Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Does airport security have the right to rifle through my wallet?

Does airport security have the right to rifle through my wallet?

Sep 17th, 2002, 08:19 PM
  #1  
chris
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Does airport security have the right to rifle through my wallet?

On a recent flight returning home from Orlando my spouse & I were picked out for "random screening" before boarding the plane. My bags were checked and I was only carrying my handbag and a small bag of tourist items picked up at the airport shops. What angered me was that the baggage screener completely emptied my purse onto the table and then opened every crevice of my wallet including the change purse. Do the screeners have the right to search my wallet like that? It was very humiliating to have all my private things on display including have someone checking out how much cash I was carrying. I was going to say something but was't sure if I would have been out of line.
 
Sep 17th, 2002, 08:56 PM
  #2  
Steve
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
In this day and age yes, I would say that security has the right to search your belongings, including your wallet. I would think that it would make me have more confidence in security if they are that thorough. My philosophy is if that you have nothing to hide, then you should hve no problem with searches. You should not carry anything with you that might cause you to be embarrassed if it is seen by security.

I am not saying that security is perfect, far from it. As far as I am concerned, instead of doing random searches, security should be selecting people to be searched based on a profile (ie Middle Eastern male, previous travels to countries known to support or harbor terrorists, etc. This is the only way to ensure our safety.
 
Sep 18th, 2002, 03:58 AM
  #3  
frequent
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Yeah Chris agree with Steve, when you choose to fly expect things like this, humility is a far less thing to experience than the possibilities in todays screwed up world we live in. So basically get over it.
 
Sep 18th, 2002, 04:41 AM
  #4  
FrequentFlyer
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I agree that security has the right to take extra precautions.

However, in this case, I can't imagine why they would need to search a wallet so thorougly as to the amount of cash a person has with them.

What contraband might they find this way...after all , the wallet had already been x-rayed.

There should be a purpose to whatever techniques the security people elect to use.

I too, am in favor of profiling as mentioned above. Just ask EL-AL, they use profiling.
 
Sep 18th, 2002, 07:01 AM
  #5  
x
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
If you're smart, you won't get cute with TSA - there are a bunch of them, and they appear to be ready to kick your butt if you get out of line. Just open up that wallet, and if you've got some condoms you don't want the world to see, use them or ditch them.
 
Sep 18th, 2002, 07:20 AM
  #6  
doc
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I agree with the previous post. We want them to be thorough. If this is part of the procedure,and it shouldnt take too much time,its ok.I think its best to keep things moving smoothly.
 
Sep 18th, 2002, 07:35 AM
  #7  
FrequentFlyer
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Doc,

We are all in favor of being thorough.

No one has been able to explain how a wallet searched that thouroughly and money counted would improve security.

Perhaps, security could be more effective by spending the time & effort doing something else. ..or by being more consistent..or by profiling.

The inconsistencies at airports shows that more training is still needed.
 
Sep 18th, 2002, 07:37 AM
  #8  
J
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Just got searched a couple weeks ago in SLC, and the very young man (I'm 29, so when I say he looked young, I mean he looked like he was in high school!) looked very embarassed as he went through my purse---opening up my lipstick, powder compact, everything. I was fairly amused at how detailed he was with some thing, but then he never looked in, for example, my toiletry kit or my palm pilot. I don't care what they look through--if I did, I would check it--but it was funny that he was very details on some items, but totally overlooked others.
 
Sep 18th, 2002, 07:44 AM
  #9  
doc
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Frequent Flyer
Agreed.Perhaps they are profiling certain passengers by more intensive searches, i.e. wallets etc. Counting $$$ makes no sense. The majority of "searching" may be for consumer confidence as well. I know in BOS they are very thorough for that reason. They took alot of abuse after 9/11.
 
Sep 18th, 2002, 07:54 AM
  #10  
Miss/Mr X
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I would also say yes. We just have to remember that it's not a personal thing. Stand and wait, let them do their job, get your stuff back together, and move on.
 
Sep 18th, 2002, 07:57 AM
  #11  
chris
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I was your regular run of the mill caucasian tourist, I think they just searched my bag so much beacuse I wasn't carrying luggage. Has anyone had their suitcase turned upside down and emptied? Believe me Frequent I have definately "gotten over it" this is nothing compared to the real problems going on out there I just think this was a little excessive - nobody else in line got this treatment.
 
