Cancer Survivor Flight Attendant Forced To Show Prosthetic Breast During TSA Pat-Down

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.

Cancer surviving flight attendant told to remove prosthetic breast during pat-down [WISTV.com]

Thanks to Meg for the tip!

Comments

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  1. Kitten Mittens says:

    Unbelievable. Safety me ass.

    • Kitten Mittens says:

      *my

      I must have been too stunned to type properly.

    • Humward says:

      You’re right — that IS where they’re going to check next.

    • dangermike says:

      Bah. Not just believable, but necessary in response to their gaffe of disclosing their methodologies of hands-on searches. Their own description of procedures neglected to search young children and sensitivity to the matters of personal touching resulted in an overwhelming likelihood that the next course of actions for smuggling would be on a you child or disguised as something like those wearable silicone breast prostheses. So both this story and the one about the screaming 3 year old a few days ago are there to put out the impression that the egregious flaws the TSA revealed a few days ago are neatly plastered over.

      I do completely agree with your second sentence, however. The TSA procedures are all about theatrics and providing the masses with the warm and fuzzies. Their behavior has been reactive rather than proactive, responding in force with escalated procedures to handle the last way that someone smuggled something. No metal implements after the boxcutters in 9/11. Shoe searches after the shoe guy, no outside liquids after the lavatory chemists failed in their ploy, body scans and patdowns after the underwear guy. The logical next step is a suppository device or perhaps even a surgical implantation. Where does it all lead? Obviously body cavity searches aren’t far off. Will airports eventually become places where you’re anesthetized, stripped down naked, MRI’ed and x-rayed, then loaded into a some kind of transit pod on life support to be revived at your destination? How much more are people willing to put up with?

  2. Humward says:

    This may violate the comment policy, but holy fucking shit.

  3. The cake is a lie! says:

    “No sir, that isn’t a gun in my pocket. I’m just happy to see you. No, I won’t remove my prosthetic 9mm penis, but thank you for the compliment.”

  4. obits3 says:

    Time to break out my federal breast inspector badge

    (o)(o)
    O
    TSA Checkpoint

  5. ThinkerTDM says:

    “Under review”=”taking very seriously”

  6. pop top says:

    That is absolutely disgusting.

  7. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I wonder if this violate any privacy rules. She shouldn’t have to announce her medical history to go to her job. In nearly all cases, being forced to declare any medical history in order to do your job is against the law.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      So someone with a metal pin or rod doesn’t have to explain why they keep setting off the metal detector?

      • tmac40 says:

        No they shouldn’t. Do we still live in America? This is getting ridiculous. We’re invading privacy, censoring the internet, banning drinks, forced to choose between unknown health risks or a feel up from a rent-a-cop. When are people going to say they’ve had enough? What percent of Americans would submit to cavity searches because it makes them feel a little safer? 40% would not surprise me these days.

        • VeganPixels says:

          Saying since 10/26/01. Doing since … never, unless doing means invading another country based on a bare-assed lie.

        • axhandler1 says:

          “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” – Abraham Lincoln

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        In this case, the person was traversing security to go to their place of work.

      • ecwis says:

        Nope.

      • JoeDawson says:

        I have plates and screws in both my feet, at no time have i set off a detector

      • mandy_Reeves says:

        my mom has a card she got from the doctor…since she has a titanium knee

    • Murph1908 says:

      Sure sounds like a HIPAA violation to me.

      But that’s ok. TSA is above such petty things such as search and seizure laws, privacy laws, molestation laws, etc.

      • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

        HIPAA only applies to medical professionals

        • Stephmo says:

          HIPPA does not only apply to medical professionals. It applies to anyone with access to medical information. As a volunteer at a medical facility, I fall under HIPPA and can be subject to the same fines and penalties as a doctor or nurse.

          As someone with access to personnel records and reasons for absence in the workplace in an industry having nothing to do with the medical field, I am also subject to HIPPA. Since I’m officially “in the know,” I can be subject to HIPPA fines and penalties if I decide to discuss private medical matters with someone other than the employee and for reasons other than anything absolutely necessary for work reasons (i.e. filing FMLA paperwork). If I were to have that appropriate discussion in front of other employees, I would be back in inappropriate territory.

