March 6, 2016 between 10 pm. and 12 am. I was harassed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport by TSA employees trying to steal my money. I had come from Atlanta (DL1107) and stopped at the Delta counter S-1 to make some inquires. When I was leaving the security area, I noticed I had forgotten my passport at the counter, but I could not go back since a airport security guard did not allow me to do so, guiding me to the entrance. After some difficulties, I got a security checkpoint clearance card and as I was standing in line, I heard a TSA employee say that people were not supposed to leave even papers in their pockets. I found it very strange but took some precautions anyway: I put my 1,000 Canadian and 800 US cash wrapped in a paper inside a wallet, the wallet inside a pouch, the pouch inside the zipped internal part of my purse since i had heard many stories about people being stolen by TSA employees. After around 30 minutes, I was cleared by the body screen machine but obviously my purse and Mac laptop were not. A TSA employee told me the x ray machine had detected traces of explosives inside my purse. I though it be impossible because I had never left the airport and had been cleared at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. They patted me down twice (in private, an odd woman insisted touching improperly the private parts between my legs). They screened my things twice until a TSA officer (they told me he was a explosive specialist) said he was going to scan my things again and walked toward a non functioning x ray machine (It was off probably because the time). He put the tray where I could not see my things but I could see that, in a hurry, he was searching inside my purse. Fortunately because I was very concerned with my things, I started to walk toward him when he came back, and told me I was free to go. Nevertheless I noticed that the pouch with my money was loosed on the tray, and immediately solved to check my things out before leaving the area. I remember that I thought everything so surreal because the explosive specialist had a horrible appearance (long curly black hair and make up) and both women who patted me down looked like men. I lost about two hours at the security checkpoint, but now I wonder what would happen if I had a fly to get, or even if I did not know that TSA employees are not police as their uniform may appear to people coming from another countries, such as Japan for example. One of the several TSA employees who was trying to converse amicably (maybe trying to distract me) thought I was from Japan (I look Asian but I was born in Brazil). In my opinion, they aim at a foreign people who barely speak English (probably will not complain), preferable in middle or old age also.
By: Sonia Takeda