Nasty Ass Thieves: Thieving TSA

 

05 Nasty Ass Thieves

From dravenstone, AskReddit

I have a horrible story with a good ending.

I was on a business trip that took me to LA for the day then off to Seattle. I had very little time between my last meeting in LA and my flight. I was flying through security as fast as I could to make the flight and so just tossed my watch and phone in the bin with my shoes instead of putting them in my bag which I normally do. The watch was a Rolex I had received as an award for some quality work I had done.

Bin comes out of the x-ray, no watch. TSA was their glorious self and said nothing they could do, file a lost item report blah blah blah. And I had to run. I was sick to my stomach as I had an emotional attachment to the watch and I'd never drop that kind of money on a watch and now it was gone.

I file the report with lost and found the next day by email and get a form response - we will only contact you if we find your item.

Four weeks later, I get a call...

"It's the TSA, did you file a missing item report?"

Yep... got my watch back. Next day I'm telling the story to my coworker and he starts laughing. He had just read a story online about a TSA agent fired and arrested for stealing stuff as it went through the x-ray.

These days I have global entry and security takes 30 seconds, just like it should.

--dravenstone

 


Airport Hell: Once A Cheetah, Always A Cheetah

 

Freddy skull hugFrom BadPAV3, AskReddit

I work at an airport for a major air carrier. One day a few years ago, I walk through the hangar and there is a 757 parked inside with the doors closed. and there are like 5 General Managers and a couple of directors in suits staring at the plane. There's a huddle of mechanics to the side and I ask them what the hell's going on.

One of them replies, deadpan,"Cheetah's loose on the plane."

Me: "Wut?"

Mechanic: "You know; Lion, Tiger... Cheetah."

Apparently, we were transporting two cheetahs from a zoo in Oregon to St. Louis, when one of them got free in the cargo hold. The baggage handler goes to open the door and almost loses an arm before he can shut it again. SO, there we sit, trying to think of how to get the door open without letting an angry cheetah loose in a confined room.

Oh, yeah, on top of all this, there is a HEART on board for transplant, we have to get to it before the thing gets hungry and curious.

Eventually, we call the zoo, and they crack the door and tranquilize the poor thing, and cart him off, the heart gets on its way and we all live to tell about it.

We have tiny cameras called borescopes to inspect the plane. They snaked a camera inside and were looking at a little video screen to monitor the unruly passenger's activity so they could aim at the cheetah.

Someone had the bright idea to bring a 7 foot fence over in case the thing got loose, but I'm pretty sure a 7 foot fence is little more than a speed bump to a cheetah.

 --BadPAV3

 


Malicious Compliance: "You Said We Weren't Allowed To be There."

 

1MALFrom MattyHurricaneMaliciousCompliance

I've spent many years working in the general aviation industry. Basically, working with private jets, the crews, and the principals. Because of my location, we get a lot of political activity every four years. As the various candidates get out and start traveling around, it's in large part a non-event. They are on standard biz aircraft and not much is required in terms of special handling. That all changes when one of these folks becomes "The" candidate."

Now, they're rolling around on commercial jet aircraft (737/MD80), they have a bunch of staff, and the requisite protection to go along with it. OK, no problem. Our crew was very experienced, did a lot of large aircraft sports charter, and serious VIP work. We had all the appropriate equipment to service these airplanes (ie: stair trucks, baggage carts, belt loaders, etc.). We also knew how big these airplanes are, and how to maneuver and park them on the ramp. Believe it or not, at this level, aircraft handling is an art. There's no straight line or jet way to pull up to. You basically get one chance to get it right.

In this last election cycle, we were getting the challenger to the throne in very regularly. Like one to three times a week. OK, a little bit of a hassle, but from an airplane standpoint, no big deal. By and large, everyone involved was reasonable and friendly. The issues came about due to the fact that the members of the protection detail were always changing. This was especially true of the agents in charge.

Airplane hellMy understanding from talking to them, is that they were on a set rotation schedule to keep everyone fresh and on their toes. As far as we were concerned, a simple confab with the SAIC about the details for the day was sufficient. We would be clear on what they needed and we would handle the aircraft accordingly. This usually revolved around how many cars, busses, equipment trucks, etc., that they had and where we were going to put them. Remember, along with this, we're also trying to handle a constant flow of regular biz jets coming and going. So, coming up with a mutually beneficial plan was pretty key.

