Treated badly by the TSA? Get in line


TSA agents are getting ruder, and it’s time to do something about it. So say an increasing number of air travelers, citing their own experiences of being harassed and harangued by the screeners who are supposed to be helping them.

Laura Hinson encountered one such agent at the United Airlines terminal in Los Angeles recently. She watched the government employee brusquely order a passenger to unpack his bag, with “anger and contempt” coming from across the counter, remembers Hinson, an investor relations officer who lives in Carmel Valley, Calif.

Passengers should be screened thoroughly, of course. But shouldn’t they also be treated respectfully and compassionately?

So how do you make these airport workers more accommodating, or at the very least stop barking orders at the passengers patiently standing in a long line?

A TSA spokesman says agents are trained in “general” etiquette, including subjects such as effective communication, common courtesies and appropriate language use. The agency also has a customer service branch responsible for tracking the complaints and working with appropriate TSA personnel to resolve grievances.

Yet complaints are on the rise. For the first three-quarters of the fiscal year, it recorded 6,700 grievances, an 8% increase from the same period a year before. That’s a complaint rate of 12.27 per million passengers.

Frequent Business Traveler magazine polls readers about their TSA experiences and, in one 2015 survey, 87% of air travelers gave the TSA a “fair or poor” rating.

The TSA isn’t a happy place to work, either. A 2016 survey found the agency ranked 303rd out of 305 federal agencies, a 5.2% drop from the previous year. Only the Office of Intelligence and Analysis and the U.S. Secret Service scored lower.

Related story:   Good customer service from the TSA? It's no joke

If you fly, you probably don’t just know someone who has been browbeaten by an agent — you have a few stories of your own to share.

Karin Kemp, a retired graphic designer from Charlotte, remembers the time an agent opened her wallet and rifled through the money. “Don’t ask me why she was doing that; it was never explained to me.”

Gayle Sommers, a retired social worker from University Place, Wash., recalls the welcome she and her fellow passengers received when transferring from an international flight from Paris in Chicago.


“A TSA staffer literally bellowed in English for people to line up,” she says. The screening area was confusing and chaotic as it filled with incoming passengers. The agent became even louder and more rude as the weary travelers piled in.

“The first exposure French tourists were getting to the U.S. was this guy,” she laments.

I have a few experiences of my own, too. I’ve been barked at (“You’re in the wrong line!”), ordered around like a recruit in boot camp (“Take out your laptop! Take off your shoes!”) and shamed (“Did you forget to take this out of your bag, sir?”). How can they make “sir” sound like an insult?

The answer to the problem is simple: Better etiquette training for TSA employees. Also, why not reward the agents for being nice to the passengers they’re supposed to serve? The agency may even consider incorporating the word “service” into its mission, because it is providing a necessary security service.

But then, maybe we could stand to take a lesson or two ourselves.

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“I wonder if the rude agent is a reflection of an even ruder traveler,” muses David Kazarian, a pharmacist from Tampa.

I wonder, too.

How to handle a rude agent

• Report the agent to a supervisor. Ask for a Supervisory Transportation Security Officer (STSO) immediately. That’s what Shirley Kroot does when she meets an unpleasant agent. “I have encountered my share of rude TSA agents, especially in Chicago,” says Kroot, a retired real estate appraiser from Huntley, Ill. “After I get through security, I report them to their supervisor.”

• Complain in writing. You can send an email directly to the TSA. You’ll want to select the category “Professionalism/Customer Service” when you do. Make sure you note other details, such as the name of the agent and the time and the terminal where the screening took place.

• Contact your elected representative. Congress keeps a careful watch on the TSA and its activities. You can contact your representative online here. Congress has tried to hold the agency accountable for its actions in the past, and its vigilance is bipartisan.


Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org.

  • Evan

    Frankly, I am getting a little tired of these rants on TSA. Yes, I have seen some concerning behavior from some TSA agents, but I would say 90% – 95% of the time, they have been courteous and professional.
    And, have you seen what TSA agents have to put up with? Almost every time I have seen a TSA agent “scream” or “bark orders”, it is because someone is on their phone either talking/texting, not paying attention and thinking the whole world needs to stop until they are done with their text/call. Or, it’s because after the million signs that tell you about the liquids requirements, someone goes through security with a bottle of water or something.
    Again, yes, there need to be improvements. However, maybe if passengers started paying attention and stop being rude themselves, it would go a long way to resolving the TSA issues. Remember, TSA agents are people hired to do a job, just like the rest of us. TSA agents have the unenviable position where they have to enforce rules they did not make. A little courtesy does go a long way.
    Finally, no I am not a TSA agent.

  • Peter Varhol

    Big agree here. Traveling is stressful enough, let’s see if we can be kind to the person next to us.

    I think Chris generally does a good job with his blog and articles, and can be invaluable in helping others, but he writes screeds like this because they get page views, and I have trouble blaming him there.

  • BubbaJoe123

    Want to fix the TSA? Two simple steps:

    1. Return to 9/10/01 security screening policies, with the exception of the reinforced cockpit doors. End the security theater, the war on shoes, the war on liquids, etc.
    2. Shut down the TSA, return the standard setting function to the FAA, and return to using contractors.

    Net result: huge time savings, huge taxpayer money savings, no impact on actual safety or security.

    If we insist on keeping the TSA as an entity, then definitely still do #1, and install some requirements for TSA screeners:

    1. All requests or instructions must be prefaced with please.
    2. All searches, once complete, must include an “apology for the inconvenience.”
    3. Eliminate the quasi-law-enforcement badges, and eliminate the attempts to have TSA screeners referred to as officers.
    4. All TSA screeners must wear body cams any time they’re at the checkpoint, which can’t be turned off by the screener.

  • BubbaJoe123

    “TSA agents have the unenviable position where they have to enforce rules they did not make.”

    No, they don’t “have to.” They choose to work at TSA.

  • BubbaJoe123

    I’m happy to be kind to the person next to me. If a person is trying to catch an elevator, I’ll hold the door for them. If that person has been following me across the lobby trying to get me to buy a set of Ginsu knives, then my desire to be kind to them has gone out the window. Same with TSA. The organization adds hassle to my life and wastes my time and money. No reason I should reward that with kindness.

  • Evan

    Agree that they choose to work there; however, my point was a TSA front line agent is not the one who makes the rules. You’re correct in your post that TSA agents should be courteous to passengers, but when passengers start “commenting” or arguing with a TSA agent on the liquids rule, for example, that’s inappropriate. TSA agents can do anything about the rules themselves.

  • Evan

    If that’s your feeling, that’s fine…however, the TSA agent is just doing his/her job, so maybe you could afford the agent a little kindness.

  • BubbaJoe123

    I simply minimize my interaction with TSA personnel at the checkpoint. I don’t speak to them unless absolutely necessary.

  • Kerr

    Sure you can implement 1 & 2, but what’s the point if they are said without meaning?

    #3 is just words, nothing more.

    #4 is doable, but you would have to expand their budget for 10,000+ cameras. Not to mentioned the technicians to service them and the IT services (cloud storage) to handle the massive amount of audio/video generated.

  • Michael__K

    The airlines don’t even want the pre 9/11 status-quo. It would open them up to huge liability issues and at the same time pressure them into another race to the bottom to keep fares low.

    I think lots of people, myself included, would agree with you that some of TSA’s screening policies amount to cumbersome security theater of dubious real value and probably could be reformed. But that doesn’t mean we need to go to the other extreme and pretend there are no serious threats that don’t involve breaching the cockpit doors or that we adequately addressed all such threats with pre-9/11 screening protocols.

    The Israeli’s are skeptical of the war on shoes and liquids, etc, as you are. But observe that they nonetheless spend 10x as much per passenger on security as TSA does.

  • BubbaJoe123

    Israel is a unique case, given their political situation. They also engage in screening activity which would be abhorrent and unconstitutional in the US.

  • LeeAnneClark

    “Concerning behavior”? How about outright sexual assault? Or flat-out abuse?

    It’s happened to me twice, and to my elderly disabled mother twice. And your suggestion that we are the reason we got abused is offensive. Victim-blaming at its highest.

    I did nothing to deserve that vicious woman ramming her thumb up into my private parts. I wasn’t rude or disrespectful – I stood there silently while a stranger ran her hands up the inside of my legs all the way to the top, with her thumb sticking up, landing hard up into my vagina over my leggings. What did she expect to find up there?

    In another incident, I calmly, politely declined to remove my post-surgical back brace when the TSA insisted they couldn’t “clear me” with it on, even though their own website specifically states that such medical devices do not need to be removed. I stood there with tears streaming down my face, as the TSA supervisor, who had been called over to try to force me to remove it, eventually gave up and settled on performing a vicious “pat-down” which involved pressing down on my back brace so hard that it caused me excruciating pain on my recent surgical wound, and then proceeded to rub her hands all over my genital area, looking for what I do not know.

    My elderly disabled mother calmly and politely answered “yes” when a TSA agent asked her if she had any “sensitive areas” before her pat-down, and told the agent she’d just had a lumpectomy for breast cancer so her left breast was tender. The agent then proceeded to palpate her tender breast until she was nearly crying in pain, looking for what I do not know.

    On another flight, after waiting nearly 90 minutes in a TSA line, then being pulled out for a pat-down due to her metal hip, my elderly disabled mother politely informed the TSA screener that she really needed to use the rest room. They refused, and made her stand in a roped off area for another ten minutes. By the time the “female assist” got to her, she’s already urinated all over herself. The screener then put her hands between my mothers legs, and proceeded to loudly yell at her “DID YOU JUST PISS ON ME?” in a crowded airport.

    We did not do anything to deserve this abuse, and I resent your suggestion that it’s our own fault. Typical victim-blaming, which seems to be the classic response when women are abused. We must have asked for it, right?

  • LeeAnneClark

    Yeah, well, the “just doing my job” excuse went out of fashion at Nuremberg.

    Anyone who’s job involves touching stranger’s genitals without their consent needs to find another job that doesn’t require one to commit an act that would, by the FBI’s own definition, be considered sexual assault anywhere other than a TSA checkpoint.

  • Michael__K

    I don’t advocate that we do anything abhorrent or unconstitutional.
    But I don’t think the present-day aviation security threat to the US and Europe is all that different from the threat that Israel faced since the 20th century. Regardless, we need international standards which unfortunately may be driven by the lowest common denominator / greatest threat, because once screened, a passenger is generally able to travel throughout the world.
    Also, to the extent that we stop treating every passenger as a terror threat, it becomes more critical to determine which subset of passengers merit closer scrutiny as terror threats, and this generally makes security costlier, not cheaper.

  • BubbaJoe123

    “what’s the point if they are said without meaning”

    1. They provide a better experience for the traveler, and make it more difficult for screeners to be rude or attempt to assert their “authoritah.”
    2. They provide a constant reminder for the screeners that they need to treat passengers as valued customers.

    “#3 is just words, nothing more.”

    Words have an impact. Give someone a badge and tell him he’s an “officer,” he starts to think that “hey, I’m like a cop, I’m due respect, and if people don’t respect me, I’m going to take it out on them.” Making the titles appropriate is also a reminder for TSA staff of the actual position.

    “#4 is doable, but you would have to expand their budget for 10,000+ cameras. Not to mentioned the technicians to service them and the IT services (cloud storage) to handle the massive amount of audio/video generated.”

    Given typical bodycam bitrates, it’s about 1GB/hour. For 10k screeners (using your numbers) 24 hours a day, you’re looking at about 216TB/day. Keeping a 90 day backlog, including input charges, would be around $250k/month on AWS, and that’s at list price. Presumably, you could cut a better deal. A quick google finds the cost of equipping $35k NJ cops at around $90M, so figure $30M upfront. All of this is a drop in the bucket for the TSA’s budget. Cancel the BDO program (which even the TSA can’t claim actually works in the slightest) and you’ve covered the costs.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Me neither. I try not to engage with them at all, and just get through as quickly as possible. Personally, I prefer not to have interaction with people who are empowered to sexually assault me without my consent.

  • LeeAnneClark

    How about when passengers simply set off the metal detector because of metal parts in our bodies, and are repeatedly subjected to strangers touching our genitals against our will in order to make use of the airline tickets that we paid hundreds of dollars for? You seem to feel that we passengers are *causing* the TSA to behave abusively. Really?

  • BubbaJoe123

    “But I don’t think the present-day aviation security threat to the US and Europe is all that different from the threat that Israel faced since the 20th century.”

    Care to provide any evidence for this? I certainly disagree.

    “Also, to the extent that we stop treating every passenger as a terror threat, it becomes more critical to determine which subset of passengers merit closer scrutiny as terror threats”

    No, it doesn’t. Want to add a layer of security at minimal cost and invasiveness? When you get to the document checker, you press a button. 95 times out of 100, it turns green, and you get precheck screening (for everyone), except without the liquid restriction. 5 times out of 100 (randomly), it turns red, and you get a patdown. Raises the risks for the absolutely miniscule % of potential travelers who actually do present a threat, with minimal impact on others. Cost to deploy? $100 a checkpoint, at most. Probably more like $50.

