TSA Discloses New Watch List of Passengers They Don’t Like

The TSA has “created a new secret watch list” of passengers they believe have behaved badly at airport security checkpoints.

This includes behavior like “swatt[ing] away security screeners’ hands” and passengers “who loiter suspiciously near security checkpoints” as well as anyone the TSA deems to present “challenges to the safe and effective completion of screening.” Although the TSA claims the list is meeant to protect screeners, you can get on it even if you don’t injure a TSA agent, and don’t intend to injure a TSA agent.

TSA Agents in Charlotte Watch News of the TSA’s Failure to Detect Weapons and Bombs, Instead of Searching for Weapons and Bombs (HT: Tocqueville)

This list was created in February and is known as a “95 list.” They haven’t explained the meaning of “95.” The New York Times reports that the TSA claims “fewer than 50 people have been put on the watch list” but also that two other government security officials dispute that, saying the number of names on the list is higher.

What’s more “race, religion or gender” can be used as a criteria for putting someone on the list as long as those aren’t the only reason.

This list isn’t supposed to be used to prevent anyone from flying, or to compel extra security screening. However if the list is actually following those guidelines than it wouldn’t seem to serve any purpose at all. They’ll collecting the list of names for a reason.

There is no way to have your inclusion on the list reviewed, or to get off of it although the TSA Administrator, the Deputy Administrator, and the top two officials at the TSA’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis have the authority to remove people.

This list “will be shared with other law enforcement agencies,” and it’s unclear what those agencies might do with it in the future.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. So… we have this list. We put people’s names on this list. We share this list with “other law enforcement agencies.” But, don’t worry, nothing bad will come to you if you end up on this list. And if you FOIA the list, we’ll claim it doesn’t exist.

    Nothing to see here, carry on.

  2. There is practically zero chance that they don’t have a list of every name on a boarding pass they’ve ever scanned. And I bet there are indicators and places for notes and comments on each of our TSA records. Probably a rating system as well.

    After I put up a stink about them stealing my inch long keychain knife (after I’d flown with it a hundred times before), I was flagged for a “random” pat down 3 out of the next 4 times I flew.

    If we’re going to put up with the TSA, walls to keep us in, theft of more than half our income, and thirty seven other institutional tyrannies – can we at least stop pretending our country is still free?

    Or is that not allowed?

  3. @THEsocalledfan, this post links to an article based on solid reporting, properly sourced, with recognition from congressional and civil liberty groups, and the TSA itself. What EVIDENCE do you have that it is fake news? If you have none, then your definition of “fake news” is apparently truths you want to try to discredit, because you don’t like it.

  4. All I heard was white noise after “flown with keychain knife a hundred times.”

    Give me an fing break.

  5. I fly with a first initial. It’s very common. “J. Firstname Lastname” rather than John F. Lastname… I have intermittent crap from them, even though I have a peculiar middle name, so there’s almost no chance I am someone other than the very frequent flyer they have ten thousand entries from, who is registered as a KTN under the “J. Firstname” version.

    Yet my brother, who is Andrew M Lastname and never purchases a ticket with his middle name on it, and I are together and *I*get sent back to ticketing for a name change while he breezes through the process, same screener—- and we’re together. I pointed this out a few trips ago, so I suppose now I’m on the list, for questioning their caprice.

    Great. We’re all a lot safer, aren’t we?

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