Wednesday, January 11, 2012

SEA TSA Checkpoint Blues

By far our worst TSA experience to date this morning at SEA B gates entry...

We "opted out," meaning we didn't want to go through the X-Ray scanner, and a couple from AMS did at the same time. This seemed to overwhelm the employee directing people. He was "assertive" from the outset and wanted to share his expertise about the safety of the X-Ray scanners. Brian told him we couldn't see our belongings and he replied "I can't do anything about that." Brian requested a supervisor at that point.

A screener at the adjacent machine said Brian could get his belongings and we pointed out that they were contradicting each other - indeed, the first employee told him he couldn't.

Suddenly Brian was let through the magic gate, although Kathy was held back. He was told to sit down and to identify his belongings and her from his chair. He actually missed one of Kathy's bags. When a supervisor showed up, the screener, in front of Kathy, pointed out it was "that jerk there" who had requested one. Brian of course didn't hear that but did see her give him the thumbs-up before she came over to ask what he wanted. That was, of course, that we couldn't see our belongings.

Brian enjoyed a very thorough search, and giggled loudly when the designated searcher brushed against his resistance. The searcher started, "If you don't like it, you could..." Brian interrupted him politely and and said he was sure he didn't want it to sound "retaliatory."

When we two met up (Kathy's screening was behind Brian's back and also "thorough"), we shared a few choice words and a supervisor who could see our body language appeared on the spot. He was actually very sympathetic and we explained the whole situation to him in a 10-minute conversation, basically that the operation at this particular check point was dysfunctional even by TSA standards. It was the employee directing pax to one machine or another who is unfortunately setting the tone for the whole check point.

We're quite sure our chat with the supervisor won't do a bit of good, but if these employees think they've intimidated us they're quite wrong.

Not a good start to a 24-hour day that ends in DEL, although a couple of cups of coffee in the United Club and we're ready to board our first flight.

1 comment:

Dennis Warner said...

Annoying even to read about. Good you had a chance to vent a bit to the supervisor though even if it doesn't do any good.