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  • 37

TSA on the way out? New law makes it a possibility.

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A new law makes it easier for airports to replace federal screeners with private contractors, and several airports, after years of passenger complaints, are lining up to make the change. (www.nytimes.com) 更多...

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RobSJC
Let it be known, there are already airports who have opted out .. KSFO being one of those, saw it myself in action recently, Backed up by Sheriffs Deputies and SFPD Officer's, At least there is someone there who can actually, "Take action" if they had to .. Can't see TSA, slapping cuffs on any one.
tedcannaday
If it's true that SFO has switched to private screeners then I'm not looking forward to others switching. I flew out of SFO last year and experienced the most surly, unfriendly and power-mad screeners I've ever experienced. And that was before I even got to the scanner!
brodeur
Amen!! I flew out of there last September at 6am, and it was the biggest FUBAR I have ever encountered. Took 2+ hours to pass screening and we nearly missed our flight. The screener running the line had all of the verbal acumen of the martian ambassador from "Mars Attacks!!". I will never go thru there again if I have to go through screening.
STEELJAW
STEELJAW 1
Every airport that has TSA screeners are backed up by certified police officers. Some in uniform and some in plain clothes. Slapping cuffs on passengers is not part of the TSA duties.
jkudlick
Actually, KSFO has always been contractors. When TSA was formed, 5 airports were allowed to keep contractors as an experiment, and after a few years other airports were allowed to "opt-out" and those 5 airports were allowed to "opt-in". I think 1 of those 5 opted in, but a lot have opted out.

