Air Travel Warning - New Technology

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by BartSimpson, Dec 3, 2006.

  1. BartSimpson

    BartSimpson Sr. Member

    I post here that to safely carry MJ in domestic air travel, you should put it in your whitey-tighties or granny-panties.

    Well this is no longer good advice. The TSA is installing new technology that effectively views the nude body of the traveler. Backscatter x-ray, combined with thermal imagery, will no longer hide this area from the screener.

    The first device will be installed in Phoenix Sky-Harbor this week. It will only be an issue if you begin your travels by entering that airport. If you are changing planes there (it is an America's Worst/US Airways hub) you will not be subject to this screening. It will soon be installed in numerous airports.

    This will intially be used for secondary screening - after you set off the magnometer or if you are "randomly" selected. You will be given the choice of a physical pat-down search or the x-ray. If given the choice, take the physical search in protest of this technology.

    This is a huge change in screening technology, and the TSA procedure uses a remote screener to review the display, who will then communicate the anomaly in the display to the primary screener. You are literally naked in this display, although the TSA is quick to say they "blur" private parts and erase the image after you leave the device.

    Finding contraband to justify additional machines is an unspoken TSA Policy. Expect that if you have a baggie in your bra, they will not overlook it.

    Some examples of the Technology Display but use the goggles.
  2. totoro

    totoro New Member

    but what justifies the secondary screening? What is it that makes you a suspision and requires the use of this? Setting of the metal detector? And in the physical patdown, are they allowed to touch the NoNo parts of your body? Is it still safe to carry a dime bag in your pocket? BTW, I never have carried a baggie in my pocket, but a couple of my friends have, but do they have NARC dogs in domestic airports?
  3. troublemaker420

    troublemaker420 New Member

    Why not read at least part of this thread totoro, instead of asking the same questions everyone else has already covered? Even the previous 5-10 pages should cover what you are asking
  4. BartSimpson

    BartSimpson Sr. Member

    You don't travel much, do you.

    Secondary screening is both random, as well as a result of triggering the magnometer, and a host of other reasons. You may decline the magnometer for medical reasons, because you have a pacemaker or replacement hip, but you will be hand searched. You may buy a one-way ticket with cash, and no luggage, and you will be extra special screened. Or you could be the lucky one who is picked because you are the next in line, and they haven't screened anyone ahead of you.

    Physical searches by the TSA may include using the back of the hand to check your private parts - most often women's breasts, but it may include your crotch.

    Drug dogs are not used by the TSA in domestic air traveler screening.

    Is it safe to still carry a baggie in your pocket? Take a look at the photos and see for yourself. My purpose in starting this thread was to highlight my belief that it is now a vulnerability due to this new technology.

    And I started this new thread because it is such a change in air travel that the prior thread - "The Plane Truth" - is outdated, but it is still worth a read as TM42 has suggested.
  5. darkreaver

    darkreaver New Member

    Nothing really justifies it. The publics need for extra security measures is the real justification. Airports randomly select people and their bags, its happened to me and my family at least once, although we do a lot of travelling. They pick random people and search their stuff, really I guess there is no legal justification other than it's their facility and they are responsible for ensurng safety and all that jazz.
  6. ninfan77

    ninfan77 New Member

    I haven't seen this xray machine or heard of it in use. The article i read that from was over a year old.

    TSA is woefully incompetent. They do have the new puffer machines that send a burst of air at you to create an image and detect any chemicals/explosives on your person. These are 500k + machines, that are NOT beign rolled out in all airports, only major hubs.

    I would suggest starting your trip from an outstation, (99% will never see this equipment anytime soon) once you are at the hub, you are already thru security and can travel safely to your gate area.
  7. BartSimpson

    BartSimpson Sr. Member

    The article I posted is current, and they are installing the equipment in Phoenix this week.
  8. ninfan77

    ninfan77 New Member

    Ya i just saw that. Thanks.

    Anyhow, my advice of starting your journey from an outstation is still good advice. Typically they are smaller airports 1-2 carriers (heck ours has 1 gate) and TSA is 4 ppl w/ an xray machine for carry ons.

    Once u clear this security you are homefree at a hub.
  9. BartSimpson

    BartSimpson Sr. Member

    Your suggestion is good, but most folks have little choice of which airport they can depart from, and connecting flights to these off-hub airports may not be convenient, or expensive if not with a feeder airline.

    My personal experience of getting busted occured in a small airport, because the x-ray machine was down and the TSA was hand searching checked luggage - I learned the lesson that I work hard here to spread.

