Travelers react to TSA failing most tests in undercover operation

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — An undercover operation revealed TSA screenings at airports fail more often than not.

On Thursday at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, Tiffany Dorizas says goodbye to family members as they head off to Ecuador. She’s a frequent traveler and feels TSA does a good job of making sure nothing prohibited gets by.

“I found that it is very very thorough. I have actually been patted down three or four times,” Dorizas said.

She recalls a specific encounter with TSA when she was coming back from the Bahamas.

“I had sunscreen in my bag that I had forgotten about. It was six ounces and it was a really big deal. They confiscated it and I felt like I had a bomb in my bag, but clearly it was just a forgotten thing of sunscreen,” Dorizas said.

Others agree, saying TSA is getting a lot more strict.

“I remember a couple of years ago when I first started traveling. I was able to bring a couple of things, I didn’t know they were in my purse, like knife or something,” Jordan Hughes said.

Recently Homeland Security investigators found that, more than 70 percent of the time, undercover officers were able to get through TSA checkpoints with mock knives, guns and explosives.

“That is really surprising to me, it is. In every western European airport we have been in. The security has been amazing. Very thorough. I can’t see me sneaking a cookie in. Much less anything dangerous,” Dorizas said.

With news of this right before the holiday season, Dorizas says it’s concerning.

“I try not to be a panicked person. We travel quite a bit, but it does make you pause and think,” she said.

The Office of Inspector General made eight classified recommendations based on the undercover operation. In a statement TSA, officials say they take these findings very seriously and are implementing measures that will improve screening.

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