Friday, January 4, 2013

Airline Security: Safety vs. Efficiency



By Ken Boyer, Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University, Boyer.9@osu.edu
How often have you stood in line to go through security at the airport and been mildly annoyed … or downright angry.  Being an operations professor I can’t help but observe the process and think of ways to ”do it better” – while also feeling pressure to “keep the line moving”.  While there is clearly a need to maintain security, one wonders if the many hoops that we have to jump through are the right hoops.  And then, there is always the one annoying individual who seems to have no comprehension that:
·        There are other people in the line
·        They can’t take their pocket knife, 5 gallons of water or 92 pound suitcase through.
·        The poor TSA employees (in the U.S. – in other countries there is another acronym) face three conflicting pressures: keep the line moving, catch the bad guys/gals and deal with the public -  who often can be inept, clueless or downright difficult.
I’m sure you have bumped into one or more of these people.  Recently, I was in line and in the process of getting naked.  Taking off my shoes, belt, class ring, watch, medical ID bracelet (believe it or not I am not a jewelry wearing kind of guy), phone and spare change .  Did I forget the part about taking out my laptop?  We might as well have to get naked ….

So, I had just put my cellphone in one of the plastic trays – precariously balanced on top of a 6 foot high stack of empty trays – because the people in front of me were taking their precious time and talking to their friends in the next line.  So, this older gentleman takes a break from his critically important conversation with his friend in the other line, turns and without looking, grabs the tray with my cell phone and starts to walk off.  Given that I was busy, and I was in another country where I speak very little of the native tongue, all that I could manage to do was yell – NO! at about 150 decibels.  This stopped cell phone grabber in his tracks and I received an apology – I think in French (I was in a french speaking country) – and we all proceeded on our way.  I was a bit embarrassed, but my cellphone was OK.

Similar scenes play out thousands of times per day at airports around the world.  Almost no one involved in this dance enjoys it, but we must do it. …. And yet, does this process have even a reasonable chance of catching the bad guys/gals?  We all want the process to work – and yet there are enormous operational challenges.  There are tradeoffs between efficiency and the quality of the safety scan.  There are human challenges – no matter how the system is designed and what technology is used, there is always the issue of 1) getting employees to do the proper things thousands of times per day and of 2) getting passengers to understand and follow the rules.

So, next time you are experiencing the security line, see what you can do to make it flow more smoothly, make the TSA employees feel appreciated and observe the process and think about ways it can be improved to make it less burdensome, more efficient, less costly and/or more reliable.

Discussion questions:
·        Describe how managing the security process at airlines uses principles or methods of quality management, process design and analysis, technology or lean production.
·        How might optimization or simulation modeling be employed to improve the process?
·        What suggestion(s) do you have for improving this process?
·        How might TSA officials better “train” or communicate with passengers to streamline security?
·        What is your most interesting security experience?  Why did this occur?  Was this a system flaw or simply an outlier – i.e. is it an assignable cause or is it an alpha error?


Sources:
·        Many, many personal experiences.

43 comments:

  1. Q1: The current TSA security process makes me feel very safe. But since we don't live in a perfect vacuum world, it is almost impossible to deter every single act of malice or crime. This being said I would give the process a 90 at making myself feel safe.

    Q2: Since I actually haven't been on a plane since I was three or four years old, I don't have any experiences with airport security processes. Therefore, my most interesting security experience occurred before an Ohio State football game. Most would assume that every patron entering the stadium would be searched to some extent to protect the 100,000 some fans in the building, especially the U of Michigan game of all games. But that morning I did not think I had consumed enough alcohol during pre-game tailgating and proceeded to sneak a few cans of beer in my arms and under my belt into the game. Standing in line waiting to enter, I grew anxious because of all the surrounding safety officers, police officers, and state troopers on the premise. I was most nervous about the usher/security personnel that would eventually check me for weapons/bombs/etc. and would then find my hidden beer stash. Luckily, at least for my sake, I was completely untouched/observed as I got my ticket punched and was allowed to enter the stadium without being deterred from entering or being given to one of the surrounding state troopers. But, it really made me think about how weak the security process was at Ohio Stadium for an event as popular as "The Game". If I got in without trouble, I wondered how many other people were allowed in without trouble also. It was the first large sporting event (or any event/building/place I've entered with over 100,000 patrons) I had ever attended where I wasn't checked for security purposes.

    Q3: But as for improving the security process at the airlines, maybe there should be different express lines for passengers that are carrying a certain amount, size, or type of luggage/baggage. This would be kind of like the process found at some popular grocery/retail stores around the country. This would make more stations and require more workers possibly, but would cut down on the size and speed of the lines which would make for a more pleasant and just as safe airport experience for passengers.

    Scott Hendricks
    BUS MGT 3230
    W/F 12:45

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  2. Q1: The current security process makes me feel safe. On scale of 1-100, I would give it a 95.

    Q2: The most interesting security experience I had was when I was going to visit the middle east with my mom and sister. We were stopped by security and my mother was taken in for questioning. We were told the reasons we were being stopped and questioned was simply are last name (Middle Eastern last name).

    Q3: I don’t have any suggestions for improving this process because I think it is necessary even though, it is not the best way to treat people, it is part of the security process that I think is necessary.
    One thing I would say is if the person in question doesn’t have a criminal record, not even a speeding ticket on there name, then they should be released from questioning earlier than the time we were questioned for.

    Shaker Karajat
    BUSMGT 3230
    W/F 12:45pm

    ReplyDelete
  3. Q1: How secure does the security process make you feel? Please rate on a scale of 1 - 100 where 100 is completely safe.

    In America, I would have to say that the security processes portrayed to be in action versus those that are actually in action are two different things. There are many rules to abide by when going through airport security such as the 3-1-1 (all liquid/gel carry-ons must be under the 3 once mark, fit into one Ziploc baggy, and only one baggy is allowed per traveler), no sharp objects (even if it’s a scissors from a sewing kit), and no unpackaged foods. While many airports that I have been through are very strict with these rules, others are not. I would give the processes that are said to be in action a 92 meaning that if each airport and its TSA agents strictly follow the rules, I would feel very safe. But, like I mentioned, I don’t believe that all airports do so.


