Flight Attendants Speak Out As TSA Revolt Explodes
Wednesday, Nov 10th, 2010
The revolt against invasive security procedures at airports continues to explode as flight attendants and a second pilot’s union have joined the huge chorus of complaining travelers that are faced with the choice of walking through radiation spewing naked imaging machines or having their genitals and private parts groped by TSA operatives.
“We’re getting calls daily about peoples’ experiences, our members are concerned,” Deborah Volpe, Vice President of the Association of Flight Attendants Local 66 told ABC 15 News.
The union represents over 2000 flight attendants who mostly work for US Airways, based in Tempe, Arizona.
Flight attendants are reportedly unhappy with both the naked imaging machines and the pat downs that are mandated if one “opts out” of going through the imaging machine.
The union has advised the attendants to ask that the pat-down be conducted in a private area with a witness if it is deemed necessary.
“We don’t want them in uniform going through this enhanced screening where their private areas are being touched in public,” said Volpe. “They actually make contact with the genital area.”
The new pat down procedure, which now allows TSA agents to forcefully feel around breasts and genitalia, is currently conducted in full view of queuing passengers and has been described by many, including New York Times reporter Joe Sharkey, as a form of humiliation to discourage others from refusing the full body scans.
The flight attendants union is also pushing for a crew pass system effectively preventing flight attendants and pilots from having to undergo the procedure.
Watch the ABC 15 report:
On Monday we reported that the largest independent union of airline pilots in the world, the Allied Pilots Association, is urging its members to boycott the body imaging machines over health fears and the fact that they produce crisp images of people without their clothes.
Now a second pilot’s union, the US Airline Pilots Association, has asked its members to follow the same advice.
President Mike Cleary has issued a statement that advises pilots to search for a security checkpoint that does not use the scanners. If one cannot be found, Cleary notes that pilots should opt for the pat-down by a TSA officer, with a member of the pilot’s crew witnessing.
In addition to the reasoning that “The TSA has offered no credible specifications for the radiation emitted by these machines”, Clearly also takes issue with the pat downs.
“Let’s be perfectly clear: the TSA procedures we have outlined above are blatantly unacceptable as a long-term solution.” Cleary writes.
“This situation has already produced a sexual molestation in alarmingly short order. Left unchecked, there’s simply no way to predict how far the TSA will overreach in searching and frisking pilots who are, ironically, mere minutes from being in the flight deck.” the statement continues.
The statement makes reference to a pilot who has been left “unable to function as a crew member” following the TSA molestation, describing the pilot as having “vomited in his own driveway” at the thought of going back to work.
The following ABC News video highlights these facts: