This is a real complaint I recently filed with the TSA:
On October 20, I was departing MCO (Orlando) with my 85 year old father. We arrived at the security line at 10:25am in plenty of time for our 11:42am Jet Blue departure.
I had purchased expedited security (even more speed) through Jet Blue so that my elderly father did not have to wait in the long lines that I knew would face us. My sister was with us, but she had a different flight to a different city and entered the regular security line.
Here are my complaints:
1) The expedited security line was interminably long. My sister cleared regular security before we cleared our “expedited” line. This is alone is unacceptable. If we had purchased a product that didn’t function properly, the company would give us our money back, but since Jet Blue took our money, and TSA didn’t perform properly, we have no recourse.
2) My father suffers from cancer and has an implanted port device, but takes pride in the fact that he is able to stand on his own two feet and therefore refuses a wheelchair. Due to his advanced age, he is sometimes ushered through the metal detector and given a brief pat down at security. The times he is sent through the scanner machine, he ends up with yellow boxes showing all over him. I’m not sure if the machine picks up on his radiation treatments, or if it reacts to his inability to stand still in the machine (he shakes due to overall weakness). When we finally arrived at the screening machines, I requested that my father be put through the metal detector and given a pat down (citing his medical issues and our past experiences). I was refused (as I watched a teenager and his 40-something father use the metal detector and NOT have a pat down). The TSA agent was calm and polite, but unwaivering as he forced my father to attempt to stand still in the scanner with his arms raised. Of course, the yellow boxes appeared all over him. They checked all his pockets (which I had already carefully cleared), and they MADE HIM DO IT AGAIN. Once in the scanner was bad enough, but TWICE? After standing in line for 45 minutes, suffering the scanner twice, and enduring an extensive pat down, he needed a wheelchair! When we arrived at our gate, the flight was already boarding.
I ended up in tears after the terrible experience because I felt like my poor father had suffered unnecessary abuse. On the plane, I searched the internet and found that other elderly travelers has suffered far worse. I understand that everyone needs to be screened, but I would encourage DHS to invest in ways that the elderly can suffer less during the process. The ability to keep on their shoes is helpful, but it is not enough, and please don’t think that offering to screen the elderly 2X is a benefit. That merely extends the torture AND holds up the line.
Thank you for your time. We will drive on our next trip.
In response, I received a brief apology stating that the TSA officers at MCO “may have mishandled the situation.
Anyone else have a fun TSA story?