TSA Rant


#1

Many of you know DW battled breast cancer this past year. She was required to undergo a full mastectomy to save her life. Breast reconstruction is several months away, and she must wear a special bra with a prosthetic. For DW, it’s humiliating and, along with the loss of hair, she feels much of her femininity has been lost.

So…the good old anti-terrorist thug squad we call TSA will not allow her through security without adding to the humiliation. Simply put, she has two choices, wear the prosthetic bra and probably be subject to a pat down, or not wear the bra and have it scrutinized in her carry on. Keep in mind gel sole shoe inserts are banned and this is essentially the same material.

Honestly, it hacks me off. Why can’t she simply present some kind of certified letter from her oncologist?

At the risk of being politically incorrect, the people blowing up planes are not middle-aged mothers, recovering from chemo therapy and amputation! :angry:


#2

Wow!! That is riddddiculous :angry:


#3

…the same TSA caused a friend to be separated from her 9 year old daughter as they took her to be searched without her mother…both were crying and were upset but didn’t get much sympathy…to this day she still has not received an answer as to why they pulled the little girl out and searched her…well it was a pat down but if you’re a parent you know the panic when your children are out of your site in a strange place…the whole system is just awful…

Cavey I am truly sorry your DW has to go through this…my DS is a 10 year breast cancer survivor…she opted for no reconstructive surgery…


#4

Unacceptable.

Really. They can do better than that. Really.

I am sorry for her, but I would not let it ruin your vacation. How will they even know, unless they do a putdown? If you just go through the regular screening, I mean.
Still, unacceptable for the leaders of the free world to have this nonsense in place.


#5

I’m so sorry for your wife to even have to worry about such a thing.

I just wish all these procedures that are for our safety, every member of government from the President down has to endure them too. Too many times the goverment says “this is for your own good, but we can do want we want”. I truly fear if I got chosen for a pat down, I could not stand there in the open and have that happen.


#6

TSA really needs to go.

I have a friend that was a model. She got a “pat down” that she said was more of a feel up. At the end of it the TSA agent winked at her. Makes me wonder what the real purpose is.

It is horrible that your wife has to give up even more just to move about the country. Can’t even imagine what this is putting her through.


#7

The TSA are just horrible. I am guessing they would see it in the body scan machine and then determine the need for the patdown or removal of the prosthetic?

I have some horror stories with the Atlanta airport that are just crazy beyond belief. I used to LOVE to travel but now I dread it every time I have to deal with the TSA.


#8

I am sorry she has to go through this. I would thinks some type of documentation could be put in the system.


#9

I am going to chime in and say the last time I flew they seriously cheesed me off. I was flying out of Philly to WDW in February for a work conference. I have flown MANY times and am super awesome about them doing their job. This one (I cant call her what she is) “woman” was just ridiculous. I had a tank top on with a sweater over it cause the material was itchy. It wasn’t the kind that buttons it was over my head. They told me I had to take it off or get pat down. I am not comfortable with taking my sweater off and sitting in line with a skin tight white cami on for all to gaze upon my “ladies”…,.so I put my arms up and said “pat me down then”…I even went as far as to say “at least let me pick who does it - how about that hottie over there” and then I pointed to a young stud of a TSA guy. The woman got super POed. So she patted me down and decided I had nothing to hide under my sweater and then search my bag and informed me that even though my toiletries were the right size and in a clear plastic bag, I had two to many. She actually thought she was going to throw them away. I said “I’ll check the bag then. You are not throwing anything out”. They escorted me out of the security center for everyone to stare at (pointing fingers and acting like I had drugs or something) and I went down and checked the bag. Now, being the jerk that I am, when going back through the security after checking my bag I specifically went to her line and refused to take my sweater off. When our eyes met, I smiled and said “ready to feel me up again?”…I actually started laughing and when she was doing it and asked her if it was good for her and made it seem like she was getting fresh… This was out of line, but she deserved it…nasty woman.


#10

When we give away our freedoms to fear, the terrorists have won.

I also have gone from loving to travel to refusing unless critical to my job or necessary for the families mental health ( vacation ).

I really think we need to rethink this whole approach. As pointed out not one middle age American mom, nor child has attempted to blow anything up so why should our fear ( there is that word again ) of the terrorists AND our fear of appearing to be targeting those who actually might be doing us harm force us to act like fools.

