Do TSA Agents Even Know the Rules?

By | October 21, 2009
From the photograher, Dean Shaddock: This was ...
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And that is the question. Do TSA Agents even know the rules their department has enacted? Or do they make them up as they go along? Or perhaps local supervisors impose rules on top of department-wide policy?

We honestly don’t know. We don’t have any sources at the TSA. But the story of Jeffrey Goldberg, who is a correspondent at the Atlantic, is a good example. He walks through security at National Airport in Washington, and after the boarding pass is checked, is told that boarding passes only need to be checked at the entrance to security checkpoints, no longer at the scanners, as per a directive issued May 13th. We have no such information, as to whether or not there is a security directive.

However, later that same day, at a checkpoint at LaGuardia, Mr. Goldberg found out the agents there knew of no such change, and attributed it to different states having different rules.

Different states…certainly do not have different rules for airport security. It is a federal issue. Extra measures might be imposed if security conditions at an airport warrant it, but an agent should know that. The different experiences we’ve had at airports, carrying the same items, proves that.

Communications consistency is important for any large organization. If you ask a question of a representative, it should be answered the same in New York, Washington, or anywhere else. The experience should be the same everywhere. It isn’t. That is the problem.