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Airport security screening - forum discussion

Mudpro

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I fly at least once or twice a month throughout the lower 48 United States and have had to deal with security screening issues since I returned to work after my hip resurfacing surgery in December 2008.

It seems to me that security procedures have intensified in recent months.

I use to just walk through one of the scanner machines and/or get a quick wanding by a TSA officer. Now it seems like I'm getting a full body massage (massages are certainly not a bad thing, but this whole male on male thing just doesn't work for me...).

Is anyone else experiencing a more aggressive approach to the routine security pat-down process at airports?
 

loggon

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Re: Airport Security Screening

wow I think I would call a supervisor (if you can).

Have not traveled yet with my knee but think I will wear a skirt or short knee high
jeans just so I can show them.

Hope they come up with something else soon so us knees and hippies don't have to go through all this.
 

marennorge

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Re: Airport Security Screening

Because I am a woman, I always have to wait until they can locate a female TSA agent to do the pat down. Sometimes there is one nearby, sometimes not. But I have noticed that it is not just the wand but an actual physical touch of her gloved hands as she does it. But yup, it has been more thorough. The printed card from the OS and/or knee scars don't count to them. Don't bother wearing a skirt just for that.
 

Judles

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Re: Airport Security Screening

Mud......I think its ALWAYS been more aggressive for women! I'm flying abroad o
Next week...I'll probably be "lucky" enough to have all the available TSA agents....I swear some of them look like football tackles! (:)0)
 

Texas

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Re: Airport Security Screening

Oh know that is terrible i haven't been on a plane but I can imagine they are cracking down but i think there should be some limits no massages ............
 

1jt@atime

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Re: Airport Security Screening

Mudpro,

You mentioned a few months back that you noticed a big difference airport to airport and I agreed with that. Last month, I flew out of Reagan National Airport here in the DC area and zipped right through without a problem. My return trip from Tampa, on the other hand, was a nightmare. Besides the metal knees, I carry a CPAP machine with me and they stopped me for both things as expected. I went into the new scanner thing and they said I had something in the back pocket of my jeans. I had to wait for a female inspector that had to come pat down my back side. There was nothing in my pocket!

After this, not only did they have to RESCAN my carry on and cpac machine, but they had to take EVERYTHING out of the bag including my bosses' clothes that I had stuck in the bag minutes before because her checkin bag was too heavy. Everything was falling all over the floor and it was quite embarrassing and unprofessional on their part how they handled my belongings. What a difference between two airports.
 
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Mudpro

Mudpro

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Re: Airport Security Screening

On my way out of Baltimore-Washington Airport (BWI) last Monday, while I was being "detained" for the massage, my laptop computer was almost knocked on the floor by another passenger who was ina big hurry and who carelessly pushed my things aside on the conveyor belt.

BWI use to be great, but they've stopped using the scanner machine for males...
 

loggon

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Re: Airport Security Screening

Think all of us with implants need to start a writing campaign to complain on how they do the check. There is bound to be something that can be done.
 

Josephine

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Re: Airport Security Screening

Yes - the BoneSmart campaign!
 

Judles

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Re: Airport Security Screening

I wish! I doubt it though! I've actually found an improvement when I'm wanded in a separate cubicle, bit that's only if you have a travel companion!!! Otherwise, things get dicey and confusing in the retrieval dept!!! (:)0)
 

Jamie

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Re: Airport Security Screening

On our last trip...the one where I was almost arrested by the TSA (but that's another story).....the airline folks (not sure if they were Southwest people, airport employees or TSA) asked what my luggage was, picked it up and carried it over near where I was being wanded. I thought that was nice and it really helped. But it has only happened this once.

If a person is traveling alone, they should do that or at least pull your bags and place them in a holding area that is not accessible to everyone.
 
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Mudpro

Mudpro

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Re: Airport Security Screening

Okay, the letter writting campaign has begun!!! :hissy: :D

This is what I wrote. Feel free to copy it, modify it, or throw it out and write one of your own expressing your unique issues and experiences.

Background:

I travel extensively on domestic flights as part of my job, and last December I had a hip replacment surgery which naturally results in a more comprehensive screening process when I set off the metal detector.

Issue(s):

1. Recently the "pat-down" procedure seems to have become much more comprehensive. I am not a modest person, but about 75% of the time I feel like I've been given an unwanted body massage.

2. I almost always travel alone and my belongings are left on the conveyor belt while I am seperated from them and searched. Recently my laptop computer was nearly knocked off onto the floor by a passanger who was in a hurry and my things were clogging the line, so she pushed them aside abruptly.

3. I use to keep my wallet in my pocket through screening and hold it in my hand while being wanded; that is until a Denver TSA agent took it away from me and out of my line of sight, put it through the x-ray machine (it did not set off the wand). I now have taken to stuffing it into my carry-on bag, but am concerned that it could be taken as easily as my laptop was nearly dropped while I am seperated from my property.

