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Airport Security Lines Cause 70,000 AA Passenger to Miss Flights

Going to be a long frustrating summer for air travelers, with lines in some airports anticipated to be over 2 hours long.

TSA is a disaster, and seems to be going downhill fast. I, for one – don’t believe in the “shortage of staff” excuse.  It is now virtually impossible in this country to get from Point A to Point B.

Airport Screening Made 70,000 Miss American Airlines Flights This Year

A shortage of staff and a surge in air travelers have created a nightmare scenario for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.

Airport screening delays have caused more than 70,000 American Airlines (AAL.O) customers and 40,000 checked bags to miss their flights this year, an executive for the airline told a U.S. congressional subcommittee on Thursday.

A shortage of staff and a surge in air travelers have created a nightmare scenario for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA), with airport wait times in places like Chicago stretching beyond two hours.

While TSA is taking steps to shorten lines such as hiring more full-time officers, it lacks the staffing to handle peak travel times this summer, Administrator Peter Neffenger said on Wednesday.

American, the world’s largest airline, wants TSA to create a senior internal role focused on traveler concerns, said American Airlines Group Inc Senior Vice President for Customer Experience Kerry Philipovitch. The request comes days after Neffenger shook up TSA’s management, removing the head of security operations, Kelly Hoggan.

Philipovitch also recommended that TSA consider reinstating a risk-based screening program that it canceled last year because of high-profile lapses.

In the program, officers trained to detect irregular behavior would pull unsuspicious travelers randomly into “PreCheck” lanes that can process people faster, as they do not remove their shoes and other belongings.

TSA has projected it will screen 740 million people at U.S. airports this year, some 15 percent more than in 2013 despite a 12 percent cut in its staff.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2016 in American Greed, Great American Rip-Off

 

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Math Professor Stopped For Terrorism on Flight For Writing Down Formulas

Another one of those ignorant Trump nut-job types overreacting…

Guido Menzio (Image source: University of Pennsylvania)

University of Pennsylvania Professor Guido Menzio

Dark, Curly Haired Man With Olive Skin Suspected of Terrorism After Intensely Scribbling Strange Script Aboard Plane. But There’s Just One Problem.

Something about her airplane seatmate didn’t sit right with her.

He had dark, curly hair, olive skin and a foreign accent. When she tried some small talk on the Thursday evening jaunt from Philadelphia to Syracuse, New York, he replied bluntly as though he couldn’t be bothered at the moment.

She took the hint. But what was up with his scribbling on the notepad? She noticed how intensely he seemed to approach whatever it was he was working on, but she couldn’t make out what his script could possibly represent. And it all added up, for her, to an unsettling feeling.

So after the plane had finished boarding, she handed a flight attendant a note, the Washington Post reported.

A half hour went by with American Airlines flight 3950 remaining on the tarmac, and the flight attendant returned to the woman and asked if she now felt okay to fly or was “too sick,” the Post said.

She said she was okay, but soon the plane was headed back to the gate where the woman was escorted off, the paper said.

Finally the captain approached that intense, dark curly haired man who had been sitting next to the woman who just deplaned — and now he was being escorted off the flight as well.

An airline agent told the man he was suspected of terrorism, the Post said — mostly because of whatever it was his former seatmate had seen him intensely scribbling (but his look and accent apparently gave her pause, too).

The man under investigation laughed, the paper said.

He wasn’t scribbling in Arabic or penning code for a terrorist plot — he was in the middle of a math equation.

Guido Menzio hails from Italy and is a well-regarded economist who’s an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

In fact, he won the prestigious Carlo Alberto Medal in 2015, set aside for the best Italian economist under 40.

As for his scribbling, Menzio was headed to Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, where he would be lecturing about menu costs and price dispersion, the Post said, and was attempting to nail down some figures on the plane.

The Ivy League prof let those concerned see his work for themselves, and he was allowed to return to his seat, he told the Post by email, adding that the pilot seemed embarrassed. Two hours after it was set to take off, the 41-minute flight finally got off the ground.

Menzio’s former seatmate never returned to the plane, and an American Airlines spokesman told the Post she initially told the flight attendant she was feeling ill — but after deplaning explained to authorities her concerns about Menzio were behind her condition.

Menzio told the paper he was “treated respectfully throughout” but is unimpressed by a “broken system that does not collect information efficiently.” He added to the Post that airline security protocol “is too rigid — in the sense that once the whistle is blown everything stops without checks – and relies on the input of people who may be completely clueless. ”

He even got a little political with the Post, noting the presidential campaign has increased xenophobia: “What might prevent an epidemic of paranoia?” Menzio wrote to the paper. “It is hard not to recognize in this incident, the ethos of [Donald] Trump’s voting base.”

