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View Full Version : PBI 8-11-12 [Inside Terminal]



yankees368
08-11-2012, 07:49 PM
Here we go again! This time, I was beyond the TSA secured checkpoint at PBI. I was taking the long walk down to the jetblue gates, snapping some pictures on my phone of the empty terminal along the way. About 1/4 of the way down, a woman rushes up to me and says "what are you taking pictures of???"
I simply respond "the terminal.
She asks "why?"
"Because it's cool seeing it empty."
"You need to go right to your gate."
"I'm beyond the TSA checkpoint, is there an issue?"
"You need to go straight to your gate, or I will call over the TSA and a BDO (???) officer about this."
"Am I not allowed to take pictures within the terminal?"
"Go straight to your gate, or I will be calling over an officer."
".....ok"

Never, anywhere, have I had an issue taking pictures of a terminal. Especially surprising considering I wasn't even taking pictures of planes, just the terminal. I will be calling airport management tomorrow to discuss this incident, as there is no excuse to treat a passenger like that.

Was I in the wrong in any way?

eric8669
08-11-2012, 08:08 PM
In some terminals it is illegal to take pictures. Not saying this one. But each airport has its own rules.

yankees368
08-11-2012, 08:11 PM
Yea. Once I sat down here, I attempted to find any such rule/law/regulation, but had no luck. It's not on their website, nor did I see it posted anywhere. Even if it is against policy, no passenger should ever be threatened to walk to their gate or else. Ever.

Zee71
08-11-2012, 08:55 PM
This is the unfortunate world we live in.......paranoia, suspicion, etc.

gonzalu
08-11-2012, 11:17 PM
Jason, at JFK, the TERMINALS are managed and operated by the lead airline with the exception of T4. So, at T5, jetBlue sets the rules, whatever they are. T7, British Air, T8, American, etc. etc. So, while it may be unpleasant, your beef should be the way you were treated perhaps, not the picture taking as it may be against the landlord's wishes.

jerslice
08-12-2012, 02:26 PM
One question that hasn't really been answered: who was this woman? Did she work for the airport?...random freaked out pax?

yankees368
08-12-2012, 02:29 PM
Jason, at JFK, the TERMINALS are managed and operated by the lead airline with the exception of T4. So, at T5, jetBlue sets the rules, whatever they are. T7, British Air, T8, American, etc. etc. So, while it may be unpleasant, your beef should be the way you were treated perhaps, not the picture taking as it may be against the landlord's wishes.

My beef is indeed with the way I was treated. If there is policy against taking photos inside the terminal, simply informing me of that would suffice. No need to threaten.


One question that hasn't really been answered: who was this woman? Did she work for the airport?...random freaked out pax?

She did indeed work for the airport, some management type who probably had a crappy day. Was not a pax.

TJK
08-12-2012, 06:14 PM
Here we go again! This time, I was beyond the TSA secured checkpoint at PBI. I was taking the long walk down to the jetblue gates, snapping some pictures on my phone of the empty terminal along the way. About 1/4 of the way down, a woman rushes up to me and says "what are you taking pictures of???"
I simply respond "the terminal.
She asks "why?"
"Because it's cool seeing it empty."
"You need to go right to your gate."
"I'm beyond the TSA checkpoint, is there an issue?"
"You need to go straight to your gate, or I will call over the TSA and a BDO (???) officer about this."
"Am I not allowed to take pictures within the terminal?"
"Go straight to your gate, or I will be calling over an officer."
".....ok"

Never, anywhere, have I had an issue taking pictures of a terminal. Especially surprising considering I wasn't even taking pictures of planes, just the terminal. I will be calling airport management tomorrow to discuss this incident, as there is no excuse to treat a passenger like that.

Was I in the wrong in any way?

A follow up letter CCed to whomever is in charge of public relations might be worth it to make sure said person is properly retrained for such a scenario, should it be discovered that you were not in the wrong, which is more than likely the case.

snydersnapshots
08-12-2012, 06:50 PM
Here we go again! This time, I was beyond the TSA secured checkpoint at PBI. I was taking the long walk down to the jetblue gates, snapping some pictures on my phone of the empty terminal along the way. About 1/4 of the way down, a woman rushes up to me and says "what are you taking pictures of???"
I simply respond "the terminal.
She asks "why?"
"Because it's cool seeing it empty."
"You need to go right to your gate."
"I'm beyond the TSA checkpoint, is there an issue?"
"You need to go straight to your gate, or I will call over the TSA and a BDO (???) officer about this."
"Am I not allowed to take pictures within the terminal?"
"Go straight to your gate, or I will be calling over an officer."
".....ok"

Never, anywhere, have I had an issue taking pictures of a terminal. Especially surprising considering I wasn't even taking pictures of planes, just the terminal. I will be calling airport management tomorrow to discuss this incident, as there is no excuse to treat a passenger like that.

Was I in the wrong in any way?

http://www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/layers/bdo/index.shtm

BDO=Behavior Detection Officer

I might have requested the BDO. Maybe a conversation like this: "Ma'am, I'll head to the gate, but you're obviously uncomfortable with my actions, however innocent they may be. To ease your fears and to reduce any possibility of suspicion of me, I'm requesting that you have the TSA agent and BDO come over and talk to me."

