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TSA'S Summer Meltdown, and The Solution That Nobody Will Talk About

Now in Ask the Pilot: TSA's Summer Meltdown. Security lines are longer than ever, and the obvious fix is one that nobody will talk about. TSA doesn't need more screeners, it needs FEWER... ( 기타...

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Tim Duggan 17
It's been obvious for years that the TSA is a bloated bureaucratic behemoth that can't get out of its own way. When I was an active pilot for a major airline (now retired) I bristled and felt insulted that I, and fellow crew-members, had to suffer the indignity of TSA checkpoints...when WE were the ones responsible for people's safety! What I wanted to say (but couldn't, because you can't "joke" in security lines) was:

"I'm the pilot, and I am taking off my shoes and belt.....BUT! I have three 'weapons' that you cannot remove: Two hands, and a brain."
Sort of reminds me of a line from the movie, "Men in Black" - [to candidates rejected as MIB agents] "Zed: 'Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training'."
Geoff Joy -1
To be fair, the purpose of screening you isn't to protect your aircraft and passengers from you, that's impossible, as you have said. The purpose is to protect other aircraft and passengers from an unscreened pilot who could use his access to pass a weapon or explosive to someone to use on another aircraft. Look at the individuals in the screening area. Wouldn't you want 100% screening and 100% effectiveness in those cases?

If a pilot is suicidal, wouldn't you want him banned from flight status?
dmohr1 4
If this were true, then there wouldn't be a "Known Crewmember" line, which we can use without screening of any sort. Just show the TSA person an ID, they match us to a list, and we walk on through.

That doesn't mean those of us with access to that line aren't screened. All that screening is handled by our airlines as part of our employment.

But all the screening in the world won't stop a pilot that goes off the reservation and decides to fly the plane into the ground. I don't need explosives or a weapon. If I'm 500 feet above the ground during takeoff or landing and I suddenly decide to nose it over and crash the plane, there is no way in the world to stop me. It would be over in the blink of an eye.
Excuse me for disagreeing with you, Geoff, but if a pilot is suicidal how is a marginally trained government goon wearing a blue shirt going to determine that?

That kind of screening for a pilot should (and pretty much does) happen in a doctor's office. If a pilot fails the annual flight physical - which includes drug and alcohol screening - he's an Uber driver.
JD345 2
Maybe they could just have an air marshal in full tactical gear in every jump seat...
Seriously, that is probably the most cost effective solution.
But what if the air marshall went crazy? The obvious solution is to use the same strategy as redundant auto-land computers. Have three heavily-armed air marshalls continuously monitoring each other, as well as the pilots. That way if any one of them became unstable, there would be two others to regain control. Problem solved.
In these cases it's a .5 annual physical. I believe the ATR is 6 months or it used to be. That said, My very first physical took place in suburban D.C. When my turn came the medic walked in and asked "how'd you feel?" My standard answer is fine or well. Her further pursued his questioning with "what color is that trash can in the corner?" I answered "green" and he said I passed. Not much about suicide there, Is there?
30west 1
Mark, I think that we used the same AME. It definitely was a no stress event!
And at that, it was more thorough than my induction physical.
Ahhhh, the good ol daze
Security expert Bruce Schneier has been saying this for years. Airport screening is "Security Theater"...designed to make the public feel safer but it doesn't actually make them much safer. As Patrick Smith says, once a plot has made it as far as the airport, it's unlikely the TSA screeners will catch it.
iflyfsx 0
And if people keep putting up with the charade, whose fault is it in the end, really?

[This comment was deleted.]

iflyfsx 6
If those are the only alternatives you can come up with, it just makes you inferior.

Violence is not the solution. Refusing to participate in the charade is the solution. It would only take a small percentage of travelers to cause significant losses for the airlines, which would put significant pressure on Congress to make significant changes. Money. It's the only language they speak. It's the only thing they respond to.
JD345 1
Phase 1: Boycott Airlines
Phase 2: ?
Phase 3: TSA becomes awesome
iflyfsx 1
They will never be awesome, but you can bet they would be more responsive. So far, they can do whatever they want, and get away with it, because they know they have everyone by the balls. Literally. They are not responsive or accountable because they don't have to be.

