Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Don't ignore us, Southwest!

Emily wrote to Southwest telling them "that I have been a loyal customer and been happy with their service, but have canceled my scheduled flight out of BWI airport and will no longer be flying with them until TSA's full body imaging scanners are removed and enhanced pat-downs stop.  I requested that they lobby the government for changes."

Here's Southwest's underwhelming reply:

Dear Emily,
Thank you for taking the time to contact us. We appreciate the opportunity to address your concern regarding one of the screening processes used by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

It's important to explain that the implementation of imaging technology was determined solely by the TSA and not by the airlines. The TSA has a responsibility to ensure the security of the traveling public. However, they also recognize that there is a delicate balance between privacy and security; therefore, imaging technology is optional for all passengers. Please visit the TSA’s web site for more information regarding this screening method.
Again, we appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts. Should your future plans require air travel, we hope we will merit your consideration.
Sincerely,
Susan, Southwest Airlines
The file reference number for your e-mail is 1127501841.
So Emily pressed some more:

Re: email reference number 1127501841

Susan,

You write that "[TSA] also recognize that there is a delicate balance between privacy and security; therefore, imaging technology is optional for all passengers."  What sort of an option is it to be subjected to molestation because I do not wish to be exposed to potentially dangerous radiation and/or viewed in the nude.  This is madness.

How am I supposed to explain to my daughter that it is okay to allow strangers to look at her naked or touch her private parts?  This is absolutely unacceptable and I am disappointed in Southwest's reluctance to take a stand in these matters.

You write that TSA alone is responsible for these changes and I understand that.  However, Southwest has a stake in the outcome of TSA's actions.  I request that you take my concerns seriously and lobby the government to end TSA's outrageous infringements into my rights.  It is not enough to say that you have no responsibility for what is happening to your customers.  You will not have any more customers if things continue in this way.

Regards,
Emily
Those are good questions, Southwest. Do you have a good answer for her?