26 January 2010

Student Pranked By Philadelphia TSA Worker

Hello All BlkAv8tor2003 Checking In!!!
So when you fly you thought you could not be mistaken for a drug dealer or a terrorist? Think again! The normal practices of hiding something in or around a passengers luggage by a TSA security is very real and happens all the time. You just may have never been selected so this is why your probably not familiar with it!
The TSA will place fake bomb parts, fake hand guns, drugs or knives to see if the security agent catches it. This is strictly a test for the agents and you have no control over when it happens or by doing anything different you can lessen your chance of being selected.
This particular case sounds like a TSA agent was just trying to be funny at the expense of someone else and it ended up with the security agent being disciplined and then eventually leaving the TSA. Fired or resignation is not known. Usually when something like this happens if the agent finds the item, the passengers is flagged, hand searched and let go with minimal interactions or questions. This one freaked the passenger out and I don't think the agent expected that big a reaction. The agent let the passenger stutter through questions as a part of the humorous side of prank although things went wrong!
This was a prank gone wrong and the agent lost their employment because of it! I hope this is a wake up call for everyone while traveling and not to take things for face value. Just plan for anything and you will be better off in the long run!
Be Proactive and Not Reactive and enjoy your flight!!!
Man planted bag of white powder in bag, no longer works for agency

AP updated 10:59 a.m. MT, Mon., Jan. 25, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - A college student returning to school after the winter break fell victim to a prank at Philadelphia's airport by a Transportation Security Administration worker who pretended to plant a plastic bag of white powder in her carryon luggage. The worker is no longer employed by the TSA after the incident this month, a spokeswoman said.

Rebecca Solomon, 22, a University of Michigan student, wrote in a column for her campus newspaper that she was having her bags screened on Jan. 5 before her flight to Detroit when the employee stopped her, reached into her laptop computer bag and pulled out the plastic bag, demanding to know where she had gotten the powder.

In the Jan. 10 column for The Michigan Daily, she recounted how she struggled to come up with an explanation, wondering if it was bomb-detonating material slipped in by a terrorist or drugs put there by a smuggler.

"He let me stutter through an explanation for the longest minute of my life," Solomon wrote. "Tears streamed down my face as I pleaded with him to understand that I'd never seen this baggie before."

A short time later, she said, the worker smiled and said it was his.
The worker "waved the baggie at me and told me he was kidding, that I should've seen the look on my face," she said.

Solomon said she asked to speak to a supervisor and filled out a complaint, and during that process was told that the man was training TSA workers to detect contraband. Two days later, she said, she was told he had been disciplined.
"I had been terrified and disrespected by an airport employee," she said. "He'd joked about the least funny thing in air travel."

There was no answer Saturday at a telephone listing for Solomon at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. An e-mail message seeking comment from her was sent Saturday by The Associated Press, and a telephone message was left at her parents' home in suburban Philadelphia.
TSA spokeswoman Suzanne Trevino said late Saturday that the employee was no longer with the agency but did not say whether he had been fired or quit, referring only to "disciplinary action" taken by the TSA.
She also declined to identify the worker or his job title, citing privacy laws. She said she did not know whether his actions would be subject to criminal charges.
"The behavior exhibited by this TSA employee was highly inappropriate and unprofessional," Trevino said in a statement.
Is this where security at the airport is going??? lol It may look funny but you never know, especially with the implimentation of the full body scanners at security checkpoints!

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