TSA Known Crewmember Program: Security Risk?

TSA Known Crewmember Program: Security Risk?

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Did you know that many flight attendants and pilots don’t have to clear security at US airports? Maybe you did, or maybe you didn’t, but I thought it would be an interesting topic to discuss, especially in light of some recent incidents that we’ve seen.

What is the TSA Known Crewmember program?

The Known Crewmember program (often abbreviated KCM) allows select airline pilots and flight attendants to enter the sterile area of the airport without going through the standard security screening process.

The current iteration of the KCM program has been around since 2011. The program is a joint initiative between the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), airline lobbying group Airlines for America (A4A), and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).

You might see a Known Crewmember checkpoint near the exit to the TSA checkpoint, as those who are registered just have to present their airline ID and government issued ID, and then can walk right into the terminal through the exit. You might also notice that pilots and flight attendants have little badges that they often wear, which identify them as such.

Known Crewmember credentials

A few further things to note about TSA’s Known Crewmember program:

  • Pilots and flight attendants at eligible US airlines have to specifically opt-in to this program, so this isn’t something that airline employees automatically get
  • Pilots and flight attendants don’t have to be traveling for work to use the checkpoints
  • Pilots and flight attendants don’t have to be in uniform to use these checkpoints, but if they’re not in uniform, extra ID is required
  • There are Unpredictable Screening Procedures (USP) in place, whereby those using the Known Crewmember checkpoint may be subject to a random security screening; however, this only happens a very small percentage of the time
  • The logic of the program is that airline employees should be trusted, and that it alleviates crowding at security checkpoints otherwise; as long as an employee’s identity can be verified, that’s what’s most important with this process

Should airline employees have to go through security?

It’s interesting to see how different people react to knowing that pilots and flight attendants don’t have to go through security at airports. I see both sides of the argument.

On the one hand, pilots and flight attendants keep the air transportation system running, so we should be able to trust that they’ll make the right choice with what they bring onboard. Furthermore, tests have shown how ineffective the TSA is at stopping weapons, and airport security screening is ultimately about risk assessment. Presumably Known Crewmembers are among the lowest risk people passing through airports.

On the other hand, we’ve seen a number of incidents over time where employees abused the Known Crewmember concept. We’ve even seen some recent stories of off-duty flight attendants working as drug smugglers, and using their Known Crewmember credentials to avoid security.

Keep in mind these cases only arise in the small percent of situations where an airline employee is randomly chosen for a screening. I can’t even imagine how many people get away with it. Forget weapons and everything else, but I suspect there’s a not-insignificant number of airline employees smuggling drugs through Known Crewmember checkpoints.

Admittedly the TSA is about making sure weapons don’t get on planes, and not about drugs. At the same time, the current system seems to almost be an open invitation for smuggling, and I’d imagine that’s something other government organizations would be concerned about.

Should airline employees have to go through security?

Is it time for some Known Crewmember restrictions?

If there were changes to be made to the Known Crewmember program, then it seems like there are two different directions one could go.

One direction would be to continue to allow pilots to use Known Crewmember checkpoints, but not flight attendants. This isn’t at all intended to be negative toward flight attendants, but the reality is that pilots have a lot more to lose than flight attendants.

Pilots spend years and potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to land their job, and are very well paid. They work on a seniority system, and if they were ever caught with anything, they would have their license revoked, and their flying career would be over. They wouldn’t just be able to get a comparable job in another industry.

There are of course lots of career flight attendants out there, but there are also new flight attendants with no experience, who aren’t very well paid, and who just want a fun job for a couple of years. If they lose their job as a flight attendant, there are all kinds of other jobs out there that pay similarly.

I think the second direction could be to restrict the Known Crewmember program to those who have been at an airline for a certain number of years. For example, if you’ve been at an airline for a decade, you’ve shown your commitment to your career, and that you’re not just there temporarily.

