My son and I were waiting in a security line at the airport the other day when he asked me, "Mom, are they going to take away my stuffed animal?" "What?" I said, "No, they would never do a silly thing like that!" Ha. Well looks like I was the silly one. The TSA has done that -- and worse!
A wheelchair-bound 3-year-old was allegedly detained for 20 minutes by security agents at the Lambert-St. Louis Airport. AND they took away the girl's "Lamby." Her outraged dad, Nathan Forck, captured some of the insanity on video, and it's awful. Poor Lucy was so traumatized she was wailing, "I don't want to go to Disney World!"
According to Forck, two different agents told him they would have to give Lucy a "pat-down" because she was in a wheelchair. A hot pink child's wheelchair, mind you. The parents do not allow anyone to touch their children without a camera present -- a little paranoid, but within their rights. The TSA agents tried to tell them filming them was illegal, but Forck is a lawyer who knows better. He and his wife continued to question why Lucy had to be subjected to a pat-down.
At some point, an agent had taken away Lucy's stuffed animal because supposedly she couldn't hold it while going through security. Meanwhile, the parents talked with several managers and kept answering questions about who they are and where they were going before they were finally finished. Oh yeah, and they had their two other children with them, so fun for the whole family.
Isn't that ridiculous? I mean, as it is, everyone hates waiting in those long security lines. We hate the naked ex-ray machines (thank goodness they're being phased out, but I still saw some this weekend). We hate taking off our shoes every time we want to get onto a plane. If it keeps us all safe, though, fine. We'll put up with the inconvenience.
But to freak out over a 3-year-old in a wheelchair? Come on! That's the height of absurdity. There are times when the TSA just seems to veer into the Land Beyond Logic all in the name of protecting the American public. The agents were just doing their job, I guess. But could we please get some better training? Some clearer rules? Some rules that make sense?
Supposedly, you can call the TSA Cares hotline before you fly so you can find out what level of insane scrutiny they're going to subject you to. (Call during business hours at least 72 hours before your flight.) I guess they can subject your toddler's wheelchair to a pat-down. Whatever! But YOU can video record that pat-down if you want to. Thank God the TSA is here to protect us from wheelchair-bound toddlers and their Lambys.
(Warning: This video is so upsetting it made my son cry because he couldn't bear seeing a kid be deprived of her stuffed animal.)
Do you think the TSA really needs to inspect children's wheelchairs at the airport?
Image via alschutle/YouTube