Behind the scenes of TSA’s baggage screening process

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Have you ever wondered what happens to your bag once you check it in at the airport? On Tuesday the Transportation Security Administration gave a behind the scenes look at their screening process at Huntsville International Airport.

Rhonda Wells is a Supervisory Transportation Security Officer. Passengers have their complaints, but she said their baggage screening process is meant to keep you safe.

“We have a process that we go through in order to deem whether we actually have to open the bag or if it can go ahead and be cleared just by our looking at the image,” she said.

If they do have to open your bag or take anything out, the TSA will leave you a notice in your bag. But Wells said they do their best to respect your property.

“We talk to our officers always about making sure that the bags are repacked properly. Once we get it, we try to put it back the way we got it,” said Wells.

For those who like to put locks on your bags, a certain item can save you the headache of having the TSA track you down. You can buy TSA approved locks.

“If you’re purchasing a TSA lock and put it on your bag, we have special keys that we keep on hand that we can open the bag, look at what we need to, and then send the bag on its way,” said Wells.

She said this prevents them from having to find the passengers so they can get the key or the code. Wells said they want people to know what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.

“We always need to make sure that we’re teaching the public to know what we’re looking for even though there’s some things we can’t really divulge or say,” she explained.

But despite that, she says it’s important for passengers to know they do what they do with your best interests at heart.

“Know that we’re going to take care of your bag. We’re going to try to get you safely to where you need to go and back home again to your family,” said Wells.