I’m just throwing these things out here, and not suggesting any of these should be implemented. But with several recent stories of flight attendants trying to smuggle drugs, it seems like it’s at least worth considering some sort of restrictions.

Should pilots get special TSA privileges?

Bottom line

Many people are surprised to learn that pilots and flight attendants can bypass security checkpoints at airports, thanks to the Known Crewmember program. I don’t have a strong opinion on this one way or another, though it does seem like there are an increasing number of stories of flight attendants being caught smuggling drugs.

The Known Crewmember checkpoint is the perfect way to do this, as you don’t have to go through security screening. A small percentage of the time passengers will be selected for additional screening, but that’s rare, and it’s why people take the risk.

What’s your take on the TSA’s Known Crewmember program? Should airline employees have to clear security?

Conversations (65)
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  1. John Guest

    Wow, you really are great at coming up with the most unfounded ideas huh? Before you start pitching stuff, you might wanna look at the facts. Because as far as I understand, the numbers aren't pointing towards low seniority or even flight attendants as being the primary abusers of kcm.

  2. Chris Guest

    How convenient, you forgot to mention crew can't use KCM internationally (I'm referring to that couple who tried to smuggle drugs, they had to go through security like everyone else) This article screams jealousy by someone without access to the program, just by CLEAR or Global entry.

  3. Did you do any research? Guest

    Funny you think that Flight Attendants should be removed from the program, when the worst violations of the program and from pilots.

    I have never seen a case where a flight attendant has brought a gun through security. But in the last month, 2 pilots were found with a gun when they were randomly screened through KCM.

    But no, lets remove the Flight Attendants....

  4. iamhere Guest

    What about the passengers? There is no known passenger program. The closest thing you get is Global Entry and that's just immigration thing and has nothing to do with the security check. Many other countries have fewer crimes and not as high requirements for the security. Perhaps they should have a program for passengers to qualify. I understand that there is lower requirements for pre-check but still that's more than the known program. The number...

    What about the passengers? There is no known passenger program. The closest thing you get is Global Entry and that's just immigration thing and has nothing to do with the security check. Many other countries have fewer crimes and not as high requirements for the security. Perhaps they should have a program for passengers to qualify. I understand that there is lower requirements for pre-check but still that's more than the known program. The number of people caught for doing something they are not supposed to is low (unless you count some petty small thing like a drink being a liquid). Some of the TSA members take their jobs perhaps too seriously or go too detailed but there is no way to effectively complain about it because they are pretty much government employees and complaining will not do anything about the situation.

    1. Jason Guest

      USP is far higher than (a small percentage). Statistically FAs are higher violators, however, if they can’t go through KCM then there is no much point because they are required to be onboard prior to any passengers coming in the plane and since you need one FA per 50 passengers there are typically more of them than pilots so that negates the checkpoint crowding. You also failed to mention the extensive background checks flight crew...

      USP is far higher than (a small percentage). Statistically FAs are higher violators, however, if they can’t go through KCM then there is no much point because they are required to be onboard prior to any passengers coming in the plane and since you need one FA per 50 passengers there are typically more of them than pilots so that negates the checkpoint crowding. You also failed to mention the extensive background checks flight crew members are required to pass prior to employment. It is far more than just a quick felony check. I don’t have a good answer, but the current system is about as good a solution there is.

  5. Robert Guest

    As an airline employee,not a Pikot or Flight Attendant, off duty Pulots or FA's should not be allowed to use their KCM, if not going out on trips, or deadheading to an airport to work a flight out of town. Too many crewmembers abuse the KCM, to beat security, and bring items on board, they would not be allowed to, by going through the TSA checkpoint. Regular airport employees who work in the sterile areas...

    As an airline employee,not a Pikot or Flight Attendant, off duty Pulots or FA's should not be allowed to use their KCM, if not going out on trips, or deadheading to an airport to work a flight out of town. Too many crewmembers abuse the KCM, to beat security, and bring items on board, they would not be allowed to, by going through the TSA checkpoint. Regular airport employees who work in the sterile areas do not get this privelage, so off duty crews should not either.

