Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Safety/Security > Practical Travel Safety and Security Issues
Reload this Page >

TSA agent threw my child's tube feeding formula in the trash

TSA agent threw my child's tube feeding formula in the trash

Reply

Old Feb 7, 10, 2:30 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 24
TSA agent threw my child's tube feeding formula in the trash

We were flying out of Burbank, CA. We went through the appropriately signed line for medical liquids and I declared the two 8 oz. sealed cans of prescription formula Pediasure to the first agent. She waved me on through.

Our 4 year old daughter is feeding tube dependent. We had all the medical equiment to go with the Pediasure. We had read the TSA guidelines on the medical disabilities page. The TSA at the airport we flew out of to begin our trip didn't give us any problems.

But back to my point. When we got past the metal detector, another agent chastised me for not having the Pediasure cans in a zip top bag. According to the TSA website medical disabilities page that doesn't apply to medical liquids. Another agent used the wand swab and swabbed the cans and asked me which bag I had taken the cans from, that bag was also "swabbed with the wand".

The agent told me that I either had to consent to the cans being disposed of or agree to "additional screening". Who knows how long that could have taken and I was afraid we would miss our flight. The idea of being at the mercy of these TSA agents was a bit scary so in the trash went my daughter's tube feeding formula.

What did we do wrong to have our daughter's medically necessary food thrown in the trash? It wasn't like we just had random cans of Pediasure. The agent handed me back our bag after it was swabbed with the Magic Wand so obviously it was fine. I asked the agent what was wrong with the formula other than not being in zip top bags and his answer was "Keep the cans and agree to additional screening or we dispose of them."

It is absurd that a special needs 4 year old child's feeding tube formula is put in the trash as part of the security theater act.

Do these people have a conscience?

Last edited by Uncreative1; Feb 7, 10 at 2:30 pm Reason: corrected title
Uncreative1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 7, 10, 2:33 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,006
Originally Posted by Uncreative1 View Post
We were flying out of Burbank, CA. We went through the appropriately signed line for medical liquids and I declared the two 8 oz. sealed cans of prescription formula Pediasure to the first agent. She waved me on through.

Our 4 year old daughter is feeding tube dependent. We had all the medical equiment to go with the Pediasure. We had read the TSA guidelines on the medical disabilities page. The TSA at the airport we flew out of to begin our trip didn't give us any problems.

But back to my point. When we got past the metal detector, another agent chastised me for not having the Pediasure cans in a zip top bag. According to the TSA website medical disabilities page that doesn't apply to medical liquids. Another agent used the wand swab and swabbed the cans and asked me which bag I had taken the cans from, that bag was also "swabbed with the wand".

The agent told me that I either had to consent to the cans being disposed of or agree to "additional screening". Who knows how long that could have taken and I was afraid we would miss our flight. The idea of being at the mercy of these TSA agents was a bit scary so in the trash went my daughter's tube feeding formula.

What did we do wrong to have our daughter's medically necessary food thrown in the trash? It wasn't like we just had random cans of Pediasure. The agent handed me back our bag after it was swabbed with the Magic Wand so obviously it was fine. I asked the agent what was wrong with the formula other than not being in zip top bags and his answer was "Keep the cans and agree to additional screening or we dispose of them."

It is absurd that a special needs 4 year old child's feeding tube formula is put in the trash as part of the security theater act.

Do these people have a conscience?
File a complaint and contact your local media.
Trollkiller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 7, 10, 3:01 pm
  #3  
Suspended
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 4,952
Actually, this is one of those times when I would call my lawyer before I'd file a complaint with the TSA.
doober is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 7, 10, 3:08 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: FLL/LAX/YYZ/TPE
Programs: CO Platinum 1K, United 1K, SPG LT Platinum, National Executive Elite, Platinum TSA Hater
Posts: 32,912
Originally Posted by doober View Post
Actually, this is one of those times when I would call my lawyer before I'd file a complaint with the TSA.
+1 - and do it quickly so a copy of the surveillance tape can be subpoenaed before they dispose of it.
bocastephen is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 7, 10, 3:09 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: west of DFW airport
Programs: AA LT Gold 1.9 MM flying my way to LT PLAT
Posts: 11,063
You were wrong to let them get away with this. Start with a lawyer and call the local tv people.

How long did they expect your dear child to go without feeding? Idiots!

I would also notify Easter Seals or whatever charily organization looks out for people like you child and ask them to get this situation repaired so the next child won't suffer from hunger.
oldpenny16 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 7, 10, 3:16 pm
  #6  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 419
Originally Posted by Uncreative1 View Post
It is absurd that a special needs 4 year old child's feeding tube formula is put in the trash as part of the security theater act.