Sigh…

-H


#11

Try crossing the border.:dry: Evidently all of us are terrorists here. (Not to play favourites -their Canadian counterparts can be just as nasty). Last time dh and I drove to Grand Forks (our little cross-border shopping mecca) they asked me when was the last time I was arrested! Me! I was so…:nonono2:

I understand your anger completely Cavey. My sister is basically in the same situation with her thyroid. Part of the process requires that she drink a radio-active (doesn’t that make you feel nice and secure) mixture to literally kill her thyroid. Naturally, it remains in her system. She is required to carry documentation from her doctors any time she travels, clearly stating the situation. But that isn’t good enough for border patrol. Oh no. They put her through the same sort of humiliation. One idiot actually said to her “what are you trying to do here lady?” She looked him straight in the eye and said “save my life”. It is like they pick out the most arrogant bullies they can find for this job. Last time I flew home from Orlando I was subjected to a random “pat down”. Quite frankly - it was disgusting and I kept thinking - what sort of a woman would actually think it’s ok to do this to another woman? It turned my stomach.

You tell your wife that she is 100% all fantastic woman and that her bravery and her guts is what femininity is all about. I know it’ll be hard for her to go through it - but she’s battled worse than a bunch of border bullies!


#12

Being an ex-employee of TSA … I can tell you that there are individuals working there that have the mental approach of thinking they are law enforcement … they are not!!!
I can say that there were things shown to me that the public will never see!!!
I read alot of how TSA should disband … I Disagree, and I respect what many say … I enjoyed my job and respected it and the people I dealt with …


#13

[QUOTE=GrumpyDad;1117819]
I really think we need to rethink this whole approach. As pointed out not one middle age American mom, nor child has attempted to blow anything up so why should our fear ( there is that word again ) of the terrorists AND our fear of appearing to be targeting those who actually might be doing us harm force us to act like fools.
-H[/QUOTE]

Yeah, and if they aren’t subjected to pat-downs, too, that could be the terrorist loophole.

And then just think of how many Muslim Americans get patted down every time they go through the airport for “random” checks because they are discriminated based on their appearance. Surely, being the random white person isn’t too terribly bad.

I’ve been patted down before when I was a teenager. I went with the TSA person and was patted down by a woman (you should always patted down by someone of the same sex). It wasn’t a big deal. I didn’t feel like I was being personally invaded - it was a light pat around my sides.

Yeah, I think a lot of the rules are silly - like the liquids rule. I think it’s a bit ridiculous. But I take my shoes off and go through security and get it done with.

I also think a lot of the TSA employees are on a power trip. Once, I got ridiculed by a young male TSA employee because I tried to leave my laptop in my TSA-approved laptop sleeve. I’ve been through the Atlanta airport with it in the sleeve several times, but for some reasons, it’s the small, dinky airports where they want me to take it out. I do think that the Atlanta airport and other large hubs like Denver are very efficient in security, while smaller airports don’t really have it down to a science.


#14

Sory folks, soap box time.

I get the over the top TSA employee working the line. I also get that line processing rules or procedures can vary from airport, and sometimes line to line in the same gateway. But I will not let it interfere with my trip or get me frustrated. It has to be done in today’s world. And yes, it s—ks!!!

But after 20 years in the military, with more than 10 deployed into an active war zone, I can tell you I have seen enough to accept the new ‘normal’ and smile when I go through the line and have fun with it. I’m the crazy who has his shoes off well before I get to the counter and am stripped down as far as decency allows. I do it more as a game. Some workers have even commented with a snarl that “you didn’t need to do that” and I just smile and move on through.

And I do get the medical issues. I spent my 20 years as a Marine Corpsman. And I also accept that I would be peeved if one of my kids was separated from me. If that happened there would not be enough security within 100 miles to put a brain dead TSA worker in their place. But there are ways to limit what can be a trying time. If you go in and let the TSA staff know what the situation is they are to provide you with assistance to move through and not cause embarrassment. And Cavey, my heart goes out to you and your super brave wife. She is truly a hero.

But folks, it has to be done. Go in with a smile on your face and turn it into a personal game. Not how you can beat them, but how about “who is going to get an advanced bag search this trip” or "who is going to get patted down this leg of our journey”. Winner gets to pick the rides on the first day in the World, or even the looser on the trip home has to do all of the laundry?

My take is that they have a right to do their job, and I demand that they do it well. But I also have my rights. And if you respect mine, I’ll always respect the miserable job you are faced with.


#15

Write your congressman and senator and complain. This TSA security theater is beyond belief. These people are out of control and security is really no better despite billions of dollars wasted.