          • Framling says:

            I worked for a while as a programmer at a printing and mailing company that mailed statements for credit unions, small banks, and any other type of business that mailed out statements to customers, including a number of medical clinics clinics and doctors’ offices. Basically everyone who worked there fell under HIPAA.

        • jessjj347 says:

          False x1000.

        • dee1313 says:

          As a dispatcher, I fall under HIPAA as well.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      I should also say, she didn’t have to reveal her medical history.

      Why do I have fake front teeth? Because my real ones were knocked out in a bar brawl between Patrick Swayze, Chuck Norris, and I. Chuck Norris now has 4 front teeth.

    • JiminyChristmas says:

      She wasn’t forced to declare anything. She could have let the TSA agent fondle her prosthesis and come to her own conclusions. She volunteered the medical information.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Under duress.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Specifically, both the fear of arrest/detainment, and fear of being fired or penalized by her employer for failing to report for duty on time due to arrest/detainment.

      • MuffinSangria says:

        It’s having a prosthesis itself considered medical information? She didn’t have option of keeping that a secret.

        • MuffinSangria says:

          Let me rephrase that with proper English (the TSA actually pisses me off so much I can’t think straight):

          Isn’t having a prosthesis itself considered medical information? She didn’t have the option of keeping that a secret.

          • johnva says:

            You’re required to tell them about a prosthetic device. However, you’re not required to allow them to remove it or inspect it in a public area if you’re uncomfortable with that. You can request a private screening.

  8. momtimestwo says:

    What is their policy about my father in laws heart defibrillator implant? Or tampons? Would I have to remove a tampon to prove something? What if I’m using a diva cup instead of a tampon? I’m all for safety and screening, but this is a bit too much.

    • Shadowman615 says:

      At think at that point you’d be more than happy to remove a tampon and shove it in the woman’s face.

    • JiminyChristmas says:

      Okay, what the hell is a diva cup? I’m at work and too scared to Google it.

    • Scoobatz says:

      Funny thing about tampons. Apparently, they do show up on the scanners and look like the woman is concealing a stick of dynomite.

      You can rest easy, though. TSAs are told to use discretion when discovering one. Therefore, I’m sure you have nothing to worry about.

      • oldwiz65 says:

        The smart thing to do if they question a tampon is to pull it out and hand it to them. Serves them right.

      • dolemite says:

        “Discretion” with a TSA agent? I’m sure they will rip it out, attempt to light the fuse, and throw it in a concrete bunker.

        • EllieM says:

          What’s the point of doing a scan to look for explosives, finding something that looks like dynamite, and then not examining the item? If TSA is not going to examine the tampon, then why do the scan in the first place?

          This is why the whole thing is ridiculous. There are numerous ways around the scan, yet we have to explain mastectomy bras and tampons.

    • Draw2much says:

      Omgosh, you know about the Diva Cup? Best thing ever invented! A million times better than any stupid tampon.

  9. Agreton says:
    • The cake is a lie! says:

      I’ve actually heard of that before. One of my neighbors is in the service and his knife and fork were confiscated while his pistol and rifle were allowed. They actually made him put his rifle through the xray machine too. What the hell did they expect to find? Maybe he was smuggling a more dangerous weapon than an M16 inside of his rifle? TSA are MORONS!

    • Platypi {Redacted} says:

      Holy crap. If that is true, yes, I would prefer to use nail clippers to take over a plane rather than a rifle used as a club. Makes MUCH more sense!

      “Ahhh, he just cut off 1/8th of an inch of the flight attendants earlobe, let them in the cockpit!!!”

      • jason in boston says:

        You forgot about the 10 seconds it takes to completely field strip a gun (okay – maybe a little more). There are a lot more dangerous parts to the gun than the gun itself.

    • Rommel says:

      I mean, it’s not as if a rifle used as a club has more range than a 1 1/2 inch pair of nail clippers. Of course not.