  • LeeAnneClark

    And let’s add in there – no touching of genitals PERIOD. Full stop. End of story.

    I’m so tired of TSA agents referring to my genitals as “resistance”, as in “I’m going to run my hand up your leg until I meet resistance”. That thing your hand met isn’t called “resistance”, dear. It’s called my vagina. And nobody should be touching that but my husband, and my doctor. And only WHEN I CONSENT. Not under duress, forced to consent in order to exercise my right to travel.

  • Evan

    I apologize if I offended you, but I suggest you reread my post. First, the portion about concerning behavior was purely my observation from my travels. Second, I in NO WAY blamed a victim of anything. If you read my post, I concentrated on passengers who do not pay attention to what’s going on because they were on a cell phone, etc. If you are subject to abuse, that is something that should be reported. There is a difference between the abuse you describe and the issues that occur because people just don’t pay attention to the world around them.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Try re-reading your OWN post. You wrote:

    “Almost every time I have seen a TSA agent “scream” or “bark orders”, it is because someone is on their phone either talking/texting…”

    Almost every time? Funny, that’s not my experience. I’ve NEVER done any of the things you are suggesting, in ANY of my many many TSA checkpoint experiences. And yet I’ve been barked at, yelled, and sexually assaulted. For no reason. And my mother didn’t do anything wrong either.

    And neither did my friend who was sexually assaulted because she was wearing a thick menstrual pad after a recent miscarriage.

    And neither were the two disabled children I saw being treated like dogs by rude TSA agents at a checkpoint in Philadelphia.

    And neither were any of the passengers I saw standing in an absurdly long line last month, who were being yelled at and spoken to as if they were all stupid, before they even had a chance to demonstrate that they actually are well aware of what they need to do once they get to the front of the line.

    In my personal experience, the vast majority of rude TSA encounters have nothing whatsoever to do with anything the passengers have done wrong.

  • Bill___A

    Some of the comments here are a big indicator of where some problems start. Some of the agents are rude, most of them are polite that I’ve encountered. Security is something you have to “get through” in cooperation with the agent. You can either go through this journey cooperatively and pleasantly, realizing what they are supposed to do, or you can go through it like adversaries. I prefer the first option. Some of the agents are more skilled at the first option than others.

  • Hanope

    IMO, they should hire more screeners. Most of the time when I go through security at a US airport, only half of the security check through areas are in use. Part of that which makes passengers and TSA agents grumpy are the long lines and the grumpiness reinforces on each side. Add more agents, you’ll have shorter lines, and passengers may be more pleasant, which may in turn make more TSA agents pleasant.

  • IGoEverywhere

    I have been through TSA 8 x’s this year. I have Global, so I can get into the shorter line and not have to remove my shoes and belt. Twice, I was asked to step over and have my carry-on checked. POLITELY! The first line of this article is what disturbs me. You are not permitted at this point to touch your carry-on contents, TSA does it for their security. I was asked if there was anything sharp, anything dangerous in the case. Yes, my insulin needles. 3 minutes we were done and I was on my way with a “thank you for your cooperation”. Something else was going on and as an observer, did the person really know the answer.
    It’s a boring job, and there are a few AH’s out there. Seattle jumped me because I had 200.00 in my pocket, not in the tray to be stolen, then jumped me again because the boarding pass was in my shirt pocket, not in my hand. What do you do? Call the supervisor right here and right now. Just because they are in a bad mood, does not have to ruin my trip.

  • LeeAnneClark

    How about going through it silently, with no emotion or interaction at all? Is there a requirement we be openly “pleasant” to a group of people who have abused us in the past? If we simply choose to avoid contact with them as much as possible, is that an excuse for them to abuse us again? Because we weren’t “pleasant” enough?

    I prefer not to engage with people who have demonstrated no hesitation in treating me abusively.

    Does that mean I am openly hostile? No, of course not. I am well aware that exhibiting open hostility will result in even WORSE treatment. I’m not going to set myself up for that. I will do what they tell me to, silently and compliantly, because I have no choice.

    But I am not going to smile and make pleasant chit-chat with a group of people who have been granted power to sexually assault me at their whim. Sorry, but I want nothing to do with them if I can avoid it. I fail to see how that gives them the right to abuse me.

  • Michael__K

    I’m going by the number and types of attacks and plots (including thwarted ones). Last century, outside of Lockerbie, the motive in aviation attacks that did not target Israel was invariably money or asylum, or occasionally, a non-suicidal political statement. Which 21st century attacks has that been true of?
    ____
    When you get to the document checker, you press a button. 95 times out of 100, it turns green, and you get precheck screening (for everyone), except without the liquid restriction

    That sounds like the worst of both worlds. If you believe liquid restrictions are completely useless and couldn’t thwart any plot, then 0 out of 100 should face them. If you accept that they could thwart a real plot, then the question is what we do about it / which passengers should be scrutinized? If the answer is we randomly screen 5%, then plotters would have to love their odds — how would this deter them?

  • Evan

    Again, I was stating my opinion based on what I have seen, as you are with you have seen. I am not blaming anyone. I do actually wonder if it depends on the type of airport and area of the country. I do notice a lot more “barking of orders” at international airports (such as when I went through FLL on an international flight) than an airport that is more domestic in nature.

  • BubbaJoe123

    I entirely understand your concern, but we can’t just declare that the groin area is a “no-go zone” for screeners. Otherwise, anyone who DID wish harm would just know to hide the weapon or explosive there.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Well I’m glad that you recognize that my experiences are valid. I would agree that the overall TSA experience is significantly different in smaller regional airports. I’ve actually never had a bad TSA experience at a small regional airport. My experiences were at LAX and OKC, and my mother’s were in Phoenix and Atlanta.

    Smaller regional airports don’t generally have the massive passenger throughput of the international airports. They also have fewer TSA agents, and many local frequent travelers who see the same agents on a regular basis. When the TSA agents are able to see passengers as neighbors in their local community, that tends to lead to better treatment as they see us as PEOPLE.

    The dynamics are definitely different at international airports, where they seem to see us as annoying cattle to herd through the corrals.

  • Evan

    Totally agree with you… I apologize if you thought I did not think your experiences were not valid. What you have experienced and seen is unacceptable in every case and are valid. I was more focused on the passenger(s) oblivious to what’s going on around them (I.e. – the passenger at the front of the line using a cell phone not paying attention to the TSA agent is waving them over to do the identity check and holding the rest of the line up).