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2016 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Flight Rage!

Stopped flying for business about 4 years ago. Can’t say I miss it. The US Airlines and TSA have conspired to make the whole process so unmitigatedly miserable, they force you damn near to root for the terrorists. The drop dead stupid neo-Nazi Bushit Administration in their creation of Homeland Security never really considered if there were less heavy handed and less civil rights violating methodologies to secure the airlines. And like all Government Agencies one that Brobdingnagian bureaucracy was created, the group IQ quotient dropped to the level of mindless robotic pig fornicators, and no intelligent solution ever will b found. The single solution of the Goose-stepping, jackboots is to utilize technology for ever more invasive means to spy on the citizenry.

And that doesn’t even get to trying to book a flight and finding out the only way you can get from here to there is to suffer contorting into a cramped overcrowded compartment to fly to three other places, because it is near impossible to go from Place A to Place B directly…

First-class cabin fuels ‘air rage’ among passengers flying coach, study says

If you’ve felt your blood pressure rise after seeing passengers being served champagne on the tarmac while you’re fighting for overhead space in coach, you are not alone.

A new study finds that class division in the skies can have a real and occasionally dangerous effect on passengers in both sections of a plane.

Researchers report that the simple presence of a first-class cabin on an airplane is correlated with a nearly fourfold increase in the chance of an air rage incident in economy class.

And when economy-class passengers are forced to pass through the luxurious first-class area on their way to the cramped economy seats, the rate of air rage incidents is more than seven times higher than if there were no first-class seats at all.

The study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is based on data collected by a large international airline over several years and many thousands of flights.

However, in order to get access to the data, the authors agreed not to reveal the name of the airline.

“These companies have a lot of fear about releasing this type of data to the public,” said lead study author Katherine DeCelles, an associate professor of organizational behavior at the University of Toronto. “People like to bash airlines whenever they can.”

To be clear, true air rage is actually quite rare. DeCelles said it might include an intoxicated passenger refusing to sit down, or a passenger who has just been told to turn her phone off making a verbal threat to an in-flight worker.

On average, these incidents occur in economy class just .14 times per 1,000 flights when there is no first class cabin, and 1.58 times per 1,000 flights when there is a first class cabin.

Among first class passengers, air rage incidents occur 0.31 times per 1,000 flights.

“The very definition of the air rage phenomenon is that it has to endanger the safety of the flight,” DeCelles said. “It has to be pretty extreme to warrant documentation.”

Still, with a large data set, certain patterns emerged. The authors found that the presence of a first-class cabin predicted the chances of air rage better than a number of other factors, including how much legroom there was on the plane, how wide the seats were, and even how long a plane had been delayed.

The authors report that the presence of first class was associated with greater odds of air rage similar to the effect of a nine-hour, 29-minute flight delay. 

And when economy passengers boarded the plane from the front, rather than the middle, and had to see the first-class luxury they were missing, the chances of air rage was similar to the effect of a 15-hour flight delay…Read More Here

 

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2016 in American Greed

 

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Harassment of Black Air Passengers

Been through this a few years ago when I was on several business trips to see some folk in Milwaukee. Dressed in business conservative high end suit, the first time for an overnight meet and greet, the second for 4 days to meet on a project. Stopped the first trip leaving the airport by local neo-nazi dressed cops in the car line, carrying nothing more than my briefcase and overnight bag and questioned about where I was going. On leaving, stopped again at the security line, and asked to go to a room, where the only other passengers were an Indonesian man, and another black person. Subjected to the hand wand scan, and a search of my bags. The second trip, same routine on leaving, only brown or black passengers in the exam room, and the guy started to bring the dog over. I asked to see his supervisor, which after some gruff a higher up came in. I explained to the higher up the situation, let slip who I had come to see, and explained if I was further harassed it was going to get damned expensive for his bosses, and I intended to bring it up with the next trip with the Mayor. At which point he conceded his officers had been overzealous. The project involved me moving to Milwaukee for a year. After that experience I looked into the social background of the city. I wound up killing my part of the deal.

I used to fly 4-8 flights a week, over 200,000 miles a year, have been to every major Airport in the US, and some places where I flew in on a 4 or 6 seat Cessna prop plane. You will, with those numbers occasionally get stopped by the “random” system by which passengers are selected at random for a wand swipe. A pat down should be extremely rare, unless you are travelling from certain countries overseas. Since they keep the names of the people searched, you should never get stopped in the same destination airport twice if you are a business person.

