What can I bring to the airport?
January 20, 2019 10:45 AM   Subscribe

We're traveling in a few weeks. Can we bring anything that would be helpful to TSA staff?

If the government shutdown is still going on, we will end up interacting with at least two and maybe more TSA staff who are working without pay. Would it be helpful/useful if we brought them something? If so, what kind of something? I was thinking along the lines of a gift card for lunch at an airport restaurant, or a gift card to a grocery store, or something that would help not just them but their families as well.

I don't want to seem like I'm condescending to them, though - I genuinely want to help, because working without pay is, to overly simplify it, terrible. Would this sort of gesture be welcome, or would it be inappropriate?
posted by pdb to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Unfortunately, it's illegal for TSA agents to accept gifts while they're on the job. You can thank them and then maybe make a donation to a local agency that is supporting Federal workers who are affected by the shutdown.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:51 AM on January 20 [18 favorites]


If you have a GOP senator you should call and ask them to vote for reopening the government. Only call your own senator though.
posted by shothotbot at 10:54 AM on January 20 [11 favorites]


This is probably a bad idea, but given the TSA can’t accept gifts thing, I’m imagining rolling up to security with a bunch of like, full sized new fancy shampoos and conditioners and toothpastes and stuff that you obviously can’t fly with and be like “Oh damn! Guess we’ve just gotta leave it here....”
posted by Weeping_angel at 10:58 AM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Just make their job as easy as possible by proceeding in an orderly fashion and following the instructions.
posted by mpbx at 11:03 AM on January 20 [20 favorites]


Some airports are collecting items for federal workers, so check with yours to see if they are running a similar program.
posted by cdefgfeadgagfe at 11:06 AM on January 20 [10 favorites]


As ArbitraryAndCapricious noted, they can’t accept gifts. When I went through TSA a couple weeks ago I said to the agent, “I know your agency is going through some struggles right now so thank you for being here. I hope it gets resolved quickly. ”

I didn’t expect or want a response because I didn’t want her to think I was going to try to have a conversation and put her on the spot so I kind of just glanced away and rearranged my stuff. She thanked me and started to tear up (then so did I), and I went on my way.
posted by _Mona_ at 11:37 AM on January 20 [23 favorites]


When I went through TSA last week I told the guy checking my ID that I appreciated him being there, and I was sorry about what was happening, and he told me that he appreciated knowing people cared.
posted by Caravantea at 12:46 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Former TSA agent here.

This is probably a bad idea, but given the TSA can’t accept gifts thing, I’m imagining rolling up to security with a bunch of like, full sized new fancy shampoos and conditioners and toothpastes and stuff that you obviously can’t fly with and be like “Oh damn! Guess we’ve just gotta leave it here....”

They are literally fired if they take anything passengers leave behind. Your fancy shampoos are discarded. Items like knives are donated to the state to sell.

They shouldn’t accept gifts from you (technically they shouldn’t accept food from the airlines on the same principle, but I know it is happening.)

This is a artificial scarcity caused by Trump and McConnell. If McConnell truly cared about border security, he would make sure the people on the border, the Border Patrol or Coast Guard or the Customs and Border Protection were being paid. If McConnell wanted to not have undocumented workers here, he could enforce laws already on the books.

In this fight between Trump and Pelosi, McConnell has the power to break it and reopen the government.

What can you do? Contact your republican senator, if you have one. When people are complaining about the long TSA line, respond loudly, “I wouldn’t show up to my job if I weren’t being paid.”

The scary part is your air traffic controller isn’t being paid either. Do you really wanted a person in one of the most stressful jobs on earth to be tired because they have to deliver pizzas just to make their mortgage?
posted by Monday at 1:01 PM on January 20 [47 favorites]


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