Did that TSA Agent Just Crack a Smile? By Golly, He Did!
“How long were you in Boston?” the TSA agent at Boston Logan International Airport asked.
“Since Monday,” I replied.
“What were you doing here?” (Or something to that effect)
“Promoting Southwest Florida as a tourism destination,” I said. Then added with a smirk, “And promoting Tampa Bay Rays spring training.”
“The Tampa Bay Rays,” he said smiling as he jotted some numbers on my boarding pass. I knew I just poked the bear, sore subject with Red Sox fans and when in Boston, Red Sox fans are plentiful.
Passing through security at Boston Logan International Airport yesterday was a bit odd. It was as if I was passing through immigration back into the United States.
Other passengers were being asked similar questions as agents were being observed by official looking people with silver hair and wearing suits. Boston Logan is participating in TSA’s expanded behavior detection pilot to “determine if a traveler should be referred for additional screening at the checkpoint.” These aren’t ordinary officers verifying traveler identification, they’re Behavior Detection Officers (BDO) who engage in enhanced interaction “to better verify or dispel suspicious behavior and anomalies.” (Source: TSA)
At the time of this blog post, Boston Logan is the only airport in the pilot program and based on results, will be expanded to other airports. Visit the Expanded Behavior Detection Pilot web page for additional information.
Apparently I didn’t poke the bear hard enough to warrant additional screening. The BDO was a good sport. But I did wonder what type of characteristics would trigger further searches. I saw one passenger break down in tears when asked the purpose of her trip.