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Saturday, November 20, 2010

...and another one
Posted by Jill | 10:15 PM
Here’s what took place… minute by terrifying minute…

I had Jackson in his stroller, his diaper bag, and a duffle bag which contained my mac book as I entered security. I placed all of these items on the conveyor belt to go through the metal detector. Jackson was in my arms, and in the midst of getting all of our gear on the conveyor belt, my mistake was neglecting to take off my son’s pacifier clip that hangs from his shirt, which is metal.

The instant I walked through the metal detector with Jackson in my arms, we beeped. I knew exactly why.

I told the TSA agent, who asked me to back up and walk through again, “It’s my son’s pacifier clip, can I put it on the conveyor belt?”

“Ma’am turn around and come back please,” I was told.

Of course Jackson’s clip went off again. Both Jackson and I were then escorted to a 6 ft tall plastic holding box because I was forced to wait for a female TSA agent to search me.

At this point in time, all of my belongings were sitting at the opposite end of the conveyor belt, thereby backing up every other passengers belongings because I was not there to gather mine.

A woman out of the kindness of her heart (and if you are out there somewhere reading this, THANK YOU) saw me just standing and waiting in my 6 ft plastic box and gathered my belongings for me. She waited with my stroller, my diaper bag, my duffle bag and my mac book. This woman motioned to me that everything (including my flip flops) was all together and then she left.

She must be a mother.

She understood.

I was so grateful.

4 female TSA agents stood at the end of 2 conveyor belts, gloves on their hands, none of them searching anyone, none of them doing anything but watching luggage pass through the conveyor belts.

It was at this point in time that I realized my flight was leaving in less than 45 minutes. I had not even been searched yet. I began to panic.

Through the 6 holes in the plastic box that contained Jackson and I, I began asking for help. I waved to all 4 female TSA agents, each of them looked at me and then looked away. Then I started speaking through the 6 holes, and said, “Can someone please search me? My flight leaves in less than 45 minutes.”

Each of the 4 women answered me using the same exact phrase…

“Ma’am you need to wait. I don’t care about your departure time.”

Eventually one of the four female TSA agents opened the door and let Jackson and I out of our plastic containment box. We were escorted to a chair that was opposite from where my belongings were. I asked if I could bring my belongings over or take a seat closer to where they were. I was told no and to take my seat.

At this point in time, my heart began to race, thinking we would miss our flight and I would be stuck in the Atlanta airport with Jackson for who knows how long until there was another flight to Baltimore.

The female TSA agent stood in front of me while I sat with Jackson and she continued to watch luggage come through the conveyor belt.

“Ma’am, can someone please just search me so we can be on our way? We are going to miss our flight,” I said.

The female agent then called an older gentleman, also a TSA agent over. The male TSA agent stood in front of me and said “I’m going to have to pat down your son.”

With Jackson still sitting in my lap (he was being so good despite all of this chaos) I said ok and continued to hold on to my son, expecting the male TSA agent to start touching Jackson.

He then told me, “I’m going to have to pick him up to inspect him.”

I rolled my eyes and sternly told him “It’s his pacifier clip that went off, can’t you just run that back through the belt and let us go. We are going to miss our flight.”

The female TSA agent, who had been standing there the entire time said to me, “You need to adjust your attitude and do as you are told.”

The male TSA agent repeated, “I’m going to have to pick him up to inspect him.”

I handed him my son.

I handed him my son and he walked away with my child.

Read the rest here.

And check out this one too.

The only way this madness will stop is if we Just Stop Flying. Your family members out of state will just have to learn to use Skype. Because the Department of so-called Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Theatre Administration will not stop this madness until the money guys -- the airlines -- beg them to because no one is flying.

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Anonymous mandt said...
Can't even imagine how it must be for victims or abuse to go through that authoritarian intimidation. I'd be tempted to clock someone and it would be worth it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
It's not enough to stop flying. If you choose not to fly because of the new TSA policies, you need to write to the airline(s) who have lost your business, and tell them why you are chosing to drive, take the train, or take a bus to your destination instead of flying. It's only when airlines feel the pain and understand where it's coming from that their lobbyists will descend on lawmakers in Washington and put a stop to this absurdity.

Anonymous tata said...
I'm speechless. What type of person designs a procedure like that in the first place?

Anonymous mandt said...
"What type of person designs a procedure like that in the first place?" ---American Gestapo

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The female TSA agent, who had been standing there the entire time said to me, “You need to adjust your attitude and do as you are told.”

These TSA assholes need to see some "attitude" from every passenger....are they actually trying to say that not only do you have to put up with their groping, but you cannot even express annoyance?

Fuck them.....

Anonymous ShortWoman said...
Maybe you missed that this story was from October of 2009. I remember reading it when it was new, and it has since been almost completely refuted by a TSA video of the incident. It's a horrifying story, yes, but it didn't happen that way and her next post is an "apology" for the first.

When someone starts off by telling you her son is allergic to her breastmilk, my bullshit meter goes off. Because frankly, if the kid is allergic to mom's milk, he's allergic to her blood in utero too, and should not be alive at all.

Blogger jurassicpork said...
Un-fucking-believable. No way am I flying anywhere for the foreseeable future until things loosen the fuck up. That's why Barb and I drove to DC instead of taking a short flight out of Logan. No way is some minimum wage-earning loser from the TSA gonna grope me and my fiancee. Boycott the airlines until they start putting pressure on the TSA to chill the fuck out.

Good ongoing coverage of this outrage, Jill. Please keep it up.

Blogger Nan said...
I've said it before. I'll say it again. One of the major problems with TSA is that way too many of the managers are ex-military who love to power trip. The attitude of the screeners at the gate comes from the jerks who are supervising them. If the front-line screeners do try to be nice and show a little human understanding, they get chewed out by their managers. My S.O. worked for TSA for about 6 weeks before quitting -- the combination of asshole passengers and fascist supervisors was too toxic.

Blogger Taylor Wray said...
I emailed my family and told them I would no longer be flying as soon as TSA came out with this ridiculousness. Our economic votes matter more than our political votes these days - don't fly!

Blogger Pangolin said...
I honestly think that TPTB are trying to kill off air travel by the middle class. The IEA World Energy Outlook for 2010 shows a decline in outlook from existing oil fields is projected. The replacement production was supposed to come from deepwater rigs like Deep Horizon.

Since "free market" ideologues can't ration oil they have to find other ways to discourage use. Hassling travelers on already government dependent airlines is an easy way.

Don't fly, the Pentagon wants the fuel for itself.