That puts the ball in her court. You're being polite and you're not being antagonistic, but you're calling her bluff at the same time. If it happens again, give that a shot and see what happens.

yankees368
08-12-2012, 07:19 PM
I was not aware that any airports outside of BOS and BWI had these behavior detection officers. Interesting.
Anywho, on my way in, I had a chat with a friendly TSA officer who was checking IDs about the airport and my flight. I'm sure they would have been quite puzzled about the employees actions.
I will be calling PBI tomorrow to get clarification on their picture taking policy.

snydersnapshots
08-13-2012, 09:30 AM
I was not aware that any airports outside of BOS and BWI had these behavior detection officers. Interesting.
Anywho, on my way in, I had a chat with a friendly TSA officer who was checking IDs about the airport and my flight. I'm sure they would have been quite puzzled about the employees actions.
I will be calling PBI tomorrow to get clarification on their picture taking policy.

I'll be interested to see what they have to say...

Mateo
08-13-2012, 10:40 PM
Better just to avoid the whole thing than start measuring dicks with the TSA. A follow-up with airport public affairs is the way to go.

TJK
08-14-2012, 02:15 AM
Better just to avoid the whole thing than start measuring dicks with the TSA. A follow-up with airport public affairs is the way to go.

Agreed. Better to measure brains with the folks in PR than to measure ****s with folks who can insist you sit in a locked room until they're ready for you to sit elsewhere. They'll always BE bigger ****s regardless if who HAS a bigger ****.

megatop412
08-14-2012, 09:35 AM
Wow, man. You have WAY more patience with morons than I do. I would have ended up in the locked room for sure! Sorry, but I can't condone someone attempting to treat me like a criminal like that, for doing nothing more than taking pictures. If there are no signs saying 'no photography'(which in itself I can't see as being legal), it's insane that someone could threaten to call officers over. Guess I would have had my day ruined. I'm no lawyer, but I can't see how this is permissable behavior in this country.

jhickman
08-14-2012, 10:21 AM
It's permissible because it's the Federal Government. There ain't a thing we can do about it.

yankees368
08-14-2012, 10:26 AM
It's permissible because it's the Federal Government. There ain't a thing we can do about it.

It's actually not. The TSA only has rules pertaining to the photographing of the secured checkpoint. Anything else is fair game, unless the airport/airline itself has a rule prohibiting it. Said rule could be a state rule, county, even town. Whoever runs the airport makes the call.

jhickman
08-14-2012, 10:53 AM
I meant about being harassed.

Landing Lights
08-14-2012, 10:55 AM
It's actually not. The TSA only has rules pertaining to the photographing of the secured checkpoint. Anything else is fair game, unless the airport/airline itself has a rule prohibiting it. Said rule could be a state rule, county, even town. Whoever runs the airport makes the call.

The TSA is NOT law enforcement, which most people don't understand. They have no powers to arrest you. Any violations that they see, they must contact the police agency that has jurisdiction in order to press charges. So the most that the TSA would have been able to do in this situation is deny you boarding (not sure what grounds they would have for that, taking photos of the terminal is not an imminent risk to the flight you were getting on) and contact the police. I think that this is more of a case of people a) misunderstanding the role of the TSA, or b) using their presence as a scare tactic.

yankees368
08-14-2012, 01:06 PM
Ok, here's an update.
I called PBI today and asked for some clarification on the topic. The manager I spoke to was very surprised about this, and reinforced our belief that there are no rules against photo taking within the terminal and that it is a public space. He has not heard of the issue, but also laughed when I explained it to him. He reassured me that I was in the clear, and that they will be sending out a memo to clarify the non-rule. He apologized, but could go no further since I did not have a name.
Nice to know I was not acting in any way I should not have been.

megatop412
08-14-2012, 04:10 PM
Dang, we missed an opportunity to get someone's ass handed to them about this. Oh well I'm sure there's always next time...

well I am glad this got cleared up for you- and I hope you got the name of the person you spoke with in case this happens again.

TJK
08-14-2012, 09:49 PM
Ok, here's an update.
I called PBI today and asked for some clarification on the topic. The manager I spoke to was very surprised about this, and reinforced our belief that there are no rules against photo taking within the terminal and that it is a public space. He has not heard of the issue, but also laughed when I explained it to him. He reassured me that I was in the clear, and that they will be sending out a memo to clarify the non-rule. He apologized, but could go no further since I did not have a name.
Nice to know I was not acting in any way I should not have been.

Nice work on the follow up. Would have been karmic justice for spotters everywhere if you had a name so the person involved could get some "retraining", but I guess we can all just say thanks for making sure they all are brought up to speed on the rules, or in this case the lack of a rule restricting our hobby. Good job. I'm tempted to take a trip down there to grab some terminal photos and make a Flickr album honoring you for pushing back respectfully and being right.

yankees368
08-14-2012, 09:51 PM
Nice work on the follow up. Would have been karmic justice for spotters everywhere if you had a name so the person involved could get some "retraining", but I guess we can all just say thanks for making sure they all are brought up to speed on the rules, or in this case the lack of a rule restricting our hobby. Good job. I'm tempted to take a trip down there to grab some terminal photos and make a Flickr album honoring you for pushing back respectfully and being right.

Haha, that'd be awesome. And the next time I am at PBI, I will be sure to take out the DSLR and take as many pictures as I want to.