Dear Mitchell Airport: Opt out of TSA security

I have a brilliant idea for outgoing County Executive and governor elect Scott Walker: treat one of your supporters to a new business that manages Mitchell Airport security.

According to this article, the law is already in place to let you do it. Come on. You know you want to. It would be so easy to endear yourself to thousands of Wisconsinites by bringing a little sanity to the flight security screenings.

I’ll confess Milwaukee isn’t as bad as it gets in the airport world, but what if we were great? Can you say increased airport traffic?


  1. Aren’t the people complaining about the screenings the same ones who 6 or 8 years ago were clamoring for more security?

  2. That reply has been used lately.

    The measures put in place after 9/11 were fine. Anything since then has been a knee jerk reaction to an incident. Shoes, liquids, etc., really haven’t made an impact like setting metal detectors to more sensitive settings.

    Here’s one a girlfriend and I talked about this morning: Check all luggage. Checking luggage would lighten the load on screeners and let them do a better job with lower volume.

  3. Randy in Richmond says:

    Here’s a small begining, Cindy. They heard you.

  4. Sweet! But I doubt I had anything to do with that one.

    So, there’s a new clue. Only 5 contractors are approved for replacing the TSA service. Still, it would be a huge advantage as competition would demand each company provide well trained employees and a responsive management.

    There are several things I’d want out of a change of the TSA system. One of them is that an employee who worked at McDonald’s on fry vat last week wouldn’t have the authority to keep me from flying this week just because I didn’t bow to his or her every whim.

    So many of the TSA crowd have huge power issues. I swear they high more bullies per capita than any other entry level job out there.

  5. Cindy, do you have the names of those five contractors? I believe Raytheon, Lockhead Martin and Firstline Transportation Security are three of them, and interestingly, those three have backed Rep. John Mica of Florida financially. Mica is the congressman leading the call for airports to switch, and incidentally, the likely leader of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee come January.

  6. Boo hoo hoo. If they can screen passengers without strip searching or putting their hands down my pants, they have my support, too. I don’t care if they all three slept with John Mica. At the same time.

  7. Hmmm. I wouldn’t have pegged you for the pay-for-play type. And I was serious about the names of the other two contractors. I figured that since you know the number is 5, you might know the names. Is there a link for an article where you got that?

  8. I’m not the pay to play kind, but since Walker obviously is I might as well use it to get what I want.

    Wasn’t the link part of Randy’s comment?

  9. Last night, one of the evening news channels reported that more airports are contracting with non-TSA security for flight screenings. I did not know that was possible, but it sure would be nice if Milwaukee took a look at the “service” they use. It’s one of the least professional operations I’ve seen in all our flying. Chicago was pretty good (although we get preferential screeing when flying United due to elite status.) We were also full body scanned in Amsterdam in July on our way back to the states. Somehow, the European security screeners just seem a heck of a lot more professional, and take their job more seriously than TSA. We’ve never had random intrusive pat downs, or brusque and openly hostile screeners like we’ve had in Milwaukee.

  10. I agree with winegirl. I have always found the screeners more professional in Europe. Also in Australia and New Zealand. The experiences in Southeast Asia have been more uneven.
    The most interesting experiences have been in China. My experience has been they are much tougher on Chinese citizens than foreigners.

  11. We fly with elite status almost everywhere, too, but it’s still hit or miss with security everywhere we’ve been.

    True, the spouse and I did a full body scan in AMS that didn’t seem like a problem at all. I did get a pat down because of my underwire bra. (Listen, you really don’t want me to go without this marvel of modern engineering.) The agent giggled and explained she wore one, too. She said she wished they’d figure it out.

    Oh, and they caught my chapstick also. Never ever fly without chapstick.

  12. Cindy,

    I recently had the same thought and wanted to share what I found out when I started looking into it more.

    While the airport has the right to contract a private firm and get rid of the TSA, the contractor still must follow all rules and procedures of the TSA. So essentially all it would do is add a burden to the local tax payers who would now be footing the bill for a company to do the same work with the same methods as the TSA is currently.

    This is a great idea in theory, but the only people who really benefit are the private companies who provide the service, who are also the ones spending big money to lobby politicians like the one who sent the open letter to all the airports and the media.

  13. “burden local taxpayers”

    Wait, aren’t we already paying for TSA?

    “with the same methods”

    Sure, but maybe not the same attitudes.

    PS – the comment IP shows the previous comment originated from Milwaukee County Government ( with the Google search of “milwaukee airport opt out.”