Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Update: TSA

I always try to be fair so I thought I would share an update on my incident with the TSA agent from Hell.  as you may recall, I went to the TSA website and filled out a complaint. I didn't think I'd ever hear anything about it but first thing Monday morning I got a call.

Much to my surprise, the head of the entire airport called me! (Any by "head" I mean the director of the TSA, not the actual airport; they're separate entities.) I reiterated the information in my complaint and he took down all of the information.

Now, this airport is huge. Larger than LAX and Miami! The director told me he has well over 1,000 agents but that he was going to endeavor to track her down with the info I provided. I was very impressed.

I will likely never know if he was ever able to find her, but I felt good that he took my complaint seriously and that he took the time to call me first thing in the morning.

He also informed me that at any time you are allowed to stop your screening. It is not the same as being searched by the police, where you basically have to endure the search till the cops decide it is over (I have never been searched by the police but this is my understanding.)

In the moment I never thought to ask for her to stop her tirade. Honestly, I assumed she'd punish me further by not allowing me on the plane. But, according to the director, you can ask for a supervisor to intervene at any time and the current search must end. You don't even need to list a reason or excuse for why you're uncomfortable. You only need to say, "Please stop my search and summon a supervisor."

This is good information to have going forward. Just like any other interaction, you might still come across someone who is a miserable person in general, but at least now we know we don't have to tolerate verbal abuse from anyone, especially out of fear.


adriana said...

I'm so glad you posted this. It's nice to know that the TSA people actually care enough to follow up with you, and that's really good information! I may pass it along in the form of a blog post on my travel blog, keeping you and the details anonymous, of course!

Open and Shut Case said...

Oh, please, share away-no anonymity necessary! People need to know how to protect themselves and what their rights are.