Complaints Against TSA Soar 88.1%

Complaints against the TSA have skyrocketed in recent months. August saw a 88.1% increase from a year prior. The TSA says that the increase is due to advanced technology they’ve implemented (more telephone lines, bandwidth and better software), that make it possible for every single complaint to be tracked. The new gear replaces the previous system which, taking inspiration from the Incas, relied on an intricate network of knitted yarn

Complaints Against Airport Security Surge [WSJ]


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  1. mopar_man says:

    It couldn’t be that the TSA is full of bumbling morons could it?

  2. kublaconsumer says:

    Hilarious. “Oh, we’ve always sucked…we’ve just improved on tracking how much….that’s all.”

    No run ins with the TSA for me yet (knock on wood).

  3. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    We are logging those who comment against the TSA for the Dept. of Fatherland Security.
    Don’t forget, this from the same people who say waterboarding isn’t ‘torture.’

  4. homerjay says:

    JUST 88.1%? Wow, they’re doing a much better job than I expected.

  5. RonDiaz says:

    In classic Gov’t fashion, the TSA called me today to inform me I met the eligibility requirements for a position with them.

    I was confused as I am quite happy at my current job and didn’t remember applying for some TSA job.

    I checked my e-mails, I had applied for the job in January of 2005.

    It took the gov’t 3 years to get around to calling back….inefficient bureaucracy at its finest I guess.

  6. Buran says:

    @RonDiaz: I had the same thing happen, sort of, when I got a call from the FTC responding to a complaint I’d made years ago.

    I didn’t bother to call back, as the problem that resulted in the complaint had long since been solved. You know how they say if you want anything right you have to do it yourself?

    Yeah. You do.

  7. Galls says:

    I am in an Amtrak station right not waiting for the train to NYP from Chicago. This is my layover after taking the texas eagle.

    I tell you this is my first time taking Amtrak and the experience has been soooooo much better than the shorter air trips.
    If it sucks so much support the alternatives.

  8. spinachdip says:

    In their defense, TSA is the best theater currently performing in New York, what with the stagehands strike.

  9. karmaghost says:

    I am in no way a fan of the TSA, but there’s a classic story (that I can only paraphrase without the details in front of me) from Chicago that illustrates what the TSA is claiming here. When the mob basically ruled everything in Chicago, they elected a mayor, I think, that helped clean things up after Capone was brought in for tax evasion. He did a great job with everything, and when people were asked, everyone agreed that they felt safer and that things had really improved. BUT, it turned out that crime in general had actually gone UP since he took office. How could this be? Turns out that the mayor was so effective, that he had enacted new rules and legislation that improved the way crimes were reported. Also, because people weren’t affraid of retribution from the mob, they were more likely to report crimes to the police.

    So it’s possible that improved communication is the reason the TSA sucks more, but not likely.

  10. RumorsDaily says:

    At least now people will stop complaining about the yarn.

  11. Bruce Bayliss says:

    Yeah, they track things alright…

    They just don’t ACTION reports of security breaches and shortcomings.

    Took me a week, 3 attempts on their dysfunctional website and an escalation mail to DHS to get someone interested in airline staff smuggling items past security and returning them to boarding passengers.

  12. phillyjd says:

    Excerpt from the article:
    “Mary Ann Ramsey, president of a Florida travel agency, was told by a screener in Fort Myers, Fla., last week that her quart bag of bottles was “too full.” The screener insisted there had to be empty space at the top of the bag — a requirement never mentioned in her previous travels.”

    – Is this really the best use of TSA’s resources? Ensuring that each quart size bag of toiletries is filled to the appropriate level and not “too full?”

  13. homerjay says:

    @Galls: I’d love to take my family to Florida this year on Amtrak but since the trip is so long you kinda need a sleeper car and the price totaled out at about $3000. I wish it was priced better for long trips.

  14. Leah says:

    Is there a similar service for tracking complaints against customs agents? I just cleared customs in Detroit yesterday, and it took me just under an hour to make it through the two massive lines built up. Awesome that my US passport gets me through lines much faster in Europe than in my own country.

  15. balthisar says:

    I’m afraid to fly this upcoming Christmas vacation, but not because of the TSA, but rather all of the inexperienced travelers that are bound to make my life a living hell. That, and the incompetency of American-side airlines I’ll be on.

    I had an excellent experience with TSA back in October. I’m not trying to say TSA’s not bad, but for every anecdotal account of a bad experience, there’s an account of a good experience. Basically, the TSA agent let us cut through the first class line at Dallas when our international inbound flight was an hour and half late. We barely made the plane as-is. Of course, it seems like pure common sense to let us through in this case (I had documentation, after all, not some made-up story), but I often find that “common sense” and “rules” don’t always go hand in hand. Thanks, “Mike”-the-TSA-agent-in-Dallas.

  16. mac-phisto says:

    @Leah: i had a similar issue getting thru immigration miami international this summer on my way back from the d.r. miami has like 30 lines for entry – 2 were open for those carrying u.s. passports & the other 28 were for foreign nationals. guess which lines took longer? guess u.s. passport =/= ez-pass.

    i had a two-hour layover & damn near missed my connection what with that clusterf$#% & the fact that they fold you back into the 3 tsa checkpoints that everyone goes thru instead of having a separate checkpoint for those entering the country thru MIA.

  17. nursetim says:

    This is why some of us don’t like the idea of government run health care.

  18. kc2idf says:


    I am in an Amtrak station right not waiting for the train to NYP from Chicago. This is my layover after taking the texas eagle.

    I tell you this is my first time taking Amtrak and the experience has been soooooo much better than the shorter air trips.

    You might not be so happy by the time you get to Chicago. Your train will be perfectly on time until it gets to Rensselaer (Albany). It will probably leave Rensselaer on time, and will probably pass through Schenectady on time. After that, it will all go to hell.

    The problem is that the tracks from Schenectady to Buffalo are underbuilt and overused, and so the congestion results in delays up to several hours.

    That said, I personally really like traveling by train, despite the delays. I like the idea that I can get on board without being injected, inspected, detected, infected,
    neglected and selected by the TSA. You just need to allow a couple of hours of slush time if your train is crossing New York State east to west or the other way around.

    Besides…. if you take business class, you can plug in your laptop and keep yourself entertained.

  19. dlab says:

    I would attribute this more to the fact that “the honeymoon is over,” as they say. Now that people are snapping out of the 9/11 induced paranoia cloud, they’re starting to realize that hey, maybe we don’t want to give up our rights and liberties and be unnecessarily inconvenienced just to retain a false illusion of safety.

    Or that’s what I think, at least.

  20. RvLeshrac says:


    I get responses from applications I’ve sent in years ago.

    Because the companies, of course, don’t actually give a damn about the *people* who are looking for a job, they’re more concerned with the paper that is looking for a job.

    I especially like when you have to call back 30 times to get a response. I had three interviews with one company, submitted a resume, took a drug test, filled out tons of paperwork, the psych/’pre-employement’ test, yadda. When I called several days later, they had no idea who I was.

    When they called me six months later, after I’d found a far better job with benefits, I told them exactly where and how far up they could shove the offer. Not recommended, of course, but the only reason I applied was because I was having trouble finding an open position that fit me in the first place. I doubt I’d really need a job with them again.

  21. Galls says:


    I know of late for sure limited, but we were on time.