Anyone who travels internationally since 9/11 will soon conclude that the US has the worst travel security on the planet. No liquids. No nail clippers. Remove shoes and belt. Be bossed around by the rudest security guards around. Arrive three hours before departure. Luggage searched and contents stolen. The list goes on and on.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has now taken a tactic unfortunatly typical of government under the Bush administration — instead of improving their shitty services, they’ve started a blog, Evolution of Security at tsa.gov, to tell you about the great job they’re doing. Say hello to bloggers Bob, Ethel, Jay, Chance and Jim as they write with leg-humping enthusiasm about how great the TSA is in maintaining safety and security, and be comforted at how “you play a part” in improving security.
Part of this is just as sad as sending Karen Hughes to run US public diplomacy in Saudi Arabia, but it has at least led to some amusing posts at the poorly titled “Gripes and Grins” post. At 400+ comments in just 48 hours you can see there are lots of pissed off travelers. The entire post is worth reading, but I’ve just got to point out my top three favorite comments:
I just flew from WI to St Kitts via Chicago and my luggage was lost. When it arrived a day later than I, I opened it and found one of the TSA inspection notices inside. Then I noticed that you folks took out 1/3 of my shampoo and 3/4 of my hair conditioner. Before leaving, I got leaki proof bottles of about 8 oz each and put these hair products in them. I did this so that they would not leak. They didn’t leak but you poured out most of my products. You have nerve! This was mine and not yours to dispose of as you saw fit. If you need to inspect fotr a bomb or whatever, you could have taken a few spoonsful. I am so ticked! I don’t have enough for my trip. This is an abuse of power and totally not necessary! On my last trip, I had 102ml. of shampoo in my carry on which you abusive people took and threw away. 2 mls over the limit is stupidily silly totake away. That is why on this trip I packed the stuff in my luggage and put it in those bottles which were not the original and I suspect that you thought they were suspicious and needed to dump my stuff out. Shame on you.
Sorry, but most of the TSA people I’ve run into are self-involved, arrogant jerks. They have an open contempt for the public, and seem to delight in being rude. This is especially true at O’Hare where you’ve managed to cobble together a truly stunning group of incompetents. Worse part is, despite the regular horror stories we see in the press about TSA idiots, you do nothing to improve. And I bet you do nothing with all the complaints posted here.
Thanks for starting a blog. We used to fly to Michigan twice a year to visit my in-laws. Thanks to the TSA, I no longer have to do that because flying has become too much of a scary hassle. I figure you guys have saved me over $3000 in travel costs over the last couple years. Better still, I don’t have to hear from my father-in-law about how I should go to church more often. Relatedly, I should give thanks to the TSA for allowing me to rediscover my home state of Oregon as all of my vacations are spent within driving distance. Turns out, I live in a beautiful state with a rich cultural heritage. I’ll see you all at the old-time fiddler’s contest in Sumpter, Oregon this September!
Read more here! The response by bloggers has been, “Wow! What a Response.” Thank you federal government for making me want to put my head in an oven.