    1. Chris Guest

      The old I can't have it so no one can!

  6. Guantanamo Swordfish Guest

    The KCM program is somewhat of a joke. It is harder to get a Costco Card than KCM. I know a lot of pilots that abuse the system on a minor scale, but it is abused. (EX. bring in a bottle of water or a pocket knife) One needs to know what the actual security criteria is for KCM. One person that wrote a comment was said to be an employee stated that they are...

    The KCM program is somewhat of a joke. It is harder to get a Costco Card than KCM. I know a lot of pilots that abuse the system on a minor scale, but it is abused. (EX. bring in a bottle of water or a pocket knife) One needs to know what the actual security criteria is for KCM. One person that wrote a comment was said to be an employee stated that they are reviewed by the FBI. That does not mean anything. It probably means their name matches their SSN and that's it. The KCM program has a very, very low bar. There are a number of flight crew that have felonies, have done jail time and still have KCM. That is ridiculous. The KCM program will become even more lax as airlines have needs for more pilots. The TSA pre program, which is a sister program to the Port TWIC program, allows for some blemishes after some time. The TSA Pre and TWIC Programs should be the lowest bar allowable. Notice I don't mention the Global Entry Program. The GE has a pretty high bar. Any blemishes and your out, period! I did some stats a few years ago and I calculated that over 93% of active airline pilots COULD NOT get a GE credential. Some could not get a TSA pre Credential. The Major thing that gets me is that if someone has a TSA Pre, TWIC or especially a GE Credential, they should be allowed to bring bottles of water in through security.

    1. Chris Guest

      Bringing in a bottle of water or a big shampoo bottle or whatever is NOT abusing the system it's essentially a perk for airline crew because we are known crew, even when we get random as long as we're in uniform we can still go through regular security with liquids.

  7. Jalyn Breeze Guest

    Okay okay... Just wait until you're in the line for security with no KCM and and a crew of five jump in front of you to get screened. Then another three, then another six. This is why KCM exists.

    1. CHRIS Guest

      Many airports have employee lanes/checkpoints. Send the talking coke machines through there.

    2. Chris Guest

      Depends on the airport and security gate, in Vegas they combine the employee line and pre-check, in fact they do this at plenty of airports.

    3. Chris’s Mom Guest

      What’s it like living in your parents basement?

  8. Eg Guest

    Great... lets let rhe general publix know about some of the security procedures available and shareba sample picture id as well. I dont get this articles just as I dont get pilot influencers on IG shoqwig how to set up an fmc or cockpit preflight flows...

  9. KCM Guest

    Yes, people do abuse the KCM privileges, and they should be reprimanded as such. But also keep in mind, crews do have certain security clearances issued by certain authorities.

    With that said, let's look at TSA agents, they are more unrestricted than crew members are. They walk right by KCM, sometimes without flashing their badges after exiting the sterile area.

    In other countries, airport security personnel, upon leaving the sterile area (even for...

    Yes, people do abuse the KCM privileges, and they should be reprimanded as such. But also keep in mind, crews do have certain security clearances issued by certain authorities.

    With that said, let's look at TSA agents, they are more unrestricted than crew members are. They walk right by KCM, sometimes without flashing their badges after exiting the sterile area.

    In other countries, airport security personnel, upon leaving the sterile area (even for a second), are generally required to re-enter through a screening checkpoint (magnadometer).

    Personally, I use the normal checkpoints due to the amout on times I get random. Beat them to the punch.

  10. FlyerDon Guest

    Crews still have to clear Customs and Immigration when entering the USA.