    Q2: What is your most interesting security experience? Why did this occur?

    I would have to say that I’ve traveled many times without any problems. I’ve been to Europe multiple times and the only security issue that I’ve been stopped for was an apple in my carryon backpack. I believe the most frustrating process is typically with my father. He has recently had surgery on his foot, which involved many metal plates and screws. Therefore, as you can imagine, the metal detectors begin flashing red and alerting the TSA agents as he walks through. Although he has a medical excuse, he is still taken into a room and stripped down 80% of the time. However, I believe my most recent trip was the most interesting. I was traveling to the British Virgin Islands, a trip that involved many security stops, each of which got less and less secure as the destination neared. Upon traveling from the states to the island of St. Thomas, the security was typical of American airports. But, when we arrived at St. Thomas, our next step was heading to Tortola, an island not owned by the US. The security to go to this island was much less strict. Bags were simply opened and slightly rummaged through, no metal detectors were used, and it would have been very easy to get through without even going through security. To my surprise, leaving Tortola was just the way it was when we had arrived. We traveled back to St. Thomas, and even then, the security to get into America was not near what it would have been if we were actually in the states.


    Q3: What suggestion(s) do you have for improving this process?

    With the high volume of travelers that airports deal with on a day-to-day basis, it is honestly surprising to me that the process isn’t smoother than it is. For a frequent traveler, airports become less stressful and confusing. Those types of people are able to get themselves through the queues in a fairly quick pace, but for those who do not travel as often, it’s likely a different story. From the time you arrive there is typically confusion of what order to take each step. To help with the security process, you must start from the beginning. Possibly laying out each step and what to do when you arrive at the airport would help with those you often find wandering around (just like they do with the 3-1-1 rule). From there, I believe it would be helpful to break up each queue into a couple smaller ones. It’s always helpful when there are TSA agents checking your ID and ticket before getting to the actual security table. I think they should take that tactic and filter it through the whole process. The most frustrating point of security is trying to be fast and grab a couple of bins to put everything in, while also taking off shoes, belts, jewelry, and anything else that may go off in the metal detectors. What if there’s a point in the line when the bins become available, that way people can get their things situated throughout the line and be ready to go upon the reaching security?

    Shayla Koester
    BUS MGT 3230
    W/F 12:45

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  4. Q1: I feel that I have a good amount of experience flying and the security has always been on top of things. That being said, I also think that there will always be room for error and mistakes can be made so I would rate my safety at about a 92/100.

    Q2: Lucky my most interesting security experience has only been that I normally find my bag always gets searched after I check it. When coming home from vacations I always bring back sand from he beaches we visit, and multiple times I have received my bag back with a TSA note and the contents all shuffled about because of the mysterious sand in my bag.

    Q3: My suggestion has apparently already started to become a reality. My dad fly almost every week for business, and I have always thought that they should do something different for those that have to deal with the large amount of vacationers that aimlessly wonder and annoy most passengers. While they do have a separate line for first class, now airlines, such as American Airways, has created a preferred class line for the business men and women that fly constantly. Now my dad can go to the airport, not wait in any line at all, because he essentially has his own line with other business men, and get right on his plane.

    Rachel Starr
    BusMgt 3230
    W/F 12:45pm

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  5. Q1:

    90/100 within the United States.

    I have never traveled by plane outside of the US, but I can imagine I would feel a little less safe regardless. I have visited some of the Virgin Islands from a cruise boat, and the security there was pitiful.

    Q2:

    Luckily I have made it through airport security without ever running into a problem. However, my boyfriend had a crazy thing happen to him at the Canada/Buffalo, NY border. He was with his mom in the car on their way out of Canada and they both happened to have names that matched criminals in the states who were wanted for murder. They were held at the border police station for about six hours answering questions, doing thumbprint analyses, etcetera.

    Q3:

    Could there be a speed line for people who do not have bags? Lines such as this exist for amusement parks, football games and concerts and could possibly result in more people being motivated to have carry-on bags.

    Another thought to complement the speed line idea would be to work out a deal with airlines to lower, if not eliminate, baggage fees. It could also encourage less carry-on bags, but this would be a difficult process.

    Make plastic bags readily available for LAGs (liquids, aerosols, and gels) at all airports at the airport check-ins. At the Dayton Airport the bags are only available right at security and it is always holding up the line.

    Most airports do this, but reiterating safety rules for the security over the intercom is a good way to remind people, as long as they aren’t on their cell phone. Possibly to counter this you could have text messages on TVs.

    In a perfect world we could separate the vacationers from the business travelers, but I think successfully distinguishing between the two would be difficult. It is also a system that would be vulnerable to abuse.

    Morgan Hall
    BusMgt 3230
    W/F 12:45

    ReplyDelete
  6. Q1: I would have to say 95. The security processes, albeit frustrating and slow, is thorough. There are many rules you have to follow (liquids must be under 3 oz, no sharp objects, etc). The security processes for the airports that I have traveled through in the US are pretty standard, meaning they all enforce the rules mostly in the same way, but there is always a chance of error.


    Q2: Every security experience is an interesting experience for me. Every time I travel I go through the full body scanner, which sees everything on your body, but then I am asked to step aside so that I can have my head and sometimes my arms patted. I know they ask me to step aside because I wear the head scarf, but I don’t see the point because I just went through a full body scan which is more thorough than someone patting my head for about 5 seconds.


    Q3: An issue I see when I travel is that the lines are long because people sit and undress (take shoes off, jacket off, empty pockets, etc) right where the bins are. I think that airports should have bins available starting earlier in the line so that by the time the people approach the scanning line, their stuff is already ready to be scanned. Also, after peoples’ belongings go through the scanner, everyone is clustered around the end of the scanner to receive their things and they start getting redressed at the end of the scanner area as well. I suggest that after people collect their things, TSA agents usher people or put up signs that guide people to an open area so that they can put their clothes back on and collect their items (jackets, shoes, laptop, etc) without slowing down the line.


