CO agents at RIC checking IDs at EasyCheck-in machines?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by bhatnasx, Apr 24, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. bhatnasx
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    bhatnasx Silver Member

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    I understand that when one checks bags, they are ID'd to make sure the ID of the person checking in matches the person who is flying.

    Today, at RIC, I walked up to the elite line and proceeded to go through the check-in process & print out my boarding pass. While checking in, a guy wearing a suit walked up to me and the people using the check-in unit next to me and and asked to see our IDs. I couldn't see his CO name tag because of the angle he was standing & his airport ID was reversed (so not showing CO credentials).

    I asked him who he was & why he wanted to see my ID. He told me it was policy and turned his CO ID around so I could see he worked for CO directly. I told him that I was surprised by that because usually when I fly domestic (RIC-EWR), the only people who check my ID is the TSA. I said I thought it was weird because if I had checked in online & printed my boarding pass, he wouldn't be checking my ID. He told me that it's CO policy to check IDs here (at the check-in units), have the TSA check IDs, and that they check them at the gate too (and we'll see what happens there because I'm sitting here waiting for my flight right now).

    I've never had anyone check my ID when using a check-in unit (checked bags, yes - but carryon only? Literally never.). No one else using the check-in units (that I saw) were asked for ID while I was there.

    Anyone else experience this or is this just a misinformed CO agent with a power trip?

    On a side note - he also wished the (white) people (who showed him their ID's happily) a happy easter & said he was happy to be "bathing in the Lord's glory" or something of that extent today (I'm brown - he didn't wish me a happy easter - just an observation).
     
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  2. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    If he didn't have an I/D that said he worked for CO, I would have said he was a TSA BDO playing "see SPOT run" ;) but in this case, yes-truly <inserting my Boston accent> bizzah
     
  3. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Sounds like he wished he worked for the TSA. And he's really, really glad he has a badge, if only one issued by CO.
     
  4. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Whether he works for CO or TSA, the religious comments (beyond wishing people Happy Easter, although some would object to this too) were inappropriate anytime he is wearing a uniform or badge IMO.
     
  5. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Bizzarre. I'm glad you stood your ground. The only power trips I've seen are by TSOs.
     
  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Not that I've ever had my ID checked while using the kiosk, but the company certainly has a right to do so. I'm not sure what about this is "standing one's ground" when the agent is permitted to request ID from anyone if they want. :confused:
     
  7. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    If someone comes out of nowhere and demands to see your ID, that's a little odd. The employee's ID badge was not readily visible, and there isn't any posted requirement that ID checks take place during check-in at a kiosk with no bags. While I agree that the company has a right to check the identification of its passengers, it wasn't immediately clear that this is what was taking place.

    Too often security personell get the idea that they can scrutinize anyone at any time for any reason. But there are rules against unreasonable search and seizure. People have a right to question who is asking for their documentation and for what purpose. If you don't, you may find that you won't have that right for much longer.
     
  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Sure, from the government. This clearly was not that. And, if you read the OP again you'll see that the agent DID show their ID, not hide it.

    I have no problem defending my rights. But to pretend that constitutional rights apply in the conduct of private business is certainly a stretch well beyond what seems rational in these circumstances.
     
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  9. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    He said it was a guy wearing a suite and quote:

    "I couldn't see his CO name tag because of the angle he was standing & his airport ID was reversed (so not showing CO credentials)."

    I was only after he asked that the guy showed his CO name badge and airport ID. Before that, it could have been CO, a TSO, or any stranger. That's all I'm saying. You should be allowed to ask for some evidence that the person has the authority to demand your ID and be able to ask why he wants to see them.

    If someone in a suit comes up to you in Starbucks and asks to see your ID, I would hope you'd ask them for proof that they're a Starbucks employee and ask them why they want to see it. If they show you an employee badge and explain that it's company policy to get positive ID from all customers, then you should comply if you want to buy your coffee there. It sounds like the OP did both.

    As for the application of constitutional rights to private businesses, the government asks the airlines to do a lot for them these days. And even private practices have a way of influencing people's willingness to submit to government regulations. If people get used to handing over stuff to a company, then they'll be more willing to hand stuff over to the government. The only difference is you don't usually get to tell the government "no." Either way you should be able to ask why they want it and on what authority.
     
  10. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Did they ask for ID at the gate?

    I haven't seen gate ID checking for domestic flights since [2003], if not longer.
     
  11. mikeef
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    mikeef Silver Member

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    I find this particularly offensive and would have written to CO. YMMV.

    Mike
     
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  12. bhatnasx
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    bhatnasx Silver Member

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    Not at all. A normal boarding procedure (which means no ID at the gate on a domestic RIC-EWR flight).
     
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  13. bhatnasx
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    bhatnasx Silver Member

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    I haven't decided to write as yet - but I did find it offensive as well, on multiple levels...
     
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  14. mikeef
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    mikeef Silver Member

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    I know there are passengers who would be okay with it and some who would even rejoice in it. And frankly, I have no problem with someone who says "Happy Holiday!" I don't even get upset when someone at Walmart wishes me Merry Christmas (ah, shades of another annual thread). But I don't want to be proselytized to.

    Okay, stepping down from the soapbox. Man, I'm short.

    Mike
     
  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    The blueshirts occasionally make appearances at the gets to do additional searches and/or ID checks. I had that happen a few times over the years, as recently as last Saturday at LAX.
     
  16. bhatnasx
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    bhatnasx Silver Member

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    yes - but those are the blueshirts - not the CO employees...
     
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  17. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Can't really tell from your OP if you meant TSA or CO when you said "they" would check at gate again. Now it's clear :)

    In any case, thanks for not just showing your ID to a random stranger who demands to see it. I wonder if I were to put on a suit, clip a random badge the wrong way on the breast pocket and Ghent walk around airport gates asking people for id, how many would show it without questioning me.
     

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