TSA Backtracks On New Crew Uniform Restrictions

Filed Under: Security/TSA

Yesterday I wrote about how over the weekend the TSA announced new restrictions for using their Known Crewmember checkpoints.

Known Crewmember allows select airline crews to enter the sterile area of the airport without undergoing a security screening. 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.

There were two changes that the TSA announced:

  • As of August 28, 2019, airline staff using the Known Crewmember checkpoints would need to be wearing their uniform to use the checkpoint
  • As of August 27, 2019, an automated change would be made to the Unpredictable Screening Procedures (USP); with this change, if someone is selected for a screening, then the system would maintain that, and they’d be subjected to screenings for some amount of time

As I noted yesterday, while the latter policy change makes sense, the former policy change makes no sense:

  • It’s an inconvenience to airline employees who aren’t working a flight, since they’d just have to change into their uniform, only to change out of their uniform past security
  • Are TSA agents supposed to know exactly how every airline uniform looks? There’s variation by airline, so this seems like it would be something they’d need to be trained in
  • If they want to increase security they should be using biometric data for crew members, rather than just showing ID

Anyway, I wondered if the TSA had really thought this through, and it looks like the answer is “probably not really.” The TSA has announced that they’re delaying the implementation of the new uniform requirement, after getting pushback from airline unions.

I’ll be curious to see if this still does end up being enacted at some point, or if they come up with some modified new rules.

Comments
  1. It appears the only difference from your post yesterday is one sentence:

    “The TSA has announced that they’re delaying the implementation of the new uniform requirement, after getting pushback from airline unions.”

    The rest seems to be a copy paste.

  2. Ok seriously? This is worse than if they had just made the change and stuck to it. You know why? Cause delaying it after people got upset just shows everyone that there was no real reason for this change and it wasn’t considered essential enough to actually keep around after implementing. Delaying it like this just makes the TSA look dumb.

  3. Pretty amazing CLEAR is more secure in terms of biometrics than the program that allows you to just waltz right through. How closely do we think the screens are scrutinizing photos?

  4. Union scum being entitled union scum. If you’re not working, you’re a passenger. Behave like one.

  5. @AdamH –

    Probably about as closely as the X-Ray guy is looking at the screen when someone’s bag goes through the tunnel.

  6. Glad to hear it. I hate to have to put on pantyhose, high heels and a uniform, and spend a half hour at security after taking the hourlong bus ride from the employee parking lot, just to run in to the office for a couple minutes to check my mailbox or pick up a bid packet.

    And for those who may be concerned, the TSA does check the airline ID very carefully, scans the Known Crewmember ID, scans the passport and checks it against their system. And we’ve all had a minimum of 10 year background checks and have our fingerprints on file. And there are still random checks. I get a random check about every third time I go to the airport. I’ve been randomly checked the past five times I’ve gone to work.

  7. Fred says:
    August 27, 2019 at 1:11 pm
    Union scum being entitled union scum. If you’re not working, you’re a passenger. Behave like one.

    Save the asinine and ignorant comments for someplace else.

    I work with a team of pilots that do nothing but post heavy maintenance/delivery test flights day in and day out. We don’t wear traditional uniforms, rather polos and slacks. But we have to transit two, sometimes three airports in a day. Doing test flights and fully vetting the integrity and safety so you can safely enjoy your upcoming revenue flight.

    Tell me I am not afforded Known Crew Member ID which as you don’t seem to know is subject to a thorough check of multiple IDs and scrutiny.

  8. I think it’s appalling that crew can go airside without screening. To the best of my knowledge, this only happens in the US. There is not even a biometric verification, and I wouldn’t count on the diligence of TSA personnel matching a photo ID with the person in front of them.

    Then again… has any airplane been hijacked since 9/11? so maybe it’s OK after all.

  9. (Fred says:
    August 27, 2019 at 1:11 pm
    Union scum being entitled union scum. If you’re not working, you’re a passenger. Behave like one.)

    I think Fred really doesn’t know enough about our industry to make such shallow and ridiculous comments. But we’ll forgive him (and love him as a travel geek) even though he doesn’t understand our roles in this industry 😀

    As a flight attendant, we often deadhead on segments to position for working flights from other origins than our base or when being sent back home from working a segment where we were needed. When we deadhead we’re not supposed to wear uniforms so this new screening procedure does create some challenges for us. Also, as we travel full time, we try and live healthy lives by carrying our own food and personal care products with us, which often entails exceeding the 3-1-1 parameters for liquids in place for travelers. We have been through background checks, fingerprinting, credit checks, intensive interviews, and training programs that qualify us for this level of security access. This is a privilege that we very much value and helps us to be healthy flight crews and sets us up to provide great customer service to our travelers (like you, Fred) 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *