Nobody is a huge fan of the Transportation Security Administration. While it purports to be a force for safety, study after study exposes the agency’s numerous flaws. But aside from all of the weapons they mistakenly allow to pass through airports each year, TSA is now under fire for a different reason. Denise Alberts, co-founder of the media group, The MOMS, and Sirius radio host, is attacking the TSA for a “horrific” pat-down she endured at Los Angeles International Airport.
Alberts claimed the staff were suspicious because of the medication she was carrying, related to her breast cancer treatment…
“I went through the scanner and they asked me to remove my shoes, even though I went through the scanner and I was TSA Precheck”.
Passengers that are prechecked are never required to remove their shoes, but Denise obliged them. The TSA agents then forcefully performed a full-body pat-down on her, that she claims was quite painful.
Here’s video from the incident:
TSA rules explicitly state that individuals with medical conditions do not have to remove their shoes, nor do individuals that are prechecked. To add insult to injury, she says she was left to wait for about 20 minutes as the agents discussed how to properly screen her. Denise is saying the agents also joked about “all of the eyelashes” when they searched through her bags, eluding to the fake lashes she was carrying to compensate for her chemotherapy.
This situation ties into the general theme of TSA since their inception; inconvenience over efficiency. Since Alberts came forward with her story, she’s heard from “thousands of people from around the country that have had [similar] circumstances.” Although she’s hopeful this conduct will change, she shouldn’t get her hopes up. TSA is a bureacracy which includes little incentive for growth. The best solution could be privatization.
Most Canadian and European airports utilize private security services, and the results are quite positive. Reports reveal that private security processes an average of 65% more passengers per employee. The United States used to privatize airport security, until September 11th. But over the past year, the federal government has allowed a few large airports across the country to hire private companies. If all goes well, maybe, just maybe, this extraneous bureaucratic arm will be dissolved—if it was, it would save taxpayers around $1 billion per year.
In the meantime, we’ll have to continue dealing with the TSA shenanigans.