinary can seem suspicious, and should be verified courteously and respectfully. There is no reason for TSA officers to be impolite.
 
jhooper
Posts: 5560
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 6:29 am

Inconveniencing travelers is not an issue. However, telling me that I have no reason to be dressed up in an Air Force flightsuit and walking through an civilian airport is something very different.

you have a point there.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
C17Glbm
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 1:06 pm

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 6:35 am

Kempa
I want to thank you for your insight and I totally agree with you. There are many cases where military personnel should not wear their uniforms. In my case we were the flight crew for a AF flight leaving that day and we had to wear the uniform. I can understand certain suspicions but this certain gentleman from TSA was quite stubborn in his ways.
Guess it was just a unlucky day.
 
frntman
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2003 10:23 pm

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 7:38 am

I understand the need to examine new luggage entering the country. My thing is this. I was connecting to a flight on a Saab 340 to TOL, a 49 mile flight. The TSA agent chose to open my suitcase. I was going on a flight that's 20 minutes and on an airplane that holds 30 people.

And it takes how long for an explosive device to detonate?

 
7574EVER
Posts: 462
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2004 4:47 pm

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 7:47 am

I was unpacking after being away for a weekend and I found a note in my checked bag that said something along the lines of: "Your bag was chosen to be hand searched and your belongings have been replaced as neatly as possible. The TSA appreciates your cooperation." As much as I hate the thought of someone going through my boxer shorts, it makes me feel good that they are checking things "behind the scenes" and just not out in public to make passengers feel safe.
Does anyone know as to why my bag was chosen? Is it at random or was my bag suspicious for some reason?
Right rudder....Right rudder...Come on, more right rudder....Right rudder......Aw forget it, I quit!!
 
Dtw757
Posts: 1270
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RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 8:22 am

Airdude66
Frntman,

I think maybe I've been misunderstood. I'm not saying that any city close to a hub city should be exempt. I also know that a device can be detinated in a split second. I personally have never heard of regional aircraft being a target. We had just gotten off an A330 with 299 people and were connecting to a plane with 30 people. If you were one of the bad guys, you pick the plane you would want.

Maybe I don't have the right mind for it. I guess I don't think myself to fit the profile either. But it's also possible they can be any race and any age. Including the 80 year old man next to me traveling to LAN whos suitcase was also opened. "C'mon Grandpa, Show us what's in the bag"

721,2,732,3,4,5,G,8,9,741,2,3,4,752,3,762,3,4,772,3,788,D93,5,M80,D10,M11,L10,100,AB6,319,20,21,332,3,346,388,146,CR2,7,
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 8:43 am

Back in the 70´s Germany was the target of a communist group with bombings, kidnappings and hijackings. Their aim was to make the government to become a police state, and so to infuriate the population, who would see the terrorists as the avantgarde of a revolution. The wholw thing failed. Why?
Because the government AND the population refused to have their lifes dictated by a group of fanatics. The government stuck to the law and constitution, it didn´t call for capital punishment and peemptive arrests.
The same happened in France in the early 90´s during several months of bombings and hijackings by Algerian muslim FANATICS. Actually what you´ve seen on 9/11 was supposed to happen over Paris back then, only the airliner, an Air France Airbus, ran out of fuel and instead of fueling the plane the French police stormed it.
Italy had it´s spell of terrorism.
Spain still has the ETA, and theystill keep their democratic constitution.
Don´t give in to the FANATICS! DON`T PLAY THEIR GAME. DON`T LET YOUR LIFE BE DICTATED BY THEM. IF YOU CATCH THEM TRY THEM IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW. BUT DON`T LET THEM AND THE GOVERNMENT CUT BACK ON YOUR FREEDOM.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Okie
Posts: 3553
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:30 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 8:44 am

Did I not catch that Ridge got busted for Drinking and Driving during the height of the Orange Alert during the Holidays. I believe that was on CNN now that really gives you an idea of how things are over at the TSA.
 
RiverVisualNYC
Posts: 926
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:11 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 8:48 am

The rules are very clear. The TSA can open and inspect your bags at anytime for any reason. If it's locked they will break the lock, they have the right to do that. If you don't like it, don't fly! It's not pleasant but it's the reality of the system....What makes me uncomfortable is that I have been told by more than one airline employee that many of the TSA agents are former security screeners from the pre-9/11 private companies like Argenbright that formerly did airport security, all they did was get a new jacket and supposedly some additional training....
 
FedExIndy
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2001 2:14 pm

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 8:55 am

You want to know something really bad. I have seen on numerous occasions the TSA opening a bag and acually looking at developed pictures people have in their bags. I saw this at IND when I was working there for a passenger carrier.
 
silverfox
Posts: 1032
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 8:39 am

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 9:12 am

What law forbids the TSA requesting the presence of the owner of the bags whilst being searched?
Surely that is the best way?
 
frntman
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2003 10:23 pm

RE: The Authority Of The TSA

Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:59 pm

DTW757-

I believe the traveling public overall has become much like it was prior to 9/11......complacent.

The aviation industry and passengers alike want the security system to be efficient, seamless, non-evasive, and foolproof. We seem to forget that as an industry we don't know what, when, or if another incident will occur.

What the traveling public observes is the screening process at the security checkpoint or the checked luggage screening. While the general consensus is that the security process has greatly improved, it is not perfect...nor will it ever be. The checkpoint is purely a visual deterrent to those with malicious intent. Even if there was the requirement for passengers to travel naked with no bags, you still will not have a 100% secure aircraft.

All we can do is remain vigilant.

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