July 25, 2013
What a tangled little story this is. It begins with a strange but seemingly confirmed story about how TSA agents are now searching valet-parked cars parked at airports.
We write “strange¯ because, well, that’s a very new thing TSA would be doing. You’d think they would have told have told someone in advance. Yet it’s also “seemingly confirmed¯ because a local news station in New York went to Greater Rochester International Airport, where the car searches occurred, and found a bunch of evidence.
The NBC affiliate found a valet company with a (maybe brand new) sign that saying cars could be searched under TSA regulations. Then they got a valet driver to talk about the practice. They they got a TSA official to explain that valet-parked cars were uniquely subject to search “ as opposed to all other cars “ because they sit in front of the terminals for so long. Check out the clip embedded below. Seems pretty definitive.
Except then the TSA blog issued a flat out denial: “TSA officers are not inspecting cars or mandating that they be searched.¯