Congress puts on a show every time they pretend to "get tough" on the tsa, but they never do anything, and the charade continues [to get worse]. If the airlines were suddenly hurting, there would not be a show. There would be action.
Require every flying Congressperson to go through the line with the plebes at DCA and IAD and at their home airport. Then things will improve
Tim Duggan 14
Also, since every person who works in the transportation industry is required to undergo random drug and alcohol screenings, then EVERY person who works in government, especially in Congress, should be subjected to the same rules.
iflyfsx 1
Who is going to do that, exactly?
Em Ad 6
As bad as TSA is, it's not totally their fault. Passengers bring way to many carry on bags that jam up the lines and the biggest offenders are familys with toys, strollers filled with bags and not children,food and liquid items for their children that have to be checked by an officer. It's not the only problem, but it is a problem. Also, agree pre check is filled with people who haven't been pre cleared.
But you know people are going to be idiots, that much is guaranteed. If your system does not address the issues known to be in the population going through the security lines - it is TSA's fault.
TSA has created a huge target. If a terrorist in the US wants to kill a couple hundred people, all he has to do is get in a TSA screening line with a suicide vest on almost any Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. Some airports the lines stretch out over large areas, others (like IAD) zigzag a lot of people into a fairly confined space.
That's exactly what happened in Belgium. I remember reading a few weeks ago that TSA came right out and said they were responsible for aircraft. Not the people in airports.
The Rome and Vienna ticket counter attacks back in the 80's. I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often.
I paid the $85 for precheck. But while at some airports it works exactly as it should, at others it's worthless. I go through one airport that the precheck only allows me to keep my shoes on and many other airports don't even do that. Having the precheck option is one thing, being able to use it is another. If they (TSA) want to be more efficient, they might want to use the tools they already have instead of making their own rules for each airport and even each line.
I paid for Precheck too. The first time I flew after that was on Lufthansa and it didn't end up printing on my boarding pass even though I entered my KTN. I showed the TSA agent the Precheck confirmation letter I received (with my name and KTN, etc) from TSA and he said it was worthless -- Precheck must appear on the boarding pass. So TSA makes it the responsibility of the AIRLINE to confirm a passenger's "Known" status. TSA will not accept TSA's own documentation.

Precheck doesn't work when boarding in another country. Toronto has a US immigration clearance, yet they do not honor Precheck.

On my second trip, I flew on Delta from a small regional airport. They had a big sign next to the one security area saying "Pre-Check". But when I showed up, they said they were "just about to announce" that Pre-check was already closed -- you had to enter security 20 min before everyone else to avoid the regular security protocol. They had NOT announced that Precheck had already closed, and they left the Precheck sign up permanently.

I have a third trip next week. Hoping Precheck will actually be worthwhile...
I don't fly anywhere much anymore, but I had the opportunity to fly out of BWI into JAX and found the rules and procedures somewhat different in the two places. The agents at JAX were comparatively caustic when compared to those at BWI. I can get along with the devil himself if I have to, but the JAX agents surly stretched my abilities.
There is clearly something organically and culturally wrong at TSA. Any organization that has the personnel attrition rate that TSA has is fundamentally flawed. Recruitment is barely keeping up with attrition. Sure, pay is mediocre, but entry qualifications are low. They are not looking for people with advanced education and experience. It is too simplistic to pin the blame on any one thing. The entire agency needs to be studied. Throwing money at the problem without knowing what is causing the problem is a waste.
It looks like a really crummy job to me, even at double the salary. Think about dealing with a neverending stream of cranky, clueless idiots all day.
JD345 1
and that's just in the break room
you beat me to it...
ADXbear 12
The terrorist won.... we r so distracted by our owe knee jerk reactions, the bad guys just sit back and laugh at our failures... drive, stay actions... whatever. But don't keep feeding the insanity... stop coming and I bet they fix this right quick..
more to the point the most arbitrary rules are always the least effective: shoe removal and liquids were to prevent shoe bombs and mixing a LOT of TATP, which as we know failed; now the most effective tactic is kidnapping a baggage handler's relatives

