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DISASTER!!! TSA took my amps!!! - Page 6  

post #76 of 195
i recently went from perth to singapore to london and back. i travelled with a diy pimeta and half asian looks. i never got pulled up once. the only query i had about it was from the captain on the last leg back to perth last night, he wanted to know what type of amp it was and if he could have a listen.....

my advice for dealing with airport security is to be polite and courteous but dont be submissive. if they insist on confiscating anything before you allow them to do so ask what happens to it and what course of action you can take to reclaim it. then get the security staff's names, rank, employer (many countries sub contract airport security), id number, and any other info you can.

then explain to them that you will be taking action to gain some kind of recourse if they do confiscate your items with no intent to return them.

if its a commercial product like a portacorda maybe also try carry a receipt.
post #77 of 195
Hi all,

You know its kinda weird, but not long after 9/11, I posed the question here at Head-Fi about the possibility of mint tin amps being confiscated and no one had yet thought about it. Now it seems to have come true.

GS, I like everyone else here am very sorry about the loss of your amps. That sucks for sure. My spouse works in the airline industry and we fly quite a bit together. I always wonder when something of mine will be bashed to smithereens by an uniformed person in uniform. I have been searched numerous times because we generally carry on our luggage, but with (the supposed) "positive bag matching" that is supposed to keep from bags flying without a passenger on board, we have been checking our bags more frequently.

I would like to point out what I hope should be obvious to all--even as we complain--we are only in the forth year of completely revamping a tired and flawed system. Yes, it is clearly still flawed, and the TSA gets scrutinized for every move they make. Either they do too much, or not enough. Some seem to lack proper training, and perhaps shouldn't even be TSA, however, those folks don't get paid enough to be responsible for our safety from the terrorist plans of madmen (and women) yet that is their job. Clearly they make mistakes and clearly their training is not yet complete. But would we somehow feel better about our plight if one day they found a bomb in a carry-on, perhaps in an ipod case?

I for one, realize that we now live in a different world. We all must get used to it and plan accordingly, because it is likely to get worse before it gets better. Yes, I know, we all like to listen to our portables on the plane, heck, that is why I bought mine. But I'd rather get to my destination in one piece.

Perhaps one day they will have a special TSA station where people with carry-on electronics can go and get them inspected before getting in the regular screening line. Stupid? Maybe, but clearly somethings need to be addressed as we all are living in the era of PDAs, Cell phones, laptops, and yes, headphone amps...

In sum, the TSA, the airlines, the goverment, and yes, even the passengers have a lot to learn at this point. I have been pissed more than a few times myself, but remember, these people are ultimately responsible for our safety.
My intention here is not to push any "hot" buttons (because believe me, I feel all your pain), but rather to remind us all why these things must be done, and that there is no easy or pain free fix.

Just my op.
gb
post #78 of 195
GS I am sorry about your loss. Keep us updated with the process of getting your amps back.

As a new owner of a Mini Moy (it should arrive some time next week) and headphone amps, I am wondering if the confiscation had to do with one of the Amps being custom built? I would hate to lose my Mini Moy on my first trip using it.

I have done a lot of travelling and the biggest issue is consistency among different airports. Each airport seems to have different standards. They also seem to set the metal detectors to different sensitivities which I think is based off how busy/important the TSA agent feels. Lower traffic airports "seem" to have "higher" sensitivities IMHO.

Jeff
post #79 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbeard
I would like to point out what I hope should be obvious to all--even as we complain--we are only in the forth year of completely revamping a tired and flawed system. Yes, it is clearly still flawed, and the TSA gets scrutinized for every move they make. Either they do too much, or not enough. Some seem to lack proper training, and perhaps shouldn't even be TSA, however, those folks don't get paid enough to be responsible for our safety from the terrorist plans of madmen (and women) yet that is their job. Clearly they make mistakes and clearly their training is not yet complete. But would we somehow feel better about our plight if one day they found a bomb in a carry-on, perhaps in an ipod case?
I think this is a pretty fair asessment, the only thing I would say though is that not having a concrete, understandable system for returning personal property which is confiscated by the government is an unacceptable flaw in the system. In my mind there is no room for negotiation on that point. They should probably have boxes sitting there which people could seal their personal property in and shipping labels to put on so that it would be gauranteed that their property will be untouched and returned to them.