Even if every airport opts out, not much will change. TSA will choose the contractors, who will be required to offer the same jobs to the screeners who are being displaced, but only the screeners will be replaced. All of the regulatory personnel and senior management at each airport will still be TSA employees, and TSA will still write the regulations and equipment requirements.
dmanuel
dmanuel 5
Does anyone think there will be a sudden news release that TSA has detected and averted a massive threat to the flying public, but details can not be revealed because of security concerns and only TSA has the talent, not private companies, to protect the public from this threat?
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
With those Blabber Mouths, many of them Under Educated McDonald's rejects. Yes, I would believe it in heart beat.
rwm5001
My Girlfriend and I flew out of San Diego last week, and the T.S.A. were rude and a bunch of bozo's. I am retired military, and as we were going through the security screening, I ask not to have my camera go through the x-ray. Well some T.S.A. idiot, states very rudely "it will not harm the camera. I agrued the point, and the next thing I know I was told to take off my belt and removed my newspaper. My Girlfriend got the same treatment. Then We were the only two people in line that they made us goes through the full body scanner, then they took our bags open them up went through them by hand, then sent them through the x-ray for a second time. Then they went through them again. They used there power to embarres us, just because I asked them a question. We have gone through alot of airports in the past two years, and I have never been told to remove my army hat among other things before. The point of this statement is I hope they get rid of the T.S.A. They are worthless!!!
caprv
Returning home from vacation 4 weeks ago I saw 20 screeners standing around with only 2 or 3 people to screen. Im sure a private contractor would do a better job.
sfjasper
There's never been a need for a new law. That's the politicians looking to be heros. The airports have always had the option to go private contract. How much you wanna bet the contractors will be government associated through new requirements to meeting federal standards? It gives the government a cheaper way of controlling the industry by letting someone else pay for it. How best to cut expenditures. Put it on the industry.
mhlansdell00
"Since 2001, a little-known law has let airports seek permission to stop using federal screeners. But airport officials said that the T.S.A had been slow in allowing the switch, and last year the agency said it would stop accepting additional requests." That's only one of your points answered in the article you never read. If you read the article you would know that TSA guidelines would have to be followed. It's a little sketchy to me who would pay for the private security firms. Looks to me like only the personnel and their management would be different, so maybe the attitude would be better and maybe more consistent. More than once, I've flown three legs of a trip and had the rules change on the 4th. On my last trip I presented in a wheel chair and had 3 almost cops demand answers at the same time. When I answered one the others were incensed that I had not responded to them first. A cute little game they play. A restaurant style fold up cork screw was challenged and confiscated yet a pair of 8" barber's scissors was passed. They say the old screeners were untrained, but these new screeners seem ill-trained.
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
WOW, Hope it happens. I agree there needs to be security, but TSA is along way from the answer.
RCW
RCW 1
Sparkie624, do you remember when Airport Security was privatized? I'll give you a date: Spet 11, 2011. When you turn something as critical as airport security, you get the lowest bidders shaving the most costs. Its business and they want the work done as cheap as possible. Remember, Gerald Aprey at AA got a bonus for cost savings and he was responsible for airport security a LGA and BOS on 9/11. If airport security is privatized, you get the "excellent" (I mean "Excrement") service at SFO and the same shoddy work as 9/11. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not defending TSA. TSA needs to be fixed including getting rid of the useless Chertoff napked-peeping machines. But privatizing security is a receipe for another disaster.
davysims
David Sims 4
You do realize the attack on 9/11 had nothing to do with airport security. All of the hijackers passed through security entirely legally, and with no contraband by the standards of those days (box cutters were legal then). The courts have even upheld this, as many of the families of the victims tried to sue the departure airports for allowing the hijackers on board. Even more important, nothing TSA has done by stripping travellers of their rights prevents another 9/11. Secured flight decks, changed airline policies (pre-9/11 hijacking policies bascially said do what you are told), and a changed attitude of passengers (such as United 93) are what prevent another 9/11 style attack. That attack was a one of a kind operation, apparent by the fact they worked together to take over several aircraft at once.
jet4ang
jet4ang 2
If the cockpit was locked with hardened doors no one would have been able to use "box cutters".
rick737
Guns in the cockpit, harden cockpit doors, sucure proceedures, Federal Air Marshalls, and a passenger corp that will no longer be victims. Stopping Grandma's knitting needles seems rather useless, doesn't it
jet4ang
jet4ang 2
Absolutely correct. I don't understand why the cockpit, sterile during operations can't be sterile from outsiders????
westfly
kyle estep 2
That is because this country has long lost the ideals of brightest and best. They have been replaced with cheapest and quickest. The government does not do jobs better, they just do them with more pork and red tape. Until this country realizes cheapest isn't always best (you get what you pay for) then we will be continuing on the path of the Romans.
JD345
JD345 1
What's your solution, then?
JD345
JD345 2
Contracting out the screeners is NOT getting rid of the TSA's rules. It simply means the screeners will be wearing different shirts. The starting wage for a screener is $11/hr... honestly, do we think that the fact that they're employed by a federal government agency makes them more effective than an employee of a contractor paying them $11/hr? At least in that case you can get rid of one contractor for another, instead of being stuck with the anointed federal employees no matter what.
mobilken
mobilken 1
Not sure were your getting data. TSA full time screener starts $32450, 37665 with a degree.
lucasmccain
lucasmccain 2
TSA is the result of the George W. Bush Administration's answer to unemployment after 9-11. I'm tired of watching these jokers wearing tax-paid uniforms, wearing epaulets like pilots, getting their uniforms dry-cleaned with our tax dollars, and getting the most convenient parking at airports they work at for free....not to mention moving through airports like herds and blocking doorways, escalators, elevators, and coded security doorways. Federally-funded government pensions and health benefits to these jokers while pilots have been struggling for years with lousy pay, loss of benefits, and crooked CEOs, and insane rest and duty times. What a waste of our money for a bunch of GED grads with no class.
