Back when I worked at Borders Bookstore in McCarran Airport here in Vegas, I talked to a military guy who told me he carries this duffle bag onboard with him while traveling (he showed it to me), and for two years his big military-issue combat knife was stashed in the end pouch, unbeknownst to him. He thought he’d lost it. The night before he spoke to me, he was packing his duffle bag in his hotel room and found the knife, and about crapped his pants, realizing he’d traveled by air, multiple times over a two-year period, with that big-ass knife in his carry-on…but luckily, it was never detected by TSA.
“TSA confirmed the incident with ABC News, saying the man and his firearm made it through the checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Jan. 2 and he boarded Delta Flight DL295 to Tokyo Narita International Airport.
An airline source told ABC News that the owner of the gun informed airline workers of what happened “upon arrival” in Japan.
Delta confirmed to ABC News that upon the customer’s disclosure, airline officials alerted TSA.
In a statement from TSA, the agency said:
“TSA has determined standard procedures were not followed and a passenger did in fact pass through a standard screening TSA checkpoint with a firearm at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on January 2. TSA will hold those responsible appropriately accountable.”
My point is, when people ask me how I’d propose making air travel safe without the TSA…well, the fact is it isn’t any safer now than it was BEFORE the TSA. And remember, the alleged 9/11 hijackers supposedly used little box knifes, not guns or big military-issue combat knives.
The TSA budget runs roughly $7.5 billion annually (that’s over seven thousand million dollars, extracted from the US economy, each and every year), so to date the American taxpayers have shelled out over $127 billion in the 17 years since the TSA’s inception, supposedly to make air travel safe—and yet, people are still able to carry a variety of weapons onboard airliners, totally undetected.
The bright side: as of 2012, upwards of 400 TSA agents have been terminated for theft of traveler’s cash or property (at least that’s how many have been caught, anyway…)—and that was nearly 7 years ago! How high is it now?
And if all that isn’t enough, it’s also been reported that a group of TSA workers was busted running a $100 million cocaine smuggling operation!
And terrorists caught, over the last 17 years? Still zero.
UPDATE: as if all the aforementioned isn’t bad enough, I recently learned that contrary to my incorrect assumption, TSA agents don’t make minimum wage to $10/hr that is typical of unskilled labor jobs; instead, they START at $25k to $38k, and can make upwards of $44k with promotions…and higher-paying jobs within the TSA can pay as much as $155k! (And that, of course, doesn’t include what they also make under the table via theft…)
And I can only imagine that being a government job, they get full benefits too, along with their highly bloated salary! It’s no wonder they don’t give a rat’s ass about the rights or dignity of air travelers…take one look at their paychecks, and you’ll see why!