The TSA stands for Transportation Security Administration, and that title may seem normal and tame, but it can be anything but. Sure, there are probably encounters with the TSA that are friendly but those are few and far between. Or, at least those are not the ones that are reported.
When most people think of the TSA, they think of inappropriate encounters and a whole bunch of tension and fear when flying. We understand the premise, that they need to make sure that the flight is safe but their methods are a little controversial.
What is even more baffling, is that they seem to be untouchable. They appear to be able to get away with anything and frankly, the world has had enough. There are 15 things that the TSA does that are completely inappropriate, but they seem to get away with too much.
15 They Perform Uncomfortable Checks
TSA agents are there to do a job, and they see it that way. They don't really care about an individual's past. One woman who was a previous victim was uncomfortable being checked when she was going through security.
She refused to go through the full-body scanner, and was therefore searched by hand, which left her feeling very vulnerable as she could not explain why she was uncomfortable in the first place.
14 Their Lawyers Are So Good, They're Untouchable
The TSA has a bunch of lawyers who can make a lot of problems seem to disappear. In 2008, a woman was pulled aside or an "extended search procedure."
The TSA agent decided, as part of this search, was to pull the woman's blouse all the way down and expose her to everyone who was standing around.
13 Random Selection Does Happen
We always hear about how random selection happens, but what we don't know is that it happens much more than we realize.
One flier was 'randomly selected' to go through the full-body scanner when she declined she was questioned more and was subject of a very enhanced full-body pat-down. Apparently, she had her ticket torn up and was restrained to a chair.
12 To Scan, Or Not To Scan?
Since the only job of a TSA agent is to ensure the safety of all those who are flying and to weed out the ones who may intend to cause harm, this means a lot of the entries are going to be around scans.
One gentleman had to undergo a pat-down, and the TSA agent got a little too friendly while he was patting down the man. He seemed to pause at a certain body part.
11 It Makes Sense To Pat-Down A 3-Year-Old
What can become even more shocking is when the pat-downs involve young children. It seems ridiculous to think that a young child would be any harm to anyone.
A three-year-old was subject to a full-body pat-down while she was in the arms of her mother. She was kicking, screaming and crying in what was obviously a very terrifying situation.
10 Do You Really Think A Bomb Is In There?
One mother was traveling alone with her baby boy when it was her turn to go through security. She was warned that they were going to be checking for bombs in the waistbands of people's pants.
What she didn't expect was that the TSA agents were going to check every inch (and we mean every inch) of her body to make sure that she did not have a super small bomb hiding somewhere.
9 Judged On What You Wear To The Airport
Apparently, they are also allowed to search you more intimately based on the kind of clothes you are wearing.
A lot of people travel wearing comfy clothes, that means they are usually baggy and loose-fitting. TSA agents tend to search more intensely if you are wearing loose-fitting clothes because they figure it is easier to hide explosive devices underneath.
8 She Got Some Serious Air-Time
There have been a few instances where people have had to deal with some violence at the hands of the TSA.
One woman was being searched, and she volunteered to lift up her skirt to show the agent she was not wearing anything strapped to her legs. However, that was not good enough. The TSA agent continued his search and was so rough that he actually lifted her up off the ground.
7 You Can Sue Them, But Does That Mean You Are Right?
There are times when the violence goes beyond just lifting someone up off the ground. This next one was probably one of the most violent treatments ever.
A woman was violently assaulted by the TSA guards. She was pulled aside originally because she was carrying too much contact lens solution. There was video of the incident, and after review, it was still unclear what she had done to deserve such treatment.
6 The Tighter The Clothes The Better
It is such a great piece of advice. Whenever traveling through the airport, wear clothes that are tight. Even if it is uncomfortable, it may save you some trouble from the TSA.
There was another incident of a man being roughly patted down because he was wearing sweat pants. This happens often when wearing baggy clothes, so it is clear they are able to use this as an excuse.
5 Confiscating A Cultural Item Is Not OK, And Yet...
There is a list of things that the TSA is allowed to confiscate from a passenger. Items that are not allowed to go on the plane will be taken and destroyed.
However, there are certain things that they can not take away from you but that doesn't mean that they won't. Cultural and religious objects are not allowed to be removed from a flier, but they occasionally are.
4 Really Inappropriate Jokes
Since safety in the air and at the airport is so important, it should always be a red flag if the TSA makes jokes about your safety. They aren't known for their comedic relief, so they aren't normally making jokes.
It is inappropriate to make jokes about safety in an airport, and while they may do it, they should be reported if they do it.
3 Asking You To Take Your Shoes Off (There Is A Condition)
Now, it is common that you need to take your shoes off when going through security, however, there are certain times when you don't need to.
A lot of airlines and airports have packages that people can pay for so that they don't need to take off their shoes. If you have this package, you do not need to remove your shoes and it is inappropriate for them to ask you too.
2 Where Are My Things?
Everything that you own and want to carry on a plane will need to be checked at the security checkpoint.
Everything from carry-on luggage, belts, and laptops will be checked over by hand and through a scanner. However, it should be returned to you at the end. There is no reason why your items should not be returned to you.
1 A Pat Down With The Palms? Not Ok!
There are certain protocols when it comes to how you are pat-down. Pat-downs by staff should always be with either two fingers, or with the back of their hands. It is inappropriate to be pat-down any other way.
It is also not OK for you to be pat-down by someone of the opposite sex than you.
References: ranker.com, thetravel.com