These are american citizens being treated like dirt. It’s ok to frisk nuns but we wouldn’t want to be acused of profiling.

And there are way too many reports of stuff being stolen from screenings. We recently had one TSA thug who took several hundred dollars from a screening tray here.


#16

[QUOTE=Pam&Rich;1117830]Sory folks, soap box time.

My take is that they have a right to do their job, and I demand that they do it well. But I also have my rights. And if you respect mine, I’ll always respect the miserable job you are faced with.[/QUOTE]

Aha - but the problem is - TRY demanding that they do their job properly and well - and you’ll likely miss your flight. I don’t think that people are upset about security - this is the world we live in - but what is upsetting is the arrogance, rudeness and plain stupidity that is seen on continuous basis. - No mother should EVER be parted from her child - NEVER - even under the guise of “security”.

My niece’s husband is from Iran. He is a well-respected law partner in a prestigious Vancouver firm - yet the second he steps into an airport is he treated like he just came from an Al Queda Convention.

Personally, I grit my teeth and bear it. I say nothing, answer any question asked of me as precisely as I can, offer no extra information and move on.


#17

Here is where the division starts … TSA doesn’t make you late for your flights … YOU are told to be at the airport at least and hour & 1/2 before… If your running late it’s not TSA’s fault.
CAN anyone identify what a terrorist looks like ??? If ya can then I say we shut it down … Can You ???
I can’t argue that they get a bad rap !!! I also agree that there are several that should not hold the position . I worked for them them and probably greeted some of you at one point coming thru …
I know first hand that it’s a diligent job like any other and there are your bad co workers and your good ones like any other job …


#18

Like any job in public service, there are good ones and bad ones working there. The bad ones make for bad experiences and negatively impact travel. No minor should ever be separated from their guardian period. If you need to pat them down at random, do so; but do so with their guardian’s supervision.

Cavey, I know that persons with a pacemaker or defibrillator have a special card and physicians note that they carry with them because they cannot go through the regular process. Is there any way that you can call the airport’s tsa directly and arrange this before hand with statements from physicians and even offer to allow them to do background checks beforehand so that she doesn’t have to go through something that will be so hard on her. I know there were rumors that they were going to do some sort of expedited security for those who have passed background and other safety checks to expedite the process and make it easier and more palatable. It may at least be worth a try. My grandmother and aunt both went through the same things as your wife; I completely understand where you are and wish I had something more i could do or suggest.


#19

[QUOTE=WALL;1117838]Here is where the division starts … TSA doesn’t make you late for your flights … YOU are told to be at the airport at least and hour & 1/2 before… If your running late it’s not TSA’s fault.
CAN anyone identify what a terrorist looks like ??? If ya can then I say we shut it down … Can You ???
I can’t argue that they get a bad rap !!! I also agree that there are several that should not hold the position . I worked for them them and probably greeted some of you at one point coming thru …
I know first hand that it’s a diligent job like any other and there are your bad co workers and your good ones like any other job …[/QUOTE]

Ok I said that they need to go. I don’t think we need to get rid of screening. We do need to guard targets but private screen has been shown to be more effective and get hire marks in the customer service side of things (SanFran is a non-TSA airport and is the highest rated in security effectiveness and customer service and they cost less).

I can’t personally spot a terrorist but our intelligence agencies are getting pretty good at it. Most terrorist have been stopped by our intelligence agencies…the others were stopped by passengers and flight attendances.

Personally I think we should go back to private security screeners that have stricter guidelines for screening passengers. The cost savings (there would be as the TSA has been shown to waste a lot of money on equipment that doesn’t work or is unneeded) could be used by the intelligence agencies to help screen terrorist before they get to the airport.

Just a two months ago we had a TSA agent spill a man’s ashes all over the check area here in Orlando. The agent was harassing the son that was carrying the ashes home from the funeral. The agent broke the TSA policies and open the urn spilling the ashes, than laughed at the guy as he tried to gather up as much of his fathers remains as he could. The TSA agent is still on the job. The man was humiliated and all he wanted to do was take his fathers remains home on a flight.


#20

I think like with all positions of some kind of power, there are people who take it to the next level. I only referred to once incident. Allow me to tell you of the incident where the super sweet TSA man covered popped my daughters stuffed penguin out of her bag “so he wouldn’t get scared”. Allow me to tell you about the TSA agent who I watched help an older gentlemen get his things together after taking off hit shoes and being a little unsteady on his feet. I don’t think that anyone should do away with airport security at all. I think they should SCREEN THEIR EMPLOYEES they way they screen us.