Tuesday, January 26, 2010

TSA: Unaccountable Nameless Thugs

Sherman Oaks, California

A FlyerTalk poster named forthefight has done a public service by asking various TSA officers their names and recording the reactions. (The acronyms stand for Customer Service Manager, Federal Security Director, Law Enforcement Officer, Lead Transportation Security Officer, Transportation Security Manager and Transportation Security Officer, along with various airport codes.)

IAD - When asked his name, the TSO placed his hand over his badge and began removing it. Letter to FSD resulted in general "your comments are valuable" letter.

IAH - When asked her name the LTSO turned her back to me and loudly announced "Oh no, you do not need to know my name". Letter to CSM resulted in "Your experiences show we have remaining areas for improvement." (understatement of the year)

SFO - When asked his name, TSO offered to write it down for me, along with supervisors name and CSM name. Offer accepted, nice note sent to CSM.

MCI - When asked her name, TSM refused, threatened to throw me out of secure area. Letter to CSM went unanswered for 3 weeks, call to TSA contact center resulted in promise to forward contact request to CSM. No word back - its been months.

PVD - When asked her name TSO refused and covered badge with hand, TSM also refused name until issue was made clear. Once issue was described, TSM provided CSM's name and walked away.

BWI - When asked her name TSM summoned LEO and announced that I had become "too difficult". Threatened to eject me from secure area. LEO found name of TSM and urged me to write CSM. Previous interactions with CSM caused letter to go unanswered, same with letters to Assistant FSD and FSD. Note: this airport has got to have the worst TSA staff in the country.

AUS - (Several occasions) When asked his/her name TSOs offered complaint form, name and, in some cases ID number. TSOs, TSMs and CSM were all very nice and helpful.

FLL - When asked his name TSM informed me that "you dont have that right in here" (gesturing to secure area behind him) and removed his brass name badge. When asked to clarify, TSM threatened to call LEOs. When further pressed, TSM offered the name of the CSD and suggested that writing him would be like performing a physically impossible intimate act. Call to TSA's Media Affairs line resulted in "we will investigate" followed by "the cameras do not record audio". Letter to CSM proved similar to preforming afore mentioned intimate act.

While there are some professional TSA officers, many are unprofessional, undereducated and believe they are unaccountable.

forthefight did what more people need to do: Stand up to these petty tyrants and remind them that we -- law-abiding flyers -- are the boss, not them.

Photo: For all I know, this TSA officer could be a consummate professional -- protecting us from dangerous grannies.

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Blogger Mike Gowan said...

My interactions with TSA operatives? have been relatively polite. I haven't thought to ask for anyone's name though. Last year I forgot that I had water in a souvenir bottle in my carry-on while going though O'Hare. I told the agent she could throw the bottle away but she emptied it and let me through. My brother forgot his driver's license--and wallet--when he met us in Denver to fly to the beach for a family vacation. He was taken out of line, but politely and after a scan they let him through. Note, he paid us back for all the money we spent on him while on vacation. I don't know if my experiences are typical. Cheers!

9:48 PM  

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