Did that TSA Agent Just Crack a Smile? By Golly, He Did!


Boston Logan International Airportopens IMAGE file
Boston Logan International Airport

“How long were you in Boston?” the TSA agent at opens in a new windowBoston 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: opens in a new windowTSA)

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 opens in a new window 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.



Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

One thought on “Did that TSA Agent Just Crack a Smile? By Golly, He Did!”

  1. What a joke, voodoo security by some moron hired off a pizza box ad. Now they’ll have another tool to support them in their attack on the traveling public. Like everything else so far, they’ll find a way to use it to abuse and harass innocent travelers. At least it keeps them from groping children and the handicapped, which seems to be their favorite activity.

    This initiative is yet another jobs program for misfits and criminals. TSA is just an illusion of airline security that is siphoning off billions of dollars from taxpayer money without producing any results. After costing nearly a trillion dollars and in eight years they haven’t caught one terrorist.

    However, fifty-two TSA screeners arrested so far this year for serious crimes, including two last month, one rape and a murder. Of these arrests, nine have been for sex crimes involving children. They can’t even prevent crime within their own ranks, but we’re supposed to trust this agency with airport security.

    TSA needs to be replaced and those responsible for this agency indicted for malfeasance.

    TSA Crimes & Abuses

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