How To Protect Your Dignity From The TSA

This is a discussion on How To Protect Your Dignity From The TSA within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I know we've beaten the TSA thing to death. Here is some good info on living with it. http://www.forbes.com/2010/12/17/tsa...-security.html For those of us who are ...

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    How To Protect Your Dignity From The TSA

    I know we've beaten the TSA thing to death. Here is some good info on living with it.

    http://www.forbes.com/2010/12/17/tsa...-security.html

    For those of us who are not ultrawealthy or elected officials, there's no escaping the TSA's new, more stringent security measures. But that doesn't mean there aren't steps fliers can take to hang onto a few shreds of their dignity. In fact, the TSA's own rules--and a few ways of creatively applying them--can get you through an airport's checkpoint with the least invasive probing possible, of either the electronic or manual variety.
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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    I prefer the simple approach.

    http://www.flyingpasties.com/index.html

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    I am still amazed that it has come to this. My wife and I decided that anywhere we need to fly we can drive, so until this ends we will be driving to our vacations; the only time we will fly will be for TDYs and deployments.

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    I am from Costa Rica but I went to college at San Antonio, Texas. I love the U.S. and its people because they allowed me the opportunity to get a solid education in their country, they treated me very well during my stay there and I made tons of wonderful friends. Nonetheless, now I don't want to visit the U.S. for business, shopping or tourism and even when I travel to Europe I avoid passing through any U.S. port of entry. I have been groped several times and whenever I am passing through U.S. Customs they make me feel like I am a criminal, they ask me a bunch of uncomfortable and rude questions, the staff is very rude and I feel terrible after this sad ordeal. It is sad, but it's almost like the United States government does not want anybody to visit their country anymore. This situation has caused me to opt to get a Master's degree in Germany instead of the U.S.. I know that September 11th, illegal immigration and the threat of terrorism is very bad for the US, but I think that the terrorists have won the "War on Terror" because people in the US are slowly losing their rights, their privacy, their way of life and comfort. I feel bad for U.S. business travelers that have to deal with this crap on a regular basis.
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NC Bullseye View Post
    I prefer the simple approach.

    http://www.flyingpasties.com/index.html
    From original link.
    (If you do choose the scan, don't rely on the silly fad of "TSA pasties" applied under your clothes that claim to shield your private parts. If the pasties successfully block the scanner from seeing any part of your body, you'll have to be patted down anyway.)
    Michael

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    Senior Member Array AlexHassin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alachner View Post
    I am from Costa Rica but I went to college at San Antonio, Texas. I love the U.S. and its people because they allowed me the opportunity to get a solid education in their country, they treated me very well during my stay there and I made tons of wonderful friends. Nonetheless, now I don't want to visit the U.S. for business, shopping or tourism and even when I travel to Europe I avoid passing through any U.S. port of entry. I have been groped several times and whenever I am passing through U.S. Customs they make me feel like I am a criminal, they ask me a bunch of uncomfortable and rude questions, the staff is very rude and I feel terrible after this sad ordeal. It is sad, but it's almost like the United States government does not want anybody to visit their country anymore. This situation has caused me to opt to get a Master's degree in Germany instead of the U.S.. I know that September 11th, illegal immigration and the threat of terrorism is very bad for the US, but I think that the terrorists have won the "War on Terror" because people in the US are slowly losing their rights, their privacy, their way of life and comfort. I feel bad for U.S. business travelers that have to deal with this crap on a regular basis.
    I completely agree with you there. I also fear the affect it will have on international business if the US continues to make itself a less and less attractive place to do business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alachner View Post
    I am from Costa Rica but I went to college at San Antonio, Texas. I love the U.S. and its people because they allowed me the opportunity to get a solid education in their country, they treated me very well during my stay there and I made tons of wonderful friends. Nonetheless, now I don't want to visit the U.S. for business, shopping or tourism and even when I travel to Europe I avoid passing through any U.S. port of entry. I have been groped several times and whenever I am passing through U.S. Customs they make me feel like I am a criminal, they ask me a bunch of uncomfortable and rude questions, the staff is very rude and I feel terrible after this sad ordeal. It is sad, but it's almost like the United States government does not want anybody to visit their country anymore. This situation has caused me to opt to get a Master's degree in Germany instead of the U.S.. I know that September 11th, illegal immigration and the threat of terrorism is very bad for the US, but I think that the terrorists have won the "War on Terror" because people in the US are slowly losing their rights, their privacy, their way of life and comfort. I feel bad for U.S. business travelers that have to deal with this crap on a regular basis.
    Can't blame you. We don't know how to treat guests and we don't know how to distinguish between guests and terrorists. We don't even know how to treat ourselves properly anymore---as anyone who has to deal with TSA knows.

