TSA patdown - our recent experience
i know its a popular topic in the news right now, and having traveled recently I just wanted to share our experience.
On my way from El Paso,TX airport I went though body scanner and had no problem.
Come back from Las Vegas Air Port, they had me go through metal detector and my girlfriend go through the new scanners. SHE IS DEAF BY THE WAY.... i dont know if this played any role in the events though. (side note; i dont know sign language yet, so I carry around my old PALM PRE to type in the notepad app so we can talk to each other so i dont waste the battery on my EVO)
After she went through body scanner, they flagged her down to to basic lookover. So I put my shoes and stuff back on and stood there waiting. So the lady did the hand metal detector on her and then wiped her hands with what look like NOXZEMA pimple face pads (circular baby wipes). Then she yells "SUPERVISOR!" and the lady is talking to her and shes looking confused and Im already standing on the others side just watching. Also hesitant to go over in fear of causing a bigger scene then necessary. So yeah shes standing there all scared looking and confused and the lady is talking to her and I'm not sure if shes understanding her since she cant hear.
So after 5 minutes of waiting a female supervisor comes over and they talk for a minute and my GF points at me standing with her box so they come over to me and say they need to do an extensive pat down to her. And I'm already mad cause we are already running late for the flight at this point, and cause i know she doesnt have anything!!! So I ask what the problem is and she says
"Her hands tested positive for a substance and we have to do an extensive pat down to her you can come in the room with us if you want" so of course I do.
So then they take us to a 4 by 4 foot room and say they are going to pat her down with their hand and touch he breast and crotch with the back of her hands. They also asked me for the boarding pass to copy all her information down.
So the other lady pats her down wearing her latex gloves, and then the supervisor gets those little pads and wipes the ladies gloves and leaves the room to go "test" them. so she comes back and says its OK and she can put the rest of her stuff on and we can go.
I know its not a big deal, but still pisses me off how they over react for little stuff and think they can do whatever they want to whoever. ALSO... She said the only thing she put on her hands was BABY LOTION FROM THE PINK BOTTLE... so if you plan on traveling don't wear baby lotion!
- 11-22-2010, 11:46 AM #2
- 11-22-2010, 12:04 PM #3
- 143 Posts
Same thing happened to me at LAX. This was before the grab-your-balls policy went into effect, though. After walking through the metal detector and air-puff sniffer machine, I was pulled aside.
They took apart my carry-on luggage and swabbed everything, then swabbed me all over. All the little swabs went into a sniffer machine.
It turns out, the bomb sniffers can't tell glycerin in hand lotion from TNT. I didn't even have lotion in my luggage or on my person. Shake hands with the wrong person, or let the wrong cabbie load your luggage, and you could set off the sniffer.
They were professional about it, though. I dealt with none of the jackass TSA folks currently making headlines.
Now make all the lotion jokes you want.
- 11-28-2010, 06:01 AM #4
Ok 1st of all I work for TSA, and believe me we dont like doing the things that we do just as much as u do, we dont make up all the procedures that goes on at the Airport, someone higher up in a nice cozzy office behind a desk does, all we do is execute them. Believe me all the stuff that goes on is very very necessary, If u knew the Intel that we get on the daily basis about how terrorist coming up with different ways of trying to get explosives and other things through the checkpoint, and how they make up fake bombs to see if we would catch it, and when we do we have to let them go because legally they are not real bombs so we cant keep them in custody, you dont know how in another country they put explosive on elderly people and when they went through security they were let through without being screened because security didnt believe they were a threat and they ended up blowing up a government building, we get this information every day, and we have to come up with measures from keeping it from happening here. We understand what we do seems stupid and 99.9 % of u are not terrorist but that .1 % can cause alot of damage. And just because someone isnt a terrorist doest mean they cant do terrorist acts, for instance how do we know someones loved ones isnt being held hostage and made to do things to keep there loved ones from being harmed? and as for our equipment Im sorry it isnt as advanced as we would like, we dont make or design the technology, we just use it and do the best we can with what we got, unfortunately there is no difference between glycerin in TNT and lotion, so if we just let everyone through that alarms the machine without patting them down that says its just lotion, whats to stop a terrorist from using the same excuse? Im done, I just wanted to give people something to think about
- 11-28-2010, 12:28 PM #5
I have a lot of respect for the work out TSA agents to at airports to try and make sure every single flight is 100% secure. Although I do agree that it can feel a bit of an invasion at time to either go through a full body scanner or be subjected to a full body pat down, terrorists (and home grown terrorism at that) are getting more and more clever with how they are sneaking explosives and other harmful devices through security, one of those is through areas like groin region.
Now does that mean a TSA agent should be groping you? Probably not, but that is WHY we have the full body scanners. And to be completely honest, I'd like to see them at all airports. No one else is seeing them other than the person working on them, and the images are NOT saved to a database anywhere. Now, I'm not taking a shot at anybody here in the forums who doesn't like them, but I'm willing to bet that 3/4 of the people who bash these new security procedures would be the first to complain that the DHS and the TSA are not doing enough to prevent another attack if something happened again.