it's a Maginot Line: it works perfectly against the last battle
What about using some common sense on domestic U.S. flights for a Pre-Check or even exemption? Many of us are not a logical terrorist profile. Using my own example (of course) - male, retired, over 70, lifetime citizen, Viet Nam military veteran (top secret security clearance), law enforcement and teaching background, no criminal or arrest record, always round trip tickets purchased well in advance, multiple flights a year, limited foreign travel. But I did transfer through Dubai three years ago although there wasn't time to radicalize me during the layover.
Several years ago, my aunt, a 90 year old nun in a wheelchair, was not allowed on a plane (MCI-OKC)because her driver's license was expired.
So she didn't have a valid picture ID which has been the rule for many years. I'll bet her local DMV issues picture ID other than a mv license. I hear the same argument against picture ID for voting.
That is so ridiculous it deserves to be sent to Congress.
Everyone keeps dissing on TSA, which is not undeserved. However, in my humble opinion, the airlines caused much longer lines by charging to check bags. Make them free, force people to check their bags and then have stricter methods of ensuring that these bags are safe to fly. People and their personal items can then move more rapidly through the TSA checkpoints. If someone must have a larger bag the need to bring (maybe fragile equipment) charge them to go carry it on the plane.
Best idea yet!! Charge for carry ons and raise fares to cover checked which can be screened better. Now days my few flights are to destinations with no need to worry about connections and yet here come passengers with everything they own! I remember the "good old days" with tiny overheads. As someone in this column has said the WHOLE system needs to be rethought. In these days of shallow "quick-fixes" I won't live that long.
And have a separate express screening line for people with NO carry-ons.
ilefty 1
Very good idea.
"You have 3.5 oz. of water in that bottle, I will have to confiscate it because I believe its contents could be an explosive" tosses bottle in garbage can right next to line.

I am sure there are a lot of incidents happening in the background that the flying public will never know about. What we do know about, is that it only takes one or two screeners with a 'God complex' to give all of them a bad rap. Or a screener or two with 'sticky-fingers'. Most of the screeners I have interacted with at DSM are easy going yet professional and live by the axiom 'if you treat others with respect, that is how you will get treated in return'

The biggest contributing factor is the Airline's nickel and dime strategy. Checked bag? that will be $50. (everything now goes in a carry-on) Now, Carry-on? that will be $35. As other posters have stated, checked bag? free. carry-on? nominal fee. that should cut down on people carrying their life's accumulated gradoo, stuffed into a bag the size of 1970's microwave oven. There is room for improvement on all fronts. Most importantly, don't forget to bring your patience with you.
And that travel and travail share the same root.
pnschi 3
Wow. The first problem this guy can think of on 9/11 is the passengers:

"It was a failure of passenger and crew awareness, of cockpit entry protocols, and a total breakdown of communication at the levels of our FBI and CIA, both of which had been tracking the hijackers."

Let's back up. The passengers had been told for generations to be quiet and cooperate in the case of a hijacking.

Let's remember the proportion of types of people who suffered on 9/11 ranked from most to least, which also happens to be approximately the ranking of those who did the most to rescue American from an even greater disaster on that day:

Ordinary civilians (2400 dead, made a decision in a few minutes to ignore the decades of advice on hijackings, and therefore kept a plane from being flown into the Whitehouse or the Capitol) : Firefighters (250 dead, rescued thousands from burning buildings) : Civil Police (scores dead, also helped thousands escape from burning buildings) : Military (scores dead, rescued each other from Pentagon) : Air Crew (dozens dead, made phone calls that helped connect the dots of the horror that day.)

And this guy starts with "It was a failure of passenger awareness..." Whatever it takes to not look in the mirror.
>> What the men exploited was our understanding, at the time, of what a hijacking was and how it was expected to unfold.

You kind of missed his point, which was the same one you're making: if the the passengers then had the mindset they do now, it would likely have turned out differently. As you correctly note, the mode then was to just let it play out peacefully. Not any more.
The Flight 93 passengers only rebelled after learning via AirFone of other hijacked planes hitting the WTC. At that point, there really was no choice but to give it a try. I think the hijackers also told the pax that they had a bomb which, IMHO, would have convinced them that revolt was the only option.
There is a lot of inefficient use of agents. For example, it seems every security area has an agent perched on a chair at the exit whose sole job is to stop people returning to the secure area after they leave it. This could be handled by turnstiles, or better yet, require the Airport Authority to hire security for that job. Also, why is the person shouting out instructions at the top of the line a trained screener? Use a civilian. Same with ID checkers.
A lot of it is security theater to impress the public. Like the indignity of having to remove shoes and belts. Never have to do this in Europe.
homburge 7
A simpler solution is to do away with checked bag fees.
It's not a solution, but it would certainly help. Another would be to enforce carry-on limits. Even before airlines started checked bags fees, pax were pushing the limits to avoid checking bags and having to wait at baggage claim.
btweston 1
Right. Good luck with that.
Betty O 4
I agree with all the points made by the author!
On a recent flight out of FRA I asked the local security person if I should take off my shoes and he basically laughed at me and said,"nope, we don't do that here, only the US makes you do it"
How about each airline paying for their own security check points. They can finance it with the baggage fees. That might be a service point they could compete on.
btweston 2
Oh, sure. Within a month or two there won't be any security checkpoints. Problem solved.
The airlines are partially to blame. If they didn't charge for checked bags, there would likely be fewer bags to check in the screening line.
Excellent ideas! Best of all: Use common sense and scientifically-constructed data to determine cost/benefit ratio for the current log-jam inefficiencies.
In order to increase transparency and inform the public of its true nature, the Transportation Sturm Abteilung (TSA) should change their shirt color to brown. With this knowledge, the public will not dare to ever criticize these champions of safety, nor even look them in the eye.
Patrick Smith, as usual, provides a well expressed argument. A quick google search on TSA threat vector found this. Personally, it does not leave me with a positive feeling. The TSA appears to be a macabre joke.
So how many of the naysayers find a value in the 2200 weapons that the poor dumb TSA screeners removed from hand luggage last year?

