The Humiliating History Of The TSA [Roundup]

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. TSA sickos making a living groping elderly Americans without reasonable suspicion or probable cause.

  2. Wow – listening to this idiot Brian Znotins with AA makes you realize even more how out of touch he and AA are with reality and their total neglect of customer service and what’s best for the customer. I guess the part when he states that typically, if there is a schedule change/cancellation for a future flight, there is normally just 1 change. BS!! I’ve had many future flights on AA that have changed MULTIPLE times or have even been cancelled altogether. In several cases, the schedule change or cancellation has created other repercussions with lost money on hotel reservations, scheduled events, etc.

  3. I was at a conference a few years after 9/11, the TSA (Takes Sissors Away) was originally to be called the Federal Air Transportation Airline Security Service (FATASS). Luckily ( or not ) someone figured it out. I can’t go through TSA anymore without thinking of this. Makes me smile and laugh inside.

  4. While the intentions could be good the problem with the TSA is the usual one with government agencies, mission creep. The most blatant example is those who routinely carry a lot of money– one man who bought cars for cash is a good example–have had their funds confiscated on suspicion that they were drug dealers. There have been a number of federal suites just to get back such funds. And stupid things are done! Like confiscating a kid’s light saber as a possible threat or a woman’s handbag because it had an embroidered handgun. Of course this is the agency that thinks one person carrying 1 liter of a liquid is a threat but 10 people traveling together who each are carrying 1/10th of a liter are not. Theater, and easy to see as such. Smarter people who may question what they are doing are not wanted here. But isn’t that true of a lot of policing agencies?

    The other problem, which gets little discussion, is that this is debilitating for society because it justifies similar, if less intrusive measures elsewhere. Some theaters, ballparks, fair grounds, etc. now have metal detectors, and as this darkness spreads it becomes the norm. Now granted part of this is due to America’s obsession with guns, but accepting such searches as routine turns all citizens into the role of potential threats first. It certainly makes a mockery of the song ending in “brave and free.”

    Of course the worst is the chamber of horrors, aka, scanners. It is certainly profitable for those involved. (Obama had a long talk with the president of the Indian company that got the stimulus money to first make them in Malaysia–I wonder what his campaign contribution was in return?) But can anyone imagine the World War 2 generation putting up with this despicable treatment? Yet most Americans today willingly do so. And as long as they act like scared and submissive sheep they will be treated as such. And we know what ultimately happens to most sheep.

  5. I am no longer of the Spring Chicken group of Citizens and basically need a wheelchair assistance getting to the gate. On a trip last December, because I was traveling to a much colder climate, I was wearing a brace on my knee because cold weather tends to make my knee unstable. Even though I went through the scanner, they decided to do the extra pat down. The TSO doing the pat down literally tried to take off my knee brace and became upset with me when I asked her what she expected to find under there besides my leg. My letter of complaint was met with an email telling me that she was just doing her job. I wondered if she would take away a persons oxygen to see if they could breathe without it.

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