4. As a frequent flyer, I can attest to the fact that there is a wide range in attitudes presented by TSA staff. Some are professional and courteous while still gettng their job done, some are rude and arrogant, like they get off on their power-trip, and some are completely out to lunch and unattentive.

Suggestions:

A. At some airports, TSA agents ask, "where are your things" and then go get them and set them aside near the screening area. This is VERY reassuring to a passanger traveling alone and should be an option at all airports.

B. A TSA agent should NEVER take it upon themselves to take a person's belongings (wallet) out of their line of sight, especially when containing cash, credit cards, etc.. NEVER!

C. Unless there are different levels of security pat-downs that I am unaware of, one screening should be about like another from airport to airport. In other words, if one TSA agent can pat me down and determine that I am not a threat without malling me, then all TSA agents should be able to accomplish their jobs in the same respective manner.

Summary:

There are a lot of us who travel and have hip or knee implants. We are proud Americans who understand the need for heightened security when we set off a metal detector. But I hope you will train your agents to be more respectful of our bodies and our property when performing their jobs.


This is where you make the complaint:

https://contact.tsa.dhs.gov/DynaForm.aspx?FormID=10

Power to the BoneSmart people! :D
 

Jamie

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Re: Airport Security Screening

Great idea!!!! Good summary of the major issues too.
 

loggon

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Re: Airport Security Screening

Great I have not traveled but I will sent a complaint anyway. I do intend in a few months to be traveling by plane.

I will not appreciate being "massaged"

I do hope more folks will send in a complaint too, just maybe we can get something done.
 

Texas

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Re: Airport Security Screening

That is a terrific letter......I have not flown yet but i hope to in March.........I think its awful.....yes they can ck but I think all this is way overboard.....
 

Josephine

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Re: Airport Security Screening

Wow, well done! Let the games begin!
 
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Mudpro

Mudpro

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Re: Airport Security Screening

Well I got my reply, and as i suspected, its a canned reply that doesn't address the overt manner of the pat-downs or the issues I raised about personal property.

Thank you for your message concerning airport security and travelers with metal implants.

This information along with other travel tips is located on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website at www.tsa.gov . All travelers, and particularly those who travel infrequently, are encouraged to visit the section on travel tips before their trip. Frequent flyers should review the information periodically for changes and updates. The website has information about prohibited and permitted items, the screening process and procedures, and guidance for special considerations, that may assist in preparing for air travel. You can go directly to these tips at http://www.tsatraveltips.us/.

You should always notify your air carrier of your special screening needs before you arrive at the airport. This should include any assistance you will need with connecting flights. You might also want to take a copy of these tips with you when you travel. If you encounter problems with the screening process, ask to speak with the TSA security supervisor. You can report problems encountered while traveling by calling the TSA Contact Center toll free at 1-866-289-9673.

We hope the following information from our website will be helpful.

It is recommended (but not required) that you advise the screener that you have a metal implant and where that implant is located.
If you have an implanted medical device that you would like to remain private and confidential, ask the screener to please be discreet when assisting you through the screening process.
Screeners will offer you a private screening once it becomes known that you have a metal implant or implanted medical device.
If your Doctor has indicated that you should not go through the metal detector or be hand wanded because it could affect the functionality of your device, or if you are concerned, ask the screener for a pat-down inspection instead.
Screeners will need to resolve all alarms associated with metal implants. Most alarms will be able to be resolved during a pat-down inspection and should not typically require the lifting and/or removal of clothing.
Additionally, the TSA and its employees take their responsibility of securing our Nation’s transportation systems very seriously. We are constantly working hard to improve security. TSA continues to receive many suggestions and comments for improving all facets of security systems and they all are taken into consideration. We are committed to refining our screening processes, resulting in increased security and improved customer service.

You may wish to submit future feedback to the TSA Blog, “Evolution of Security,” which can be found at www.tsa.gov/blog. The purpose of this blog is to facilitate an ongoing dialogue on innovations in security, technology, and the checkpoint screening process.

TSA Contact Center
 

Josephine

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Re: Airport Security Screening

Looks like a proforma letter to me.
 

Snookkatcher

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Re: Airport Security Screening

Well, the wife and I are going to Italy for a couple of weeks sometime late next year. She has a cousin stationed at Aviano Air Force Base there....we'll be staying with him and his wife and family just a few miles off-Base. Italian Customs/Military/Airport Security is very careful, but they also actually have brains and use them! It's the TSA, FAA, A-B-C (bleep) You-and-me United States idiots that irk me!
Seeing as how I've had both hips done, I'm just gonna say 'yeah, I had surgery to implant a Glock inside this hip, and the other side has extra clips....YOU figure it out there genius...!' Lee
 

Jamie

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Re: Airport Security Screening

Lee....I hope you are joking here on the forum. You really don't want to make comments like that at the airport, no matter how much you would LIKE to say it. The TSA guys have all the power in that situation and would be within their rights to delay you or bounce you from your flight completely.
 

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