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#1 zepherdude

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 07:03 PM

I guess this post is a official Rant and Rave!

 

I found a clip made by an ATL passenger about the length of the TSA lines. It was not about Amtrak and it had 2 four letter words, so I could not post it here. The lines went from security, down the hall, around the corner (s), down more halls, through open doors and finally more waiting locations. Why US passengers continue to put up with this frustration of flying, I will never know. If there was ever the time to back Amtrak and high speed rail, this is the time.

 

Yet Congress continues to block train travel, bash and treat Amtrak as a stepchild. Cutting services, food service cars, staffing issues and cheap and poor menu choices. Congress tries to squeeze blood from a turnip where Amtrak is concerned and I do not understand it. Seems like we should enhance rail travel, push Amtrak, increase speed and equipment from A to B.

 

Airlines pour billions of bucks into more equipment and systems and the TSA can not get pax to the gates and they miss flights and get so frustrated and disgusted. The TSA is the ultimate fear of flying.

 

I have no facts or numbers here, I am presenting these comments just from this video from a normal person fed up with flying, fed up with the TSA. America has the skills to make Amtrak work. For some stupid reason we continue to pour money into aircraft and blast Rail Transportation. Japan, China and Europe can make it happen. Why can't we?


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#2 OlympianHiawatha

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 08:50 PM

I am guessing a large number of us in here have nothing to do with the airlines anymore (I haven't flown in 10 years and do not miss it a bit) and while airline pax get stripped and pawed before being tied into a thin seat with 30 inches of pitch, we are relaxing and enjoying our Amtrak travels.



#3 Ryan

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 09:06 PM

Strangely, I flew up to NY on Monday and managed to board the aircraft without getting stripped or pawed.

Maybe I was just doing it wrong, I'll defer to your greater knowledge.
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#4 Triley

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 10:30 PM

From what I understand, the TSA has every right to set up shop in our stations and do the same screening done at the airports.

My posts are my own opinions and do not represent the views of my employer in any way, shape, or form. ~ Now back to your regularly scheduled program.


#5 HighBall

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 11:19 PM

In other TSA news, their automatic explosives luggage screening equipment went belly up causing a massive headache at the Phoenix airport.

Thousands of bags stranded at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport by screening SNAFU

#6 KmH

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 01:07 AM

Transportation Security Administration - an oxymoron.

 

Fear mongering is an effective tool governments use to keep their populace in line.

TSA is an effective fear mongering tool.

 

How many terrorists or terrorists plots have you heard of that TSA has intercepted/thwarted since the establishment of the TSA?

 

Tests have repeatedly shown how easy it is for government agents to smuggle weapons on board commercial aircraft.

TSA routinely fails to detect 95% of those test weapons.

 

TSA is a joke that isn't funny.


Edited by KmH, 14 May 2016 - 01:18 AM.

1963U. S. Congress - underground trolley system • Disneyland train (1968/various other dates) • Old Tucson steam train (1969)

Amtrak: California Zephyr Coast Starlight •  Southwest ChiefSunset LimitedTexas Eagle • Illinois Zephyr

. . . . . . . Amtrak miles - 16,383, so far.

 

 

 

 

 


#7 RSG

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 02:46 AM

Strangely, I flew up to NY on Monday and managed to board the aircraft without getting stripped or pawed.

Maybe I was just doing it wrong, I'll defer to your greater knowledge.

Erm, aren't you a member of Pre-Check or the other frequent traveler security pre-clearance service?

#8 RSG

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 02:52 AM

From what I understand, the TSA has every right to set up shop in our stations and do the same screening done at the airports.

Yes, they do. If you wish to wander into the neighborhood of conspiracy theorists, Alex Jones' YouTube channel has videos of security thuggery allegedly occurring at 30th Street Station in PHL (and perhaps elsewhere). Generally, they leave security to Amtrak Police, other divisions in the Department of Homeland Security, and local law enforcement. I would imagine the airport security scenario is not too far off in the future, at least at some stations.



#9 crabby_appleton1950

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 10:01 AM

I saw the TV news reports on the airport TSA mess the past couple days,

and my fear is it will drive more people to Amtrak,

complicating life for we who are and have been Amtrak fans/riders. 

 

Selfish, I know.    smiley_24.gif



#10 tonys96

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 10:27 AM

 

From what I understand, the TSA has every right to set up shop in our stations and do the same screening done at the airports.

Yes, they do. If you wish to wander into the neighborhood of conspiracy theorists, Alex Jones' YouTube channel has videos of security thuggery allegedly occurring at 30th Street Station in PHL (and perhaps elsewhere). Generally, they leave security to Amtrak Police, other divisions in the Department of Homeland Security, and local law enforcement. I would imagine the airport security scenario is not too far off in the future, at least at some stations.

 

Alex Jones? HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!


The worst part of censorship is XXXXXXXXXXX.

When you mute or alter a man's voice, you are not proving him wrong or a liar, you are only telling the world that you fear what he has to say.