I’m a black woman; that doesn’t mean I have a bomb in my hair

Being a black woman while flying has meant harassment: constant rummaging through my hair for nonexistent weapons

Following yet another awful terrorist attack, this one partially in an airport in Belgium, the topic of air-travel security and civil liberties is once again in the news. But my personal experience flying as a black woman shows we still have a long way to go in balancing security and the rights of individuals– especially when those individuals aren’t white.

I fly frequently. Between performances, workshops, retreats and conferences, I’m typically on a domestic flight at least once a month. So I am no stranger to TSA flight requirements. I take my laptop out of my bag and put it in a separate tray. Take off my shoes. Remove my belt. Empty my pockets. Throw out my water bottle. Pack liquids under 3.4 ounces. Then, I stand with my hands over my head for scanning. And while I do my best to comply with TSA rules and policies, I am always stopped. Always. Why? Because their scanning machine says my hair may be, or possess, a security threat. Sometimes they need to “just take a look” – so I stand still while they walk around me in a circle to get a closer look at my hair. Increasingly, a TSA agent will need to pat down my hair, rake their fingers through my tresses and squeeze my scalp. And, of course, the so-called “security threat” is never found.

My hair is a critical part of my self-expression, my artistic practice, a celebration of my heritage and my connection to spirit. So when TSA runs their dirty-ass latex gloves through my hair, it’s an insult. It’s racist. And it needs to stop.

A couple of months ago I headed to San Francisco from New York City for an annualEchoing Ida retreat. Unsurprisingly, but infuriatingly nonetheless, my hair needed to be inspected by a TSA agent at John F. Kennedy International (JFK) airport. I had had enough. Like many millennials, I took to social media to vent my frustration. When I landed on the West Coast, I opened my Facebook app to find that a bunch of my friends had commented, mostly black women. Many were outraged and others mentioned how they too go through this experience with TSA, wondering what we could do about it….

The TSA’s current practice does little to respond to an agreement it made with  the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLUNC) last year.

The agreement was reached after the ACLUNC filed an administrative complaint on behalf of Malaika Singleton, Ph.D. – a black woman with locs who experienced a hair pat-down after going through TSA scanning at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and again at Minneapolis International Airport (MSP) in December 2013. According to the agreement, TSA offered to ensure that “training related to nondiscrimination is clear and consistent for TSA’s workforce” as well as specifically track hair pat-down complaints “from African-American females throughout the country to assess whether a discriminatory impact may be occurring at a specific TSA secured location.”

Armed with this information, I vowed that the next time one of these TSA agents tried to touch my hair, I would remind them about the ACLU agreement, take names and file a complaint. I didn’t have to wait very long. I had my opportunity on Sunday, March 13, at the Raleigh Durham International Airport (RDA) in North Carolina.

I was on my way home after attending and providing healing services at the BYP100 National Membership Convening. As usual, TSA needed to check my hair after scanning. I respectfully said no. When the TSA agent told me it was required, I asked for her supervisor. (Ironically, while I’m waiting, another TSA agent compliments me on my hair.) When her supervisor arrived, she said I had two options: 1) get my hair patted down where I was standing or 2) get my hair patted down in a private room. My heart was pounding. My ears were hot. I was steaming mad. It took everything I had to keep my composure. Despite my anger, I calmly explained: “I don’t want my hair touched. Every time I go through TSA security I get stopped for my hair, and other black women experience this too.” The agent replied, “It’s not just black women; Latina and Asian women get this treatment as well.” She said that if I refused, I would not be able to board my plane. It was 20 minutes until boarding and I didn’t want to miss my flight. After taking her name and letting her know that I would be filing a complaint, I “allowed” (can I even call it that?) a TSA agent to pat my hair down, only after I instructed her to change her latex gloves. She squeezed my bun, raked through my scalp. And what did she find? Nothing. What a surprise.

Being a black woman while flying has meant harassment: consistent and constant rummaging through my hair searching for nonexistent threats and weapons. I understand that in a post-9/11 era there is a desire to be cautious — especially given the most recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. I too desire safety and security; however, I am not convinced that my hair is deserving of so much suspicion. While the rare instance of hair smuggling is not completely unheard of, there have to be solutions to this security query that don’t involve a breach of civil liberties, racial profiling and humiliating pat-downs.

There are no bombs in my bun. Ain’t no weapons of mass destruction tangled in my fro-hawk. I’m not smuggling drugs in my braids. No firearms are concealed in my pinned-up pompadour. No hidden weapons under my headwrap. I promise not to use my bobby pins to stab anyone. Nor will I use my head scarf to choke passengers. My twist-outs are harmless. My high ponytail will not kill you. My black kinky hair in all of its styles (trust, there are many) does not compromise homeland security.

