Happy post-Halloween! Did TSA screen your food and candy?

Passengers will be encouraged to place food items in bins for inspection …

TSA is rolling out a new Enhanced Property Search, or EAPS, which will require an “increased screening of property, which includes a “thorough inspection of food items being hand-carried.” And, yes, this will include your Thanksgiving leftovers.

Back in July, TSA said they issued a press release warning of new, stronger screening procedures for carry-on items that require travelers to place all electronics larger than a cellphone in bins for X-ray screening in standard lanes.

TSA officers will ask travelers to remove electronics larger than a cellphone from their carry-on bags and place them in a bin with nothing on top or below, similar to how laptops have been screened for years. This step helps TSA officers obtain a clearer X-ray image, the transportation administration said.

Now travelers will be required to remove all electronics larger than a smartphone and place them in bins. (WTOP, Mike Murillo)

Because of these new procedures, count on longer wait times. TSA is now recommending getting to the airport even earlier to cope with increased crowds – a minimum of two and a half to three hours ahead of your departure schedule.

The new rules are expected to affect about 180 different airline companies – plus, the approximately 325,000 passengers that arrive in the US each day.These security measures will also add extra human interaction into the screenings – meaning a brief interview with an airline ticket agent or security agent at the airport.

At least it’s supposed to be more like an interview than an interrogation.”What we’re asking agents to do is to look for people who do not match baseline expectations, through their behavior or through their documents, and to act on it,” says  says Philip Baum, editor-in-chief of Aviation Security International, and the director of Green Light, a security training and consulting company.To end this, our post-Halloween edition -a provoking commentary by The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

We have become so terrified of terrorists that we have all but forfeited our Fourth Amendment rights. We ask the Transportation Security Administration to annoy, delay and even molest us. Yet, by the agency’s own admission, the TSA has not stopped a single terrorist. Worse, in Department of Homeland Security tests, screeners failed to find hidden weapons 95 percent of the time. For this we pay $8 billion annually.

CLARIFICATION

We heard from many of you last week that it was hard to understand the story on what states are “REAL-ID” compliant.

Ever since the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) started alerting travelers that their state-issued IDs might not be good enough to board domestic flights, everybody has been seeking answers.

Dates, deadlines, and extensions are constantly changing, and there are currently 27 states and Washington, D.C. that don’t need to worry about the REAL ID Act, as shown on the map at the link.  If you are in any other state or U.S. Territory, bookmark that link to stay up to date on changes.

To add to the flap, now there are rumors circulating that TSA has quietly deferred its deadline (again) about when it will enforce the REAL-ID Act against airline passengers.

However, anybody whose state isn’t compliant with REAL ID shouldn’t panic. A passport will override all state regulations.

DHS and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have threatened to prevent citizens of many US states from being able to travel by air within the US, starting January 22, 2018, because their state governments won’t turn over their driver’s license and ID card information into a nationwide database.

But these threats didn’t cause states to follow the TSA’s orders. So, rather than follow through on the threat which would risk a legal challenge, the DHS seems to have blinked.

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