The things you see at security

Discussion in 'Travel Security' started by AndrewW, Aug 18, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. AndrewW

    AndrewW Silver Member

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    I took my family to Orlando for the final shuttle launch (that's another thread in itself) and to "enjoy" the thrills of the many theme parks.

    On the way home, flying out of MCO, I was in the line for the security scanning when I realised that the lady a couple of places ahead of me was carrying a BB gun (rifle). Now it had a bright red stock, but there was no doubt that it was a functioning rifle of some description. I quickly hopped into another line, not wanting to become collateral damage if the TSA went in guns blazing.

    As she approached the xray belt a TSA agent approached her with a concerned look on her face and I heard the following conversation:

    Her: "Do I put this through here?"
    TSA: "Yes, but you won't be getting it back at the other end"
    Her: "Why not, it's just a BB gun for my child?"

    I tried not to laugh and continued on through my own x-ray machine, I have no idea how the conversation ended but she looked like she was getting ready for a fight. I mean seriously, is there person on the planet that hasn't heard of the increased security on flights since 9/11?
     
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  2. Grace
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    Grace Silver Member

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    I was just at MCO and saw signs at a few airlines that clearly reinforced that all toy guns had to be checked.
    ...it's not hard to paint the tip red to play along...
     
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  3. Flyer
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    Flyer Silver Member

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    KETTLE ALERT!
     
  4. lili
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    lili Gold Member

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    Two women behind me at security in a crowded airport had a cat in a cage. Seeing their hesitation at putting the cat on the belt, a TSA (actually) smiled and told them to walk through the magnetron holding the cat. Looking doubtful they began to remove the cat from the carrier ... oboy this was going to be fun times at security. I was concentrating on getting through before the place was shut down for hours while 50-100 people chased a terrified terrorist cat. Fortunately the TSA noticed and shouted, "No, keep the cat IN the carrier."

    A simple misunderstanding, but the expression on the woman's face as she began to remove the cat from the carrier indicated she would comply but knew this was going to have a bad ending. Why didn't she speak up and question what she thought she was being asked to do?
     
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  5. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    NOT a simple misunderstanding, at least not in the way you mean. If they carry the bag through security with the animal inside, then neither the bag nor the animal was screened. I have been forced to remove the cat from the carrier (and so glad she didn't pee on me in the process) and it is a major PITA, but definitely the rule. I only took them on one roundtrip, and on the return was forced to check one in the belly (very long story) -- long story short is that no cat of mine will ever fly again unless it's a private plane with no security constraints.
     
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  6. mevlannen
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    mevlannen Silver Member

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    Well, if you'd been a mouse or a pine-cone, you'd have considered my old Siamese (now, sadly, gone) a weapon of mass destruction in her own right. "Here, I dare you to touch my belly! Go on, I know you really want to!"

    Fortunately, her magnetic personality was a lot like her gravitational response: both could be dialed up or down at will.
     
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  7. roberton3
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    roberton3 Silver Member

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    Why? Because we're trained never to question the TSA. I've only once questioned what a TSA screener told me to do. The result: I got selected for a secondary screening, and as a result I was delayed enough that I almost missed my flight. Since then, I do what they tell me without questioning, even if it seems really stupid (which it often does). And that's exactly the way the TSA folks seem to want it to be.
     
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  8. lili
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    lili Gold Member

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    I'm sorry about your cat experience IMGone. It seems like asking a lot to have owners take their cats out in a strange and noisy environment when the animals are probably already frightened. It seems to me that carrying a cat in a carrier would get both of you scanned when you walked through the machine.
     
  9. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    Know your rights ... Ask for a supervisor and complain when they do wrong, don't just accept it. And retaliatory screening is wrong.
     
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  10. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    Walking through a metal detector with a carrier that has metal defeats the purpose :). Either the metal zipper and clasps, or the screws and handle assembly
     
  11. lili
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    lili Gold Member

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    Ah. Can't they just look at the damned thing and figure that out?
     
  12. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    Even with the TSA ;), it's not rocket science......

    Leave the cat inside the cat carrier
    Carry the cat carrier thru the WTMD
    The carrier will alarm due to it's metal gate
    Perform a visual inspection of the carrier
    Perform an ETD swab on the cat carrier
    Perform a secondary pardown of the pax
    Done in maybe 10 minutes time max

    And the Secret Service wrestled the cat to the ground
     
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  13. roberton3
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    roberton3 Silver Member

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    I couldn't agree more that retaliatory screening is wrong. But I don't think complaining to a supervisor is likely to do anything. I think the only effective way to deal with this is to complain to one's representatives in Congress: make it clear to them just how out-of-control the TSA is, and how big the need for reform is. But because I'm a DC resident, I don't have any voting representation in Congress, so there's really very little I can do.
     
  14. N965VJ
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    N965VJ Silver Member

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    You would be surprised.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. travlr

    travlr Silver Member

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    Saw a really old man in a wheelchair being forced to take off his diaper to go through the scanner. :(
     
  16. druiddation
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    druiddation Gold Member

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    What amazes me the most is the people who stand in a slow moving line watching what the people in front of them are doing, yet they still wait until no one is in front of them to start taking off jewelry, belts, shoes, etc. and removing liquids and laptops from their bags.
     
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  17. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    Yup :mad:. You would think even Ma 'n Pa Kettle would know how to do it by now (oh wait, what am I saying.......;))
     
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  18. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    Did this guy have an advocate with him (family member, friend, etc) or was he traveling alone? That is just so unacceptable, I'm not sure I would have been able to keep quiet if I witnessed this happening.
     
  19. PhlyingRPh
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    PhlyingRPh Silver Member

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    A bit different to what you describe, but I don't remove my shoes or place my bags on the belt till I get to the mouth of the Xray (My laptops, liquid baggies and jacket are already in trays stacked in triple decker formation. This annoys some of the more anal TSO's and paxs but my approach allows more people behind me to have the counter space needed to prepare their own trays/baggage, since I only take up the space of one tray. It also allows me to drag my bags along the ground in an organized manner rather than push them along the counter, realign them from time to time, while pushing. Finally, it allows me to avoid having my socked feet on the nasty checkpoint floor for too long.

    However, the chief advantage is that it gives me the opportunity to annoy TSO's who ask me repeatedly to remove my shoes and who remind me that my bags will need to go through the Xray. That's rather priceless, IMO and provides an excellent foundation for an argument that then distracts multiple TSO's from their core task while various contraband potentially sails through the Xray.
     
  20. jupper
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    jupper Silver Member

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    I saw a tourgroup leader at AMS a while back hand out flyers to his serfs, erm, group members, as to what they could not take through security. This whilst they were in the check-in line... Clearly she had had to deal with this one time too many... :)
     
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