While looking for the LL / Andrew Harper article in April's Conde Nast (US), I found this article which I thought community members might find of interest. It's the story of a Conde Nast reporter who went undercover at the TSA.
Thanks for the link... I read the story with great interest because I am one of the regular travelers who gets "tagged" just about everytime I go through. It turns out that due to a last minute one way businesstrip from Miami to Orlandowith only a small carry on, I somehow got put on the terrorist watch list. So now, when I travel, I must allow an additional 30 minutes at the reservation counter just in case my reservation is "tagged". When this happens, the desk clerk must take my ID and my ticket and go into some mystery room in the back and do something back there for minimum 20 minutes... (meanwhile all the people in line behind me are freaking out because I'm holding up the line)... and eventually they come back with approval for me to continue on through to security, where I am seriously searched....
I spoke with the TSA people at the airport, and they advised that I could fill out this 3 page form with all sorts of info on myself including a notarized copy of my birth certificate, passport (which seemed odd to me since gee.. the US government issued it to me in the first place) and all sorts of other weird stuff... and the worst part is that by filling out this form, it does not, in any way, take me off the list!
What is even stranger is that this treatment only occurs randomly and only at certain airports that I travel through on a consistent basis. I find this bizzare in that if I'm on a list, why is it only sometimes I am given this treatment?
I realize that the TSA is trying to do their job... but I do think some of their methods are truly outdated and do not make sense. I have flown over a million miles in the last 10 years... on business and with family... a US born citizen (blonde hair/blue eyes) with all the appropirate documentation every time I fly, yet somehow I'm on this stupid list! My fellow travelers always complain that we need to leave for the airport 1/2 hour early because of me, and it can be embarrassing when traveling with business associates to drag them out to the airport early!
So I do hope that the TSA will improve their program, keep our airport and airlines safe, and make the "rules" workable for everyone.