Is the TSA agent patting you down a criminal?

Let’s pretend for a second that we are all conspiracy theorists. Now, let’s think about TSA check points.

You pull out all your belongings and put them in bins. You separate out all your liquids and your computer gets it’s own bin, too. You take off your shoes, belt, jacket and empty your pockets and go through the scanner.  You set off the metal detector because of your zipper and have to be privately screened: (Fe)male Assist!  You finish this ridiculous charade, get dressed, grab your things and go.

How many conspiracy bells are going off? And, when you consider all the bad press the TSA has gotten recently for allowing knives on carry-ons  and mistreating disabled children, all the bell ringing is enough to cause a seizure.

One of those bells might be saying This circus act is just a way to distract me! The scary thing is, it’s not a conspiracy theory at all. It’s fact.  See for yourself:

Upwards of 400 TSA agents have been fired for stealing from passengers/luggage. Notice it said fired—I guess that means no legal action was taken. Isn’t it just a tad unsettling that some of the people in charge of security are criminals themselves? I hope someone takes off their shoes and scan’s their zippers.

TSA screening

The good news is, I spoke with a disability travel expert at the Abilities Expo and she said these TSA horror stories don’t happen all that often. I tend to agree: it’s only a few that make so many look bad. (If medical mistakes got as much coverage as TSA, no one would ever go to a doctor. Ever.) The lady at the Expo spoke encouragingly about TSA’s Sensitivity Training.  Some people think this training isn’t enough. TSA itself has behaved a little sketchy by removing the right to film/photograph security screenings from their website, so I can understand passengers’ concern.

What have your experiences with TSA been like? What changes would you like to see?

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