Is the TSA using scripts to push us through its full body scanners?

Elnavigante/Shutterstock
Elnavigante/Shutterstock
Roberta Ling is a 73-year-old woman from Austin, Texas. Statistically, she’s likelier to be the next Miss America than a terrorist. But that doesn’t stop the TSA from harassing her whenever she flies.

Ling expects it. She has an artificial breast prosthesis, and is forced to make a difficult choice between a full-body scan and an uncomfortable pat-down when she’s screened. (Disclosure: I am opposed to the TSA’s current screening methods, and believe the choice between a scan and pat-down violates our Fourth Amendment rights.)

What Ling doesn’t expect is the hard sell on the scanner, which has sounded strangely similar lately.
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Good customer service from the TSA? It’s no joke

Tifon Images/Shutterstock
Tifon Images/Shutterstock

Like most Americans, Jim Davies believes the Transportation Security Administration might benefit from a top-to-bottom reform.

And like most Americans, he wasn’t surprised when a Government Accountability Office study revealed widespread employee misconduct, including screeners involved in theft and drug smuggling activities, as well as circumventing mandatory screening procedures for passengers and baggage.

All of which made his recent experience in Philadelphia so noteworthy. As he waited in line to have his ID checked, he saw three elderly men approach the checkpoint.

“One of the gentlemen had clearly not been on a commercial flight in some time,” he says. “He presented his Medicare card and then his library card as his ID.”
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Should we continue to publish the Scan?

The Scan is a synopsis of news you can’t miss. Get it delivered to your “in” box by signing up now. It’s free.

What we’re reading

Watch out for the ‘Change My Address’ scams (NBC News)

Luxury cruise fails surprise health inspection (CNN)

Video of woman falling asleep on fellow airline passenger goes viral (Fox News)

Fashion do’s and don’ts from the TSA (Gadling)

What we’re writing

Working on vacation — technology makes it possible — do you or don’t you? (Consumer Traveler)

Can I get a refund for my stay at the No-Tell Motel? (Elliott)

Thank you for your feedback on this daily news summary. We’ve decided to suspend publication of the Scan. You can find a version of it every day on Consumer Traveler.

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At least 78 killed, 131 injured, in Spain train disaster

The Scan is a synopsis of news you can’t miss. Get it delivered to your “in” box by signing up now. It’s free.

What we’re reading

At least 78 killed, 131 injured, in Spain train disaster (Reuters)

Spirit Airlines pokes fun at Weiner, Carlos Danger (USA Today)

TSA flat out denies their agents search your parked cars (Jaunted)

Oahu bans smoking at the beach (CNN)

Bee swarm grounds US Airways plane (Charlotte Observer)

What we’re writing

More airline deception — seating charts that don’t tell the truth (Consumer Traveler)

John Pistole gets his knickers in a twist — again (TSA News)

Nissan dealership won’t honor its warranty on my used car (Elliott)

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Auto insurers don’t play fair with customers

The Scan is a synopsis of news you can’t miss. Get it delivered to your “in” box by signing up now. It’s free.

What we’re reading

Auto insurers don’t play fair with customers, study finds (NBC News)

Landing gear on Southwest jet collapses at LaGuardia Airport, eight injured (Reuters)

More leisure fliers pay for seats, food, legroom and Wi-Fi (Wall Street Journal)

TSA chief warns of ‘new underwear bomb’ which threatened airline last year and forced agency to rethink all its security procedures (Daily Mail)

Horton shares credit with Arpey for successful American bankruptcy (The Street)

What we’re writing

A scratch on my rental car — and now, a bill from a collection agency (Elliott)

Tagged as a troublemaker by the TSA (TSA News)

Do airlines need to add more humans at the airport? (Consumer Traveler)

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Valet parked cars searched under TSA regulations

The Scan is a synopsis of news you can’t miss. Get it delivered to your “in” box by signing up now. It’s free.

What we’re reading

Valet parked cars searched under TSA regulations (WHEC)

Stores use cameras and cell phone signals to stalk you (International Digital Times)

Throwback lodging: Stay in another era (CNN)

Yes, your online travel agency sees E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G (Elliott)

Not again! Boeing 787 Dreamliner makes unscheduled landing at Boston airport (Los Angeles Times)
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How to tell the TSA how to do its job – and how to get it to listen

Micha/Shutterstock
Micha/Shutterstock
If you’re afraid a TSA agent might bungle your screening when you fly somewhere this summer, maybe you should do what John Klapproth did when he was traveling from Seattle to Anchorage recently.

Like many air travelers, Klapproth declined to use the TSA’s full-body scanner, and was sent to a holding area for an “enhanced” pat-down.

“I told the TSA agent that was no problem,” he says. “I explained to him that I was a retired state corrections officer with 25 years experience doing pat-searches in a maximum security prison and knew what to expect. I also told him that I knew a proper pat-search could be performed without touching my genitals or anal areas and that I did not consent to be touched on either area.”
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