TSA communications(Posted here on March 12, 2009)
December 24, 2008
To: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
My wife, Mary Steward of Jesus (Stewardofjesus in some records) and I,
John Steward of Jesus, have been Northwest Airlines Frequent Fliers for
more than eight years, during which we have logged more than 100,000
We have chosen to live in the kingdom of heaven as followers (disciples,
servants, stewards) of Jesus Christ, whom we recognize as our living
king, here and now.
In obedience to the will of our king as we understand it, we live as
peacemakers in his kingdom. We are not citizens or residents in any of
the coercive kingdoms of the world. Therefore we are not able to obtain
any photo identification commonly recognized in airport screening.
All our travel as Northwest Frequent Fliers has been done with passports
and other identification issued by followers of Jesus in the kingdom of
heaven. Our documents have been examined and photocopied many times
over the years by your agents and Northwest agents, and can be verified
We have learned to allow time for the screening, examination,
cross-examination, and interrogation which we often experience at
airports before we are permitted to proceed to our destination, as we
have always been allowed to do.
Our most recent flying experience followed a family gathering in Iowa.
We had tickets (Confirmation Number 27W7JU) to travel on Northwest
flight 2771 from Sioux City on December 11, 2008, with my sister,
Marilyn Moore, and her husband, William Moore, to visit them at their
home in Florida.
Our flight was scheduled to leave Sioux City at 10:56 am. We arrived at
the airport two hours before then and checked our luggage with the
Northwest counter agent. We had hoped to proceed with TSA screening.
Your screening line was not scheduled to open, however, until 10:15. We
were at the head of the line. The time remaining was not enough for TSA
to complete its interrogation and cross-examination. My sister and her
husband boarded and left as scheduled. My wife and I were cleared just
in time to board flight 2773 to Minneapolis around 1:00 pm. As a result
our arrival at Tampa was delayed more than six hours, at great
inconvenience to all of us, as we were depending on my sister for
transportation to her house.
The screening, interrogation, and cross-examinations in Sioux City took
more than two and a half hours. Participating were TSA Supervisory
Officer Rossiter, Sioux City Police Department Uniformed Services
Bureau Officers Jim R. Clark, W. Erickson, and K. Bonowski, and Sgt.
John Pepple, retired from the Sioux City Police Dept., now working with
Sioux City Night Patrol. Those uniformed officers told me that the
information we provided them would expedite future screening and permit
us to travel without such delays in the future.
On our return trip our screening at Tampa was short and pleasant. I was
encouraged to learn that officers at Sioux City had called Tampa and
facilitated the process. In passing through Sioux City I inquired of
TSA Supervisory Office Rossiter and learned that he had been told in a
telephone conversation with his superior that the needed information
would be entered into your data base and available in the future to
similarly facilitate the screening when we are scheduled to fly.
I have written all this as background information before making two
(1) Please confirm that the needed information is now available in your
(2) Please tell me what I should suggest to TSA agents in the screening
line at the airport in order to facilitate the process when they notice
that our photo identification is not conventional.
We appreciate what you are doing to help keep airline travel safe for
everyone, and thank you for your attention to this matter.
May you be given wisdom in all your decisions.
John Steward of Jesus
in the kingdom of God
via 21 East 13th. Avenue
Hutchinson, KS 67501
January 14, 2009
To: TSA-Contact Center
Recently my wife and I spent time at Grand Rapids, Michigan, to attend
the wedding of a nephew. We left Grand Rapids the afternoon of January
13 on flight NW1031 to Detroit.
When we passed through TSA screening three of your agents spent an
extended time asking us about our telephone number, postal address, how
long we had had that address, the name of the mortgage holder, the
county, and names of our neighbors, and then making telephone calls
regarding the information we gave them.
If it is possible, it seems to me that it would be better for all of us
to shorten this process by entering information in your data base
confirming that our identification is reliable. Would that be possible?
Regardless of when you are able to answer my questions, please
acknowledge immediately by return email that you have received this
communication (and that you received earlier the communication below?).
Again, we thank you for your attention to this matter.
John Steward of Jesus
March 12, 2009 footnote
I have not received a response to these emails.
I spent hours calling the TSA Contact Center on February 13, February 20, February 25, March 5, and March 11. In the first four calls I was told that I would receive a response soon. When I called I was usually asked to give a call-back number in case the connection was lost. Several times there was an apparent disconnect. They never called back. I called back each time except the last call, when there again was an apparent disconnect as I was waiting to be transferred to an Assistant Federal Screening Director. The customer service representatives repeatedly told me they were not permitted to give me information for more direct telephone or email contact.