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TSA Log Shows Passengers Say the Darndest Things

timothy posted 1 year,20 days | from the save-your-rapier-like-wit-for-the-clamdiggers-back-home dept.

Crime 427

coondoggie writes "There is no humor in an airport. It's a fact. And while most travelers business or otherwise know that, there are a few out there who haven't gotten the message or perhaps the choose to ignore it. Either way the 'People Say the Darndest Things' or 'What Not to Say at an Airport' section has become one of the more popular destinations on the TSA Blog site." The collected wit and wisdom of airline passengers linked unfortunately does not distinguish between stupidity (claiming that you have a bomb to get through security faster) and seemingly sensible questions that get at the heart of the problems with the current and long-running engagement of Homeland Security Theater. (It's also hard to know whether some passengers might have innocently thought their tone, facial expression, body language or context would have served as notice that they weren't actually threatening murder.)

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427 comments

Cool story bro. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43359771)

Repeats the same three anecdotes 11 times. Stupid people will say the word "bomb" sarcastically. Headline news.

Re:Cool story bro. (5, Informative)

daern (526012) | 1 year,20 days | (#43359901)

Repeats the same three anecdotes 11 times. Stupid people will say the word "bomb" sarcastically. Headline news.

...and stupid people take them seriously.

Re:Cool story bro. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360117)

Thorough people too. Same reason why 911 dispatchers can't do anything about people who consider calling 911 a free taxi service to the hospital (say for tests or something). Why? Because they don't want to risk passing on a REAL incident.

Re:Cool story bro. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360257)

Detaining the person whose bag you just searched because s/he asked if you're looking for "a bomb or something" is not "being thorough"; it is "being a thug." That the person in question is joking is not a suspicion; it is a confirmed fact -- acting on it imparts precisely zero additional security / protection because, having just completed a search, you know that there is no bomb. Inference by way of tone and body language is not necessary, and there is precisely zero risk to simply ignoring the comment.

Acting on this does nothing but hold up one or more plane(s) of innocent, paying customers, and subject at least one of those passengers to a level of scrutiny largely reserved for murder suspects, all to satisfy a petty personal vendetta against a single individual.

Period. End of fucking discussion. Anything further is apologist bullshit likely typed out by some jackass in a TSA uniform.

Re:Cool story bro. (1)

timothy (36799) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360307)

"That the person in question is joking is not a suspicion; it is a confirmed fact -"

Joking, or a plain curious question. Like asking the police swarming one's neighborhood what they're looking for.

Re:Cool story bro. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360447)

Anything further is apologist bullshit likely typed out by some jackass in a TSA uniform.

Not everyone who disagrees with you is a shill for the group you disagree with. Please stop saying things like this: you're making anyone who tries tries to have a discussion like an adult look bad.

Re:Cool story bro. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360543)

The TSA are becoming fcking nazi agents.

Re:Cool story bro. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360245)

If I were a terrorist, I probably would say "bomb" sarcastically. I mean, why wouldn't you? Just because you are hell bent on blowing stuff up, doesn't mean you can't have a little sense of humor.

Re:Cool story bro. (3, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360253)

...and stupid people take them seriously.

They have to. Because they cannot rule out that someone crazy/stupid enough to bring a bomb on a plane would not also be crazy/stupid enough to brag about it.

And it also serves to discourage such jokes that make the other passengers uncomfortable. Because you are, literally, joking about killing them.

Re:Cool story bro. (1)

minstrelmike (1602771) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360329)

...and stupid people take them seriously.

They have to. Because they cannot rule out that someone crazy/stupid enough to bring a bomb on a plane would not also be crazy/stupid enough to brag about it.

And it also serves to discourage such jokes that make the other passengers uncomfortable. Because you are, literally, joking about killing them.

Absolutely. A lot of burglars brag at barrooms where anyone can overhear. Most criminals and insanely angry people are dumb. Unaware.

Re:Cool story bro. (4, Insightful)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360419)

Has anyone EVER been caught with a bomb after saying the word "bomb"? People have attempted to carry bombs on board (both successfully and unsuccessfully), but I've never heard of single terrorist plot that was deterred because of a Freudian slip.

