Phoenix cancer survivor humiliated by TSA at Sky Harbor Airport

abc15.com | May 24, 2012

By Angie Holdsworth By: Angie Holdsworth

PHOENIX – A Phoenix woman claims she was humiliated by TSA when she tried to go through security wearing a prosthetic breast.

Cindy Gates is a cancer survivor who had a mastectomy two and a half years ago.  She was leaving from Sky Harbor Airport a couple of weeks ago when she said was scrutinized for the prosthetic breast.

“I told them when I went through the scanner that it would show up differently,” Gates said. The agent wanted to do a pat down but I asked for a private screening and she said ‘no.’ She then started feeling my breast.”

Gates said she was then told she would need to remove the breast and again was a refused a private room to do so. She said she got so upset she took the prosthetic breast out and tossed it on the table.

“I was so upset,” she said.

A TSA representative said they have not received the formal complaint from Gates but will look into it.  Policy states that passengers wearing prosthetic breasts should not be asked to remove it and passengers are entitled to private screenings.

Passengers with prosthetics can also call ahead if they wish to let TSA know in advance just to assure there are no concerns but it’s not required.

Gates said she notified TSA about the situation and is awaiting their response.  She is also considering whether to pursue legal action.

 

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