    Please, if you work in an airport - add more comments. It is vital that we get the best information possible . . . so please! Tell us more!

    You are absolutely correct, once you get through the initial TSA security checkpoint, you are in. But on occasion, some incident occurs and terminals are evacuated so that everyone is screened again. It has happened to me when traveling through LAX. Prudent travel means you have a plan, based on the best knowledge available.
  10. ninfan77

    ninfan77 New Member

    Yea i'm not sure i can really add a lot more to these threads than what Bart has already covered. \
    RE: the outstations, i'm lucky enough to have 4 airports nearby. 2 outstations, 1 US Air hub, i'd call the other an outstation, but its an Int'l airport destination, but still only has like 6 gates.

    I will also say, that you need to know the TSA guidelines regarding carry ons/carry on items before you leave. I guarantee if you screw this up, you will be hand searched.

    I haven't read the bulletins lately, but you know the routine, gels,liquids, quart sized bag etc.. For gods sake leave the loose change, and metal items in your carry on. Only thing on your person at TSA should be your weed, boarding pass, and identification.

    And i'm sure i posted this before, maybe not. But look at your boarding pass (the agent should notify you but may not) for a ***SSSSSS*** in the corners, under your seat assignment, or a Red (usually hand written) S on the boarding pass. This means you WILL be hand searched at the TSA checkpoint.

    Obviously TSA has the option of picking people at random (sitting near the checkpoint and watching is a good idea). But if you have that S on your pass, its entirely up to you if you wanna risk carrying contraband thru (lol i wouldnt).

    I will say the few people i've seen caught for contraband are caught in the following ways:

    1. They "look" dodgy. If you look like a stoner you may be searched. DRESS nice when you fly, (also helps for upgrade). This means, business casual, polo shirt, slacks, decent shoes (no sneakers). If first class is available you may get bumped, and only if you are dressed this way (its actually not allowed to fly w/ jeans in 1st class).

    2. They didnt know TSA guidelines for the DAY they flew (yes it can change that fast) and ended up being patted down.

    3. They kept paraphanelia in their carry on (even clean) makes an alert TSA agent think twice.

    4. Questionable items in their carryons. This doesn't happen alot, but pocketknives, hell even saw a "dummy" hand grenade once. This goes back to rule #2.

    5. Make sure your ID is valid. Expired passports automatically keep you off the plane, however expired Drivers license usually will keep you on, but you will be searched (and probably your checked luggage too). Remember, college/school Id is NOT i repeat NOT a valid form of ID. Birth certificate, drivers license, passport. Thats pretty much all u wanna have.

    Thats it for now, if i think of more i'll edit.
  11. BartSimpson

    BartSimpson Sr. Member

    Great post ninfan77. Do you see much contraband found in checked luggage? It sounded like the TSA uses hand search and swab for checked luggage at your location - with x-ray for carry-on.

    Another myth is the shampoo bottle method - ever heard of it?
  12. ninfan77

    ninfan77 New Member

    Heard of it yes, Seen it in action no.

    Checked bags, yes i forgot to mention those. Small outstations your luggage gets the ole swab/hand job by TSA (lol and not even when its busy sometimes). Then its thrown on a cart and off to the plane. I can say that at really busy times (usually mid afternoon after TSA is longing to go home) they get very lazy and have even given ME the "approved TSA inpection" stickers to just put right on bags. Scary, yes. Happens, all the time.

    Larger hubs, i can speak specifically of Detroit here..

    If you start at DTW your checked bags go down a conveyor into the DEEP part of the basement (lol i kid u not) where they ARE inspected via xray. While i can't say this happens religiously as DTW typically gets so far behind they just start speeding them through... the process is in place to inspect your checked bags.

    Oh, little bug i heard about the xray scanner they are planning (that u talked about in phoenix) is that if you have something on you that is near body temperature, it wont show up. I dont know if there's any truth to this, but it is a little rumor i heard around the checkpoint.
  13. nerphroll

    nerphroll Sr. Member

    Bart,
    Thanks for keeping us up to date on the new tech.
    I am now sufficiently scared into never taking any green with me on a plane, even a small nug safely tucked down under.
    But safe is better than sorry.
    I'd have too much to lose.
    Cheers.
  14. ninfan77

    ninfan77 New Member

    Crotching it is still safe, save for one or two locations where the newest passenger xray is being rolled out. (domestic). An observant passenger will definately notice if their departure location has new passenger xray devices as they look basically like a phone booth. (the puffer machine does too).
  15. BartSimpson

    BartSimpson Sr. Member

    I so much appreciate your posting ninfan77, this topic has been subject to so many myths that it's previous thread was miles long. It is nice to have someone in the business to add some reality to the topic.

