TSA Releases Video to Clear Itself and Mother Responds

By | October 18, 2009
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In response to accusations made by a blogging mother that the TSA had separated her and her young child, the TSA released edited CCTV video, showing that the child was not in fact, separated from his mother.

Nic issued an apology on her own blog, which was down for a time and had comments disabled. She claims this was done to prevent an overload of the site due to increased traffic caused by the story. She acknowledges her version of events and the CCTV camera disagree and makes several legitimate points. Her portion of the conversation prior to entering secondary screening where she offered to remove an offending item and go through again does not appear. Of course, no audio appears. She also insists that the video is incomplete, as it omits her son being taken out of her sight.

We reviewed their video, as anyone can do. She states the following, “neither of the two phone calls i placed while seated in security are in the video either. what is shown in the video is incomplete as it leaves out when the security agent took my son to a separate area and out of my sight. this matter is one that is being handled between my family and the TSA.” We’re at a loss as to when during the video they could have cut it so this abduction was missed. She put the child in the stroller, from what we can see, and he stayed there.

As for the phone calls, passengers are separated from their possessions while screening is accomplished. And yes, those possessions should be secured in the hands of TSA agents, but that is a separate issue she pointed out. She shouldn’t have had access to her phone at that point. The video is small, and details are deliberately blured though, so it is hard to tell.

Nic sees it this way, “bottom line: my son and i were mistreated and using my blog and my freedom of speech, i made that known to the public. for those of you who know me or “know” me in terms of frequenting my site, i trust that you know i am a strong advocate for parents which is why i posted in the first place, and made that known at the bottom of my original post that no child should be separated from their parent.

We agree with her that no child should be separated, and we will agree that the TSA provided poor customer service, but so do many organizations. We have been put in the box, or its roped equivalent at some airports. It isn’t something we like, but it isn’t mistreatment. It is a segregated area for those unscreened. They did leave her there longer than they should, and that needs to be addressed.

As this video proves, sometimes reality and memory do not match. We don’t know the mother, and admit to not having read her blog before this. Thus, we have no frame of reference for her, although we usually give people the benefit of the doubt and chose to believe in their sincerity and honesty until told otherwise.

In the final conclusion, we agree with Chris Elliott..remember the TSA doesn’t want to steal your children, and inefficiency, rudeness, and even mistreatment is not agency policy(even if it seems that way sometimes). They certainly could have handled this better, and we expect them to work on it.

But for now…case closed.

Author: Guru

Guru is the Editor of Flight Wisdom and a long time aviation enthusiast.