Monday, January 30, 2012

Kudos, TSA

It's not often a bureaucracy does the right thing, and in a timely fashion. We often complain about the intrusiveness of TSA searches, but here's a case where laxity was punished properly.
Essentially, in late December, bags from two flights triggered alarms in the automated screening at Newark Liberty Airport. The responsible screener failed to remove those bags from the queue and manually screen them.
That screener will likely be fired sometime this week, about a month later.
There's none of us who hasn't heard or told a story about TSA screenings. They seem haphazard, randomly strict or relaxed, and often seem bungled. I've had friends who snuck double-edged razor blades onto a plane, and I've been frisked for carrying two jars of jelly (I forgot, to be honest) into security.
And this is before we get to the news stories about 80 year old grandmothers being strip searched or what have you.
More important, however, I've learned, as a diver, to expect my bags to be screened, particularly if my flight includes a stopover somewhere in the States, like Atlanta or Miami. It never ceases to surprise me that I find those little "notes" from the TSA, and yet it shouldn't: I carry batteries, knives (for getting caught up in fishing lines,) flashlights, camera's a wonder I can make the weight limits.
I can't blame them for being diligent. All it would take is for one "Eh! Let it go..." moment and 400 people or more could be dead. I wouldn't want that on my conscience. I don't know what could have been going through the mind of this fellow, but I sure as heck wouldn't want him in charge of baggage security on any flight I'd take.