After 32 years on the job as a flight attendant, not to mention being a breast cancer survivor, a North Carolina woman says airport screeners went too far when they told her to remove her prosthetic breast during a recent pat-down.
The flight attendant was on her way to work at Charlotte Douglas International In early August when a TSA agent said she needed to go to a personal screening area where she was submitted to what she describes as an aggressive pat-down by two female agents.
That’s when one of the agents hands noticed a difference in the flight attendant’s right breast, which had been removed as part of her cancer treatment.
Recalls the flight attendant:
She put her full hand on my breast and said, ‘What is this?’. And I said, ‘It’s my prosthesis because I’ve had breast cancer.’ And she said, ‘Well, you’ll need to show me that’.
I did not take the name of the person at the time because it was just so horrific of an experience, I couldn’t believe someone had done that to me. I’m a flight attendant. I was just trying to get to work.
Following the incident, the attendant has contacted the Legislative Affairs Team, a group through the flight attendant union.
“There are blowers and there are dogs out there that can sniff out bombs,” she says. “There’s no reason to have somebody’s hands touching your body parts.”
When contacted by WBTV about the incident, a TSA representative said that agents aren’t supposed to remove any prosthetics, but are allowed to ask to see and touch any passenger’s prosthetic. They later said the incident is under review.
Thanks to Meg for the tip!