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Old May 21, 13, 7:18 am   #1
 
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"I'm 87 years old!"

This weekend my wife and I accompanied my 87 year old mother on a trip to a family wedding. This was the first flight for either of them since the NoS and related TSA insanity was introduced.

Preparing for TSA I told my mother that due to her age she could keep her shoes on.

We departed from NoS-free DCA Terminal A. I went through the cattle chute first, followed by my mother and wife. At the luggage belt (right side) I observed an elderly gentleman get out of a wheelchair. A TSO was yelling at him to sit in a chair to take his shoes off. When the gentleman did not respond, the TSO simply yelled louder. And louder, and louder. Eventually someone accompanying the man saw a chair hidden behind a pole, and took the man there. The yelling subsided.

I went through the WTMD uneventfully and gathered our belongings. Suddenly I here the same TSO screaming "TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES!" I looked back and saw my mother behind the WTMD, being screamed at. The TSO screamed the same thing at her again. Evidently she wasn't processing his vitriol; my wife whispered the message in her ear. My mother then looked at the TSO and shouted "I'M 87 YEARS OLD!"

That infuriated the TSO and he screamed his message even louder.

My mother had to take her shoes off and slowly stumble through, despite the clear signs saying that if you were born on that date before 1938 you could keep your shoes on.

I did not witness anyone else getting yelled at, leading me to conclude that we travelled on TSA's unannounced "Abuse The Elderly Day"

My wife was considering flying to Florida next month. Now she's set on driving.

My mother took her last flight. We're not about to give TSA another shot at her.
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Old May 21, 13, 7:27 am   #2
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For a TSA clerk to be yelling at anyone is not acceptable and that person should be fired on the spot. The treatment of travelers by TSA is also unacceptable.

The only cure for TSA is complete removal of this cancer from the face of the earth.
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Old May 21, 13, 7:30 am   #3
 
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Did you point out the sign to the TSA employee and tell him that your mother was born before the date indicated? If so and he still did not acquiesce, I would have stopped everything and called for a supervisor. This TSA employee was clearly out of bounds and needed to be dealt with.
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Old May 21, 13, 7:45 am   #4
 
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Further evidence TSA goons don't know their own rules
and like to abuse people, generally the handicapped or elderly.
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Old May 21, 13, 8:12 am   #5
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Yet again the TSA shows itself behaving like petty bullies who go after and try to intimidate persons or groups of persons that are more easily victimized or are disadvantageously marginalized in some largely immutable way at the time.

Given the proximity of TSA HQ to DCA, the signal from TSA management is very loud there.
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Old May 21, 13, 8:30 am   #6
 
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Originally Posted by gobluetwo View Post
I would have stopped everything and called for a supervisor.
This.

Push back. Escalate. Escalate.
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Old May 21, 13, 9:06 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by gobluetwo View Post
Did you point out the sign to the TSA employee and tell him that your mother was born before the date indicated? If so and he still did not acquiesce, I would have stopped everything and called for a supervisor. This TSA employee was clearly out of bounds and needed to be dealt with.
The checkpoint is so small that the supervisor could readily see everything, and the TSO so loud that the supervisor had to hear. The fact that the supervisor did not intervene with the first gentleman meant the supervisor either approved, or did not care.

I agree that push-back is necessary; I want to do so in a manner avoids tilting at windmills.
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Old May 21, 13, 9:32 am   #8
 
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Originally Posted by OldGoat View Post
I agree that push-back is necessary; I want to do so in a manner avoids tilting at windmills.
Unfortunately, it's unclear what that means should be. TSA will encourage you to use their "Talk to TSA" form, or to call their "TSA Cares" hotline at 1-855-787-2227. Folks here will tell you that the results of such contacts are ... well, let me diplomatic and say "unpredictable".

I suspect that the only thing that would guarantee a response would be to get your local TV station to interview your mother on camera about her experience. TSA tends to respond swiftly to being publicly embarrassed like that. Unfortunately, that also puts your family in the position of making a public spectacle of themselves.
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Old May 21, 13, 9:49 am   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldGoat View Post
The checkpoint is so small that the supervisor could readily see everything, and the TSO so loud that the supervisor had to hear. The fact that the supervisor did not intervene with the first gentleman meant the supervisor either approved, or did not care.

I agree that push-back is necessary; I want to do so in a manner avoids tilting at windmills.
I would suggest filing all TSA related complaints directly with the DHS OIG.

Any complaints filed with TSA disappear.
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Old May 21, 13, 10:41 am   #10
 
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I would suggest filing all TSA related complaints directly with the DHS OIG.

Any complaints filed with TSA disappear.
This at:

http://www.oig.dhs.gov/hotline/hotline.php
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Old May 21, 13, 12:58 pm   #11
 
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Originally Posted by Wally Bird View Post
This.

Push back. Escalate. Escalate.
Agreed. Totally.

My mom is that age and I am damn sure this would have gone down differently if it involved her.
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Old May 21, 13, 1:01 pm   #12
 
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I second the notino to push back & Escalate!
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Old May 21, 13, 1:07 pm   #13
 
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Originally Posted by OldGoat View Post
The checkpoint is so small that the supervisor could readily see everything, and the TSO so loud that the supervisor had to hear. The fact that the supervisor did not intervene with the first gentleman meant the supervisor either approved, or did not care.
If I was mean spirited I could suggest that someone might use that EXACT same logic against yourself. You either approved or didn't care.

Silence is a form of compliance.
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Old May 21, 13, 1:10 pm   #14
 
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Originally Posted by Darkumbra View Post
Agreed. Totally.

My mom is that age and I am damn sure this would have gone down differently if it involved her.
I would have been the subject of the 5 pm. news if this was my mother.
No way I would let anybody shout at her in what you describe.
You should have done better!
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Old May 21, 13, 1:14 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkumbra View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldGoat View Post
The checkpoint is so small that the supervisor could readily see everything, and the TSO so loud that the supervisor had to hear. The fact that the supervisor did not intervene with the first gentleman meant the supervisor either approved, or did not care.
If I was mean spirited I could suggest that someone might use that EXACT same logic against yourself. You either approved or didn't care.

Silence is a form of compliance.
A strategist chooses the battlefield that yields maximum advantage.
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