TSA plans a field trip to the Olympics

Passengers in the United Kingdom for the Olympics this summer may get a dose of US security theatre. Sky News is reporting that agents from the TSA will be on the ground for several weeks, working with British authorities to support their screening needs for flights headed to the United States. This aid will apply both to screening for US-flagged carriers and also other carriers destined to the USA according to the report, though it also suggests that the TSA agents will not be permitted to actually board the UK-flagged aircraft as part of their duties.

On the one hand, UK airports are going to be tremendously busy and they apparently didn’t get the staffing plan figured out far enough in advance to make other options viable. On the flip side, exporting the inanity of our "security" policies to other countries is unfortunate and annoying. Such is life, I suppose.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Given the restrictions on what spectators can (or more to the point can’t) take into the Olympic events, the TSA may feel more at home on the gates. “100ml of liquids Sir, just pop it in this bin please”, “is that a Burger King wrapper, sorry but they’re banned”. “Looks like rain again, please hand over your umbrella, it’s too big to take in.”

    Yep, they’d be right at home.

  2. Oh joy.

    Meld UK immigration with TSA security British airports will reach new levels of pain coming and going….

  3. You’re a jackass, too bad you weren’t on one of those planes 10 years ago

  4. The one thing that is relatively painless (note the term relatively) at Heathrow is security. Rarely does it take even 10 minutes, the staff are polite and friendly and will join in a limited amount of banter. They don’t shout at people and they have enough space to do the job properly, and enough lanes to cope with people.

    I dread to think what the TSA will make of such badly thought out attitudes towards passengers. This could become a nightmare quite quickly.

  5. Note that it appears this is only for flights headed to the US, so maybe these can go more smoothly with more staffing. I agree that in most places security is much less of an annoyance than in the US (as in most things Singapore Changi wins hands down for efficient security operations), and I hope others do not “learn” anything from the TSA.

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