Do these people have a conscience?
No.
JSmith1969 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 7, 10, 3:17 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 684
File a complaint here, https://contact.tsa.dhs.gov/gotfeedb...tFeedback.aspx.
Also contact the Federal Security Director at the airport, make sure to do everything in writing or by e-mail. You may need to document the response and phone calls are not the way to do that
magellan315 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 7, 10, 3:34 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Moreland Hills (CLE)
Programs: Over-entitled UA 1.3MM Gold, AA Gold, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Discv, Marriott Plat, Hertz PC
Posts: 5,498
Angry

Do three things:

Contact the media (tv, radio, newspaper)
Contact the media (tv, radio, newspaper)
Contact a lawyer to get the tape.


Why is it that every time I come to the TS&S forum I get mad????
Billiken is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 7, 10, 3:38 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: FrostByte Falls, Mn
Programs: Holiday Inn Plat NW gold AA gold
Posts: 2,157
Originally Posted by Billiken View Post
Do three things:

Contact the media (tv, radio, newspaper)
Contact the media (tv, radio, newspaper)
Contact a lawyer to get the tape.


Why is it that every time I come to the TS&S forum I get mad????
It sure gets the blood a pumping.

If this were a private company there would be several new job openingc come Monday morning. Wonder how Bob's handlers will attempt to spin this in a favorable light? So when DHS/TSA manages to kill a passenger who will accept the responsibility?
AngryMiller is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 7, 10, 3:45 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 576
I will have to agree that this is 110% wrong. Record the facts as you can remember such as time, location at checkpoint, decription of the dolt who told you this, and contact all of the above mentioned.
tsadude1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 7, 10, 3:48 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: FLL/LAX/YYZ/TPE
Programs: CO Platinum 1K, United 1K, SPG LT Platinum, National Executive Elite, Platinum TSA Hater
Posts: 32,912
Originally Posted by magellan315 View Post
File a complaint here, https://contact.tsa.dhs.gov/gotfeedb...tFeedback.aspx.
Also contact the Federal Security Director at the airport, make sure to do everything in writing or by e-mail. You may need to document the response and phone calls are not the way to do that
Don't file a complaint there before consulting a lawyer - and don't publish the date of your trip on this thread - I'd even suggest removing the name of the airport. If you tip these creatures off that you're planning to move against them in any way, they will find the surveillance tape and the employee in question and the tape will disappear and the employee will 'forget' about the incident, so it's your word against theirs.

TSA management is like a mafia.
bocastephen is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 7, 10, 3:53 pm
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: wandering expat
Posts: 37,744
Originally Posted by Uncreative1 View Post
It is absurd that a special needs 4 year old child's feeding tube formula is put in the trash as part of the security theater act.

Do these people have a conscience?
No. Nor do they have any common sense, and in place of both, have an attitude and arrogance that would fit perfectly in the Third Reich or the Soviet Union.
halls120 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 7, 10, 3:55 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Grand County, Colorado
Programs: IHG Plat, HH D, UA GS, Perm BonVoyed
Posts: 1,887
Hi, welcome to FlyerTalk.

Maybe get hold of a disabled advocacy group. Definately contact the Media.
RoyalFlush is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 7, 10, 3:59 pm
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 24
Thanks to everyone who has replied.

Bottom line is this: had there been anything dangerous detected with the wand when the cans were swabbed we wouldn't have been allowed to continue through! Plain and simple. No options would have been given. We were being harrassed due to our daughter's medical special needs. Additional screening (aka harrassment) served no purpose.

A child was denied nutrition. Known terrorists being held in U.S. custody are treated better!

We are planning to follow the advice given here and get what happened to our daughter as public as possible. Until we can stand up for ourselves it is only going to get worse. When we were in that moment being harrassed, we needed to get on that flight to get home. One of the scenarios that I was imagining in my head was consenting to their additional screening and missing our flight with the TSA agents still taking away her formula. We would have been in an even worse position.
Uncreative1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 7, 10, 4:05 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: FrostByte Falls, Mn
Programs: Holiday Inn Plat NW gold AA gold
Posts: 2,157
Originally Posted by Uncreative1 View Post
Thanks to everyone who has replied.

Bottom line is this: had there been anything dangerous detected with the wand when the cans were swabbed we wouldn't have been allowed to continue through! Plain and simple. No options would have been given. We were being harrassed due to our daughter's medical special needs. Additional screening (aka harrassment) served no purpose.

A child was denied nutrition. Known terrorists being held in U.S. custody are treated better!

We are planning to follow the advice given here and get what happened to our daughter as public as possible. Until we can stand up for ourselves it is only going to get worse. When we were in that moment being harrassed, we needed to get on that flight to get home. One of the scenarios that I was imagining in my head was consenting to their additional screening and missing our flight with the TSA agents still taking away her formula. We would have been in an even worse position.
Sorry that something like this happened to you and your child. There is absolutely no reason for behavior like this coming from any representative of the US government (TSA employees, you do represent the US government while at work). Please contact your Congressmen and Senators about this issue as well. Do not let this rest.
AngryMiller is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread