Luggage Surprise

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Belly_Dancer, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. Belly_Dancer

    Belly_Dancer Member

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    I have returned from my trip and am just now sitting down in front of the computer with a glass of Orvieto, preparing to relax with LPSG. (Finally)! :biggrin1:

    A funny thing happened, though, when I got home and opened my suitcase late last night. On top my my things was a slip from the Transportation Security Administration -- a notice of baggage inspection. (Full text at the end of this message, if you're interested -- I'm so irked by the section about breaking locks that I highlighted it in bold).

    Although most of my stuff was reasonably in order, those boneheads had OPENED my pill containers and there were pills lying loose with some kind of stuff on them -- as if they had tested them for contraband and not cleaned up after themselves. This really pissed me off! What if I had been an elderly person on Medicaid, and paid $10.00 out of pocket for one of the pills they destroyed? In my case, the only thing I feel is indignant, but it could be far worse for some other people.

    Well, I guess I can take some small comforts -- I hope they enjoyed examining my glittery pink plastic butt plug and my glass dildo. Do you think they examined them with a metal detector? Perhaps ran chemical tests? You know, it could be a conspiracy; I can hear them now:

    "Call in the Bomb Squad! This weird pink thing has to be a Weapon of Mass Destruction!" :eek:

    Has anyone else come home to find this type of surprise note in their rudely disturbed luggage?

    How do others feel about this practice? Is it just me who finds it to be an invasion?


    THE NOTICE READS: "To protect you and your fellow passengers, the TSA is required by law to inspect all checked baggage. As part of this process, some bags are opened and physically inspected. Your bag was among those selected for physical inspection.
    "During the inspection, your bag and its contents may have been searched for prohibited items. At the completion of the inspection, the contents were returned to your bag.
    "If the TSA security officer was unable to open your bag for inspection because it was locked, the officer may have been forced to break the locks on your bag. TSA sincerely regrets having to do this. However, TSA is not liable for damage to your locks resulting from this necessary security precaution...."
     
  2. SassySpy

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    Hi HollyBlue- so good to see you again!!:smile:

    This notice I used to only receive when I flew internationally, and then not every time- now it is every time, domestic OR international, and I have very much learned how to pack my suitcases!:tongue:
     
  3. Principessa

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    I have, and I hate it!

    Right after 9/11 when people in the NY, NJ, PA, CT; DC Metro area were afraid to leave their homes. The Pres. got on tv and said if we didn't go out and shop to make the economy even stronger, "the terrorists would win."

    Well guess what...with every new safety pre- caution which the TSA and Homeland Security force me to comply with; I feel like the terrorists have won. Why? Because they have forced me into an uncomfortable, annoying, and untenable position. I LOATHE taking off my shoes in the airport even if I am wearing socks. God Forbid it be summer and my feet have to touch airport floor. I go into Howard Hughes, germaphonic, OCD mode. :redface: :mad:

    The terrorists have won when I cannot take a sealed bottle of Poland Spring, or a cup of coffee through security.

    There is another insidious component to my annoyance.
    As a Black woman from NJ I am unfortunately used to being profiled. It pisses me off that we have a reasonable profile of an Al Qaeda terrorist yet we can't use it. For the first time in my life, I do not meet the profile in any way, shape, or form. So leave me alone!

    njqt466





     
  4. FrenumFellow

    FrenumFellow New Member

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    I haven't had this happen...yet.*

    I am aware of the TSA's new policy on locks, and the need for the new inspection-friendly locks if you're going to use locks, but I gather from your post that you did not know about this. I'd say its the fault of the TSA - and the airlines' check-in counters - that they have not done enough to publicize the new policy and practices, so that people know what to expect.

    I understand and appreciate the need for the new security inspections. But I also understand the lack of privacy feels disconcerting, particularly to someone not expecting it. That may be another symptom of lack of adequate publicity. It's always been the case that luggage has been susceptible to rifling and theft by baggage handlers - airports like Miami and New York are the most notorious examples that come to mind - but again, average travelers can't be expected to know that.

    It was certainly wrong of them to leave pills scattered and looking as if they might have been compromised. My understanding is that they are supposed to be looking for explosive devices, and so they should have no business testing pills (unless they were hooked up to a timer!). I think this merits a complaint to the TSA and a request for explanation, copied to your congressional representatives.

    Sorry to hear about your distressing experience.

    Good Luck,


    FF

    * Actually, come to think of it, I believe I did find a TSA inspection notice once not too long ago. I knew to expect it, and everything was in order, so it wasn't particularly remarkable, to me.
     
  5. Belly_Dancer

    Belly_Dancer Member

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    Yes, this happened to me, too. They took away my little tube of Vaseline Lip Balm. Perhaps they were afraid I would moisturize the plane.
     
  6. Onslow

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    I hope your trp was pleasant considering the other stuff you went through from the airport.

    I think I'd probably toss all the pills since theres no way to know what they put on them.

    Even worse--what if they tried them out :eek:

    Hasn't happened to me yet. My worst was "You have to remove the prosthetic device for screening" and then I had to figure how to maneuver through the narrow pathway for full body screening--they like to take away any assistive devices like crutches or canes as well. The morons like to feel powerful and screw over people left and right.

    Disgusted and sick to the stomach. Sorry that it happened to you, may it never happen to you again.
     
  7. horsehungtim

    horsehungtim New Member

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    This sums up everything I was about to say. :) Thanks for beating me to the punch.
    Yes, the TSA has a new lock policy. I find it funny that they made no mention of this anywhere before the holidays. I also find it funny that the only places you're allowed to get the new TSA sponsored luggage locks are in the bookshops/stores that are on the other side of every single xray machine i've ever seen...after you've checked your luggage

    As for taking our shoes off...hate it. At least they're telling us to do it now. I took a flight back about a year ago and I was told that they "strongly suggest" i take my shoes off. Haha....give me a choice and I'm not gonna do it. Then, I saw the other option. An ever longer line where they basically had you sit and wait until they could go over every inch of you with a metal detector wand. Guess which one I chose?

    With all the stuff that's been in the news lately...
    The Shoe Bomber
    the kid who tried to smuggle his pot smuggling Aquafina bottle
    the rumors of Gel explosives smuggled in Gatorade bottles

    Fear wins. Fear always wins. How do you think we got to be so pulled into this consumerism? Fear.
    (sorry, went off on a tangent there. this all just reminded me of a book on my shelf Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things )

     
  8. Mr. Snakey

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    This is reality. This is the world we live in. Something very small biochemical or anything else that could kill many people could fit in a pill bottle. If this did happen you would be the first ones screaming why they didnt do anything. If you dont like it dont fly.
     
  9. dreamer20

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    I spoke about my experience with the new regulations here HollyBlue:

    http://www.lpsg.org/538047-post1.html

    Before I boarded my flight to Miami, and during the second search, the TSA agent was wondering if she should confiscate my SOLID deodorant. I had to tell her "That is a solid" and point out the word "solid" written on its container.

    What a laugh I had this month when I learned that a lady with matches was allowed to take these on board a flight and light one to disguise the scent of a fart. She subsequently caused panic when persons smelled smoke, wheras I couldn't bring 20 g of toothpaste on the plane.
     
  10. madame_zora

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    I'd still rather smell a burnt match than a fart, though.

    I get profiled. The last time I wore heels, the actually broke them! I now wear flip-flops when I travel, regardless of the weather. It's like going through customs in Mexico. Yes the terrorists have won- the ones in the Whitehouse.
     
  11. BigBen

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    I hope every one is well. And I mean that.

    No, the terrorists have not won. Not even close. You are not dead or have to convert to Islam to live. In the grand scheme of life, the TSA is a minor inconvience even when you get searched. The pills were looked at because that is there job. Spilling them was either a mistake or clumsy or wrong. No excuse otherwise. Some explosives are so powerful in such tiny amounts, that they can be disguised as pills. I always carry mine onboard in a clear plastic baggy and never have a problem.

