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Thread: Bothered by a TSA Guy

  1. #1
    Senior Member Speedbird1's Avatar
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    Bothered by a TSA Guy

    Out-of-the-blue, while taking a few pictures with my tiny point-n-shoot camera, a TSA guy wearing the dark-blue uniform and tie, started harrassing me at LGA yesterday. I was standing behind a secure glass in the CTA while the Frontier aircraft was taxying in from Denver. I like the wildlife on the tail. He was quite nasty and could care less about spotting. He never told me to leave and never asked for an ID (which I would gladly show). He insisted I stop taking photos. Strange, because I noticed dozens of other guards watching me and nobody else bothered me. This guy (whose name I have) had an ax to grind. I even related that I will return for Kids Day in 2 weeks and take as many pictures as I want. He gave a nasty look then left and spoke to some other agents and they started laughing. Before he left, I said don't you have any more important work to do? I later recalled the Argenbright guy back pre- 9/11, who harrassed me at Terminal 3 at JFK. I was awaiting the Singapore Tropical 744 and the ANA Pokemon B744.I realize he is just doing his job but as I had a small pocket camera, no scanner, knew about Kids Day, etc. he could have moved along. We appreciate how the TSA keep our skies safe but sometimes they go overboard! See you at Kids' Day.

  2. #2
    Senior Member emshighway's Avatar
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    You can use the TSA Contact Center to make a complaint:
    1-866-289-9673
    [email protected]
    https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/talktotsa/
    "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.' "
    Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
    Senior Member Speedbird1's Avatar
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    Thanks for your response but before complaining, do I have "a leg to stand on"? Isn't photography from within airports forbidden? Was I in the wrong? Why did PA officers as well as NYPD officers not bother me? I was in plain-sight at all times and not hidden behind a column or any obstruction. I do feel that he could have shown some compassion especially when I mentioned that I'll be back for Kid's Day. If he felt I was a threat, why didn't he ask for my ID, ask my purpose, and he also refused to look at my photos, etc? He evidently knew I was a plane spotter but just wanted to harrass and make an example of me. He ruined my day of course and the trip to LGA takes over 2 hours by public transportation. I saw in my time there, only 1 AAL aircraft painted in the new livery, which was the real purpose of my visit. I was hoping that AAL would send an aircraft with the new livery for Kids' Day.

  4. #4
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    While taking pictures within the airport being forbidden not being an actual rule, I think you're attracting attention by being at an airport not as a ticketed passenger but as an 'observer'. I only take shots when I'm there for travel, otherwise I don't go in the terminals.

  5. #5
    Senior Member lijk604's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedbird1 View Post
    Isn't photography from within airports forbidden? Was I in the wrong?
    If you have to ask this question, why did you even bother going into the terminal to shoot? There is Planeview Park right across the street from LGA which is perfectly safe, and legal. Never a hassle, yet, you go inside, bring attention to yourself, and then seemed stunned when someone asks you to move on. I'm one of the more patient people on this forum, but sometimes, the stuff you post just amazes me.

  6. #6
    Administrator Landing Lights's Avatar
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    In my opinion, regardless of whether or not photography inside LGA is allowed, TSA employees are not law enforcement officers or even tasked with monitoring the taking of photos, unless you were at the checkpoint. I would absolutely file the complaint since they were acting beyond their scope. Whether you were a ticketed passenger or not, it should not make a bit of difference in this case.
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  8. #8
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    I'll bullet-point my thoughts:

    - Photography in the termianls IS allowed.

    - It's not the TSA's job to enforce, but anyone should be able to confront suspicious behavior if they feel.

    - Regardless of the above, NO ONE should be treating you like that no matter what you are doing. <---------------

    - Their jokes/laughter was completely unprofessional, and should be included in your report.

    - If the above didn't express it...I think you should file a complaint.
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  9. #9
    Senior Member emshighway's Avatar
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    Photography within the terminals is basically up to the PANYNJ and the Airline lease holder. They can prohibit it if they choose to do so. A TSA Officer can challenge anyone as can any other Airport employee if they feel a situation is suspicious. As far as the manner to which you were challenged I could not comment on as I was not there. You have the TSA Contact Center information, do what you feel you need to do.
    "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.' "
    Ronald Reagan

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