TSA Ruins Vacation

April 7, 2009

in Airport Stories

My wife and I just returned from vacation. All was good except for our experience with the TSA going and coming. At the airport before we departed, my wife was forced to undergo a complete pat-down. She had surgical metal throughout her body along with a morphine pump. The scars were there. Why was she patted down if the TSA attendant could see them. She was forced to stand up from her wheelchair and stand in several positions. After about 15 minutes of this stupidity, she was in intense pain and crying. I finally called for a supervisor and got clearance to pass through. There was no excuse for this even with a new employee.

All went well on the return trip at security but when we got home, I noticed one piece of baggage was without a lock. When I opened the suitcase, it was in total disarray. The first thing I saw was the “Notice Of Baggage Inspection” slip the TSA left us–I was surprised they had the nerve to put it there. There was a hand mirror that had been wrapped in a towel and sealed in a baggie that was now loose and broken. There were chards of glass all in the suitcase. My digital camera was out of its case. A bottle of cough syrup was removed from the zip-lock bag it was in, the lid was loose and red cough syrup spilled throughout the suit case. Several pieces of clothing were ruined including an expensive dress of my wife. She also noticed some of her clothing was missing.

These people ruined what should have been a great vacation. This kind of behavior is totally bullish and vandalistic. They must hire uneducated animals. If I knew I could get away with it, I’d file a lawsuit against them, except the TSA is untouchable. I find their actions completely abominable and out of line. I no longer fear the terrorists as much as the TSA. This certainly makes a person want to give up flying.

I did complain many times only to get a canned response each time about how they were making it safer for Americans to travel by air. HA !!

Signed, Greg W.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Nacho April 17, 2009 at 5:11 am

Did you have a lock on the suitcase before it was returned to you? If so, that REALLY sucks. I don't trust the TSA for anything. And screw the "TSA-approved" locks — if they're patient enough to even use the keys to open them, you still run the risk of theft. I always keep a list in my suitcase and my pocket of whatever's in my suitcases, that way, if anything is missing, I can berate the TSA.


Onslow April 17, 2009 at 8:50 am

Baggage thefts need to be addressed by the TSA and also the airlines.


MJ April 18, 2009 at 6:41 am

Um, you're surprised they had the "nerve" to leave a "Notice Of Baggage Inspection?" They're legally required to leave that notice. Don't be stupid.

It sucks that your things were ruined, and TSA is definitely negligent on a regular basis.


Jen April 19, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Always take your digital camera and any meds as Carry-On.


Anonymous April 20, 2009 at 9:32 am

Can't take cough syrup (liquid) as a carryon.

The only thing I've ever had stolen was shampoo and conditioner, but if I have anything expensive I try to take it carryon. 😐


Nate April 21, 2009 at 9:59 am

Something you all have to know about most employees at major airports,exspecially TSA and the baggage handlers; is that they are all highschool drop outs and thugs from the streets that don't give a rats ass about anyone. I work for an airline company in Atlanta and I see the idiots do it everyday. They don't care about your personal belongings as long as they are getting paid; and the Airlines know your not going to spend the time fighting them over it to get composated.


Chris April 21, 2009 at 10:42 am

"I no longer fear the terrorists as much as the TSA."

While I agree that the state of your baggage is unacceptable, I've never heard of someone claiming that a little broken glass and some clothes ruined by cough syrup should be feared more than men who will fly aircraft into buildings, killing thousands of people. Perhaps Bin Ladens next attack will be to invade a clothing factory and spill NyQuil all over the newly manufactured clothes!


Kara April 21, 2009 at 2:55 pm

This is such an unfortunate story! My grandmother, who is now 92, recalls how when you used to fly, it was enjoyable and you were treated "like royalty"! Now a days, we're all just cattle being herded through. I hate to hear that your wife had to endure what she did. It's stories like this that convince me to never fly again. When I have flown in the past, I would carry anything I didn't want to lose on my carry on and all the "expendables" went into a suitcase.


Hugh May 18, 2009 at 7:22 am

I think the worst thing about flying is the TSA. these are basically people underqualified to work at McDonalds. After 9/11 they were made federal employees and became "professionals" They are stupid, illiterate thugs. They need to go, and security must be re-evaluated from the ground up.


MW July 14, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Hey, Kara, did old Meemaw have to walk to school in the snow, and both way were uphill?

No one cares about how 'she was treated like royalty' because royalty was something completely different back then.


mags July 22, 2009 at 11:00 pm

I got stuck going through 'Da GALL' in Paris. I'd recently had surgery and was in a wheelchair, I'd brought all my medical records and the damned x-ray showing all the metal in my leg – they forced me to get out of the wheelchair to walk through a metal detector but wouldn't let me lean on anything to get there or through – I wasn't allowed, or even able, to put any weight on my injured leg.

Big baby that I was, I started crying from the pain which was a cue for TSA to force me into a small curtained enclosure to be body searched!

I was supposed to be escorted but my 'attendant' parked me and forgot about me, I missed my connecting flight to NYC – the unmitigated GALL!

What total bastards, I'll never go through DA GALL again!


madachode September 3, 2009 at 7:55 am

What is with all of you idiots trying to travel while in a wheelchair, just had surgery, and have morphine pumps? You moronic fools make travel harder for people that can move around on their own, do us a favor and kill yourself.


Patty November 3, 2009 at 8:28 am

In answer to your question, madachode, this moron has metal in her spine that cannot be removed. This causes me great pain, as well as other people with metal in their bodies who have had surgery. This is called 'chronic pain.' One way to treat 'chronic pain' (that means ALL THE TIME PAIN) is to have a morphine pump implanted in order to control their pain and live a somewhat fulfilling life. I am not a moron, the man who ran a red light whilst drinking Jim Beam is the moron.

I'd go and 'do you a favor' and 'kill myself' but I'm busy doing my best to enjoy the life that I do experience, with my husband and other loved ones, and that includes traveling, as my entire family lives across the Atlantic.

Also please consider that many times, people travel specifically to have surgery with a certain specialized surgeon that is not available in his or her area.


rt June 28, 2010 at 6:31 pm

madachode= uneducated moron


Mimi May 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Well, there must be some honest suitcase examiners in France, because we flew back yesterday with my husband's Canon in a checked bag with a broken lock and we still have the camera. In the US, you get potluck, some of the TSA workers are cordial and helpful, others are surly.


Desmond Jones November 4, 2016 at 1:12 pm

I definitely only bring carry-on luggage these days. It is pretty annoying to do so, especially for longer trips. but I am afraid to risk this exact thing!


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