And the TSA incompetence beat goes on . . .

As I wrote earlier this month, TSA incompetence and stupidity — combined with American populace passivity — are causing thousands of people to miss their flights. The amount of time travelers are supposed to allow to get through airport security keeps ballooning — from one hour to two hours to, now, three hours before their flights. And that’s for domestic flights, mes amis, not just international ones.

Yet despite the copious coverage of this insanity, people keep flying. They not only keep flying, they’re increasing their flying. They keep planning vacations, they keep taking trips they don’t have to take, they keep putting up with being abused, and they keep complaining — just read the comments at Jonathan Turley’s post on this. Yet they will do nothing to resist.

Guess things must not be so bad.

I’ve said it a thousand times before, and I’ll say it again: unless you’re forced to travel for work or for a family/medical emergency, you don’t have to fly. You’re choosing to fly. You’re choosing to risk missing your flight. You’re choosing to be treated like cattle to the slaughter. Your behavior is telling the airlines and the TSA that you’re pefectly content to be abused.

When people get what they ask for, I don’t see how they can be surprised.

(Cross-posted at ABombazine)

  • Joey Bach

    Just read news of lawsuit that was dismissed from a surgeon in Minnesota. Hooman Nikizad missed flight and had to buy another ticket on another airline to make his commitment. The dismissal came on June 17th. I have not been able to find information on the reason for dismissal (settlement, judge tossed it).

    Can anyone help get this information (I am about to go to sleep and do not have free calling into the USA to get information on this point).

    see http://money.cnn.com/2016/06/13/pf/tsa-lawsuit-long-security-lines/

    • You will always lose against the TSA. The deck is stacked against us. Over and over and over and over again, this is proven to be the case. The most that has ever happened is that somebody settles — e.g., Steve Bierfeldt, Stacey Armato — and then the TSA proceeds to violate the terms of the settlement. But you never win.

      • Joey Bach

        Update on CNN Money article had that the suit got dismissed. No status as to why. I would not be surprised if it got dismissed due to settlement. Since a settlement would cause a lawsuit to get dismissed.

        I look at is as poor reporting that no reason was given or that the news organization was going to follow-up on it.

        The big question on those violations is that they should have re-opened up those lawsuits — why did they not get dragged in front of a judge to explain their organization’s violation.

        • Who knows why it was dismissed. Regardless, judges so far have always sided with the TSA.

  • Daisiemae

    So glad the website is back up and running normally! Thanks for all the hard work, Lisa.

    • Thank Steven Glover, the fab IT guy who fixed it!

  • The amount of time travelers are supposed to allow to get through airport security keeps ballooning…

    • Yes, it has. We’ve been writing about it for months.

  • Susan Richart

    In another thread in this blog, I quote someone as saying:

    “It allows zero-threat passengers to breeze through security so that
    more TSOs can get off the checkpoints to gather intelligence from
    airport mechanics, janitors, and cooks who see and hear everything TSOs
    can’t.”

    It seems that someone has been proven wrong because TSA didn’t move those people to “intelligence” gathering, the TSA let them go.

    • 1amWendy

      “Zero-threat” passengers should not have to stop, go through metal detectors, put their luggage on conveyors for x-ray…. if they are truly “zero-threat” they should not be inconvenienced in the least. Screening “zero-threat” passengers is the definition of useless make-work.

  • “Apparently, issuing absurd threats to American citizens over harmless behavior is something that requires a complement of two TSA officers.”

    Etc.

    From an opinion column at Bloomberg (http://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-05-17/here-s-why-the-tsa-is-so-terrible)

    Every single thing she writes in that column we’ve written, repeatedly, for years, here at TSA News. And yet, and still, and for god knows how long, nothing will change. The charade will go on, the money will continue to be wasted, people will continue to miss their flights — and worse — and put up with it.

    For every person out there who defends the TSA, I hope for you and your loved ones to be inconvenienced if not abused beyond all measure. You are the people who have brought this upon us. You are the people at fault. You deserve what you get.

  • Susan Richart

    TSA is now claiming that they are signing up 16,000 people a day for PreCheck.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/is-tsa-precheck-the-answer-to-long-airport-lines-693769283621

    Here’s a refutation of that claim:

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/26688856-post703.html

    It would seem that yet again TSA is pulling the public’s chain.

  • LeeAnneClark

    Every time I read the whole “you’re perpetuating this mess because you keep flying” thing it makes me feel ill.

    First of all…because yes, I know it’s true. Nothing is going to change as long as people continue to fly. I realize that.

    But that leaves me with two choices: 1) give up doing the things that I love, seeing the people I love, enjoying my life as I wish to live it, or 2) continue to live my life, knowing that I am doing nothing to stop the abuse.

    And I just can’t do #1. I simply refuse.

    No, I don’t have to fly. I could stop visiting my family on the other side of the country, where I grew up. I could stop traveling to tropical islands to scuba dive and pursue my love for underwater photography where the water is warm. I could skip my upcoming high school reunion, and give up seeing the people I grew up with whom I only get to see about once a decade. I could stop taking vacations to distant places to finally see some of the wonders of the world that I’d previously only read about.

    But if give up all of that, what am I actually accomplishing? I’m one person. It would be just an empty gesture, because clearly the rest of America isn’t going to do it either.

    Look, I worked hard my entire life to finally achieve a level of success that allows me to do many of the things I used to only dream about. This TSA horror has been going on for more than a decade now…and I don’t see it coming to a screeching halt any time soon. I’m not getting any younger. If I don’t live out my dreams now…if I wait until some mythical time when our nation returns to some level of sanity, I will likely never get to do any of it. I’m at that perfect junction in my life when I have both the resources and the health to do these things…but there’s no guarantee that either, or both, will hold out.

    I only get this one lifetime. And I am so unbelievably fortunate in so many ways. But in one particular way I’m not: I’m stuck living in a time in which our nation is gripped with certain insanities that are negatively affecting my life. One is the TSA. (Another is religious extremism and Trump-ism, but that’s a conversation for another time.)

    Anyway, I do hear your argument, Lisa, and I agree with you. I applaud your commitment, your own sacrifice, and your entreaties to the rest of us to do the same. But I just…I can’t.

    And so I will continue waiting in stupidly long lines to be scoped-and-groped, pissed off and spitting acid, and knowing that I’m part of the problem. I wish like hell there was another option for me.

    • Joey Bach

      LeeAnne,

      There is an option or several.
      a) When you fly, record using journal and/or camera the following:
      i) arrival time at airport.
      ii) arrival time at check-in (either web electronic or counter)
      iii ) arrival time at line-up for TSA check.
      iv) completion time of TSA check.
      v) arrival at area of gate for flight (whether or not you make the flight).

      b) film the TSA process (follow the TSA photography guidelines).

      c) provide (a) and (b) in a meeting with your federally elected representatives, ensure that they review it in your presence then schedule a follow-up meeting to get answers.

      d) this is the radical, if you miss a flight due to a long line — then demand that the TSA on-duty manager refunds the portion on your ticket that you pay for their services plus provide you with money for snacks, meals and/or beverages for you while you wait for the flight that they rebooked you on. If you have an overnight wait, then demand the TSA on-duty manager provides you with hotel accommodation, Make the airline summon the on-duty manager..

      • LeeAnneClark

        So yes, I can do all of these things (although I highly doubt I’d be able to get any of my federally elected representatives to actually meet with me personally – but I can provide them with the information).

        I already do many things to try to bring attention to the TSA abuse issue. My name appears more than once on Lisa’s “Master list of TSA abuses”, relating both my own TSA-assault stories, my mother’s, and some others that I either witnessed myself or were told to me by friends.

        I have written dozens of letters to my elected representatives, letters to the editor, comments on various blogs and message forums, etc. etc.

        I have vocally protested at the airport during my own abuse episodes, putting myself at risk of being tossed out and missing my flight (which, fortunately, hasn’t happened yet). If I do miss a flight due to the TSA, I will demand appropriate compensation.

        And I will continue to do all this. I don’t know how much effect any of it is having, but at least I’m not just remaining silent. I CAN say that my being vocal about this issue has changed minds in my own circle, so at least that’s something.

        But meanwhile I will continue to fly…because, as I said above, I simply refuse to give up living my own life.

    • I can understand this, LeeAnne. It’s a tough decision. I just wish people would realize how powerful they are, and that if we all (not Every Single Person in the country, but a big number) of us refused to fly for three weeks — just three weeks! — we could change everything. The airlines were hurting only 10 days after 9/11. Imagine what would happen in three weeks.

      But I know this a mass boycott will never happen in my lifetime. I know this.

  • Susan Richart

    Here’s a tidbit that appeared on FlyerTalk last night:

    There’s a new groin (crotch) procedure that began in January and that is slowing down lines.

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/26658947-post620.html

    This says to me that the crotch is where any of the items that got through testing last year were hidden. I also wonder if this is in any way related to alleged mandatory AIT that TSA has threatened.

    • Onetinythought

      This obsession with the crotch is getting really really old.

      • RB

        TSA does seem to have a high interest in fondling crotches. Signs of one or more Perverts in the upper ranks of TSA?

        • Onetinythought

          I think it’s their employee workforce. Probably porn addicts, most of them, and the traveling public are just ambulatory sets of genitalia to be prodded. Thoroughly.

    • I still don’t understand what new procedure this guy is talking about. The TSA has been assaulting people’s crotches as SOP for 6 years now. Also, what’s all this about scanning boarding passes? What a complete and utter bullshit operation. Spectacularly stupid and spectacularly worthless.

      How many times do we have to say it: Thousands of people massed together at the checkpoint IS already a target. Domodedovo. Brussels. Hello?? The TSA and every other so-called security agency in the world isn’t doing shit. If you want to blow a place up, you can. You can. You don’t need to get on a plane.

      • Susan Richart

        While it’s convoluted, apparently some kind of a belt triggers an alarm and then the passenger gets his/her crotch groped. My guess is that it is happening in PreCheck lines where people are allowed to keep their belts on while going through WTMD.

        OR, it’s a punishment for people who leave their belts on going through the scanner.

  • Susan Richart

    Forgot to post this here yesterday:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/tsa-apologizes-delays-promises-hundreds-new-staffers-chicago-o-hare-n575701

    “We had a significant challenge in Chicago yesterday,” Neffenger said. “I don’t know what that was, but fixing that, that is of great concern to me….

    Neffenger and his boss, Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, promised Chicago
    Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday that more than 300 extra TSA officers will
    be assigned to Chicago’s airports by mid-August — 58 of them within the
    next three weeks.

    One hundred more part-time workers in Chicago will be promoted to full time, Emanuel said.

    The Idiot Neffenger doesn’t know what happened but he’s going to fix it?!?!?!?!

  • Joey Bach

    CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley had story on waits. They got information from American Airlines that 6400 passengers missed their flights.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tsa-sends-dozens-of-security-officers-to-ohare-chicago-to-cut-long-delays/

    This is appalling. I am glad that I live in Canada.

    • Yes, we’ve written about this several time already.

  • Dolt

    When people get what they ask for, I don’t see how they can be surprised.

    But …. that’s the main product and export we make in America these days. We don’t make cars or other industrial, tangible items anymore, we make “shock”, “outrage” and “offense” and then export that as far as we can. The best part is that all of the shock, outrage and offense is clearly noted and warned about ahead of time, but if we listened to facts and logic, we could no longer keep our stock in the outrage of the outcomes we were told and learned about.

    TSA is ineffective and fails 95% of all security tests: SHOCKED!

    TSA has long lines for nude scans and rape-gropes: OUTRAGE!

    My 4 years at a University that I borrowed $100,000 to attend to obtain a degree in Social Work only nets me a job worth $35,000 a year: OUTRAGE and OFFENDED!

    Someone tells me my outrage is misplaced because this was the outcome that everyone who used common sense said would happen: OFFENDED!

  • Additionally, how much does flying contribute to anthropogenic climate disruption?https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_aviation

    • Mensch59, you’re right about that, but that’s a separate topic.

      • Too true.
        Don’t wish to change the subject matter of your post.
        Mea culpa.

