Many factors can influence air screening
My wife returned from Lihue to Honolulu, stayed for two days, then returned to Los Angeles. At Lihue Airport she was asked if she possessed a Hawaii ID. She does not, as she now lives here in California. She was then presented with a blue card and told she needed to go through secondary screening, which consisted of a body search and hand-wand usage. Is there a new policy at Lihue Airport on check-in security procedure?
Answer: There has been no change in the screening procedures at Lihue Airport, said a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration.
Without knowing more about who asked for Hawaii identification or why, it is difficult to say why your wife was singled out.
Generally, the air carriers -- not the TSA -- will flag passengers for secondary screening, said Gini Kapali, TSA's customer support manager at Lihue Airport.
An air carrier will put four S's on a boarding pass to indicate "that we want this passenger to be secondary screened," Kapali said.
Such a designation is "all computer-generated by the air carriers, and there are many, many factors on why there are four S's or why additional screening would be administered to a passenger," she said.
For example, she said the Federal Aviation Administration -- not the TSA -- has long identified certain "risk factors that everyone is looking at."
Such factors include buying a one-way ticket, paying for a ticket in cash, same-day ticketing, etc. Or a travel agent might have misspelled a passenger's name or left out a middle initial.
"There are so many variables that are not controlled by TSA," but controlled "totally by the airlines," Kapali said.
The airlines decide whether a passenger has to go through "selective screening, secondary screening, additional screening" -- whatever the terminology is -- and that decision is triggered by a passenger's record that "goes through computer-generated screening and processing."
You can find out more about security procedures by checking the Web site www.tsa.gov.
The Web site says this about being pulled aside: "Additional screening occurs when an individual sets off the alarm on the metal detector, or if he or she is selected for the additional screening. This screening includes a hand-wand inspection in conjunction with a pat-down inspection that includes the torso."
Mahalo and Auwe
To a woman who let me know about someone repeatedly hitting my car with his silver Mercedes as he was trying to get out of the parking lot at Libby's Manapua on March 7. She was gracious enough to take down the license number and wait until I came out to let me know what had happened.
Unfortunately, I did not take the time to really thank her. "Auwe" to the man for continually bumping the fender of my car even with my daughter waiting in the car for me. Such a lack of aloha. -- No Name
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