    I was in Costa Rica years ago and your Customs guys just waved me on through. In fact a driver met me on the "secure" side of customs and just asked the officer if it was ok for me to leave. Immigration put a little bar code in my passport and so they scanned it when I left, and knew when I left. Meanwhile, back home, we have (had) no idea how many visa overstays there are.

    I've been in and out of several different countries and though US Customs and Immigration have (to my viewpoint as a citizen) improved greatly over the last few decades, I certainly can understand why no one visiting would want to go through some of what they do go through. I have no doubt we are losing at least some tourism and commercial visitors because we don't know how to be polite.

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    I have no doubt that we are putting up with a bunch of crap because some power hungry socialists in government want us to believe that we need to do it for our own safety.

    Can you imagine if George Washington or Thomas Jefferson would have went through an airport today and watched their wives and children get groped and treated rudely..all in the name of safety?
    I'd be willing to bet that whoever did so would be shot on the spot.
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    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    The worst experience I had with U.S. Customs was 5 months ago. My wife and I were on our honeymoon and we were headed to Cancun but had to go through Miami International as our first port of entry on transit to Mexico for a few hours and then we would be on our way to our final destination. Just passing through. The U.S. Customs officer asked us what our intended purpose in the U.S. was and we told him we had no business in the U.S. at this time and that we were just passing through Miami in our way to Cancun for our honeymoon. He said we both looked too young to be married (I'm 29 years old and my wife is 22 years old) so he requested that we provided proof that we were married. I was thinking: who the hell travels on their honeymoon with a marriage certificate when they were just married the night before? I told the officer we didn't have any proof of marriage, but I showed him the hotel reservations at the Le Blanc Hotel & Spa in Cancun, my wife showed him her diamond engagement ring, we were both wearing our wedding rings and my wife even showed him some photos on her iPhone of the wedding. He then told me that since I was going to such a "fancy" Hotel, that I needed to tell him what I did for a living. I told him I was currently unemployed because a couple of weeks after our honeymoon we were both going to move to Germany to get Master's degrees. This is when things turned ugly. He did something in his computer and then another officer came over, took our passports and documents, put them in a yellow envelope and told us to follow him. By this time my wife is freaking out and starts crying. We were taken to "secondary screening" were we had to wait for 1 hour to have someone at least speak to us to try to find out what is going on and why are we being treated like criminals. We both have U.S. Visas, which by the way, to obtain them they do a background check, you must provide a bunch of financial documents and stand in line in Costa Rica for at least 4 hours to get it. We had to wait there with all kinds of people such as illegal immigrants from Mexico, drug traffickers that were handcuffed, etc.. They took my wife in a room and they took me to another room to question us both separately. At this point I was so mad at the situation and the terrible treatment that I requested immediately to speak to someone with a higher rank. The officers told me that I was a visitor in the U.S. and thus had no rights. I was like: excuse me? So, just because I am a visitor to the U.S. with an approved VISA, I have no rights? They said yes, that's right. So I just stood my ground and took whatever they had coming for me because I feared the would send me back to Costa Rica or cancel my VISA. They asked me all kind of questions such as where I worked, where I studied, who my family was, etc. This lasted for approximately 30 minutes. When it was over, my wife had been crying so hard she had her makeup running down her face and she was shaking in fear since they were also extremely rude to her. They told us we could leave as if it was a prize to get our freedom back from them but no one even had the decency give us an apology for causing us so much grief during our honeymoon, for losing our connection to Cancun or even told us the reason why we were detained.

    This left such a bad impression on me and my wife, that we swore that after our honeymoon we would never set foot in the U.S. until things get better. Mind you that I went to school in the U.S., I've had a U.S. Visa since I am 5 years old, my family has an apartment in Miami and New York, I have traveled on business extensively throughout the US and I used to work for a Resort in Costa Rica that caters mainly to U.S. citizens. Nonetheless, for them I was just an illegal alien or a terrorist from Costa Rica. That's right...a terrorist from Costa Rica. A country that has no army since 1948, that their main commercial and political ally is the US and that has over 100,000 Americans living in retirement in our country. Sure...whatever! I'll take my money and business elsewhere...thank you very much!
    Last edited by limatunes; December 18th, 2010 at 01:42 AM. Reason: language work around
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