    Mona Alshafie
    BM 3230
    W/F 12:45p

    ReplyDelete
  7. Q1: I may grade it at 90 within both China and the US.
    When i took flight in China, i did not have to "get naked". All i have to do is going through a "security door", being scanned by a security officer and putting my belongings into a basket and let it scanned. In short, the whole process was not time-consuming.In the US, i have to say i was really embarrassed to take my shoes off and i was a little nervous because i was at a English-Speaking country. Fortunately the staff and people in the line were nice to me, they tole me what i should do.

    Q2: In China, passengers must check-in 30 minutes before the departure of the airplane. One time, i was late because of the bad traffic. With only 15 minutes before the departure, the staff told me i have to change the flight. I told her"please check it out for me, it`s hard for me to go back home because of the coming holiday". Then guess what? The airplane putted off!(Indeed, i was not the reason) I successfully went boarding! I have to say thanks to the delay of the airplane, though it was annoying to other passengers.

    Q3:I think the staff should put more security-related videos in airport to promote the safe awareness of the public. The security check can be facilitated based on the mutual understanding. When people realize the importance of the check, they may obey the rules unconsciously and make the whole process faster.

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  8. Q1: I would rate the security process a 95/100 on safety (efficiency is another story). When I have flown in the past, even though I usually feel pretty frustrated about the security process, I almost always feel pretty safe after going through the rigorous screening process knowing that everyone else had to go through the same thing.

    Q2: My most interesting security experience did not actually happen to me directly, but happened to my Dad on a recent business trip to Atlanta. The following is a direct quote from a text my dad sent me after landing in Atlanta: “… The guy I sat beside [on the plane] said they would not let him carry a knife and toy gun on the plane. What a dumbass.” This really blew my mind when he told me this. How could anyone be so stupid? Has this guy been living under a rock for the last 13 years? I feel like the media has covered all the TSA drama pretty well, Even though I don’t fly much anymore I still for the most part know what I can and cannot bring onto the plane with me. A knife and toy gun, really? I’m pretty sure they even have multiple signs in the waiting lines thoroughly describing what you can and cannot take on with you.

    Q3: I feel the best way to improve this process is to use new technology that allows the passenger to enter into a “capsule” eliminating the need to take everything off, put your shoes and items into a separate container and run them into a separate scan. This would also eliminate the need for the “wand” or being patted down. Although these new “capsules” are extremely efficient, they are also very costly, but I feel that the cost is well worth it. For the past decade or so, I would say the TSA has mostly updated (or complicated) their process of screening people, but have been using the same technology to do so, I think It may be time for a technology upgrade as well.

    David Olds
    BM 3230
    W/F 2:20

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  10. Q1:
    I would like to rate an 85 out of 100 on safety.
    There is no big difference between security processes of US and my country. Officials check metals and liquid taken with you. However, sometimes they cannot find problems if you put a small metal thing or a small bottle of liquid in your bag instead of in your pocket. They only randomly choose bags to check. So I can say that the security process is not that safe as people think.

    Q2:
    Fruits are not allowed on the planes because of the danger of spread of small insects like fruit flies. In 2009, I went to Singapore to have my SAT exam. Mangoes there were larger and sweeter than those in my city. AS a result, I bought several large mangoes and want to take them home with me. Some of my friends ate them up in Singapore because they said fruits could not be passed by custom, and others just put mangoes in their luggage so that they were directly sent to my country. I put all the mangoes in a plastic bag and put the bag in my big school bag. When facing the security process, I directly put my school bag in a tray. The tray successfully passed the machine and no officials came to check my bag!
    Why did this occur?
    There are too much people waiting in line and every passenger has one or more bags with them. Officials cannot check all bags because of limited time and limited employees.

    Q3:
    1. Open more lines, so custom officials could have more time for every passengers passed.
    2. Limit weight of baggages.
    3. Introduce advanced machines which can better detect goods inside bags, like shape and chemical ingredient.

    Chong Jin
    BM 3230
    W/F 12:45p

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  11. Q1. The security process in the airport makes me feel fairly secure. There have been times where I have seen something very small set off the detectors which makes me feel as though they are doing their job. On a scale of 1-100, I would give the security process a 90 because even though it seems to do a good job there are always exceptions and people who get through anyways.

    Q2. Fortunately I have not really had any interesting security experiences. My aunt however packed sparklers in her bag when she went to go visit her goddaughter and when her bag went through the scanner, the workers had to pull her aside and take her into a room for questioning. They searched her more thoroughly and then sat her down and told her that she wasn't allowed to bring sparklers on the plane. This occurred because the workers were trying to keep everybody safe and they can't take anything lightly even though they were just sparklers.

    Q3. Some suggestions I have for improving the process is to set up more stations for passengers to go through so that the amount of time waiting in line decreases, and to have passengers load their plastic bins before they get to the scanner so that portion isn't so frantic and crowded.

    Sarah Tizzano
    BUSMGT 3230
    W/F 2:20-3:40

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  12. Q1: I will give 85 to the US security process for it's more strict than in China (as a student mentioned, it is not required to take off shoes in China). Also it prevents most of food/vegetables coming in. But I do think there are ways to carry harmful stuff to plane. For example, one can put strange water into the cosmetic toner bottle as long as it's transparent, odorless, and less than 2 oz.

    Q2: The most interesting experience I had is once I was waiting in a huge line before the US customs in Chicago and an offer instructed a dog to smell passengers' luggage. All went smoothly a, and suddenly the dog stopped at the luggage of a girl right after me and would not to go anyway. The girl was called out to open her luggage. After messing out her pack ups, the officer finally found out the reason: the package of her vacuum sealed food was pierced open and the delicious smell attracted the dog( The girl is also Chinese and I think that was a kind of home-made pickled meat). It took a long time for the officer to find out the reason because he was concentrating on suspicious bottles, bags and questioned the girl a lot. The result is funny but the time wasted for that girl is not funny. I know she was in a hurry to catch her transfer flight and I worried that she failed to make it at last.