      Don’t forget, the extensive first aid kits they have on flights will not cover a nick on the finger or what have you.

      Also, I’m pretty sure that all of those troops (boot or not) could kill using hand to hand. I mean, it isn’t as if shooting is all they’re trained to do.

  10. redskull says:

    Very soon now the public is finally going to say “Enough,” turn on these TSA assholes and stick their heads on pikes in front of the airport as a warning to those who would infringe upon our freedoms.

    And I cannot wait to see it.

  11. AngryK9 says:

    It’s getting utterly ridiculous. It is not Obama’s fault, but I put a good bit of the blame on him, because he’s not even trying to do anything about this bullshevic

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      About the only thing the man himself can do is veto something or pass something that comes across his desk. Legislatively, he has extremely little influence or ability to do anything.

      Why people are blaming him for this shit is beyond me.

      • RxDude says:

        Quick civics lesson:

        While legislative action was required to create and fund the TSA, the agency itself is part of the executive branch, thus directly under the president’s control. The agency is legislated into existence with a mandate to create its own regulations to fulfill its legal purpose and authority. An executive order would instantly alter any TSA regulation or policy with no action required by Congress. The executive order could be altered through legislation (requiring a presidential signature or a veto override) or a Supreme Court decision.

      • 99 1/2 Days says:

        The feds can do a lot. And he’s the boss of them.

      • grumpygirl says:

        Because this isn’t legislation. The backscatter machines and the genital gropings are simply internal TSA regulations. The TSA is part of the Executive Branch. If something the TSA does is not part of a law Congress passed, it is easily stopped via and Executive Order. Executive Orders are the sole purview of the President of the United States in his role as head of our Executive Branch of Government. The President could even fire Pistole if he wanted to. Imagine that!

    • c!tizen says:

      Obama has a lot on his plate right now, but I have a feeling this issue is going to claim a large portion of it rather quickly. I blame most of this crap on Pistole and his “guilty until proven innocent because I said so” BS attitude. Apparently he seems to think it’s all or nothing with security. The guy is douche-bag numero uno.

  12. The cake is a lie! says:

    What is a guy to do who has a prosthetic testicle? If someone is doing a pat down on me and demands I drop my pants to prove it is a prosthetic and not just a fancy way to sneak an explosive on a plane, I think I would probably go postal. That will be the next wave of terrorism… Castrated males using prosthetic genitals to sneak things past security because they know they won’t have to show it. The same is true for prosthetic breasts. If I wanted to get something into the plane I would just find a flat chested woman to put some larger fake breasts on and then stuff them full of whatever I wanted. The TSA has a valid point, but there definitely should be some communication about this to the general public and there should be a private area these types of inspections may be done.

    • Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

      If I were a male, I would absolutely relish it! I would drop trou right there and wave it around. I think then, maybe someone upstairs would notice.

    • evnmorlo says:

      The only way to prove it is just silicone is to cut the testicle out and dissect it. The security line is about to get a lot more interesting.

  13. Thebestdudeeverr says:

    I get to feel tits all day!? I want to be TSA- Where do I sign up!

    • UltimateOutsider says:

      Unless you get a sex change it’s just gonna be manboobs for you, I’m afraid.

      • snowmentality says:

        Actually, you could always work at a checkpoint where there aren’t enough female TSOs to pat down all the female passengers. And you can tell women they can either let you pat them down, or wait for some unspecified amount of time for a female TSO, possibly missing their flight.

        And then you can do this to a rape survivor, sending her into a panic attack.

  14. Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

    Oh yeah, my mom has a knee replacement and was told she wasn’t supposed to go through scanners. She also has a breast prosthesis. Wait until they try to pull this on her.

  15. Murph1908 says:

    Me? I am glad the TSA is doing so much to ensure our safety.

    The more they do stuff like this, the sooner we can have their bloated, time-wasting, money-wasting, sham of an agency shut down.

  16. RickinStHelen says:

    Well, I for one am relieved. I cannot tell you how many nights I have laid awake worrying about middle aged flight attendants who have survived breast cancer downing a plane with their fake prosthetics filled with explosives. Good job TSA, I can surely sleep better now. However, can you alleviate my fears of those mutant small children with names that sound terroristy. I think they need enhanced pat downs too. You can never be too careful. TSA, keep up the good work!