We're dumping billions into databases and other illegal technologies which will compromise privacy and not increase security when we still don't have enough competant security professionals on "the front lines" in the airports...great.

Sorry, not to rant, stories like this just really burn me up. Best of luck to the OP in getting your stuff back!
post #80 of 195
Just thinking about it gets me upset. I am wondering if you can take your potentially confiscated property (like an amp) back to the check-in desk and have them check it through to your destination.

Jeff

I also emailed the official TSA email to ask them their opinion. Let's see what they say.
post #81 of 195
Quote:
Originally by Endus: the only thing I would say though is that not having a concrete, understandable system for returning personal property which is confiscated by the government is an unacceptable flaw in the system.
Yes, you are certainly correct. If an item is not clearly on the forbidden list, it should be made available to the owner upon being cleared after a security check. This is just one of the many things that need to be adressed by the TSA. Hopefully they will get their act together soon. But somehow I doubt it...
post #82 of 195
Where's the outside forum when you need it?

Everything I want to say on this subject isn't suitable for the Lounge.
post #83 of 195
I'm really sorry to hear about the whole situation GS.
You know I was very interrested in your amps comparisons.
I hope you'll be able to get them back. If you decide to try to get them back be persistent yet polite all the time. And make sure that they can hear in your voice that no matter what it takes you are sure they are going to give you them back or the money to buy new amps. They must hear all the time that you are sure that this will get solved.
If you are sure it will get solved you'll convince them that that is the only option for this issue to end.
Hope I am clear.
E.g.
Istead of asking, "will I get my amp back?"
Ask "When will I get my amp back and if not how long does it take to get the money for a new one?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by chia-pet
What's kind of funny is, policemen actually have to take IQ tests in order to become officers. I saw this on an episode of The Aweful Truth (with Michael Moore). The thing is, the IQ test isn't to disqualify those who are too dumb, but rather to filter out the ones who are too smart! But then again, it is Michael Moore--you can never know what to believe with that guy.
Probably true to some extent. I quess it depends on what the position of the police(wo)man will be.

During the depression my ganddad and greatuncle went to the policeforce to try to get a job because they were short on staf. They were asked about their education and didn't get jobs because they both had further education and were told that they would probably start thinking if they were ordered to hit protesters to clear up a riot. The policeforce figured that smarter people would see that the protesters were right to protest and would leave them.
The police needed dumb people who would hit when ordered without thinking.
post #84 of 195
I think if I take any homemade looking electronics on a plane, and I'm singled out for a search, I will declare them for inspection right away. "Sure no problem guys, in my backpack, I have a couple of homemade amplifaction devices for my music player. Go ahead and pull those out, and take a look to make sure they are ok." In doing so, I would hope they would trust me and not confiscate them. Hopefully anyway. After this has happened to two forum members, and who knows how many other people, I'm questioning what I should bring on a plane now. If I do bring amps, I will make sure they are in a zippered bag, with all connections made so it looks like a part of a familar listening rig. They have no problems with iPods or cd players because they see them often. But we have to admit a mint tin with a bunch of caps and electronics sticking out of it, looks suspicious. But that's all. If the airport security can't tell the difference between a bomb, and an amp, we have bigger problems than our property being taken.

And what's worse is if they do suspect it, why do they just take it away and let you on the plane? What, do they have a "suspected bomb bin" where they just throw everything in, and wait for something to go off? "Oops, guess we actually shoulda kept that guy!".

