At first I thought the TSA
was doing better. I thought they were much more thorough and professional than the private screeners. But lately I have noticed a trend where the TSA
screeners are falling into the same rut that the private screeners had been in for years. I see in many TSA
workers the same disinterested stare that the private screeners had. I've watched many times as a TSA
Xray operator looks away from his display long enough for a bag to appear and then disappear from the screen without their seeing it.
Let's face it the job is monotonous and boring. After doing it for a while I think it would be tough for anybody to keep up a great work ethic.
I don't think pay has anything to do with it either. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but TSA
screeners make roughly twice what the private screeners they replaced made. Unfortunately if you aren't really interested in your job, the amount of money you make has little affect on your job performance. It's probably a rare person who dreams of having a job wanding shoeless passengers with BO
, or repeating every 20 seconds "Please remove your laptops from their cases and put them in a separate tray on the belt." only to have someone every few minutes not comply.
As far as preventing another 9/11. I think a better question is without the benefit of hindsight, what would TSA
screeners have done any differently on 9/11? The weapons that were used were all allowed on commercial aircraft under the FAA rules at the time. Maybe I'm living under a rock, but I don't remember any fault being assigned to the screeners who handled the terrorists.
's takeover of the screening positions at US airports was an attempt to pacify a nervous traveling public. At great cost it provided them with a false sense of added security. Any real enhancements to security as a result of 9/11 have been realized through rule changes ie. no knives or blades of any kind allowed in checked baggage, sterile cockpits, only ticketed pax in gate areas, 100% screened checked baggage, etc..
While we're on the subject does anybody have a link to data comparing TSA
screeners effectiveness in catching banned items to that of private screeners?