A new take on courtesy, dignity and respect from the TSA


My Monday morning was, all things considered, a pretty good one. Sure, I was in coach for the LAX-EWR redeye, but I made it into the lounge around 7am, took a shower and sat by the window for about three hours, getting some work done while watching the planes come and go and the sun rise over New York City. Really not so bad at all. Alas, all good things must end and I had to head to the train and make it back home and then into the office for the afternoon. Call it a case of fortuitous timing, because I had the displeasure of watching a passenger get pants’d by the TSA.

Yes, the agency that maintains as a primary treating "all passengers with courtesy, dignity, and respect during the security screening processes" was, in fact, reaching down some guys pants out in the middle of the airport.

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I was dumbfounded. I still am, quite frankly.

I’m betting there was a language barrier at play. That’s certainly not an excuse, but it might at least provide some semblance of an explanation for the absolutely ridiculous scene I witnessed.

Thank you, TSA, for reminding the public that you really are a bunch of idiots with no idea about how to serve your primary mission so instead you randomly molest passengers. I guess this was just an early Valentine’s day groping for this passenger, huh?

Stay classy, scumbags.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .

22 Comments

  1. “Scumbag” seems a bit harsh. I doubt the TSA guy really relishes this part of his job.

  2. Why did he not request a private screening?

    I’ve gone through the screening process (did it for a week of travels) and it was actually not as bad as I thought and I passed through major hubs as well as smaller cities.

    This crew is obviously not with it and need some re-training, geez…

    I’m unsure why his pants buckle/front was open though?

    You should share this with the guy in charge of the TSA.

  3. It seems from the second photo that the guy may have been wearing multiple pairs of pants (looks like khakis/chinos under the jeans). If so, I could see why it would make TSA suspicious and warrant a more thorough search, including a pat down underneath the outer pair of pants (but outside the inner pair of pants). It would also make the assertion that TSA was “reaching down some guy’s pants” a bit of an overstatement.

  4. You idiots, the agent is holding the guys pants up so they don’t fall down from having the belt removed. Open your eyes and brain before your mouth for a change.

    1. I was there and I watched it happen live. The agents were all up in the guy’s pants.

      Plus the agents would have had to undo the guy’s belt to cause that to happen. I am going to bet heavily against the situation having been that the guy was bored so he decided to drop his pants in the middle of the screening process

  5. It still looks to me like he was wearing multiple pairs of pants. In that case, it’s really no different than having someone remove a bulky sweater or other piece of outer clothing.

  6. “Scumbag” is right on the mark. Odds are it’s a tad too intellectual for one of TSA’s perverts to understand.

  7. Seth, as you were dumbfounded, and you watched it happen live … did you say anything? Or simply took a couple of pictures and walked away?

  8. @boberonicus – if the blue-shirted scumbag hates his job, he can get another one if he has any skills at all outside of “groping people for money.” Or do you think he’s only there to see what he can steal?

  9. Seth I was there to. Not 10 feet from the guy putting on my shoes. You do not, like all the rest of the TSA bashers, ever tell the whole truth about people because first, it would not help them with their paranoid rantings Second, the gentleman was mentally impaired and the TSA agent was doing his best to keep the guys pants up while the dude just stood there without communicating anything..the TSA agent did the best and was as resepctful as you could be when dealing with a mentally impaired/disabled customer….

    1. Unfortunately, JMcCoy, I’ve learned that interfering with the screening process is a crime and I’m not in a position to find myself in jail because the TSA does things like this. I wish I were, but I’m not. So I publicize their incompetence as much as I possibly can in hopes that the rest of the country will realize that the security we’re paying for in the billions is a sham.

      Simmons, I’m glad to hear another opinion of the situation. I was under the impression that there was a communications issue at play and your comments reinforce that. And I was not close enough to evaluate the mental abilities of the passenger but I’ll take your word for it. That makes the situation all that much more unfortunate. If the guy really is mentally impaired then there is absolutely no reason that the screening should have taken place in public. And I also don’t believe they should have had any reason to be digging around in his pants; why else was the belt unfastened?!?

      If the guy was just having some fun and dropped trou then that’s his prerogative. But I’m quite certain that wasn’t the case here. It is an abomination that people are treated like criminals so often and even worse when the people imposing that treatment have no sensitivity to the other issues that are at play.

  10. @Simmons – The TSA screener may be holding up the passenger’s pants in a respectful manner, but you still haven’t explained why the TSA screener felt it necessary to pull down the passenger’s pants in the first place.

  11. Simmons, et. al. “paranoid rantings” ?

    If I wanted to be a paranoid ranter, I would “rant” that there are millions of losers who defend the TSA’s illegal and abusive tactics – why, I even heard of one who thought the United States is defending liberty by physically exploring the genital and near-genital areas of mentally impaired people in its country.

    What’s next – feeling the crotch area of a terminally ill, dying 95-year old cancer victim on her last flight ever? And needing to have a “Depends” diaper removed so the crotch area can be ‘cleared’?

    But wait…that is all true. I have to work harder to rant.

    I encourage all who actually care for details on WHY many of us think this is ILLEGAL and WHY we feel there is no justifiable “SECURITY RISK” to put up with government clerks looking at low-quality pornography, fondling our and our children’s private parts, or performing inch-by-inch searches of our persons without even a reasonable suspicion (as in, police CAN’T do these searches legally), to download the INFORMATION KIT at http://fttusa.org .

    SETH – keep up the good work. Every indignity inflicted on fellow citizens to make gutless people feel safer just demeans the true ideals of our country.

  12. @THank996-
    The agent pulled the passengers pants down because he had to pat down the passengers SECOND pair of pants. Which in itself raises a red flag in any security situation.

    @IDontFlyAnymore-
    Do you realize how ignorant you sound? You make “getting a new job” sound so easy in this economy. Believe me, TSA agents despise doing pat downs, but it needs to be done. Not in an obscene way, granted.

    @All the whiners-
    You people bitch and moan about the TSA, but if God forbid somebody gets through security (like the foiled shoe bomber or underwear bomber) and causes harm, you’re the first people to bitch and moan that they didn’t do their job. Good Lord! I also find it ironic that somebody who calls another person a “scumbag” for doing his job, is talking about staying “classy”.

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