  17. Shmoodog says:

    Yup. That was the sound of them officially going too far.

    I am consciously limiting my air travel plans for the future because of this crapola.

    To be honest, I’m kind of surprised that it took THIS long for things to get THIS bad. After hijackings became somewhat common in the 70’s, it took 30-40 years for them to get to this level of ‘safety’.

    This will all ultimately lead into a system like the movie “Gattica”, where if you are not a part of the system, you are a hindrance to it.

    • mikedt says:

      “I am consciously limiting my air travel plans for the future because of this crapola.”

      If just for a single month people refrained from ANY recreational air travel you’d see things change. I know some people have to travel for work, but just think what would happen if nobody flew to Disneyworld for a month. You don’t think Disney would have every politician on their payroll on the phone?

      • Kitten Mittens says:

        Which is why we should all be contacting visitor’s bureaus and popular destinations to let them know that while I’d love to visit, I’ll be staying within driving distance this year due to the TSA restrictions and ask them to get involved.

        • SkittleKicks says:

          John Mica, the congressman about to be in charge of the House Transpo and Infastructure Committee hails from right outside Disney World’s doorstep. He’s proven himself to be only out for himself many times over – go shake his rattle.

      • jason in boston says:

        Funny you mention this. I have sent off a letter (real letters) to the Board of Directors of Disney / ABC (and to Steve Jobs because he is the biggest shareholder) explaining this exact problem. I LOVE the Food and Wine Festival. I will not be going next year if I have to be photographed naked or molested. It would be great to get a real reply, but I doubt I will.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        i’m trying to get that point across in little bits. like delta – i’m a skymiles member. so a couple of days ago i tweeted:

        “skymiles member to @DeltaAssist – even though i don’t fly often, as long as backscatter and the grope-down exist, i will actively not fly”

        and the response was:

        “DeltaAssist @catastrophegirl I’m sorry I don’t understand; is there anything I can do to help you? ^BH”

        silly me, i tried to explain it

        “@DeltaAssist no, just reminding Delta, as a company, that new TSA procedures are going to hurt the business of flying. thanks though.”

        no response…. i think whoever is reading those still doesn’t understand. it would take a massive pummeling with feedback from all venues [mail, phone, email, tweets, etc] i think before the airlines begin to pay attention to the masses. and even then, past history of closing the barn door after the horses are gone leads me to believe that the airlines aren’t going to take any action until they lose so much money they can’t afford to fuel their planes.

    • kobresia says:

      Making everyone take off their shoes, whether or not they set off the metal detector, was somehow NOT going too far?

      That was about the time I decided I was never going to fly, ever, because I have no patience at all for such stupidity. They can look through my bag, they can look through my car if I’m at a checkpoint into a secure facility, but they’d better have a compelling reason (such as a metal detector beeping because I forgot something metal) before the search covers –anything– on my person. That includes my shoes.

      In my opinion, the crossed the line years ago, but the sheeple being herded through the lines just weren’t outraged enough by the insolence of these airport fascists to put an end to the foolishness then.

  18. Hoot says:

    I am nowhere near as horrified by the airport security measures and the TSA as most Consumerist posters but even I think that this is way way too far. There should absolutely be no “grabbing” of body parts allowed, be they fake or otherwise, “private” areas or otherwise.

    • pop top says:

      Exactly. Patdowns are fine but to be able to tell that two separate breasts are different you would have to actually be squeezing and manipulating them and that is way too far. You can’t even do that at most strip clubs!

  19. Jonesey says:

    I just want to say thank you to the editors here for staying on this issue and putting up a lot of coverage on it. Don’t let up—–this is a critically important national conversation we need to be having, in part because the media like you guys are focusing on it.

  20. DanKelley98 says:

    What kind of people are TSA agents who would actually do this, policy or not?

  21. jerrycomo says:

    I understand that wahabbi islamists are a threat across the planet and it’s just that this stunt is just too ridiculous.