Re:Cool story bro. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43359945)

I got this really cool hot sauce, it's Da Bomb! I'm carrying my 6oz bottle of it right now cuz airline food sucks without (say it with me) Da Bomb!

(captcha apropos - ingest)

Re:Cool story bro. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360211)

Have you seen Peyton Manning throw a ball? Man that guy has got a GUN!

Re:Cool story bro. (4, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360367)

And a number of those were caused by what I've been told by officials is a federal crime (having checked baggage travel without the owner on the plane).

If I were Emperor of the Universe, I'd declare that anyone whose luggage goes "missing" be given a free ticket to wherever it landed. Going to HI and your luggage ends up in Cairo? Free trip to Cairo.

Agents do have some latitude (2, Funny)

damn_registrars (1103043) | 1 year,20 days | (#43359779)

I was going through security one time and had to be patted down. The guy behind me in line decided to be a joker and made a comment along the lines of "they could at least give you a drink for this!". I was really expecting them to unleash the dogs on him for that, but they let him through with just the usual scan. I'm not sure if he would have been so lucky had we been at a larger airport.

So I would say the TSA agents do have some latitude on what they do - but I wouldn't recommend testing it if you want to make it on time to your flight.

Re:Agents do have some latitude (4, Funny)

operagost (62405) | 1 year,20 days | (#43359917)

I'm not sure if he would have been so lucky had we been at a larger airport.

Why? Are we supposed to show obeisance to the stormtroopers of our overlords?

Re:Agents do have some latitude (5, Funny)

preaction (1526109) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360217)

Yes, though they prefer to be called "Our Benefactors". Now pick up that can.

Re:Agents do have some latitude (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360259)

And equally as big a question is why does the TSA have this information? Who are they to record what people talk about? You'd think the TSA now owns the airports they operate in or something.

Re:Agents do have some latitude (1)

AK Marc (707885) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360387)

These are ones they escallated to criminal reports. The witness statements were written down.

Re:Agents do have some latitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360333)

Ummm... yeah. Where have you been the past decade?

You have exactly two options:
1. Kowtow and show obeisance to them
2. Speak your mind, and have the rest of your life be made a living nightmare from which you cannot wake up.

You seem to be of the attitude that when put in that position, you're going to go with option 2. Let me know how that works out for you. Also, I hope you're a really good swimmer, since you'll never board another plane in your life.

Re:Agents do have some latitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43359933)

Is that supposed to be an example of them exercising restraint? Have we become so jaded that it is actually expected that the authorities will abuse their power on a whim? That's pretty damned screwed up, if you ask me.

Re:Agents do have some latitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360229)

Yes, pseudo-authorities can, will, and have abused their limited power over and over as can be easily observed by any one going to an airport.

Re:Agents do have some latitude (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,20 days | (#43359989)

I was really expecting them to unleash the dogs on him for that

Well, there's little room to interpret buying you a drink as anything threatening.

But the people who make jokes about having bombs or firearms? Well, that's just stupidity on their behalf, because it won't be taken well. You might as well go to a women's crisis center and make rape jokes -- they're just not going to work.

I've long since learned that at an airport, it's best to just play it cool, and be seen to be non-threatening or angry with them. Untie the shoes before you even get called, make sure you know what's in your pockets so you can remove it (a shocking amount of people don't seem to know what they're carrying), smile at them -- they may be idiots with no real training in some cases, but they respond to polite a whole lot better.

Some people seem to think it's a good time to make a political statement or otherwise act like an ass. It's your choice to do that, but certain kinds of jokes with these kinds of people are never going to be taken nicely. Hell, even "Airplane" in 1980 was making the "Hi, Jack!" jokes, and that was long before people got ramped up to the current state.

On the other hand, I once had a TSA agent become very interested in the my GPS for golf after he'd examined it. A friendly chat and a quick product endorsement, and I was on my way.