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    Quote Originally Posted by alachner View Post
    The worst experience I had with U.S. Customs was 5 months ago. My wife and I were on our honeymoon and we were headed to Cancun but had to go through Miami International as our first port of entry on transit to Mexico for a few hours and then we would be on our way to our final destination. Just passing through. The U.S. Customs officer asked us what our intended purpose in the U.S. was and we told him we had no business in the U.S. at this time and that we were just passing through Miami in our way to Cancun for our honeymoon. He said we both looked too young to be married (I'm 29 years old and my wife is 22 years old) so he requested that we provided proof that we were married. I was thinking: who the hell travels on their honeymoon with a marriage certificate when they were just married the night before? I told the officer we didn't have any proof of marriage, but I showed him the hotel reservations at the Le Blanc Hotel & Spa in Cancun, my wife showed him her diamond engagement ring, we were both wearing our wedding rings and my wife even showed him some photos on her iPhone of the wedding. He then told me that since I was going to such a "fancy" Hotel, that I needed to tell him what I did for a living. I told him I was currently unemployed because a couple of weeks after our honeymoon we were both going to move to Germany to get Master's degrees. This is when things turned ugly. He did something in his computer and then another officer came over, took our passports and documents, put them in a yellow envelope and told us to follow him. By this time my wife is freaking out and starts crying. We were taken to "secondary screening" were we had to wait for 1 hour to have someone at least speak to us to try to find out what the going on and why are we being treated like criminals. We both have U.S. Visas, which by the way, to obtain them they do a background check, you must provide a bunch of financial documents and stand in line in Costa Rica for at least 4 hours to get it. We had to wait there with all kinds of people such as illegal immigrants from Mexico, drug traffickers that were handcuffed, etc.. They took my wife in a room and they took me to another room to question us both separately. At this point I was so mad at the situation and the terrible treatment that I requested immediately to speak to someone with a higher rank. The officers told me that I was a visitor in the U.S. and thus had no rights. I was like: excuse me? So, just because I am a visitor to the U.S. with an approved VISA, I have no rights? They said yes, that's right. So I just stood my ground and took whatever they had coming for me because I feared the would send me back to Costa Rica or cancel my VISA. They asked me all kind of questions such as where I worked, where I studied, who my family was, etc. This lasted for approximately 30 minutes. When it was over, my wife had been crying so hard she had her makeup running down her face and she was shaking in fear since they were also extremely rude to her. They told us we could leave as if it was a prize to get our freedom back from them but no one even had the decency give us an apology for causing us so much grief during our honeymoon, for losing our connection to Cancun or even told us the reason why we were detained.

    This left such a bad impression on me and my wife, that we swore that after our honeymoon we would never set foot in the U.S. until things get better. Mind you that I went to school in the U.S., I've had a U.S. Visa since I am 5 years old, my family has an apartment in Miami and New York, I have traveled on business extensively throughout the US and I used to work for a Resort in Costa Rica that caters mainly to U.S. citizens. Nonetheless, for them I was just an illegal alien or a terrorist from Costa Rica. That's right...a terrorist from Costa Rica. A country that has no army since 1948, that their main commercial and political ally is the US and that has over 100,000 Americans living in retirement in our country. Sure...whatever! I'll take my money and business elsewhere...thank you very much!
    You never know who reads these things. Maybe your post will get where it needs to go and something will change.
    There is no excuse, none at all. And I do believe every word you wrote. I'll apologize for all of us, and I certainly do understand how and why you feel as you do.
    Last edited by limatunes; December 18th, 2010 at 01:42 AM. Reason: language workaround