What really bugs me about the entire ordeal is that the entire airline industry has become so regulated. It seems like it's no longer a commercial venture, who serves paying customers. Instead it has become a government controlled shuttling service. Now I understand the reasons for security and I tend to agree with them. But there are ways to accomplish them with customer service also in mind. Of course, no one needs to. People need to fly.

I think I'm going to become a TSA "agent", just so I can confiscate tons of cool gear and sell it on e-bay. I'll make a fortune. "I'm sorry sir, your digital camera, PDA, portable cd player, and notebook all could be bombs. I'm going to have to take that." -- "Will I get it back" -- "Hahahahah!" -- "No seriously, that's my property, I want it back!" -- "Then I suggest you start bidding, sucker!".
post #85 of 195
Bomb detonator in "Scarface" = Cmoy.

I think of the same thing everytime I see one.

Word of warning: don't try to carry small, home-made metal cases with switches, batteries and LEDs onto airplanes. I would think this falls under the common sense department.
post #86 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWIFOSP
If the airport security can't tell the difference between a bomb, and an amp, we have bigger problems than our property being taken.
But it could be other things besides a bomb, right? Something to mess with the navigation systems, maybe a homemade stun gun, etc.
post #87 of 195
And a pen can be a stabbing insturment, what's the difference?
(see Casino)
This was a commercially made amp that was confiscated. It's not on the prohibited list of items not to bring aboard. He offered to demostrate it or at least turn it on.
I recall my first field trip for my socialolgy class, we went to a maximun security and the CO took us to a room showing all the weapons the inmates made that were confiscated. Not only were there a lot and the fact that most were brown but how most were hidden or made from common objects.
post #88 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by viator122
But it could be other things besides a bomb, right? Something to mess with the navigation systems, maybe a homemade stun gun, etc.
They could always pop open the mint tin. An inspector with enough knowledge would see that it has 9v batteries, opamps, resistors, and capacitors. No wireless transmitters or capacitors capable of stunning anyone.
post #89 of 195
One thing that has been recommended in another forum I'm a member of is carrying a padded pre-paid shipping envelope with you whenever you fly. If you happen to have forgotten an item in your pockets that's on the prohibited list or get p!ssy TSA agents who don't like your DIY amps or whatever, just put them in the padded envelope and drop it in the nearest mail drop box. Problem solved at the expense of a few minutes of time spend getting out of line and then back in.

I don't fly unless absolutely necessary. In fact, the only time I've flown in the last 20 years is when I had to fly to my uncle and cousin's funeral in Canada. They were killed when the Northwest Arilines plane they were flying in crashed. Flying on the same type of planes they were on, following the same route, in the same kind of weather made me nervous as hell, and I had already hated to fly. Even though the trip takes 24 hours by car (northern Ontario), I still would have rather driven, but it was in November and there was very bad winter weather to drive through and we likely would have missed the funeral.

Pretty much the only time I'll fly in the future is when I have to cross an ocean, like on a trip to Ireland we have planned. I'll drive everywhere else possible, it helps that I like to drive. Instead of flying out to a friend's wedding in Montana a few years ago, my wife and I drove, and spent 5000 miles on the road in about a week's time. It was one of the best trips/vacations we've ever had.

-Keith
post #90 of 195
I refuse to fly anymore. It's such a huge monumental pain in the rear nowadays. It costs a lot, it takes up all kinds of time and I'm really sick of getting searched every time I go to the airport, even just to pick someone up. >.< Gods I swear those perverts at Birmingham International just like patting me down!

I guess if I had to leave the country this would be different, but nowadays I don't go anywhere out of the US so the point is moot. Car for me.

Oh, btw, I had to go to court recently to pay off a fine and when the guard did the searching deal and found my MINT he looked at it, opened it... asked me, "Did you build this?"

I said yeah. He was pretty impressed as he was a former electrician. I kinda wasted a few minutes letting the guard rock out to Stone Temple Pilots coming out of iPod Mini with Mint to KSC-35... I got a kick out of that.
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