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Tue Jun 19, 2012, 04:43 PM

TSA question, for those who have flown INTO USA recently:

I have not flown for decades and have no idea of current situation.
Would appreciate any infore: Gestapo tactics.

What country did you fly FROM to come/return to USA,
and is the TSA type grope done in that airport? If nt, what kind of search/frisk is done?

Are arriving passengers groped/searched/x-rayed, etc ?

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Reply TSA question, for those who have flown INTO USA recently: (Original post)
dixiegrrrrl Jun 2012 OP
liberal N proud Jun 2012 #1
broiles Jun 2012 #2
JustAnotherGen Jun 2012 #3
muriel_volestrangler Jun 2012 #5
JustAnotherGen Jun 2012 #12
sharp_stick Jun 2012 #4
jberryhill Jun 2012 #6
dixiegrrrrl Jun 2012 #8
cbayer Jun 2012 #7
dixiegrrrrl Jun 2012 #9
nadinbrzezinski Jun 2012 #10
ManiacJoe Jun 2012 #11
Shrek Jun 2012 #13
Lydia Leftcoast Jun 2012 #14

Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 05:14 PM

1. I have arrived from different countries into different airports.

Go through customs, join your checked luggage and go through security again. Usually dogs sniffing all luggage and passengers, nothing intrusive. Occasionally someone striking up conversations with people in the security line, hows your day, where you headed and what seems like small talk.

What you will see is an extra screening at the gate in the foreign departure airport where they look through each bag, really drags out boarding process.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 05:18 PM

2. Twice

in the last few months. Once from Frankfort and once from Heathrow in London. The security procedures were professional and thorough, I think I had to pass though a metal detector at Frankfort then wanded. At Heathrow, I went through on of those full body scans. My husband has had knew replacement so he sets off the metal detector. So he gets the pat down. Not a problem. The agents handle it very professionally. This is a small price to pay for avoiding a bomb while over the Atlantic I don't understand what all the fuss is about.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 05:19 PM

3. No that isn't happening

We flew from Belize to Bewark (went through customs in Houston) in early May. We were never so happy to see US soil and CBP. They took our complaint about United seriously, and after my husband went through deferred inspections (he is a green card holder) waived his $520 fine for not having his original green card on him.

Flying from Italy, GB, France, Republic of Ireland many many many times in the past ten years - no problems. Only time I was pulled aside was on a flight from Key West to the Rochester airport. That was January 2, 2002. Issue was getting in the plane in Key West. They had me listed as German. I then said "No. west German.". They pulled me aside and did a quick check and off I went.

Also, my husband as a hypo thyroid and he prefers the pat down to the x ray machines. He has also flown back and forth from Italy, Switzlerland and Germany with a cast in his arm and they were very accommodating.

I would rather deal with our TSA than the Belizean authorities or French state police.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 06:16 PM

5. You were still calling yourself 'West German', not 'German', in 2002?

How come? That was over 11 years since reunification.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 09:51 AM

12. When they ask where you are born

It's better when coming in and out of the US to state what is on your Birth Certificate. I just updated everything (including US passport -got married in April) and I screwed up the State Department when I put 'Germany' on the Passport app. They had to reach out to me to verify the correct information re country of birth on my original Consulate Papers and birth certificate.

Unfortunately - it's damn near impossible to get your BC changed by the SoS.


And what seems like common sense to me and you - isn't always common sense to people who have to be that detailed and regimented.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 05:20 PM

4. If you fly in from Canada

I know that you pre-clear. That is you are subject to US Customs/Immigration and TSA inspection at the Canadian airport. The good part of this is that you are then treated as if you are on a US domestic route and are not subject to any more Customs/Immigration or inspections so you won't have as hard of a time making connections.

Coming back from India we had to clear customs once we arrived in LAX, we then had to re-clear through TSA inspection to make the connections. The inspection in India wasn't TSA but it made the TSA look like a bunch of pansies. We were all patted down under the watchful eyes of a bunch of guys holding machine guns. This was shortly after the Mumbai attacks so I'm not sure if it's a normal practice or if it was just related to that.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 06:28 PM

6. People in the thread are confusing TSA with Customs/USDA

In the las year and a half, I have returned to the US from Canada, Singapore, Germany, Costa Rica, Cayman Islands and Columbia.