    1. John Guest

      Which is the agency here who is actually responsible for drug trafficking control, NOT TSA

  11. Airline Employee Guest

    1) TSA is not security, it’s security theater
    2) Some people have positions that require trust…crew members, for example, don’t need to bring ANYTHING if they choose to be a threat…screening them is merely theater
    3) Specifically pilots, you are wasting time and money pretending that TSA is going to prevent something bad
    4) TSA is not the DEA, and not customs…if smuggling is the problem, TSA is not the solution

  12. Jim deVault Guest

    This article is completely false. To get the Known Crewmember badge, Flight Attendants and Pilots have to be cleared by the FBI. After clearing by the FBI, which screens for arrest records; even traffic offenses; required by Customs in Canada, they watch a training video which goes into a particular airports security operating procedures. Passports are also used in place of ID cards.

    1. CHRIS Guest

      You "watched a training video"? HOLY SHIT!!!! That should immediately grant you a TS clearance.

  13. Everett Mcphail Guest

    This is stupid if you had any idea how difficult it is to set up KcM and had any idea why and how this was set up , then you would understand that KCM keeps the system running , if there were restrictions and more slow downs you would have more delayed and canceled flights .

  14. Claudius Guest

    I'm a Crewmember that uses KCM. Your article is incorrect on the frequency of random screenings for KCM participance.

    The percentage of crewmembers that get randomly screened is adjusted by TSA as they seen fit. Currently over 50% of crewmembers using KCM are screened at each airport when KCM is available.

    Please check you facts before posting inflammatory articles.

  15. James Guest

    Not clear what problem your seeking to solve here. Closing the door on a limited number of crew risking smuggling? Or just the perception of unfairness that they aren't subjected to the security theatre that the rest of us are?

  16. Henry Guest

    As others have said USP isn’t a rare occurrence at all!! You should try actually researching that stuff before posting statements like that. I’d say conservatively it’s 25% of the time often higher. And even when we do get “randomed” we’re still exempt from many of the restrictions involving liquids etc that others have. Only letting more experienced pilots use it seriously? What about someone who just retired from the military and is starting at...

    As others have said USP isn’t a rare occurrence at all!! You should try actually researching that stuff before posting statements like that. I’d say conservatively it’s 25% of the time often higher. And even when we do get “randomed” we’re still exempt from many of the restrictions involving liquids etc that others have. Only letting more experienced pilots use it seriously? What about someone who just retired from the military and is starting at a major airline? Why should someone like that not be trusted? How does a 22 year old regional FO with $100K in student debt not have anything to loose? Come on…..

  17. Warren Trout Guest

    Security screening is not about drug smuggling. It's about hijacking airplanes or blowing them up.

    Ever notice that ground employees at many airports don't go through any screening at all? Even no random checks like Known.

    Besides there is an additional step of authenticaion you left out. It's best left unsaid.

    1. Jeff Guest

      KCM can not be used for international travel.

  18. NYGuy24 Gold

    Nobody at the airport should be immune from going through security. I remember a few years ago baggage handlers were using their credentials to circumvent security and running guns to NY which were being sold illegally to gangs. They were bringing all these firearms right on to the plane into the passenger compartments. This is just airports being cheap. That is all it is. They could simply setup a security checkpoint that is solely for...

    Nobody at the airport should be immune from going through security. I remember a few years ago baggage handlers were using their credentials to circumvent security and running guns to NY which were being sold illegally to gangs. They were bringing all these firearms right on to the plane into the passenger compartments. This is just airports being cheap. That is all it is. They could simply setup a security checkpoint that is solely for employees and crews. It would not be a major delay. Just takes one person sympathetic to terrorists to smuggle weapons onboard. Just one. Not to mention the risk of someone coming unhinged. We have seen FA completely snap. This lack of security is just asking for trouble eventually.

    1. Erick Guest

      Ok. I see your point. So, why does global entry exist? You have it? Why should anyone trust citizens that have never committed a crime before? They can be snuggling drugs into our country?
      You sound like a communist. Be thankful for having the privilege of being "lucky" enough of being born in a *free* country.