    Q3: 1. divide the passengers according to whether they carry big packs, small purses or nothing, and distribute them to lines with different checking procedures/strictness.
    2. Staffing according to every-day's flight time.
    3. better layout/design of the security lines(?)

    Wei Yu
    BM3230
    W/F 14:20-15:40


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  13. Q1: As for my own experience, I would give TSA a 95, because as for all of these processes, I thought I felt safe. Therefore I did not give the perfect grade was because it may still appear some of the crime.

    Q2: I have traveled a lot nationwide or international, and I had little experience to have some problem occur in TSA process. Therefore, when the first time I went to the US, I found out that we had to take off our shoes in order to get through the process. I was so surprised because in other countries, people do not have to take off our shoes, because take off shoes are always increase the waiting time, and make more people gathering in front of the TSA.

    Q3: Due to introduction of the new technology, I think the government and TSA people should trust those machines because those machines will never lie. Because of that, I think a more efficient way to get through the TSA is we should skip take off our shoes, because if we do not have to take off our shoes and ware them after TSA, we could save a lot of time and make this process more efficient. I’m sure the technology could scan what do we have in our shoes if we hide something in them.

    Haonan Chen
    BM3230
    W/F 14:20-15:40

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  14. Q1: How secure does the security process make you feel? Please rate on a scale of 1 - 100 where 100 is completely safe

    70-80. At this point I think that I am so used to going through the lines at the airport that I just see the process as burdensome rather than effective, but taking a step back and thinking about it makes me realize that it is at the same time a necessary process that so far has yet to fail me, and even though it has not failed me, I do not give it a score of 100 because there are still instances in which airport security fails, and people are still in danger, it is not enough to ever be complacent on a matter like this.

    Q2: What is your most interesting security experience? Why did this occur?

    I was in Miami, and I was permanently moving to the United States from another country. As is required, my family and I had obtained our proper visas and papers required to obtain our green cards directly from the American embassy in our home country. When we attempted to go through immigration in Miami, my sister and I were asked to follow the Homeland Security official to another room for some further inquiry into our paperwork. We were 11 at the time and we were in a room full of people with turbans (this was post 9/11) being questioned as to whether we had the right to enter the United States on a permanent basis or not. We were kept in there until we almost lost our plane. In the end we were let go on the condition to have a follow up meeting with a Homeland Security officer once we arrived at our final destination, which we did, and apparently everything turned out to be a big misunderstanding… go figure.

    Q3: What suggestion(s) do you have for improving this process?

    The most important issue with Airport security is the lack of entries. I understand that this allows for more control and lower costs, however, it makes for clogs and inefficient work on behalf of the employees. A better method would be to have more security entry points into the terminals, which would be opened and closed throughout the day according to traffic towards the different terminals at that point.

    Also, dealing with my answer to question 2 directly, I think that it wouldn’t hurt to train immigration officials better, and provide them with a better database system that enables them to go about doing there job more efficiently.


    Tomas Perez
    BM3230
    W/F 12:45-2:05

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  15. Q1: I would rate 90 out of 100 on security processes. From the efficiency standpoint, it is not efficient and fast at all. However the rigid screening process does makes me feel pretty safe even though the process is slow frustrated.

    Q2: I would say I didn't quite have any interesting security experience. But here is the interesting story: Recently I saw the news saying that "TSA Employee gets caught stealing iPad and get fired" which is really shocking. One interesting fact is that certain media intentionally left behind iPads at TSA checkpoints in ten different airport, which all these airports had a "history of TSA theft issues" and 9 out of 10 iPads were returned. Unfortunately, the 10th iPad was stolen by one of the TSA employee at Orlando airport. Undoubtedly the employee gets fired. Here the interesting fact that I found out is that make sure you turn off the "Find my iPad feature after you steal the iPad otherwise the media is going to publicly shame you.

    Q3: My suggestion for improving the process is open more lines, by doing so the waiting time would greatly decrease. On the other hand, apply an expedited security screening program at major airports that will allow customers to move through security with greater efficiency and ease.

    Junli Wang
    BUSMGT 3230
    W/F 2:20-3:40

    ReplyDelete
  16. Q1: I feel pretty safe when I think about the airline security process and the improvements/additions that have been made in the past few years. As my family travels a lot, I have a great deal of experience dealing with various TSA agents, and I know how tedious the process can really be, yet I always feel safe when I fly. I would probably rate the security at about a 90%, simply because you can't be perfect and there is always room for improvement.

    Q2: I haven't had that many security issues/problems in my travel experiences (thank God!) although a couple times when I traveled with my family there have been a few inconveniences. One time my brother left his laptop bag (full of important and expensive electronic devices) in one of the baskets at the end of the security line for over 15 minutes as we were boarding a cruise ship. Luckily one of the employees was nice enough to set it off to the side until we returned (frantically) to claim it.

    Q3: I personally believe the process is very secure and stable in terms of safety, the only improvements I could envision would entail some way to make the entire process more enjoyable and less tedious for everyone involved. Perhaps by giving the people waiting in line a way to speed up the process by allowing the TSA employees to grab and scan their belongings before the passenger physically reaches the scanner could cut waiting times down significantly. Many improvements could be made to the process and I can only see my travel experiences getting easier and much more secure in the future.

    Ariel Chay
    BUSMGT 3230
    W/F 2:20-3:40

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  17. Q1. The security process makes me feel very safe and I would rate it 95 out of 100. The majority of the time the agents are completely focused on doing their job and their "bad" attitude lets me know they will take any necessary steps if something seems wrong. I would only rate security a 95 because I have heard stories in the past where people have been caught at the last line of defense and sometimes mistakes will happen. Also the new machines that are used make me feel safer because it is another step towards keeping me safe.

