As an airline employee, I have the chance to see the wonderful service of our tax dollars at work each and everyday that I grace my presence at the airport. Just to set the record straight, the Transportation Security Administration's premise is valid, but some of the most silly things happen when they are on their "mission" at the airport. The following happened in the last month at the airport I am currently employed at.
1) For those of you who may work for an airline, you might be familar with SSR's. SSR's are entered into a passenger's record in case they are in need of some assistance, language, certain types of meals, pets, etc. If a passenger is put on standby, they have a standby card that on the bottom states if they have an SSR or not. If a passenger has been randomly picked by the airline, it will say SSSS on their boarding pass. Well, for those who are going through our airport checkpoints, all passengers who are on standby have been recieving extra screening, because why? Mr. TSA
: "BECAUSE IT
SAYS RIGHT HERE! SSR...." Apparently counting and depicting letters on a departure management card is extremely hard these days. You should only be screened if it is randomly done by the airline(stating SSSS on the boarding pass) or if TSA
pulls you randomly.
2) Next, one of the supervisors for TSA
(who was a former station manager for an airline) told the entire TSA
staff of 150 that all electronic tickets are exempt from secondary screening. Not only can electronic tickets be printed into paper tickets, but several of the hijackers on the 9-11 flights were ticketed on one way electronic tickets, thus holding up a red flag. Why aren't they seeking the extra screening for someone with an electronic ticket?
3) This is the last and I love this one. As an employee, I recieve free travel benefits. Talking to a TSA
agent, they were furious when they found out that we get to travel for free and they weren't eligible for the benefits themselves. Between airlines at the airport, the station agreements between airlines make sense. They can travel on our planes if they allow us to travel on their airline. But what kind of compensation is the TSA
going to give our airline so that they can travel on us for free? Are they going to come over to a family reunion and screen all my relatives when they come through my front door? Will they perform their security skills at birthday parties? Give me a break.
For those of you who see this on an everyday basis, please add to my list of joy.