Tuesday, April 12, 2011

TSA In the News and Recent Experiences

The TSA is in the news again, as this video has appeared on the Drudge Report, where a 6 year old is being searched. Again, this is a case of looking for the object and not at the person.

The above issue aside, I flew last week and I must give a thumbs up the TSA folks that I encountered at Newark and O'Hare. They expedited the process as much as possible, explained the procedures thoroughly and were very pleasant. While I'm sure this won't always be the case, I am pleased I encountered these individuals and hope to encounter many more like them in the future.

Here are some tips in dealing with the TSA and airline security procedures.
- Fly early! Airports will be quiet in the morning, lines will be non-existent and the TSA agents will be pleasant.
- In addition to using a clear gallon zip bag for liquids, also use it for electronics (eg iPod, BlackBerry/SmartPhones, chargers, GPS devices, electrical chords, etc) If these devices are packed in your carry on not together, your bag will be opened and searched.
- Before getting in line, find a chair and prepare yourself. Take out your Photo ID and boarding pass to prepare to present it, as well as clear gallon zip bags for liquids and electronics to be put though the machine.
- Wear socks since you are taking your shoes off to put through the machine.
- If asked to go through the body scanner, politely opt-out and asked to be patted down, in public, by a TSA agent of the same sex. Me personally, I am less offended by the body image, but more concerned with the level of X-Rays emitted by those machines. If children must be patted down, make sure a female agent performs the procedure.
- Keep your cool in any situation and if still wary, be sure to hit the record button on your SmartPhone before putting it through the machine.

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