    Q2. My most interesting security experience happened when I took my allergy shot medication through security. I picked up and received one allergy shot the morning before I flew which I found out to be a problem. For some odd reason maybe because of the shot or maybe not; there was a problem with some sort of residue on my hands. After ten minutes of different agents wiping my hands to see what was on them, another agent asked me to step aside and asked what was in my cooler bag. I told them it was allergy serum which led me to wait twenty more minutes until they finally let me go. This occurred because I didnt have the proper documentation for my serum and there was no line behind me so the agents were under no rush to look into any suspicious activity.
    Q3. My suggestion for improving this process would be to inform people more often about what can and can not be taken through security and having more lines and machines open. Altough annoying, I think it would be helpful if people were told what items were not permitted often. First at the airline agent or kiosk where you print your ticket, then in line through speakers as you wait to get past the agents who look at your boarding pass and identification,then by the those agents and again as you wait to put your bags through. People would get annoyed easily but for the person calling, texting and plugged in at the same time there is a better chance they hear the message. Also to help the process I suggest that there be more lines open and more x-ray machines. If there was one x-ray machine for every line, some time would be saved instead of waiting for the person in the adjacent line to decide if they want to go first or you. Also the person waving you through the x-ray machine it pointless, if you tell people (in my previous idea) that once your bags go through then you can go through the x-ray machine, that agent is pointless. The majority of people know that rule and for people who dont, there can be a green circle or red circle to indicate when you can enter the machine.

    Jon Pomerantz
    BUSMGT 3230
    W/F 12:45-2:05

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  18. Interesting piece Dr.B.

    Q1: I would give it a 95 on a 0-100 scale. Despite all the hassle and the incident of almost having your phone taken away, it seems like a process where people and their items are carefully scrutinized as they should be. The slowness seemed to be caused by people being too talkative rather than due to any operational inefficiency. But I wonder how the staff could possibly interfere conversations between lines without raising eyebrows.

    Q2: I went to the AC Milan vs Royal Madrid game at the Yankees Stadium last summer. I was stopped at the security check b/c apparently laptops are not allowed in the stadium. The guard asked me to go deposit it at this store 10-mins-walk away, which I later realized had already closed. The game already started so in order to get in ASAP I decided to play a trick by putting the laptop in a "hidden" pocket of my bag. I pretended to look as relaxed as possible during the second check. But the guy saw right through it. I told him that the deposit shop had closed and pleaded for entrance. After knowing that the ticket was one of the more expensive ones, he relented after warning me "never ever take it out." This incident happened b/c I wasn't aware of the restriction of laptop for sports events. To this day, I'm not sure if that's how they do it at any kind of big athletic game. Another factor was that there seemed to be a logistical problem between the security staff and the deposit place, or at least a disconnection of information.

    Q3: To improve the process at airport, I suggest letting people into the area of security check in relatively small batch. It may slow the entire process a bit, but would be faster for each group of people and more controllable for the TSA.

    Tianchao Xu
    BUSMGT 3230
    W/F 12:45 PM- 2:05 PM

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  20. Q1: I personally would give Chines Airline security process an 80, and give the US a 95. Because within China, we do not have to take off the shoes or stand at the certain area, raise the hands over the head to identify ourselves by the camera. All we have to do is scan the belongings and scan ourselves by going through a security gate. So I feel definitely safer in the US, because when I waiting in line, I do not have to worry about the guy before me may hide a bomb in his shoe. Just kidding, though I believe there is always a room for improvement for either Chins or US.

    Q2:My most interesting security experience was happened in my home town Beijing, the capital of China and the city with the worst traffic in the world. Once I had to catch a flight during the rush hour and when I got to the airport, my flight was about to leave in 25 minutes and there was a long line. Luckily the officers were so helpful, they let me through the gate first. But the most embarrassing part is there was an oversize spry sunscreen in my purse, I forgot to put it in the luggage due to the limit time. They told me it is not allowed to carry on, I apologized and the only thing I considered at that time was I am going to miss my plane. Out of my expect, they returned the spry to me and said I should be careful next time. When I ran to the gate as fast as I can, I found my flight on the screen and it was delay for an hour.

    Q3: 1 I think they should be more careful about the weight and size of the carry luggage, because sometimes I found they did not notice some of them are oversize.
    2 Open more lines when there are big amount of people.
    3 Divide the passengers to different lines by there flight time.

    Mengdie Wang
    BUSMGT 3230
    W/F 12:45 PM- 2:05 PM

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  21. Q1: As for the security within U.S., I would give a 92.3. In many courses I have taken, the instructors set the minimum score to get an A is 92.5, and by giving a 92.3 I mean the security process in the States is pretty strict and well-designed. Compared to many other countries that I've been, U.S. airport security asks all of the passengers to take off their shoes whereas some countries such as China, Japan do not. But except few big international airports, other places may not reach the same standards. The line tends to be very slow and the security process seems loose as well. So in total, it is good compared to other countries, yet not good enough to get an A.
    Q2: Last summer I went to Japan on a trip with my parents, and when we finished our trip and got ready to go back to China, I was stopped after I went through the security process. They said they need to check my visa and thus let me sit there for 20 minutes (my flight was 35 minutes later). And I tried to ask them what's wrong with it and they said it's nothing but they just need to check. And they let me go after 20 minutes without any reason at all.
    Q3: I would suggest that they may separate passengers into different categories. Those who do not have any luggage could be put in a "quick pass" line so that it speeds up the process. Moreover, I really hope they could separate the plastic containers that is used to put your stuff in. People always put their shoes in that little container and later on that one would probably carry another person's clothes, which I feel not really comfortable and sanitary.

    Yanrui Yin
    BUSMGT 3230
    W/F 12:45-2:05PM

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  22. Q1: I would like to rate 95 out of 100 on TSA security process. TSA agents are professional and take passengers’ safety as their priority. I feel safe when I travel within United States or travel abroad.

    Q2: My security experiences are smooth and no hassle. Security agents in China require passenger to take off their electronic devices and coat whereas do not require them to take off shoes. When I traveled in China last summer, a security agent stopped me and asked me to take off my snow boot because they suspect I would hide some dangerous stuff. But they also gave me a flip-flop for the sake of sanitary when I went through security process.

    Q3: I would suggest that TSA could figure out rush flight hour and slow flight hour by cooperating with airport. They could open more line and place a security agent in each line to help passenger with their belongings during rush hour and open two or three line and place only one agent for all lines during slow hours.