My hair is my crown and glory. Raised by a single mother who had a hectic schedule, I became responsible for doing my hair at the tender age of 9. So you know I take my hair seriously. I’ve done every hairdo under the sun: from bobs to bangs, Aailyah swoops to the T-Boz “Crazy Sexy Cool” cut. Short and long. A full head of hair and a frohawk. Perms, weave and natural. The list goes on. My hair is a big part of who I am. That the TSA is ill-equipped to deal with it in a routine and non-invasive manner is symptomatic of systemic racism….More

 

 

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TSA Searches For “Hair Bomb”

I think this woman’s Afro is bigger than the one who got the Guinness Record!

Anyway, in the never-ending search to prevent folks from coming up with even more ingenious ways to sneak something they are not supposed to, onto a plane…

The TSA is now searching Afros!

 

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2011 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Don’t Touch My Internet “Junk”, Either!

“Don’t touch my junk, Bro!”

Seems even a former Playboy Bunny, now confined to a wheelchair, can’t wear little enough to get through airport security without a patdown!

The woman who wore only her bra and panties while going through security at Will Rogers World Airport is speaking out about why she did it.

Video of Tammy Banovac sitting in a wheelchair in just her underwear has made international news. She said after a bad experience with a Transportation Security Administration pat-down, she decided to strip down to her lingerie so security screeners could clearly see she was not a threat.

“The less of me that they had to pat down and check, the less invasive a search would be. And wearing a bra and panties was just about as minimal as I could get,” Banovac said.

Banovac said because of injuries she suffered, she must use a wheelchair. She said she’s been subjected to uncomfortable pat-downs because she cannot go through metal detectors.

In other news – similar to “Do Not Call” registries, Do Not Cookie may soon become a reality on the Internet…

FTC pitches do-not-track system to let consumers opt out of Web data collection

The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday recommended creating a do-not-track system that would prevent Web sites from collecting unauthorized consumer data, part of a widely anticipated agency report on improving Internet privacy.

The FTC report, aimed at helping policymakers and lawmakers craft privacy rules, also calls for Web sites to disclose more about the information they gather on users, including what has been collected, how it is used and how long it is stored. It also recommended that companies offer users more choices for opting out of data collection schemes.

Regulators and lawmakers are focusing more closely on online privacy after a spate of high-profile data breaches, including Google’s recent admission that it collected personal data from Wi-Fi networks in several countries.

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a news conference Wednesday that the current, largely unregulated approach to Internet privacy has fallen short. That approach is favored by advertisers, social-network operators and Web search companies.

The agency’s recommendations – passed unanimously by the five-member commission – seek to balance the concerns of Web advertisers, media companies and retailers that have devised business models around tailored advertisements based on profiles of users. The agency is taking comments on its report until Jan. 31.

“The FTC wants to help ensure that the growing, changing, thriving information marketplace is built on a framework that promotes privacy, transparency, business innovation and consumer choice,” Leibowitz said. “We believe that’s what most Americans want as well.”

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2010 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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More Airport Insanity

Gotta love some of those TSA guys who are ON THE JOB!

Yeah…Security is serious. And it is a hard job.

But with 9.5% unemployment do you mean to tell me we can’t find some folks to work for TSA with common sense?

TSA Takes Nail Clippers From Gun-Toting Soldier

Another day, another tale of the seeming absurdity of airport security. This one comes from a soldier coming home from Afghanistan on a military charter plane. The troops aboard the plane all went through security at Baghram Air Field, the soldier says in an email to RedState, passing through full-body scanners and having their bags inspected by bomb-sniffing dogs. Yet when the plane stopped in Indianapolis to let 100 National Guard members off, the TSA insisted on re-searching all the passengers. “It’s probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons,” the soldier writes.

“All of us were carrying actual assault rifles, and some of us were also carrying pistols,” though they weren’t loaded, and everyone had already been searched for ammo. Yet when the TSA found nail clippers on one of the soldiers, they insisted on confiscating them. “You can’t take those on the plane,” the TSA official said. “They can be used as a weapon.” When the solider replied that he was permitted to take an actual weapon on the plane, the agent replied, “Yeah but you can’t use it to take over the plane. You don’t have bullets.” Asked the soldier, “And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?” Apparently. He reboarded without them … but with his weapon, along with 232 other gun-toting fliers.

I don’t know about the modern-modern Army – but in my day everyone carried a knife, too! And a trenching tool, which soldiers are taught to use as a weapon…

Not even mentioning the absurdity of trying to hold off 231 other soldiers…

With a nail clipper.

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2010 in News, The Post-Racial Life

 

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