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Take off your money belt at security. Really!?

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Dec 5th, 2012, 04:12 PM
  #1
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Take off your money belt at security. Really!?

Coming home yesterday, after a long, multiple layover trip, from Europe, I didn't make it successfully through the full body xray scanner at LAX. Got the TSA pat down, and was told to take off the Eagle Creek money belt that was around my waist, and hand it over. (This is a flat travel item that's been through security many times with never a blip.) They then made me stay on the air-side of the xray machine, and took my money belt back to the terminal-side staging area where people were taking off their shoes, and putting their bags on the conveyor. This really concerned me, as the TSA guy was out of my sight for several minutes .. with my money belt, cash in several currencies, and a couple of credit cards. My distinct impression is that you don't mess with TSA, but I think this was excessive. Just wondering ... was this unusual?
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Dec 5th, 2012, 04:40 PM
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Money is explosive. They are just going to remove it to protect you. Resistance is futile!
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Dec 5th, 2012, 07:29 PM
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i once had them open my travel wallets and go thru all of the stuff in full view of everyone.....so now I put it all in my handbag before security, zip it up tight and make sure that I step thru things at the same time as my stuff goes thru so Im waiting when it comes out.

I travel alone and announce it loud and clear....I make a joke of it....(keep it light is less threatening)...and make sure I have nothing on that will blip the doorway!!!

So far I have had good luck w/ all this.......but isn't it stupid we have to go thru such shenanigans and behaviors!!!
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Dec 6th, 2012, 04:13 AM
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At many airports the TSA agents require that you remove your belt (also shoes, jackets etc.), however, the "requirements" seem to be arbitrary and vary from airport to airport. For that reason, before I reach through the TSA checkpoint I remove everything from my pockets, take off my belt and put it all inside my carry-on. that way, the "stuff" never becomes an issue.

FYI - if you travel often you can sign up for the TSA Pre-Approved Trusted Traveler program. Once enrolled (and "approved") a code will be embedded in your Boarding Pass Bar Code that will identify you as a Trusted Traveler and at selected airports you'll be directed to a special Pre-approved line where you will not have to empty pockets, remove belts/shoes, etc. before going through the metal detector. Also, you just put your bags through the x-ray machine without having to remove laptops and your liquids and gel 3-1-1 bag. Right now the program is available for Domestic US travel only and at selected airports but the list is expanding and eventually will include international flights. Go here for more info: http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-pre✓™
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Dec 6th, 2012, 10:05 AM
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What I do now (as opposed to before when we only used to have to go through the metal detectors and you could wear your money belts) is put everything in my carryon and lock it before sending it through the xray. I also don't send my bag through the xray until I'm ready to go through the scanner.

If an agent needs to look in my bag, they can wait until after I have gone through whatever security scanner they have (metal detector, millimeter wave, backscatter) and I will unlock it for them. If the lock I am using is not a combination lock, I put the key in an outside pocket of the bag.
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Dec 6th, 2012, 11:54 AM
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Yes, really! I do as Leanna and chepar and put everything in my bag and then go through at the same time as my bag.

A few times I have had TSA workers fuss at me for waiting and holding up the line, as they say. I just tell them I'm waiting for my bag to go through and they back off. I'm sure they are as well-aware of theft problems at the security checks as we the traveling public are.

You are correct in saying you don't want to mess with TSA. My overall impression is that they are getting better personnel than they did at the beginning of the program, but that they still have a long way to go in hiring and training uniformly high-quality, professional staff.

Global Entry is the trusted traveler program now in effect in US airports. With it you can pretty much avoid the queues at immigration by using a kiosk when returning to or entering the US. I believe it cost me $100 for five years.

If you are enrolled in Global Entry you may also be eligible for the TSA Pre-check program, which includes pre-flight and expedited day-of-travel airport screening.

Pre-check is currently available to Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and US Airways passengers at selected checkpoints. Information about where it is currently available can be found on the Global Entry website.

When you make your ticket booking you are required to enter your trusted traveler membership number in the reservation, which is then embedded in your boarding pass barcode if you are preapproved by TSA for expedited screening for that particular trip.

You aren't guaranteed expedited screening because TSA reserves the right to impose random screening at ay time. But if you do get it, you don't have to remove your shoes, take your little plastic bag of liquids out, remove your laptop from your bag, take off your coat, jacket or belt.

You don't know whether you will have TSA Pre-check until you get to the security check-in point where someone scans your boarding pass, so it important to follow all the rules about what is permitted in your carry-on bags. If you are found to be not in compliance you can be removed from the program and banned for life from reapplying.

It's a good program and so far has worked well for me. However, you have to decide if you fly enough to make the cost worth your while. There are other programs under the Global Entry umbrella, including expedited entry at US borders with Canada and Mexico.
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Dec 6th, 2012, 01:15 PM
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Good to know; I don't feel like such a victim, now. I must have simply been lucky, previously, with my money belt, which I will now lock in my purse before security. Thanks for the information about the trusted traveler program; not something I'd heard about.