 


#11 jis

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 02:46 PM

I am guessing a large number of us in here have nothing to do with the airlines anymore (I haven't flown in 10 years and do not miss it a bit) and while airline pax get stripped and pawed before being tied into a thin seat with 30 inches of pitch, we are relaxing and enjoying our Amtrak travels.

You may be guessing wrong ;) Just because a few choose to be Luddites does not mean everyone is becoming that way. :P

And of course the bit about "stripped and pawed" is just an overstated fantasy of those that for unknown reason need to repeatedly justify their own choices about the mode of travel by dreaming up nonsense.

Just for the heck of it let's hear from anyone here who has been stripped and pawed by TSA. ;)

Inconvenient due to long lines? Yes. Stripping and pawing? In general no. You may be thinking of Israeli security for those that get profiled and chosen for closer attention in an isolated room, rather than American TSA.

#12 Ryan

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 02:49 PM

Strangely, I flew up to NY on Monday and managed to board the aircraft without getting stripped or pawed.

Maybe I was just doing it wrong, I'll defer to your greater knowledge.

Erm, aren't you a member of Pre-Check or the other frequent traveler security pre-clearance service?


Recently yes. Before that, no. Still no stripping or pawing.
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#13 trainman74

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 04:25 PM

I've taken two round trips since I got Global Entry status, and once I had my arms and legs perfunctorily patted down, at O'Hare. (I suspect the TSA agents working the Pre-Check line were bored.) Those who see the glass as half-empty might refer to that as "pawed," but I wouldn't. I didn't take anything off except my watch, so I wouldn't say I was "stripped," either.

#14 oregon pioneer

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 05:31 PM

 

I am guessing a large number of us in here have nothing to do with the airlines anymore (I haven't flown in 10 years and do not miss it a bit) and while airline pax get stripped and pawed before being tied into a thin seat with 30 inches of pitch, we are relaxing and enjoying our Amtrak travels.

You may be guessing wrong ;) Just because a few choose to be Luddites does not mean everyone is becoming that way. :P

And of course the bit about "stripped and pawed" is just an overstated fantasy of those that for unknown reason need to repeatedly justify their own choices about the mode of travel by dreaming up nonsense.

Just for the heck of it let's hear from anyone here who has been stripped and pawed by TSA. ;)

Inconvenient due to long lines? Yes. Stripping and pawing? In general no. You may be thinking of Israeli security for those that get profiled and chosen for closer attention in an isolated room, rather than American TSA.

 

 

Um, well, I am not exactly a frequent flyer, but when I flew back east from Boise for my Dad's funeral, I had bad experiences in both directions (admittedly only one due to the TSA). Going eastbound, I walked through the scanner with a sport vest on. I did not know that a vest was "outerwear" (I took off my winter coat and hat). And they did not ask me to remove it. They just got me on the other side, and escorted me into a glass enclosure where, in full view of all the other passengers filing by, a woman agent asked me to remove my vest and quite thoroughly patted me down (yes, right up the insides of my thighs). I was in tears, crying "You could have just ASKED me to remove it BEFORE I went through the scanner!" Little Old Lady on the way to a funeral? Doesn't matter to them!

 

On the return trip, I had a three-part ticket with two Delta legs and a Northwest Airlines leg in the middle. Delta and Northwest were in the process of combining when I made the reservation, and I was assured that when I returned (after the merger), the ticket would present no problem. Riiiight.... I stood aside from the line while the agent at the desk tried frantically to get everyone ELSE on the flight, while talking to tech help on the phone trying to get the computer to issue me a boarding pass. Then as soon as my plane took off with my empty seat, she said "OK, NOW I can re-book you!" Of course, my carefully planned get-to-Boise-in-time-to-drive-home-that-evening was out the window, as I flew to LaGuardia, Memphis, Salt Lake and then Boise. And made it 50 miles out of the 200 home from the airport before getting a motel so I could crash.

 

After that, I swore never to fly again, unless it was the ONLY way to get where I needed to go. That was the case last summer, when I flew to France and back. The only discomfort was physical due to the tiny seats. I'm a little person, and I was crammed in, so I wonder how large people can tolerate it at all (well, the guy next to me did it by taking up a third of my space). But at least I was not subjected to humiliation or severe inconvenience, so that seems to be the luck of the draw. Jis, you've been lucky, and by now you know the rules. I hope you don't get into a position where knowing the rules is not enough, or the system just happens to not favor you that day. As for me, I will take Amtrak over flying any day.


Jennifer

 

I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.


#15 RSG

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 05:55 PM

 

I am guessing a large number of us in here have nothing to do with the airlines anymore (I haven't flown in 10 years and do not miss it a bit) and while airline pax get stripped and pawed before being tied into a thin seat with 30 inches of pitch, we are relaxing and enjoying our Amtrak travels.

You may be guessing wrong ;) Just because a few choose to be Luddites does not mean everyone is becoming that way. :P

And of course the bit about "stripped and pawed" is just an overstated fantasy of those that for unknown reason need to repeatedly justify their own choices about the mode of travel by dreaming up nonsense.

 


Right. Because TSA groping never happens. Much like full-body scan recordings weren't shared among various employees for their own gratification. Totally made-up.
 

