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]
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]
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]
Pat-downs at airport security checkpoints are meant as alternatives to the controversial full-body scans that are becoming the standard at major air hubs. But a recently uncovered report casts some doubt on whether or not Transportation Security Administration screeners actually know or care about what they are doing when it comes to patting a traveler down. [More]
Bad: Having the TSA pawing through your checked luggage. Worse: The suitcase they chose to open includes a sex toy. Worse still: the person who went through your bags leaves a leering note. Specifically, they scrawl “GET YOUR FREAK ON GIRL” on the notice of inspection.
A breast cancer survivor says she was forced to go through a patdown where TSA agents touched her breasts, even though she had already gone through the backscatter body scanner and had an ID card explaining the tissue expanders in her chest.
In the next few months, the TSA will implement new security procedures for fliers under 12, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano told the Senate. They can still get patted down, although it will be by a different method, and they no longer have to remove their shoes. Even if they have velcro straps and are super easy to take on and off anyway.
At some currently unspecified point down the road, you’ll be able to go through airport security without taking your shoes or belt off. The policy easement was announced by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano during a forum hosted by Politico Playbook in DC.
Last week, a Nigerian man was able to board a Virgin America flight from NYC to L.A. without presenting valid ID and a boarding pass that not only didn’t belong to him, but was for a flight from the previous day.
If you don’t have time to buy a travel-sized version instead of your mondo bottle of saline solution before the next time you fly, don’t sweat it. It’s totally cool to fly with more than 3oz of contact solution, as it is covered under the TSA “liquid medication” provision.
After incidents like this pat-down of an infant at a Kansas City airport landed the Transportation Security Administration in a public relations mess, the head of the agency said this morning that TSA has changed its policies regarding the screening of small children.
Another day, another example of the ineptitude of the TSA screeners at American airports. The latest news comes from an award-winning Chicago chef who says that while the screeners were busy worrying about the contents of his pockets, they completely missed an arsenal of knives in his carry-on.
There’s nothing cooler than being a TSA agent for Homeland Security and now the Spy Gear Security Scanner lets kids live out their dreams. It’s a handheld security wand whose LED lights flash and an alarm goes off when it detects metal, just like the real thing!
Air travel authorities have begun showing off a new type of airport security scanner that would allow travelers to walk through a tunnel-like device without having to remove coats, belts, shoes or even hand over their carry-ons for separate screening.
Apparently the only way for a terrorist to plant a bomb on any of the thousands and thousands miles of completely unsecured railroad track in this country is to actually be a passenger on a train — specifically an Amtrak train. Thus, Senator Chuck Schumer of NY has figured out a way to keep our entire rail system safe: A “no-ride list.”
You might have heard that some airline passengers haven’t exactly been overjoyed with the TSA’s recent rollouts of revealing full-body scanners and like-groping-teenagers-in-heat pat-down procedures. But now the agency is reportedly considering the idea of giving “trusted travelers” an express pass through airport security screenings.
Almost anyone who has been stuck in the airport security screening line has at least mumbled to themselves about the process, but a new report from CNN says that such behavior could lead to travelers being singled out for further screening.
Last week, the the Director of Homeland Security suggested to Congress that the TSA get a cut of airline baggage fees. The fees encourage travelers to carry on their bags, and this in turn leads to more bags that have to be inspected by hand at security checkpoints. Should taxpayers keep picking up the tab, or should airlines give the TSA a piece of the baggage fees? How about neither? What if instead the TSA looked for more creative ways to offset costs and even increase revenue? Here are 10 modest proposals: