Yet another embarrassing situation for TSA occurred earlier this week when TSA screeners at Fort Lauderdale airport decided to confiscate a toy sword and bright red wooden gun from two young boys on the way back home from Disney World.
To say that TSA’s reputation is tarnished from incidents like this one would be a significant understatement. TSA officials will try to deflect the incident by pointing to a very large and dispersed workforce that makes mistakes from time to time. I would agree with this statement – except for the fact that over the past several years TSA has boasted the professional nature of its workforce. In fact, former Administrator Hawley was quick to point to extensive retraining requirements and a change in checkpoint operating procedures allowing screeners to be more analytical and less “checklist-oriented.”
I would argue that TSA still has a long way to go in this area and in restoring its reputation in the eyes of the American public. In the early days of TSA, the agency had a number of loaned employees that helped establish the agency. One such employee was from Disney – focused solely in determining how the new checkpoint queuing lines should be established (clearly Disney has some experience in this area).
Well, shortly after learning of the confiscated toys from the two young boys, Disney quickly agreed to replace the toys at no cost. It appears that TSA still has some learning to do from Disney.