TSA hand wipe

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Apr 3rd, 2014, 11:25 AM
  #1
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TSA hand wipe

I flew out of a small airport last week (Spokane WA) and TSA swabbed my hands with what looks like a hand sanitizer wipe then stuck that wipe into a machine. What was that all about?
thanks, suze
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Apr 3rd, 2014, 11:45 AM
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I had that happen to me last week also. I jut Googled and the Google results say that is a test for explosives
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Apr 3rd, 2014, 11:45 AM
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Explosives trace detection. Passengers are selected randomly for it. I seem to get it fairly often in the TSA-Pre line, including last weekend at LAX.
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Apr 3rd, 2014, 11:59 AM
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Kind of figured must be something like that. Thanks for the google on my behalf, and the answer!
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Apr 3rd, 2014, 12:13 PM
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If you check a bag they will also use the wipe on the handle.
If it tests positive for nitrates they will open the bag.
My son the Marine had a wrist cast on when he went to the shooting range to qualify. The TSA had some questions for him when he checked in for a flight later that day.
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Apr 6th, 2014, 06:53 AM
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Yep it was for explosives. I had that happened two times at different airports in the US but not overseas. I am not sure what they look for when selecting people so assume it to be completely random.
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Apr 7th, 2014, 03:31 AM
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I had it departing Rome this week, along with the "open your bags and let us look inside." I often get the the "step aside" when returning to US from abroad. I do travel out of the country several times a year but I am a 77-year old "anglo" (as they say in Texas) female! Guess we're never too old to be suspect!
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Apr 7th, 2014, 11:31 AM
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sure I'd understand that better (overseas travel or even if I'd been going in or out of Mexico like I often do).

This was a one-day business trip between Seattle so Spokane and back!
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Apr 9th, 2014, 04:03 AM
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I just had this happen going through security in Dulles. I asked why and was told that it was because I had a credit card in my pocket when I went through the scanner and the presence of plastic was a red flag.
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Apr 11th, 2014, 07:10 PM
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I have been tested frequently for explosives both as a passenger and a a non passenger with just a handbag at Australian airports.
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Apr 29th, 2014, 07:08 AM
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My wife flew on Southwest this week to New Mexico & back. Her ticket unbeknownst to her was marked TSA pre checked in or security cleared. She was allowed to get in a separate short line, not having to remove her shoes but simply walk through the metal detector.
She has no idea why she got this treatment although she does fly Southwest several times a year.
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Apr 29th, 2014, 07:13 AM
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PS I find it is a bit amusing that our Suze would be spotted as a possible terrorist.
Last time I went through LA a Large sign stated that those over 75 did not have to remove their shoes. Guess Terrorists retire before 75.
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Apr 29th, 2014, 11:48 AM
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They let me keep my shoes on but swabbed my hands It was particularly amusing since this was a teeny ~70 person flight on a little Bombadier between Spokane and Seattle.
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Apr 29th, 2014, 12:52 PM
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Stewbear, they randomly select people at certain airports to pre-check like you ahead of time in an effort to keep the line going. I saw this happen at Bradley Airport in front of me and was curious about it.
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Apr 29th, 2014, 01:41 PM
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Flipside, I've been selected at random for pre-check a few times at SeaTac. So I must not totally look like a terrorist afterall.
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Apr 30th, 2014, 06:06 PM
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TSA, in a marketing attempt to get people to sign up for paid PreCheck, allows random people to use the PreCheck lane.Once they reach their "quota" they will stop giving it away for free. It isn't to keep the line moving.

Their idea is that if you try it, you'll like it enough to pay for it.
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May 8th, 2014, 05:45 PM
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Certain cold medicines can also trigger the swipe alert. When DD and I went to New York, I was fighting a horrible cold, and at LAX, got put into extra security, and had to be physically searched The TSA agent told me it was most likely the cold/cough medicine.
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May 9th, 2014, 02:35 PM
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How do you know that, DebitNM? Not being snarky, seriously curious because you say as a fact.

I think it is (to keep the line moving).

The "marketing attempt" may be a small part of it. But I have only ever been waved over into pre-check when the security lines were really backed up.
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May 9th, 2014, 04:22 PM
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I was told that by TSA agent
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May 9th, 2014, 04:39 PM
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We fly ever month. There have been times when the TSA PreCheck line is longer than regular lines. So, if they were wanting to move the line along, wouldn't they tell people to go on regular line? They don't.
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