    It’s not TSA anymore, it’s not TnA!

    • LandruBek says:

      Terrorism is a threat comparable to killer bees, or the modern bubonic plague: basically, it’s such a statistically unlikely threat that one needn’t worry about it.

  22. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    You know, if these TSA monkeys would just feakin’ politely explain ahead of time what they had to do and were polite during the process, there probably would be less than half the complaints we hear about now. They are STUPID! STUPID! STUPID!

    • grumpygirl says:

      Sorry, but there is no polite way they could put “I am going to fondle your labia and/or your 12 year old daughter’s” that would make me ok with this. The only 2 people in this world that get to touch my genitals are my fiance and my physician. If anyone else does it, it’s rape.

  23. sheldonmoon69 says:

    This type of thing is definitely tough to swallow, but I’m wondering if the ramping up of these scans and pat downs are an indication of some known threat.

    I honestly don’t know how I feel about it, but if you think the public outcry about the TSA is bad now, what will it look like if a plane explodes in mid-air because someone got through?

    Unless there is a better way, I’m not sure this will go away until the terror threat is gone.

    I’m surprised the President isn’t weighing in on this for as huge of a deal it is lately.

    • Hoot says:

      We have no way of knowing whether this is a “ramping up” of incidents. It could just be reporting of the incidents that has increased because people hear of others reporting it. Or, it could just be a slow news day and here we are with like 10 articles on Consumerist so far today about it (I exaggerate).

    • Humward says:

      I doubt it. Remember that the groping started as a response to people’s reaction to the nudie-scanners. After they instituted the scanners, the TSA realized that a lot of people would want to refuse — and would have a good basis for doing so. So to discourage people from asserting their rights…sorry, I mean “to plug the security hole,” they instituted aggressive grope-downs.

      So the groping is because of the scanners. But why do we have the scanners? Well, the scanners didn’t just appear — they were proposed a long time ago. So when they were proposed, was there a credible threat? I doubt it — had there been, you’d kind of think the long roll-out process would have given the hypothetical terrorist more than enough time to complete whatever they were planning.

      So then why do we have the scanners? Well, they were provided by a company (the aptly-named “Rapiscan”) with a connection to one Michael Chertoff. You may recognize Mr. Chertoff’s name — former head of Homeland Security. So Chertoff lobbied his old agency for their purchase, they were purchased at a cost of billions of dollars, his client got rich and now…groping.

      Is there some credible terrorist threat behind it all? Anything’s possible — but I doubt it. I suspect something a little greener.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      You do realize there have been terrorists who have gotten through the TSA security, don’t you?
      Underwear bomber – Stopped by passengers
      Shoe bomber – Stopped by passengers

      The next guy will shove plastic explosive up his butt and then set it off in the toilet. That’s if they don’t simply send a timebomb as a parcel. Planes will explode. The holiday season is a huge target. The TSA budget should be used to root out the baddies in their homes, not out pilots, crew, soldiers, grandmothers, and granddaughters.

    • MuffinSangria says:

      If a plane gets blown up midair, that’s a failure of the intelligence community not the TSA. Once a terrorist has entered an airport with a bomb, that person has won. If they can’t get through the TSA “security” they could just detonate it right there and kill more people.

      Why worry anyway? You are more danger from the radiation in the backsatter machines than from a terrorist.

    • rondalescott says:

      “Unless there is a better way, I’m not sure this will go away until the terror threat is gone.”

      That’s the point, though. The terror threat will never be gone. Do you want to live like this forever?

    • ukthom says:

      here’s the thing – there’s ALWAYS been a terror threat. Remember Lockerbie, Scotland? Right, did we amp ourselves up on fear and this BS? No. We did not. We soldiered on, and didn’t let the terrorists win by instilling fear in us. We need to buck up, accept the risk of flying (or even leaving our house), and get on about the business of our lives. This whole thing is just inhumane and deplorable. Just my $.02

    • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

      The threat was to Michael Chertoff’s bank account. It wasn’t getting big enough, so he insisted on installing the backscatter machines. Made by a company that he had a direct financial interest in.

