First thing's first, I don't consider myself to be one of the screeners most people think of when referencing TSA. I try to be as cool and understanding with passengers as I can, respecting as much freedom of health and privacy as is in my means.

Also realize, most of the people I work with and myself know how the real world works. Most of us know that we're not saving the world (we make fun of the people that think so), and that the VAST majority of travelling public has no ill intentions.


EDIT 1: I have to go to sleep now. I'll answer any unanswered questions when I wake up!

EDIT 2: Proof has been submitted to the mods

And verified!

Comments: 1651 • Responses: 23  • Date: 

skanndelus209 karma

I have a question, have you seen my ipad? I put it in that bin and now it's gone...

tsagangsta161 karma

I was wondering when I'd see something like this. There are two things that really burn my ass about that guy. One, how the fuck did he manage to get it away with nobody else seeing? And two, I really hate when people steal while in any official job, as it now makes the rest of us look like thieves, when in reality we're just there to do our time.

[deleted]161 karma

What would be your genuine opinion on the 6 year old girl being "screened" by the TSA?

tsagangsta95 karma

Well, as other people said, it's not that anyone thinks the child is doing anything wrong, we're more concerned about the parents. That said, I have never felt comfortable in situations involving children, and have so far avoided every pat down involving a child.

squishycake153 karma

Any funny moments with passengers while they stand in line or go through the screener?

tsagangsta469 karma

Plenty! I try to joke around with people as often as I can.

Specifically, that's a tough one. One thing that comes to mind is one guy asked if I wanted him to take his pants off. I replied, "Please don't sir. No one wants to see that" He retorted with "Hey, buddy. Speak for yourself."

Laughs were had

ken27238173 karma

Plenty! I try to joke around with people as often as I can.

Why can't they all be like you. A lot of TSA screeners need a sense of humor.

tsagangsta218 karma

Yeah. That's one of the biggest follies my coworkers have. Makes work conditions pretty annoying. The super hero attitude or the hatred for life that some seem to possess gets old really fast

ken27238103 karma

The super hero attitude or the hatred for life that some seem to possess gets old really fast.

Over inflated egos are the worst.

tsagangsta112 karma

They really are.

pinklula3151 karma

Have you caught anybody smuggling drugs? Or any other crazy items?

Have you had any pissed off women yell at you for throwing away their expensive lotion/body wash?

Do you work in a busy airport?

How many people really watch all those 100 cameras that are on the ceilings? Are there cameras that are hidden from travelers views?


tsagangsta215 karma

Caught a gun once. Accidentally caught weed. Felt bad for the guy actually.

Oh god, yes. It feels bad too


Not sure on the exact number, but they're constantly recording (at least at my airport), so if anything was to get stolen, the tape gets wound back and checked. There aren't any hidden cameras that I know of. They're there to watch me as well, so they would never tell

Thank you!

multile26 karma

So the guy/gal with the gun, did he know it was there? Was it accidental? Did you take the gun and just let him on his way? What exactly happens when you find one and theres no malicious intent?

tsagangsta18 karma

He said he forgot it was there.

All_Your_Base127 karma

What do you think of those who opt out of the full body scanner?

tsagangsta243 karma

Doesn't bother me. It's totally someone's choice if they don't want to do it.

However, I will say that I'm more inclined to be friendly with the people that don't say things like "just don't touch my dick" when patting them down. As funny as people think it is to say this, it is pretty aggravating. Most of us don't want to touch you just as much as you don't want to get touched.

All_Your_Base122 karma

I can understand that. The one time I flew (it's rare for me) and I was selected for the body scanner, they kept asking me why I opted out. This annoyed me, but I just kept answering "I'm not comfortable with the safety of the technology." The real reason was that I was totally uncomfortable with strangers staring at my junk.

tsagangsta105 karma

We don't see the images at my airport, but that makes sense. I was weirded out the few times I went through the imaging ones back when I first started as well.

Look_Over_There96 karma

Do you have any opinions on the politics behind the TSA?

tsagangsta262 karma

Of course I do. It's a very ass backward "organization". People who kiss the most ass get promoted while the better/harder workers are the ones who stay a lowly officer their whole career.

As for the policies put in place for security, I feel the same way a majority of the people outside of TSA feel. It focuses on what has happened in the past when coming up with new policies, I.E. the liquid ban, body scanners etc. I feel the organization as a whole would really benefit from actual research into "terrorist activities" and preventing things from happening rather than reacting when it's too late.

Baron_von_Retard94 karma

I use a double-edge safety razor to shave; like this.

I take it with me for travel. The razor blades that I use are, of course, against carry-on policy. To get around this, I usually pack one razor in the holder within the bag, another loose one within my toiletry bag, and two more elsewhere in my suitcase. Sometimes they don't even catch one of them, and to date, they have never caught more than one.

