TSA 'Apologizes' to Breastfeeding Mom

Of course you remember Stacey Armato, the breastfeeding mom targeted by the TSA who detained her for almost an hour just because she didn't want her breast milk to go through the radiation of the x-ray machine. Well the TSA is talking now, and while it's great they have something to say about it, their public so-called apology has just made people more angry.

Including me. Here is the statement straight from the TSA's "Blogger Bob" ....


Nearly a year ago, a passenger going through airport screening on two separate occasions requested that her breast milk be visually inspected and not screened by the X-ray machine. She filed a complaint with TSA regarding her screening experience. TSA investigated the matter and sent a letter of apology to the passenger in March of this year. The passenger has flown since these events occurred and has provided TSA a written confirmation that she no longer experiences issues.

After the investigation, the officers received refresher training for the visual inspection of breast milk (an infrequently requested procedure). I’d like to reassure readers that while our top priority is to prevent a terrorist attack and to ensure that your family, friends and loved ones arrive safely at their destinations, we also strive to provide the highest level of customer service to all who pass through our security checkpoints. Our policies and procedures focus on ensuring that all passengers are treated with dignity, respect, and courtesy. We go to great lengths to train our security officers in the proper way to inspect individuals and their personal items.

We extend our sincere apologies to any passenger who may have experienced discomfort and inconvenience during the screening process. We appreciate hearing from passengers and encourage you to share your experiences with us. Although the proper screening procedures were followed at the time, we acknowledge this particular passenger experienced an out of the ordinary delay, and have worked with our officers to ensure we proceed with expediency in screening situations similar to this.

Blogger Bob
TSA Blog Team

What I've got to wonder here is if the tag "training" actually tells us that Blogger Bob is in training to learn how to actually offer an apology, because as far as they go, this one sucks.

First, I am completely baffled that they still insist that proper screening protocol was followed (they in fact edited this release to mention that, both in the last paragraph and again at the top of the post itself). Stacey Armato had in her hand the rules from TSA's own website that said breast milk was exempt from multiple things they attempted to have her do with it, including pouring it into containers of less than three ounces.

Second, it's nice that they're telling employees how to handle breast milk now, but what about the supervisor? The one who watched as Armato was patted down, then sent back into the containment area, and then was the person to tell her that the printed out rules weren't going to be respected, wrote down her information and pocketed it, and then told her to pour it into separate containers or trash it? Wouldn't he be the guy who should have known their own rules, or when presented with them right under his nose, could actually make the logical judgment call to follow them?

There isn't a single mention on here of an employee being reprimanded over this. Not even once. I'm sure he probably got a slap on the wrist -- not for harassing Armato, but for adding to the bad publicity.

Blogger Bob, I apologize. As a fellow blogger, I understand how people frequently take your words out of context and claim you say things you didn't, but in this case, the absence of certain things, such as admittance that the employees did anything wrong, is a nail in your own coffin.

An apology of "We followed the rules, but we're sorry we took so long harassing her and we'll do it more quickly in the future" isn't really much of an apology at all.

Do you find their apology sufficient, or do you think further actions should have been taken against the supervisor?


Image via YouTube

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