Jennifer Winning of Denver, Colorado frequently makes the commute from home to Rock Springs, Wyoming. She usually flies and the trip is not typically eventful. On January 29th when she left to catch her flight home from the small airport in Rock Springs she encountered a problem. She was not allowed to board the plane by TSA agents.
Winning comments on the experience:
“They wouldn`t let me get on the plane because I`m female,”
“They asked if I was on the flight to Denver, I said yes, they said that they couldn`t screen me because they sent all the female TSA agents home,”
Apparently what happened was that all the female TSA agents had already been sent home and according to new regulations, a male is not authorized to pat-down a female traveler. Winning also asked if she could sign a waiver and have a male agent screen her, but her request was denied. She was turned away and had to rent a car and make the 350 mile drive home to Denver.
FOX 31 in Denver received this message regarding the incident from the TSA:
“In small airports, TSA works closely with the airlines and airport to keep the security checkpoints open to ensure that all passengers are screened appropriately.
Once TSA is informed by the airline that our screening services are no longer needed, the security checkpoint is closed. In this instance, SkyWest made final boarding announcements and notified TSA that no additional passengers would be accepted.
In addition, a TSA officer also made two public announcements asking any remaining passengers to report to the security checkpoint for screening."
Here's what some folks on Twitter had to say about it:
The Lesson of the Woman Prevented by the TSA from Flying to Denver: RUSH: All she wants to do is get on a airp... bit.ly/y66Gcn
— Rush Limbaugh (@rushlimbaugh) February 10, 2012
— TradiCatholic (@TradiCatholic) February 10, 2012
The incompetence of our federal government is truly astounding.Their idiocy knows no bounds... fb.me/1B3Gi6sGw
— Phred Barnet (@Americanly) February 10, 2012
— June Pfaff Sigler (@Junemarie424) February 10, 2012
I do not enjoy strange TSA agents touch my body for no reason. It is gross. Disgusting. Read the 4th amendment. They violate the law daily
— Ronald Lewis (@RonaldLewis) February 8, 2012
This isn't the first time that the TSA has gotten bad press in the last few weeks. At the beginning of the month, A TSA agent was suspended for stealing $5000 in cash from a Bangladeshi passenger at JFK in New York.