Congressman Demands that TSA Screeners Be Polite

Will your TSA screener be legally obligated to say please and thank you?

Tired of TSA workers barking orders at you without even saying “please”, and patting you down without even buying you dinner first? Well, one Representative agrees—and he wants to at least bring manners back to the security screening process.

According to the NY Daily News, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) told TSA official Kelly Hoggan at a recent hearing hearing that he wanted TSA workers be more polite, or that he would attempt to make a law that required it.

Connolly complained about a recent trip through TSA security that he took, in which he “counted—in one encounter—20 barked orders.” He said the TSA workers just yelled, “Take that off… Move over there… Back up… Put your hands up… Take your shoes off. Not once was the word ‘please’ used.” Connolly added, “I don’t understand how hard it is to teach people: make sure you use the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ when you’re interacting with our public.”

David Cox, national president of screeners union AFGE, responded to criticism by saying that the screeners, “Face tremendous pressure to keep the lines moving as fast as possible and simultaneously provide the kind of scrutiny that terrorism prevention requires,” and that TSA workers are “an overwhelmingly respectful, knowledgeable and well-trained workforce that tries to do its best for the flying public every day.”

Do you think that TSA workers should be required to say “please” and “thank you?” Tell us in the comments.

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By Caroline Morse Teel

Unfortunately for her bank account, Principal Editor Caroline Morse Teel is powerless to resist a good flight deal. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Caroline joined Boston-based SmarterTravel in 2011 after living in Ireland, London, and Manhattan. She's traveled to all seven continents, jumped out of planes, and bungeed off bridges in the pursuit of a good story. She loves exploring off-the-beaten path destinations, anything outdoorsy, and all things adventure.

Her stories have also appeared online at USA Today, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Yahoo,, TripAdvisor, Buzzfeed, Jetsetter, Oyster, Airfarewatchdog, and others.

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