    The shampoo bottle is the most frequently mentioned urban legend for sneaking MJ - and in fact a training tool for the TSA. It is the only method repeatedly mentioned anecdotally - "I heard my cousin has a friend whose sister dated a guy who always got away with . . ." It's x-ray image is significantly similar to plastic explosive, and testing dummies with ceramic knives are used by the TSA.

    Putting it in your whitey-tighties, or granny-panties still remains a viable method to carry personal amounts without trouble - even when encountering the new technology (because you can opt for the hand search). Never put it in your luggage, checked or carry-on, .

    But this is changing and we need more eyes out there. ninfan77 is an excellent source of information and I hope you keep adding more info.

    Posters frequently ask about drug dogs in domestic air travel - care to comment?
  16. ninfan77

    ninfan77 New Member

    Personally i've never seen them used on a routine basis. I do know that the Sheriff will from time to time request a drug dog, but at most he spends an hour in the airport, usually in the back (employees can smuggle too alot easier than passenger !! ). If i knew i could trust the person on the other end, it would be VERY simple to load a bag full of pot, and have it unloadaed at its destination.

    I've traveled quite a bit domestically and i dont see the dogs that often, definately count on one hand here.

    Again, careful observation when you arrive @ the airport is a good thing.

    I dont have any experience working at an airport on either mexico or canada border. However, i do know that the Dallas area is one of the most heavily checked for drugs, both via plane and US Mail.

    Yea, and regarding your TSA training objects, they vary quite a bit, usually centered around bombs / components. Although i have to laugh here, i worked with a sheriff who was ex navy bomb disposal (underwater ordinance). He tells me that TSA is still woefully unprepared if an actual terrorist (not some towel head wanting to suicide) decided to get a bomb thru TSA and onto the plane. To prove his point he brought in a very small amount of an explosive in sheet form (i forget the name). He literally shoved it under his shirt, and walked right thru the puffer and the metal checkpoint. I laughed and thought it was pretty cool, but in all honesty its bloody scary. (luckily not everyone can get a hold of this stuff). That small amount he tells me, is more than enuff to put a small hole in the fueslage of the plane.
  17. CallmeIshmael

    CallmeIshmael New Member

    I'll pass on this puff

    Bart, How much do you know about these new "puffer machines" (explosive trace portals)? The ACLU has officially called for Congress to oversee the execution of these new, "non-invasive" searches, and for the TSA to look only for explosives, but I know that they can be calibrated for detecting drugs, and theoretically, any substance atomically heavier than water. Does the TSA use puffer machines in airports to actually check for things other than explosives? Wouldn't this produce false positives up the wahzoo, considering how much even a non-user comes in contact with traces of illicit drugs (through second-hand smoke, residue on money, etc?). I know that they are rare, but I am travelling from a major hub known to use the 'puffer,' and although I haven't run into any yet, I'd hate to have my civil rights violated.
  18. ninfan77

    ninfan77 New Member

    As for right now, TSA only uses them to look for explosive residues.

    Oh, and FYI, the last puffer i saw, wasn't even required for everyone to go through.
  19. BartSimpson

    BartSimpson Sr. Member

    I know that the puffer machines are never going to be calibrated for MJ in domestic travel and the ACLU is barking up the wrong tree. The newer TADAR or Backscatter X-ray is far more invasive and should be subject to greater controls, but perhaps this is what you are referring to.

    That said, domestic travel is very important to business, and if the business customer was hassled for trace MJ residue, the airline industry would come to a screeching halt. They depend on me, the daily/weekly flyer, much more than on the average vacationing family. I'm the one paying the rent.
  20. ninfan77

    ninfan77 New Member

    Yea, its funny, the regular travelers are the best people to deal with at the airport. 99.99% of the time all their stuff is in order, they dont bitch about delays a lot, are always ready at the TSA checkpoint (yes in my airport we do screening sometimes too).

    The vacationing family are the ones that have bags over 50pounds and then wanna bitch why they gotta pay extra, then spend 20 minutes trying to sort the luggage around.. I had one family that said, oh isn't it 50 x 4, so we're allowed 200 pounds (they had 4 bags, one that was like 90pounds) and didnt wanna pay.

    The regular travelers take carryons :)

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