    Also, the locks that are TSA approved because they can be opened and relocked without damage by TSA are commonly available at places like Wal-mart, Target, Dillards, Macy's, luggage stores, and off the internet in many places.
    I have the ones made by samsonite but also the Victronix (spelling?) (Swiss army company) made ones. Others I have seen.
    Oh, and the airlines and TSA for some time now have publicized about the locks, etc. Just most people tune it out or ignore it. Human nature. You call your airline and get a recording and you are trying to find out from the recording system about your flight/gate/etc, but ignore the prmopt to push such and such a number to listen to changes and updates on TSA policy. The news medias carried the story months ago. That is how I knew to buy the locks.

    And women can be terrorists too...sadly...a recent AP news story outlined how over 1000 women are being recruited for suicide bombings in the USA. Ask the Israelis about women and bombs. The terrorists have used women for years and young teenage children too.

    This is our world.

    And if you think you are upset at the TSA now...wait until a bomb goes off and then, even if you are thankfully not on the plane, you will be upset. And I really, really, don't like it, but it is very probable that we will see, along with Britain, Italy, Turkey, India, Russia, Japan, Australia, etc, etc, etc, and even some otherwise Muslim countries (Egypt, Turkey, Morrocco, Kuwait, and Tunisia come to mind) and some other places, suicide bombers here in the US at some point in the near future at our local shopping malls and such. The TSA and the security at sports games, etc are there not because the terrorists can't attack us, but because they can and do want to do so. Their own statements to the world media tell so. I tend to take them at their word on wanting to kill us.

    Oh, and everyone thinks only that the TSA is searching for flammables/explosives. They are doing that and other things too they are looking for. Some chemical/biological agents are very small as well and could be carried onboard.
    The scariest book I have ever read is not about monsters or demons, but about what happens if a "martyr" infects themselves with Ebola or some other such agent..then just travels around the USA on planes coughing for a day. Millions would be infected within days. And that is really scary.
    From what I understand, the reason that has not been used is that the virus attack could not be controlled and might end up in nations that are Islamic to begin with. But some of the "demons" out there are just evil enough to do something like that. Yes, Ebola is a controlled agent, especially in the West...but not impossible to get and there are other things even worse out there.
    But that is for another time. But the world is not full of IPOD users playing Playstation and blogging on lpsg. There really are monsters in the world and they hate us all.

    To the lady who got her pills scattered. I think it is wrong that your pills got scattered. I hope it was an accident. I travel with my vitamins onboard with me, but on long trips I have packed them. I find that using those bottles they come in (I use GNC) tend to keep the anoyances down because the TSA agent then knows from the bottle what he is looking at when the pill is green or blue or whatever.

    Again, I hope everyone is well.

    Take care and be safe and well.

    Ben
     
  12. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    So you figure that someone trying to bring explosives onto a plane will have them in a container marked "explosives"? That would certainly make screening loads easier. It must be pretty tough without the handy labels. Even that "solid" label isn't much help. I'm certainly not confident in my own ability to detect the difference between a solid deodorant and a stick of even an old-fashioned explosive like torpex or ammonal. Those were developed to punch holes in dreadnought armor, and it wouldn't take much of either to blow the side out of an airplane.
     
  13. dreamer20

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    As I said in my thread "Frisk me again" the ban was on "liquids" big d, not solids.:wink:
     
  14. Rihanna

    Rihanna New Member

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    So let me get this straight. If I no longer brave the rigors of security checkpoints with my trusty magic wand packed safely at my side, does this mean the terrorists have won? :eek:
     
  15. melis

    melis New Member

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    I know it's for security precautions: No liquids. No semi-liquids. No battery operated devices (how about that, HollyBlue :redface: ). Security scans. Metal detectors. I am okay with all of those. ​

    When I went to London in 2004 they were trying out an xray body-search device. Was it Texas airports that were trying them out last year? That doesn't feel all comfortable (...although I've read a few treads suggesting some of you would find this immensely arousing :wink: ).​