rick737
many good points, but the Bush hate neutralizes it all. It's easy to place blame, but to continue the fault is not "w"s problem. He had to to do something, even if it was wrong. Now that we know it's wrong, we have an administration that won't correct it because it would harm his UNION supporters.
tartarus12
I guess you don't remember, after 9/11, Harry Reid in front of cameeras demanding that airport security be turned over to the feds. Essentially blaming private security for 9/11. Even though airport security at the time were following federal regulations for security. If it makes you feel better to blame Bush, go right ahead. It won't change the fact that it was Harry Reid who gave us the TSA.
CaptainArt
Another Bush hater that will blame everything on Bush. When you run out of toilet paper, do you scream at your wife or do you blame Bush. Mr. Robert Curley is right on. Not Bush but his poor excuse of a senator name Harry Reid was behind this. I strongly suggest to you that you check your fact before you post. Anything else you post will be subject to close scrutiny since you was already caught in a lie.
jet4ang
jet4ang 1
All federal contracts are awarded to the LOWEST bidder. In other words, get ready for even shoddier and inefficient security. I know this is a fact since I have worked for federal contractors. Lowest bid takes all and to top it off, if the bidder has multiple licenses they can bid on more than one department, irregardless of their experience. If they win the bid, then it's no longer the feds responsibility except when there's a screw up. Do we want to wait for that to happen??
Scorcher
Scorcher 1
Be careful of what you wish for !! The screening in Australia is done by private security companies. They are extremely officious and inflexible. Many of the security staff are, in my mind, "questionable" as well. Personally, I don't trust an awful lot of them for more than one reason.
mhlansdell00
@Steve Jasper
"Since 2001, a little-known law has let airports seek permission to stop using federal screeners. But airport officials said that the T.S.A had been slow in allowing the switch, and last year the agency said it would stop accepting additional requests." That's only one of your points answered in the article you never read. If you read the article you would know that TSA guidelines would have to be followed. It's a little sketchy to me who would pay for the private security firms. Looks to me like only the personnel and their management would be different, so maybe the attitude would be better and maybe more consistent. More than once, I've flown three legs of a trip and had the rules change on the 4th. On my last trip I presented in a wheel chair and had 3 almost cops demand answers at the same time. When I answered one the others were incensed that I had not responded to them first. A cute little game they play. A restaurant style fold up cork screw was challenged and confiscated yet a pair of 8" barber's scissors was passed. They say the old screeners were untrained, but these new screeners seem ill-trained.
davis1926a
Only time will tell whether one group is better than another...common sense must prevail no matter who is doing the screening!
davis1926a
Private contractors aren't always the answer to ongoing problems...take Blackwater in Iraq for instance....common sense must prevail!
RCW
RCW -1
And airport security on 9/11/01.
dorothem27
I do not agree with replacing federal screeners with private contractors. People complain all the time about the Congress and the President but we haven't gotten rid of them. A complaint is only evidence that you need to continue to grow and make changes. If the FAA is going to control the air I like having a governmental partner be responsible for the screening. Should an unfortunate event occur...I believe and have confidence that the government will and can handle it when a private contractor can't.
Depqua
Rema Allen 1
As with any organization, you have your good and bad. I believe most of TSA front line employees are genuine about wanting to do the best they can to keep our air travel safe and will use common sense in doing so. AS TSA has had little to no competition TSA execs were not worried about loosing government contracts. When airports start opting to contract to other qualified security agencies TSA will have no choice but to change the way they are doing business. Competition will definitely make a difference. Let us hope it makes a difference for the better, which I believe it will.
coyotekeith
So what exactly did you like better about private security before 9/11 Ed? Do you miss having foreigners who can't even speak English screening Americans at American airports?
JD345
JD345 1
Have you been through airport security at any point in the last 11 years?
coyotekeith
Yes, a couple times a week as a matter of fact. TSA is a huge improvement from what we had before. Not that there isn't room for improvement. Napalotano and her full body X-ray machines have got to go. If you want to know where those came from, follow the money right through the private sector. You can bet some big corporate money is behind those things. I'm not saying either the government or the private sector does things better. Some things the private sector does better, and some things the government does better. National security is one of those things best handled by the government.
rick737
Well, then let's disband all airlines and have government employees fly us around. Drawing a government paycheck has never made anyone better at their job. Competition has made many people bet at their job.
k2lck
Ed Mentz 0
Everything the government does, from running our educational system to TSA is based on more money for less accomplishment. Indeed the poorer they do the more they justify more money and larger beurocracy. The only way the government can fail is thru blood, at least capatilism can fail without blood.
RCW
RCW -3
And most business operate on the principle of "less accomplishment for less money." They proved that with airport security on 9/11. And Enron. And Exxon(twice.) And Tokyo Electric. Quite frankly, I am a big critic of TSA, bt I never want to give big business the chance to succeed like they did on 9/11. Because of government, we have clean air, safe water, efficient emergency services, and best-in-the-world roads. On 9/11, when businesses (most notably AA) ran airport security, we had the worst in the world. Why repeat the mistake?
JD345
JD345 1
Yeah, and the housing collapse came from greedy bankers. Don't make me puke my guts out, please...
rick737
The security on 9/11 followed the current guidelines as set forth by the DOT. Read the report, then get back to us, Mr. Withers. If government is so wonderful, why have we added 5 trillion dollars in federal debt(not including state and local government debt)in just the last 3 years? Yeah Withers, goverment is the epitamy of efficency
k2lck
Ed Mentz 1
yeh,Bob, you have a point, but govt screws up everything it does. Unfortunately govt must oversee but can easily get bought ($$). We have no real option of using another airport..or not flying... tho in time our internet communication abilities may replace travel, well somewhat..
sunnsea
Joe Russo 0
Totally wrong. You may live in Red State that lives off the Federal government.
sunnsea
Joe Russo 0
This has got to be the most underreported news item in America. Most fallen somewhere between the Kardashians and Dancing with the Stars.