Karen Crisp is right - Checked Bags Fly Free. Charge for carry-on bags and make people who have to have them go through the screening silliness. Making the congressional folks go through screening would improve things - but it would probably push many of them to fly General Aviation aircraft - oh wait, that would be a good thing - maybe then they would get the idea that the FAA needs to be reformed as well!
iflyfsx 2
Since they FAIL to detect weapons 95% of the time, that means 44,000 weapons went through. And yet, no airplanes fell out of the sky. Of course, to the tsa, a water bottle is a "weapon."
JD345 1
It's not like they didn't have x-ray machines on 9/10/01
Applying for TSA Pre-check should be free, not a revenue source for TSA bonuses.
iflyfsx 1
And politicians should be honest.
pnschi 1
Sure. So people who don't use it pay as much as people who do?
The solutions outlined would greatly speed the security process, and improve security. Very well thought out!
Paid for precheck,doesn't work, Tsa doesn't know why. So?
Just try. Calling them. Lots of luck on that!
Ask for a refund on precheck, through your congressperson.
I flew "commercial" out of KWDG one time about 2005. It was the experience that convinced me to use FBO charter service from then on. This airport had at the time passenger service that consisted of one Beech 1900 that had 2 flights a day(I don't remember if it was Mesa or Lone Star at the time). Rarely had more than two people boarding. TSA comprised of 4 fulltime screeners and 2 part time screeners. That's right there were two screeners to each passenger on average. And they had to have a city police officer come out for each arrival and departure. On this day I was the only person boarding at KWDG and was patted down twice by different TSA agents. I was told by the supervisor because "we have a required number of pat downs we have to do a month to stay qualified." How the heck is that my problem! If you have so many screeners that you can't they stay "current" maybe you should have fewer screeners and reallocate the resources elsewhere. I'm sure there are several small regional airports with the same crap going on.
we cant go back in time to the "good old days" of flying when ther wer no security checkpoints or lines for that,so, as things are today in 2016, we have to find solutions to avoid the long lines and wait times just to take off your shoes and have a tsa rep throw out your bottle of face cream that was too big! the entrances to the gates in most airports are a bit larger than office hallways, and there are ways of accommodating at least 2 or 3 more tsa agents,belts, and x ray machines..i think its the cost that is making them scrimp on people and tools..there is a solution ..
I've never understood how it is that, after the TSA have ensured that I am not carrying a knife, I am served a meal on board with steel cutlery, including a knife with a 3" blade. Do the airlines assume that terrorists only fly coach?
iflyfsx 1
They have not ensured your are not carrying a knife. Again, they FAIL to screen 95% of weapons going through security. Because they are not doing security at all. They are putting on a show to make people feel safe. More than 10 years later, people still don't understand this? How is that possible?
JD345 1
What I'm worried about is that TSA screeners aren't screened thoroughly enough. So, we need the airport PD to screen them. But who screens the airport cops? What if one of them goes off the rails and joins ISIS? We'll have to get some feds in to screen them in the morning. But who screens the feds?
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Not a new question.
MrTommy 1
Isn't it Israel that uses mostly old fashioned (and politically incorrect) profiling to fend off potential 'bad guys' - with great success? I seem to recall decades ago when the FBI announced this new technology (profiling) that allowed them to figure out who may be doing what by simply applying known 'habits' that lead to arrests of bad people. Now it's SO politically incorrect that it has led to making my 97 year old mother remove her shoes at the airport while Hakiem walks on by un-hassled.
WavemanT 1
The current system is fundamentally flawed. TSA needs to keep two things off of aircraft: explosives, guns, and similar devices in carry ons, checked baggage, and/or cargo, and passengers with bad intent. There are methods to deal with both. For example, the TSA should use psychological profiling to detect passengers who warrant additional screening. Meanwhile, they should expand the PreCheck program and make it cheaper and easier.
Guns in checked bags are perfectly fine. Back when I used to fly I often had mine in my checked bags. It actually gives you a big advantage in that you can then use a non-TSA approved lock (you're the one who keeps the only key) and if TSA wants/needs to check it then they must have you present. Really cuts down on the pilfering.
Pat Reed 1
The obvious solution, and the easiest would be to stop carryon baggage all together. if your time is so valuable, would it not be easier to just have everyone check those bags at the counter and just be able to walk onto the plane. quick body scan then board. you are carrying or dragging the problem behind you. Give them up.
What?! Business travel where you can't work on your laptop? Madness! Sheer madness!
The TSA problem is exactly the same as the VA's problems ... the O'B administration and congress would rather sell (GIVE) weapons to our age old enemy's than support the People veterans especially . God save us from another Military Hating administration.
btweston -1
Stop sniffing glue.
How can you make progress of the article when the flight attendant's Union stopped the simplest of steps, such as allowing my 2 inch pen knife. I tell you, if someone tries to take down a plane I am on with a pen knife, I will be the first one cut "disabling" the terrorist.
Choice 1) stand in TSA lines
Choice 2) fly Egypt air......
I don't believe that's the only solution. As with all other things there's more than one way to skin a cat or any other critter.
btweston 0
The author seems to put a lot of faith in the intellect and abilities of the individual TSA workers. Let's remember that these people are morons who probably couldn't get one of those sweet, high paying jobs throwing garbage into a truck. Do we really want to put actual decision making into the hands of the lowest paid federal employees? No, we don't, because that would be insane.
Compare how TSA works now compared to how it worked when it first was enacted. Then, think about the personnel working security then compared to know. Finally, think about TSA pre-unionized and post-unionized.

