KANSAS CITY, Mo. - When Don Buteyn entered the security line at KCI early Monday morning, he was asked by security agents to remove all paper products from his bag— including books, loose-leaf paper, Post-It Notes, documents and more.
A seasoned traveler, Buteyn had never been asked to do so before.
“They said this is a pilot program that’s currently being tested at Kansas City and that they are rolling it out nationwide,” he said.
And he’s not the only passenger who was directed to do the same.
One passenger told 41 Action News via Twitter he was also asked to remove all paper goods from his carry-on bag this week.
“For me, it was inconvenient but not highly impactful. For others, it was a big hassle,” he said. “There was one gentleman who had six totes full of papers, artwork from his kids, food, books magazines. It probably took him ten to 15 minutes jut to get ready to send his material through the X-ray.
.@KCIAirport@TSA Saw a guy this morning with SIX bins going through x-ray. It's like someone said "Hey, let's slow down an already inefficient airport"
Another passenger said security dug through her "entire bag to find two blocks of Post-It notes. They were even in a separate bag within my suitcase. They put them in a separate bin and put them back through security.”
TSA would neither confirm nor deny the new screening policies or pilot program.
TSA sent the following statement to 41 Action News:
“Through the Screening Partnership Program, Akal Security is contracted to provide security at MCI. Like federalized airports, random and unpredictable screening measures may be used. As a result, passengers may be asked to remove certain items from their carry-on luggage during the security screening process.”
However, Letitia Buteyn said at the Philadelphia International Airport Tuesday she was not asked to remove any paper products. She was carrying a book in her carry-on.
“It was a standard take off your shoes, take off your hat, any jewelry pull to the side,” said Buteyn.
KCI airport officials are not in charge of the airport’s security and therefore were not able to comment on security screening procedures.
In fact, KCI’s security does not rely on government workers. Instead, the airport is part of the TSA’s Screening Partnership Program — meaning security is subcontracted out and handled by a private company, Akal Security Inc.
Akal took over security for KCI in 2015, under a 5-year contract. According to TSA, the company must follow all federal guidelines and procedures as TSA.