A. J. Windless 
   
         
   
TSA Needs Reform
   
         
   
Just minutes after I touched down on American soil I ran into problems. My flight lifted off at Seoul and landed in Las Vegas where I needed to catch a connecting flight. As I was going through security apparently one of the technicians was unsatisfied. He wanted to pat me down but made me wait for another employee to come over and stand in as a witness. It seemed strange that I just flew two international flights including a transPacific flight and had no problems with security, but now just to fly a one hour domestic flight all of a sudden there is an problem. Meanwhile all of my belongings including my camera equipment continued down and out of sight on the conveyor belt. I was quite concerned and told him that I needed to keep an eye on my belongings. He responded, "Oh, don't worry about it, there are a thousand cameras around here." I understood him to imply that he thought the enviroment was very secure and that no one would steal anything. Now, however, I'm really wondering if he meant, "Don't worry about it, if someone steals your camera we'll just give you one of our little cameras." They took me in the back where he patted me down. Unsatisfied, his partner also patted me down. Unsatisfied still, we waited for his supervisor to come in and pat me down yet a third time. After all was said and done my laptop turned up missing. I had to catch my next flight and when I called TSA from Salt Lake City I was told  I needed to contact "Lost and Found", who then told me that TSA wouldn't bring anything over to them for the first 24 hours. They told me to call back tomorrow, but failed to tell me that "Lost and Found" wouldn't even be open tomorrow. Several days after the airport's own version of a "friendly welcome back to the U.S." they  verified that they had found my laptop but informed me that if I wanted it back I would have to send them a pre-paid FedEx label. I made all the phone calls I needed to and went to a FedEx office and got the label all set up, but then the app wouldn't accept my credit card because it had a Thailand address and therefore wouldn't fit into their selection of states. I then tried to pay them with cash but I was informed that was absolutely impossible. To make a long story a little briefer, it took me nine days to get my laptop back. In the meantime I tried to use my friend's computer to get into my email but was denied access because they detected that I was using "a different device". Microsoft told me that I needed to obtain a code which they would send to my other email address, but for the exact same reason I could not access that email either . So for the first 9 days of my trip I not only was without my laptop, but I had no access to my email either. (TSA, do you have any idea how disruptive this was to my entire trip? I understand the need to keep our airports safe, but don't passengers still have certain human rights and still need to be treated with a certain amount of dignity? If you are going to stop me, shouldn't you also stop my belongings, or at least be willing to pull them from the conveyor belt to keep an eye on them? After I alerted you that I needed to keep an eye on my belongings you told me not to worry about it, but my laptop disappeared anyway. Then you refused to send send it to me but demanded that I pay for a pre-printed label! Your job is dependent on passengers who are willing to fly. The economy as well is dependent on people traveling and spending money and I for one don't feel like traveling again for a long long time. Airlines and airports, please, put that little note in your shirt pockets and have a long sit down with the TSA people.)
   
         
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