I just ask people to think about that the next time they get all upset over an "invasion of privacy". I would like all of my brothers and sisters overseas to be able to come home someday soon, and it starts with making sure our borders are more secure. No disrespect, but I don't think anything after 9/11 is an overreaction.
- 11-28-2010, 01:29 PM #6
- 2,050 Posts
I have to agree with both of you guys.. I was less than a mile away from the World Trade Center when the first plane hit while on a school trip... on our way to the World Trade Center. I've seen first hand what happens when airline security fails... While getting groped and all that is extremely uncomfortable and seems excessive.. if the TSA WASNT doing what they do and god forbid someone (shoe bomber) managed to get on a plane and blow it up, the TSA and the government would be getting crap for "not doing enough" and "failing". It's unfortunate that we live in the world that we live in. I remember for over a year after 9/11 seeing National Guard troops all over the city.. Bus stops, bus stations, PATH (train) stations, tolls, bridges, tunnels you name it. Hell I remember like it was yesterday hearing jet fighters flying over for months after 9/11 too. It sucks.. But unfortunately it's necessary. Of course you can argue "when does it end", but at the end of the day thank whoever you want to thank that there's been plenty of foiled plots since 9/11 to stop another 9/11 from happening because of measures like this. I love my beautiful country. But people here in America want the best of both worlds with little to no sacrifice. And that simply isn't possible.
- 11-28-2010, 01:37 PM #7
But I agree, it's sad we live in a world where all of this is necessary, but unfortunately that's the way things have gone. I'm willing to sacrifice a little here and there so I know my country is as safe as possibly can be. I don't want my children to have to grow up in the same world we're living in now.
- 11-28-2010, 01:46 PM #8
- 11-28-2010, 04:56 PM #9
yes i agree, it has to be done.
I was not complaining about why they do it or that they shouldnt, just wanted to share about the lotion. And still confused about if you go through the scanners and get pat down... how is something smeared on your hands going to do anything though... and its the RUDENESS that gets to me the most. But since I have to deal with people on a daily basis too, I know that if people are rude to you you have to be rude back (sometimes when they deserve it)
but yes it has to be done... either way the security people will never satisfy the public. If they are searching to hard then its "too much" and if something gets by and something happens then people say "they didnt do enough" so either way its a tough spot to be in, believe me I understand.
- 11-28-2010, 09:25 PM #11
- 12-16-2010, 01:43 PM #12
- 12-22-2010, 06:00 PM #13
Though I am for Freedom and not being man handled I will say Americans who are complaining need to travel abroad and see what procedures take place. Now first off TSA agents ARE NOT groping people. You want to see what Groping is get stopped my a Narcotics Cop on the streets of East NY and you will change your mind very fast.
I was at the WTC that day and though these rules have nothing to do with what happened almost 10 yrs ago. It sure took them a long time to finally in act these procedures.
I travel with guns and I have never had trouble going through a TSA check or even waiting for the Port Authority to make sure everything is in order. Still people will try to find a reason this should not be done. Trust me I am totally against my privacy being taken away and I do feel certain parts of what they are doing are not to the full advantage of the traveling public. If it was not for the Politically correct BS about not being able to How should I say it.....PROFILE.....then these procedures would be justified.
I don't care what anyone says there is no reason to pull a NON MIDDLE EASTERN GRAND MOTHER off into a room to be searched. Yes they will plant bombs on older people, but is it going to be your Grandmother. I have also been involved with Security while I was still on the job. I was part of the Terrorist Task Force here in NYC and worked on the Mayors OEM team.
Still I will relay an experience I had. I am traveling with rifles going to Texas for a special class and I am bringing a carry on bag. My carry on bag is a bag I carry ammo and cleaning supplies in. This bag is now being used to carry some personal stuff I have. Now at one time or another this bag has had gun powder fall in it and even Black powder. I was in my reloading room prior to going to the airport.
I go and take my shoes off give them the bag and guess what.....NOTHING everything passes flying colors....Go figure I am not delayed for anything except a bottle of water that does not meet the weight limits....IS there something wrong with this picture.
SO at that point I have lost all confidence in the procedures of scanning, sniffing and wiping. The DHS should get their head out of their a$$ and do the following procedures that we were taught in anti terrorist classes. Something the TSA will never allow in the USA. But trust me if you follow certain guidelines like they do in Israel and some other countries you would make the line go much faster, not deprive people of what they feel are unwarranted search of their bodies.
Until that time Americans need to be sheep and follow the rules, Screw the ACLU and the right not to PROFILE.
On a side note.
TSA agents are getting a bad rap. Those who insist on feeling these Agents are invading your privacy need to thank them for their service. I know many agents who feel bad about these procedures they must follow. Most of them or let me put it this way 99.9% of them are doing their job to the best of their abilities, with the equipment and procedures they must use. If there are any violating these procedures, you can rest assured they will be found and prosecuted.
Merry Christmas to all the TSA agents in all the Airport around the Country.