Why does everyone hate the TSA?

The story had a familiar ring to it. It involved a group of soldiers returning home from Afghanistan. They were carrying weapons, including rifles, pistols and at least one M-240B machine gun.
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The Insider: Read this before your next TSA screening

Editor’s Note: This is part three of the Insider series on managing the TSA when you travel. Here’s part one and part two. As always, please send me any suggestions on topics or content I may have overlooked.

Want to get through the TSA screening process as quickly and painlessly as possible? Sure you do.
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Ridiculous or not: Just who does the TSA think it is?

Hardly a day seems to go by that I don’t get a complaint about the Transportation Security Administration.

Today it’s Judi Kutzko’s turn. She believes many air travelers like her are afraid to stand up to the agency for fear of being blacklisted.

“TSA can — and often does — make things miserable for anyone who speaks up,” she says.

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TSA Watch: “Because of your attitude you have earned a trip into our body scanner!”

Whenever I hear from someone like Angela Wright, I can almost predict the TSA’s knee-jerk response to her complaint.

It’ll say that’s not how it operates. And that it’ll “look into” her complaint.

But let’s listen to her anyway, because as this week’s events suggest, the TSA’s boilerplate answer may not be entirely accurate.
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TSA Watch: Should we avoid screening — or embrace it?

Full-body scan or pat-down?

It’s a choice that hundreds of thousands of air travelers will make for the first time this summer.

Not willingly, mind you. Some passengers are even going so far as to change the way they dress in an effort to avoid the whole thing. Susan Jones, an executive from Bellevue, Wash., wears clothes that won’t set off the airport magnetometer, hoping to pass through the checkpoint quickly.

“I have a favorite underwire garment that gets caught going through the machine,” she says. “So I try to remember not to wear it when I’m traveling.”
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