(Source: GAO)

TSA Misconduct Cases On The Rise; Agency Not Following Up On All Complaints

In theory, the Transportation Security Administration is supposed to be a last line of defense against terrorists and other folks who want to do bad things on airplanes. With so many lives on the line, employee misconduct of any kind can’t really be tolerated, but the last few years have seen an increase in bad behavior by TSA staffers. [More]

TSA Making It (A Bit) Easier To Enroll In Expedited Security Screening Program

TSA Making It (A Bit) Easier To Enroll In Expedited Security Screening Program

We’ve been writing for quite some time about the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck (or as the TSA obnoxiously insists on writing, “Pre✓™”) program, which allows vetted travelers to go through an airport security screening process. To enroll, consumers need to be a member of certain airlines’ frequent flier programs or already part of other trusted-traveler services, but starting this fall, the TSA will open up online enrollment in PreCheck… with one major catch. [More]

(Bill Binns)

The TSA’s Solution For My Reluctance To Open Baby Food Jars? A Pat-Down

While we’re not fans of hands-on pat-downs from security, we understand that they exist as an alternative or a supplement to being screened at a scanner. But one Consumerist reader wants to know why a pat-down would be viewed as a way to ensure that he’s not carrying explosive materials in baby food jars. [More]

No more of these backscatter images.

TSA Replaces Backscatter Airport Scanners With Technology That Won’t Show Your Private Bits

We’ve come a long way, baby, and it seems the days of worrying over whether or not Transportation Security Administration agents were snickering at your nude image on an airport scanner are over. The backscatter scanners are gone — so now we can get back to worrying about what kind of funk we’re picking up in our socked feet during the security line walk instead.


Airports Say More Travelers Are Faking Need For Wheelchairs Just To Get Through Lines Faster

Airports Say More Travelers Are Faking Need For Wheelchairs Just To Get Through Lines Faster

The law requires that airlines provide free wheelchair assistance to anyone who requests it; no documentation or evidence of injury required. And a growing number of unscrupulous travelers are taking advantage of this system, faking injuries and disabilities to get preferential treatment at security checkpoints and at the gate. [More]

These are AOK by the TSA.

Air Marshals & Flight Attendants Not So Happy With This “Knives Are Okay On Planes Now” Thing

Yesterday the Transportation Security Administration announced that it was tweaking the rules regarding small pocketknives, carry-on golf clubs and other sporting equipment. While travelers sick of losing their Swiss Army knives and other little blades rejoiced over the decision, groups representing Federal Air Marashals and flight attendants are all like, “Wait, hold up — knives on planes? Really?” [More]


More than a decade after enacting strict prohibitions on carrying knives on U.S. flights, Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole says the agency will begin allowing smaller pocketknives and limited carry-on of golf clubs and other sporting equipment. (via Bloomberg)


Standing In A Long Line At The Airport Right Now? You Can Maybe Blame Sequestration

The Department of Transportation issued a foreboding warning about the effects of across-the-board government spending cuts if sequestration went into effect on March 1, which it did. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is already warning travelers of delays, but if you’re currently standing in a long line at airport security, this isn’t news to you. [More]


You Can’t Bring A Loaded Gun In Your Carry-On Even If You’re An NFL Player

The human brain is a shifty thing — you thought you put your keys in your pocket but really they’re in the freezer! — but there’s no way the Transportation Security Administration is going to accept “I forgot a gun was in my bag and/or that it was loaded” as an excuse without a little bit of digging. Even if you happen to be a defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. [More]

Your passport to savings... and apparently airport security.

Lost Your License Or Passport? Airport Security Will Accept A Costco Card

A few years back, I misplaced my license while in Washington, D.C. for a wedding. Little did I know that I didn’t have to take a bus back to New York; I apparently could have just shown my Costco card. [More]


Woman Sues TSA, FBI, Frontier Airlines After Being Detained & Strip-Searched

Back on Sept. 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an Ohio woman was one of three people detained by authorities at Detroit Metro Airport, where she claims she was strip-searched and held without cause for four hours. [More]

Image from a back-scatter scanner

TSA Finally Removing “Naked” Full-Body Scanners From Airports

Last fall, it was reported that the Transportation Security Administration was moving its controversial backscatter full-body scanners out of busier airports and moving them to smaller ones. Now, the agency says it is getting rid of these scanners altogether. [More]

No, this is not the sequel to the 1997 Joe Pesci comedy.

18 Heads Found In Airport Duffel Bag; May Be Completely Legal

There are all sorts of restrictions on things you can carry on to a plane; don’t dare try to bring that bottle of Poland Spring through the checkpoint. But 18 heads in a duffel bag? That might actually be okay, say customs officials. [More]

(Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie)

Posing Problems For PreCheck: Smartphones Can Scan Boarding Pass Barcodes

You’ve lost that random feeling, ohh that random feeling, now it’s gone… gone… gone. Security experts say a flaw in airline boarding passes that allows their barcodes to be scanned with smartphones makes the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck system not very useful. If PreCheck passengers can scan their barcodes ahead of time and see if they’ll be screened routinely or


Image from a backscatter machine

TSA Taking Controversial X-Ray Scanners Out Of Big Airports And Shipping Them Off To Smaller Ones

According to reports, the TSA is removing backscatter full-body scanners, which use very small amounts of ionizing radiation, from major airports and replacing them with less-controversial millimeter wave scanners. But those X-ray scanners aren’t going to the Museum of Bad Ideas; they’re being shipped off for use at smaller airports. [More]

Disapproving cat disapproves. (seamonkey mags)

Alaska Airport Evacuated Because Guy Somehow Didn’t Know Bomb Jokes Aren’t Welcome

Ever since there have been bombs and airplanes, it hasn’t been a particularly great idea to make jokes about the two together. But especially in times like these when the U.S. and other countries are always on the lookout for potential terrorists, it’s an awful idea to talk about bombs. One man didn’t get the “no bomb jokes” memo, apparently, and ended up shutting down Alaska’s largest airport.


Dying Woman Says TSA Humiliated Her By Refusing To Perform Search In Private

Dying Woman Says TSA Humiliated Her By Refusing To Perform Search In Private

A woman dying from leukemia is mortified, claiming that TSA screeners at Sea-Tac airport in Washington state made her lift up her shirt and checked under her bandages in front of other travelers. [More]


Even If You’re In A Hurry At The Airport It’s Still Not Cool To Fake The Need For A Wheelchair

Just the other day I crankily asked a friend why there aren’t strollers for adults (it had been a long day and I just wanted someone to push me around, darn it). Apparently some travelers are all about making that an actual thing, as airport employees say some passengers who don’t need wheelchairs ask for them anyway in order to get through the whole security process faster. Fakers! We call shenanigans.