    • XTC46 says:

      There is a better way. A much better way. It is called training personelle to profile correctly. Look at Isreal’s airport security. They do NOT have long waits and do NOT tolerate this kind of behavior.

      They have 5 visable security layers in place. Guards welcome all visitors to the airport as they drive in to park, Guards are looking for suspicious activity as you enter the building and randomly asking people simple questions which can allow them to guage the person response. The ticket takers are trained to ask the same questions upon checkin and also look for suspicious responses. Bags are checked in a blast chamber and a bomb squad is on hand to remove a threat instead of causing an evacuation.

      Their security works becasue they are relying on humans to determine when somone is a threat, not when somone is carrying a threat. This is a MUCH better way to deal with security. Walking people through an x-ray will not stop a threatening person, it will stop a bomb from passing through that checkpoint.

      We need to look for threatening people, not bombs.

  24. MisterE says:

    I have to wonder: Would TSA pat down a turban or would the ACLU sue first?

  25. ITDEFX says:

    Now this is going too far!

  26. Tomas says:

    UNACCEPTABLE.

    That’s all, just UNACCEPTABLE.

  27. oldwiz65 says:

    I’m just waiting for a TSA jerk to grab some confront some 14 year old girl wearing skin tight elastic pants and grope her crotch saying he has to make sure she’s not hiding explosives in her pants. He’d probably get away with it too.

    If any of us did anything like that we’d be in jail so fast for so long, of course after the girl’s father/brother/boyfriend beat the c**p out of us.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      the grope down is SUPPOSED to be same gender only.
      not sure if that will always happen, but the goal is apparently to avoid incidents like that.
      as a bisexual person, i can see sooooooooo many loopholes in the policy

      • snowmentality says:

        It’s already happening that male TSOs are groping female passengers. The rationale is that there aren’t enough female TSOs to have one always available to pat down women, so they offer the woman a choice: either let the male TSO do the pat-down, or wait for some unspecified amount of time until a female TSO can come and do it. Which means “let this guy feel you up, or we’ll possibly make you miss your flight.”

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          it almost makes me want to fly just for the pleasure of taking proof of that to a lawyer.

  28. rdclark says:

    Every American who submits to the TSA should be ashamed for ceding their Constitutional rights and allowing the crassly commercial fear industry to own the legislative process.

    Patriots can’t be cowed into submission. The “Patriot Act” should have been named the “America Surrenders to Terrorism Act.”

    DO NOT FLY. Let the airlines know that you aren’t flying because Americans don’t submit to terrorism. The only way to turn this around is to get the airline industry to feel enough pain that they will carry the fight to the enemy themselves.

  29. johnva says:

    It’s actually against TSA policy for them to force you to remove a prosthetic device. I know, because I wear leg braces. The problem is, that a lot of TSA agents are poorly trained idiots. So you often have to stand up for your rights by politely refusing to comply with orders they give you that violate their policy. You can do this without being too confrontational as long as you’re aware in advance what the policy is (you can look it up on their website). I often end up having to talk the TSA screeners through how they’re supposed to screen me, because they don’t know what they’re doing and get confused by the fact that my leg braces do not set off a metal detector (they have no metal in them, since they’re just carbon fiber and Kevlar).

    I will usually just point out my leg braces to them when I first approach the security checkpoint (lifting up my pants leg so they can see them, if I’m not wearing shorts), and inform them that because they are a mobility device I cannot remove them or my shoes for the screening. Occasionally, one of them will complain about this, but they back down when I inform them that TSA policy prohibits them from even asking me to remove them and ask that they look up the rules or call over a supervisor. I do always get the secondary screening, but it’s just the explosive residue swab. No clue whether I’m now going to get the TSA grope every time because of the new policies, but I’m willing to go through the scanner machines instead.

  30. tfcocs says:

    The request for the removal of the prosthetic breast is, according to my reading of TSA regulations, are in direct violation of the ADA. People who wear orthopedic devices, or use wheel chairs, may not be compelled to remove their equipement durng a search by TSA staff. Prosthetics fall under that same umbrella.

