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TSA Changes Known Crew Member (KCM) Criteria: Here's How it'll Impact the Aviation Community

Ladies and gentlemen, it has been three years since a Jetblue flight attendant was randomly selected for a search at KCM and infamously abandoned her gucci heels, slid down an up-going escalator and bolted out of LAX; leaving behind her crew bag filled with 60kilos of perrriiicoooo, that’s cocaine, for my non-Miamians.

After that stunt I remember thinking "welp, there goes KCM", however much to my surprise, the only ramification would be a change in KCM policy regarding international travel. Prior to cocain-gate, flight crew and cabin crew were able to pass through KCM when traveling internationally. However, TSA would change that policy, removing our ability to use KCM for personal international travel. A fair response, given the drug smuggling circumstances.

BUT the day we have all been dreading since then has come. KCM is now stricter than ever.

Saturday August 24, 2019, Known Crew Member abruptly changed its policy regarding crew travel. Like a thief in the night, TSA has changed the lives of inflight employees forever. The new policy states: crew members are now required to be in uniform to access KCM. No more big liquids on vacation and most certainly no more commuting up in your casual clothes to avoid passenger detection. I guess there’s no need to schlep your bags the additional 50 meters for the sake of KCM, going through normal security will get the job done; provided lifting your bags isn’t an issue for you.

Whats even more curious about the sudden change is that TSA posted the announcement on a Saturday afternoon with implementation to begin a mere four day later on August 28, 2019. Since when does TSA announcements on the weekends? *rubs chin*

Inflight departments around the country are scrambling to notify their employees in time. This is highly uncharacteristic of the agency, leading some industry insiders to speculate that the change is in response to a threat. But that’s just heresay... for now.

This policy update will affect all of inflight, but it’s the commuters who will bear the of the burden. Here’s why:

Commuters use KCM thrice as much as their non-commuter counterpart. They need it to weave in and out of airports as seamlessly as possible. The old policy allowed for commuters to bypass regular security in plain clothes, while not adhering to TSA liquid constraints.

This had two primary benefits:

1. Commuters could pack everything they would need for their work trip(s) and commute up bypassing the chaos regular security is often riddled with.

2. Commuters could do the aforementioned in plain clothes. Why is this a benifit you ask? Well, it allows crew members to not have to “be on duty” when they are infact off duty. When passengers see us in uniform on the concourse they think we are working, so they bring us their questions, comments and concerns. It’s not like we can say “sorry, I’m not working I’m just wearing this to get to the city I work in for my shift that starts tomorrow”. Not only is the phrase wordy it may come off as rude/dismissive and result in disciplinary action if a pax complains.

While I understand a lot of the reasons TSA has taken this privilege away, I also know this will be an additional stress factor for the 700,000+ commuters we have within the united states.

What are you thoughts about the new KCM policy? Let me know in the comment section!

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