Mishandling Property Is No. 1 TSA Complaint

More than 12,000 travelers file complaints about airport screening this year

If you've ever grumbled your way through the airport screening line -- you're not alone.

More than 12,000 travelers across the country filed formal complaints with the Transportation Security Administration from January through October of this year.

Of those, 299 complaints came from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field.

"I travel all the time," frequent flier Valerie Lester said. "It becomes a pain."

She said the long lines can be frustrating, especially when passengers see screeners "standing around visiting and not dealing with business."

Screeners can also seem too aggressive, some travelers say.

"I think you have people making very little money having to overdo their job to compensate," traveler Jeaneen Pruitt said.

The No. 1 complaint? The mishandling of passengers' property, including items damaged, lost or stolen from bags.

"We take theft very seriously," TSA spokeswoman Andrea McCauley said. "TSA has let officers go who've taken 50 cents out of a bowl."

The second most common complaint is rude treatment.

TSA uses those complaints to improve training.

"We're still a relatively young agency, and we faced a learning curve in the last five years," McCauley said. "And now we're really focused on dealing with the issues passengers face."

Inappropriate or inconsistent screening procedures is No. 3 on the list.

"If you've gone through the line and had a bad experience, we want to know about that," TSA spokeswoman Andrea McCauley said.

Every year, thousands of passengers file complaints online, over the phone or by filling out complaint cards at airports.

The 12,000 complaints is a small percentage of the 50 to 60 million people that fly each month.

Many passengers said they're willing to put up with some hassles if it keeps them safe.

"For the most part they're pretty reasonable," one traveler said. "They have a job to do."

The TSA encourages feedback on its Web site at www.tsa.gov. The agency also has a blog where passengers can comment and share their experiences.

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