    Have you seen these scans:​




    What is the next security measure? Full body cavity search on everyone? Even if they made us all come to the airports nude (that could be amusing...)and luggageless, there are still a few hiding-places left, right?​

    Is it just me that finds this a tad paranoid? ​

    I'm thinking it is just another way giving s a false sense of being secure. We cannot be 100% safe all the time - a terrorist attack can occur in any public place, towards any mean of infrastructure. Unfortunately.​
     
  16. JustAsking

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    I worry that this is all a modern day Maginot Line. But except for changing our foreign policy, I don't know what else to do but to search pill bottles and xray shoes. It still sucks though.
     
  17. Gillette

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    Life is hard, suck it up.

    When we fly we are paying for the privelege to be carried expediently to our destination in someone elses vehicle. The owners of the plane don't know us personally for the fine upstanding citizens that we are. For them it's a bit like picking up roughly two hundred hitchhikers. They don't know if we are the president of our company, coach of a little league team, or someone who thinks they can out-do Oklahoma. They don't know. Nor by looking at your fellow passengers do you.

    I don't support the atmosphere of fear used to keep us quiet but I do support safety precautions. These safety precautions have been in place since I can remember, at least as far back as underwire bras contained real wire (thank you for that moment, Mr Metal Detector and Wand Guy). The difference is that as the potential dangers have become more difficult to detect the precautions are more and more refined and by necessity, intrusive.

    They insist on checking us and our possesions for potential dangers for the same reason we expect them to inspect the aircraft for potential dangers. Everyone concerned wants that plane to take-off, fly and land without unpleasant surprises. By all means whine, bitch and moan. We do it in traffic, we do it in long line-ups but I think you're being dishonest if you say you don't want everything possible done on your behalf to ensure that you arrive at your destination in one piece.

    If you find safety so damned inconvenient, drive your own car to where you're going. BTW, do you inspect your brakes after every trip? Every week? No? How about everyone else on the roads?

    Safe Travels Everyone.
     
  18. DC_DEEP

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    HollyBlue, I have had locks cut off my baggage, even after it had been searched and certified by TSA agents. They do take a cavalier attitude about that sort of thing. The part that bothers me is that it may or may not have been a TSA agent who cut my bag open. Since I had it searched, certified, stamped, and locked during checkin, I have no way to know who cut the lock and sifted through my belongings (TSA, airline employees, contract baggage handlers, whatever.)

    However, your pills were definitely mishandled. If they have to inspect, so be it. But to destroy a bottle of medication is NOT OK!

    I don't know (and don't want to know) what was in your bottle; but I do know that I would be furious if that had happened to my migraine meds - at about $20 PER PILL, that would simply have been unacceptable. Please watch for another PM from me...
     
  19. scanjock8

    scanjock8 Active Member

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    While the elephant in the room remains the six billion pounds of unchecked cargo on board passenger airplanes each year--a threat Republicans chose to overlook, stalling security recommendations made by the 9.11 Commision. Oh, wait, we're fighting the terrorists "over there," so we should all feel safe. Right.

    I fly a good deal for work, and for the most part don't mind the added airport security precautions (as long as I make my flight).

    My favorite security peeves:
    • Taking off my god damn shoes. My attempts at defying the "recommendation" were never successful, always resulting in the "nice try" TSA pat-down. I wear flip flops now.
    • Being pulled out of line and told I've been "randomly selected by the computer" for an additional security screen. I'm sorry, what happened to "looking suspicious?"
     
  20. DC_DEEP

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    I worked in the industry when CAPS was implemented, and when CAPS II was being developed and implemented.

    "Randomly selected by the computer" is somewhat innacurate. If you know where to look on your ticket, you can tell whether or not you have been pre-selected - long before you even get your boarding pass.

    The algorithms used for these, and subsequent, "security" programs are faulty at best. Funny thing is, once you have been "randomly selected," you more often than not end up on an "additional screening, just because" list. You can (on rare occasions) get yourself removed from these lists, but it is not an easy or straightforward process.
     
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