How are you treated at the airport?

Started Sep 2, 2007 | Discussions
Mikep99 Contributing Member • Posts: 758
How are you treated at the airport?

If you travel from or to the US you will probably not forget your encounter with TSA (Transportation Security Administration). I really did not want to post anything at the moment since I am busy but I guess I had the idea come up in my head since I was looking at purchasing travel luggage recently and it reminded me of how rude, vulgar, and disrespectful these individuals that work for this agency can be.

I travel, when I do, with my camera and lenses which overall are the main thing they look at. I will not forget the last time I was at the airport getting ready to travel to Canada that I had to open up my bag and show the TSA guy what was in it. I have no problem whatsoever showing anyone anything in it. I truly believe that since I have nothing to hide why hide anything at all. My issue here is not that but rather the way they handle your equipment at times. I have heard/read horror stories of laptops, cameras, and other electrical items being abused or improperly handled when the owner of such an item could have easily shown whatever it was to the agent. I remember the agent that was looking at my bag literally started poking at things in it without even asking me. He could have damaged some sensitive equipment I have which I would have patiently shown to him. Additionally, if it wasn't for me grabbing the camera first and showing it to him he more than likely would have yanked it out and detached the lens himself without knowing what he was doing.

So, this brings me to the point. With luggage being cut open by TSA on a consistent basis and agents handling personal items of passengers roughly without anyone to stop them or put them in place, who will place checks on these individuals to prevent the future of theft and or abuse to personal items of passengers? Who is preventing this at the present moment?

I am frustrated while I write this thinking that one luggage may be torn open just because they didn't have the time to find the TSA key to open the TSA locks that many passengers are using today while traveling.

Any thoughts on this?

mrsfixit Senior Member • Posts: 1,478
Re: I can relate to this....

I can totally relate to this.

Anything I care about goes in my carry-on luggage.

Last year my husband and I took a trip to Newfoundland, and I honestly can't say which side is worse- the US or Canada.

Going through security at Newark airport wasn't that bad for us. I had a new laptop, and my camera (P&S) with me.

I had to take the laptop out of the bag, and I was not thrilled with the way it was simply tossed onto the conveyor belt. The camera, not being and slr, was less of a problem.

I found it to be far worse coming back from Canada.

They decided my 50+ conservative looking husband was the "designated terrorist" for the flight.

They gave him a full body pat down in view of everyone.

Hubby is nearly bald, and what little hair he has left is very short.

I very nearly lost it when the agent told him: "now, I am going to pat down the back of your head sir to check for concealed weapons".

Of course, as hubby was the terrorist, my carry-on luggage was subject to the most careful scrutiny.

They manhandled my laptop, and I was really hoping they were not going to turn it because I had left a Linux live cd in the drive.

Heaven knows what would have happened if those bozo's had seen Linux start to boot up. They probably would have thought it was a nuke or something. LOL

I got through with no damage, other than my pride- but the poor soul behind me wasn't so lucky.

He had a camera bag and in the process of yanking out his Canon DSLR they dropped it.

I heard a huge crash behind me, and turned around just in time to see the Canon hit the floor.

The guy was still screaming when we boarded the plane.

I don't know what happens in cases like this, but I hope he got compensated.

You have to bear in mind that these security people are poorly paid, poorly trained, not too bright and in general just don't give a damn.

It's a very sad state of affairs. And it doesn't make us any safer.

Ray Maines
Ray Maines Veteran Member • Posts: 4,183
Don't Tell Me, Let Me Guess...........

You've been to JFK, right?

And while we're on the subject, doesn't it seem funny that we can travel all over Europe and get through each and every airport using English, but you can't understand a word the hired help at the New York airports say?

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Franka T.L.
Franka T.L. Veteran Member • Posts: 8,161
Re: & I can relate to this .... too

Admittingly not all TSA guys are like that. I had once encounter a bunch of very nice TSA guys ( & gals , there were 3 of them ) at Chicago Intl'. But in general, one can only suspect if they even had any training at actually handling the public at all.

And that had nothing to do with 911. Way before that, even back in film days they were like that. I remember fondly back then, once, that I was questioned for I had with me a petite APS camera ( Fujifilm Tiara ix - - ), and they were all over it its not being a camera and might be a electronic device for some form of destructive nature ... I had to shown them a working camera by shooting a frame ( with flash on just so they know ) and mid-roll rewind the film and take that out for them to had a look ( They actually want to get the film open, but I ask them for their names and I specifically tell them they had to shoulder the responsibility becasue those film are un-developed ).

For your own security, be prepared to made a list of all equipment cariied with specifics and serial numbers. And travel insurance help also.

  • Franka -

brent collins Senior Member • Posts: 2,184
two airports

that have always been difficult for me are Paris and Philadelphia. Most others are ok, but a few stand out as extra nice. Usually the small ones, but Minneapolis and Atlanta have always been great for such large airports.

Undah Veteran Member • Posts: 5,335
2nd that

Paris airport was the worst I'd been in. Luggage handler nearly destroyed my camera equipment during a search of my lowepro slingshot, ignoring my pleas to take it easy since there are cameras and they will fall out if he opens it that way.

brent collins wrote:

that have always been difficult for me are Paris and Philadelphia.
Most others are ok, but a few stand out as extra nice. Usually the
small ones, but Minneapolis and Atlanta have always been great for
such large airports.

OP Mikep99 Contributing Member • Posts: 758
Glad to see you agree

What gets me is that no major lawsuit has come about. No news coverage has be brought. You may think that is a stretch but think about how many camcorders, laptops, cameras, etc. get trashed on a daily basis around the US because of the negligence.

What about the luggage that some of us pay heavily at the store for so that we can have a sturdy piece of luggage so that when thrown into the cargo hold it won't break. They tear through it like butter even when you have the TSA locks on it.

This brings me to the idea that what if some of these under-paid, under-trained and ultimately uncaring agents will use their power to take advantage of what you own? I really wonder how many of them have been fired or have had charges brought against them, if caught, for stealing items from bags.

mrsfixit Senior Member • Posts: 1,478
Re: It happens all the time...

why do you think they tell you to never, ever put anything valuable in your checked baggage?

There is no security for checked baggage, and it is opened at will by baggage handlers.

I've even heard stories about women's underwear being stolen out of checked bags.

Nothing is done about it. The airlines don't care and neither does the government.

Insurance is a good idea when traveling, but I've read that if your stuff is in the checked bags and gets stolen or damaged, the insurance company won't pay the claim.

There should be security cameras so that baggage handlers are video taped while doing their job. I bet losses would go down then.

But that would probably be violating somebody's rights.

Just like profiling. No, lets not stop the Arab looking young males who just might be a threat, let's strip-search all those white haired Grannies and little kids.

Who knows what Grandma might have in that purse, or what Junior might have stuffed in his teddy bear.

Get the SWAT team, here comes Grandma brandishing her nail clippers.... LOL

Tom McCarty Contributing Member • Posts: 833
Re:weird cops and politicians

Now we have to worry abot cops and politicians in the airports... I read about London being the worst. Youo can get arrested for smiling at a cop

And don't bring an iPod in.. you might tap your feet to the music and end up arrsted in Minneapolis

Read Mark Steyn today

-- hide signature --

Tom in East Lake, Yorba Linda California

BraveUlysses Senior Member • Posts: 1,580
I'm glad to see

that others are FINALLY getting annoyed about all this ridiculous 'someone might be a terrorist and it's for your own protection' nonsense. High time we started to collectively buck the system and spread the word to the sheople.

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Everyone, everywhere, has to do everything for a first time. There is no failure in failure, only in failing to learn.

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