What we’re reading: TSA fires many Newark staff, change airline security mindset, new vacation shopping experience

by Stephanus Surjaputra on October 22, 2012

TSA firing or suspending 44 Newark International employees

TSA is firing or suspending 44 of its agents based at Newark Liberty International Airport.

TSA did not cite the offenses precipitating the dismissals and suspensions, but the announcement comes after investigations into reports of TSA screeners at EWR stealing from passengers’ baggage. Eight EWR TSA workers had already been removed earlier this year related to theft.

However, the latest firings are believed to be related to lax security practices.

AAPA chief denounces ‘mistrusted traveler’ security mindset

The head of the Assn. of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has asked the TSA to “break free” from its mindset that every traveler is a potentional terrorist.

“Effective security procedures must balance risks against costs and inconvenience to the traveling public. For many passengers, security procedures are cited as the least satisfactory part of the air travel experience. Harsher critics have characterized current passenger screening procedures as ritualistic ‘security theatre’,” [AAPA DG Andrew] Herdman said.

Apple Vacations creates new vacation shopping experience

Apple Vacations is launching a new app that will help travelers decide on where to go when shopping for excursions, destinations, and resorts.

Using Apple Vacations Interactive is easy. Simply, open the app and point the camera at whole pages or images marked with the interactive icon. Click the triangle and start exploring.

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  • Anonymous

    Newark, was there in the past 10 days….they have signs posted that photography can be halted at the “request” of any TSA employee. They are now calling screening procedures a “sensitive area”, so this is the response to the directive that they MUST allow photography. They are simply going to IGNORE IT.

  • DCTA

    Apple’s always been great with service BEFORE the sale, but it’s really service AFTER the sale that counts and that matters and they never have met the mark there. Goodness help you if you have a problem during travel – ’cause you’ll get little to no help from Apple and your Travel Agent will just be faced with a big giant wall of resistance.

  • Anonymous

    There have been 90 major security breaches by TSA in less than two years, dozens of them in Newark. Many have resulted in terminal evacuations resulting in millions of dollars in airline disruptions. In dozens of other incidents weapons have made it aboard planes.

    Based on the GAO tests in 2011, TSA failed to discover weapons 60% – 70% of the time. For every gun they find two get through.

    In eleven years we have wasted $80 billion dollars on TSA only to get the same results that cost taxpayers nothing before. All we get is rampant crime and failure among TSA workers.

    There were 101 TSA workers arrested in the last 22 months including 13 arrested for child sex crimes, 28 for theft, 12 for smuggling contraband through security and one for murder. TSA fires lazy screeners but keeps criminals, including a known pedophile, Thomas Harkins, as a TSA Supervisor in Philadelphia.

    There have been more than ten major evacuations at Newark in less than 2 years some extending for hours and resulting in millions of dollars in disruption. In August a woman who tested positive for explosives got tired of waiting and left the checkpoint. She flew to Cleveland while TSA emptied the terminal for three hour looking for her.

    Newark was involved in one if the BDO profiling incidents and performed so badly that the Federal Security Director, Barbara Bonn Powell, had to be replaced. Newark screener Michael Arato managed to steal $39,000 in electronics and cash while working as a screener, before being arrested.

    Workers were also recently caught sleeping on the job and things at Newark are so bad that Rep Peter King, who heads the House Homeland Security Committee, has put TSA on notice to fix its problems or face a Congressional investigation.

    TSA is beyond salvage and must be replaced. The incessant abuses, failures and crimes have caused too much public animosity for this agency to ever be reputable.

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