    Wenying Li
    BUSMGT3230
    W/F 14:20-15:30

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  23. Q1. all the airports are almost the same for me. THEY ALL TAKE A LONG TIME TO DO THE PROCESS(Unless you are in the business/first class). However, i believe it is necessary to the checking carefully and it does take some time to ensure the safety. Based on this, although it takes a long time, i would rate a 90 out of 100 according to my experiences in different airports.

    Q2. One interesting thing is that I brought a bottle of liquid water and passed all the checking processes without being asked. I mean...we all know that liquid cannot be brought to the flight. Is that mean they don't really check the things? What if that is not just water but sometime dangerous to the flight? It just surprised me that the checking was not that strict as i thought. and that happened in the biggest airport in the States, the JFK airport, the checking is just somehow LOOSE.

    Q3. For the time spent waiting for the line, actually, if one follows the checking process correctly, it just needs one or two minutes to finish the checking for each one. It is the people who don't take off their items slow down the checking process, I would suggest to force everyone take off their shoes, coats, all the stuffs before they get into the "Checking area" In advance. That can speed up the process, i think...

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  24. Q1: I would give 95 for the security process. However, every time I need to take a plane to US or from US. I could stop thinking about the annoying process. Security became the first priority after 9/11, but do we need to be that "secure"?
    Q2: I don't think I have any interesting security experience, but i couldn't forget the last time I came back to Columbus in Christmas. I was bringing my Xbox with me coming back from Orange County. I took everything out from my pockets, and took off my shoes. I remembered to take out my ipad, but not the Xbox. So when my stuffs going through the X-ray machine, the TSA stopped me and they asked me "is that a Xbox in the case?" I said "Yeah". Therefore, they opened my case and took all my games out and the Xbox in front of everyone. At that moment I felt so embarrassing.
    Q3: In order to improve the process, I would suggest to open more lines, that would really help when its rush hours. Also, replace old machines. I don't know why the machines cant scan through the shoes instead of the body.

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  25. Q1: The current US security process makes me feel safe. So I would give it 92 on a scale of 1-100.

    Q2: The most interesting experience I had was when I was coming back to Columbus from Orlando in last winter break, I were asked to take off my earrings and put them into the plastic tray before I went through the metal detector. I was surprised because I had never taken off my earrings before in the security process of other countries and even other cities in the Unites States.

    Q3: My suggestion to improve this process is first adding more lines and devices, which could speed up the security process by breaking up long queues. In addition, TSA agents should be trained to guide people to follow the correct steps in the middle of the line, at least 5 minutes before the person go through the metal detector. Also I expect the technology currently used could be improved.

    Kaier Feng
    BUSMGT 3230
    W/F 12:45-2:05PM

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  27. Q1. With a scale of 1-100, I would rate my security about 95. In fact, I feel pretty safe and minus the 5 points in case of something happen.

    Q2. I do not have any security experience. Every time I pass it, it is another boring repeated action. My dad has some interesting experience. Once my dad’s baggage was scanned, the officer said there was lighter in his baggage. But my dad never smoked so how could he have lighter? They looked everywhere but cannot find it. Finally, the officer found it in a layer of the two small bags in his baggage where my father never knew it before. My father does not know how could a lighter come in his bag till now.

    Q3. 1. Limit the weight of the carry-on baggage. Therefore, if the baggage has to be checked by TSA, fewer products will save time. In fact, if necessary, it is better to find ways such as eliminate the baggage fees to reduce the carry-on products.
    2. Separate the people who are familiar with the rules and who aren’t. For the people who are not familiar with the process such as who seldom travel or first time to USA, it is better to separate them and tell them the process in advance in order to save others time.
    In addition, for the people who travel a lot and have a good credit record that never or seldom take banned items that need check, they may have a speed line.
    Besides, separate the people who do not have carry-on baggage.
    3. People waste a lot of time because they have to take off the shoes and wear it again. Therefore, a new type of scanner should be provided that can include the foot. Then people can pass without taking off the shoes.

    Shu Li
    BUSMGT 3230
    W/F 12:45-2:05pm

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  28. Q1- On a scale from 1-100 I would say 85. I think there's always room for human error in the process and I think racial profiling plays a part in that as well.

    Q2- I've never really had a bad security experience while traveling, the few complaints I have are about the length of lines and the rate at which they move. I've seen some unpleasant TSA employees at Paris' Charles de Gaulle but I believe they were just mean to anyone that wasn't French so I didn't take offence.

    Q3- To improve the current process, I would suggest more automation perhaps. More automation would reduce the human error/bias, would probably keep the lines moving faster. I am by no means a security expert so i'm not sure how safe the automated machines would be, but if they can pretty much scan as far as one's skin, sounds safe to me.
    I would also suggest perhaps having 2 TSA lines, one for frequent flyers, such as business travelers and the jet setters, and another for first timers or those who need more assistance with the process. We could also go further by splitting the latter into 2 lanes, one for those with children and those without, since we all know children make everything more difficult.

    Amr Noureldin
    BUSMGT 3230 W/F 12:45

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  29. Q1. I would say on a scale of 1-100 for how safe i feel while traveling I would have to say I am about a 99 out of 100. I understand that the process of them checking all of your things and waiting in line can be a pain but i feel it is the best way to find the things they are looking for. Once I am through security i have never once felt unsafe or threatened by anything going on in the airport.

    Q2. One time when traveling with my brother I was randomly selected to be patted down after going through the metal detecter and not setting anything off. They had one man pat me down and then for some reason he thought I had something so they brought three more people over to take a look at me. My brother thought this was hilarious and was encouraging a strip search, but after about 5 minutes of emptying my pockets and getting patted up and down they let me through.

    Q3. One thing that I would change is maybe have more metal detecters and less airport security people. I just feel that the metal detecters and that technology is what is really making the airport safe, not the people doing there occasional pat down. I also think maybe having more stations where you can go through security would speed the process especially at busy airports.