    2. jay Guest

      Global Entry is for ENTRY and afterward if there is a flight connection (say in ORD) then the passenger goes through TSA. Global Entry gets passengers to the front of the immigration and customs line. Nothing more. Totally different than what you said.

  19. Eskimo Guest

    This is exactly what those three letter agencies want, more power and legitimize use of authority.

    TSA isn't about drugs. Now you want TSA to police drugs. Next, they can enforce law using force. Finally you end up with a police state that tracks your move everywhere. And yet people complain about China.
    Be careful what you ask for.

  20. Erick Guest

    Be careful with what you are asking for. Crew members in uniform have first of the line privileges on tsa precheck . So if that's what you want...

  21. CHRIS Guest

    A lot of flight attendants here are worried about losing their golden (smuggling-enabling) goose I see. To all you fa's out there: would you rather you just be ALLOWED to smuggle drugs?....since random screenings are "inconvenient"!

    1. FA Guest

      I'd rather I just be ALLOWED to not have to show up to work an extra hour earlier then I already have to, just to get through security. Since I am not paid I until the aircraft door is closed.

    2. CHRIS Guest

      Lots of people have jobs that they're expected to be ontime to. Should I be paid for the time I spend in traffic to get to my job? Maybe I can have an express lane just for me (but not for you) that will get me there quicker. You would have HATED being a crew member in the 90's. You had to go through security....actually provide GOOD service onboard, not be a surly stuck up...

      Lots of people have jobs that they're expected to be ontime to. Should I be paid for the time I spend in traffic to get to my job? Maybe I can have an express lane just for me (but not for you) that will get me there quicker. You would have HATED being a crew member in the 90's. You had to go through security....actually provide GOOD service onboard, not be a surly stuck up brat. serve meals in coach, iron your uniform and present a neat appearance.....and if you didn't want to play ball with any of this, you were gone.....as well you should be.

  22. PCT New Member

    People, the entire system is smoke and mirrors! Let’s take ORD as an example. Almost every ground worker accesses the secure area without passing through security….from the employee parking lot straight to the terminal. Of course, these workers are subjected to “random” screenings and not “intending” to fly but any one of them can book a non-rev ticket later in the day and it’s simply an honor system to go through security! I find it...

    People, the entire system is smoke and mirrors! Let’s take ORD as an example. Almost every ground worker accesses the secure area without passing through security….from the employee parking lot straight to the terminal. Of course, these workers are subjected to “random” screenings and not “intending” to fly but any one of them can book a non-rev ticket later in the day and it’s simply an honor system to go through security! I find it hilarious that we are obsessing over KCM! There are SO many other “holes” in the system! Don’t even get me started on catering…….

    1. NYGuy24 Gold

      They don't have to book a ticket. They can hand their contraband off to someone else who went thru security already.

    2. jay Guest

      Yep, the TSA theater is a scam. Even the TSA walk around their own security theater with backpacks and their lunches and whatever is in their backpack that somebody put in there. Bad joke and Americans love it because it makes us feel safe.

  23. Marie Guest

    Think you'd better do more precise details about KCM.
    Worry about the general public as there are more general public than crew members.
    Also, pilot's have offended this program too.

  24. Bob Guest

    You say you don’t have a strong opinion but your article clearly expressed one.

    Far more emphasis on how the system should change than how it should stay the same.

    As a prior poster said, all the drug comments are irrelevant to this system. It isn’t intended to detect drugs trafficking, and I think with reason. The quantity that can be conveyed is minuscule in context.

    Out of your suggestions I would be in favor...

    You say you don’t have a strong opinion but your article clearly expressed one.

    Far more emphasis on how the system should change than how it should stay the same.

    As a prior poster said, all the drug comments are irrelevant to this system. It isn’t intended to detect drugs trafficking, and I think with reason. The quantity that can be conveyed is minuscule in context.

    Out of your suggestions I would be in favor of a tenure requirement for this system.

    But we do have to ask ourselves how much of a problem really exists. Solving problems we haven’t got just makes things more difficult without fixing anything useful.

    That’s what I see happening here.

    1. Joseph Guest

      Instead of hustling credit cards, the FAs should just sell drugs on the aircraft.

  25. derek Guest

    FA's are unreliable and unprofessional. They should be searched. Pilots of major airlines are trustworthy for the most part. This program should be for them.

    1. Flash Karstan Guest

      You are living in La La Land if you think all pilots are reliable and professional. These are the people are quite the opposite because they feel "untouchable" because people like you put them on a pedestal.

  26. DL FA Guest

    FA here…KCM random screenings have become so frequent over the last year, it’s become an inconvenience and I just use regular screening. I do agree however with your premise and on the safe side don’t see the benefit or the need for the program. The few irresponsible always ruin it for the responsible. Such is life

  27. Roman Guest

    Hold my beer… Aircraft mechanic with 27+ Years here. If I’m at an outstation on duty fixing a broken aircraft, upon returning to my base station myself and belongings have to go through TSA like every other person. Once I’m seated on the plane lets say the pilot asks me as a fellow employee to look at something outside he noticed on a pre flight walk around. If I leave the aircraft to go outside...

    Hold my beer… Aircraft mechanic with 27+ Years here. If I’m at an outstation on duty fixing a broken aircraft, upon returning to my base station myself and belongings have to go through TSA like every other person. Once I’m seated on the plane lets say the pilot asks me as a fellow employee to look at something outside he noticed on a pre flight walk around. If I leave the aircraft to go outside with him for whatever reason, I’m not allowed to enter the aircraft again. Myself and all my belongings must now exit TSA security, pivot the corner and stand in line AGAIN in order to board the plane I was just on even if it causes a flight delay. I would love to have the option flight crews have but politics, company and gov, say no.

  28. 305 Guest

    Lol drug searches? If any of this was implemented at MIA, we'd never have an on-time departure and half the crews would quit.

  29. Chris Guest

    To say that Unpredictable Screening Procedures only happens in a small percentage is a bit inaccurate. Unless I'm just unlucky, I'm at about 50% and have been selected for additional screening the last 3 times in a row.

    1. Chris Guest

      Update for the past week I'm 5 in a row on random screenings, which is new personal record.

  30. NFSF Gold

    Allowing employees to use KCM when they're not working makes no sense.

  31. Samo Guest

    Surely security checkpoints at airports exist to ensure safety of the aircraft, not to search for drugs? As long as the former isn't threatened, I don't really see a reason to reintroduce security checks for the crews.

    But I wonder how it works at international airport. US doesn't have separate domestic/international departure areas, so how do they ensure that someone who didn't go through security doesn't board a flight to, say Europe? Especially since US...

    Surely security checkpoints at airports exist to ensure safety of the aircraft, not to search for drugs? As long as the former isn't threatened, I don't really see a reason to reintroduce security checks for the crews.

    But I wonder how it works at international airport. US doesn't have separate domestic/international departure areas, so how do they ensure that someone who didn't go through security doesn't board a flight to, say Europe? Especially since US flights arrive to sterile areas in some EU states, allowing those people to connect to other flights without re-clearing security.

  32. BrakesSet Guest

    KCM isn't an anti drug smuggling tool. It's a security tool. The drug smuggling comments are a complete red herring.
    Yes, violations happen. They are exceedingly rare, but shouldn't happen at all. As someone mentioned above, the key to stopping violators is to punish them like adults. The program is a risk based tool and, despite its warts, functions like it should.
    Airline crew are some of the most regularly screened, tested, and...

    KCM isn't an anti drug smuggling tool. It's a security tool. The drug smuggling comments are a complete red herring.
    Yes, violations happen. They are exceedingly rare, but shouldn't happen at all. As someone mentioned above, the key to stopping violators is to punish them like adults. The program is a risk based tool and, despite its warts, functions like it should.
    Airline crew are some of the most regularly screened, tested, and background checked people in the world. A crew based security incident has not happened in a very long time (FedEx) and predates KCM.
    The program should stand as is.

