Passenger Advocate Sought for US Airports

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Fisher1949, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    In the wake of the JFK strip searches, there is some saber rattling by politicians.

    Two New York lawmakers have called for a passenger advocate at airports to immediately act on complaints by passengers over security screenings.

    U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and state Sen. Michael Gianaris of Queens want the Transportation Security Administration to create the position at all airports.
  2. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I support this concept with changes. There should be a rep at each checkpoint at all times.

    Airlines can foot the bill.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  3. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Talk about corrupt politicians jumping on the bandwagon. Hey, I'll take support wherever I can get it, but until now Schumer has been all in favor of every invasive "security" procedure that comes down the pike.
    Fisher1949 likes this.
  4. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    I agree, Schumer hasn't done anything to stop this problem and is just capitalizing on this to gain political capital at home.

    Gianaris is the one who deserves the credit on this, Schumer is just trying to grab some headlines. My guess is that Gianaris may have a better chance at the local level than Schumer will have at the Federal level. Unfortunately, I doubt either will happen.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  5. jtodd

    jtodd Original Member

    While I would like to see this as a positive step, I just can't. This is a publicity grab, a "least we can do" type of thing. This is less than the least they should do. How about actually doing something to prevent the issues from occurring instead of having a person there to say sorry after the fact. Maroons.:td:
    Doober and Lisa Simeone like this.
  6. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Who's stupid enough to believe that a "passenger advocate" who is also a TSA employee will have any positive effect whatsoever?
  7. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Indeed. Not to mention it'd be another huge money suck.
    Elizabeth Conley and jtodd like this.
  8. jtodd

    jtodd Original Member

    Yes, because we know that the TSA selected/hired passenger advocate would be a replica of bloghdad Bob or the like.

    "We're very sorry that you felt like you had a bad screening experience. Move on now so we can get to the next perp!"

    All after the fact. How about they do something to change the screening issues and prevent them from happening instead of wasting more money on propaganda and theater.
  9. RB

    RB Founding Member

    My earlier comment was a bit limited due to using a non-keyboard device. I agree with others that the politicians are likely only trying to gain brownie points. But I will give them a point if they do something to help take control of the unsatisfactory TSA.

    This Customer Advocate should not be a government employee. They should be employees of the airport/airlines and funded by those groups. They would need to have the authority to halt any screening if it appeared problematic until executive level TSA staff could be summoned to the scene. I would also want them to have a direct line to DHS OIG for any issues not resolved at the local level.

    There is some benefit to this idea but it would have to be implemented properly and I think even having such a position acknowledges that current TSA practices result in travelers being treated poorly by TSA screeners.
    Doober and Elizabeth Conley like this.
  10. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Absolutely must be an airline or airport employee. A TSA employee would be no better than the 2nd pervert that they already provide as a "witness", who typically just joins in the assault.

    However, at many outstations where ground services are outsourced to vendors, it will be difficult to get people who are really responsive to the airlines & to the victims.
  11. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    I think it should be a state employee. A semi-retired cop would be ideal. It needs to be someone who is articulate, assertive, knows the law and has a public service mentality. Real, honest-to-goodness, field-proven conflict resolution skills are a must. There needs to be a mature, stable mediator at all the TSA checkpoints.
    The advocate should have real credibility with local authorities, and should not be vulnerable to the TSA for his/her livelihood.
  12. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    Only if the concept is changed to
    1) a passenger funded rep not subject to TSA
    2) capable of intervening before or during a search
    3) tasked with stringent enforcement of existing non-sexual touch state laws ALREADY in effect
    4) possessing arrest authority
    DeafBlonde, Sunny Goth and KrazyKat like this.
  13. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

  14. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Plus, as I've been informed here at TUG by those who've worked in the airline industry, the airlines are complicit. They're happy with the TSA because their pilots (and FAs?) no longer have to go through the molestation, and they also no longer have to pay for security. According to these TUGers, certain airlines also suck up to the TSA, because they know that otherwise their employees will get a raft of (expletive deleted). What do they care if we're the only ones abused? The only way they'll care is if people stop flying.

    They need to go bankrupt.
  15. FetePerfection

    FetePerfection Founding Member Coach

    (expletive deleted) - I'll volunteer to do it at MSP.
  16. jtodd

    jtodd Original Member

    I'm not a fan of this approach.

    1. Create bad legislation that creates bad organization.
    2. Fix problem by patch/plug with more people and money.

    This is similar to building a leaky dam, and then building secondary dam/runoff downstream because of the leaks. How about building a new, leak proof dam and demolishing the old one. Now, if they would also revise/create legislation governing the TSA, enforce existing law by arresting and prosecuting TSA employees for going outside accepted boundaries, then some passenger advocates would be welcome. I suspect though, that if these things were done, the passenger advocates would be very bored during their shifts.
  17. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    Better solution:
    -Fit all TSA clerks with exploding collars. On at the start of the shift, off once the shift ends. Nothing too high-yield, powerful enough to be fatal to the wearer but not to anyone else at the checkpoint. Think "Battle Royale."
    -Dress all TSA clerks in uniforms with uniquely-identifying serial numbers embroidered in large, easy-to-read lettering.
    -On the "secure" side of the checkpoint, a console is present with red buttons corresponding to the clerks' serial numbers and a stack of 5 red lights above each. Passengers who've had a bad experience with their clerk can scan their boarding pass at the console (once per pax to prevent abuses, though personally I'd conveniently forget to build in this limitation) and push the button for the clerk that harrassed them. The next light up the stack lights up and the collar beeps to alert the clerk that it (the clerk) has had a complaint lodged against it.
    -If a clerk accrues 5 button presses in one hour, BOOM. Every hour the lights reset. To prevent clerks gaming the system and making sure to only abuse 4 pax per hour, a "random and unpredictable" double-jeopardy light will be assigned at certain presses of the button, illuminating two lights instead of one.

    Bonus: Government can say they've helped stimulate job creation due to the increased demand for janitorial staff at checkpoints! Buy stock in the mop and bucket industry.
    Sunny Goth and Lisa Simeone like this.
  18. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I kinda like this idea but less go with non-lethal so any TSA screener who gets out of line can be corrected time and time again. We already know that they are slow learners. I can see something like a taser belt used by LE for some people in custody. Since they are non-lethal as claimed by the makers this practice would be fully legal. Tick off a couple of travelers and get a little jolt of correction, say 5 minutes straight, going up by 1 minute for each subsequent violation.
  19. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Eeek! Too Milgram for me.
    KrazyKat likes this.
  20. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    You can purchase electronic shock collars--used by dog trainers to train hunting dog. Have each smurf wear one and give the passenger the controls. If they get too personal during their grope, the pax pushes the button. Only one setting--MAX VOLTAGE. There are also auto-shocking ones you can use on barking dogs, to discourage barking. You can see where I'm going with that one...
    TravelnMedic and Fisher1949 like this.

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