New TSA Blog Wants Your Airport Gripes

Posted on February 11, 2008

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a new blog about airport security called the Evolution of Security. The blog says it is sponsored by the Transportation Security Administration to "facilitate an ongoing dialogue on innovations in security, technology and the checkpoint screening process." The site's blogger profiles include first names only. The Huffington Post says the new blog is only getting a mild response from passenger advocates and industry experts.

The blog is getting a rather "blah" response from aviation analysts and passengers advocates who say it will do little to improve process or perception.

"This will just make it easier for them to receive complaints for them to ignore in the name of national security," said David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association.

In the blog's initial post, TSA Administrator Kip Hawley said the goal is to provide a forum for the agency to explain why travelers must go through certain steps at checkpoints since interaction at airports is often harried and halted, resulting in "feedback and venting ... circulating among passengers with no real opportunity for us to learn from you or vice versa."

"We will incorporate what we learn in this forum in our checkpoint process evolution," Hawley wrote. "Our postings from the public will be reviewed to remove the destructive, but not touch the critical or cranky."

Terry Trippler, a Minneapolis-based airline expert, applauded the idea but said TSA "was in the right church, just not the right pew yet."

There are 400+ comments in a section called gripes and grins. Most of them look like gripes. There are many things to compalin about such as the seizing and/or copying of people's hard drives at airports. The blog has claimed one victory so far -- ending a requirement that made people remove all their electronics from carry-on bags.

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