Decline 'expedited screening'?

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by rockon, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. rockon

    rockon Original Member

    I've seen Americans overseas who insist on removing shoes and belts, even when the security personnel tell them it is not necessary.

    What would happen if I were directed to a TT line and I declined? Or went to the line, but proceeded to take off shoes/belt/outerwear, empty pockets, remove laptop and LGAs?

    Saw a post about someone who was sent to the TT line, forgot a bottle of water, and was written up on the spot, presumably because TT's are being held to a higher standard. Now that's one thing if you've 'opted' in for TT, but perhaps if I have GE/Nexus, the benefits of random 'expedited screening' are offset by the threat of jeopardizing/losing GE/Nexus because I forgot a water bottle at the checkpoint (something I do frequently).

    Or, perhaps like some Americans abroad, I have worked out my little routine, I'm often jet-lagged or thinking about 40 different things when I'm travelling, and since TT isn't always available, I just don't want the hassle and guesswork.

    Note: I do actually remove my shoes before the checkpoint. I sit down, remove shoes and put on 'airplane socks' to protect my feet/regular socks, and approach the checkpoint that way. After the checkpoint, I remove the socks and put my shoes back on. Since I will never know until the TDC whether or not I'm going to be selected for the TT lane, I'm not about to change that part of my routine anyway.
  2. FetePerfection

    FetePerfection Founding Member Coach

    My most comfortable flying shoes have a metal shank in the sole so they always set off the WTMD - as a pre-emptive move I remove my shoes, no matter where I am *EU* or elsewhere and place in a bin or on the conveyor. I definitely have a little routine, 3 bins, one for laptop, one for jacket and scarf which I place over my zipped up purse and the last for my shoulder bag/brief case and shoes. And even when I'm told I don't have to take off my shoes, I do so as to avoid a groping. Gropes everywhere except the US are usually non-invasive, non-threatening and the groper is usually very apologetic.
    I do sweat bullets in the UK whenever I approach security as I've heard I will not be allowed to fly if I don't submitted to NoS, but so far my luck is 100% WTMD. Fingers crossed it stays that way.
  3. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    I think any of us who fly regularly have a similar routine. In my previous life when I was flying weekly I had a separate traveling rollaboard and briefcase where the only items unpacked were dirty clothes to be washed and my laptop which had to return to the office for updates. I never, ever changed what went into or out of those bags. Similarly my "security" theatre dance is the same today as it was 5 years ago.

    Meanwhile, being "written up" for a bottle of water? GMAFB. If A.S.S. can maintain employ with TSA after bringing a gun to work, throw the dangerous water "b:rolleyes:mb" away and get on with your day. This proves these people are idiots. If they didn't fill out all of that paperwork, they'd have more time to fondle genitals, which is obviously why most of them are still there.
  4. rockon

    rockon Original Member

    I'm particularly concerned because if I accidentally forget a bottle of water now, no one is going to take away my frequent flyer status/miles or my GE/Nexus. It honestly isn't worth it to me to jeopardize that, plus get my name on a DHS database for life as a 'domestic extremist'. I would rather just follow my standard routine and go through 'regular' security.
  5. N965VJ

    N965VJ Original Member

    "Written up"? Seriously? :rolleyes:
  6. rockon

    rockon Original Member

    From the 'other' site': "As I waited for my bags after the metal detector the person in front of me was briefly held up because there was a bottle of water in his bag. Apparently any time a Pre Check member goes through with something in his or her bag it has to be reported and the member might get removed from the program. So be warned! The guy was not happy to learn this and was pleading with the agent not to report him."

    As I pointed out above, I haven't 'enlisted' in TT and I don't intend to give the airlines my GE number. It's still worrisome, because the poster says she hadn't either but apparently got automatically selected as a FF. It honestly isn't worth the risk of getting red-flagged or removed from GE/Nexus for a moment's forgetfulness.

    Heck, they're more 'forgiving' at CBP.

    This is why I'm wondering what happens if the TDC tells me to go to TT. I hope I can self-opt out without retaliation. I'm hoping this is just something local at LAS (like the local 'stats' some airports kept for a while whenever someone opted out - they wanted to record the reason, even though it was none of their business). This, however, could have long term consequences. Not a game I want to play.
  7. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    Don't ask me where, but I believe that I have read that the nude-o-scope use in the UK has been scaled back and is only used for "resolution" issues.
  8. rockon

    rockon Original Member

    This is my understanding also. It is used for 'resolution' issues and at that point, you can't decline. You've already alarmed somehow and been secondaried.
    That's how it was originally supposed to be used here in the US - rarely, for secondary resolution.
  9. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Except that in the U.S. you could still decline. It was never to be mandatory.

    That still leaves people being irradiated by pizza boys with no radiological training.
    barbell likes this.
  10. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    I believe the powers-that-be always intended for it to be mandatory. Of course they would never admit that. Congress said it should only ever be secondary. But we've already seen what's happened -- people being pressured to go through them.

    (expletive deleted), I was pressured, and this was before the gropes were instituted. But all the smurfs at the checkpoint at BWI in September 2010 were urging me to go through the scanner, and then they made me wait forever to be wanded as punishment.

    Jeffrey Goldberg wrote about his experience at The Atlantic -- the TSA agents actually told him outright that they were trying to coerce people (coincidentally also at BWI). They were even more blatant with Barry Smitherman, Chairman of the Texas Public Utility Commission: "You're punishing me for opting out, aren't you?" TSA: "Yes, we are."
    barbell likes this.
  11. RadioGirl

    RadioGirl Original Member

    There are three separate issues with the way the NoS is used.

    One is primary vs secondary, where primary means the NoS is used in place of the WTMD, that is, as the primary means of screening, and secondary means after the WTMD to resolve a persistent alarm (say, from a metal implant.)

    The second axis is mandatory vs, well, not mandatory. That is, if selected for the NoS (either because it's the primary method of screening or because you require secondary screening after the WTMD), is there another option such as a patdown.

    The third axis is all passengers vs some passengers. Is the NoS used as primary for all passengers, or are some allowed to use the WTMD and others pointed towards the NoS. In the case of secondary screening, is the NoS used to resolve all alarms of the WTMD, or only for some passengers.

    TSA has said repeatedly that the NoS will never be mandatory. (Whether we believe them or not is a different story.) But they never said it wouldn't be primary - and primary for all passengers - which has clearly been their goal for some time. They can make it primary for all passengers without making it mandatory by continuing to allow opt-outs, albeit with some measure of retaliation.

    To compare the US and UK: US is heading for primary, non-mandatory, all passengers. UK (where the NoS was installed) is non-primary, mandatory, some passengers. Neither of those is appealing but they are very different models.
    barbell likes this.
  12. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    I believe they did in the beginning (pre-underwear bomber) -- it was be used to resolve issues.
  13. RadioGirl

    RadioGirl Original Member

    There were articles pre-UWB that said it would become primary, but would remain non-mandatory. For example, at PV in February 2009, Blogger Paul said,
    And in April 2009, Joe Sharkey at the New York Times wrote:
    Prior to that, TSA spokes-idiots said things like "it's currently being used for secondary screening" or "it's a useful tool for secondary screening" or "during the pilot phase it will be used to resolve alarms from the WTMD." And they repeatedly said that the NoS would never be MANDATORY, and a lot of people chose to read that as never being PRIMARY.

    Also, and despite the articles above, some of the TSA employees at the Other Place gave their individual opinion that it would never be primary because it was too slow, they wouldn't put NoS at every checkpoint etc, but there was no official statement from TSA to that effect.
  14. FaustsAccountant

    FaustsAccountant Original Member

    Ha. At MSP Humphrey, the machines are primary, unless on the rare and lucky occasion CP#5 is open and they allow passengers through. Otherwise, every time I pass through there (quite a bit) everyone is directed to march through a scanner.

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