What would your observations be?
If unionization is the problem, why are employees leaving at such a high rate? It's not a real union, anyway. Can't strike, limited bargaining rights, etc. No, blaming unionization is a red herring.
I think the idea of targeting profiled groups for intensive screening, while allowing others quicker passage through checkpoints, is flawed. Terrorists are very capable of finding loopholes in security, and can readily exploit the innocent traveling public, to carry their bombs, in the same way that drug traffickers exploit them, as unsuspecting "drug mules", for transfer of narcotics across borders.

"The Most Sensible Fix That Nobody Will Talk About" to me, is to reassess the very appropriateness of international travel, and to ask ourselves how much of that is necessary. I've mulled over that point for some time. Why do we all need to travel? My "most sensible fix" is one that nobody wants to think about: put modern technology to work to devise and develop video-conferencing/sensing technology that is so realistic as to be practically indistinguishable from the "real thing". That technology is in its infancy; it has barely scratched the surface of what is possible. Today we are at a threshold, where individual, previously unrelated technologies are ready to converge into a new technology that has the potential to solve many of our current problems in one blow, including reduced need for energy, reduced impact on our fragile environment, reduced travel security risk, reduced opportunity for terrorist attack, increased access to satisfying life experience for the disabled, avoidance of wasted time, fatigue and expense of moving human bodies and their trappings across flight paths of featureless terrain that nobody wants to see. My list could go on.

We travel to broaden our minds, as we have done since time immemorial. For the first time in history, we have the opportunity to broaden our minds without the need to drag our bodies along for the ride. It’s a solution that some of us, especially those within the travel and transport industry, will not want to know. For them, it is the “Fix That Nobody Will Talk About" – but yet the transition can be made, as painless as was the transition from scribes to the printing press.
Interesting idea. Border security and the circumvention thereof has been a game played as long has there have been borders, usually with significant consequences. I suspect, however, that video conferencing will replace such activities as travel to Ireland an kissing the Blarney stone. Some things require meatspace involvement.
Agreed. If McDonald's is considering R/R people with robots to reduce cost, it stands to reason international businesses would consider the same.

I tried to reach out to you last week. Did I understand you correctly that Wayne, Preacher 1 passed away?
Sadly, that is the case. There were quite a few kind sentiments expressed on this board:
Thank you. Somehow all that blew by me in November. Along with all of you, I'll miss him.
I sent email to addr given & pm'd. Sorry they didn't arrive.
I did receive something back and quickly, but I fouled up my response and it may not have been sent.

I can only add to the lament. He was my newest friend. He E mailed me the day he got the diagnosis but I lost contact after that. Just prior to the diagnosis he got his pension account straightened out. I didn't know him long but he was quickly elevated to special individual. I miss him.
omission error "conferencing will replace " should read "conferencing will not replace"
Yes, I agree. There will always be those special exceptions that will need to be satisfied, by physical air travel. But even then, I'm imagining a technology that can provide a tactile remote link, offering the lips-Blarney Stone experience, for all but the most determined for the "real thing". Hmm... and who knows whose lips were most recently pressed against that stone? I've seen a video of that actual experience, and it involves laying on one's back, with one's head back, and overhanging a ditch, beyond which the lips, and the lips only, can reach. Contagion, and wearing of the Stone, are two of the problems that a virtual experience would solve.
Red pill or Blue?
Red. Without the shadow of a doubt.
I can hardly wait until you get to the legislative part where travel is verboten except by special permit.
It won't be verboten at all. It will be seen by the "traveling" public as inefficient, ineffective and dangerous, once the alternative virtual experience is introduced.

