Nice guys at the airport

Going through airport security this morning, I set off the metal detector and had to be wanded. (Gotta remember to lose the belt and watch….) No biggie. Philadelphia is one of the earlier airports to have federal Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) personnel handling security. The TSA staff acted with an almost exaggerted courtesy, which I’ve experienced every time I’ve dealt with them. It’s a noticeable contrast from the staff of the private contractors who ran airport security pre-9/11.

But why? The TSA workers are better paid and screened, so I would expect them to be more effective and efficient. That doesn’t necessarily make them nicer. Federal bureaucracies don’t exactly have a great reputation for customer service, and you would think that in this case all the emphasis would be on security rather than politeness. TSA management must be making a point of training employees to be courteous. Make no mistake, I’m not complaining. I’m just pleasantly surprised.