Archive for the ‘TSA’ Category

Salt Lake City International Airport

December 8, 2006

When asked if he was refusing screening, McBride said he would allow a female officer to pat him down but was told that was not an option, the complaint states.

When asked to produce a driver’s license, McBride instead produced a valid Utah concealed weapons permit.

A background check revealed that McBride was not employed by the U.S. Department of State but was allowed to move on to his flight after consenting to a search. An officer confiscated the identification.,1249,650212044,00.html

new airport nudity machines

December 3, 2006

Here’s the famous picture showing how the backscatter machines for airports work.


(AP Photo/Brian Branch-Price)

Some important questions:
Would repeated use make cancer or other medical conditions more prevalent?

Are the people running the machines allowed to save or print out the pictures for their own use or for sale to others, like child pornography collectors or celebrity magazines?

Would people visiting airports be less likely to wear underwear? If you look at the picture closely, it seems that panties cause a fat roll at the midsection on the sides.

Will the machines damage or disable devices such as cellphones, pace makers, or hearing aids?

Constitutional rights at airports

October 29, 2006

General Mitchell International Airport
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

He grabbed the baggie as it came out of the X-ray and asked if it was mine. After responding yes, he pointed at my comment and demanded to know “What is this supposed to mean?” “It could me a lot of things, it happens to be an opinion on mine.” “You can’t write things like this” he said, “You mean my First Amendment right to freedom of speech doesn’t apply here?” “Out there (pointing pass the id checkers) not while in here (pointing down) was his response.”

After he had finished I started to remind him he had left out his statement that my First Amendment rights didn’t apply “here” but was cut off by the deputy who demanding my ID.

I explained to her who Kip Hawley was, why I though he was an idiot, and my surprise that the TSA Supervisor felt my First Amendment rights didn’t’ apply at the TSA checkpoint.

After he was assured I didn’t have any warrants out the first office came back and I had my first chance to really speak, I explained that I was just expressing my opinion and my writing should be protected my by First Amendment rights. When he didn’t respond, I then repeated that the TSA Supervisor stated my First Amendment rights didn’t apply at the TSA check point and I asked if he (the deputy) agreed that was the case. He responded by saying “You can’t yell fire in a crowed theater, there are limits to your rights.

At this point I chucked again

I asked how this was even remotely like shouting “Fire” in a crowd, and his answer was “Perhaps your comments made them feel threatened.”

“My level of frustration with the TSA and their idiotic policies has grown over 2 ½ years,” he said. “I’m frustrated that poorly trained TSA people can pull random passengers out of line and pat them down like common criminals. The average traveler has no recourse.”

She said the man was “a little combative” and that a law enforcement officer came over, briefly interviewed him and determined that he hadn’t broken any laws.

There is no indication that he was combative, she said.

airline screening

October 29, 2006

Passengers who flag concerns by exhibiting unusual or anxious behavior will be pointed out to local police, who will then conduct face-to-face interviews to determine whether any threat exists. If such inquiries turn up other issues of concern, such as travel to countries like Afghanistan, Iraq or Sudan, for example, police officers will know to pursue the questioning or alert Federal counter-terrorism agents.

like US military employees with PTSD?,8599,708924,00.html

Atlanta airport

October 29, 2006

Hawley said TSA screeners are given tests around the clock to check their alertness. Images of bombs and other suspicious devices that are hard to detect are put up on the X-ray machine, followed after a brief delay by an alert that reads, “This is a test.”

After reviewing a tape of the images, Hawley said the software failed to alert the screener of the test.

The airport’s general manager, Ben DeCosta, said he was not satisfied with the way passengers were notified of the incident.

airport identification

October 29, 2006

It’s now official.

You don’t need identification to travel on an airplane.

“Passengers are allowed to enter screening area without identification,” TSA spokeswoman Amy Kudwa told this humble reporter today.

Air Serv

October 29, 2006

Air Serv ticket checkers play an important role in airport security.

