February 11, 2008

TSA Starts Blog

NO, REALLY. IT'S NOT A JOKE. The Government agency that pretty much everyone loves to hate has started up its own blog. Based on the public reaction to the thing, it seems clear the TSA's blog, "Evolution of Security," is the most anticipated Government blog since the RSHA's "Today's Papers, Please" and the KGB's "Chek This."

Of course, I kid. I would never seriously compare the TSA to the RSHA, the KGB, or any other really nasty security agency now in history's dustbin. For one thing, that would be unjust. For another, it might get me listed on the agency's no-fly list, even though I am not an angry-looking Saudi national. One must pick one's battles to fight, and it doesn't make much sense to pick a battle where losing means I'll have to drive twelve hours to Cleveland for the holidays.

Besides, I actually had good experiences with the TSA on my recent trip -- not only in Manchester, where the TSA officers are always polite and friendly, but also in Los Angeles, which was a pleasant surprise. In fact, due to clever planning on my part, I actually made it through security at LAX's Terminal 6 in about 30 seconds on my return flight. There was no wait time, and the terminal was deserted. Flying a red-eye has its advantages. (Manchester, as usual, was a breeze).

Still, on an overall basis, I do think the TSA would do itself a lot of good if it gently reminded its officers about the importance of courtesy when dealing with the traveling public. I daresay 90 pc of the complaints about the agency would disappear if TSA officers dealt with every passenger in a consistent and courteous manner.

Most people, including myself, are fine with the various regulations TSA has put in place. Most people, including myself, are fine with "additional screening," even though we are not angry-looking Saudi nationals. Most people, however, are not fine with getting a heap of verbal abuse while trying to deal with the TSA's often-byzantine procedures. While I have never personally been subject to abuse from a TSA officer, I have received enough smart-alecky remarks and barked orders to annoy me -- mostly at CLE, I might add. To be perfectly blunt about it, when passengers get crap from baggage screeners, it doesn't help the TSA perform its mission or get passengers on the agency's side.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at February 11, 2008 03:48 PM | TrackBack
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