CLT likes to stick trainees in the elite line

The past 2 times I’ve gone through the First Class/Preferred/Star Gold line in the C check point they have staffed the X-ray machine with trainees.  CLT’s X-ray screeners are always “bag check” happy, but with the trainees it takes at least twice as long to get from the TDC to the end of the conveyor with bags and shoes ready to march to the gate.

The C checkpoint has 2 podiums for TDCs (Travel Document Checkers) and 4 X-ray machines feeding 2 WTMDs (Walk Through Metal Detectors).  The Elite line is on the left side so passengers going through that TDC will usually stay to the left-most lane(s).  Two times in a row the left most X-ray has been staffed by someone in training.  How do I know they are in training?  They are wearing a plain white button-up shirt instead of the blue shirt with the cheesy badge.  The CLT TSOs have had enough issue with my electric toothbrush, but last time the trainee and the trainer spent 3 minutes discussing it.  “It must be a brush of some kind, but the head tapers.” “Yeah, it is a brush, but that handle is weird.”  This week I tossed that toothbrush (because it hadn’t held a charge for months) so my toothbrush didn’t hold me up, but someone behind me did and I had to wait 3 minutes for a supervisor to come look at the X-ray (because the trainer must have no authority and needs someone else to get anything done).  I will reach into the tunnel if my bag is less than 4 inches from the end, but my bag was a good 18 inches back so I stood there.

a boy and girl playing with a toy house

Maybe they think the elite line is better training grounds since I’d like to think that most people in that line at least know the security prot

ocols.  I think they should let the elites get through as fast at they can so everyone has more time to focus on infrequent flyers who don’t realize you can’t bring a cutlery set through security.


  1. Maybe they put the security trainees in areas where they can learn the ropes while minimizing the security risks to passengers as a whole? If first-class passengers are less likely to bring illegal items through the checkpoint (by your own account), that might be a good place to start a beginner! Airport security isn’t convenient for anyone, so I’d just take a deep breath and relax, knowing that you just sacrificed three minutes for the good of fellow passengers.

  2. seriously? lol. whatever. Glad your FINALLY being uncomfortable in life. Just imagine what it’s like to be *gasp* poor!

  3. It is not an ideal job. But it is a job. We do it under less than ideal circumstances in every way, shape, and form. We try to prevent 9/11 from happening to YOU! Articles like this are the only thanks we get. Don’t blame us if you or your loved ones are the next victim. Screeners are the red headed stepchildren of all federal government jobs. No support, just the easiest to blame. There is no where to run and hide at 30,000 feet. Me and my “cheesy badge” are there to protect you. Remember, your water bottle is harmless. But what about the water bottle behind you?

  4. Let me phrase this a different way.
    Airlines don’t make money off people who pay $200 to go round trip from Charlotte to San Francisco. They make money off people who pay $800 to fly last minute from Charlotte to Pittsburgh once a week.
    Airlines like to say “thanks for flying us, we’ll give you faster security” and provide elite security lanes in airports. By TSA sticking people who take at least 3 times as long per bag that mocks US Airways. You might say why should TSA care about US Airways? Well today’s market is full of airline mergers. CLT might be US Airways busiest hub, but it lacks O/D traffic. For a hub its size it is horribly low in O/D traffic. This is similar to Cincinnati. After Delta and Northwest merged Delta no longer needed Cincinnati and so concourses C and A closed. This means less need for TSA and less jobs for everyone employed at the airport.
    Keeping the elites in Charlotte happy means we buy tickets on US Airways when they might be higher than Delta or jetBlue.
    So to wrap it up: less money coming into US Airways (from first class and business travelers) means less incentive to US Airways to expand CLT service and with a potential merger threatens CLT’s position as a hub. That means less screening, less need for screeners, and less employment in the airport. Stick the trainees at concourse D checkpoint since that is where international travelers who expect to spend 2 hours before their flight are.

  5. Louise Geeze-can you please elaborate on the one policy or procedure implemented by the TSA that had, it been in place on 9/10, would have prevented 9/11? Just one-that’s all & you can’t take credit for anything the airlines have done such as reinforcing flight deck doors or changing policy re: hijackings. Also, the ban on box cutters was implemented by the FAA long before the TSA ever existed. Beyond that, please enlighten the rest of us as to how you ‘prevent another 9/11 from happening to ME’!

    Seriously, Louise, until or unless you can validate these types of comments, you need to stop making them. There is a reason, many of them actually, as to why the screeners ‘are the red-headed stepchildren’ & it has everything to do w/the continuing ineptness of the TSA overall. The TSA has earned the scorn of the traveling public & fellow fed’l gov’t employees.

  6. Louise Geez, NOTHING TSA does will keep another event from happening in the skies. If a terrorist organization is determined to bring down another plane, it will happen.
    You and your tin badge don’t protect anyone. In fact, you are probably making it easier for a real terrorist to get through.

    WBI is easy to defeat, if you know how, as are all other TSA rules and restrictions.

  7. First: “grace” gets it right.
    Also,”AnnoyedSoWhatYourFirstClass?” you don´t have to be “rich” money wise, you can also be “rich” miles wise. Fly eco every day or so and you are called “elite” in airline lingo. That´s one of the perks of travelling frequently on any given airline, thus generating a more or less continous revenue for them.

    And “Louise Geez” TSA making the world safer?! +That is a contradiction in itself. TSA continuously fails red team tests, some of the behaviors of TSA agents even make the news, like bringing weapons, making fun of passengers, disregarding TSA´s own sop etc. The list is endless.
    Has the TSA ever caught, stopped or arrested any terrorist? NO!
    It the TSA making the masses feel safer? NO!
    is the TSA undermining the constitution? YES and YES!
    Is the TSA a tool to enforce a new kind of anxiety based mass control and doctrine? YES!

    And last, personally I am not scared of the guy / women with the water bottle behind me! I am rather scared of mindless employees believing / assuming very wrongfully, that they have the same rights as official LEO´s or the
    I am scared of a country that is giving away freedom and thus have the terrorists win!!!

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