  31. chemmy says:

    New TSA (Transportation Safety Administration) Slogans:
    Can’t see London, can’t see France, unless we see your underpants.

    Grope discounts available.

    If we did our job any better, we’d have to buy you dinner first.

    Only we know if Lady Gaga is really a lady.

    Don’t worry, my hands are still warm from the last guy.

    Throw a few back at the airport Chili’s and you won’t even notice.

    Wanna fly? Drop your fly.

    We’ve handled more balls than Barney Frank.

    We are now free to move about your pants.

    We rub you the wrong way, so you can be on your way.

    It’s not a grope. It’s a freedom pat.

    When in doubt, we make you whip it out.

    TSA: Touchin’, Squeezin’, Arrestin’.

    You WERE a virgin.

    We handle more packages than UPS and FedEx combined.

    The TSA isn’t silly, they just want to inspect your willy.

    Stroke of the hand, law of the land.

    No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem.

    Let your fingers do the Walking.

    Cough.

    Reach out and touch someone.

    Can you feel me now?

    When we’re done with you, you’ll need a cigarette.

  32. prismatist says:

    If this is the kind of crap we have to now put up with, then the terrorists have won. I am so glad I don’t live in the US.

  33. jp7570-1 says:

    TSA continues to be “security theater”, manned by people not qualified to flip burgers. TSA treats everyone as a terrorist, which not only slows down the screening process but defeats the purpose of screening in the first place.

    In 2012, if anyone running for president has a platform of completely reforming TSA – hell, just allowing us to pack toiletires and liquids again – they’ll probably win.

  34. Kibit says:

    Why are they touching women’s breasts???

    Are they allowed to do this?

    So I buy a plane ticket and that gives the TSA a free pass to feel me up? Sexual contact with out consent is sexual assalut.

  35. Buckus says:

    TSA: Keeping it classy

  36. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Just wait until they start this searching and groping stuff for other modes of transportation, like buses and trains. What about entering courthouses or other government buildings? Will they start just stopping people randomly before entering any enclosed area with many people present under the pretense of security? What if you’re in your own, personal car, but you need to go through a tunnel or over a major bridge? Why not search those people too?

    I recently made a visit to our rural county courthouse, and had to go through a metal detector. My friend’s husband works security, and he x-ray’d my purse and then opened it and found that those wires & things were my mp3 player all wrapped up and in my spare glasses case. He did not touch me or do a full body pat down. And everyone is still safe and sound.

    It’s time to stand up against our government’s idiotic rules.

  37. Levk says:

    Oh wow I hope this gets used to stop all those useless security measures

  38. ukthom says:

    This is absolutely disgusting. DISGUSTING. That woman not only had her personal space violated “in the name of safety” but was humiliated beyond measure. There is NO reason for this to be OK in any way, shape, or format.

    The TSA’s rules are inhumane, disgraceful, and abhorrent to the human condition. Safest way to travel? Sure, by flying. Will I be doing it anytime soon? I’d rather crawl.

  39. NumberSix says:

    So at what point is it reasonable to expect the President to weigh in on this?

    I think he’s about due.

  40. Intheknow says:

    Yikes, they haven’t met my mom yet. She’s 72 with a prosthetic breast. She’s pretty feisty and in your face. I dare them to try that on her. She’d probably pound them into the floor.

  41. bellabell says:

    I am speechless! What is wrong with people? The degrading and humiliation this woman has suffered is beyond belief!

  42. PriceIsWrong says:

    Hey, America, guess what? The terrorists won. Congratulations you sniveling crybabies. You let them get to you because some jerks hijacked some planes, committed an atrocity, which scared you all into believing you could do something about it.

    This is the consequence of doing something about it.

    I hope you all feel safer now, with those TSA hands probing and prodding you and everyone else trying to fly, instead of say, just standing up to would be hijackers/bombers/ and any other jerk on a plane, ala Flight 93. At least they knew how to handle this kind of situation.

    Or we could just, I don’t know, make a bulletproof door with a lock on the cabin.

