While I’m all for safe travel and feel that some security screening is necessary, I also believe that TSA agents have repeatedly exceeded their legal parameters. Reports of TSA agents’ body pat downs of young girls and senior women have been all too common. Their confiscation of obviously non-threatening items such as a cupcake, have also been far too common.
Since TSA screening was initiated, you are no longer allowed to lock your luggage and reports of missing items from checked bags are not uncommon. Neither the airlines nor TSA will assume responsibility for items stolen from checked luggage.
Then there are the full body scanners that yield more than just an x-ray image. I’ve seen the details the scanners reveal and I wouldn’t want some man looking at the scan of my wife or daughters and then going home to please himself by remembering all of the good scans of the day. A growing number of Americans refuse to fly through an airport that uses the detailed body scanners and as the number of airports using them increases, their flying options are fading away.
I’ve also seen and heard of people who have missed their flights because of unnecessary delays caused by TSA agents. I witnessed one such occasion earlier this year on a stopover flight in Charlotte. A young lady ahead of me was pulled aside for extra screening. She was quite attractive and the female TSA agent smiled as she stopped the young woman. Nearly a half hour later, I saw the young woman running to the departure gate next to mine. When she arrived at the gate, she learned that her flight had just left and the agent at the gate informed her that she would have to return to the ticketing desk to make other arrangements. I could see that the young lady was visibly upset and had tears in her eyes as she passed by me on her way to the ticketing desk.
With all of the success of personal invasion, unnecessary delays and thefts, the Transportation Security Administration is expanding to include train and subway stations, ferry boats and deportation docks for passenger ships.
TSA administrators and government supporters say that the expansion of TSA security is necessary to keep terrorists on edge. But it seems that it’s putting millions of innocent Americans on edge more and making them think twice about their travel plans to visit friends and family. Instead of flying an hour or two, or popping on a train, more and more Americans are going to take the extra time to drive to see grandma and grandpa. Once that starts happening, I can see TSA setting up checkpoints along the Interstate highway system.
Oh, when and where will it all end?