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Reply #64: Sorry, but this story seems a bit over the top to me [View All]

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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-16-09 05:58 PM
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64. Sorry, but this story seems a bit over the top to me
When you are subjected to "special" screening TSA doesn't leave your luggage on the conveyor to be corralled by a stranger. They pick up your luggage and take it to the screening area. Once you have set off their alert (whether that was reasonable in he first place or not) you are not allowed to touch it because you - and your luggage - are suspect. They won't risk you transferring something dangerous to your luggage, and they are not going to allow someone else to touch it in case you were traveling in pairs and your accomplice's role is to whisk off the bomb (or whatever they suspect) if you get caught.

They also don't leave you out of their sight in a plastic cube (with only holes to see you through). If you were carrying something dangerous, you could plant it there, toss it over the side, under the side, hide it in a body cavity, or whatever. Not to mention that if someone did walk off with your luggage while it was out of your sight they might "have to" shut down the entire terminal until it could be located.

As for whether a pacifier clip would set off the detectors - in my experience, possible, but probably not. I've accidentally gone through with a metal belt buckle, metal watches, and coins - none of which have set off the detectors.

The woman seems very inexperienced at flying (not many people who fly regularly would be panicked at being on the flight side of the screening gate with 45 minutes to go before the plane took off). Airline employees sometimes start moving you to the front of the ticket line if you are 45 minutes, standing in a ticket line, and not yet in the screening line, but at 45 minutes out unless you are heading for an international flight you can even still check bags before heading for security. She probably did run into some TSA agents with an inflated view of their own importance - but I have a hard time believing the recitation of the events is accurate because the factors I noted above do not bear any resemblance to any of the dozen plus times I (or a member of my family - including my pre-teen daughter) have been subjected to "special" screening since 9/11.
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