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    Senior Member Array AlexHassin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alachner View Post
    The worst experience I had with U.S. Customs was 5 months ago. My wife and I were on our honeymoon and we were headed to Cancun but had to go through Miami International as our first port of entry on transit to Mexico for a few hours and then we would be on our way to our final destination. Just passing through. The U.S. Customs officer asked us what our intended purpose in the U.S. was and we told him we had no business in the U.S. at this time and that we were just passing through Miami in our way to Cancun for our honeymoon. He said we both looked too young to be married (I'm 29 years old and my wife is 22 years old) so he requested that we provided proof that we were married. I was thinking: who the hell travels on their honeymoon with a marriage certificate when they were just married the night before? I told the officer we didn't have any proof of marriage, but I showed him the hotel reservations at the Le Blanc Hotel & Spa in Cancun, my wife showed him her diamond engagement ring, we were both wearing our wedding rings and my wife even showed him some photos on her iPhone of the wedding. He then told me that since I was going to such a "fancy" Hotel, that I needed to tell him what I did for a living. I told him I was currently unemployed because a couple of weeks after our honeymoon we were both going to move to Germany to get Master's degrees. This is when things turned ugly. He did something in his computer and then another officer came over, took our passports and documents, put them in a yellow envelope and told us to follow him. By this time my wife is freaking out and starts crying. We were taken to "secondary screening" were we had to wait for 1 hour to have someone at least speak to us to try to find out what is going on and why are we being treated like criminals. We both have U.S. Visas, which by the way, to obtain them they do a background check, you must provide a bunch of financial documents and stand in line in Costa Rica for at least 4 hours to get it. We had to wait there with all kinds of people such as illegal immigrants from Mexico, drug traffickers that were handcuffed, etc.. They took my wife in a room and they took me to another room to question us both separately. At this point I was so mad at the situation and the terrible treatment that I requested immediately to speak to someone with a higher rank. The officers told me that I was a visitor in the U.S. and thus had no rights. I was like: excuse me? So, just because I am a visitor to the U.S. with an approved VISA, I have no rights? They said yes, that's right. So I just stood my ground and took whatever they had coming for me because I feared the would send me back to Costa Rica or cancel my VISA. They asked me all kind of questions such as where I worked, where I studied, who my family was, etc. This lasted for approximately 30 minutes. When it was over, my wife had been crying so hard she had her makeup running down her face and she was shaking in fear since they were also extremely rude to her. They told us we could leave as if it was a prize to get our freedom back from them but no one even had the decency give us an apology for causing us so much grief during our honeymoon, for losing our connection to Cancun or even told us the reason why we were detained.

    This left such a bad impression on me and my wife, that we swore that after our honeymoon we would never set foot in the U.S. until things get better. Mind you that I went to school in the U.S., I've had a U.S. Visa since I am 5 years old, my family has an apartment in Miami and New York, I have traveled on business extensively throughout the US and I used to work for a Resort in Costa Rica that caters mainly to U.S. citizens. Nonetheless, for them I was just an illegal alien or a terrorist from Costa Rica. That's right...a terrorist from Costa Rica. A country that has no army since 1948, that their main commercial and political ally is the US and that has over 100,000 Americans living in retirement in our country. Sure...whatever! I'll take my money and business elsewhere...thank you very much!
    You know what’s really sad. I have been in police questioning in another country and my experience was much more pleasant then that. it was a case of wrong place wrong time, wrong bank to use. But still I felt like I looked pretty guilty. It was a white color crime, nothing violent but still I felt I had a much more pleasant experience then you did.

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    Well, heck. Sorry man. Unfortunately it's getting worse, not better.

    Maybe you could come back after a few years when you've risen to some high office, say ... ambassador to the US. Maybe even for the second most populated country in the world. Then this would never happen to you or your wife. Then you would only have to submit to being groped.
    [/sarcasm]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    You never know who reads these things. Maybe your post will get where it needs to go and something will change.
    There is no excuse, none at all. And I do believe every word you wrote. I'll apologize for all of us, and I certainly do understand how and why you feel as you do.
    What he said ^^^ alachner. It's outrageous that any of that even happened as it did and I certainly wouldn't blame you all for staying away. I fear our once amazing and free country is slipping away into the abyss. Some of us may end up needing to emigrate to Costa Rica with you if this nonsense gets much worse.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

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    I fly every week. Leave on a Monday and return home on a Friday. Sometimes I hit 2 or 3 cities in a week. Since I know the drill, and always remove everything that will trigger the Magnatometer (metal), I almost always get waived past and don't have to go thru the secondary millimeter wave scanner. Even if I do, it's no big deal (and I mean that literally) so who cares. When my pubes start to fall out from radiation, I'll start worrying. Until then, just get over it. The TSA are knee jerk folks who are reactionary employees, not proactive like El Al airlines security. With them you get interviewed (profiled) at 3 different check points before you are allowed to board their aircraft. And these folks know how to interview, screw up with any answer and it's back to the interrogation room with a security agent for deeper questioning. The TSA at most of the larger airports have Behaveral Profiling agents that are just standing there watching the crowds. They are not called that, but that's what they are doing, profiling the folks in line waiting for the odd duck to come by. The guy or gal who has no luggage, bought a 1-way ticket and usually has phlegm in their name. So if you travel or want to fly to save time instead of driving then for now the TSA are doing what they are told for they too are sheep and led by some higher up goof balls.

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    Nuked or groped, that is the question.

    Sure would be nice if any of these violations were actually keeping us safer. Sadly, guns, explosives, and kniver are caught way less than half the time.
    "If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan

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