Opted out, and then "tricked" us
Sept. 13, 2010
Concourse B security
My wife is deaf. I am not.
We were taking a flight to New Orleans through Houston.
I explained to her ahead of time about the backscatter machine, what it did, and that she could opt out. She indicated that she would want to opt out and take the pat down.
We arrived at the airport, loaded up our bins, and sent them through the x-ray machine.
TSA#1 indicated that wife was selected to go through backscatter. Wife did not know they made the request (was not looking at TSA#1s face to lip-read). I stepped in to indicate my wife's request to opt out and informed wife that they had made the request. I explained why I was stepping in to translate.
TSA#1 warned about pat down. Wife and I indicated that we were aware.
A second TSA(#2) on other side of WTMD motioned me through. I made my way to our belongings to catch up. TSA#1 escorted wife to backscatter machine, presumably to walk her through without a scan and move on to pat down. TSA#1 walked away. TSA#3, on back side of backscatter machine, stopped wife in the machine and instructed her to stop, turn sideways, arms up (wife had no idea what she was doing)...
They scanned her.
TSA#1 didn't communicate to TSA#3 that wife had opted out and was to proceed directly through to pat down.
By the time I had reached our belongings, gathered a few, and turned to check on wife, she was already in position in the machine and being scanned. I began to get TSAs attention about the mistake, but got responses of "it's already done."
We contacted Supes and explained situation. They pulled aside several people, got stories from everyone involved. Concluded that it was an innocent communication breakdown. I expressed that we were livid that our request was not communicated down the process of security properly. They apologized verbally, handed us a form to fill out and pointed out the number to call.
We moved on to our gate.
I don't recall if that Concourse B security has a way of walking from one side of the backscatter and WTMD machines to the other side without walking THROUGH the machines.
Suggestions and/or feedback greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Last edited by OSUbacksplatter; Sep 29, 10 at 1:32 pm