Radio host says TSA agents inappropriately touched, embarrassed her
Updated On: Aug 02 2013 01:50:06 PM EDT
A popular local radio host says a recent security screening at Orlando International Airport left her feeling humiliated because she is confined to a wheelchair.
Real Radio 104.1 FM's "Jana Banana" said she was touched inappropriately by TSA agents and it isn't the first time she's had problems at the airport.
A picture posted on her public Facebook profile shows her seemingly distraught after the screening, with an explanation saying, "I was detained, interrogated and molested by 6 TSA agents and 3 bomb explosive experts for over and hour...I've never felt so humiliated."
Her fellow radio hosts talked about her experience during the "Philips Phile" afternoon drive show.
"The more it went on, the more upset she got," said Jim Philips during the show. "You could see her in emotional distress, and who wouldn't be."
Her husband told Local 6 by phone Thursday evening it happens every time she flies. Because she can't walk through the body scanner or metal detector, TSA policy dictates she must get a pat-down, that she claims was uncomfortable.
"The TSA agent touched her, only where her husband and her doctor do," said Jack Bradshaw, another personality on the radio show.
Hundreds of comments on her Facebook page expressed outrage over the situation and TSA's policies regarding people in wheelchairs. There are several videos on Youtube of people in wheelchairs, in similar situations, and also upset by security screens. Her fans hope policies change.
"I don't understand an hour. I don't understand why it would take anybody more than a few minutes to determine, 'Ok, thank you. We're sorry for the inconvenience,'" said Philips on Thursday's show.
After the security screening was over, she said she missed her flight.
A TSA spokesperson said both Jana and her wheelchair set off an alarm, explosives experts were called in, and she was screened in a private room with the door closed.
The spokesperson went on to say her screening did not take over an hour. Rather, from the time she stepped into line, to when she left the screening, it was less then 40 minutes.
TSA said they are willing to speak with Jana to resolve the issue and said in the future, she and any other passengers in wheelchairs can ask for a "Passenger Screening Specialist," who can help guide them through the process, or call the TSA Cares hotline before getting into the security line.
TSA continued, saying there was no improper contact.
"The patdown was done professionally and properly and was necessary in order to screen the passenger and resolve multiple alarms on both her person and wheelchair," said Sari Koshetz, TSA Spokeperson.