Tossed out of Dulles for refusing scanner and patdown

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mybodyismyown, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. Mybodyismyown

    Mybodyismyown Original Member

    I admit it, I must have done my homework badly. I was somehow under the impression that there was a scanner-free checkpoint at IAD, but when I arrived this morning every lane had the blue radiation boxes at the main checkpoint. It appeared that almost all were being sent to the Nude-o-scope. I ditched that and went instead to the small experts checkpoint on the arrivals level. One line of passengers fed into a single WTMD-or-blue-boxes setup. A male screener blocked my way through the metal detector and motioned instead to the blue boxes. I refused, saying, "Is that the machine that takes a naked picture of my body?" This man actually looked me right in the face and said, no, it doesn't take naked pictures. The TSA lies about what the scanners can do. I pointed out to him that the yellow X-ray radiation warning sticker was about one inch by one and a half inches and was placed in a spot where people entering the machine couldn't see it.

    So, having refused the scanner, a woman came around and said, "Maam, I'm going to have to pat you down." I responded, "I do not consent, no, I do not consent to that," while backing away from her. Very soon I descended into emotional chaos and started sobbing loudly while testifying to everyone in the checkpoint about my prior sexual assault at the hands of TSA. They called over one police officer who talked to me as I was composing myself slightly, and sat crying in a chair near the checkpoint. They went one level up the chain to a TSM named Bryant Livingston, and I told him I was traumatized as a result of prior TSA experiences and that I refused to let someone take a naked image of me or to touch me. I asked to be allowed to go through the metal detector.

    Another, higher up official at TSA, whose name I did not get but who reminded me of Daniels from the Wire, appeared and heard my story. Everyone was calm and collected except for me; I cried intermittently.

    There was much conferring away from my earshot. They took my drivers license and boarding pass away to photocopy them. The woman who originally wanted to pat me down came to bargain, offering to let me go through the blue boxes, as she said, after she changed out all the personnel to make sure every person screening me was a woman. The fact that the person who obscenely violated my genitalia with a metal detector was also a woman seemed incidental to her, I guess.

    Yet another woman, who called herself an auditor and didn't have a TSA uniform on, came to talk to me about my reasons for refusing. I told her, "This does not make me feel safe. All of this (motioning to the scanner and screeners) absolutely makes me feel terrified to come to the airport." Throughout this time, my husband was trying to pull rank as a physician and tell them that I had PTSD (which I certainly do) and that they should let me through the metal detector. In the end, no one was willing to let me through the metal detector after a double opt-out, so I left the checkpoint. They did not send anyone to escort me away.

    I told Daniels as I was leaving that, "You are just a part of this system, but this is an evil system. This system sexually abuses people. What you are doing sincerely traumatizes a lot of innocent people. You are responsible for that. I think you should think about that, and I have no idea how you can live with yourself knowing." He just let me say my piece without much reacting.

    United was absolutely wonderful about changing my ticket, and everyone at the United counter wanted to hear the story in detail because they couldn't believe TSA had ejected a Premier level flyer. I think double opt-outs aren't very common. The United employee who finally got me switched onto a scanner-free flight from Reagan told me, "I think you're right. Those scanners, they shouldn't do that to people. It just isn't decent. It's not decent."
     
  2. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    "United was absolutely wonderful about changing my ticket, and everyone at the United counter wanted to hear the story in detail because they couldn't believe TSA had ejected a Premier level flyer. I think double opt-outs aren't very common. The United employee who finally got me switched onto a scanner-free flight from Reagan told me, "I think you're right. Those scanners, they shouldn't do that to people. It just isn't decent. It's not decent."

    The tide is turning. Did you manage to take that flight out of Reagan without being retaliated against? If so, things are definitely getting better.
     
    FriendlySkies likes this.
  3. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

  4. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

  5. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Yes, I heard from her. She did.
     
  6. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    Thanx
     
  7. Mybodyismyown

    Mybodyismyown Original Member

    I blogged about my experience here, encouraging other travelers to stop allowing TSA to humiliate and defile them.
     
  8. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    Rock right on, MBIMO. We've started to see the little pushbacks, the baby steps that start a refusal of tolerance. Your article can do only good.
     

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