26 June 2007

Please Feel Free

Filed under: Reflections — ktismatics @ 3:47 pm

When we began unpacking our bags we found that two of them had been opened, with a Notice of Baggage Inpection tucked inside. The notice reads as follows (boldface added by me for ironic effect):

To protect you and your fellow passengers, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is required by law to inspect all checked baggage. As part of this process, some bags are opened and physically inspected. Your bag was among those selected for physical inspection.

During the inspection, your bag and its contents may have been searched for prohibited items. At the completion of the inspection, the contents were returned to your bag.

If the TSA security officer was unable to open your bag for inspection because it was locked, the officer may have been forced to break the locks of your bag. TSA sincerely regrets having to do this, however TSA is not liable for damage to your locks resulting from this necessary security precaution.

For packing tips and suggestions on how to secure your baggage during your next trip, please visit: www.tsa.gov

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation. If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact the TSA Contact Center:

Phone: 866.289.9673 (toll free)
Email: TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov

Inasmuch as we did not lock our bags, we did not force the TSA agents into having to do anything they might regret in fulfilling their legal requirements.

The TSA is a division of the Homeland Security Administration, whose long arm has reached out to us at two other points (that we know of) on our return to the States. In applying for private health insurance we signed an agreement acknowledging that the insurer would provide information about our health records to HSA. Likewise when we opened a bank account we agreed that the bank would provide our financial information to HSA.



  1. Welcome to the (paranoid) land of the free!


    Comment by samlcarr — 27 June 2007 @ 6:22 am

  2. John your biggest obstacle to overcome is the food. Your going to miss that food.


    Comment by Ivan — 27 June 2007 @ 7:15 am

  3. John,

    At one of the US airports, and I think its one in Texas, they use to have one of those signs with silhouettes of what you couldn’t take through the airport. One of these was of a bomb. It was interesting to me that it was drawn as a large black balling ball with a sizzling fuse hanging out of it. I guess it was a warning to Wily Coyote of the road runner fame.


    Comment by Ivan — 27 June 2007 @ 9:41 am

  4. A tip: put wine in your checked baggage, not your carry-on. You know how explosive a big Bordeaux can be if it gets opened during the flight.


    Comment by ktismatics — 28 June 2007 @ 3:15 am

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