Re:Agents do have some latitude (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360155)

I've long since learned that at an airport, it's best to just play it cool, and be seen to be non-threatening or angry with them

Solid advice. That works well with US customs as well in most cases. When I deal with either I always try to present myself as the least interesting person they've seen all day. (granted a lot of people find me boring so that isn't too much of a stretch for me) Have all the papers ready and approach them as if they had their sense of humor surgically removed but are otherwise just like any other person you've ever met.

Some people seem to think it's a good time to make a political statement or otherwise act like an ass

There is a time and place for such things, but I would generally say the airport is not one.

Well, there's little room to interpret buying you a drink as anything threatening.

While such a line is not inherently threatening, it is within the political bit that is incorporated into the grudge many hold against the TSA. Why belittle someone on the job when they have the ability to select you for "additional screening"?

Re:Agents do have some latitude (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360381)

And this is why i'll never step onto a commercial airliner again. I absolutely refuse to enter the TSA point-of-no-return. I rarely enter anywhere i cant leave easily and at my own discretion.

Re:Agents do have some latitude (1)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360521)

And this is why i'll never step onto a commercial airliner again.

Well, you're definitely free to make that choice.

For many of us, air travel is a reality that comes with our jobs. Not flying isn't really an option.

Which means your next best solution is to make the process involve as little hassle for yourself as possible.

Do I think the TSA is stupid, wasteful, and draconian? Absolutely. Do I think going through airport security is the time to make a beef about it? Not bloody likely.

Re:Agents do have some latitude (1)

AK Marc (707885) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360463)

I've long since learned that at an airport, it's best to just play it cool, and be seen to be non-threatening or angry with them.

That's hard for some people when you find out that your conecting flight has your luggage, but you are 30 seconds late to board, so all your belongings are headed on, but not you. They won't return your property, nor honor their ticket to put you on the plane. "We'll get you on the next flight, Tuesday." is the best you get. For many, it's hard to remain calm and polite when faced with that.

Re:Agents do have some latitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360567)

On the other hand, I once had a TSA agent become very interested in the my GPS for golf after he'd examined it. A friendly chat and a quick product endorsement, and I was on my way.

I had a similar discussion with the guy running the residue test on my bowling ball. You've just got to treat TSA agents like people and generally you're going to end up OK. Unfortunately there are people on both sides of the x-ray machine who treat others like they're inferior to them, and that's where problems arise.

Re:Agents do have some latitude (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360003)

You really expected them to react to that line?

My last experience involved a pat-down with a TSA agent at MIA. He asked me, "May I ask what your objections are to the scanner?" I said, "No, you may not."

Didn't go over well. Got a 20 minute lecture on why I should just trust the scanner. I didn't really react which made him angry.

He was a Cuban guy and he was starting to make me angry. I caught myself about to make some potentially racist remark along the lines of "This may be acceptable where you came from, but it's not here." Instead I took a deep breath and asked him if I was free to go.

The guy was going full jerk by now and yelling at me to remove my items from the area. I had them in my hands and was stepping away before he could even finish the sentence.

Flying again in a week. Joy joy.

Re:Agents do have some latitude (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360359)

You know, I gotta say that as somebody who travels all over the country for work, the people who get the hassle from the TSA are the people like you who think they're being cute, funny, or "proving a point" by being a smart-ass to the TSA agent, and cracking jokes about weapons, or sexual assault.

I regularly opt out of the scans, because I travel frequently, and I don't trust that the amount of radiation I'll be subjected to (esp. as a frequent traveler) is safe. So when I reach the checkpoint, I say, "I'd like to opt out of the scanner, please." About 75% of the time, they nod and say, "Okay, we'll have to do an inspection over here, sir." The (small) number of times that they've questioned my decision, I simply say, "I fly frequently, and I'm not convinced of the safety or dosing of the radiation from these machines, so I prefer the old school pat-down."

I've yet to be hassled, and I fly 3-4 times a month, year round, and have been doing so for years. I see tough guys and funny guys get hassled frequently enough because they make jokes about weapons and bombs, or opt out by being abusive and rude. Opt out politely, and you'll be waved over to the side and patted down and sent on your way. Opt out like a douche-mouth, and you'll hold up the line for 20 minutes.

