nothing new in newark (EWR)

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Paul Sanchez, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. Paul Sanchez

    Paul Sanchez "We already know you, Mr. Sanchez"

    Well gang it is always good to see the "inconsistency" layer of security is well practiced at TSA checkpoints.

    On Friday afternoon I arrived at EWR for a 4-day training event and as I was nearing the checkpoint/exit point I saw a supervisor screener leave the hall office, gee he's in public so why not.



    Ah, well not everyone thinks I'm a decent photographer. The supervisor screener (theoretically who knows more and has had more training) asked me if I took a photo of him. I told him yes. He then ask if I can delete the photo (new rule I guess in NJ) and I said yes but I won't.

    He started getting very huffy (not sure because I took the photo or told him no) and said I had to delete the photo, and I had to remain there for the authorities. I asked him if this was a detainment or a polite request to stay, he decided not to answer.

    He also asked for my boarding pass/ID and I told him no again as I had no intention of boarding a flight. This did not sit well with him either. So he went into the office while I stood outside the doorway and he huddled 5 other screeners together on what to do with me.

    A lead screener (female named fernandez) then told me that photos are not allowed. I said oh really? I thought this was a public area. No she said, it was the sterile area where the public is not allowed. I'm enjoying every minute of this.

    So after 10 enjoyable minutes of 6 screeners trying to figure out what to do with me (I won't delete the photos nor will I show them the boarding pass I don't have), I asked all 6 of them if I'm being detained or is this a polite request to leave? Again no answer so I say I'm politely leaving. I suggested that they use their time in this self-imposed stupor to look up the rules.



    I walk out the exit and catch what I thought was a pricey town car to Lincoln Park.

    Then of course come Sunday night I decide to prepare a bit more and look up Port Authority of New York/New Jersey rules about photography. Found what I was looking for and well pleased.

    "The Port Authority reserves the right to restrict videotaping and photography at its airports. Videotaping in runway and taxiway areas at all airports is prohibited at all times. Videotaping and photographing at security checkpoint areas operated by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration is prohibited without the consent of the TSA."

    And of course with the TSA web page on same

    I'm set to go for my 0500 checkpoint time.

    I get there and notice a behavior detection officer (federally paid psychic reader) and I do a few photos of him standing behind the (trained) travel document checker.


    He promptly asked me if I took a photo of his good side and I replied I don't know. But did admit I'll have a hard time making it as a paparazzo if I don't know which side to photograph people. At last someone wearing a TSA blue shirt that actually knows what the rules are.

    I go thru my opt out (with private screening of course) and noticed that the screener used his gloved hand to open the door after the pat down, perhaps he had not learned about quality assurance of test media.

    After he ran by web belt thru the x-ray machine I took a photo of him which got him right away in a accusatory mode.



    Right away it began with no photos are allowed, no this is not a public area etc. I said I did not realize that and perhaps he should read the rules.

    This of course got me a "well I'm going to get my supervisor" and I was keeping my fingers crossed that it would be the same one as Friday afternoon. Alas I was wrong because that is a different shift, supervisor screener Lare walked right up to me (with clipboard in hand) asked me if I wanted to be arrested for "interference with the screening process" which I replied sounds fine, which interference pray tell?

    He said photography is not allowed at the checkpoint and I asked him is that a Port Authority rule or TSA rule? He did not answer so I showed him Port Authority web site that says yes it is and the TSA web site which says yes it is. He became a lot more quiet.

    I asked him if he was not familiar with the rules, he said not all of them. I replied that I don't work at the EWR checkpoint 5 days/week why do I know them better than he does.

    He asked me for my ID and boarding pass and I said no, I had already completed the screening process but if he wanted to follow me for 1.7 hours he could then do "additional screening prior to boarding aircraft". He did not like that reply either.

    At that time one of his underlings came up and (again) photography is not allowed as there is a sign behind me. I asked him what did the top line say and if it was applicable to the entire sterile area. Perhaps he could only understand the icons and not the verbiage (TSA screeners are not required to have a GED so thus literacy can be deficient).


    Here is supervisor Lare conferring with the lead screener on how they can get me for "interference" when I'm not interfering.


    Of course by this time supervisor screener Lare had pretty much given up lying his way thru his own stupidity so he walked off without knowing my ID/boarding pass/etc. I took a few more photos of the screener at exit control and she became just as upset as the previous 9 screeners.


    Supervisor screener Lare was again called to that section of the checkpoint and quietly (I'm sure with great chagrin) told her that as long as I was not interfering with the screening process nothing could be done.

    It actually brought a tear to my eye to hear him say that.


    1) Take photos and lots of them

    2) Be polite but chastise them for each lie or stupidity that they try to bluff their way thru

    3) Newark (EWR) on Friday had 0 out of 6 screeners know what the rules (or any rules I bet) are and prefer to make up their own.

    4) Newark (EWR) on Monday morning had 1 out of 5 screeners know what the rules are, the other 4 again tried to bluff their way thru lies and stupidity.

    I give no quarter to those who do harm to this country, even more so to those in guise of government service.

    paul k. sanchez
    boca raton, florida 33428
    N965VJ and phoebepontiac like this.
  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Well done! :D

    #2 could keep a guy awfully busy. Can stupid people be arrested for interfering with the travel & photography process?
  3. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    Thank you for standing up to them. It's all bluff and bluster - and I am certain is part of the training process.

    BTW, every time I see a picture of a smurf, I have to chuckle at all the badges, tags, epaulets, and other adornments they wear in order to deceive the general public into thinking they actually have some authority.

    Re: screener at exit: 42DDD?
  4. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    I'd find their Moammar-Gadhafi-style costumes a lot more amusing if I wasn't footing the bill for them.
  5. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

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