Opt-out harassment @ MSP -- avoiding the "carcinogenic petting zoo"

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Katie Kieffer @ TownHall.com: Eliminate the TSA

    After placing my luggage on the conveyer belt, I informed the TSA agent (a female) that I would be opting out. She said: “OK, well, you’re going to have to wait a while. Step over there and wait.”

    I waited approximately 10 minutes and she never called for an agent. I reminded her that I needed to opt out. Her supervisor came over to her and said: “We are short on female staffers. I need you to do the pat-down and I’ll have another agent take your place up here.” She responded: “No. I don’t want to. I want to stay up here. Can’t you get another female agent to do it?”

    He did not reprimand her for refusing to do her job. (This is not the private sector.) Instead, he made me wait until a different female staffer became available, further delaying me.

    After my pat-down, the agent’s gloves set off the alarm. So, she did a second, more invasive pat-down in a back room. Her gloves still set off the alarm, so she said they needed to take apart my luggage and individually re-send everything through the X-ray machine.

    Two TSA agents and four supervisors (it takes a village) unfolded all my clothes and even tore through my undergarments. They slowly sent small piles of my things through the X-ray machine, using about 15 bins, even though I only had a carry-on suitcase, a purse and a laptop. This process took about 45 minutes and I kept looking up at the clock, thinking: “I’m going to miss my flight!” I asked a TSA agent: “So what happens if I miss my flight?” He said, “You’ll have to work that out with your airline.”

    I asked a TSA supervisor to call my airline and let them know I was on my way and see if they could hold the plane a few minutes for me. He said, “They are a separate company and we don’t know their phone number and cannot call them.” I said: “So you’re in the same building and you don’t know their number? And you don’t know their number? And you can’t find their number on Google?” His eyes bulged, like a child caught lying.

    I literally had only five minutes to catch my flight when the TSA agents finished scanning my luggage. I threw everything into my suitcase, wrinkling my suit. Then I tossed my laptop and cell phone cables into my purse and started running full speed for my gate.

    Clothes were peaking out of my half-zipped suitcase and cables were flying out of my purse. Everyone was staring at me. I don’t blame them; I’m sure I looked like a riot.

    The only reason I made my flight was because I spotted a courtesy transport (they look like golf carts) and begged the driver for a lift to my gate. He saved my day.

    She wrote an earlier column called TSA: Carcinogenic Petting Zoo:

    On a recent flight out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, a female TSA agent (who was openly annoyed at the prospect of doing her job and giving me a pat-down while oddly assuming that I yearned for her to touch me) said: “Well, if you ask for one, we have to give you one. So, are you just doing this for the free massage we give you?” I wanted to respond: “No way, pervert.” But, since I wanted to make my flight, I replied: “No. I just don’t want the radiation.”

    3,778 service calls were made between May of 2010 and May of 2011 to address mechanical issues in backscatter X-ray machines, according to a TSA report.
  2. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    So which came first?:
    1) The Opt Out?
    2) The contaminated glove?
    3) or The Opinion (i.e. TSA: Carcinogenic Petting Zoo)?

    No matter why, "So, are you just doing this for the free massage we give you?,” belies any legitimate reason.
  3. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    This is why I stay out of airports. A Freedom Fluffer that made that kind of comment to me would be growing a new set of teeth. And I would be in a jail trying to formulate a "fighting words" defense with my attorney.
  4. Al Coholic

    Al Coholic Member

    In a petting zoo, you pet animals. In an airport, animals pet YOU!
    N965VJ and DeafBlonde like this.
  5. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    Only if you use "pet" in the "2nd or 3rd base" context. Otherwise it's "fluffing".
  6. N965VJ

    N965VJ Original Member

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