People who travel frequently hate the guys like you because you disrupt the line, distract security, and waste our time - we wish you'd get ball cancer and die.

Re:Agents do have some latitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360377)

An acquaintance brags about how she never uses the scanner and prefers the pat down. I asked (in essence) why she would prefer a human groping her to a machine taking a picture. No response.

Re:Agents do have some latitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360569)

I can't answer for your friend but here are my reasons:
1) I don't trust the radiation from the machine. At least I know that the pat down won't harm me.
2) I believe the patdowns/scanning are an unnecessary violation of my privacy. Since I can't opt out entirely and still fly, I prefer to make the level of the violation plain to both the officer conducting the search and any onlookers. Allowing myself to be scanned makes it too easy for the gov't to engage in what I consider to be an unwarranted level of intrusion.

Re:Agents do have some latitude (1)

guanxi (216397) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360487)

I get patted down regularly, and the TSA agents have been professional and polite. Occasionally one will talk to me about using the scanner, but it's always a brief, polite discussion and they haven't tried to push me.

I'll say that TSA staff, years ago, were much more aggressive and liked to throw their authority around. Maybe they received customer service training because that isn't a problem any more.

Re:Agents do have some latitude (1)

niado (1650369) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360083)

The guy behind me in line decided to be a joker and made a comment along the lines of "they could at least give you a drink for this!".

While a dig at the TSA agents, this comment cannot be construed as a threat to kill hundreds of people, which is probably why it was ignored. It would be impossible to justify detaining someone because of a verbal jab. You could probably say "i hate this, you guys suck" and they wouldn't do anything about it.

WTF? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43359791)

If you say the wrong thing you go to jail but if you try to smuggle on a suspected bottle of liquid explosive they just toss it in the trash and let you get on the plane.

The TSA needs to lighten up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43359797)

Seriously-- the TSA needs to lighten up. The lines at the airports are frustrating and the agents should understand that people say these sorts of things as jokes ALL THE TIME. Besides, it's not as if someone who really plans on doing something to a plane would actually outright state, in a joking manner no less, that they have a bomb.

Re:The TSA needs to lighten up. (0)

timothy (36799) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360237)

That's just what they *want* you to think!

(I have not yet printed, but keep contemplating, some nice TSA shirts that say, for instance "ASK HOW YOU CAN GET *YOUR* FREE MASSAGE!")

timothy

Don't go to the TSA blog!!!!1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43359861)

Don't go near the TSA blog. You might be exposed to illusion shattering reality like the 27 loaded firearms [tsa.gov] the TSA discovered among passenger carry-on last week.

Re:Don't go to the TSA blog!!!!1 (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,20 days | (#43359951)

How is that illusion shattering?
Were any of those folks planning on committing a crime on the plane?

Re:Don't go to the TSA blog!!!!1 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360015)

People do forget they have firearms in their bags, believe it or not. It's good that the TSA found the guns, and one would hope that the TSA would between the x-ray and the metal detectors. Doesn't change the fact that the liquids & pat down stuff is still a farce.

And as for the quoted questions, some of those people were asking quite reasonable questions. Why would they allow a passenger's luggage to fly without them? (Answer: they trust their checked baggage screening procedure.) In places where they are serious about preventing terrorist attacks on planes, they don't load the luggage until the corresponding passenger gets on.

Re:Don't go to the TSA blog!!!!1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360271)

People do forget they have firearms in their bags, believe it or not.

I don't believe it. We're talking about a gun, not a pair of socks. They were just hoping to get by.
You pack your luggage knowing you're going to the airport, with the TSA goons.

Re:Don't go to the TSA blog!!!!1 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360503)

For some of us, a firearm is as much a part of our daily outerwear as shoes and socks; packing one to go on a trip is simply second-nature. I could easily envision being in a situation where I decide to carry my bag rather than check it, and forget that it contains a pistol until I'm in the security line. Declaring at that point probably counts as a "find" for the TSA, not to mention the legal repercussions, and I could certainly see somebody trying to sneak it past in that "damned if you do / damned if you don't" environment.

