Nude-O-Scope Opt Out Stories [merged]


Old Nov 21, 10, 8:49 pm
  #736
 
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2nd example today of TSA refusing or discouraging opt outs

Following up to my earlier post RE: my mother-in-law, I posted a status report on Facebook. A friend told me about the experience her husband had tonight at the Tulsa, OK airport:

[FRIEND]: [Husband] is flying from Tulsa to [home] tonight with a lay over in [another airport]. He said it seems they are targeting children and elderly. He asked not to be scanned and they told him he had no choice other than to do it or not fly.
3 hours ago Like
[Little Flower]: That's illegal. The regs / SOPs apparently state that any passenger has the option to get irradiated or get groped. Tell him to get to the aeropuerto early, and ask for a supervisor if his request to opt out is refused.
12 minutes ago Like
[FRIEND]: Yeah he pointed that out to the TSA and said they seemed less amused. He said the airport wasn't even busy. He also asked if they could provide him with any facts on the safety of the machine and they told him it was all classified and he didn't need to know. He's got a higher security clearance than most of those clowns but he "has no right to such information"
7 minutes ago Like


I then filled her in about the EPIC & ACLU forms, and Flyertalk. Her hubby is a road warrior, so he'll probably be following up.
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Old Nov 22, 10, 7:27 pm
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My mother's experience

I have not read this whole thread, but I want to tell our story, and this seems like a good place. It's not recent, it's before they implemented the "enhanced" pat-down...but it just emphasizes that this problem has been building for a long time.

Last year my mother and I were changing planes in Atlanta from an international flight, heading home to LAX. After going through customs, we had to stand in the long security line to get to our gate for our domestic flight. We had a 2-hour layover, which should have been plenty of time.

My mother is 73 years old, has a metal hip and cement injected into a shattered spinal disk. She walks with a distinct limp and a cane.

As soon as we landed in Atlanta we used the facilities. Unfortunately the security line took almost 90 minutes, and by the time we got near the front, my mother had to use the restroom again. But there was no way for her to leave the line and go find the restroom, and then get back to me - she couldn't have fought her way out and back through the crowd. I would have had to go with her, losing our place in line and missing our flight home.

She had her doctor's notes for both of her medical conditions, but naturally she set off the metal detector, so she was moved over to a roped-off area out in full view of the public. When they walked her over, she begged them to allow her to use the restroom before the pat-down. They refused. She waited there for over 10 minutes before a very large, very scary-looking TSA agent - who looked like she'd spent the first half of her life running with the crips and the second half as a prison guard - came over to pat her down. My mother asked AGAIN if she could use the restroom. The agent refused, and began her molestation. She wanded her entire body, including between her legs, then began the physical rubbing. She ran her hands up my mother's legs, and when she got to her crotch area, she discovered that my mother was slightly damp there. She yanked her hand out and started SCREAMING at her, "DID YOU PISS ON ME? DID YOU PISS ON ME?" My mother started crying, calling out my name in distress.

I was not allowed to approach her. I was so angry, but there was nothing I could do - I was told repeatedly by the agent groping my mother, and by two others nearby, to STAY BACK from the roped off area. Finally the grope session was over, and she was allowed to leave. We both felt sick, and violated.

Tomorrow my mother will take the first flight she's taken since that horrific experience. Since that happened, she's been diagnosed with breast cancer, and recently had a lumpectomy and targeted radiation treatment, which involved inserting multiple rods into her breast, irradiating them over the course of a week, then removing them. She is still very sore and tender in the surgical area, which is on the side of her breast.

She is going to attempt to go through the porno-scan to avoid the groping, but my understanding is that both the metal in her hip and the cement in her spine will appear as anomalies, so she'll be groped anyway. She is going to the airport wearing depends (something she doesn't normally need to do) and a heavily padded bra, hoping that her tender breast isn't prodded too painfully. She is terrified, but her desire to see her grandkids and spend Thanksgiving with family is outweighing her horror over the torture she is about to experience.

