A US mother says her family were “treated like dogs” and “deliberately” kept from their flight by Dallas Fort Worth International Airport security, who carried out a pat down screening on her child.
Jennifer Williamson’s angry Facebook post said her family had “been through hell” after her son Aaron – who suffers from a neurological disorder – was pulled aside by agents from the Transportation Security Administration and subjected to a security screening.
TravelWireNews Chatroom for Readers (join us)
Williamson said TSA agents delayed the boy for over an hour, thus missing their flight and being re-routed.
“We have been through hell this morning. They detained Aaron for well over an hour at DFW,” she posted. “We were treated like dogs because I requested they attempt to screen him in other ways per TSA rules. He has SPD and I didn’t want my child given a pat down like this.”
“Let me make something else crystal clear. He set off NO alarms. He physically did not alarm at all during screening, he passed through the detector just fine… I am livid.”
Williamson added: “Somehow these power tripping TSA agents who are traumatizing children and doing whatever they feel like without any cause, need to be reined in.”
Footage of the pat down has been viewed more than 4.9 million times. Reaction online is weighted towards the mother’s outrage, describing it as “shocking” and “disgusting” while others are less-inclined to sympathize.
A TSA statement claims that the family were kept at security for 45 minutes, with the pat down lasting for around two minutes. “All approved procedures” were followed, the TSA said, adding that the agent was working “to resolve an alarm of the passenger’s laptop.”
“The video shows a male TSA officer explaining the procedure to the passenger, who fully cooperates,” a statement to Dallas News read. “Afterward, the TSA officer was instructed by his supervisor, who was observing, to complete the final step of the screening process.”
Last year, TSA officers screened 738,318,264 passengers, more than 2 million per day, across US airports.
In addition to passenger screening, 466 million pieces of luggage were also checked by security agents.