20 years too many? Tom and Curley debate the TSA as Thanksgiving travel ramps up

Nov 24, 2021, 5:35 AM
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

With millions of travelers already having taken to the skies for the Thanksgiving holiday — and with more on the way — and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) under a vaccine mandate potentially taxing its processing speeds, holiday travelers will need to prepare for possibly substantial wait times at Sea-Tac Airport.

Sea-Tac Airport on how to skip TSA lines during Thanksgiving travel rush

KIRO Radio’s Tom Tangney and John Curley put their heads together and debated the relevancy of the TSA, and just how necessary it is 20 years after its inception.

Curley’s perspective is colored by the fact that he always seems to require additional screening, something which Tangney blames on him being a “papa hotel.”

As written by Mental Floss in an interview with former TSA agents, the term allegedly refers to internal TSA code for attractive airline passengers, called out as such before they reach security screens. That may or may not be the reason Curley is ritually harassed at the airport.

“Whenever I get in the walk-in scanner, I place my feet correctly, and I put up the double bird up over my head, and say, ‘Blank the government, blank the government, blank the government’ before I get the radiation blast,” Curley said during Monday’s edition of KIRO Radio’s Tom and Curley Show.

“I hardly ever make it through without a, ‘Sir, I just need to check your left glute,’” he said.

Regardless of the real reason for his regular pat-down, Curley is not interested in preserving the airline security in its current form.

“The whole thing is just an absolute joke. Every time they do a test on these guys, they never catch the actual weapons they’re supposedly paid to find,” he said.

“Find some other system, because this is nothing more than a carnival,” he added.

Tangney’s approach might more practical. He figures that whatever TSA is able to accomplish, it’s better than not having it at all.

“My hunch is, because we go to all this theatrical trouble, it may seem in a lot of cases that it does discourage the terrorists from trying anything,” Tangney added. “It’s not like I have any desire to stand in long lines and have to take my shoes off. But it just seems to me that if it prevents shoe bombers, it’s worth it to me.”

They both agreed that airport security can be a thankless job at times, and wished TSA well as they work to process the estimated 1.5 million people moving through Sea-Tac this holiday weekend.

Listen to the Tom and Curley Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 7 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Tom and Curley on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to tom and curleyTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 3pm for The Tom and Curley Show.

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20 years too many? Tom and Curley debate the TSA as Thanksgiving travel ramps up