Break the Chain The Friendly Skies

Exclusive (3/11/2002) With airport security at an all-time high since September 11, news of an exemption from random baggage searches has some people happy and others upset. But the question on everybody's mind is 'is it true?'


Subject: Active Duty Military Exemption to Random Baggage Search

The following information is provided for your military travelers:

Subject: FAA Rules for Military Personnel - FAA Security Regulation 10, 8-01-10E 20 Nov 2001 Section 2, Para B1 Selectee Exemptions AF/XOF verified its validity with the FAA and provided us the regulation citation: FAA Security Regulation 108-01-10E, 20 Nov 2001, Section 2, Para B1, Selectee Exemptions. Just wanted to get this new rule out to you so that you could brief all of your folks. It may save them some time while traveling. The security check that is going on in the air passenger service community is random baggage and gate checks. The computer will randomly select individuals to have their checked bags, carry on, and their persons checked. This is very time consuming for the airlines, but necessary. A new rule change by the FAA last week is that active duty military traveling on official travel or leave are exempt from this check. Just have your orders or leave form on you when you check in and it will save you some valuable time.

Lieutenant Colonel Thomas H. Palmatier
[Contact information omitted]

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The chain above was intended for a limited distribution. Lt. Colonel Palmatier was sharing information with his subordinates, and did not write this memo for general distribution. I contacted the Tell FAA Task Force for verification:

"We have received many letters asking about a military directive (Amendment 108-01-10E, section 2 paragraph B1), that allows uniformed men and women to travel without being searched.

"This directive does not apply to normal security screening procedures for passengers traveling on commercial flights. However, military personnel may request to be exempted from additional random selected checks (search at counter) if they have military ID and military orders associated with that travel. Anyone who travels on a commercial flight is subject to airport security screening.

"On February 17, the newly established Transportation Security Administration assumed responsibility for aviation security operations in all the nation's commercial airports. Traveling orders will only confirm your flight status for a discount fare; this order will not keep you from going through mandatory airport security screening."

The simplified description in the chain letter may have led to more than one misunderstanding at the terminal. Break this chain.

What Do You Think?

References: None

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