  • LeeAnneClark

    Wait…you’re joking, right? You can’t ACTUALLY think that women are going shove explosives up our vajayjays? You can’t really believe that’s a viable risk?

    Something that has NEVER happened? Something that has never been even proven to be possible?

    Just to be clear, never in the history of the world has there ever been a known case of a woman – ANY woman – attempting to smuggle a weapon to bring down a plane by shoving it up her hoohah.

    And yet you believe it’s acceptable for thousands of women to have our genital areas touched by strangers because…wait for it…it MIGHT HAPPEN? You think I should allow strangers to touch my genitalia because of some immeasurably tiny risk that some woman somewhere might try to use her crotch to take down a plane?

    Please tell me you’re kidding.

  • BubbaJoe123

    Not kidding. Doesn’t need to be “shove[d]” anywhere. Could be in the underwear. Same issue with guys.

    How does this keep on happening to you? I get patted down maybe 1 in 100 flights, if that?

    Get Global Entry/Precheck, and make your life easier.

  • LeeAnneClark

    I get patted down often because I have metal in my spine and I set off the metal detector. So if I get the metal detector instead of the scanner, I get a pat-down. I also went through a period of about a year recently where I got a pat down regardless of what I went through, because I’d had shoulder surgery and couldn’t raise my right arm high enough for the scanner, so they would pat me down every single flight. While not all of these pat downs resulted in having my genitals touched, many of them did…too many to count.

    As a rape survivor, I cannot even begin to articulate how horrifying it is for me to be forced to stand there and let strangers shove their hands between my legs and touch my crotch. I should not have to do that. Ever. Anywhere. Period, full stop.

    As for smuggling weapons onboard a plane – come on. Really? You actually believe that’s a risk? What in god’s name makes you believe that anyone is trying to do that?

    Has it not occurred to you that if a dedicated terrorist really wanted to target our air traffic system, he/she wouldn’t have to hide anything in their crotch? All they have to do is stand in a long TSA line, then detonate themselves. They’d blow up hundreds of passengers and dozens of TSA agents, without having to have their junk touched.

    TSA has never caught a single terrorist. They have never caught a single person trying to harm an aircraft. Never. Not once.

    In the meantime, I continue to have my genitals touched by strangers because people like you actually believe that it makes sense to sexually assault thousands of women every day because of the infinitesimally tiny risk that somebody somewhere is going to do something that has never been done: smuggle explosives onto a plane in the US. Never been done. Ever.

    You can go on believing in non-existent crotch smuggling boogeymen. But leave my genitals out of it, please.

  • BubbaJoe123

    So, what’s the solution? I walk through the metal detector. It goes off. What approach should security screening take to determine that I’m not concealing a small pistol in my underwear? Just take my word for it that there’s nothing there?

    I’m not trying to be combative, I genuinely want to understand how exempting the groin area from any sort of search wouldn’t create a security risk, once it became widely known that anything concealed in the groin wasn’t subject to search.

  • Alan Gore

    One small fix that we can start with: let’s stop giving Pre-Check away to passengers at random. Any trusted traveler program should be something you’re vetted for and instructed beforehand on how to proceed. What’s “trusted” about people who are chosen at random?

    As it is now, the Pre-Check line is clogged by people who are clueless about how procedure in this line differs from the regular lines, which conversely include people who didn’t know they were issued random Pre-Check and have to be herded into the faster queue.

  • LeeAnneClark

    How about using some basic logic? There I am, a middle-aged woman wearing skin-tight leggings that could hide nothing. I set off the metal detector, and they think it makes sense to rub my crotch?

    How about involving ACTUAL security experts in such a situation? If a person sets off the metal detector, perform a reasonable, educated evaluation of the risk that this person might be carrying a weapon in his or her crotch. Following rote scripts calling for genital-rubbing of everyone who sets off the detector is unreasonable and abusive. Bottom line: don’t touch people’s crotches unless there is probable cause. Not every traveler who sets off the metal detector due to a metal implant poses probable cause to violate their 4th Amendment right to “be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures”.

    How about developing security protocols that don’t require touching the genitals of innocent civilians? I’m not a security expert, so don’t ask ME for the solution. I’m just a woman who is tired of having my genitals touched by grumpy low-wage workers who were recruited off pizza boxes, with no law enforcement experience or training, who have been summarily granted full permission to touch every inch of my body against my will.

    As for your suggestion that eliminating the crotch grabbing would suddenly result in rampant smuggling of weapons aboard planes in crotches – sorry but the logic just isn’t there. If we were at such a high risk for terrorist attacks in this nation, it would already be happening at places where no crotch-smuggling is necessary.

    Truth is, we ARE at risk – everywhere we go. Not from vagina bombs, but from legal assault-style weapons. My friends from my hometown of Newtown lost their precious children to a terrorist who didn’t need to shove anything in his underwear to slaughter 20 first-graders. My neighbors here in California lost their daughter to a terrorist last month at a concert in Vegas who didn’t have to smuggle anything in his boxers in order to slaughter 58 concert-goers.

    Do you REALLY want to protect lives from terrorism? Take action against the gun culture in this nation, which takes tens of thousands of lives every year in this nation. And stop sexually assaulting thousands of innocent civilians at our airports, where we haven’t lost a single life due to a terror attack in decades. If we did something about the guns in this nation, we wouldn’t HAVE to worry that you might have a gun in your undies.

  • Bill___A

    My very first interaction with the TSA was not nice. They were poorly trained, obnoxious, and yelling at people to hold their boarding passes in the air. The processes and procedures were more for show than to achieve anything and it was definitely a “we vs them” mentality. This was at LAX. Since then, it has gotten a lot better as far as my experiences have gone. I still think they are far from perfect and certainly a lot less professional than those I have encountered in other countries doing the same thing.

    How you choose to go through is up to you, I am just saying how I do it.

  • LeeAnneClark

    I will acknowledge that there has been some improvement. Most of my pat-downs have been less intrusive, with fewer instances of actual genital contact, although it still happens. And there does seem to be an overall effort to lesson the visible grumpiness.

    Doesn’t change my view on them as a whole, though. My genitals were touched just last month, during yet another pat-down. This time I made it through the scanner, but I’d committed the crime of carrying a small container of powdered stevia, a plant-based sweetener, because I prefer it in my coffee. I learned that was a mistake – they saw it in my purse and I got the whole shebang – total emptying of my carry-on, and full pat-down including the inside thigh rub up to my “resistance” (aka “labia”, which is the correct term for the body part she touched).

    So I will continue to keep my head down and my mouth shut, avoid eye contact, and never never never carry stevia in my purse.