Sep 18th, 2002, 08:06 AM
  #12  
xxx
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Chris if you think they're thorough with someone not carrying luggage, you should see what they do with someone with a carry on suitacse on a 1 way flight ticket!
 
Sep 18th, 2002, 08:07 AM
  #13  
Jen
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I am a 30 year old caucasion female. The last time I went through security at DFW I was pulled aside, my handband searched and I was "wanded" with a metal detector. I had checked luggage and I did not set off the "initial" big metal detector when I walked through. As the female screener "wanded" me, the wand "went off" as it passed over my calves so I had to be patted down. I've got no problem with any of this, although I don't understand why the wand went off. I don't have metal inserts in my shins or anything. Then when I got to the gate, I was pulled aside a second time, wanded (again the detector went off as it passed my calves), my shoes were removed and inspected, and I was patted down again. I can't imagine why the detector would have gone off as it went over my calves. But I guess I do feel safer that if they'd give me that kind of inspection, they'd surely catch someone fitting a profile who was actually up to something.
 
Sep 18th, 2002, 08:10 AM
  #14  
Thinkhowthey
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I for one am glad the scrutiny has angered some, amused some, "abused" rights of some, embarassed some, etc. Think about it; as frequent flyer said, "the possibilites". It would be very easy to hide a box cutter type blade between a fairly thick wad of bills in your wallet; then as your at your seat with tape and a handle end of hairbrush... If your a terrorist and thinking of this I want you to know that your "private" things will be searched, any amount of cash will be looked at, EVERY type of person will be subjet to search, there will be no purpose to searches, SO QUIT WHINING, IT MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE!
 
Sep 18th, 2002, 08:11 AM
  #15  
Susan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
There may be reasons for counting your money. Perhaps as part of the profiling they're "not" doing, someone carrying a large amount of cash with no checked luggage may be suspicious. Who knows?

When I flew recently my bracelets set off the metal detector so I had to be wanded and have my carryon thoroughly searched. I had a woman security person do both, and she was very polite and thorough. Yes she looked in my wallet and change purse, yes she swabbed my purse for explosives, yes she took EVERYTHING out of my purse, patted me down, wanded me all over. It is disconcerting, especially when I couldn't quite remember what was in my purse, but that's her job. If we want to fly we have to live with it.
 
Sep 18th, 2002, 08:20 AM
  #16  
chris
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I knew it would only be a matter of time before someone started insulting me. I would hardly call this "whining" Mr. Caps. I was just calling attention to a particular scenario. There is no way I could have been hiding anything important in a 3X3" change purse. I travel monthly on business and pleasure and have been searched numerous times including my luggage. Just makes for an interresting debate.
 
Sep 18th, 2002, 08:21 AM
  #17  
Jen Barber
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I just get upset when security decides that they have to root through my underwear and, in the process, just happen to sniff my panties. What has that got to do with security?
 
Sep 18th, 2002, 08:30 AM
  #18  
xxx
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
My concern, trival as it may be to others, is not being searched, but rather having everything emptied or dumped out. When we travel (usually once or twice a year), I have things organized in my purse or carry on bag so that I know where all my important papers, cash, credit cards, etc. are. My paranoid self checks them frequently to see that I have everything. I don't fear for what airline security will find in my bag. But I do fear for losing something important in the search process.
 
Sep 18th, 2002, 08:39 AM
  #19  
Lenore
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Consistency seems to be the biggest problem with today's airport security. A recent example: Over a span of two days I flew from FLL to La Guardia, then from LGA to Detroit, then from Detroit back home the Ft Lauderdale. I had identical bags for all legs of this trip. Only once was I singled out (in NY) for a more extensive screening. They only went through my hand bag and found nothing. They confiscated a manicure set from another passenger next to me. A few days after returning home, I realized that the small pocket knife (which has two small blades plus a tiny pair of scissors) was attached to my keyring the whole trip. Nobody ever detected it! Why aren't there standards for the TSA to follow? Obviously, something in my purse made them screen me more thoroughly, yet they never found the pocket knife.....which was not hidden at all.
 
Sep 18th, 2002, 08:41 AM
  #20  
FequentFlyer
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Think,

As sensitive as the x- ray machines and metal detectors have been set, I would find it hard to believe that a razor blade would not set of the alarm. Hidden between bills should make no diffence. The x- ray machine can "see through" your luggage, can't it.

I fly a fair amount and am in favor of security that would make a difference.

I'm just not sure that counting money in a wallet helps security. Maybe other things should be looked into as an alternative/addition.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:26 AM.