SWA Pilot Suspended

A1FlyBoy

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- A Southwest Airlines pilot who became involved in an incident at a security checkpoint has been suspended for six weeks without pay.

Larry Hargis was suspended for his role in a dispute with security screeners at Will Rogers World Airport, said Jon Weaks, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association.

But Weaks said Thursday that the suspension indicates a larger problem, and that the union is still investigating the case.

"And we will make sure that the pilot's rights are upheld," Weaks said. "We are gravely concerned about the growing number of security-related incidents involving pilots and our own company personnel. We are seeing the same incidents after conferring with other airlines."

Airline spokesman Ed Stewart said he could not discuss the action taken, but he said a reasonable decision was made.

"We have reached a resolution," he said. "The pilot is still with us. He hasn't been terminated. We can't go any further. The chief pilot felt appropriate action was taken."

According to an Oklahoma City police report, Hargis became agitated about the time it took to search his bag at a security checkpoint on Feb. 3. Hargis asked screeners twice to search his bag so he could walk to his aircraft, the report stated.

At that point, a National Guard member assigned to airport security asked Hargis for identification. Hargis lifted the identification badge on his shirt but would not remove the card when the Guard member asked, the report stated.

When the Guard member grabbed the tag from Hargis' shirt, Hargis responded by grabbing the identification tag on the guard member's shirt, the report stated. Police then arrived and mediated the dispute.

According to the report, Hargis told officers he was not upset that his bag was being searched, but that it wasn't searched immediately.

After talking to Southwest ground personnel, Hargis made a phone call, during which he stepped into the hall and began loudly telling passengers at another gate why the plane was late, the report said.

Hargis was not allowed to fly and was escorted from the security area. When he returned in civilian clothes to fly as a passenger, a Southwest supervisor would not allow him on the flight, the report stated.
 

jetexas

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There needs to be a way to positively identify crews as being crews so that we can go to work in peace. Having to go through security numerous times a day (much more than the average Joe passenger) and taking off shoes, hat, keys, tie, wallet, glasses, pens, belts, epulets, etc. is ridiculous since we fly the planes!
 
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datafox

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Personally, I feel this SWA pilots was probably acting like a real red-neck fool.

I've been through security at every major northeast airport hundreds of times in the last 5 months and I've not had a problem one time.

If security asks me for my badge, I give it to them. If security asks for my shoes, they can have those too. Want to look in my briefcase? Go ahead.

I've seen so many pilots get upset at security checkpoints, and every time there has been NO reason for it. Screeners are just doing their jobs. They don't need a attitude, just like we don't need a attitude from some irate passenger.

The arrogance and superiority complex of pilots has shown its ugly head. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

As a model to the traveling public, we should remain cool, we should remain professional. If a passenger see's a pilot acting like a moron...that passenger is probably more likely to act like a moron as well. It damages our whole profession. What do passengers think, "this childish schmuck is flying me around?".

If a pilot has a problem, do what the security personnel ask and after he/she passes the checkpoint talk to a manager, talk to a ground security coordinator, talk to the union. But, act up and almost get arrested! Ridiculous.

The guy in the article is probably very immature and probably has other egotistical/psychological issues.
 

Av8trxx

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"There needs to be a way to positively identify crews as being crews"

On that note, my best friend (a WN Capt) told me he had a HP pilot jumpseating out of SLC two days ago. He took a seat in the cabin. Out of curiosity, he asked the HP guy why he was taking Southwest. The reply was that HP ticket agents failed a FAA check and many did not know how to determine if pilots requesting the jumpseat were actual HP employees. :eek: Because of that, jumpseating on their own airline was now prohibited (guess their cabin was full) until they can develop a means of positively IDing crew members. Hmmmmm. Anyone else with more details?
 

A1FlyBoy

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PILOT ID CARDS

Airlines/FAA need to issue frequently updated and accurate ID cards for cockpit and cabin crewmembers. There is no reason the professional crews need to be subjected to the constant removal of personal items: tie clips, pens, hats, shoes, etc.

If a quality and updated ID card swipe or eye scan was put in place much of the friction/annoyances for our good guys could be avoided.
 

racerX

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I was going through security the other day with a military guy behind me. He was griping like mad about being searched. "I fought in desert storm and I never..." I was in front of him taking off my shoes and belt. I looked at him and said "Hey dude, I'm gonna' fly the plane, if I can take it, so can you." I love showing the public that no one is free from suspicion. Pilots can do bad things too. By the way, that metal spiral in my "little red book" is a bitch through the metal detector. I can't wait for my shoes to wear out so I can buy Loafers!;)
 

ukcats

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Hey datafox, you might be a butt pirate, and enjoy the daily anal cavitity search, but the rest of us don't. Profiling is the answer.
 