I'll report back tomorrow how it goes. I'm just sick that my mother has to go through this, just so she won't spend Thanksgiving all alone.
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Old Nov 22, 10, 8:34 pm
  #738
 
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Originally Posted by LeeAnne View Post
I have not read this whole thread, but I want to tell our story, and this seems like a good place.
Thank you for sharing your story. If you haven't already, please consider sharing it with the ACLU as well. They've collecting data on TSA behavior to use in their discussions and legal actions with the government. You can probably copy and paste most of what you've written to expedite the process.

ACLU Passenger Survey
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Old Nov 22, 10, 9:15 pm
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LeeAnne, welcome, and I'm sorry it is under such circumstances. Your story is sadly just one more to add to the list (and I hope that you don't mind if I link it on another medical related thread here)

I am extremely concerned that most of the public is overlooking the very real issue of how those with medical issues are being treated, and their experiences. We have seen a few come to light in the media, but the reality is that this occurs far more frequently than is reported.

I wish you both safe travels and good health.
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Old Nov 22, 10, 9:33 pm
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LeeAnne....
Thank you for sharing. I am sickened and heartbroken to hear what your mother (and you as a witness) went through. I think this is the first one of these terrible stories I have read that has made me literally cry. If there is some way to spread your story without causing undue stress for your mother, people need to hear it.

I will be praying for safe and uneventful travel for her this week.
Hugs!
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Old Nov 23, 10, 12:21 am
  #741
 
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My experience today at Port Columbus (Ohio) airport was less traumatic than I'd expected. The TSA agents were courteous and polite, with one exception. One in particular was extremely helpful, and another expressed to me her own frustration and confusion over the current uproar among passengers when "we just want you to be safe!"

I encountered some pressure to go thru the AIT, beginning with the airport guy who pushed my wheelchair (I have a broken leg and am on crutches....wheelchair for those long hallways). I told him not to take me to the backscatter scanners (if there was an option) because I was going to opt out. He thought about this for a minute, then tried to talk me into it because: "It only takes 7 or 8 seconds. If you opt out you'll have to wait much longer."

I figured this meant *he'd* have to wait much longer for me to go thru, since he was charged with getting me all the way to my gate. I assured him I didn't mind the wait, and had plenty of time to make my flight.

We were there in the middle of the day and the security checkpoint was deserted except for about a dozen TSA employees. I was busy taking off the shoe on the non- broken leg and didn't see exactly where he was parking me. When I looked up, I saw I was in the middle between the backscatter machine and the regular old metal detector.

Before I could hurl myself at the WTMD, the backscatter guy approached me and demanded to know if I could stand. I replied that I could stand for a few seconds, but needed my crutches to stand for anything longer than that. Then I added that I was opting out of the xray machine scan. His tone suddenly turned harsh. "I didn't ASK you if you were opting out," said he, "I asked you if you could stand."

Once again, I politely repeated my answer about needing my crutches.

At this point, the female TSA agent at the nearby metal detector said sharply to her colleague, "She opted out." The other guy seemed irritated. "I wasn't selecting her," he said, "I was just asking her a question." The two of them glared at one another.

I quickly interjected, "May I go thru that machine?" indicating the WTMD. "You'll have to ask her," the backscatter guy said rather sulkily, and the helpful lady behind the WTMD smiled and invited me to proceed through.

When I cleared the WTMD uneventfully, she gave me an arm to lean on, returned my crutches to me, moved my backpack to where I could see it, and assisted me in reseating myself in the wheelchair. I've read the horror stories some people have experienced with nasty TSA agents, but this woman gets high marks, as well as my thanks for her helpfulness and professionalism.

It DID occur to me there might have been a good cop/bad cop thing going on, but....hey....I can be very cynical at times.

