After the latest press release from TSA and various newspapers and union announcements I attempted to get to work again today. I arrived at Fort Lauderdale Terminal One security check point approximately 1630. I had hopes of taking my commuter flight to EWR [Newark] to operate a [Boeing] 777 non-stop to PEK [Beijing] tomorrow. As I passed through the metal detector my artificial hip alarmed as usual. I asked for female assist and was taken over to the glass cubicle. I sat in the chair and lifted my foot to get wanded. I was told TSA still was not using the wands anymore and that she was going to touch my breast and pelvic area and butt. I asked her what had changed then and she said that they weren’t running their hands up pilots thighs to the crotch anymore. That was repeated by the supervisor there as well. He also asked if I had seen MIT’s report on the body scanner. TSA swabbed my hands and all of my things [to test for explosive residue] before I could be escorted out of security. This time they gave me my shoes. It is unbelievable that after 37 years in the airline industry I am treated like a criminal because I have an artificial hip. Our union was quick to claim a crucial role in their Nov. 19th update for these latest developments with new screening practices. Yet any pilot with an artificial joint, metal screws or any of our returning vets with metal in their body are being treated like criminals. All I wanted to do was go to work and TSA prevented that. I have lost a month’s earnings because I am not willing to give up my civil liberties and be sexually molested going through security.
On a positive note, here’s an easy fix. For secondary screening TSA could go back to wanding to isolate alarming area for a local pat down not a full body assault.
No man, woman or child should be intimidated or sexually molested by TSA to get on an airplane.
Safety is of prime concern and every pilot’s number one priority. The body scanners and aggressive assaults are not making air travel safer! People, wake up! The most effective method as offered by many experts would be the use of intelligence , behavioral tracking and questioning that is used in other parts of the world so effectively. I was flying on 9/11 and not quite halfway across the Atlantic coming home. We had to turn around and the Captain made a heart wrenching PA telling the PAX what had happened in New York. He then asked everyone to introduce themselves to the person next to them and get to know them. We had three pilots and we secured the cockpit door and I walked through the aircraft making eye contact with everyone on board. That contact with each passenger is what the Israeli’s do so well and why they excel in air transportation security. Our airport security seems to be based on spending big money on body scanners lobbied for by… ? A metal detector and an explosive sniffing K-9 unit at the security check point would be much more effective. Or the explosive-detecting sniffer machines they had for awhile. It seems that the big money invested in the body scanners and greed are bigger factors than safety and Americans’ civil liberties.