    Ryan Siggins
    BUSMGT 3230
    WF 2:20-3:40

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  30. Q1: On a scale of 1-100 for security process, i will choose 90 as sometimes staffs at the airport will make some mistakes, but for the most of the time, they are quite professional and dedicated for we people.
    Q2: For the most interesting security experience, actually i do not have one. But there had a one not interesting but quite tough for me. When i came back from China, as we foreigners needed to pass the customs, i landed at Chicago airport. The line was so long but my next flight was only two hours left back to Columbus. I just waited there for the line to move. It was like taking 2 hours to pass the customs. Definitely, i was late for my next flight. I felt upset about it as i arrived really late at Columbus and really exhausted.
    Q3: For the improvement of the process, i have some suggestions. First, i think it is better for the airport having some access like easy-pass access for who frequently taking flights and they are always the good behaviors. For them, they can pass the security check quicker and simpler than others. Second, the agency like TSA, they could improve their professional knowledge. They can quickly observe or have the conversation with the potential dangerous people for detection. In this way, passengers can be left out these complicated and slow security check.
    The third one is that i think passengers should have the aware that they can not bring forbidden stuffs when they will take a flight. Or they can check the regulations prior to security check. These can save a lot of time.

    Yifan Wu
    BUSMGT 3230 W/F 12:45-2:05 PM

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  31. Q1) If I had to rate how secure I feel when going through the security process in an airport, I would feel about 90/100. I understand the process can be a pain and can at times be a very long, tedious process, but in the end it is all for our safety. If they were able to come up with new, better ways at detecting that take even longer, I would accept those changes. I feel that most people would value more safety over less time. Although, if they can perfect their current process more efficient without compromising security, I don't think anyone could be opposed to that.

    Q2) My grandfather has very tan skin and he goes to florida every single winter. When he comes back he is about 10 shades darker than before he left, and he almost always gets chosen to be searched. He always has good fun with it though.

    Q3) One thing I would change in the process is for their to be more technology/ automation. There is too much chance for human error right now, and using people is not nearly as efficient as modern technology. By no means do I think that human decision making should be completely eliminated from the process, but just reduced or placed somewhere where they can be more efficient as well. You could have more lines for people to go through, more people per hour, and less bias.

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  32. 1. The security process does make me feel safer when flying. I'll say an 80 out of 100. I believe the fact that TSA is there is is a huge deterrent of criminal activity on an airplane. The reason I do not feel safer than an 80 is, although I'm sure most TSA workers do their job diligently it only takes one worker to be snoozing on the job to let a dangerous person onto an airplane with something he should not have.

    2. My family and I went to Australia a few years ago. My brother accidentally packed scissors in his carry-on bag. Before they were eventually caught by the smallest airport I've even been in's security team, we had gone through the security at Columbus International Airport, LAX, and the Brisbane International Airport. Did the Columbus, Los Angeles, and Brisbane teams not catch the scissors in the bag? Did they see the scissors and not think my brother was any threat so they just let him go? Who knows, but it is kind of scary that he was let on to that many flights with a banned item in his carry on.

    3. I personally do not care at all about waiting in a long security line, I would not like to give up safety for convenience. So overall I don't think they need to quicken the scanning process. What they could do, however, is develop a fast pass system like Disney World. You go up to the start of the security line and take a ticket that tells you when to come back to jump to the head of the line. In the mean time you could eat, use the restroom, shop, that kind of thing.

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  33. Q1: I give the security process a 95. Ironically, ever since 9/11 I have felt safe stepping on an airplane. I usually feel confident that our domestic airports take all the necessary measures to prevent such a tragic event from happening again. Also, the longevity of the process reassures me that the security is being thorough.

    Q2: I don’t really have any interesting airport security stories. I have had both cologne and toothpaste confiscated from me, which I found surprising at first. Also, I’ve noticed that (in my experience) security lines in Europe move faster than lines in the US, despite the fact that the security processes in Europe are usually very similar.

    Q3: Clearly more lines would help to shorten the amount of time it takes for a passenger to get through the security process. Of course this would require more funding and space. Airlines could also assign passengers a timeframe for when they should arrive at the security line, like Disneyworld does with their rides. This would help shorten passengers’ time spent in security lines. Everyone still takes off at the same time, but passengers wouldn’t have to spend so much time waiting in line. They could eat, shop, read, etc. The airlines could also charge more for tickets with later timeframes, because many people would find those to be the most convenient.

    Tim Mitchell
    BUSMGT 3230
    W/F 12:45

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  35. Q1: I do not feel that much secure about this security process. I will count it 30 out of 100. None of us concentrate on the process, including those TSA officers.
    Q2: Everytime when I go back to my hometown, where is located in northwest of China, from Beijing, I have to step into a special reserved line to go through the security process, be almost naked and the officers would look at us who are standing in the special line like aliens.
    Q3:My suggestion would be that we can offer two steps of security process. First step is to everybody, and it is a kind of brief security check. Second step would be an optional one which is offered to anyone who are suspected in the first step.

    Jingze Feng
    BUSMGT 3230
    W/F 2:20

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  36. Q1: How secure does the security process make you feel? Please rate on a scale of 1 - 100 where 100 is completely safe
    The security process makes me feel really safe. I would give it a 90 on scale of 1-100.

    Q2: What is your most interesting security experience? Why did this occur?
    Funniest for me was in San Francisco when a woman put her bag through the x ray machine and I just happened to notice a look of consternation on the face of the guard watching the screen. Quick as a flash he got the bag back out of the scanner and opened it to reveal the passenger's cat....
    Another one may be… my friend carried a huge tube of hand cream in her purse which far away exceeds the limitation of liquid. The safety officer took it out of her purse. My great friend stopped the officer just in time when he was about to throw it to the trash can, extruded almost half of the cream on my hand and force me to use it up….
    Q3: What suggestion(s) do you have for improving this process?
    maybe separate the path into two. one is for the passengers with laptop since they need to take their laptops out for checking while another path is for regular passengers who do not need to open their belongings. this maybe more efficient.

