Shouldn't they have told me?

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by KZA, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. KZA

    KZA Original Member

    I'll be up front and tell you I have not flown since prior to 9/11 so perhaps I am naive about the process.

    So I traveled from Nashville, TN to Charlotte, NC 12/8/11. Went through the scanner where you turn to the side and put your arms up. It showed a hot spot on my shoulder which they patted, it was nothing so I was on my way. I was thinking, not such a big deal!

    I traveled back from Charlotte to Nashville 12/11/11. At Charlotte, you initially walk through what appeared to be just an "old school" metal detector. It buzzed on my first walk through so they had me go back to walk through again after asking me if I had anything in my pockets or a cell phone on my person (I didn't). It buzzed the second time and the TSA agent told me he would need me to wait for him and walked me over to a 4-walled, clear sided cubicle sort of area. I thought I was just put in there to wait. After a minute or so, another TSA agent opened the other side of the cubicle and told me to come with him where he swabbed my hands. After that, I was told I was free to go. I was confused because I thought I would either be subjected to a scan or pat down. When I mentioned it to my husband who was flying with me, he said he thought I was being scanned when I was put in that cubicle. I'm not really mad about it, and I'm not sure what I would have chosen if I had been given the choice (a scan versus a pat down), but shouldn't it have been made clear to me that I was being placed in that room for a scan rather than merely placing me in a room and telling me to wait? I mean, how can you opt for a pat down if they don't tell you they are scanning you?! If they scanned me while I was in that cubicle, was it one of those more "informative" scans rather than the scans that just show hot spot areas they need to pat down (like the one in Nashville)?

    I'm really not sure what to think about this, but I can tell you I felt really odd after the fact thinking that I might have been scanned and viewed without even being aware of it.
     
  2. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    KZA,
    No, I don't think you were being scanned if it was a clear sided cubicle. Unless they made you strike the "I surrender" pose, it was not likely a scanning device, just a "holding area" (what we commonly refer to as the "penalty box"). Hope this makes you feel better.

    What would have concerned me with the "holding area" is whether or not I could keep my belongings within my line of sight. I hope you were able to do so.

    When you are scanned, keep in mind that the machines are famous for giving "false positive" alarms, and you could be subject to a pat-down that might be a little too personal for your own comfort, depending on which area of your body shows an "anomoly."
     
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    It sounds as though you were temporarily detained (and probably illegally detained, since TSA has no legal authority to detain anyone) by locking you in the "penalty box".
     
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  4. KZA

    KZA Original Member

    Well, this does make me feel better. It was a bit disconcerting to be in the box and have other travelers walking by and looking at me...you are for sure in a fish bowl and of course it's natural for them to wonder why a person has been put there. My belongings were still going through their scan and they were within my sight once they came through that machine. What was with them wiping off my hands? And furthermore, since I did set off a false alarm, why was I released without being further scanned or patted down? I mean, I'm happy to get through it without feeling violated, but on the other hand are they actually catching folks who be trying to bring something through? Is there some way they are able to determine which alarms are false and which alarms are suspicious?
     
  5. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    They were swabbing your hands for explosive residue. This was probably not a "false alarm," but rather a "randomly generated" alarm to signal the screener to do additional screening, thus the hand swabbing.

    Please don't ask me why "randomly generated" alarms are considered a good security measure because I still just don't get that concept. To me random=hit-or-miss...just my humble opinion, though. :)
     
    phoebepontiac likes this.
  6. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    Adding this regarding being in a fish bowl and the disconcerting feeling of having other travelers gawking at you. Keep in mind this is all part of the "TSA Security Theater" to make other passengers (and, possibly, themselves) feel like they are doing a good job of protecting us from the scawey tewworwists <*gasp*>.
     
    JKT and Lisa Simeone like this.
  7. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    It's all for show -- the appearance of security to make you feel better. They have yet to catch a single terrorist.

    Or just one of thousands of "glycerine-based hand lotion" alarms that are generated daily.

    The process is just a bad joke.
     
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  8. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Power and control. Power and control.
     
  9. My concern: Not to bring on paranoia but what else will they do to a person who is in a room separated from everyone else. This is frightening stuff folks there are good and bad in every profession and TSA seems to have an inordinate amount of the the bad.
     
  10. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    We already know they've done unconscionable stuff to people in private rooms. And that's just the stuff we've found out about. Who knows what else is going on? As Milgram and Zimbardo demonstrated, the depths are pretty much unlimited.
     
  11. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    Rosemary Mulligan: You wouldn't happen to be ILGA 65th District Representative Rosemary Mulligan, would you? If so, thank you so much for visiting us at TUG and seeing for yourself the other side of the story, as it were, regarding TSA. Also wondering if you received my letter regarding 10th Amendment Center's proposed TSA anti-grope bill.

    (Even if you're not that Rosemary Mulligan, welcome anyway!)
     
  12. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    Welcome to TUG, Rosemary!:)
     
  13. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    They can't even catch the thieves and smugglers in their own ranks despite working shoulder-to-shoulder with them.

    TSA employees are a waste of skin.
     
  14. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    "Every profession?" Do you honestly believe that there are "good" rapists?
     
  15. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    But then "rapist" isn't a profession, is it? (I certainly hope not.)
     
  16. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Is "TSA employee" any more a "profession?"
     
  17. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

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