  33. DenB Diamond

    Are the recent incidents aviation safety insidents? If they are, they're proper concerns of TSA. But if they're primarily a Customs issue (last I checked this is where Drug Smuggling belongs) then TSA should hand the few bad apples over to Customs, let them lay charges and publish convictions, and move on. The LAST thing anyone reading this blog wants is a TSA mandated to do MORE of anything, or to "tighten up" something. Honestly,...

    Are the recent incidents aviation safety insidents? If they are, they're proper concerns of TSA. But if they're primarily a Customs issue (last I checked this is where Drug Smuggling belongs) then TSA should hand the few bad apples over to Customs, let them lay charges and publish convictions, and move on. The LAST thing anyone reading this blog wants is a TSA mandated to do MORE of anything, or to "tighten up" something. Honestly, just imagine what that would look like.

    1. Bob Guest

      I remember fondly noticing an unattended bag sat at a TSA screening station at EWR.

      Obligatory 30 minute foot shuffle over and bag still there, I advised the TSA agent of my concern.

      The response and I quote verbatim was “Well, I can’t do anything about it”

      Is it just me or does this beg the question, why are they there?

    2. John Conner Guest

      Bob, in these conditions, don’t notify TSA, notify Law Enforcement

  34. ted poco Guest

    The TSA program is not designed to catch drugs.

  35. Jim Guest

    If a pilot wanted to bring down an airplane, he wouldn't need a gun to do it...just his hands. If we trust them enough to handle the controls, then we should be able to trust them to not bring weapons. On top of that, some pilots are armed crew members, so screening them is pretty pointless.

    1. The Joe Guest

      Indeed. Common sense eludes way too many people.

      I'm an air traffic controller, and late night I handle commercial, cargo, and general aviation alone. Yet, because of general idiocy in developing policy, I can't go to my own airport's terminals for a sandwich... unless I'm flying.

  36. Donna Diamond

    Frankly, I couldn’t care less about crew members who smuggle drugs in as much as it doesn’t directly affect my safety. However, my larger concern is a repeat scenario of the crash of PSA 1771 in 1987, a mass murder suicide by a disgruntled PSA employee who was able to bypass security and bring a gun on the flight. Granted, today security is tighter with hardened cockpit doors but plenty of carnage could occur in...

    Frankly, I couldn’t care less about crew members who smuggle drugs in as much as it doesn’t directly affect my safety. However, my larger concern is a repeat scenario of the crash of PSA 1771 in 1987, a mass murder suicide by a disgruntled PSA employee who was able to bypass security and bring a gun on the flight. Granted, today security is tighter with hardened cockpit doors but plenty of carnage could occur in the cabin by a disturbed/disgruntled crew member with a gun. It’s a tough call given that probably 99.9% of crews are not a threat to security. On balance, it’s probably as safe as it could be.

    1. FlyerDon Guest

      Just fyi Donna the disgruntled, actually fired, employee worked for USAir, not PSA.

  37. AA FA Guest

    First off, USP is a not a rare occurrence. Prior to these idiots getting busted with all kinds of nonsense, USP was about 25% of the time. Now that we have more and more idiots being caught and putting the whole program at risk, USP is so frequent that many crewmembers don’t even go through KCM anymore and opt for the PreCheck line (especially when it’s a shorter walk.)

    Anecdotally, I’ll also say that...

    First off, USP is a not a rare occurrence. Prior to these idiots getting busted with all kinds of nonsense, USP was about 25% of the time. Now that we have more and more idiots being caught and putting the whole program at risk, USP is so frequent that many crewmembers don’t even go through KCM anymore and opt for the PreCheck line (especially when it’s a shorter walk.)

