I flew through EWR
today (12/15/04). I heard from my wife that this was not made public until today--yet someone mentioned it to me yesterday in either BKK
Anyway, the biggest problem here is that the bag was not tracked by the people who were doing the "test"! No excuse for that.
How can it happen that the screeners miss it? Have you EVER been looking at a computer screen for 8 hours and missed something? Most of us would never know, unless someone brought it to our attention. As long as we have Humans doing the job, things will be missed. We will never achieve 100% effectiveness, we just want to make darn sure that we achieve well over 99%.
I arrived from NRT
and rechecked my bags to ORD
. It appeared that there was only one person operating the bag scanner and he was A--H--- deep in bags as he was accepting them from the passengers, loading them in the scanner, and it looked like he was also the one viewing the scan. THIS is how things get by unnoticed! Is it the TSA
agents fault? I think it is more a result of supervisory staffing.
In the example I just cited, if it happened as I thought it did, probably the CORRECT thing for the TSA
agent to do would be to shut down the entire line until he had time to examine EACH bag! That would have resulted in a LOT of unhappy people, both passengers and airline staff.
What would YOU do in such a position?
I'm not justifying what happened, only offering an explanation of how it can happen.