Not everyone with a pistol is out to get you, but I will concede that a fair few of them are imbeciles.

Re:Don't go to the TSA blog!!!!1 (2)

AK Marc (707885) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360557)

My father (a lawyer) defended a woman once who did just that. She had a permit for it and traveled on bus to go from Detroit to Dallas, and when flying back, forgot to take it out of her handbag. Given the things I've found in my wife's handbag, I can believe it. She traveled for a family emergency and initially didn't pack for a flight at all.

Re:Don't go to the TSA blog!!!!1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360277)

It's good that the TSA found the guns, and one would hope that the TSA would between the x-ray and the metal detectors.

So we can set aside the "security theater" mantra now?

Re:Don't go to the TSA blog!!!!1 (1)

owski (222689) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360527)

How many loaded guns got through security before the TSA?

I guess since a broken clock is right 2 times a day we can all drop the "it doesn't work" mantra.

Re:Don't go to the TSA blog!!!!1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360365)

People do forget they have firearms in their bags, believe it or not.

Sometimes they forget their fucking live grenades [wjla.com] as well.

Re:Don't go to the TSA blog!!!!1 (1)

Westwood0720 (2688917) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360265)

My thinking behind this is that the TSA hired someone to put the guns there, intentionally get caught by the scanners, and make headlines about the find to make it seem like the TSA is doing some good.

Butthurt? (1)

operagost (62405) | 1 year,20 days | (#43359893)

One was merely insensitive: the passenger asked a flight attendant if she'd ever been hijacked. Is causing butthurt a federal crime now?

Re:Butthurt? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360315)

One was merely insensitive: the passenger asked a flight attendant if she'd ever been hijacked.

Modern reality is that there's probably a list of words that if you simply don't say in the context of air travel you'll be better off. I should think any mention of 'bomb', 'hijack', 'gun', 'crash' isn't going to go well in most cases.

You can always choose to exercise your right to say something more inflammatory (it is your right after all), but there is likely to be some consequences from it ... so using your judgement can't hurt since your 'right' doesn't occur in a vacuum.

Me, I just go for the meek, somewhat tired, and maybe slightly tipsy traveler who doesn't want to give them a hard time and whose bags x-ray as utterly boring and doesn't set off the metal detector.

I don't like the TSA and the security theater, but I have little interest in pissing them off either.

Re:Butthurt? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360509)

Not defending this in any way but I think the operative word of that sentence in this context is "before".

In all these cases (0)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | 1 year,20 days | (#43359911)

The TSA should just say back "I have a gun" and fire at the persons head, the sooner we can weed out the mentally dysfunctional ( that WEREN'T born that way ) the sooner we can start regaining intelligence.

Re:In all these cases (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43359993)

The TSA should just say back "I have a gun" and fire at the persons head, the sooner we can weed out the mentally dysfunctional ( that WEREN'T born that way ) the sooner we can start regaining intelligence.

There's a reason why TSA agents aren't armed. Even ICE passport stampers are armed, but TSA employees aren't. That should tell you something about the general quality of the employees at TSA.

Re:In all these cases (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360429)

You obviously are not human and never had said silly things while stressed. For some people, the TSA security checkpoint is a giant source of anxiety. Couple that with the fact that what they are doing is not strictly Constitutional, you can understand why people are going to be silly sometimes.

Re:In all these cases (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360577)

Saying silly things is one thing but saying "I have a bomb" or "I'm going to blow this airport up" is another. Saying "Fucking asshole, you stupid idiot" is more of a normal response to getting stressed and mad. In the later case you haven't threatened the life of everyone in the airport and the surrounding area so you'll get lip back and off you go. In the first case your going to get hit with policemen, charges and if all that happens is you get removed from the airport count yourself lucky.

There is no difference between what you can say when your thinking straight and when your stressed, it's not a flip switch where the law will just consider a stressed out message as "Oh he / she didn't mean that, it's all good", people who are stressed have done things ranging from blowing up building, shooting up schools, committing murder and etc.... So if your stressed and want to make a pronounced threat then deal with the fact your going to get backlash.

