Brad Messer Commentary
8:15 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2002

The TSA is working to protect us. I refer to the Transportation Security Agency, not the Tibetan Spaniel Association. Look TSA up in Google, the dog people show up first. It's confusing. Waiting for TSA rulemaking is like waiting for the ketchup to come down the bottle..

By the end of this month, the TSA will try to increase baggage screening to 100% at certain airports. That's four weeks away.

Here are some of the dozens of things TSA hasn't figured out yet. When you check your bag and it goes behind the wall, how will it be inspected?

How much supervision will the inspectors have? What will prevent them from taking stuff? We've all seen the video surveillance tapes of airline employees stealing from luggage so it's a real issue.

If a suitcase is locked, can a TSA screener open it? If there is no key available — and why would there be? — can the bag be forced open? If that breaks the strap or lock, who pays to fix it?

Will there have to be a new rule that you can't lock your checked baggage in the first place? If you can't by law, and things disappear from your bags, who pays? What will be the process by which you prove your loss and collect reimbursement?

These are not easy questions. If they were easy, TSA would have all the answers and we wouldn't be waiting.

No complaining from me. I would rather wait for answers that make sense, than have the government come up with stupid, useless and irrelevant rules as it did in the weeks immediately after 9-11. Take your time, TSA. Get it right. We'll all be out here patiently waiting in line.

Brad Messer— commentary, KTSA.


Some fliers still ignorant about prohibited items


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