They then passed me on to another screener, presumably because I had opted out. She, too, was warm and friendly, and we chatted about the general situation as she wheeled my chair over to those 2 ominous footprints on the floor. I asked if it had been hard to deal with the recent uproar in the press. She seemed genuinely upset by the whole thing, declaring that they were just doing their jobs and trying to make travel safe for everyone. I agreed that this was important, but insisted that no one wants to be groped by strangers, particularly when they've done nothing whatsoever to violate the law.

The only thing she groped was my wheelchair, which wasn't even mine (it was an airport wheelchair; at home I just use the crutches). The chair got the full frisk, but I was not patted down at all. Moments later, I was released into the "sterile area" with best wishes for a good flight.

My husband, meanwhile, had vanished somewhere behind me. Turns out that when he opted out of tie AIT, they made him wait. And wait. And wait.... even though there were TSA agents milling around and scarcely any passengers at the checkpoint, the call for a "male opt out" went unanswered. After several minutes of twiddling his thumbs, worried about what had happened to me and also about some valuable items in his now-inaccessible hand luggage, he got sick of the delay and opted back in.
So they got one of us, in the end.

All in all, it was by no means the awful experience I'd been dreading. If the TSA folks are pleasant, polite and non-threatening, I'm betting they'll get the vast majority of travelers to accept the AIT machines. The pressure to do so is already there, and they're treating it as if it's routine -- funneling people through without much notice or comment. No intimidation....just coax and delay...that's how they're going to win this thing, lulling the public into complacency.
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Old Nov 23, 10, 1:42 am
  #742
 
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More proof that those medically unable to use AIT are still being treated as optouts. Sorry to hear your story.

And from a breast cancer forum another medical horror story

She is also a stage 3 gal who had a bmx with no recon. She does wear her proths everywhere. When she flew yesterday, she told the TSA folks about her bc dx and treatments and told them she didn't want any additional radiation. Soooo, they put her through the patdown. She was taken into a private room and after the agent did her thing, she then told my friend she was going to have to "take a peek" at her chest!! She told my friend to raise her shirt and unhook her bra. My friend was in tears and said she felt humiliated.
http://community.breastcancer.org/fo.../757010?page=2

From another poster there
There I was given one of the new "enhanced" pat downs, with lots of attention paid to my breasts--I felt extremely exposed, and people were staring at me curiously. I finally figured out what was going on, and asked if this was because of my breast prosthesis. They then called a supervisor, who took at least 15 minutes to arrive--and I was taken to a private room, and after another invasive pat down, and asked to show my prosthesis. I should have whipped it out, and put it in her hand, but instead I just unbottoned my blouse and showed her the edge. They acted as if they'd never encountered this situation, which I find hard to believe. All in all, the whole process, with delays in mustering personnel, took nearly an hour--I could easily have missed my plane.

Last edited by exbayern; Nov 23, 10 at 1:47 am
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Old Nov 23, 10, 1:48 am
  #743
 
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Originally Posted by Freefallin' View Post

My husband, meanwhile, had vanished somewhere behind me. Turns out that when he opted out of tie AIT, they made him wait. And wait. And wait.... even though there were TSA agents milling around and scarcely any passengers at the checkpoint, the call for a "male opt out" went unanswered. After several minutes of twiddling his thumbs, worried about what had happened to me and also about some valuable items in his now-inaccessible hand luggage, he got sick of the delay and opted back in.
So they got one of us, in the end.

All in all, it was by no means the awful experience I'd been dreading. If the TSA folks are pleasant, polite and non-threatening, I'm betting they'll get the vast majority of travelers to accept the AIT machines. The pressure to do so is already there, and they're treating it as if it's routine -- funneling people through without much notice or comment. No intimidation....just coax and delay...that's how they're going to win this thing, lulling the public into complacency.

The CP was empty except for the workfare workers? I would of called a LEO offer at this time.

