TSA Timeline for Jolley Family
On way to Grand Cayman, April 1, 2018
1. When we checked in at the Chicago O’Hare Airport American Airlines desk for our boarding passes we noted that we had the designation “SSSS” in the lower left and upper right corners of the passes for all 4 of us. I had gotten this before when travelling a few years ago and I informed everyone that we were going to be invasively searched physically and scanned multiple times through the electronic scanners. In order to prepare my children for the unpleasant experience I explained exactly what was going to happen:
a. We will be required to remove: belts, shoes, stuff from pockets
b. Have our cell phones possibly disassembled (removed from Otter type boxes)
c. We will have to walk through the “Walk Through” electronic scanner TWICE
d. We will have to go into the controversial full body scanner
e. Have our carry-on bags completely disassembled and exhaustively searched
f. Explained that they will tell you they are going to pat you down
2. We then went to the gate to board and TSA was checking all boarding passes against your ID. When we got onto the gangway to board the plane TSA was also there and I was singled out for another “Pat Down”. We all then boarded the plane and departed to DFW.
3. At DFW, when we were answering our boarding call, TSA members that were there said we had not been security scanned. We informed them that we were intensively scanned in Chicago and had not left the airport secure area (11 hour layover in Dallas from Chicago). TSA said we needed to be rescanned. When they took us to the Checkpoint I asked if this was going to be long because our plane was boarding and they said they were going to scan each one of us “One at a time” instead of together concurrently.
4. My wife asked TSA personnel why we weren’t told that we needed to be checked again, as we didn’t know. (We were all frazzled as they had been handling and treating us as if we were terrorists). He rudely told her “we don’t have to tell you anything.” There was a delay at the gate and boarding was halted and we had a chance to make the flight. When TSA completed and we were getting dressed, the boarding process re-commenced, while we listened to the final boarding call, we were taking our boarding passes as a TSA agent declared he needed to go through my son’s bag.
a. He went slowly through each item
b. He squeezed and fondled each item
c. He laid each item and pressed his hands against each item
d. He threw each completed item into a pile
e. He took a total of 20 minutes
5. After slowly taking out and unpacking Dominic’s bag the TSA guy said we could leave. “Don’t you have to put the stuff back in the bag?” my son asked the guy. The guy said “NO”. He didn’t and all of my son’s stuff was spread out in three bins. We had no time to put everything back in the bag. I asked the TSA personnel if we could just take the bins and have the guys at the gate bring them back. They told us no and we were forced to all carry Dominic’s stuff and our shoes in our arms and run to our plane.
6. We ran down the gate and were screamed at by a TSA lady with a bomb dog to not run next to the dog (They were standing right in the middle of the walkway). The doors were about to close but we made it just in time and the doors closed behind us. We carried random items of clothes in our arms, embarrassed as people sitting in their seats watch us find our own seats.
On way home (Grand Cayman airport)
1. We are checking in at the American Airlines desk to get our boarding passes the agent had difficulty checking us in. We had to wait 45 minutes while airport personnel guy had to call American Airlines to approve our flight.
2. Our boarding passes were scanned and my daughter and I were pulled out of line (My wife and son had no trouble at first). Cayman Security said to me and Hannah “Were you told about Homeland Securities issue with you guys?” (we were not aware). All four of us were taken out of line to detectors that were not being used. We all received full body pat downs and bag checks. It was a lot faster and smoother than in the U.S. with TSA.
3. As we were finding a spot to wait in the terminal for our flight, my daughter’s name was called over the PA. They wanted to check our checked bag (the reason they called her was because the bag was in her name). They took me into a room that had two other travelers and Cayman Security with our bag. They made my daughter, wife and son wait outside.
4. Nothing was wrong and we could wait for our flight to board. Our flight made it to our first connection in DFW.
In DFW: (Real nightmare begins)
1. After we landed in DFW the pilot announced that another plane was in our gate so we could not park and get off the plane. We had limited time to get to our connecting flight to Chicago.
a. As the people on our plane stood up to get their bags, our last name was called over the plane’s PA. They wanted my family to get off the plane first. We were happy because we thought they knew somehow that we needed to make our flight and were letting us leave ahead to make it on time.
b. As we were making our way out of the door of the plane, two armed Customs and Immigration personnel were waiting for us. They asked us to follow them.
i. We were escorted through a maze of corridors, around what seemed the whole airport, taking us to an office they said to check our passports.
ii. The armed guards took us through to a person to check our boarding pass.
iii. The armed guards took us to customs office and made us wait.
c. I was called into a private room and was courteously asked by the official: “why he had to get me?” I told him I didn’t know.
d. We chatted for about 20 minutes and he let us go.
e. We missed our connecting flight to Chicago. (First missed flight)
2. One armed guard escorted us to baggage claim and put our luggage into a scanner. He asked us if there were pots and pans in it. There were not.
3. We got our bag and were allowed to go to American Airlines help desk (without armed guard) to get a new flight.
Long story short, TSA made us miss our flights 6 times, kicked us out of the airport in the dead of night, and serially searched, groped, scanned and harassed us for a total of near 48 hours.
By: Gary Jolley
I’ve been to many airports and it’s always the same thing, ignorance everywhere. How hard is it to listen to instructions and comply? How is being rude and an ass in public socially acceptable and even encouraged?
By: Ray English
My 14 yo Korean daughter Flora was searched at PDX Airport last spring. She had some food in her carry on so they said they had to open the bag and check it which was fine. They checked the bag but said that we couldn’t keep the food, which was annoying but kind of expected. Then the TSA agent said she needed to go into the full body scanner. This was fine, and everything was going well until the agent said the machine had some suspicious spots showing up near her groin and legs. The agent said she thought it was the nylon leggings she was wearing but they would have to pat her down to make sure. The agent said they would pat her down right away but it took almost 20 minutes to get a female agent to initiate the pat down. Needless to say we were both getting pretty aggravated at this point. They wanted her to remove her leggings and socks for the search so they took her to a back room to pat her down. Of course, typical TSA wouldn’t let me come in to the room where they were searching her but Flora said that they made her take off her shirt as well as her leggings and socks. They also made her stand on her tip toes and stretch her arms in the air for an extended period of time. Also, to make matters worse, when we were finally done with that nightmare, the TSA agent confirmed that it was just the leggings that were causing the machine to go off. Long story short, she had to be nearly strip searched all because of the clothes she was wearing.
On June 15, 2017, three of us were traveling to Spain. We had to change planes in Newark. We were among the first to board (preboarding) because my husband is disabled with a shattered ankle and our granddaughter has juvenile arthritis affecting all of her joints. After showing our boarding passes and being told to enter the rather dark walkway, 2 tsa agents materialized and sprang into action. They demanded to know how much cash, cashier cheques, foreign currency, etc that we were carrying. Other passengers were entering the space behind us, and quite a crowd gathered to witness this. At first we said that we weren’t sure, because we did not want to broadcast it and because of not knowing offhand the current conversion rate and how much USD we had after a last minute shopping spree, and not knowing what our granddaughter was carrying. The female agent got red in the face and yelled that we were lying. My husband said we had a few hundred and she yelled that a few hundred could mean anything. Meanwhile we were standing there juggling carryons, neck pillows, purses, and snacks, nowhere to sit nor set anything. Our teenage granddaughter was terrified and shakily said that she had $5.00. We said we had about $300.00. The agent who had been holding our passports then thrusted her arm past me, almost knocking me over, and slapped them into our disabled granddaughter’s hand. I have filed a formal complaint but of course we are not given any followup information.
By: Susan Sullivan
Just went through security at LGA in NY. As usual, a terrible experiance. While I was waiting to be felt up by an power-hungry cop flunk-out, a really beautiful european women went by me and into the ‘dignity viewer’. With the skin tight chlothes and the position they forced her to take in the machine, she couldnt have hidden a stick of gum from it, them, or anyone else seeing the event anywhere on her body.
They said something oh her all cotton and spandex chlothes buzzed and a TSA aget pulled her from te machine and a women started to push her hands down this girls pants. The european girl pulled out the front of her pants totally confused and both the women and man had a look. Then the women spun the girl around checking her pants out from the inside.
Afterthat, they brought me over for my physical and her at the same time. The troglodyte doing her groping just didnt seem to understand this girl didnt speak a lick of english. So she just said it really loud and kept pushing the girl away from her belongings. My pull-n-polish was done so I gathered my things and left.
