A few weeks ago, a little girl and her family were on their way to Disney World.
This was little Lucy’s first family trip. Stuffed animal in hand, they were on their way! Lucy’s parents were probably nervous about going through security with their wheelchair-bound daughter. But I’m sure they never imagined any adorable 3-year old girl could cause too much trouble.
The TSA agent insisted on patting Lucy down. The encounter escalated when her mother refused to let anyone touch her daughter without being able to film it, and the TSA agent said that was illegal. Needless to say, the ordeal ended in tears; it’s heartbreaking to hear Lucy say through her tears that she didn’t want to go to Disney World anymore. (Read the full story and watch the video at nydailynews.com)
I’d say most people don’t particularly enjoy TSA security screening. But for people using wheelchairs or have metal plates/screws holding them together, it can be an absolute nightmare!
The really disturbing part is that you are in fact allowed to film TSA screenings!! This is great to know, but in these situations TSA agents have to treat everyone as a threat. Which makes every passenger that passes through a criminal in their mind: guilty until proven innocent. That’s the best way to keep us safe, but not the best way to treat each other like human beings.
I first heard about this story from a fellow blogger, barrierfreetravels, and just last week the TSA posted a response to the incident on The TSA Blog. This response included their best travel tip: use the TSA Cares Help Line!
My concern is, even if you know your rights, you are still the potential criminal and are treated as such. Lucy and her family were asked to wait about 40 minutes as manager after manager was called, prolonging this unnecessary ordeal. Arm yourself as best you can by carrying hard copies of all the rules and polices you might possibly need: for TSA, your airline, hotel, and anywhere else you could possibly run into trouble.
So my question is, does each screening station need to have a legal representative present? Have we really gotten to the point that TSA agents aren’t allowed to treat people with compassion and dignity? And if so, we need a representative that can take responsibility and accountability for what goes on at each security check point.
What do you think?