Once, the only way to travel across the U.S. was by horse transport. It's still possible to do that, but few do.
Some people like hands on. Given the choice of a Mediterranean cruise or watching a video many would risk life and limb to take the cruise. Instead of limiting the choices of the citizenry, maybe we should be limiting the choices of foreigners. Either way businesses will cry the blues for lost revenues as will the air carriers. Little doubt the technology should be developed as a parallel alternative.
"Watching a video" would not have the interactivity that I had in mind. The virtual reality can be pre-programmed, with precisely the detail desired. How often do travelers return home, disappointed by circumstances beyond their planning control, that ruined their vacations? But of course, there will always be those few who demand the "real experience". They can have it; instead of having huge airliners devoted to passenger services, aircraft would be combo freighters/passengers, or sole freighters and sole Lear jet types. The reduced demand for passenger air travel would dictate the most economical mix, as always. Doubtlessly there would be changes needed in business, but as always happens, it will only means loss of revenue and business failure for those businesses who don't see the need for them to accommodate the changing needs of their customers.

Computer gamers are the front-runners of that parallel alternative, and there will be huge advances in that direction, I'm quite sure. Even with the minimal interface of a gamer and computer monitor, attention can be so complete that the gamer can feel intense shock when awareness is pulled back by a hand on the shoulder. Consider then, the effect that the ultimate virtual reality would provide: diversion of the five senses through a brain link, similar to Neo's experience in The Matrix. Sci-fi now, but then, so was Moon travel, 500 years ago. Of course, there will be those who are slow to take up the advantages, as there always has been. No Neo experience tomorrow, of course, but just to consider the path towards it, is to see the steps on the path that technology can follow, in the evolution of the idea.

Of course, there is always the matter of personal security risk, in virtual reality. The risk is in trusting an outside agency to support and maintain one's body functions, lest it turns into a one-way trip. Yet even then, it's no more risky than trusting one's surgeon's anesthetist.
JD345 2
Maybe we can just ban all travel of any kind. It's too dangerous and you just never know where all these people are going to or coming from. Think of all the people killed by drunk drivers. If driving was banned, they'd still be alive.
We don't need to ban anything. We only need to find a more efficient way to have our "travel experience", and humans usually choose that option.
Well said. I have stopped flying for this reason. If I can not get there by train, I am not going.
AMTRAK doesn't handle baggage very well. In some cases it's all carry on.
another problem is here : Coming from BRU to IAD to PIT . in brussel i go through pasport control then complet check with metaldetector , shoe and vest out , before boarding is another rondom check possible . when arriving in IAD i go through emigration control , pick up my suitcase go through customs give my suitcases for connecting flight and there i go same procedure like in brussels. WHY ???? the only thing they can take from me is my Bottle of whiskey i bought in the tax free zone in brussels ???? do they think i bought box cutters on the plane ????

The reason here is that by touching your checked bag at customs, you had access to whatever "contraband" items (those you can't carry on, but which are OK in checked luggage, such as a pocket knife, large shampoo bottle, etc). Since they can't know who took what out of the checked bags, everyone gets rescreened. Many other countries keep checked bags checked unless their customs agents decide to screen someone. I think this is a practice we should adpot in the US for connecting passengers with checked bags.
how can i have access to let say pocket knife of large shampoo bottle out of my checked bag if that hallway is full of sniffer dogs and police , between out of plane and access to my checked bag is less then 10 minnutes (immagration waiting for checked bags and through customs total time less then a 20 minutes , do you think that no one will notice if i open my checked bag in the middle of that hall and get some big knife out of it ???
from plane to TSA control i'm there in less then 15 minutes and then i can stand inline at TSA control for the next 40 minutes if your that Lucky when there are no other intercontinantal flights coming in if so then count almost
more then a hour
They are suspicious because you came from Brussels, a known terrorist breeding ground. (J/K)


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