@AskTSA Week 6 – How do dogs speed up TSA screening?

There are no screen shots of @AskTSA comments this week because 90% of comments from @AskTSA are in response to the growing number of complaints about long lines and lack of Pre-Check lanes.

There have been questions about hair pat-downs of women of color whom, in spite of an agreement with the ACLU, the TSA still seems to profile.

There have also been complaints about the scanners alarming on crotches. Two people complained that they get crotch pat-downs every single time they fly. There was no indication, however, about whether they might have been transgender passengers, which could explain the alarms. Then again, since the scanners alarm on seams, pleats, and sweat, as we have pointed out hundreds of times, who knows?

There were a couple of comment about the fact that @AskTSA is unwilling to give direct “Yes” or “No” answers to questions. We all know that’s standard operating procedure for the TSA. Gotta keep those terrorists guessing!

One of the standard responses from @AskTSA to questions about long lines is:

We’re working to address the volume by increasing use of canines, encouraging TSA Pre✓® enrollment & accelerating hiring.

How does increasing the use of dogs speed up the screening process? There don’t seem to be any reports of passengers who pass the “sniff” test being moved to PreCheck lanes, so if someone could explain to me how it works, I’d appreciate it.

And by the way, as we’ve also explained umpteen times, dogs are no panacea.

As for “accelerating hiring,” the TSA allegedly has plans to hire 800 more screeners. But a quick perusal of USAJobs, where TSA openings are advertised, shows no openings for TSA screeners in Chicago, Atlanta, or New York/New Jersey, areas that are seeing some of the the biggest lines and longest delays.

There are two openings for trainers at the “training academy” in Georgia, however.

In other TSA news, it’s been reported that 35% of newly hired screeners leave the agency in their first year of employment.

Until next week . . . .

Learning about TSA Pre-Check the hard way

Another passenger learns about the scam of Pre-Check the hard way. From a woman who identifies herself as Trish24, comment originally left last month, February 2, 2015:

“I may never fly again and I am serious thank you TSA. I was TSA prechecked but my hands got wanded and supposedly something showed up. My carryons were totally dumped out including my wallet I was taken to a room for full pat down..breast, groin they reached inside my pants…degrading, humiliating and frightening..I am a 63-year-old woman with high blood pressure, they are lucky I didn’t stroke out! As I tried o repack my carryons and tuck in my shirt I heard the agents state that I was the fifth false positive that morning and they knew the wand was defective. Not going back to RSA Fort Meyers!”

As I told Trish, it has nothing to do with RSA Fort Myers. It’s the same all over the country. But again, we’ve been trying to tell people this for over four years.

TSA detains yet another child


As we’ve reported many times, the TSA’s so-called explosive detection devices routinely alarm on ordinary, everyday things. Have you been working in your garden? Oops. You might have specks of fertilizer on you. Do you use hand or body lotions? Oops. There’s glycerin in them thar things. All those can get you hauled aside as a potential terrorist. Because fertilizer and glycerin show up as “bomb-making residue.” Continue reading “TSA detains yet another child”