That article... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43359919)

...was the bomb.

Re:That article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43359967)

such a bad pun you have to laugh

An article full of DERP (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43359935)

Every comment is about a bomb or explosives. This is a no-brainer. People are just upset about the TSA delay and lashing out.

Seriously? (1)

Thyamine (531612) | 1 year,20 days | (#43359965)

I have a very similar sense of humor, and could see saying something like this. But not at airport. And not at the TSA. I don't know if people just lack the common sense or the social skills to realize this is not the right place or time. And it sounds like in most cases they get checked 'just in case' but nothing too over the top. If someone was charged for making a bad joke, then I'd be complaining that the TSA was over the top as well.

Re:Seriously? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360043)

I don't know if people just lack the common sense or the social skills to realize this is not the right place or time.

How do common sense and social skills help you realize this? One would think that common sense will either tell you that an *actual* airplane bomber *won't* say anything like that, OR that what the person says shouldn't be relevant at all to your attempts. How do social skills relate to objective detection of dangerous materials is beyond me. If I make a curtsy towards the X-ray machine, will it be more decent towards my genitals, or what?

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360301)

Aspberger's isn't a valid diagnosis anymore.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360323)

Common sense because you are in a place with heightened security.
If you say you have a bomb they have to take it seriously, even if you then say your joking.
They don't know you, they don't know if you're a crazy or just a joker.
You don't go to the bank and yell this is a bank robbery either.

Re:Seriously? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360439)

"If you say you have a bomb they have to take it seriously, even if you then say your joking."

That's called paranoia. If there actually *is* heightened security, then *everyone* is suspicious *by definition* and *nothing* you say should have any bearing on the check process (save for the "i choose to be patted down instead of scanned for reason of X" stuff, but that is a given), otherwise you're basically allowing potentially suspicious people to affect the process by what they say.

Security Theatre (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | 1 year,20 days | (#43359973)

The best part is this: http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/hockey-sticks-pocket-knives-and-billiard-cues-among-carry-items-tsa-will-soon-let-onboard-planes [networkworld.com]

So, the TSA is still going to judge us for potential thoughtcrime, grope us, and detain people for making (albeit stupid) jokes, but they're going to let POCKETKNIVES back onto planes? Really?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not afraid of a pocketknife. I'm just amused (horrified) that they're letting the thing that caused this whole mess back on the plane, but not abolishing the TSA or their fascist policies.

Re:Security Theatre (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360035)

Don't get me wrong, I'm not afraid of a pocketknife. I'm just amused (horrified) that they're letting the thing that caused this whole mess back on the plane, but not abolishing the TSA or their fascist policies.

Personally, I think they should give every passenger a knife when they get on board.

Re:Security Theatre (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360121)

Something to be said for making it public knowledge to potential hijackers that every passenger on board the plane has (at minimum) a knife on them.

Re:Security Theatre (1)

LandGator (625199) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360319)

Better yet, a one-shot derringer with a frangible bullet (won't penetrate the metal skin of the aircraft).

Re:Security Theatre (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360465)

How badly would those ricochet? I'd almost be more concerned with bouncing shrapnel over a bullet hole in the plane's body. By my understanding the bullet hole isn't enough to de-pressurize a plane.

Re:Security Theatre (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360337)

Don't get me wrong, I'm not afraid of a pocketknife. I'm just amused (horrified) that they're letting the thing that caused this whole mess back on the plane, but not abolishing the TSA or their fascist policies.

Personally, I think they should give every passenger a knife when they get on board.

Yeah.. or a gun - more guns should certainly prevent any one guy from creating problems.

Re:Security Theatre (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360185)

So, the TSA is still going to judge us for potential thoughtcrime, grope us, and detain people for making (albeit stupid) jokes, but they're going to let POCKETKNIVES back onto planes? Really?

What's the harm? I mean, who ever heard of someone hijacking a plane with a knife? That'd just be ...

Oh, wait.

Re:Security Theatre (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360391)

Seat cushions are a great shield against box cutters and the length of knives being allowed back onto planes.