And, yes, resistance IS futile. Hate those Borgs.
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Dec 6th, 2012, 02:10 PM
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I had the same experience at LAX a couple years ago. I made them call the police before I would hand it over. T
hey were not happy to say the least. Tried to get me to hand it over to them, called the higher ups etc. All mine has were some Euros and Aust Dollars as well as my ccs. When the policewoman showed up she asked me for it I handed it to her, she opened it in front of them, looked in and me and handed it back.
Stand up for your rights!
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Dec 6th, 2012, 02:27 PM
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Right to what? To hold up other passengers with your paranoid behavior?
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Dec 6th, 2012, 03:06 PM
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I put everything in my backpack now when I go through the body scanner. With four zippers in my backpack, it sometimes takes me five minutes to find things; hopefully it will take the theft patrol at the TSA that long to find it. Even with everything out of my pockets, the TSA wants to pat me down, but then I do have a hot bod. I always thank them for the massage.

I remember many years ago placing my keys in the small tub at security at the Orlando airport. Over Nevada, I realized I never picked up my keys. My keys go in the backpack at security and I never get them out again until I return from a flight.

I just flew from Dubai to Washington, DC, and I had to go through security three times in Dubai. Many US airlines have added their own security at the gate. Unless the extra pat down makes you feel better, fly a foreign airline and get a free drink.
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Dec 6th, 2012, 04:26 PM
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Brian_in_Charlotte: "...paranoid behavior..."? Nope, not really.

Do an internet search for 'TSA theft' and you will come up with articles such as "Top 20 airports where TSA thugs are most likely to steal your stuff" and "Pythias Brown, Convicted TSA Officer, Says Theft At Airport Is 'Very Commonplace'" and some 756,000 more, according to Yahoo.

From one such article comes this: "A TSA officer was arrested Wednesday at New York's JFK airport after a fellow officer allegedly saw her steal cash out of a passenger's jacket as it moved along a conveyor belt, a Transportation Safety Administration spokeswoman has acknowledged. Alexandra Schmid is accused of taking $5,000 from the jacket as it passed by on its way to be X-rayed, the Associated Press reported."

Learn more at http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nati...-stealing.html
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Dec 6th, 2012, 05:52 PM
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Stop putting valuables in your belt.
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Dec 6th, 2012, 06:56 PM
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You wear a money belt in the airport? That would seem to be the safest place during your travels so IMO no need to use a money belt there. I do use money belts - but not for my flights. I just have everything in my handbag and/or carry-on which go through the machine. Then whatever needs to be - I place in the money belt/neck pouch after checking in at my hotel or apartment.
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Dec 6th, 2012, 08:20 PM
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Why would you think an airport is particularly safe? You don't think travelers or airport workers steal things? And see above about TSA agents stealing, also:

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/abc-ne...ry?id=17331937
http://tsanewsblog.com/7952/news/mor...ews/#more-7952

And what about getting from the airport to your hotel? I frequently use public transport for that leg, you'd better believe I'm wearing my money belt!
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Dec 6th, 2012, 08:41 PM
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I flew from Perth, Australia to the US a month ago. When I arrived at SFO and had to clear security for the gazillionth time for a connecting flight, I was scolded by TSA for not removing a tissue from my pocket.

I dread traveling to/from and within the US. Such a pain in the arse.

I just passed through Seoul and Singapore yesterday. In both instances, they give you a numbered card for each item that you put through security, then you return the card when you collect your items. Seems like a good system to me.
They also didn't give a hoot about my bag of liquids or the tissue and chapstick in my pocket. So civilized.
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Dec 7th, 2012, 02:22 AM
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Joanne H's comment. I love cash and carry a bit with my credit cards etc in my HANDBAG which is the same as a money belt.

As you need the police to hand over your moneybelt, do you insist on the same when they want to check your handbag?
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Dec 7th, 2012, 03:35 AM
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A handbag is not the same as a money belt. It would be a lot easier to keep something "dangerous" in a handbag. You are likely to have more valuables in a money belt than a "little cash" and CCs. In any case, the TSA does not have police powers, and even if they were going to search the belt in front of me, which might well not be the case, I would have issues about it too.

The TSA is very expensive security theater. The untested "nude scan" machines, and grope searches, do nothing to make us safer. Good intelligence work does that. By convincing a number of people to drive, instead of flying, they have actually made travel more dangerous.
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Dec 7th, 2012, 08:33 AM
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thursdaysd - you got it! Where's the LIKE button?!
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Dec 7th, 2012, 09:11 AM
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Right to what? To hold up other passengers with your paranoid behavior?

Exactly. Why people obsess over stuff like this is beyond me. Let it go. Stop being an idiot and just go through security.

Money is explosive. They are just going to remove it to protect you. Resistance is futile!

Actually, it is because the scanners are designed to detect things that are not normal to the profile of an individual. A money belt could readily conceal a weapon within it's outline.

The TSA is very expensive security theater. The untested "nude scan" machines, and grope searches, do nothing to make us safer. Good intelligence work does that.

And I presume you are an expert on large-scale security and intelligence?

Why would you think an airport is particularly safe? You don't think travelers or airport workers steal things? And see above about TSA agents stealing, also:

They aren't particularly unsafe and a few scattered anecdotes considered against the millions of travelers going through security each day hardly makes a compelling case for paranoia. Yeah, theft happens, but I don't live in fear of being robbed while at home, at work, or walking the street and I sure as hell don't live in fear that the TSA are going to steal $20 out of my money belt while it is going through security.
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Dec 7th, 2012, 01:45 PM
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I'm more surprised you were ever allowed thru wearing something under your clothes. That's kinda the whole idea of the check.
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