Simon Says

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Datafox you are the fool and you should be ashamed of yourself for posting such propaganda!

I WILL SAY AGAIN.............PILOTS GOING TO WORK SHOULD NOT HAVE TO BE SCREENED! There are ways to prove to any Joe Blow that we are working crew members.

Second giving pilots a harder time at security to show the public how safe the airports are now is utterly ridiculus.
 

datafox

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Simon Says,

Dude, don't put words into my mouth. Re-read my post.

#1: I never said that airports or security was safe.

#2: I didn't say that the treatment pilots get at security is fair either.

Pilots must act professional, especially when in public view. This bickering and acting like children I've seen at security checkpoints is damaging to our profession. There are better ways to deal with the security issue than to start yelling at some $6/hr immigrant or an 18 y/o guardsman.
 

Simon Says

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Datafox,

I agree we all need to be professinals at the security check points, but there is a limit of humiliation for a normal human being. You may not have seen abuse against flight crews at check points, but I have.

Case in point, I try to put everything I carry through the X-Ray machine so I do not BEEP going through the metal detector. Last week I went through and I beeped so the security folks had to wand me down. My wallet that had several hundered dollars in cash was sitting in basket on a table 15 feet away from me. I requested that my wallet be placed within arms reach away from me, and they denied my request. At that time I requested to see the Officer at the check point, told him that I wanted my wallet within arms reach or that he could watch my wallet and be responible for it. He said no to both of those requests. So I told him that I was going to dismiss myself from the security screening process and asked to be escorted out of the secure area. Which he granted. I called my Chief Pilot. He called the airport. The airport police eventually agreed that I may have my wallet within arms reach of me. I went through the security check again with an officer escorting me. The flight was delayed 36 minutes.

This is just one of many headaches I go through when I attemp security. I will be **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED**ed if someone denies my constitutional right of proper searches. Once again I am hot under the collar about all of this, but I will and do handle it in a professinal manner.

And I have yet to meet any Red-necked fool SWA pilot.
 

datafox

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You are right. I was suprised that it was a SWA pilot. I am truly impressed with their operations and pilots. They are darn good people.
 
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Diesel8

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I'm glad to see that so many other pilots feel the way I do about this. It's really crazy that at my domicile, I go through this. I don't have to go through screening at the checkpoint, since (thank the lord) my airport ID lets me though a side door. HOWEVER, if I jumpseat after work, I will be searched and my bag searched by the gate staff. This is ASININE since I can just swipe my card and WALK out onto the ramp. It make NO sense. As for going through the screening checkpoints at outstations, some stations let us through the back door, others don't. That is stupid too. Why can't we be issued a NATIONAL ID for all flight crews so we don't have to put up with this. It would be SOOOO easy to do. We all go through the ten year backround check...we are probably a lower risk than the people who are searching us. At my home, (an outstation) they sometimes search me even though they KNOW me, but they just pretend to make the passengers THINK things are better. It is crazy. Things have to change NOW.
 

jetexas

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"You are right. I was suprised that it was a SWA pilot. I am truly impressed with their operations and pilots. They are darn good people."

The same thing may have happened to the same SWA pilot 200 times. You never know. SWA is great. I have never met a SWA pilot that talked poorly about their company and they are good folk (though I'm sure there are a few not happy).
Regardless, every person has a breaking point. I am sure we all have stood at security getting the "rub down", thinking "man, this is friggin ridiculous, but I have to play this game". Then you throw in a slow bag search, taking shoes off, numerous legs that day in bad wx, etc., - anybody can get redfaced mad about it.
WE NEED NATIONAL ID's!
However, the airlines would likely have to pay for it and, therefore, I doubt it will happen unless the FAA forces the issue.
Pretty ridiculous how our pilots' licenses look like 1950's drivers licenses ay?
 