  • RightNow9435

    my thoughts exactly!

  • Kerr

    An insincere “thank you” or apology won’t make my travel experience any better. Statements made when people are forced to (rather than honestly want to) are empty. You already see this in some retail situations with the bland, vacant greetings you receive.

    TSA can’t arrest anyone, but every airport has plenty of police officers (airport or local) nearby.

    May want to expand the retention period from 90 days to one year.

  • Annie M

    I have a lot of joint replacements and enough metal in my body to make an airplane. I’ve learned to joke with them. I ask for the body scanner which makes the whole process much simpler. Much easier than having to be hand searched.

  • Harvey-6-3.5

    While I totally agree with your position, particularly that TSA is pointless, and that the screening isn’t worth whatever gain we get (as long as the cockpit doors as steel and locked) there was at least one underwear bomber (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umar_Farouk_Abdulmutallab).

  • Doctor Now

    Where is one of the best areas to hide a weapon to try to avoid detection. In the genital area, as many of those conducting the search are weary of offending folks, so chances are good they will not perform a decent search of that area. As for consent, by purchasing a ticket and getting in line to clear security you are giving your consent for the search. Don’t want to be put through a procedures that can and does save lives, then find another means of travel. An FBI pat down would be no less, and probably much more though in those areas.

  • Zarkov505

    I routinely transit Tokyo Narita, on my way to and from Bangkok, Thailand. I periodically transit Hong Kong International. I’ve transited London Heathrow and Frankfurt. And, obviously, I routinely clear security in Bangkok.

    I have never heard voices raised, EVER, in any of those locations.

  • KanExplore

    Thanks for sharing. I have never had any experience as difficult as yours, but have certainly noticed many agents on power trips who bark orders at people like they’re prison guards or something, and to be fair, others who do their jobs with courteous efficiency. There are many things wrong with the security process – and I think Chris Elliott does some of his best writing on these topics – but here the fact that many can do their job well means that those who do not should indeed be called out for disciplinary action and retraining, and a general culture of service should be established.

    Like others, my goal in going through security is draw no attention of any kind to myself, keep my mouth shut, and be on my way. Precheck does help, though it doesn’t solve all problems.

  • Mel65

    I travel quite frequently on business as a government contractor. And maybe two to three times a year for pleasure. In the 2010/2011 time frame I was pulled over for gate grope by the TSA it seems like every time I flew. It was humiliating and frustrating. One time the TSA agent asked me “do you have embroidery or a design on your panties?” At that point I realized they kept pulling me over because I’d had multiple surgeries in my lower abdomen area in 2010 and the scar tissue and probably looked like wires criss crossing my lower abdomen. I am thankful to say that I have not had a negative experience with the TSA now in over 5 years. I do sympathize with those who do and have; however, I have also seen people who appear to be itching for confrontation with the TSA. I’ve heard people in line behind me say to a companion, “keep your phone ready; if he touches me there’s going to be a problem” or “if they touch my stuff there’s going to be a problem.” I’ve heard them loudly, while in line, discuss how uneducated, ignorant, rude Etc the TSA agents are–passive aggressively ensuring that they hear the comments. I’ve seen blatant disregard of what they’re told to do–argue about taking off shoes, removing laptops, or their liquids. It’s irritating, I get it. I hate having to do it and every time I do, my entire body clenches up; but, it just seems that in some instances (note I said some not all, and I recognize that YMMV) it’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy to assume going in that it’s going to be a bad experience so some travelers go in already pissed off like they’ve already had the bad experience that morning. Again, based solely on my experiences and what I personally have observed and heard around me when I travel this is *not* a reflection on any of *your* experiences.

  • DChamp56

    The problem is, nobody posts here to say “Had a great time going through Security. TSA Agent was wonderful!”

    A few years back, when I flew home from France, my wife and I met a French agent at security. He inquired about our trip, where we had gone, did we get any souvenirs.. etc making us feel like old-time friends. It wasn’t until we boarded the plane did I realize how he asked all of his security questions, in the most friendly way imaginable.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Yeah, except he didn’t board the plane here in the US. Go back and read my post. My statement was accurate. :)

  • cscasi

    I don’t mind trying to be nice and say good morning/afternoon with a smile. If it’s returned, fine. If not, I tried and I still continue on my way, having lost nothing and having tried to be nice.

  • cscasi

    I did not see any of that in Evan’s example. I will say that no matter what happens, wherever it happens, one cannot please everyone.

  • BubbaJoe123

    I say hello/good morning/afternoon with a smile to Starbucks employees, bus drivers, waiters, etc. etc. Pretty much everyone I meet. TSA are an exception, since my interactions with them are involuntary.

  • LeeAnneClark

    An FBI pat-down wouldn’t happen to me unless there was probable cause to suspect me of carrying a weapon and/or committing a crime.

    My purchasing a ticket absolutely does NOT equal my consent to sexual contact (touching my genitals). Sorry, but you’re flat-out wrong. Buying an airline ticket does not eliminate my 4th Amendment rights. There is nothing in the verbiage of any airline ticket that expressly grants consent to have my sex organs searched.

    I am CONSTITUTIONALLY ALLOWED to travel within this country. That’s simply a fact. Do some research.

    Here’s another fact for you: I am a middle-aged American woman with no criminal record, no history of malfeasance, no connection to terrorist or criminal groups. Nobody like me has ever, in the history of aviation, tried to take down a plane. There is zero chance I am a risk of doing so on any of the flights I take. And yet, I have to be LITERALLY sexually assaulted over and over in order to exercise my legal right to travel. That is simply, undeniably and inexcusably, WRONG. Something is wrong with this system for that to keep happening to me. If you can’t see that, you’re part of the problem.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Thanks.

    I have pre-check. Doesn’t change the fact that I set off the metal detectors on a regular basis, resulting in strangers touching my genitals. That very fact means the system is seriously broken.

  • LeeAnneClark

    I don’t disagree with you. But the very fact that I, a middle-aged American woman with no criminal record or history or affiliation with any terrorist or criminal groups, who poses zero risk of committing any kind of terrorist act on an airplane, has to keep having my genitals touched by strangers in order to exercise my legal right to travel, means that there is something very broken in the system. I understand that security is necessary in this dangerous world we live it, but this is just…plain…WRONG.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Maybe if the TSA stops groping the genitals of innocent civilians with no probable cause, and rudely treating us like cattle, people will stop making “passive aggressive” comments about how they treat us like cattle and grope our genitals.

    Cause and effect.

  • MarkKelling

    Are you saying that the Hong Kong airport security actually takes the drugs out of your carry on and lists them out?