  43. Sardis says:

    I wonder if you could put enough explosive in a prosthetic breast to blow up a plane?

    • BurtReynolds says:

      A breast worth of C4 could put a good size hole in the plane.

      With that said, you could hide that in any number of ways. Many of which wouldn’t be detected by a pat down

  44. shanelee24 says:

    This is beyond repulsive. Very very wrong. I can literally only recall three incidents related to air terrorism in the U.S. since 2000. I could be wrong, but we are in a downward spiral trying to fight yesterdays threats. It is disgusting.

  45. ThunderRoad says:

    Tit Scanners Anonymous

  46. italianbaby says:

    this pat down stuff is getting out of hand. is their no privacy?
    i feel for this poor woman.
    i hear there patting down 3 years old these days.
    i understand this is all for our safety, but there are ways to be polite about it.

  47. livingthedreamrtw says:

    Next time I travel, if a TSA agent grabs my junk during a pat down, I’m going to insist he gives me his number and ask if he wants to go out for drinks first.

    “Woa buddy aren’t we moving a little fast here? Shouldn’t you at least give me your number and go out for drinks first? I like ya, but not that much. 3rd date man!”

  48. myCatCracksMeUp says:

    Agreed. This really pisses me off.

  49. mcgyver210 says:

    What I want to know is there any documented cases of the KGB aka TSA actually catching a real terrorist with the Radiation Bath or Sexual Assault? I have searched but found nothing to say this crap does nothing but harass innocent citizens.

  50. xl3ill says:

    I call BS on this lady. She was in a private room with two other women when this happened. Those two women were the only ones who would have known about this had she not ran to the press to make a folk hero out of herself. Given this, how can she claim to be so “humiliated” from this experience. If she was truly humiliated, she wouldn’t be talking about it, or at least would have come forward anonymously.

    I sympathize with her cancer, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t capable of bullsh*t.

    • shanelee24 says:

      You are the type of person that helps keep these types of policies alive. This is as idiotic a statement as I have ever heard. Being humiliated over a situation dosent mean that you dont bring attention to it to fight a stupid and destructive organization from implementing horrible and invasive policies. And because it was done in a private room, you feel it shouldve stayed there? What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? Completely stupid. Let someone humiliate you in a backroom as an innocent traveler and see how much you just want to abide.

    • grumpygirl says:

      Do you work for the TSA?

    • 12345678nine says:

      So rape victims that that speak out about it have not really suffered?
      Did you think before you typed?

  51. al says:

    Somewhere in a cave terrorists are giving each other a back on the back.

  52. cecilsaxon says:

    I still challenge someone to go through the pat down with a stiffy.

  53. eachmorning says:

    I’m a colon cancer survivor with a colostomy bag under my clothing. Wonder how much undressing and how far I have to go to prove that I’m not hiding any bombs or drugs in my appliance? They’d be in for a surprise. But thinking that I wouldn’t have much of a sense of humor, and their actions would be borderline discrimination against the disabled.

  54. Bobsworth says:

    The convenience of being able to fly on a plane is a privilege, not a basic human right..
    If you don’t want to be searched, get in a car and drive.
    I think it’s only fair that they ask. The day you make any exceptions of these rules is the day a (very determined!) terrorist will cut out his own balls, or her breasts, to sneak a bomb through security in a prosthetic testicle/mammary.
    I can’t speak from any experience but if I had any kind of prosthesis I’d rather be treated the same as everyone else than be segregated.

  55. Keter says:

    I wonder if this falls under HIPAA. It should.

  56. HeroPrinny says:

    Guys it is now time to take viagra before you fly and to wear a kilt without underwear, have fun TSA.

  57. aikoto says:

    She shouldn’t have gone through the strip scanners then. If they’d done the pat down, they wouldn’t have found it.

  58. huey9k says:

    fire these oxygen thieves!

    I understand the response to the threat, and given the sheer numbers of tracelers, I believe the screening process is not that bad. However, these “pat-down artists”(read: profeesional gropers) need to be terminated. sounds like most of them are overpaid troglodtes who get over-zealous in the pursuit of their paycheck.