Just for the heck of it let's hear from anyone here who has been stripped and pawed by TSA. ;)


Well, a rail travel message board probably isn't the first place to find such individuals. But plenty of other places abound.
 

Inconvenient due to long lines? Yes. Stripping and pawing? In general no. You may be thinking of Israeli security for those that get profiled and chosen for closer attention in an isolated room, rather than American TSA.


Except that Israeli security begins long before it gets to that point. By the time the closed-door screening is underway, multiple concerns have already been raised which haven't been allayed. With the TSA, security screening doesn't begin until the belts and shoes come off.



#16 jis

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 08:04 PM

First of all I do not defend the TSA silliness. Second I think some of the comments here are generally over the top from people who have strong emotions about the matter rather than a level headed logical approach.

The reason I asked for people here is because it was stated that most people here have forsworn air travel apparently because they have been stripped and pawed. My comment was only countering that. I never said it does not happen occasionally. However that does not make it a common occurrence. So repeatedly setting up extreme strawmen and knocking them down does not achieve much.

Apparently, since this is an emotional issue here making a reasonable discussion impossible, this will be the last message on this matter from me. After all, if a few people choose to behave in a particular way it does not matter in the bigger scheme of things ;)

#17 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 08:24 PM

I don't fly often, but when I have, I have never had a problem going through security.  Even when I forgot to take my small bag of "liquids" out of my bag and put it in the box.  Granted, they seemed to look at my bags a little longer than normal (had a small laptop in another bag), but never questioned me.  Even forgot to take my shoes off at another airport (small and not busy at that time), and nobody stopped me.

 

I'm not doubting things have happened to others, but it's like saying "I'm never taking the train again because one just crashed and some people were killed and/or injured."  But we know trains are running all day and night without incidents.  


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#18 RSG

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 11:01 PM

I don't fly often, but when I have, I have never had a problem going through security.  Even when I forgot to take my small bag of "liquids" out of my bag and put it in the box.  Granted, they seemed to look at my bags a little longer than normal (had a small laptop in another bag), but never questioned me.  Even forgot to take my shoes off at another airport (small and not busy at that time), and nobody stopped me.


I have a friend who flies 2-3 times/year. He notes that he almost always (outside of smaller airports) gets selected for secondary screening. He has his own theories as to why that is the case, but in any event he just accepts it as the way things are. If that happened more than two or three times to me, it would be enough to dissuade me from flying commercially, period. Particularly since one can almost never find out why you are being treated the way you are (much like the No-Fly List).

OTOH, I have another friend who travels frequently, occasionally internationally, and notes that whenever the TSA inspects her checked baggage, they always leave a card. I’ve talked to others who mention that they notice when the TSA has rifled through their bags and there is never a note or explanation left. Is my friend treated differently because she has a professional courtesy title before her name and a PhD after it? (Thus signaling to those that encounter her that they’d better play by all the rules.) It’s the vast inconsistencies that I think make those of us who wish to avoid that circus altogether do so.
 

I'm not doubting things have happened to others, but it's like saying "I'm never taking the train again because one just crashed and some people were killed and/or injured."  But we know trains are running all day and night without incidents.


I think a more comparable example would be if a plane crashed and people were killed. A big part of the issue with those of us who don’t partake of commercial air travel is that there are—as mentioned above—so many inconsistencies. With Amtrak, the inconsistencies are with customer service. With the TSA (and partly the airlines), it’s about personal security and freedom and thus any inconsistencies are more pronounced. If the TSA asked someone to do something they were unwilling to do (or found an unacceptable item on person or carry-on) and the passenger were allowed to say “no, thanks” and walk away and then up to the airline ticket counter for a refund, then it would be a little less stressful. But knowing that the only way one is going to get from Point A to Point B on that day is to submit to whatever one is asked to do or risk losing their personal freedom for an indeterminate amount of time as well as the likely loss of financial outlay makes the action of using that form of transport a very serious consideration.

It used to be that joking about a bomb or attempting to carry an unauthorized firearm was the primary source of involuntary denied pre-boarding at the airport. Nowadays it’s still that, but can also be a number of other issues that the passenger likely has no way of foreseeing, particularly if they have played by all the rules or simply made an honest mistake.
 



#19 chakk

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 12:47 AM

The cards are -- or are supposed to be -- left by TSA agents inside EVERY bag that they physically open for a search. My golf bag always gets such a tag, and so does my suitcase if it is carrying any sports equipment or food items such as jars of peanut butter, salad dressing, or pure maple syrup. So far, no evidence that agents have physically opened the food items during their search.

Edited by chakk, 15 May 2016 - 12:48 AM.


#20 jis

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 01:46 PM

I think having any bottle full of some thick liquid catches their attention. The only times TSA has open searched my checked bag is when there was such a bottle in it. Well except that one time when I had packed a bunch of assorted electronic cables in it. :)

OTOH with hand bags, both the British and the Indian security folks are much much more intrusive, specially if there is more than one or two pieces of electronic stuff in it. Once it gets going it is a full blown take everything out of the bag and put it back again. And in India absolutely everyone gets a free massage ... er, a pat down.




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