Birddog

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I was able to get an insight to the screeners perspective while getting my daily grope at security the other day (it must have been the zipper in my pants). The screener asked me if "you pilots" (as if I could answer for all of us) feel safer due to the increased security. When I told him no, he was absolutely amazed. He started to explain how they were being so much more aggressive about screening and how I would not believe the things they took from people. When I told him that there was no possible way to confiscate all the things people could use as improvised weapons and that I thought a better answer was improved cockpit security. Before I left for the gate he told me that if I had been through the training he had, I might see things differently. At that point I left for the gate, but it was a interesting look at the people who are supposed to be looking out for the security at the terminal. Fly safe.
 
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Hey Simonsays;

Please explain to me your constitutional rights concerning security checks and searches at airports. I don't think that not allowing your wallet in arms reach violates them. Why don't you put your bills in your pocket if you are so concerned about them?
 

AWACoff

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Jetexas (and others this may apply to),
due to being furloughed I may be out of the loop. But since when did we have to go through securities so many times a day? I would pass through security once at the start of my day in ORD and then after that I had no need to leave a secure area (including outstations). Are you going to a mom and pop sandwich shop off the airport during your turns or something?
Puzzled in Wisconsin
 

wildbill

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Maybe one day there will be this realization that because there are so many dedicated professionals willing to put their lives on the line daily to fly those airplanes, these screeners have jobs.
This also includes the FAA. Does the FAA have a job because they are down here or is it because we are all up there? What would happen to all these government workers should the pool of pilots decided to take a few weeks off to get their "mental attitude" right. I believe in security, but all of us are being pushed to the brink with this so called "high state of alert". Just another way to sell newspapers and create jobs for those people who cannot find one. The scare tactics and high handed attitudes in the name of "security" need to be changed. Just my two cents worth....
 

DougCorp-9

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Hey Simon

Simon,

You mean to tell me that you delayed all your passengers 36 minutes because you can't figure out how to get through security? Did you ever think of just leaving your wallet in your pocket and holding it while they wanded you? Or how about taking the cash out of your wallet and putting it in your pocket? Paper money doesn't beep. You must have looked like a fool. All of you people on here that are bitching about the security need to realize that complaining to the screeners or guardsmen will do nothing except make you look like a fool. They don't make the rules and bitching at them will not change anything.
 

skydash

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The sad fact of this situation is there is no standardization at these security checkpoints.I go through BWI security at least twice a week.It is an area void of structure and competence. I waited(I timed it)4 minutes standing at the x-ray machine in my socks,while the one security professional scolded another at the next machine for having the audacity to listen to "Puff Daddy" because "he weren't no real rapper". When I asked what the holdup was,she just told me "I'm going as fast as I can". I see this type of bull$*!# at a majority of screening areas I pass through. It creates a cumulatively negative effect after awhile. I do however also see excellent screening places with motivated curteous personnel,but they are the minority. Federalization is nothing more than another government jobs program,which will do nothing to improve overall security. Most of the individuals who are working screening machines now will simply be rehired,regardless of the new guidelines(most of which have all been removed). If we're REALLY serious about passenger screening,we'd better throw political correctness out the door,and adopt a program such as EL AL's and hire COMPETENT individuals to do these jobs,and for $35,000 there's no reason why we can't.
 

Simon Says

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OK....OK.....that came out wrong. First of all you cannot be searched unless there is probable cause or you consent. Going through security is an implied consent of search. Since it is a consentual search you may stop the search at any time.

I still put my wallet along with all of my other stuff through security (mabey I should hold onto my wallet). My point being was that I did not want my wallet to walk away, and they refused to put it by me so I can keep an eye on it. This was not an unresonable request by any means. I believe they did not honor my request because they felt that I was questioning their authority. And to be honest with you all I will question their authority and their procedures. They are not the all-master of security. I will be GD if they tell me that I cannot be able to keep an eye on my wallet or that no one will take responsability for it when I am getting wanded.

Absolutely I delayed the passengers because I could not get through security in a timely manner. By the way I did tell them that I had a problem getting through security and that is why I delayed the flight. All of you people that are walking on egg shells going through security need to step up to the plate and say something if the security people are doing something wrong. Just do not interfere with their duties or you will be arrested.

I did not look like a fool because no one except the security personell and police officer knew what my problem was. I was talking in a low voice, and not making a scene. I simply dismissed myself from the screening process. (As what ALPA reccomends) I also know that there is a fine line between questioning people at the security check point and "interfeering with there duties" which is now a federal offense.

I know bitching at the security people wont change anything, but delaying flights due to a "non-standerized" system of security screening will.

Any takers on that????????????Like I said before "bring it on"
 
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