November 1, 2010Gary C. Kelly, President/CEOSouthwest Airlines
Dear Mr. Kelly,
In April 2010, my 8 week old daughter, who my wife and I brought to Las Vegas for a family funeral, was swabbed for explosives residue by TSA agents. My daughter was wearing a Pavlik Harness (a simple cloth and Velcro strap system to keep her hips in a position favorable for development). She was subjected to the procedure at McCarran International Airport because the supervisor on duty thought it was a "good idea". We were told that it would be "discrimination" to single out others for such screening, and that "you never know what someone might try." Humiliated, I stood in line with all our travel gear while my wife and infant daughter underwent this invasive procedure.
As we live in Arizona, my family and I have chosen Southwest Airlines almost exclusively for our flying needs over the last several years. Unfortunately, the swabbing of my infant daughter and the recent addition of backscatter scanners as primary security at McCarran has forced us to change our normal habits in protest of TSA's ever increasing gross invasion of privacy and trampling of individual freedom.
My uncle lives in Las Vegas, and we have used Southwest regularly to fly to visit him. This will no longer be the case. We will drive. The TSA policy of treating every passenger as a criminal has just cost your airline approximately $700 in revenue (the price I was prepared to pay for flights to visit my uncle over Thanksgiving, before learning of our "choice" between backscatter scan or "enhanced patdown").
As a loyal Southwest flyer, I request that you do everything possible to stand up for your customers. As it stands, the current TSA policy will cost your airline literally thousands of dollars in future revenue, just from my family alone.
We are slowly losing the last of our freedoms here in America; I am making a public appeal for help from people with a more pronounced and easily recognized voice to speak up before it is too late (I daresay, it already may be). On this note, I intend to make this letter public via the Internet, in hopes it may attract your much needed attention/action. Will you speak up in defense of liberty?
Matt Novak, Ph.D.
PS For a summary see an article at Wikipedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Full_body_scanner - Listing examples of the misuses, possible health issues, failure to provide added safety, etc. with references.
Matt, you too are an inspiration!