TSA Secures Airports,Airline Passengers: A blog around travel safety.
Blogger Kevin M. Mitchell posts on passenger complaints about full-body scanners, and TSA’s response.
Kevin M. Mitchell, Founder of the Business Travel Coalition, published a sharply worded post on his blog yesterday about the Transportation Security Administration’s handling of passenger complaints about full-body scanners.
Mitchell is one of many who have expressed dissatisfaction with what he calls a “non-response” to complaints by the agency. In November 2010, George Donnelly, a Pennsylvania man who blogs at TSA News, filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking for a list of all complaints received against TSA related to body scanners and enhanced pat downs, and a copy of each complaint letter received. The agency responded that it had received more than 5,000 letters on the subject but would not release them because they were “law enforcement sensitive.”
Mitchell has posted his own letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole, along with the names and addresses of eight others who have written to him with similar complaints about the scanners.
TSA Blog Team
Posted on May 30, 2018 at 11:57 AM
Airline Passengers: A blog around travel safety. Traveling is a great opportunity to explore new places and experience other cultures. In the U.S., more than 2 million passengers travel by air every day. Whether you’re traveling this summer or planning to fly in the future, follow these simple steps to make sure you have a safe and smooth trip:
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reminds travelers that they can help keep the security lines moving smoothly during peak travel times by arriving at the airport early and being prepared with their boarding pass and valid ID in-hand when they enter the airport checkpoint. To help speed up travel, it’s important to understand what items are prohibited in carry-on luggage. Never bring these prohibited items to the airport: firearms, ammunition, fireworks and other explosives, knives, sharp objects (including box cutters), pepper spray and mace. Review TSA’s website for a complete list of prohibited items. Remember, if an item is legal to possess and is not prohibited from carry-on bags, it may be permitted through the checkpoint once it has been properly screened.
Checked baggage screening
TSA secures the nation’s airports and screens all commercial airline passengers and baggage.
Under the proposed rules, the Transportation Security Administration will begin checking airlines’ “no fly” lists against passenger check-in records. If a suspect’s name appears on both lists, the TSA could prohibit that person from flying or subject him or her to added security checks.
“The purpose of these regulations is to require air carriers and foreign air carriers that provide service between airports located in the United States and foreign airports to provide advance passenger information,” said a notice published in Friday’s Federal Register.
The rules would give the government access to passenger names, addresses and phone numbers. They also would require airlines to submit itinerary information, including flight numbers and ticket numbers.
Airlines already collect much of this information through their reservation systems. The new rules would just make it easier for the government to get its hands on it.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is a United States government agency created in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks as part of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act. The TSA is charged with ensuring security in all modes of transportation: air, rail, truck, and bus.
The TSA’s primary mission is to prevent terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. It is also charged with raising the level of security at all transportation facilities to meet or exceed mandated federal security standards.
The TSA employs more than 50,000 security officers, inspectors, air marshals, and other employees to screen passengers and baggage at more than 450 airports nationwide. It also deploys behavior detection officers at airports and screening checkpoints to assess people’s reactions to questions and their overall levels of stress. In addition, the TSA uses specially trained canine units deployed to high-risk areas like baggage claim rooms to track down explosives that might have been brought onto a plane but were not found during initial screenings.
The TSA has been criticized for being inefficient and too intrusive. Some argue that the agency’s large budget has not translated into commensurate improvements in airport safety; others argue that the pre-screening process involves an invasion of privacy or constitutes racial profiling against certain ethnic groups or young men. The
Airlines in the US are not allowed to fly empty seats. If you buy a ticket and don’t show up, they can’t sell that seat to someone else on the same flight. They don’t want to do this because they are already flying an airplane with very few people in it, and it costs them the same amount of money whether there is one person or a hundred on board.
This makes sense from the point of view of each airline. The problem is that all airlines together can’t act this way, because then no one would ever fly. So airlines are always trying to find a balance between having an empty seat or two, which they can fill with someone who just walked up to the gate, and having too many empty seats which wastes money.
And the whole thing gets even more complicated because there are dozens of other variables they have to optimize for—they don’t want flights that leave too early in the day or too late at night, they don’t want planes sitting around on tarmacs at inconvenient times, they need a balanced schedule so that every plane has somewhere to go after every flight lands… I’m simplifying horribly here (and I’m sure lots of economists will object to my oversimplification), but basically what happens is that
We take air travel for granted. It is hard to imagine a time when people didn’t fly, but it wasn’t that long ago. If you liked this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
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The first successful flight of an airplane occurred on Dec. 17, 1903, by the Wright brothers near Kitty Hawk, N.C. It was not until July 1, 1918, that regular passenger service began between Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City using U.S. Army planes that were modified to carry passengers instead of mail.
In 1930, Charles Lindbergh started a new airline named Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT) which was later renamed Trans World Airlines (TWA). TAT offered coast-to-coast service in 48 hours with stops in Columbus, Ohio; Kansas City, Missouri; St. Louis; Tulsa; Amarillo; Wichita Falls; Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas before arriving in Los Angeles or San Francisco.