On the day before Thanksgiving, what is supposedly the busiest day of the year for airline travel, a friend and I ventured to Miami International Airport to test the Transportation Security Administration’s policy on photographing security checkpoints.
We were also there to see if anybody had opted-out of the controversial scanners that allow TSA officials to see through people’s clothes.
We expected to encounter crowds and chaos and all sorts of madness, but the airport appeared to be running very smoothly, which is rare for MIA on even the slowest traveling days.
Officials reported that nobody had been opting out, but we also noticed at least two machines were not even being used.
As far as videotaping the checkpoints, we were confronted twice by Miami-Dade police officers.
The first time, my friend, Tony, handed the officer the printout from the TSA website that states that photography of checkpoints is allowed.
The officer took the printout and walked off to find out for himself and when he returned, he apologized and told us we were correct.
The second time we were confronted was not so smooth because the officers’ insisted on seeing Tony’s identification, which he refused to provide since he was not being suspected of committing a crime.
The officers left me alone because I was wearing a press pass that contained my name and photo.
The officers ended up escorting us out of the airport, then contacted their lieutenant to see if Tony had the right to refuse to provide his ID.
The lieutenant informed them that Tony did, in fact, had that right, so they apologized and left us alone.
It was a positive experience because all the officers we dealt with remained professional and courteous and they actually took the time to research the law.
This article was posted: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 4:58 am