If we have another terrorist attack it will more than likely start at one of these "more cost effective airports." Typical right-wing Republican propaganda machine stuff enacted into law. So the private guys are under the supervision of the TSA, paid by the TSA but the TSA does not train them? What could possibly go wrong with this set up.

Just think back to that 9/11 video where the private security guard (paid minimum wage) at Dulles motions to one of the hijackers because he saw something suspicious but lets him through anyway so as to not miss his flight. Same at Logan when the hijackers transferred from their flight from Portland Maine and almost missed AA 11. They were in a big hurry, too.
But guess what? If, God forbid, this happens under Obama he will be verbally crucified. But if a Republican president is in, it will be sloughed off just like with Bush and instead we'll wind up bombing Iran. Just what they've wanted all along.

And as for that gel cup cake? The TSA was absolutely right to stop that. After all, did anyone think that the sole of your shoe or your underwear could contain enough explosives to bring down a plane before they nearly did?
rick737
Sounds like a steady diet of political Kool Aide has clouded your thinking, Joe Russo.

Why is it so hard to admit, Joe, that the TSA is nothing more than a jobs program for under-achieving burger flippers?

There won't be another 9/11 style attack on U.S. soil because of the changes that have taken place. (read my words from a posting above.) It has nothing to do with who occupies the White House, it has everything to do with the mindset of the traveling public. If any fool tries a similar tactic used on 9/11 the passengers will rise up and beat them to death before the armed pilots in the hardened cockpit can get the airplane on the ground. In fact, those knitting needles of Grandmas might be the weapon needed to stop the bad guys. Too bad they are in a trash bin at the departure airport.

Where you come up with this republician/democrat argument boggles my mind. Any president has the responsiblity of security of the citizens. It has been the policy of the past president and the current president to throw as much money at the problem as possible in hope of finding something that works. We've been at this long enough now to be able to learn from our lessons. But the current president will not stop the spending because his voting block will loose jobs in the process.
JD345
JD345 1
Yeah, the government should dissolve all airlines and start up a new agency to run everything, because you can only trust the government to provide safe airline transportation.

Barf.
rick737
That would be socialism, Jack. There's a number of people who would think of that is a good idea.
JD345
JD345 1
you're certainly correct about that.

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