As many will note, I often have something to say about the state of our Transportation Security. I also know that the Department of Homeland Insecurity has visited this site a few times over the last few months, so I do have the powers that be in Washington’s attention.
It also goes to say that there are good screeners. There are friendly screeners, who know it’s rough, but try to make your trip through the checkpoint go smoother. The incidents I account here are, I hope, isolated, but are also driven by poorly planned and badly executed policies.
I recently had a opportunity to talk to some screeners during a recent trip to Honolulu and Hilo, Hawaii. I even saw an undercover agent working with an uniformed screener to test the agents performing checked bag screening. The people are serious, and most are trustworthy.
Of course, there’s still those few rotten apples out there, and they aren’t just the ones groping passengers at the checkpoints.
This includes those agents screening your bags before they go in the belly of the airplane. Soon after September 11, 2001, those big van-sized screening machines appeared in most of the airport lobbies around the country. Since then, most of these machines have been upgraded and moved “behind the scenes”, quietly scanning checked bags unseen by the public.
Just today, the TSA announced that they are working to remove 30 employees from Honolulu over improper screening of checked baggage. The screeners in the Honolulu main terminal primarily are still working in the ticketing lobby, and are not only under the watchful eye of their leadership, but also the public.
While I applaud the TSA for attempting to remove the bad apples, the overall agency still needs overhauling. Not just in Human Resources, but in policies and procedures as well. The agency remains a bureaucratic nightmare, and short of completely rebuilding it, I don’t know what they can do to fix it.