Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hassled in Tampa

Eric Johnson sent me the following email:

Hi - I am writing this from the Tampa Airport. Today at 3:30 pm I noticed some people were being directed through the metal detectors and some through millimeter wave. I asked if I could go through the metal detector. The TSA person immediately escalated and read me the "law" about refusing millimeter scanning at the top of his lungs. He then made me stand aside while my laptop, wallet, watch and luggage went to the other side of the belt. I waited 5 minutes and asked when I was going to be searched. They had no answer. Others were going through the metal detector at this time. Finally they took me to the other side and then "informed me" how intimate this search would be. I was then subjected to a very public, and very lengthy feeling over. Clearly this was all to make an example of me to the rest of the public that this is what happens to trouble makers. I'm 48 years old, bald and was wearing a corporate shirt from a trade show here in Tampa. I've been flying all over the world. This is the worst treatment I've ever experienced. It was rude, hostile and completely unwarranted for asking a simple question. I do not trust the millimeter scanners. I'm going to have to think through my need to travel by air if there truly is no option but to subject my body to untested waves or to be publicly humiliated as an American in a public airport. I'm so angry right now I had to find a place to vent. You came up first. I intend to give you money when I get home. Thank you for listenting and trying to protect our constitutional rights.