Ahh, okay. Sorry about the assumptions.
Well, I'm glad I never had to use Manchester. Screw that noise.
I travel all over the world, although I haven't flown TATL since November. Obviously you'll have scanners on connections. That's not arrivals. Admittedly I tend to fly into JFK/EWR/BWI/IAD, and on from Washington/NY a few days later. I've never heard of any of my colleagues being scanned on arrival, only on connections (which is to be expected)
I thought you were being pedantic but the only time I can remember arriving without needing a connection was landing direct in Detroit, and I didn't need them then. That being said, that was August 2008 and there's a chance it predates them being installed in Detroit (I don't buy this for a major airport but as I don't know I won't comment) but from the shape of MSP's layout from immigration I can't see how you could skip the extra TSA check even if you weren't connecting. I recall being railroaded into the TSA.
So the scanners are before immigration? For my last entry (day before Sandy hit), into EWR, I wasn't even asked if I was there for business or leisure.
For her that was a layover, she was heading to Wichita, perhaps that made a difference. And in MSP as I described above, I think you don't have a choice.
Hmm, do you fly TATL on American carriers (or worse, El Al)? I've heard they have silly extra rules that you don't get on VS/BA etc, but if you route via AMS I'm guessing you're a KLM flyer. Your experiences do not sound normal. I arrived into America 4 times last year, 3 times the year before. I've never seen any security present for people getting off the planes. Add the other 60 flights last year, and the only country where I have seen security on arrival is Israel, where they occasionally ask a few questions (the Erez border being the non-flight exception)
KLM/Delta flyer. MSP immediately parks you in front of the immigration desk, the customs desk and then pushes you though TSA to get into the main arrivals lounge. I'm not a fan of MSP. My fiancee has used other intermediate connecting airports like Atlanta and Memphis and I don't know what she needed to do for those, except that she had to go through the X-Ray at Memphis. She is sickly girl and air flight doesn't sit well with her, and security likes to badger her because she looks 'suspicious and nervous' for that reason.
I've landed in Girona in Spain, Amsterdam, Birmingham, Gatwick and Heathrow in London, and Seoul in South Korea over the last six years or so in various amounts, and it's only my layover in MSP that has ever done this.