Rude behavior is never acceptable but if you choose to show your worst side as an airline passenger, you might just find yourself on a little-known Homeland Security “bad boy” list. The Transportation Security Administration is taking names so it pays to be nice, or at least civil, to security screeners in airports. No need to bring cookies; just don’t be a jerk.
Don’t look now but close behind this watch list for potentially violent passengers is the American Civil Liberties Union who fear the “database could feed government watch lists and subject innocent people to extra airport screening.”
Having said all that, reported passenger threats are rare. In existence since 2007, the government database only has records from about 240 incidents and most are screeners against other screeners. According to the TSA, only about 30 incidents involve passengers or airport workers attacking or threatening screeners.
A TSA report says the database can include names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, home addresses and phone numbers of people involved in airport incidents, including aggressors, victims and witnesses.The obvious lesson here is that yes, flying is a highly frustrating experience but bad behavior has no place and as usual, there are repercussions and consequences when travelers practice inappropriate actions. It’s road rage in the airport and no matter how good it may feel at the time, it will get you nowhere. Or worse.
Incidents in the database include threats, bullying or verbal abuse, remarks about death or violence, brandishing a real or fake weapon, intentionally scaring workers or excessive displays of anger such as punching a wall or kicking equipment, the report says.
The database was created in late 2007 as the TSA launched a program to prevent the nation's 50,000 airport screeners from being attacked or threatened, agency spokeswoman Kristin Lee said. At the time, TSA officials voiced concern about passengers disrespecting screeners, and they began issuing new uniforms with police-style badges pinned to shirts.
A TSA document published in February says database information can be given to government agencies and to airports, airlines and rail and bus systems in cases involving their workers or job applicants. "They may be contacted by the TSA if an incident involves their employee," Lee said. USA Today