    Yifan Liu BUSMGT 3230 w/f 2:20

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  37. 1) The security process makes me feel very safe. I have not ever worried about potential threats while flying on an airplane, although I have only been on planes a limited amount of times. I would put the number at about 95 out of 100.

    2) I have never had an "interesting" security experience. I just go through the line like everybody else, take out my cell phone, wallet, etc. and then go through the metal detectors. So far, I've never had any problems.

    3) Like other people have suggested, more lines or automation would help. However, the long wait times somewhat gives off the feel that TSA is being thorough with every person and eliminating all potential threats. There could also be more information in telling people what to do so that when their turn is up to go through the scanners, they are aware of what they need to do and can go through the process quickly and efficiently.

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  38. Q1: I will rate the security process 95 out of 100. The security process makes me feel very safe. The most frequent routes I fly are from China to US, and every time I am required to take off every single item which contains metal to get pass the TSA. Seriously, under almost naked condition, I think most people are not able to bring things that are very dangerous with them.However, I did not rate 100 because there are always places to be improved. There always be a long waiting line and moving slowly. Besides, some of the crimes still happen, which means the TSA still have some limitations to be perfect.

    Q2: My interesting security experience happened during my trip to Japan, when I get through the security check, my case was considered to carry the disease germs. The TSA agent asked me to get further check in the security room. He asked me what was in there and I was totally had no idea what happened. I just opened my case and let them do the germ test. They used some kind of test paper and put it into a scan machine and it turned out nothing abnormal. It was totally understandable as I feel like they were really taking responsible and doing their job. But I think the security check machine should get improved a little in case more of my case happens to other people.



    Q3: Suggestions: The TSA maybe could have more stations where you can go through security more quickly and more efficient. They could also separate the people who with carry on and who without. Also, TSA need to improve the technology of the security instrument and let them be more sensitive and accurate.

    Yuening Xu
    BUSMGT 3230
    W/F 2:20-3:40

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  39. Q1: I think the security process would be rated at 90 for making me feel aafe. They do thoroughly search you in my opinion and with the body scanners it feels like nothing could go unnoticed. Also the fact that the scanners are reviewed by someone somewhere else is good so that they don't know the person that is being scanned. It's an unbiased method in that aspect.
    Q2: Just over the past Christmas break, my family and I traveled to Texas. On the way back, my sister had a baggy sweatshirt on so they had to pat her down, which she deemed "uncomfortable and awkward." They also had to run her backpack through the scanner a couple times until they finally found the problem: a waterbottle. She had obviously known that no liquids were allowed on the plane and we even asked her multiple times if she had anything well before we went to the airport. Of course she had innocently forgotten about her water. It was just interesting that she held up the line and the scanner for a while all because of a simple wardrobe decision and because of her forgetfulness.
    Q3: I'm not sure if I have any improvements in mind that I would add to the process. Multiple lines and scanners would be a lot more helpful in hurrying the line along of course but from the airport's point of view, they would have to spend a lot more for a simple convenience factor. If the lines did become a huge problem in the future though, it would probably make for a good investment.

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  40. Q1: The current U.S. Transportation Security Administration makes me feel safe. The rate of safety is at about 90/100.

    Q2: Once, I traveled from China to the U.S. with my girlfriends. She forgot to put her zippo into the checked-in baggage. That zippo was her favorite one because it was always ignited by only one slip. When the security guard took out that zippo, she was very surprise and depressed. She begged the security guard to let her take the zippo because there was no fluid in the zippo. But the security guard only gave her back the zippo case, and threw the inside part into a trashcan.

    Q3: I have three suggestions for improving the process.

    1. Lines for going through security could be separated by the average passing time. People who are able to pass the security fast stay in one line, and others stay in another line. In this way, one line could be very efficient. Many places uses the method to speed up lines, such as in supermarkets, there are cashmeres only for people have few staffs. Generally, people with many carried-on bags, with laptops and taking children have a long passing time.

    2. Each line could be separated by 3 parts, including before the scanning, during the scanning and after the scanning. I think the bottleneck is during the scanning. Therefore, our purpose should be ensuring that there are always people and baggage being scanned.

    a. So, we should have a number of people (buffer stocks) waiting for both body scanning and baggage scanning. In this way, the time of individual passengers needed to prepare to scan have no huge effect on the entire-line passing time; in other word, the lines are no longer needed to wait one person to take out his/her staff.
    b. For the after scanning part, we should ensure that the process of scanning will not stopped because there were too many staff on the conveyors that were waiting for take off. Therefore, we should make the after scanning area bigger and the baggage-scanning conveyors longer. We cannot stop scanning because of deficit of storage area.
    c. To ensure that each individual scanner doesn’t stop working, we should have only one line for fast-passing passengers and only one line for slow-passing passengers.

    3. The airport should do its best to eliminate the peak and nadir of the number of passengers go through the security process, and ensure that the number of passenger to go through security is smooth for all the time. Also, in the long-run, airports could buy more scanners.


    Xiaojie Ma
    BUSMGT 3230
    W/F 2:20-3:40

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  41. Q1: I would say around 90. The US security process makes me feel safe most of the time, although there was one time when I was in O'Hare airport, things got a little too loud and chaotic with too many people grumbling and getting naked, and I didn't feel so safe because of the chaos. It was so chaotic that it almost felt like anyone could've sneaked out of line and run away. But most of the time, I'm satisfied.

    Q2: I cannot think of any interesting experience that involves the security process. The only experience I can think of is the time when I was in LA with some friends of mine(could have been Chicago. I'm not sure.), and one of my friends got stopped and searched. It turned out that he had bought a very elaborate cool-looking toy gun for his brother in Korea (my home country) and had put it in his bag before coming to the airport. The TSA employee got suspicious of him and examined the gun for a long long time and finally let him go at the end.

    Q3: As boring as it sounds, I suggest that we open more lines. That way, we will have relatively shorter lines, which will hopefully remove the pressure to move on in a hurry. This will allow the TSA employees to examine the people and their baggage more carefully and thoroughly. As for getting naked and embarrassing everyone, I suggest that the TSA spend more time and effort in improving the technology so we can avoid having to get so naked so often.

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