Security/TSA

The Worst Case For Restricting TSA Pre-Check. Ever.

Stupid

TSA Pre-Check is one of the greatest things to happen to the US flying experience in years. For those of you not familiar with TSA Pre-Check, it allows select passengers to go through an expedited security screening whereby they don’t have to take off their shoes or light jackets, and don’t have to remove liquids or electronics from their bags. You know, it’s basically the security screening process minus the theater. ;)

Originally TSA Pre-Check was only open to those in the Trusted Traveler program, which includes those with Global Entry, NEXUS, etc. However, over time they began allowing others in the Pre-Check line as well. I sort of get it from their perspective — ultimately they can’t be pouring a lot of resources into a small percentage of passengers, so by opening it up it was more justifiable.

That really bothered me, not from a safety standpoint, but rather from an experience standpoint. At first the benefit of Pre-Check was twofold:

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TSA Screening Passenger AFTER Flight?!

TSA

While we all have our thoughts on the TSA, here’s something I haven’t seen before. There’s a video going around the internet of a 22 year old that flew from Minneapolis to Denver on Spirit Airlines, and upon landing was met by the TSA… because they wanted to do more screening on him. Check out the video:

Apparently he used to be on the “no fly” list, but was then downgraded to a list where he would just receive additional screening (with “SSSS” on his boarding pass). However, apparently the TSA failed to complete that screening in Minneapolis, and only realized that halfway through his flight.

So when he landed in Denver, the TSA boarded the plane to have him deplane before everyone else, and then they requested to do additional screening on him… even though he already flew and was done with his travels for the day!

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I Was Asked To Power On Electronics At Security

Singapore-Airlines-A380

In early July I posted about the new TSA policy which was implemented at overseas airports, whereby powerless electronic devices wouldn’t be permitted on planes.

Yesterday I experienced that — along with “targeted” secondary security — for the first time. It was no big deal at all, but I figured I’d share my experience, since it was a first.

I was flying from Frankfurt to New York on Singapore Airlines, and when I went to board the plane the machine that scans boarding passes beeped several times. The agent told me I needed to go to the ticket desk for a document check, though once there I was directed to the side of the gate, where two police offers told me to sit down.

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Hilarious TSA Improvement Contest Entry!

Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 11.44.14 AM

As many of you probably know, the Transportation Security Administration is offering rewards totaling $15,000 for the best ideas that speed up the security screening process.

Via NBC News:

“The Transportation Security Administration is offering rewards totaling up to $15,000 for the person with the best idea for speeding up security.

The TSA will award one prize of at least $5,000 and others of at least $2,500 for the top ideas. Plus, the winner gets the satisfaction of knowing they’ve made the airline experience for those of the masses a little less of a headache. The TSA is looking for “a scientific and simulation modeling approach to meet queue design and configuration needs of the dynamic security screening environment,” but it may not be as simple as you think. Contest participants must consider a variety of factors such as peak hours, flight schedules and TSA staffing schedules.”

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TSA To Start Limiting Pre-Check Eligibility

TSA-Pre-Check

Two of the greatest travel innovations of the past few years have been Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check. Global Entry has taken the frustration out of the immigration process, while TSA Pre-Check has taken the frustration out of the security process. Well, at least for the most part.

When TSA Pre-Check first started it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Very few people had registered for the program at the time, so not only were the travelers using the lane actually frequent travelers that knew “the drill,” but the lines were almost non-existent.

Then over time the experience was diluted substantially. Passengers that didn’t sign-up started randomly getting TSA Pre-Check. This didn’t just slow down the line because there were considerably more people using the checkpoints, but also because they didn’t know how to use them. So they’d still take everything out of their bags, set off the x-rays, etc. In many cases Pre-Check took longer than the “normal” security line.

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