All is well and good, until one day, "SAIC Richard Cranium" is on the case. He wasn't particularly old, but he reminded me a lot of Sheriff JW Pepper, Louisiana State Poe-leese from the Bond movies.

You know the type: "Alright, alright, everybody stand back. I'm in charge here!!"

The other ramp lead and myself just looked at each other in an "Oh, great..." kind of way. It was either this guy's way or the highway. He didn't want to hear or discuss anything about anything. OK, fine, whatever.

So the plane comes in empty to pick up the candidate. We get the plane fueled and serviced, two sets of truck mounted airstairs, two baggage belts for loading luggage into both holds, the whole deal. Plane is ready and waiting. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

So, the press busses and the luggage/equipment truck arrive. No problems, everything going well. Get them on the plane, bags loaded, cool. Now, I don't know what this guy's last assignment was, but this wasn't AF1 where all the principal has to do is get out of the car and get on the plane and go. This candidate was always coming with several cars, staff members, additional luggage, promo stuff, etc. Nothing unusual or unexpected.

Freddy Coffee 2Well, once we had the plane serviced, this SAIC went took it up about a thousand notches with the "I'm in charge" bit. When he got the call that the motorcade was 15 minutes out he decided that he was going to quarantine the entire ramp and make it a sterile area. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. The ramp was now off limits to anybody who wasn't approved, and none of us were approved.

As we were very familiar with this particular operation, I calmly tried to inform him that the principal always had additional items for the plane, etc.

Richard Cranium: "Nope! Nope! Everything's on the plane, they just need the candidate!"

Me: "Ummmm, OK, I think it may be wise..."

Richard Cranium: "Nope, sterile area, not authorized = stay out. I'm in charge here!!" [puff up chest, strut like a peacock, wave badge around etc.]

"OK, buddy. You've got it!" (with a big ass smile). I had really had it with this guy at this point, I could see the hole he was digging for himself, and felt our team had done all we could to avoid the coming problems.

So, sure enough. The motorcade arrives, 10 cars/suv's, luggage, boxes of promo stuff, and other crap. This is where we would usually be standing by to unload the cars and get everything on the belt loaders and into the cargo holds. As we weren't there, the folks in the cars just dumped it all on the ramp. Realizing that nothing was happening, the protective detail now starts grabbing the stuff and trying to figure out how to get it on the plane.

Jason Hang myselfMeanwhile, 10 of us were just standing there in our glass line office watching, smiling, loving it.

Right about then, SAIC Richard Cranium starts losing his mind. Not only did his guys have to try and load the plane, he was now realizing that the plane still had equipment all over it. He rushes into the building and starts getting on one of our CSR's about how we're messing him up, and he can see us all "standing around with our thumbs up our butts."

Finally, I walk out to the desk, and calmly yet somewhat patronizingly, ask him what the problem is, and ask if I can help him.

Guy is foaming at the mouth, and starts going off about the bags, and the trucks, and the equipment, and why are we all standing around?!?!?!

At that point, I smile politely, and remind him that he had personally restricted the ramp and ordered my staff out of the area, on threat of being arrested if we put one toe in the area. Of course, I am here to help him, and if he wants to reconsider his prior position, I was confident that I could find some staff to finish loading the aircraft and remove the equipment so that they could depart.

He just glared at me, and said, "Do it!"

Two minutes later, the plane is secure, the equipment is gone, and plane is spooling up.

Have a nice day! Buh bye!

--MattyHurricane

 


Discount Rats: I Want A 4th Of July Discount!

 

Discount smallFrom CallMePetardu, TalesFromRetail

I work in a European airport.

One morning, I had a very irate lady order a coffee. I small talked with her, she told me she'd taken a red eye and that she'd read her book the whole way. Fairly standard transaction.

... Until I asked her to pay. I told her that the total came to €2.50. She then insisted that I gave her a discount, because she was "an American citizen on the 4th of July" and that "every airport in the US would give me a discount."

She then started waving her passport at me.

Eventually, she left and refused to pay for the coffee if she couldn't have the discount.

This is not an ideal exchange at 6am.

--CallMePetardu