Originally Posted by LeeAnne View Post

She had her doctor's notes for both of her medical conditions, but naturally she set off the metal detector, so she was moved over to a roped-off area out in full view of the public. When they walked her over, she begged them to allow her to use the restroom before the pat-down. They refused. She waited there for over 10 minutes before a very large, very scary-looking TSA agent - who looked like she'd spent the first half of her life running with the crips and the second half as a prison guard - came over to pat her down. My mother asked AGAIN if she could use the restroom. The agent refused, and began her molestation. She wanded her entire body, including between her legs, then began the physical rubbing. She ran her hands up my mother's legs, and when she got to her crotch area, she discovered that my mother was slightly damp there. She yanked her hand out and started SCREAMING at her, "DID YOU PISS ON ME? DID YOU PISS ON ME?" My mother started crying, calling out my name in distress.
.

File a report with the ACLU, EPIC, and local media. There is no reason why the clerk should of yelled.

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Nov 25, 10 at 11:31 pm Reason: merge consecutive posts
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Old Nov 23, 10, 4:13 am
  #744
 
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I just opted out at BOS terminal 1 (Delta). My husband who was ahead of me got sent through the metal detector. I got picked for the backscatter machine.

The agent was polite and efficient. She changed her gloves in front of me without me asking and showed me the box when I asked to see it. I actually do have a latex allegy so that's standard for me. The whole process added about 10 minutes to my screening. I also tried NOT taking my netbook out of my backpack and it got screened again.

No horror stories in terms of pain or pants being looked down or breasts squeezed.

I will always opt out.
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Old Nov 23, 10, 5:50 am
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Originally Posted by exbayern View Post
More proof that those medically unable to use AIT are still being treated as optouts. Sorry to hear your story.

And from a breast cancer forum another medical horror story

http://community.breastcancer.org/fo.../757010?page=2

From another poster there
I've written the American Breast Cancer Foundation contact, Susan G Kormen contact, and American Cancer Society contact.

I've gotten a response from ABCF saying that they've forwarded my concerns about TSA to the appropriate group. No response form Kormen or ACS. I will probably follow up saying that 'I donate and this matters to me.'.

My own letter is here, feel free to copy/modify it.

Originally Posted by Freefallin' View Post
My husband, meanwhile, had vanished somewhere behind me. Turns out that when he opted out of tie AIT, they made him wait. And wait. And wait.... even though there were TSA agents milling around and scarcely any passengers at the checkpoint, the call for a "male opt out" went unanswered. After several minutes of twiddling his thumbs, worried about what had happened to me and also about some valuable items in his now-inaccessible hand luggage, he got sick of the delay and opted back in.
So they got one of us, in the end.
Glad it wasn't so horrible for you and I'm sorry your husband felt pressured into exposing himself to the radiation.

Your husband had the right to have his things brought to him from the belt. If he has time, he could file a complaint at EPIC/ACLU that he tried to opt out, but TSA wouldn't bring a screener or his things.

In principle, you should also leave a complaint at TSA, but you are unlikely to receive anything but a form letter (if that). ACLU Passenger Report and EPIC Incedent Report .

A possible lesson learned for others is that if you travel with someone, stay together, put your stuff on the same belt and make sure you know which buckets on the belt have both of your things. Then the first one through can stay with all the stuff and the second one doesn't have to worry.

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Nov 25, 10 at 11:30 pm Reason: merge consecutive posts
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Old Nov 23, 10, 11:15 am
  #746
 
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Hi everyone - and thanks so much for being such a welcoming place. I felt better having just told my story. To have it met with such empathy is refreshing. I posted this story, in a shorter version, on another blog, and got ripped to shreds and told we were "sniveling whiners", and various combinations of "flying is a privilege, not a right; if you don't like it don't fly; they're just doing their job; quitcher .....in". Etc. etc.

I just got off the phone with my mother, who is in my daughter's car on the way home from the airport. She flew to Burbank from Phoenix. Apparently they don't have the porno-scanners in Phoenix - but she had to have the full pat-down since, of course, she set off the metal detector. She says they were very pleasant and fast, and it wasn't nearly as traumatic as she was expecting. The woman did touch the sides and undersides of her breasts, but only with the back of her hand, gently. Mom says it "only hurt a little bit". Which makes my blood boil! My mother was so terrified, she was determined to be as compliant as possible just to get through it. Hell, she probably would have allowed them to use a speculum on her, if it would have gotten her on that plane!

