Saturday, November 13, 2010

I won't be felt-up again, Jet Blue!

Toni Litsinger writes Jet Blue's CEO regarding her humiliating experience visiting her mother:

Antonia Litsinger

November 9, 2010

Mr. David J. Barger
President, CEO
JetBlue Airlines
118-29 Queens Boulevard
Forest Hills, NY 11375

Dear Mr. Barger:

I am writing to you to let you know that JetBlue was always my first choice for airlines.

I say “was” because I’m not longer willing to fly – neither on your airline nor any other.

The reason for this decision is that I was “groped” by one of the TSA agents in Long Beach airport while catching a flight back home to see my mother on the occasion of her 90th birthday. A St. Christopher- type medal that my mother gave me had inadvertently fallen out of my wallet which was in my pocket. A simple scan with a wand-type metal detector would have found, and did eventually find, the culprit medal that set off the alarm. Instead, I was pulled aside, in full view of other passengers and patted down like a common criminal. The groping did not find it – she finally ran the wand over me and we found it in a fold of my pocket. Although they used the “back of the hand” method at that time, I understand that now I am either going to have to go through a naked scanner or be forced to submit to a more brutal form of search at the hands of the TSA, regardless of whether or not something sets off the metal detector. That one experience told me that I would rather not subject myself to that more enhanced type of abuse.

I am seriously concerned about my Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. You have your Customer Bill of Rights posted prominently on your website. Why is it silent about your customers having the right NOT to be treated like a criminal and having to undergo the type of humiliation of either (a) being ogled by some unseen government agent or (b) being humiliated by TSA agents yelling “OPT OUT!! OPT OUT!! WE HAVE AN OPT OUT HERE”, only to be then be groped by another government agent, including breasts and genitals, in full view of other passengers? This smacks of what many people went through in pre-war Germany.

I had signed up as a member of your True Blue club. Please take my name off your rolls. I’ll not need it anymore. When the airlines start to stand up for their customers, only then will I resume flying again.

The airline industry’s voice to the government is much larger than mine could ever be, and so far the silence is deafening as far as so-called Customer Rights. Until the airlines start to voice their customers’ concerns, you’ll not catch me in another airport.

You see, my mother passed away since the time of this incident, therefore, I have no reason to be on another plane to fly anywhere. Unless, of course, you and the other airlines stand together against the TSA and HSA, and guarantee your passengers the right not to be subject to electronic strip searches and intrusive body patdowns without a shred of evidence to justify them. Only then will I consider flying on your airplanes again.

Antonia Litsinger
True Blue #3022730040