The Monday Rant: You Pierced What?!?
Should you have to remove body piercings to pass through security?
Well, now you apparently don't, but not before an ugly incident in Texas. According to an Associated Press story, Mandi Hamlin, 37, of Texas says she wasn't given a patdown option when her nipple piercings set off alarms last month in Lubbock. Instead, she was told she must remove the piercings, she says. She preferred to simply show them to a female agent, but was told they came out of her nipples or she came out of the line.
Behind a curtain, she easily took out a bar-shaped piercing, according to the report, but couldn't get out a ring in a second breast. She told the TSA officer that it wouldn't come out without pliers, and the officer gave her a pair.
She got it out with pliers and was allowed to board, even though she was still wearing a belly button ring.
Hamilin says she filed a complaint, and the TSA's customer service manager at the Lubbock airport concluded the screening was handled properly. Hamlin asked for an apology and pulled attorney Gloria Allred into the fray.
According to a letter read by Allred, "After nipple rings are inserted, the skin can often heal around the piercing, and the rings can be extremely difficult and painful to remove."
The TSA, to its credit, has now amended its policy. In a statement posted on its Web site, the administration says: "TSA has reviewed the procedures themselves and agrees that they need to be changed. In the future TSA will inform passengers that they have the option to resolve the alarm through a visual inspection of the article in lieu of removing the item in question. TSA acknowledges that our procedures caused difficulty for the passenger involved and regrets the situation in which she found herself. We appreciate her raising awareness on this issue and we are changing the procedures to ensure that this does not happen again."
According to the AP report, Hamlin's attorney said she accepted the TSA statement as an apology. The policy change is "an achievement for the protection of passengers' civil rights while meeting the security goals of the TSA," Allred said.
But wow, yet another reason not to get nipple rings. But that's not really the point, is it? If someone wants body piercings, seems it's not my business. Nor the business of the TSA, beyond making sure that they are what the owner purports them to be.
Can't see how a nipple ring would be a danger to anyone but the owner and any baby she might decide to breast feed. Then again, now that I think of all the other possible body parts that are sometimes pierced . . . What's a free society to do?
And why do these sorts of things happen in the first place?
By Cindy Loose |
March 31, 2008; 6:31 AM ET
Previous: The Friday Photo: Look, It's a Bird . . . | Next: Clear Lane: A Clarification (and Apology)
View or post comments
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: DB | March 31, 2008 8:53 AM
Posted by: Betty | March 31, 2008 9:01 AM
Posted by: Maxine of Arc | March 31, 2008 9:52 AM
Posted by: h3 | March 31, 2008 10:31 AM
Posted by: S | March 31, 2008 10:57 AM
Posted by: Chasmosaur | March 31, 2008 11:07 AM
Posted by: Anonymous | March 31, 2008 12:34 PM
Posted by: BxNY | March 31, 2008 1:03 PM
Posted by: Sasquatch | March 31, 2008 1:25 PM
Posted by: Chasmosaur | March 31, 2008 2:19 PM
Posted by: Beth | March 31, 2008 2:58 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | March 31, 2008 4:01 PM
Posted by: Rich | March 31, 2008 9:56 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | April 1, 2008 1:01 PM
Posted by: dextert | April 2, 2008 7:15 PM
Posted by: Somnath Bhattasali | April 3, 2008 12:20 AM
Posted by: omars | April 3, 2008 5:09 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.