PSAatSAN4Ever
Topic Author
Posts: 918
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:38 pm

SAN-BNA on WN, Most Helpful TSA Ever + Terrible Signage @ SAN!!

Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:38 pm

A short trip to Chattanooga via Nashville for a family wedding. Southwest was great, as always, and both of our trips (738 outbound, 737 returning) had no surprises or interruptions.

I do want to give a shout-out, however, to the TSA personnel at BNA, as they made the security experience easy and quick, and they did it by actually speaking to the passengers, instead of yelling robotically at us via the standard script. NOTHING is more infuriating or insulting to me, personally, than being told one thing by one TSA agent, only to have another agent scream at you 30 seconds later that it has to be done different - and then worse, that "you should have known this!"

One agent at SAN told us, "yes, you can leave your money clip in your pants - just no metal". Thirty seconds later, another agent screamed at us, "when we say nothing in your pockets, we mean it!!" TSA, choose one or the other, but get your s*** together and make up your mind. It's distressing to have to throw your money in a screening tray at the last possible second, exposed for all the world to see. And since there's no guarantee your tray will arrive airside at the same time you do, anything could happen to it. Fortunately, nothing did happen; however, this isn't the first time this has happened to us. Generally, we get through unscathed, but sometimes it feels like they are looking for a reason to be angry and upset.

Nashville airport, on the other hand, had TSA agents actually speaking to passengers, and questions were listened to and answered personally & professionally. I didn't want to stick around and carry on a conversation, but whoever trained these people needs to train everyone at TSA. Hands down, the most professional-while-still-being-thorough-and-careful personnel at a large airport I have ever experienced (Fort Smith, Arkansas has very thorough and friendly personnel, but that's a tiny airport, and I will consider that a tie). And that courtesy that was extended - instead of yelling at us like military recruits - actually made the experience go quicker.

I don't want to classify all TSA agents into a stereotype; however, if the line is to keep moving, then TSA needs to stop contradicting themselves - as well as stop screaming at people - and talk to us. You are as much a human being as we are, and we want to do things right the first time. You'll get people through a LOT quicker by speaking TO them, not screaming at them.

Finally, our return. It didn't detract from the experience at SAN in the end, as our luggage did arrive quickly, but somebody on Monday evening, October 14, 2019 was asleep at the switch: the arrivals board didn't show more than one arriving flight, but then for some reason listed a flight from Manchester, NH (it was MHT-BWI-SAN) as a non-stop. Why would anyone go to that trouble? And our Nashville flight? Never showed up. Fortunately, an announcement was made, and carousel #4 started spinning, and out came our bags. I have never seen SAN make any errors whatsoever, but to have several at one time make me wonder what had happened.

Not much of a trip report, I know, but it was something I wanted to post to see what other experiences others have had. Thanks for reading!!
 
PI4EVR
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:29 pm

Re: SAN-BNA on WN, Most Helpful TSA Ever + Terrible Signage @ SAN!!

Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:34 pm

I've had nice experiences in BNA as well and for me locally, my hometown airport TPA gets the best nod for TSA staff and processing. Airsides are generally always busy, but the TSA part is usually quick and friendly.
I travel frequently to PHL and it can be a s**tshow most of the time. And it is literally screaming! I have flashbacks to military boot camp and wait for the "can you HEAR me?" I actually had 2 agents argue with each other about what they wanted me to do.......shoes on, off, belt on, off etc.
I had a serious incident with a screening tray. The belt was jammed up and my tray overturned on the belt in the machine. My passport, wallet, and cellphone fell through the roller end onto the floor UNDER the machine. In the meantime, I was rudely advised to get "out of the line you're holding people up". When I pointed to my articles on the floor, the response I got was "how did you manage to do THAT?"
Oh I don't know, I laid awake all night thinking of ways to really complicate my trip and piss you off!
Hang in there PSAatSAN4Ever. I'll be the nice guy right behind you.
 
jb1087xna
Posts: 448
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:11 am

Re: SAN-BNA on WN, Most Helpful TSA Ever + Terrible Signage @ SAN!!

Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:18 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
One agent at SAN told us, "yes, you can leave your money clip in your pants - just no metal". Thirty seconds later, another agent screamed at us, "when we say nothing in your pockets, we mean it!!" TSA, choose one or the other, but get your s*** together and make up your mind. It's distressing to have to throw your money in a screening tray at the last possible second, exposed for all the world to see. And since there's no guarantee your tray will arrive airside at the same time you do, anything could happen to it. Fortunately, nothing did happen; however, this isn't the first time this has happened to us. Generally, we get through unscathed, but sometimes it feels like they are looking for a reason to be angry and upset.


I've had similar experiences with multiple laptops in terms of contradictions. I generally take both my personal and work laptops in my carryon. I've been scolded for taking up too many bins if I put them in different ones yet I've also been told to "go to the back of the line!" because I left them together in one bin before.
 
Chemist
Posts: 650
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:46 am

Re: SAN-BNA on WN, Most Helpful TSA Ever + Terrible Signage @ SAN!!

Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:56 am

I have precheck and routinely take all metal and electronics off me and put in a bin, but keep paper, wallet, etc. in my pockets. At SMF one day the TSA agent saw the wallet bulge in my front pocked (this is the precheck line) and aske me what that was. I said "wallet" and she said "everything is supposed to be out of your pockets!". I was surprised and took my wallet out while asking "I thought I only needed to take out metal?". She said no, everything! I went through screening. On the airside I asked another TSA agent about it and said that I was just asked to take everything out. The agent just shrugged.

I agree they should straighten out their rules. Probably just a power-hungry agent as I've never had that happen in >100 flights with precheck.

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