Sometimes they give me a hard time about the one that they catch and throw away, and when the agent is a douchebag, I want to tell him how he/she is doing a terrible job and missed the others, and criticize them for masquerading for security.

If I were to do this and say that there were more, even if I handed over the 2 or 3 other blades that were hidden, what are the possible repercussions?

I would assume that they would do a more thorough screening of the rest of my suitcase, but would there be anything possibly more severe than that?

Thanks for your replies, and also for not being an ass while at your job. While the policies are universally useless, it's nice coming across an agent who's not a dick.

tsagangsta33 karma

Well, if you were to do that to me, I would take it as an act of kindness, and allow you to help find the rest. As far as I know, there's nothing that says you can't point out missed items, so you shouldn't get in trouble.

BlackFallout85 karma

I was a TSA screener from 2008 to 2011 at a CAT X airport in the south west(not LAX).

I recommend finding another job. I was extremely stressed and depressed because of that job.

I got sick of taking snow globes from little girls and quit. I suggest finding another job first however. It will be the best decision of your life.

tsagangsta52 karma

I'm trying, man. Life just gets in the way

garmachi59 karma

Hypothetically, if someone did have a container of "hazardous liquid" with them, how does it help keep people safe if they just put it in the trash can at the screening area?

tsagangsta30 karma

Well, it won't be next to any other explosive devices, such as a detonator, so chances are it won't explode.

CarlCaliente37 karma

Do you give special consideration to pilots, flight attendants, or airport employees that work past security? Or is it the same treatment for everyone?

tsagangsta51 karma

Flight crew and airport employees have exemptions, but I won't discuss them here

CarlCaliente19 karma

I've twice gone through a flight crew line with my father (a pilot but not working that day), both times I was randomly selected for a secondary screening. Standard procedure, some annoyance at me in that line, or just coincidence?

tsagangsta31 karma

Probably a coincidence. Most randoms are handled by the walk through metal detectors where I work

whom6du931 karma

Why are they sending EVERYONE through the backscatter x ray now? They only used to do it if you failed the metal detector.

tsagangsta26 karma

Trying to get the most bang for their buck, I guess. They say that it's "more effective" than the metal detector, but most of us would argue otherwise.

Kayelar65024 karma

Most airports in the u.s. allow knitting needles, but the tsa agent gets the final say at his/her discretion. Some of us have never had a problem, and others of us have horror stories. Have you ever confiscated knitting needles? If so, why? If I want to knit on a plane (assuming my destination airport is not one of the ones that bans it) what suggestions do you have?

tsagangsta18 karma

I have not, and as far as I'm concerned, they're allowed.

Morkai20 karma

Have you ever worked Airport security in another country?

If so, how do standards/rules/requirements differ?

tsagangsta29 karma

I have not. Sorry. And, I would answer the second part with what I've heard around, but hearsay is pretty inconsistent. It'd be great if someone who has traveled through the U.S. and any other country could provide some insight!

PlsDontBraidMyBeard20 karma

Did you sleep well?

What features/character traits among passengers gets your attention?

tsagangsta32 karma

Haven't slept yet. Haha

None really. Mostly look for friendly people to joke around with. Profiling is pretty looked down upon in my airport.

Contranine11 karma

Whats the worst thing you've had to do?

Do you think the body scanners are safe?

tsagangsta18 karma

Never had to do anything too terrible. Always avoid patting down children, so never had to do that. Worst feeling is patting down military/veterans after what they've already been through.

timefapse10 karma


Thank you for doing one of these, I hope you are able to effectivley answer my question. About 3 months ago I went through the security checkpoint at John Wayne Airport(SNA). Before going through the check point I removed a green 550 cord necklace with a bullet on it I recieved after graduating a sniper course. I placed the necklace inside one of the grey bins that go through the conveyor belt. On the other end, I had all of my belongings except the necklace. I spoke with about 5 or 6 different TSA agents who kept telling me "Sir, did you check your bags?". I checked all of my things thouroughly and turned up nothing. A manager (I'm guessing) after a while came up and explained to me that even if they found the necklace that a bullet, even though its pulled out of its casing was not allowed on an airplane. After complaining for another 10 minutes or so, my flight was about to board so I just said forget it.

Is it in fact against regulations to have a bullet removed from its casing, brought on to an airplane? Bullet = 7.62x51. Do you think its likley that one of the agents stole it? Have you witnessed any thefts? Thanks.

tsagangsta3 karma

That sounds pretty shitty. You should have filed a complaint, or at least taken a concern form with you and mailed it in later

tromboneboyman9 karma

What is the oddest thing you have seen someone try to get through security?

tsagangsta29 karma

12" circular saw blades

ViciousCycle7 karma

What are screeners instructed to do regarding suspected weed? Do any look the other way? Does looking for drugs distract from looking for weapons?

tsagangsta21 karma

I'm not concerned with drugs, as they're not prohibited. I've seen weed on the xray before, but just let it go.