Re:Security Theatre (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360213)

they're going to let POCKETKNIVES back onto planes?

I never carried a knife with me on the few times I flew (pre 9/11). I just carried my stainless steel pen. Which they still let you take on board.

"Yes, there's a shell bomb in my laptop..." (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,20 days | (#43359995)

"...invisible to your imaging scanners."

Then, watch them sorting it out.

Re:"Yes, there's a shell bomb in my laptop..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360091)

Sure. They will just call the bomb squad, who will blow up your laptop in a bomb proof container. You will get the bill of the operation, probably some jail time and lose a laptop...

Re:"Yes, there's a shell bomb in my laptop..." (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360177)

Sure. They will just call the bomb squad, who will blow up your laptop in a bomb proof container. You will get the bill of the operation, probably some jail time and lose a laptop...

Damn. And I almost contemplated telling them that I'm bringing Occam's razor on board in my head as well. *That* would have been really messy!

Nothing new, really (4, Insightful)

wcrowe (94389) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360007)

The first time I flew was in the 70's and I can remember seeing signs at the security checkpoints warning against joking about guns or bombs. It's not something distinctive to the TSA.

Re:Nothing new, really (3, Insightful)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360385)

They've never taken kindly to joking at the airport, but it wasn't until relatively recently that you'd be dragged off, finger fucked, and arrested for doing so. That's really the difference.

Re:Nothing new, really (3, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360409)

The first time I flew was in the 70's and I can remember seeing signs at the security checkpoints warning against joking about guns or bombs. It's not something distinctive to the TSA.

I was not around in the 70s, but I am guessing that the worst you were looking at was a stern talking by a security agent

TSA could probably have you put away for 10-20 years. Or, at the very least, put you on a no-fly list as a lesson for joking (no review or appeal against being on no-fly list)

Here's the deal (5, Insightful)

Rob the Bold (788862) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360011)

OK. Here's the deal. If they take it seriously and believe me when I say "I have a bomb," then why would they distrust me when I say "I don't have a bomb or gun or knife or anything dangerous" and let me skip the screening. Really, WTF? They're gonna search everyone, right? Then why the fuck do they care what they say? Because catching smartasses is easier than catching terrorists?

It's all just CYA. (4, Interesting)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360079)

Yeah, yeah, it's really dumb to suggest you have a bomb at the airport. But, in reality, if a terrorist was trying to detonate a bomb at the airport or on a plane, they wouldn't tell anyone. The whole reason for the overreaction from the TSA is because they think if there really was a bomb they would look extra dumb if it turned out the terrorist told them about the bomb and they still didn't find it.

If some guy says he has a bomb, but he clearly doesn't, he's either an idiot or trying to create a distraction. By closing down the airport, you either allow his idiocy to cause real damage to the economy and inconvenience people. If he was trying to create a distraction, you allowed him to succeed.

Obviously if someone might actually be a real threat, you do what needs to be done to keep people safe. But in every single one of these cases, it seems that it could be ascertained fairly quickly that they pose no real threat even if they suggested they might. I don't mind questioning these idiots in the back for a few hours, but let everything else continue normally.

Re:It's all just CYA. (1)

ArtemaOne (1300025) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360299)

Maybe you have heard, the Japanese told us they were coming to Pearl Harbor. The USA ignored the warning and "got surprised."

Honestly (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360095)

What - real - terrorist would say in the face of the security that he have a bomb (or better, a nuclear one) in your luggage?

Re:Honestly (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360291)

I think the affront is that if you make a joke about it, then you're obviously not taking their security precautions seriously. And if you're not taking it seriously, then you aren't frightened enough to support arbitrary gropings and other violations of your privacy. The whole system falls apart if we all just laugh at it.

Re:Honestly (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360369)

If saying you had a bomb exempted you from security, then all the terrorists would be saying it.

Nothing to See here (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360127)

Really every one involved a Bomb. You can't have an article on people saying the darndest things and every thing be a Bomb threat. Seriously the title should be look at this 100 people that made a bomb threat that were jokes.

