"A lady in a TSA uniform came over, put on her rubber gloves and went up and down the rows of seats, choosing bags to go through," said Morrison, a retired corporate recruiter who lives in Seattle. "She didn't identify herself, didn't give a reason for the search. She seemed to be targeting larger carry-on bags."
Morrison was stunned. She expected to be screened at the designated checkpoint area, or maybe at the gate, where the Transportation Security Administration sometimes randomly checks passengers as they board. This was different. "To me, it just felt like an illegal search performed by a police state," she said.
There's that phrase again: police state. It's being thrown about a lot more since November's pat-down/opt-out fiasco, as public anger over the TSA's new security measures remains high. Which makes the question of whether we're traveling in a police state, or something like it, worth taking seriously.
At least one other reader also reported the roaming searches described by Morrison, also in Seattle. Christine Porter says she witnessed an identical procedure on two separate occasions. "TSA now randomly appears at boarding gates to check boarding passes and IDs as well as potentially hand-search carry-on luggage," she said. "It's irritating."
Is the TSA testing a more aggressive screening procedure in Seattle?