  • Carol Molloy

    Rude passengers and rude TSA agents are abundant, in my experience. Of all the cities I fly to or through, O’Hare (my home base) has by far the rudest TSA employees I have encountered. Their surliness is unbelievable.

    Heathrow, by contrast, has security personnel who are exquisitely polite. There is nothing less rigorous about their security screening. Proof that security and courtesy can be effectively combined.

  • MarkKelling

    “being harassed and harangued by the screeners who are supposed to be helping them.”

    Help? What help? Their sole purpose in life is to prevent things getting though security that are not allowed. And they don’t do that good of a job at that anyway. Checking to make sure you don’t have anything that might be banned is not the definition of help.

    While I have noticed that at the airports I fly through often the yelling and barking of commands has dropped significantly, I wouldn’t go so far as to say the screeners seem to enjoy their jobs, they just don’t seem to hate them as much as in prior years.

    It does seem there are still way too many passengers who ignore the signs about removing everything from their pockets and other rules of the process because they are too wrapped up with texting or talking on their phones. I hate getting stuck behind the guy who has to go through the metal detector 5 times because “Oh, you mean coins are metal? I have to remove all of them? What about my Vegas silver dollars? My cell phone too? What about my metal knees?” Metal is metal. Or the others who just stare at the screeners like they don’t understand English when they are being asked a simple question. And then there are those who want to exercise what they feel is their constitutional right to be a jerk.

  • MarkKelling

    Has a lot to do with the paycheck and what management is willing to allow their screeners to get away with. Heathrow pays well and allows nothing.

  • Evan

    Great post!

  • James

    Yes, I have seen some concerning behavior from some TSA agents, but I
    would say 90% – 95% of the time, they have been courteous and
    professional.

    If there is a 5-10% chance of a non-courteous, non-professional encounter, then I’d describe that as an overall failure.

  • Evan

    Failure – yes, overall – not so sure. I only say that from the standpoint from geographic area / size of area. I have never seen an instance of unprofessionalism in a smaller airport or medium sized airports in the Midwest / southeast. I have seen the worst in international arrival airports (think JFK, MIA, LAX, FLL, etc.).
    In the end, people need to complain and be specific (at least airport and time). My guess is if a lot of people filed complaints, a trend would emerge pretty quickly as to which airports are the “problem children”. Even if it’s let say 100 airports are identified, that’s a lot, but at least it gives TSA an idea where to focus.

  • I find it very interesting to see what the women are writing and feeling and what the men are saying. It seems to be to be ignorance by many of these men who are commenting about sexual harassment and what is happening to many women is sexual harassment at in the TSA line.

  • I have had that happen in numerous European airports upon departure. That is their type of screening, similar, I believe to what Israel does.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Agreed! I have definitely noticed that it seems to be the men who are discounting and minimizing the horror of having my genitals touched by strangers at TSA checkpoints.

    In the current social and political climate, with powerful men being outed for having routinely sexually harassed and assaulted women (including our president), and with millions upon millions of women loudly proclaiming ME TOO, it seems rather disingenuous of them, doesn’t it? Although it doesn’t surprise me in the least. It’s become glaringly obvious that most men have no clue what it feels like for women to be sexually abused.

    It needs to stop.

  • Zarkov505

    I do not believe they go that far.

    In my case, the medication in question is an Epi-pen (epinephrine autoinjector). They’re very easy to recognize. An Epi-pen is an emergency drug, for use in a life-threatening emergency.

  • Zarkov505

    London Heathrow security re-check, when I transited there a couple of years ago, was the toughest I’ve ever seen anywhere. They were serious. They were also fully professional, and almost as polite as the screeners at Tokyo Narita.

  • Doctor Now

    There is nothing that constitutionally guarantees you can travel within this country by commercial air. You are free to travel this country by driving or even walking. Do some research.

    Unfortunately, the politically correct have deemed profiling as wrong, so what and who you are makes not one bit of difference. They are suppose to search you just as often as they would somebody from a Muslim country.

    As far as any of us know you could actually be a terrorist or a crazy nut trying to get a high kill count so the media will plaster your face all over the world. There is no perfect method of ensuring that doesn’t happen, but just the general knowledge there is a possibility that weapons/bombs may be located through these searches, can and will provide a deterrence.

  • LeeAnneClark

    The part you don’t seem to grasp is that there is NO WAY to completely protect us from insane people bent on murder. Not in the airport, not anywhere. All the security in the world is not going to stop that. Just ask the concert-goers in Vegas. Just ask my friends who lost their children in my home town of Newtown.

    If a terrorist really wanted to target our air transportation system, all they would have to do is don a bomb vest, go stand in long TSA line, and blow themselves up. They’d kill hundreds, and wouldn’t even have to have their junk touched. But it hasn’t happened. So why are we spending 8 BILLION dollars a year to stop something from happening that isn’t happening? Why would any terrorist attempt to get onboard a plane when they could just walk right up to the airport and have the same effect?

    Why aren’t we having buses or trains blown up by terrorist? Why not malls? Why not concerts? Oh wait…. :-/

    The government is not your nanny. The government cannot make you safe. YOU ARE NOT SAFE. Deal with it. And stop rationalizing and being an apologist for sexual assault. You want to make sure no bad guys can kill you? Don’t walk out your door. Don’t go to the mall. Don’t go to concerts. Don’t send your kids to school. Bad guys are out there, and there’s not a damn thing TSA or any other government agency can do about it.

    I have just as much right to travel in any form I can afford, including flying. I should not have to be subjected to sexual assault to do so. And your saying I should means you are supporting sexual assault.

  • Extramail

    I AGREE 100%. This world is not safe but TSA is not making us any safer. I trust my fellow passengers 100% to help keep me safe if someone does happen to make it onto a plane with a weapon. There are numerous stories out there of passengers doing just that.

    And, how hard would it be for a terrorist to bribe a baggage handler or any of the other numerous people who have contact with a plane before it takes off to put a bomb In the hold or a weapon on the plane. Or become one of those people themselves. Oh wait, there have been numerous examples of people with bad records being employed by the TSA.

    There are a lot better places our government could waste $8 billion than on the TSA.

  • Extramail

    Not only that, but look at the failure rate of the TSA to find things in bags that are not supposed to be there. Was it 97% or 98%? My husband had a cigarette lighter in his golf bag. He just got a nasty letter from the TSA telling him it was confiscated from his checked baggage. Do you know how many flights he has taken with that lighter in his bag? He flies at least 4 segments a week, 50 weeks a year and our son gave him the lighter 11 years ago. If I’ve done my math correctly that is 2200 flights.

  • Extramail

    The touching of my (private) body parts is abhorrent and unconstitutional in the USA.

  • Evan

    Yep, your right, I forgot about that. I wonder since that story broke if there has been any improvement. When did that story break?

  • Extramail

    ONE. One underwear bomber and now thousands of people have to be sexually assaulted in an attempt to keep that from happening again. And, who helped stopped that man from blowing up his junk? The passengers did.

    ONE. One shoe bomber and . . .

  • Evan

    You’re right. I remember when TSA started, I think they basically took the independent screeners and hired them as TSA. Now, that was in 2002 – 2003 I think? It’s apparent there has been little change.

    Going on a tangent, I wonder what goes on “behind the scenes” that we don’t see or hear about. Its clear from the posts that most have had a bad experience with TSA. Like LeeAnne said, there is no way we can be 100% protected. Then she mentioned “If a terrorist really wanted to target our air transportation system, all they would have to do is don a bomb vest, go stand in long TSA line, and blow themselves up. They’d kill hundreds, and wouldn’t even have to have their junk touched. But it hasn’t happened.”

    Maybe that’s the benefit of the $8 billion (or whatever the number is). Stopping someone before they get to the airport.

  • Doctor Now

    Of course there is no way to provide complete protection, but it can be minimized. With your logic, we should do away with all governmental and military protections. Neither is going to help, as according to you we are all doomed. Sorry I didn’t serve or fight for this country to accept your doomsday belief.

    There are places in this world where you can live if you are wanting anarchy, I’ve served in a few of them. Of course you would then have much more to worry about than just an intrusive pat down.

  • LeeAnneClark

    No. Sorry but you clearly missed my logic entirely.

    I never said we should eliminate all security. But try this one out for size:

    WE SHOULD ELIMINATE TOUCHING THE GENITALS OF CIVILIANS WITH NO PROBABLE CAUSE.

    Simple as that. I should think even YOU can grasp that logic. No security is worth having to subject myself to sexual assault on a regular basis. Does this mean some nutjob might be able to smuggle a box cutter onboard a plane? Yeah, maybe. But don’t you realize that they can already do that? There are numerous ways that weapons can be brought on a plane. The TSA is not what has improved safety on planes. Reinforced cockpit doors and educated, woken-up passengers have.

    If you want to live in a society where the government is free to do whatever they want with the genitals of innocent women, YOU should try moving to one of those places where women have no rights. Me? I plan on staying right here – and continuing to fight for my right to keep ill-trained, low-wage government workers’ grubby hands off my private parts.

  • LeeAnneClark

    And don’t forget, the TSA has a dismal record of stopping weapons from making it aboard aircraft.

    In their own tests they fail something like 90% of the time. And uncountable passengers have reported that they were able to get onboard with all manner of weaponry – everything from guns to knives to sharp tools to, yes, even box cutters. Most of the time you hear about this because a passenger realized they forgot to remove the item from their carry-on, and didn’t realize it was there until they got home and discovered it had made it through TSA and nobody did a damn thing.

    There are already weapons on planes. All the friggen time.

    Meanwhile I continue to have my crotch rubbed by ill-trained low-wage government workers.

  • LeeAnneClark

    If only!

    No, sadly that $8 billion is strictly the budget for TSA. That is not budget for ACTUAL security agencies…y’know, the ones who really ARE making us safer. The ones who have well-educated, trained experts in security, in international terrorism, in domestic terrorism.

    They are the ones stopping attacks before they ever get to the airport, not the TSA. They are the ones with agents on the street, undercover, working to identify and infiltrate terror cells, domestic militia, and criminal organizations. The FBI, CIA, NSA – real actual law enforcement and security agengies.

    Not these micky-mouse pretend cops in their blue smurf suits and their fake tin badges, who don’t even have to have a high school diploma, get very little training, have no law enforcement experience or power, and are barely even vetted. The TSA themselves had to admit, after numerous agents were discovered to have histories of sexual assault and pedophilia, that they were “backlogged” in their background checks, meaning thousands of un-screened agents were touching our bodies – and the bodies of our children. Sickening, ain’t it?

  • Evan

    Okay, I got the NO TOUCHING genitals the first 10+ times. On every post, you’ve mentioned it, and frankly in a condescending tone to everyone. I apologized to you in an earlier post about not considering this issue. I can’t imagine the horrible experience you had earlier in life and your experience with TSA, and I am not here to minimize it. I considering another alternative…

    I was agreeing with you on your point where you end…”but that hasn’t happened”. Maybe it’s because of the “behind the scenes” part that doesn’t involve “touching” anyone. It involves the intelligence gathering to identify suspected people before they get to the airport. I know it brings up a whole bunch of issues, but that may be money better spent than on the TSA.

  • Harvey-6-3.5

    I agree with you. I was just correcting the facts. I would personally abolish TSA entirely, keep a simple metal detector with a guy to make sure no guns make it through security, and if, rarely, the terrorists bring down a plane some bizarre way, we can worry about ramping security up at that point.

    Locked steel cockpit doors fix the concern about planes being used as flying bombs (unless the pilots are in on the plot), so the maximum loss is the plane. (Not that I want to be cavalier about the pain of passengers or crew being murdered, but that can, unfortunately, happen anywhere).

  • James Moninger

    TSA agents are not the first government employees foreign travelers encounter when entering the United States. The first point of contact is with US Customs and Border Protection officers, all of whom are college educated and have received significant training in how to professionally interact with the traveling public. Not to say there are no bad apples in this group, but all in all they are a different breed from TSA.

  • jsn55

    So here I am to report, yet again, I have never encountered a rude TSA agent since they appeared at airports. I travel 6 or 7 times a year. Nobody is mean to me, ever. I treat TSA agents like human beings. Granted, I’m an experienced traveller who doesn’t get rattled easily, but not one TSA agent has ever treated me poorly. I’ve run into a few who aren’t ‘friendly’ but I’m not there to make a new friend so that doesn’t register on my radar. I wish we could spend our time educating people about travel instead of this never-ending criticism of the TSA. An educated traveller is a happy traveller.

  • jsn55

    You need to go mix up some more KoolAid. TSA has little interest in your genitals other than to make sure there’s no weapon there. I wonder what behaviour you exhibit to make them wish to ‘touch you inappropriately’. I don’t know anyone who’s been ‘touched inappropriately’ by the TSA.

  • jsn55

    Do you have some theories about why these people want to touch your genitals? Does this happen frequently? Did it happen once and you’re carrying it ever since? Do you know others with this TSA issue? What do you think is going on at TSA to make them behave like this towards you?