That poor girl had no idea what was happening and looked so confused. Couldnt speak or understand any english. Had a bunch of wanna-be-cops looking down her pants in public. And im sure became the new spank-bank deposit for the TSA agents involved. To her I say, welcome to America. I hope your stay is in the southern states….
By: John Doe
Bad news guys/gals, TSA has begun excessive “random” Supplemental Screening. The clues: 1) can’t get a boarding pass online 2) go to the airport Kiosk and says you must go to the airline counter. Then look for the following: 1) if you see “SSSS” on your boarding pass you are about to have TSA induced fun/panic depending on your disposition 2) if you see “TSA Precheck” you have the golden ticket to not remove your shoes, but don’t worry they can still opt for a scan and patdown, and they do, been there. They seem to pick one man and one woman, probably based on your seat number. Note to TSA Personnel: get some empathy for real people you are impacting or get another job. One “patdown agent” was very friendly, kept it light-hearted, KUDOS! Another in Seattle/Tacoma, kept on repositioning for the search, not enough room, no empathy, a lovely groin-grabber with the back of his hand, left me with disgust for a certain race, luckily had great/friendly airplane service on Alaska from the same race, saved me from bigotry – thank you. What you do and how you do it makes all the difference. We all need safe travel, we don’t need excessive/intrusive patdowns. Gentlemen/Ladies of the TSA – have a POSITIVE IMPACT, you can do it!
By: Kyle Evans
I have endured:
Attempted theft of jewelry
Attempted theft of license
Attempted framing of weapon in carry on
Denver International Airport – I have traveled through there many times with no issues, but today (6/22/17) I was taken aside because something was detected on my pants. I was told that I would be patted down and was given a thorough search. Definitely one of the most humiliating experiences in my life as I was rubbed and patted all over my body with a special emphasis on my privates and rear end. As I looked around I felt like I was a criminal or traveling in foreign country. The ordeal was unnecessary and in the end I was told that TSA didn’t find anything. I wish someone could’ve videoed the incident. If my wife or children had been subject to the same search, I may have lost it. Seems like overkill and to top it off, the TSA employee was a bit weird.
By: Bob Gallagher
I am very religious and I believe in no sex before marriage. I am also an engineer, Ph.D. student, and have never been in trouble with the law.
I entered the scanner at the Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport, and a yellow box showed up right under my collarbone, but NOT on my breasts. The guard warned that she would “check me”, but I was not concerned because the box was not in a private place.
The next thing I knew, her hands were all over my breasts, groping and squeezing and she left no area untouched. I have never been touched that way, not even by a man. I felt raped and unpure. For thirty years, I remained pure only to be sexually assaulted by a guard for no reason.
Was pulled aside at the Portland Maine airport because my purse had “too many clumping coins” (their words) in my COINpurse in the bottom of my regular purse. It was $4.67. The male screener demanded to know why so many coins? I told him my teen daughter and I had done laundry halfway thru our week long trip. He spent the next 10 mins. lecturing me on how to “properly pack” and then he swabbed the entire contents of my purse. At the time, I didn’t know that the female TSA screener at the nude-o-scan machine had told my 15-yr-old daughter she either had to go into the nude-o-scanner or be subjected to a thorough and invasive pat-down. My daughter had a maxi-pad in her pocket (need I explain further?) and the female screener demanded that my daughter hold up the maxi pad above her head in the machine, thoroughly embarrassing my teen daughter. The female screener never came to get me (the mother) and tell me any of this was going on (I was stuck in another area with the Coin Czar), and after the scanning, the female screener then went ahead and touched my daughter’s shoulders with the back of her hand, citing the excuse “we may have seen something on the monitor), um, yes, it’s called a bra and a tshirt, you moron. My daughter told me what happened, and I calmly approached the female screener and asked her why it’s necessary to look at he naked body of a teen girl on her period, and the screener practically screamed at me, “Because we CAN, that’s why”. I’ve written a complaint to the TSA and received a very canned reply of “sorry for your experience”. Okay, well, I Guess as long as it’s TSA screeners looking at a teen girls’ naked body and then touching her, that makes it all okay. They can all kiss off in my opinion. Give someone a badge and a $10 an hour job and they think they’re hot crap.