Checkers limit access through the checkpoint to the following people: passengers holding tickets with proper ID, FAA/TSA employees with identification, and airline and airport employees with proper badges.

But what happens if a firefighter with a hose, or an FBI agent with an arrest warrant wants to pass?

Air Serv webpage

October 29, 2006

I found the text below on

It was very light gray text on a white background. That could be an attempt at what is known as spamdexing or search engine spamming.

Air Serv might work for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) which is a part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Air Serv , aka Air Serv Corporation is an international aviation service provider based in Atlanta, Georgia. Air Serv delivers innovative, dependable airline service solutions to the aviation industry. Air Serv offers various services, such as skycap, baggage handling, ticket verification, wheelchair services, lobby management, unaccompanied minor, twov, electric cart drivers, ramp screening, door guarding, customer service, document control, cargo handling, airport shuttle, employee shuttle, crew transport, fixed route, paratransit, cabin cleaning, LAV / Water Services, Ground Support Equipment, Ground Handling, Into-plane Feuling or just feuling. Air Serv, aka Air Serv Corporation is located in Atlanta. Frank Argenbright , Founder, Air Serv.

Maybe someone should report this to their Compliance Hotline. Apparently, none of the nearly 5,000 Air Serv employees have done so yet.

Air Serv / TSA

October 29, 2006

Below, a person who writes travel books shares his experience with employees from a company called Air Serv Corp from Atlanta, Georgia and the US Transportation Security Administration. (Note: it appears that at least one TSA employee has referred to this company as “Airserve”)

But never, anywhere in the world — including a fairly wide variety of police states — have I been threatened with arrrest while travelling, merely for asking questions about what was happening.

Until last month, at Dulles Airport outside Washington, DC, USA.

I checked in at the United Airlines counter, showed my USA passport to the airline staff person when they asked me to show them my identification, and received my boarding pass and baggage check with almost an hour left before my flight. (I didn’t argue, but what they meant was to “show my credentials” — identification is an act or process, not a tangible object.)

So when one of a group of people between the check-in counter and the TSA checkpoint — who appeared to be neither TSA nor airline employees — said to me, “I need to see your boarding pass and ID”, I took the time to ask him, “Why? Who are you?”

“I need to check your boarding pass and ID,” he repeated. (“I need to…” is a peculiarly ambiguous locution. Is it an order, or a request? Must I satisfy your needs?)

“But why? Who do you work for? Am I required to open my passport for unidentified strangers?”

“We work for the TSA”, he said, and pointed to a logo on the badge that hung from a a lanyard around his neck.

There was a logo there — too small for me to read, even with my bifocals, without getting closer than seemed polite. But he wasn’t wearing anything that looked like a TSA uniform, and the largest line on his and his colleagues’ badges said, Airserv . I didn’t see anything saying “TSA” or “United Airlines”.

“Do you work for the TSA? Or do you work for Airserv?”

“Actually, we work for Airserv.”

“So what’s the relationship between Airserv and the TSA? Does the TSA require me to open my passport for you?”

“All our screening personnel at this airport are TSA employees,” Mr Graham told me.

“I see, sir. Thank you for clarifying that. So do these people with the badges that say ‘Airserv’ work for the TSA?”


“That’s what I thought, sir. But this man claimed that they work for the TSA, and said that’s why they have the TSA logo on their badges.”

“TSA logo? There’s no TSA logo on their badges. That’s the logo of Customs and Border Protection [another division of the Department of Homeland Security]. That shows that they are authorized to be in the secure customs area of the airport.”

“Then are you concerned, sir, that he claimed to be a TSA employee, when he’s not?”

“No, sir. That’s not my concern.” I thought that impersonating a Federal officer was a serious crime, but Mr. Graham didn’t seem to care.

To give an added frisson of resemblance to countries with corrupt or dysfunctional police and governments, the people in uniform demanding people’s credentials are lying about being government employees. The real government employees watching them don’t care.


October 29, 2006