TSA on Yelp: What Travelers are Saying

As the Associated Press reported,  government agencies are joining the ranks of businesses reviewed on Yelp – including the TSA.

What you may not know is people have been talking about airport security measures on the popular review site for years.

TSA on Yelp

If you have been on a deserted island for the past few years, you may not have heard of Yelp, which allows the public to review everything from diners to dating sites and (apparently unofficially) the Transportation Security Administration. As the government and Yelp join forces, new TSA review sides will reportedly include official feedback but in the meantime, there’s plenty to look at now including these comments.

  • 5 stars: “What a shockingly pleasant experience!”
  • 4 stars: [After a couple underwent patdowns] “According to hubby they were checking every inch of his cargo shorts. He said the guy was OK. Just doing his job.”
  • 3 stars: “Never had a problem with them. They have a thankless job and put up with a lot of BS.”
  • 2 stars: “Their lines could be quicker. Plus some people aren’t that cheery.”
  • 1 star: “A crappy knockoff of the Gestapo but with less fashionable clothing.”
  • 1 star: [A TSA officers inspects an item in a carry-on] “These over-paid security guards use their power to threaten and intimidate as he made it clear he’d rather destroy the article than let us get on the plane with it.  It was a Tinkerbell snow globe people!”
  • 1 star: [After another bag search] “I’ll just come out and say it, I had my vibrator in my carry-on bag.”

Have a complaint about the TSA? How to file it.

Some reviews may be more valid than others. For example, one woman began hers by saying, “It’s 4:30am. What better time for TSA to go on a power trip?” but it’s clear from her complaint – about being chastised for a too-big carry-on – that the problem had nothing to do with TSA officers and everything to do with airline reps.

Even Yellowstone Gets Bad Reviews

Is it possible that bad experiences are more of a motivation to write a review than good experiences? Perhaps some follow the old adage, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

But yes, the TSA has problems. Nevertheless, many officers work hard to insure travelers have at least an okay experience. Perhaps the TSA – or anyone who’s suffered a bad review – can take heart in the Yelp page for Yellowstone. While most commenters praise this glorious national park to the skies, there are always a few reviews like this one:

  • 1 star: “The park rangers are SUPER AHOLES not at all public friendly. I mean the meanest heartless people I have EVER encountered in my life.”

Oh, my.


Updated: August 20, 2015