Few government agencies it seems ~ to accumulate as lot rancor as the Transportation security Administration. Some of that ok will might be due to the truth that the travel public interfaces v them in human being every day, often while was standing in slow-moving lines or acquiring searched. But while there are numerous misconceptions around the TSA, below are five myths the seem to be among the most prevalent.

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1. TSA officers are legislation enforcement officials.

TSA officers may look the part, yet they aren"t cops.

"Transportation Security police officers (TSOs) space not regulation enforcement," according to Ross Feinstein, push Secretary of the Transportation defense Administration, U.S. Department of landscape Security. "TSA officers rely ~ above state and local law enforcement come resolve any type of situations that may arise at the checkpoint."

In other words, the airplane police are called in when necessary. Therefore what space the strength of TSA officers? Feinstein states that "TSOs room trained, certified and authorized, in accordance through applicable TSA standard and also directives, to inspect individuals, available property and/or checked baggage because that the presence of explosives, incendiaries, weapons or other prohibited items."

But the level of your expertise has been called into question by constant travelers and also travel specialists such as Adrienne Sasson the Rubinsohn Travel, a Tripology agency in Jenkintown, Pa. She says that "Many that these civilization have never worked security. They have actually no real training or an idea that what protection is about. The ideal defense is in ~ Ben Gurion plane in Tel Aviv, wherein the defense team has all served in the Israeli Army and the plane security device gets tested five to 7 times every day."

2. The TSA offers profiling to display travelers.

"Racial profiling is not tolerated through the TSA," says Feinstein. "Not just is racial profiling typically prohibited by commonwealth law and also under department and agency policy, but it is likewise an ineffective defense tactic. "

3. As soon as you"ve passed with the screening detector, you"re totally free to go.

Well, you"re totally free to go unless you"re selected for a secondary screening at the discretion of a TSA defense officer. Feinstein says that "TSA"s actions Detection and analysis program identifies possibly high-risk people exhibiting habits indicative of too much fear or stress and re-routes castle for added screening by in search of a mix of individual signs that warrant follow-up."

He adds that "Behavior Detection police officers (BDOs) are trained to identify behavior cues that have been presented … come be reliable indicators and also predictors that anomalous or suspicious behavior. BDOs interact in conversation with people displaying anomalous behaviors, spring at feasible verbal cues indicative of a high-risk passenger and refer those people exhibiting such habits for additional physical screening and/or to legislation enforcement."

Sasson disagrees, saying the "The TSA police officers don"t recognize the tell-tale signs. They might look in ~ carry-ons but not in ~ every person. In Israel, the security people know come watch your eyes and also your perspiration level."

4. There"s no way to to win the lengthy lines at a TSA checkpoint top top a given day.

Feinstein claims that "Wait time at the airport can fluctuate based top top the volume that passengers, weather and/or trip operations. In 2013, 98.65% of passengers knowledgeable wait time under 20 minutes. This previous summer, through a record variety of passengers flying, 99.6% of all passengers waited in line less than 20 minutes."

That said, even the TSA knows that the surname of the video game is to game the system. They offer a complimentary "My TSA" app that to update wait time at defense checkpoints at significant U.S. Airports.

For an company that is associated with waiting, that"s no little irony.

5. TSA Pre-Check is the fastest method to acquire through TSA checkpoints.

The principle behind TSA Pre-Check to be that select passengers who had actually paid one $85 fee, gone through fingerprinting and a security check could use designated TSA Pre-Check lanes. They could leave your shoes, light outerwear, and a belt ~ above while keeping their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids and also gels in a carry-on bag. The idea was that these pre-cleared passengers would certainly move quicker through Pre-Check lanes 보다 standard protection lanes.

Well, they have, however with a wrinkle. Part non-approved travelers the the TSA has actually deemed "low-risk" have the right to use the Pre-Check lanes. That method many more travelers room being funneled right into these lanes, much to the displeasure of regular travelers who have actually paid because that the privilege. Many of these low-risk travelers don"t recognize that they have actually been designated for a Pre-Check lane and also begin to take off their shoes and take the end their laptops, slowing down the line for regular travelers that are regular TSA Pre-Check users.

How do you know if you"ve been enabled to use a Pre-Check lane? The information, it transforms out, is on your boarding pass, follow TSA"s Feinstein.

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"If a passenger is eligible for expedited screening, a TSA Pre-Check indicator will be embedded in the barcode of the boarding pass so that as soon as scanned in ~ the checkpoint, the passenger might be described a TSA Pre-Check lane," Feinstein says. "The 11 participating airlines additionally print a TSA Pre-Check indicator straight on the boarding happen so passengers will understand in development that they have been cleared because that expedited screening."

Yet few of these "low-risk" travelers are conscious of your Pre-Check status until they uncover themselves directed to a Pre-Check lane. No one does it aid that countless of lock are really infrequent travelers, claims Jamison "Jamie" Bachrach, owner and travel consultant at wandering Puffin, a Tripology firm in Minneapolis. Bachrach claims that "Some of them take one vacation a year. They don"t travel an extremely often."

The result is that, at part airports, the Pre-Check line has end up being a mix the frequent and infrequent travelers and also TSA police officers who offer small direction. The agency says it is reducing the number of non-members the steers with those lanes, and with the program currently in operation at 120 airports nationwide, the target is to have actually wait times of 5 minutes or less.