TSA Orders Woman, 95, To Remove Adult Diaper During 45-Minute Security Search


screener-airportA woman has filed a complaint with federal authorities over how her elderly mother was treated at Northwest Florida Regional Airport last weekend.

Jean Weber of Destin filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security after her 95-year-old mother was detained and extensively searched last Saturday while trying to board a plane to fly to Michigan to be with family members during the final stages of her battle with leukemia.

Her mother, who was in a wheelchair, was asked to remove an adult diaper in order to complete a pat-down search.

“It’s something I couldn’t imagine happening on American soil,” Weber said Friday. “Here is my mother, 95 years old, 105 pounds, barely able to stand, and then this.”

Sari Koshetz, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration in Miami, said she could not comment on specific cases to protect the privacy of those involved.

“The TSA works with passengers to resolve any security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner,” she said.

Weber’s mother entered the airport’s security checkpoint in a wheelchair because she was not stable enough to walk through, Weber said.

Wheelchairs trigger certain protocols, including pat-downs and possible swabbing for explosives, Koshetz said.

“During any part of the process, if there is an alarm, then we have to resolve that alarm,” she said.

Weber said she did not know whether her mother had triggered an alarm during the 45 minutes they were detained.

She said her mother was first pulled aside into a glass-partitioned area and patted down. Then she was taken to another room to protect her privacy during a more extensive search, Weber said.

Weber said she sat outside the room during the search.

She said security personnel then came out and told her they would need for her mother to remove her Depends diaper because it was soiled and was impeding their search.

Weber wheeled her mother into a bathroom, removed her diaper and returned. Her mother did not have another clean diaper with her, Weber said.

Weber said she wished there were less invasive search methods for an elderly person who is unable to walk through security gates.

“I don’t understand why they have to put them through that kind of procedure,” she said.

Koshetz said the procedures are the same for everyone to ensure national security.

“TSA cannot exempt any group from screening because we know from intelligence that there are terrorists out there that would then exploit that vulnerability,” she said.

Weber filed a complaint through Northwest Florida Regional’s website. She said she received a response from a Homeland Security representative at the airport on Tuesday and spoke to that person on the phone Wednesday.

The representative told her that personnel had followed procedures during the search, Weber said.

“Then I thought, if you’re just following rules and regulations, then the rules and regulations need to be changed,” she said.

Weber said she plans to file additional complaints next week.

“I’m not one to make waves, but dadgummit, this is wrong. People need to know. Next time it could be you.”

{News Herald.com/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. “… told her they would need for her mother to remove her Depends diaper because it was soiled and was impeding their search.”
    TSA-Change her yourself!

  2. Just wondering, if the lady was 95 and very ill, why was she flying to her family, as opposed to her family flying to be with her?

  3. This is about as reasonable as sticking a taco in your bathroom sink and thinking you could make dinner out of it. This is going to make alot of people very angry and I really dont think there is one person who feels safer by frisking a 95 year old with leukemia that only weights 100 pounds becuase you have a protocol to follow.
    we are disturbing and embarrassing a 95 year old woman becuase there is an off chance that a murderer might stick a bomb in her bloomers. This is just way over the line and I hope that someone like Obama finds this to be a problem that needs to be worked upon.

  4. I travel pretty often. (Let’s put aside this politicly correct stuff!) The people that do the actual checking for the TSA are the most stupid & dumbest people I have ever seen! They are mostly high school drop out’s who have no ambitions in life other than to live off the Government! Even postal workers have more brains than these nitwits! Only flight attendants & people who buy lottery tickets are dumber!

  5. It says that they asked Ms. Weber (the daughter) to change her mother’s soiled diaper which was impeding the search probably due to the smell. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they checked her in an inappropriate manner! Besides, nobody should be allowed, or should I say succumbed, to board a plane and sit all the way to Michigan with a dirty diaper. Proper decency dictates that the most appropriate and responsible act to take was to inform the daughter that her mother soiled her depends so she could change it. What is wrong with that?!

  6. Disgraceful. To put an old sick woman through this busha only shows you how low this country has fallen.
    C’mon, America. You know who to check. Just profile and you will be okay.

  7. #8- I couldn’t agree more. I travel often. The combined IQ of all the TSA employees at LGA and JFK airports is under 90. Think I’m exaggerating? Take a trip and see for yourself. Putting our national security in the hands of these people is a national crime. We should have our public officials charged, or throw them out until we find someone to fix a very broken system.

  8. Ah bissel seichel basically has defined the problem. When the USSR used to engage in invasive searches of people entering or leaving their domain, it was obnoxious but it was not irrational from their paranoid point of view. What has happened in the USA is inmates have taken over the asylum and have hired their friends to help them run it.

    To date, no terrorist has been caught by the American’s idiotic system but the human and civil right of millions have been violated. So what good is all this aside from employing the dregs of society and gifting multi-million dollar contracts to the cronies of the politicians?

    Aryeh Zelasko
    Beit Shemesh

  9. Who said anything about bombs?
    They had to make sure she wasn’t threatening national security by sneaking three and a half ounces of fruit juice or shampoo aboard…