Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

December 2020
S M T W T F S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: TSA

TSA Officer Dies from COVID-19, Ninth Employee Killed by Coronavirus

TSA employee Eduard Faktorvich. Photo via TSA.

By Steve Neavling

The coronavirus claimed the life of a TSA officer at Denver International Airport.

Eduard Faktorvich, who joined the TSA in Denver in April 2018, worked exclusively at the security checkpoint. He died Monday, the TSA announced Tuesday. 

“His colleagues remember him as a kind and respectful person, who always had a smile on his face,” the TSA said in a statement. “Although Eduard was with TSA for only two and half years, the entire team at DEN is saddened by the loss of one their own.”  

Faktorvich is the ninth TSA employee to die from COVID-19. Another 2,885 TSA employees have tested positive for the coronavirus.

“His death is a reminder to all of us at TSA of the ongoing seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the TSA said. “We remain committed to continuing to take every precaution to help protect our workforce as well as airline travelers.”

TSA Seizes Cigar Humidor That Resembled Pipe Bomb

A homemade cigar humidor seized at LaGuardia Airport. Photo via TSA.

By Steve Neavling

TSA screeners were in for a scare at LaGuardia Airport on Sunday when they spotted what appeared to be a pipe bomb inside a traveler’s carry-on luggage.  

Turns out, the nine-inch PVC pipe was a homemade cigar humidor. Along with the pipe where two torch-style lighters.  

When TSA officials opened the pipe, they found a half-smocked cigar.

But because the pipe “could too easily be perceived bu the flight crew and other passengers as a pipe bomb,” TSA officials said the Hopewell Junction, N.Y., resident could not board the plane with the humidor. 

 “Our TSA officers are vigilant about looking for explosive devices, and this certainly gave the impression that it could be a pipe bomb that someone was attempting to carry onto an aircraft,” Robert Duffy, TSA’s federal security director for LaGuardia Airport, said in a statement. “Fortunately it turned out not to be an explosive device, but had he pulled it out during his flight, it could have caused a panic. Replica weapons are not permitted on aircraft and this easily could have passed for an improvised explosive device. It was a good catch on the part of the officers who were staffing the checkpoint.”

TSA Prevents Traveler from Boarding Plane with Baby Shark Submerged in Liquid

Baby shark submerged in liquid. Photo via TSA.

By Steve Neavling

The TSA made a startling discovery at a security checkpoint at Syracuse International Airport.

A traveler with a dead baby shark in a jar of “unknown” liquid wanted to board a plane. 

The shark, it appears, wasn’t the problem. It was the liquid in the jar. 

TSA prevented the man from boarding the plane with baby Jaws.

“Due to the chemical nature of and quantity of the liquid, it was not allowed on the plane,” TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein posted on Twitter on Sunday, along with a photo of the shark.

Travelers also are prohibited from boarded a plane with more than 3.4 ounces of bottled liquid, which must be packed in a quart-sized bag. 

Quick-Acting TSA Employee Saves the Day After Wedding Dress Left at Airport

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A fast-acting TSA employee united a bride with her wedding dress just before she was to tie the knot.

The bride’s mother accidentally left her and her daughter’s dress at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport after passing through security earlier this month, The Associated Press reports. She boarded a flight to Columbus, Ohio, and later realized she forgot the dresses, which were in a red roller bag. The wedding was the next day.

After filling out a lost-and-found form online, the bride’s brother, Christopher Cepeda learned that the response time was about five days.

“As soon as I submitted the request, we lost hope of retrieving the luggage on time for the wedding,” Cepeda said.

Enter TSA administrative assistant Loletta Nathan-Gordon, who saw the online form and in six minutes recovered the bag.

“I could only imagine how stressful that would have been for me if my mom would have left the dress behind. I would have freaked out,” Nathan-Gordon said.

After Cepeda paid for the bag to be shipped overnight, the lost dresses arrived in time.

Cepeda said Nathan-Gordon “literally saved my sister’s wedding.”

More Than 1,000 TSA Employees Infected with Coronavirus

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

More than 1,000 TSA employees have tested for the coronavirus, and six have died, the agency revealed Thursday.

No federal agency has been hit harder by COVID-19 than the TSA, whose employee have close contact with the public.

The TSA will now require its employees to wear face shields while screening passengers. TSA employees also mush change their gloves after every interaction with the public.

The TSA has come under fire for failing to adequately protect its employees.

“Right now they’re bringing people back to work and the social distance is not in total effect,” Hydrick Thomas, president of the union that represents the officers, told The Washington Post. “Employees are still complaining there’s too many of them in one area.”

TSA employees have been infected at more than 125 airports.

House Democrats Urge TSA to Require Masks at Security Checkpoints to Protect Employees, Travelers

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

House Democrats are urging the TSA to require face masks for travelers at airport security checkpoints to protect agency employees and others.

In a letter to TSA Administrator David Pekoske, Reps. Bennie Thompson and Lou Correa pointed out that nearly 1,000 TSA employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and seven died, Government Executive reports.

“We were pleased to see you fulfill part of that request when you announced on May 7th a requirement for TSA employees to wear masks. However, it is difficult to understand your hesitation to issue a national requirement for passenger masks to ensure that all frontline workers and passengers are equally protected across the aviation system,” they wrote.

The Democrats said mask requirements are a common sense approach to protecting frontline workers and travelers.

“The only controversy surrounding masks is a dangerous political one manufactured by President Trump and his enablers. There is a clear consensus among public health officials that masks are effective in curbing the spread of COVID-19,” they wrote. “TSA employees routinely enforce a number of requirements that are unpopular with the public, such as conducting invasive pat-downs and confiscating liquids, which you and your predecessors have deemed necessary to protect passengers.”

The TSA last month suggested there were no mask requirements because the CDC only recommends – not mandates – face coverings.

TSA Employees Continue to Face Serious Coronavirus Risks at Nation’s Airports

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

No federal agency has been more impacted by the coronavirus than the TSA.

As of Monday, 780 TSA employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and five have died.

Now that coronavirus cases are increasing in at least 36 states, the TSA is trying to provide more training and protective gear to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to airport employees and travelers.

Jay Brainard, the top TSA official in Kansas, has reported that supervisors were prevented from providing screeners with stockpiled N95 masks in March, when it was difficult to buy the respirators. He also said the TSA failed to adequately train employees to deal with the coronavirus.

It’s a difficult job because security requires person-to-person contact, and that’s how the virus spreads.

Congress is asking for more information on the safety protocols to keep employee safe. In a June 16 letter to Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the Homeland Security, called on more effective protocols.

“Given that COVID-19 disproportionately affects certain demographics, any such protocols must be designed to guard against passengers from certain racial or ethnic minorities being targeted for screening in a discriminatory fashion,” Thompson wrote.

TSA Official Blows Whistle on Agency’s Failures to Protect Employees, Travelers

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A senior TSA official in Kansas filed a complaint against the agency, saying it failed to provide adequate training and protective gear to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus to airport employees and travelers.

The TSA reports that 706 of its employees tested positive for COVID-19, and five have died.

Jay Brainard, the top TSA official in Kansas, said supervisors were prevented from providing screeners with stockpiled N95 masks in March, when it was difficult to buy the respirators.

“I have no doubt whatsoever that our people became Typhoid Marys and contributed to the spread of that virus because TSA senior leadership did not make sure (screeners) were adequately protected,” Brainard told The Associated Press.

Brainard’s complaint prompted the Office of Special Counsel to order Homeland Security to investigate.

In a statement, the TSA insisted if followed CDC guidelines in protecting employees.

Brainard countered that the TSA failed to notify screeners that they should change gloves after every pat-down.