I'll save you all some time (2)

Voyager529 (1363959) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360145)

None of them are actually funny, at least in print. Nearly all involve passengers attempting to say "I have a bomb" in a humorous manner in some capacity. Now I'd love to see the TSA abolished as much as the next Slashdotter, but I for one don't find bomb jokes funny in the context of an airport.

Now, if you want to read something regarding airlines that are actually funny, might I recommend either this or this [healthblogs.org] , or this [eyeflare.com] .

What a terrible excuse for a website (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360157)

The layout is awful, some of the darndest things are listed twice, who submits this crap and who *approves* it?

claiming you have a bomb to go faster? (2)

roman_mir (125474) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360175)

So some people claim they have a bomb to go through a security theatre zone faster? Where are they rushing to? Gitmo?

TSA's Funniest Home Videos (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360197)

Other things you should avoid saying before boarding Fascist Airlines USA:

- you're spending a lot of time searching that child's crotch for nuclear weapons, aren't you?
- is this search actually legal?
- are the backscatter x-ray machines safe?
- my last name kind of sounds arabic, should I... *

* flyer is usually being cavity searched before question is finished

worst pick-up line EVER (1)

apcullen (2504324) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360261)

An Atlanta passenger approached a flight attendant and asked her if she had ever been hijacked before.

I'm guessing since it made it into the TSA hall of shame, it didn't work out too well.

Luggage Tag (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360375)

I wonder if they would find the following luggage tag funny:

"This bag has been outfitted with a GPS device. It will explode if it fails to reach its intended destination. Please exercise special care regarding this bag. Thank you."

Would that make them more or less likely to lose my luggage?

Also, make sure you don't criticise them (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360475)

From the article:

"After learning that his luggage had made a flight that he missed, a Las Vegas (LAS) passenger told the gate agent: "Imagine there was a bomb in my bag. I'm not on plane, and it would explode."

Which is something I could conceivably say myself as well. Haven't we agreed (Lockerbie bombing and all that) that no plane shall carry the luggage of a passenger who isn't on board? Yet this policy still isn't be followed in domestic US flights and various European airlines. If you want to ensure the safety of flights wouldn't this be your starting point?

I don't know what they did to the guy that said this. But it baffles me how the TSA would quote this on their site as an example of something that's not acceptable to say. That they picked this over any other comment that could have potentially shown them in better light (as opposed to people that punish and ridicule those who criticise them) shows just how out of touch the entire thing has got.

They x-rayed my burrito (4, Funny)

xeno (2667) | 1 year,20 days | (#43360491)

A few years ago I made the mistake of grabbing something to eat outside the SeaTac security theater zone when I was in a hurry. There was no line (very late at night) but the flight was leaving soon, so I asked "Does my burrito constitute a 'tube of gel' or can I take it through to the boarding area?" Three luggage monkeys wearing aviator glasses at night and a harrumphing silverback later, they came to a conclusion.

They x-rayed my burrito.

How is it possible for me to take them seriously? I do risk management for a living, and -- while my jackass question and their retarded response was funny at the time -- there's no way to examine the situation that doesn't indicate heightened overall risk due to bewildered agents looking for irrelevant indicators. Sure, morons joking about a bomb and the forgetful gun-toter need to be weeded out, but neither is a material risk to the lives of anyone on a flight. A good revamp of the TSA would start from undesirable risk outcomes and work its way back to a determination of effective controls... nah. Not gonna happen.

They're really not THAT bad, they're just people (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#43360495)

My flight out of Boston, leaving PAX East, I had ab 800-count card box full of different card games in my carry-on (couldn't fit it in the checked bags). When that went through the scanner, they said, "what the heck is that?" I told them, a guy made a joke asking if I had any Black Lotus' in there, I joked back, they scanned the box specially by itself and then my whole bag one more time to be safe, we chatted for a minute about PAX in the meantime (the one guy is planning to take his son next year), I thanked them and was on my way.

They're just people. If you're nice, they'll tend to be nice. If you're a giant, flaming douche, you get what you give.

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