She's relieved, but I'm livid. I don't care if the agent used the back of her hand - the bottom line is, she touched a 73 yr old cancer survivor's breast, right where she just had cancer surgery - just so she could get on a plane to go see her family. WHO would think that's okay???

Thanks to those of you who've suggested we lodge complaints. My mother refuses. She just wants to forget about it. She just went through cancer treatment - she wants to focus on other things. We don't know how much time we have left with her, and she doesn't want to spend a moment of it fighting. I get it.

But I applaud those of you who are standing up for your (our) rights. I tend to be a bit of an activist myself, and I intend to find ways to express my opinion about this nonsense...AFTER the holidays.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone - and let's all be safe out there.
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Old Nov 23, 10, 11:32 am
  #747
 
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Thanks for the update LeeAnne, and I am glad that she had a bit of a better experience today.

I am firmly of the belief that these stories are not yet being heard by many of the public, and the more that we can circulate them the better. I also respect your mother's wish for privacy and can understand that. But would you be adverse to people copying or linking to your post here, in an effort to spread the message? There are many stories like this out there but they are not getting enough attention, and a lot of people are being very self-centred and don't seem to understand what may happen to the elderly, the sick, the disabled, etc.

I don't want what happened to your mother to happen to any of my relations, nor do I want it to happen to any other people, but I know sadly that it will until we continue to speak out.
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Old Nov 23, 10, 12:08 pm
  #748
 
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You are welcome to link to my story elsewhere. I am all in favor of spreading the word about the harsh realities of what is currently going on.

I just got off the phone with my sister, who, unfortunately, falls into the category of Americans who accept this abuse because "they're just trying to keep us safe". She seems perfectly fine with this horrific treatment, as she feels that it's all necessary to keep terrorists away. She feels that getting all indignant about it is useless, since they "have to do it". She worries that the public outcry is going to make TSA "water down" their efforts, allowing terrorists to exploit the weaknesses. I tried to explain to her that the terrorists ALREADY can exploit the weaknesses - that none of this is making us, or our planes, safer. But if I can't even convince my own family, I feel less optimistic about convincing anyone else.

Maybe this is just our new reality, that we have no choice but to accept. If that's the case, I guess we gotta applaud the terrorists, because they've won after all.
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Old Nov 23, 10, 12:13 pm
  #749
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Ask your sister if she'll allow the TSA thugs to inspect her body cavities -- she has some, I know she does -- to ensure that she hasn't hidden something dangerous in there. Let's put this "anything for security" attitude to the real test. Remind her that suicide bombers wouldn't hesitate to hide bombs within their bodies, and the naked scanners are unable to see inside of people. So...let us know how the conversation turns out.

Bruce
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Old Nov 23, 10, 12:32 pm
  #750
 
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Originally Posted by LeeAnne View Post
Hi everyone - and thanks so much for being such a welcoming place. I felt better having just told my story. To have it met with such empathy is refreshing. I posted this story, in a shorter version, on another blog, and got ripped to shreds and told we were "sniveling whiners", and various combinations of "flying is a privilege, not a right; if you don't like it don't fly; they're just doing their job; quitcher .....in". Etc. etc.
Um. Posting on flyertalk may have empathy, but it's otherwise completely useless. Way too many people pretend the internet is real life.

It's useful to significantly reducing your air travel and contacting airline (and other convention/tourism agencies) to let them know why.

You also need to contact your representatives ( senators and representative .

You should also support the efforts of large real-world organizations such as the
ACLU and their EPIC and look up who owns your local airport (it's usually a state, county or city agency) and contact them, as well.

You can also contact state and local officials and request that they push back against TSA (this is already happening in NJ and NYC, for example).
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