We left from Houston on June 17th and did our usual airport screening routine. I took Mom's carry-on bag and shoes to run through the scanner with my things and she went through the wheelchair gate for a hand inspection. I thought this was the "normal" process for wheelchair users.
We returned from Colorado Springs on the 25th. Since no one told me any differently, I removed my mom's shoes and took her carry-on bag with mine to the scanner. I went through the metal dectector and collected our things on the "secure" side of the check point.
Then a TSA inspector came over and started yelling at me that I had violated security protocal because all wheelchair users had to have their bags opened for visual inspection and I wasn't supposed to run my mom's bag through the scanner. I tried to remain calm and explain that I hadn't been told any differently nor were any signs posted so I followed the procedures that we use in Houston. She then told me that Houston is doing that wrong and I needed to give her all my mom's things. She became upset yet again when I told her that I had some of my mom's things in my bag and vice versa. She started screaming that I had committed a serious security breach because disabled passengers were not allowed to "cross-pack" because of the visual inspection. I explained that we have flown several times and never heard of that rule, but that agent claims it has been in effect for years. I have since checked an cannot find it on the TSA website.
I gave her both carry-on bags and was told to wait in the custody of another TSA agent. The first agent took the bags and literally dumped both bags on a table. I was irritated because my mom and I had laptops and cameras in our bags. She rifled through our things, taking no care to keep anything neat and knocked some items off the table to the floor. The bags had already been through the X-ray scanner and there was nothing suspicious in them. The agent tossed everything back in the bags, not necessarily in the bag it was originally in. My mom and I were free to leave after that but told that we were being noted as "suspicious" passengers. I'm not sure what that meant.
Is it really a "rule" that disabled passengers must have their bags visually inspected and are not supposed to cross-pack with other passengers? Is this common practice for airports other than Houston? I didn't mean to violate any rules but cannot seem to find any mention of it. My mom and I were both extremely embarrassed by the experience, especially when the TSA agent started screaming that we were behaving like terrorists. That really turns a bunch of heads at an airport.
RC Enchantment - Oct. 31, '16 - 4 nt. Bahamas & Key West
RC Liberty - Jun. 4, '17 - 7 nt. W. Caribbean
Lindblad Delfin II - Oct. 28, '17 - 10 nt. Amazon River
=X= Silhouette - Jun. '16 - 12 nt. Baltics (Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Berlin, Copenhagen, Amsterdam)
RC Navigator - Jun. '15 - 7 nt. W. Caribbean (Galveston, Cozumel, Belize, Roatan)
PG Paul Gauguin - Apr. '15 - 11 nt. Cook, & Society Islands (Tahiti, Huahine, Aitutaki, Rarotonga, Bora Bora, Taha'a, Moorea)
Silversea Silver Explorer - Feb '14 - 10 nt. Antarctica (Ushuaia to the Antarctic Peninsula)
=X= Xpedition - Apr, '13 - 13 nt. Galapagos "B"/Machu Picchu (Quito, Baltra, Santiago, Rabida, Bartolome, N. Seymour, Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Lima)
=X= Silhouette - Sep '12 - 12 nt. Holy Land (Rome, Santorini, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Alexandria/Cairo, Naples)
RC Adventure - Feb '12 - 7 nt. S. Caribbean (San Juan, St. Croix, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados)
RC Liberty - Dec '11 - 4 nt. Bahamas (Fort Lauderdale, Coco Cay, Nassau)
HAL Zuiderdam - Apr '11 - 10 nt. Partial Panama Canal (Fort Lauderdale, Half Moon Cay, Aruba, Curacao, Panama Canal, Costa Rica)
RC Serenade - Jan '10 - 7 nt. S. Caribbean (San Juan, Tortola, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia, Grenada)
HAL Maasdam - Apr '09 - 14 nt. Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale, San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Dominica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten, Tortola, Half Moon Cay)
RC Legend - May '08 - 13 nt. Italy/Croatia
RC Sovereign - Jan '08 - 3 nt. Bahamas
=X= Xpedition - Sept '07 - 10 nt. Galapagos
RC Rhapsody - Jan '07 - 7 nt. W. Caribbean
RC Radiance - Sept '06 - 7 nt. NB Alaska
RC Brilliance - Oct '05 - 12 nt. Med Greek Isles
RC Majesty - Jan '05 - 3 nt. Bahamas
RC Rhapsody - Oct '04 - 7 nt. W. Caribbean
RC Monarch - Jun '00 - 7 nt. S. Caribbean