  • Robert Hollis Weber

    I remember changing planes in Charlotte, not more than six months after the TSA took over from private screeners. A Delta pilot waiting at the gate with me looked at the legions of blue shirts and introduced me for the first time to the real meaning of the acronym: “Thousands Standing Around.”

    I marveled over this fact a week ago on a trip to Chicago as I watched two dozen (I counted) blue shirted screeners milling around the checkpoint at PHL as the line of passengers, anxious about making their early morning flight, only grew longer.

    I supported the creation of TSA back in the day; the airlines, motivated solely by profit, previously hired low paid, often inattentive screeners to staff their checkpoints. A decade and a half later salaries have swelled along with the number of screeners, and the lines at checkpoints are as long as they ever were.

    TSA says they need more staff. I say they need better management.

    • I say they need to be gone.

      • didactic1

        Part of the problem is that airlines have become like cars, highways. Cheap transportation that people use for ordinary life, not occasional special occasions.

        LIke all carbon based transit, it’s grossly underpriced in terms of the direct and indirect effect it has not only on the atmosphere thorugh which the plane flies, but on the lands used for terminals, parking losts, storage areas and miles of office building, roads and hotels that spring up around airports. What do they do in those office buildings.

        What do most fo the “business travelers” do that’s so important? Little or nothing has to do with species survival or improvement of average earth inhabitant’s life.

        Not a subject Ms Rodham or Trump(Trump Air) wish to discuss.

      • Dolt

        I say they need to be gone.

        ….and take the Scope N Grope machines with them when they pack up to leave.

  • Jadeveon Clowney

    I’m one of those people who has to occasionally fly for work. But I agree with you. If everyone going on Disney, Grand Canyon, etc. vacations would stop flying, I believe things would change. But I just don’t see that happening.

    • I don’t see it happening either. So people will continue to bitch and moan and do nothing about it.

      • Joey Bach

        You hit the nail on the head.

        Without much effort and cost, a simple way would be to get answers from videos and/or photos taken by those who are waiting and sent to their elected representatives (both state and federal). Videos taken of the lines and of any milling about of TSA staff in the screening area. Also of lack of manpower to fully staff lanes.

        Now getting the answers may require pulling teeth or herding cats but stay on point with the questions and ensure those questions get answered and not bypassed.

        Same videos could be shared with the media — who also could ask the elected officials.

        Now what was said about the value of a picture? A thousand words maybe?

        • RB

          The electeds know what’s going on and their solution is to pour more of our tax dollars down the TSA sewer. Money will not fix TSA.

        • Daisiemae

          There have been pictures, videos, letters, complaints, and news stories out the wazoo. All the “elected representatives” know everything that is going on and they don’t care. What they care about is all the money that is going into their pockets from this horrific boondoggle…and staying elected so they can continue to put this money into their pockets.

          So none of your suggestions are going to do any good because it’s all been done already.

    • Mundane Lustrator

      Why should pleasure travelers stop flying while business travelers get a pass in your mind? Because you’re primarily a business traveler?

      Maybe business travelers should do more online meetings and conferences calls for everyday work instead of flying, while once-in-a-lifetime travel is “acceptable.” Shoes on the other foot. Still comfy?

      Frankly, dividing and putting down one type of traveler doesn’t solve the problem. Telling people never to fly or to not fly during X weeks, and then blaming travelers for the TSA doesn’t solve the problem.

      I know and am someone who travels for both work and personal reasons. One is not “better” or “more justifiable” than the other for all people.

      • I don’t fly for business. I have turned down all-expenses-paid business trips because I would’ve been required to fly. I’ve also taken the train cross-country for business rather than fly. I’ve stopped flying at great personal and professional cost.

        I’m not trying to divide people according to class — Pre-Check does that. I know that some people are forced to fly for work. They have no choice. Therefore, they’re between a rock and a hard place and they have my sympathy. But they’re not the majority of people who fly.

        (I replied because I have no idea who can get to this site anymore or not. We were shut down briefly by a hacker, and now Google and Safari and Firefox are issuing warnings to readers who try to come here. So to keep the conversation going, I’ll chime in when I can until the site’s reputation is back to normal.)