Posted November 8th, 2010, 05:30 PM
Last edited by fatcat04; November 8th, 2010 at 05:32 PM
Well.. I hate to say it but we actually canceled our air travel to FLL and Port Everglades due to what we experienced on our flight last week. We will make the 15 hour drive rather than risk the possibility that we will be subjected to what happened to us again. Some may malign our choice and say "this is just the price of air security today" but in the end, we are responsible for our child and we made this decision together as parents.
As to what happened. We were flying from Nashville to Orlando to go to Disney for my son's birthday. My son is 9 years old. Nashville has installed the new backscatter scanners, aka "naked" scanners. Now I am not a modest person and for me myself I don't care. To be honest, I had not given it much thought. We were given no option to opt out of the scans that I could see, no signage or instructions. I later found out you can opt out and choose the pat down instead. Well, we all three went through the machine. Husband and I were fine. They scanned the kid and then informed us they had to pat him down. I asked why, they said he moved. So I am thinking run of the mill pat down, wand over his body and light touch. He is 9 years old for the love of Pete but that was not the case. Had anyone but a physician doing a necessary medical exam touched my child in the places the TSA agent put his hands, I would have filed charges. He groped the inside of his legs and touched his genitals. He put his hands around my son's neck in a choking position, felt all the way down his chest area and his buttocks. He placed his hands inside my son's pants waist band and felt around his waist. The agent was loud and intimidating even for me, a 36 year old women. He barked at him to "hold up your pants" and "spread your legs, shoulder width." All I could think was my son looked like he was being frisked and how humiliating this was for him to be stared at by everyone as they passed by us. Now, this whole scenario was out in the open, we were not given the option of privacy. My son was scared and humiliated. I am not a momma hen or a wacko and we fly regularly and have never minded the security measures needed but this was a shocking experience. Shocking enough for us to forgo air travel (which we have always loved) until these new security rules change and come closer to something akin to reason.
And yes, we have contacted the authorities and other to complain about this situation. We also contacted the airline to tell them why we were cancelling and to let them know that these kinds of things will impact their business. To each his own and all are free to travel as they like but I am not convinced treating my child like a prison inmate progressed the cause of national security one iota.
~Sometimes nothing is something worth doing.~
Maasdam- 7 day Boston to Montreal 5/25/2013
HAL Noordam- 9 day Caribbean 3/26/2012