  • Mel65

    Like I said, I’ve had my negative interactions with the TSA. However it’s been several years, since *I’ve* had (or seen) a bad experience (thankfully) and I choose not to continue to be angry and bitter about it, or blame current TSA personnel for the actions of those in the past. So, I try and make my current interactions positive or at least neutral so that my day is in general just more pleasant all the way around when I travel. But like I also said YMMV and to each his or her own.

  • LeeAnneClark

    The “behavior” I exhibit is having metal parts in my body that set off the metal detector. And I don’t care WHAT their interest is – they need to keep their hands off my private parts. Period.

  • LeeAnneClark

    No, and if you’d read earlier comments you’d know it’s because I have metal parts in my body that set off the detectors. And yes, I know PLENTY of people who experience this same thing because of metal parts in their bodies, or other disabilities.

    TSA treats disabled people like criminals.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Past? I had a pat-down just last month that involved touching my labia.

    My interactions are as neutral as I can make them. I know better than to engage with them and draw attention to myself. But I can’t help that I have metal in my body that sets off the detectors, which inevitably leads to a pat-down. Not all pat-downs result in touching my genitals, but enough do that I’m just freaking sick and tired of having strangers in blue smurf suits touching my genitals.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Right, so because it’s never happened to you, it can’t have happened to anyone else.

    That makes tons of sense.

    I’m a very experienced traveler who flies many times a year. I don’t get rattled easily (which is a good thing given how many times my genitals have been groped by strangers at TSA check points).

    I’m an educated traveler, and a generally happy person. But I’m NOT happy having my genitals groped on a regular basis simply because I have metal in my body.

    Perhaps when the TSA develops some appropriate security protocols that don’t result in innocent civilians having our genitals groped on a regular basis, we’ll stop this “never-ending criticism”. But while the genital-groping is continuing, I (and many others) will continue to speak out. Don’t like it? Don’t read it. But who are YOU to tell us to keep quiet over something horrific that is being done to us? Who are YOU to minimize our terrible experiences?

    We sexual assault victims are no longer being silent. We will not be silenced.

  • Mel65

    I said “past” because *mine* were “in the past” fortunately. I also stated multiple times ymmv and that *my*comments are solely based on *my* interactions and how *I* choose to handle them. I have zero desire to argue about what I’m sure were unpleasant experience for you.

  • jah6

    I live in the SF Bay area and don’t have any problems with the TSA agents I usually meet. Hate to rag on Chicago, but wonder how many complaints come from there? I’ve been to NY several times and don’t have any problem with their TSA agents either.

  • Evan

    I did want to add one more thing about complaints. I am a Federal Gov’t Employee at a large agency, so I have experience on how government “complaints” work…
    1. You have to be specific. At least the airport / time or even a name.
    2. If you experience a disrespectful, rude, etc. agent, you can go to the agent’s supervisor AS A FIRST STEP. But you need to follow-up with a formal complaint on the TSA website. I say this because every agency is required to have an independent group within the agency that investigates issues such as these. I know this may not sound that effective, but it is because this group is outside the chain of command of the offending agent, unlike the supervisor.
    3. On top of that, every agency and agency employees are subject to investigations by an independent agency within the department. TSA falls under Department of Homeland Security. The investigating agency for DHS is the Office of the Inspector General. If you believe that an agent violated a law or laws, you should go to the Office of Inspector General rather than TSA. The Office of Inspector General’s value is resolving issues, so it is in their best interest to resolve your issue.
    You can take this for what it’s worth to you; but I at least wanted to provide some insight on how the government handles complaints.

  • Travelnut

    Hate to say it because I basically agree the TSA gets a bad rap, but I have been touched (practically probed) a few times in a way that is usually preceded by someone buying me dinner first. But I believe one of those times was in a foreign country, so it’s not only our own agents who get handsy feely. I almost want to say these are some of my #metoo experiences.

  • mcb48204

    Return to 9/10/01 security screening policies, with the exception of the reinforced cockpit doors. End the security theater, the war on shoes, the war on liquids, etc.

    3. Eliminate the quasi-law-enforcement badges, and eliminate the attempts to have TSA screeners referred to as officers.
    4. All TSA screeners must wear body cams any time they’re at the checkpoint, which can’t be turned off by the screener.

    Yes.

  • mcb48204

    passengers should not have to choose between separate regular lines.

    Line psychology suggests separate lines for the same service are a terrible idea. It’s fundamentally unfair because people are subject to the vagaries of their line–maybe their check person is unusually slow, or the person in front of them has an unusual time-consuming problem–and it creates a lot of bitterness to see another line moving multiple times faster than your own.

  • mcb48204

    Thank you.

  • mcb48204

    I am so sorry LeeAnnClark.

  • mcb48204

    Yes.

  • mcb48204

    As it should be.

  • mcb48204

    That is a very interesting observation.

  • mcb48204

    thanks for using paragraphs. It makes your posts easier to read. :-)

  • mcb48204

    The TSA should not be doing that to you.

  • mcb48204

    I am glad your experience with the the TSA has improved.

  • Zarkov505

    I carry a backpack and a rolling carryon.

    The backpack contains a notebook computer. It also contains a DSLR camera, a CD player, CD wallet, noise-cancelling headphones, and assorted power supplies and batteries.

    TSA requires that the notebook computer be taken out of the backpack for X-ray imaging.

    The rolling carryon contains a CPAP, power strip, asthma nebulizer kit, and other medications.

    TSA requires that the CPAP be taken out of the rolling carryon for X-ray imaging.

    I also carry a measured-dose inhaler and spacer in my pants pocket and a billfold. I am required to empty my pockets.

    The fact is that the CPAP, nebulizer, and medications MUST travel with me and MUST arrive with me.

    The fact is that, in the US, cameras and notebook computers CANNOT BE SAFELY CHECKED THROUGH. Theft from checked baggage is rampant.

    This is my reality. Your Mileage May Vary.

  • FacsRfriendly

    Zarkov505- You are the one in a 1000 exception. You are a walking FesdEx Box. Looks like you have at least 2 items that won’t fit under the seat. I am surprised the airlines let you on with all that crap.

  • mcb48204

    I empathize with you. The more I read on Elliott.com, the less empathy I see. Lots of denial, perhaps to help people feel safer. This couldn’t happen to them because they know how to avoid it. They simply don’t accept or respect your reality.

  • mcb48204

    Are you saying that no rude and abusive incidents have happened? What would it take for you to believe and respect someone else’s experience?

  • mcb48204

    How do you suggest that Zarkov505 safely transport those necessary items?

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