The TSA requires the same standards for flights to the US to be applied to boarding in the originating airports.

The most intrusive by far are the Colombians. Every piece of carry-on is x-rayed and hand searched, every passenger gets a full pat down, and they pull people out for full-on abdominal x-rays. The Costa Ricans haven't gotten the memo on lighters and will not allow them through.

After you land in the US, you then go through passport check, reclaim your luggage and you may have to go through TSA again for domestic connections depending on how the airport is laid out. Canada and Ireland have satellite US Customs operations at the originating airports in those countries. The beagles on duty at luggage reclaim are USDA dogs looking for fruits and vegetables which may harbor invasive pests.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #6)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 07:45 PM

8. Thank you..you are right, I was asking about TSA.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 06:31 PM

7. It is much harder to get on a plane than off of it.

I flew from Turkey in the fall.

I had to go through about 6 checkpoints in Istanbul and one in the US (with a very, very long line). No problem, though, and no being pulled over for a closer look.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #7)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 07:55 PM

9. I was just wondering if TSA is only limited to US flights

AND if there really are, or are not, any efforts to inspect who is coming into the country.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 08:00 PM

10. Houston went through TSA never mind never left the sterile area

Phoenix went through TSA after leaving sterile area...

This means section where you are behind security.

Both coming from Mexico, which have more security, but theater since flying to the us.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 10:25 PM

11. Dublin to JFK last week.

No gropes, metal detectors only, got to keep the shoes on. Liter vs quart bags for your liquids.

US Customs and immigration handled on the Ireland side by special agreement. Don't know if that affects any of the security stuff...

JFK to SEA: No gropes, metal detectors only, had to take the shoes off.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 09:58 AM

13. My son returned from Italy last week

His experience with TSA and customs was uniformly hassle-free. He even drew a chuckle from the customs agent when he threatened to kiss the ground in jubliation at being home.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 10:11 AM

14. I flew from Tokyo-Narita to LAX last week

Arriving at Narita Airport, there was supposedly a luggage screening, but they just waved me through.

After checking in for the flight and getting rid of my big suitcase, I lingered in the airport shops, which are outside security, because I wanted to have one last Japanese meal and buy souvenirs for friends and family.

The Japanese security screening was similar to the U.S. one except that I didn't have to take off my shoes but did have to remove my iPad from my checked luggage. However, I could keep my iPhone in my purse. No body scan. Just the metal detector.

Then I went through Japanese exit procedures, where they take the tourist visa card out of your passport and stamp you as "exited" on such-and-such a date.

Then, of course, it was hurry up and wait for the flight. Post-security at Narita is mostly duty-free shops carrying things like cigarettes, whiskey, perfume, and jewelry, which I don't buy at any price, as well as a few snack bars and a convenience store. That's why I don't go through security unless I have to.

The immigration agents at LAX seemed to go through a special routine where they held up your passport level to your face to make sure you resemble the picture. Otherwise, they just waved me through, especially when they saw that I had been to only one foreign country.

Then I picked up my large suitcase, wheeled it up to the customs inspection line and got waved through again after the agent glanced at my customs declaration form.

I then rechecked my bag for Minneapolis and went outside to take the shuttle bus to Delta's "pod" at LAX. I'm not a fan of Delta, but I will say that their screening procedures at both LAX and MSP are efficient and polite.

I then went into the Delta pod and sat like a zombie (after a 9-hour flight) until my domestic flight was called.

I was surprised to receive rather casual security treatment when I flew home from Cuba to Chicago-O'Hare in November. Both the immigration and the customs agents said, "I didn't know we had flights to Cuba" and waved me through after I assured them that I hadn't bought any rum or cigars. (I had bought a T-shirt, some CDs of bands I heard playing, and some craft items made by church members.)

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