    Anecdotally, I’ll also say that I’ve witnessed far MORE pilots try to abuse the system than FAs. I recently watched a captain try to bring his wife through KCM. When they were both denied entry (duh) he got so belligerent that they closed the KCM checkpoint for the day.

    FAs are no less deserving of this program than pilots. Permanently remove people who break the rules and allow the rest of us to utilize the program. KCM access is the incentive to behave, and 99.99999% of its users treat it accordingly. Please don’t turn into Gary and be an FA hating twat.

    1. K Helldoge Guest

      No 'Captain' tried to bring his wofe through a security checkpoint. Quit lying. jesus Dumbassed mcchrist

    2. AA FA Guest

      You’ve clearly never met the fat boomer captains that fly for the majors. The rules don’t apply to them… of course they try this bs ALL the time. “Rules for thee, but none for me”

  38. SamB Gold

    If the TSA can't catch guns, are they going to catch drugs? Maybe they should add drug sniffing dogs to the checkpoints.

  39. LEo Diamond

    Can we just delete the KTN and instead design a crew security channel like the rest of the world?

  40. G650 Captain Guest

    KCM badge holder here. You do not need to be in uniform to use the checkpoint, but there is additional ID that is required in order to use it. You also do not need to be traveling for work as long as the flight is domestic. I’ve been selected for random screening (you go to the regular line) so it is definitely a deterrent. The badge links to a picture on his computer screen so...

    KCM badge holder here. You do not need to be in uniform to use the checkpoint, but there is additional ID that is required in order to use it. You also do not need to be traveling for work as long as the flight is domestic. I’ve been selected for random screening (you go to the regular line) so it is definitely a deterrent. The badge links to a picture on his computer screen so the agent knows the person attempting entry and presenting ID (3 forms in some instances) is the one who has been through the training and verification process. It’s not as simple as flash a badge and walk through. But it definitely helps get the crew to the airplane without delaying the whole flight because of TSA staffing issues.

  41. BOB Guest

    David Burke and Auburn Calloway think the program is fine as is.

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Roman Guest

Hold my beer… Aircraft mechanic with 27+ Years here. If I’m at an outstation on duty fixing a broken aircraft, upon returning to my base station myself and belongings have to go through TSA like every other person. Once I’m seated on the plane lets say the pilot asks me as a fellow employee to look at something outside he noticed on a pre flight walk around. If I leave the aircraft to go outside with him for whatever reason, I’m not allowed to enter the aircraft again. Myself and all my belongings must now exit TSA security, pivot the corner and stand in line AGAIN in order to board the plane I was just on even if it causes a flight delay. I would love to have the option flight crews have but politics, company and gov, say no.

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BrakesSet Guest

KCM isn't an anti drug smuggling tool. It's a security tool. The drug smuggling comments are a complete red herring. Yes, violations happen. They are exceedingly rare, but shouldn't happen at all. As someone mentioned above, the key to stopping violators is to punish them like adults. The program is a risk based tool and, despite its warts, functions like it should. Airline crew are some of the most regularly screened, tested, and background checked people in the world. A crew based security incident has not happened in a very long time (FedEx) and predates KCM. The program should stand as is.

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AA FA Guest

First off, USP is a not a rare occurrence. Prior to these idiots getting busted with all kinds of nonsense, USP was about 25% of the time. Now that we have more and more idiots being caught and putting the whole program at risk, USP is so frequent that many crewmembers don’t even go through KCM anymore and opt for the PreCheck line (especially when it’s a shorter walk.) Anecdotally, I’ll also say that I’ve witnessed far MORE pilots try to abuse the system than FAs. I recently watched a captain try to bring his wife through KCM. When they were both denied entry (duh) he got so belligerent that they closed the KCM checkpoint for the day. FAs are no less deserving of this program than pilots. Permanently remove people who break the rules and allow the rest of us to utilize the program. KCM access is the incentive to behave, and 99.99999% of its users treat it accordingly. Please don’t turn into Gary and be an FA hating twat.

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