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Entries in Luggage (3)

Wednesday
Oct262011

TSA Takes Its Sexy Back, Removes 'Freaky' Note Author

Jill Filipovic(NEW YORK) -- The Transportation Security Administration announced Wednesday it has identified the officer who penned "highly inappropriate" sex advice on an official form to a passenger after finding a "personal item" in the traveler's luggage and has removed the employee from screening duties.

New York blogger Jill Filipovic got an unusual surprise courtesy of the TSA officer on Monday when she opened her bags after a flight to Dublin, Ireland. Inside, on a TSA search notification, someone had scrawled "GET YOUR FREAK ON GIRL" in big capital letters -- apparently referring to a "personal item" discovered in Filipovic's luggage.

"TSA quickly launched an investigation and identified the employee responsible. That individual was immediately removed from screening operations and appropriate disciplinary action has been initiated," the TSA wrote on its blog Wednesday. "The handwritten note was highly inappropriate and unprofessional, and TSA has zero tolerance for this type of behavior."

Filipovic, who tweeted a picture of the note and posted an entry on it the Feministe.us blog, initially said that though she thought the message was "a total violation of privacy...I also just died laughing in my hotel room."

Later, when speaking to ABC News, Filipovic said that after consideration she found the note "offensive" and said she would be filing a complaint after her travels.

"I hope they do see the complaint, they'll look into it and remind their staff that going through people's personal belongings is a responsibility that should be treated with some modicum of professionalism," Filipovic said Monday.

A spokesperson for the TSA told ABC News Monday it was possible that any number of people who handle the bags could have left the note, but their subsequent investigation appears to have revealed the uniformed culprit.

The TSA said in its blog that it reached out to Filipovic personally to apologize for the "unfortunate incident." Filipovic was not immediately available for comment on this report and has not tweeted or blogged about the TSA admission.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct242011

TSA Sex Advice? Woman Finds 'Freaky' Note In Luggage

Medioimages/Photodisc(NEW YORK) -- Frequent travelers may be used to finding an official note from the Transportation Security Administration alerting them that their checked bags have been searched, but rarely does the TSA take the opportunity to get a little more -- or a lot more -- personal with travelers.

But that's what one blogger said a TSA officer did based on an unusual note she found in her luggage Monday. Jill Filipovic, a blogger at Feministe.us, tweeted a picture of the TSA notification on which, alongside the official form, someone had scrawled "GET YOUR FREAK ON GIRL" in big capital letters.

"Just unpacked my suitcase and found this note from TSA," Filipovic tweeted. "Guess they discovered a 'personal item' in my bag. Wow."

Attempting to discreetly explain the "personal item" on Feministe, Filipovic wrote it was "the most basic lady-thing you can imagine."

Filipovic had traveled from Newark, New Jersey, to Dublin, Ireland, over the weekend and had just Monday morning opened her luggage. She said that except for when the bag was checked -- from the time she packed to the time she unpacked -- she had been with the bag, meaning it was unlikely an elaborate practical prank by a friend. She said the fact that the note was left on the TSA notice led her to believe a TSA officer had written it.

A spokesperson for the TSA said that they are "one of several entities" that handle checked bags and that at this time there is "no concrete evidence who wrote the note."

Still, the TSA said that "if inappropriate conduct is discovered, TSA [will take] appropriate disciplinary action."

Initially, Filipovic wrote on her blog that the note was "total violation of privacy, wildly inappropriate and clearly not OK, but I also just died laughing in my hotel room."

But upon further reflection, Filipovic told ABC News she believed it to be "offensive" and said she'd likely be filing a complaint with the TSA once she returns to the U.S.

"I hope they do see the complaint, they'll look into it and remind their staff that going through people's personal belongings is a responsibility that should be treated with some modicum of professionalism," Filipovic said.

The TSA said it opens checked bags for hand inspections if any alarms are sounded during the screening process and the TSA inserts the inspection card after the search.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct202010

TSA Supervisor Allegedly Stole Cash from Passenger Bags

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEWARK, N.J.) -- A Transportation Security Administration supervisor has been arrested for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars in cash from passengers going through an airport checkpoint.

As passengers -- mostly foreigners heading home -- came through the checkpoint at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport, the supervisor and another TSA agent would subject them to secondary searches and allegedly take cash from their carry-on bags.

The supervisor, Michael Arato, 41, of Ewing, N.J. was changed with one count of accepting bribes, one count of conspiring to commit theft and three counts of theft by a government employee. The other TSA worker is now cooperating with authorities and has not been named in court records.

The pair allegedly targeted predominately non-English speaking victims, including women of Indian descent and nationality who were returning home after visiting the United States.

On a given shift, Arato would pocket approximately $400 to $700 from passengers, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.

If he's found guilty, Arato faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on the charge of conspiring to commit theft and up to one year in prison and a fine of $100,000 on each of the three counts of theft by an employee of the government.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio