About Me

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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Educating the TSA- again

Driving to the airport on Sunday I tried to prepare myself for the chaos that was sure to ensue. I knew that we were entering the travel fray on one of the busiest days of the year, but like everybody else, I wanted to get home so that we could enjoy a few days before New Years. We were fully prepared to assume our positions as human sardines in the overcrowded terminal and plane. Although I wasn't looking forward to the next few hours, I was excited about going home.

Traveling without special needs would have been frustrating at best. Trying to navigate the airport (and especially security) with both a prosthesis and an infant on such a heavily traveled day was akin to Mission Impossible. After turning in the rental car, I took a deep breath and tried to prepare myself for the airport obstacles in my future.

It took us nearly ten minutes in line to unload our carry-on luggage onto the screening belt. Once all of the laptops, handheld electronic devices and baby formula had been removed and separated, I helped Scott fold the stroller and stuff it onto the belt. He took Timmy and Robby and walked through the screening area without a hitch. I knew that my prosthesis would trigger the alarm and prepared myself for the obligatory pat-down procedure.

After being separated from the line for additional screening, I was offered a seat and asked to remove my prosthesis. Oh boy, here we go again! When I politely refused, explaining that it was against their procedure to make such a request, a supervisor was called to speak with me. Again I was asked to remove my leg for screening. I reiterated my refusal, and she finally acquiesced after declaring that a "thorough" pat down would be necessary.

I declined the offer for a private screening and allowed the agent to feel my body in public. (I feel that it is important for my fellow travelers to see the procedures in action.) After copping more feels than I typically allowed on a third date, the agent declared me free to fly. As I was walking to meet my boys, the agent called me back so that she could screen the diaper bag.

Despite having already cleared the x-ray screening, the agent was insistent that the bag be hand
searched. Everything was taken out and strewn on the table. They held both of Timmy's full bottles of formula and indicated that liquids were not permitted through security.  (Thankfully Scott was able to capture Timmy's "Hey, that lady took my bottle" look.)

Again, I found myself in the position of educating the agents on their own procedures. Baby formula, breast milk and other dietary liquids are permitted through TSA security if they are declared. After another pow-wow, it was decided that the baby formula could fly as well.  It is a good thing I know the rules and regulations because, if I didn't, I would have had a hungry and cranky baby on my hands!

I don't mind being screened at the airport. I also understand that my prosthesis may require additional or different procedures. I resent having to educate the agents on their own procedures and protocols.


  1. Peggy, I'm so sorry you had to deal with this! Our TSA is so ineffective and often (as you witnessed) so unaware of their own policies and procedures. Really chaps my butt...I'm glad, though, that Timmy got to keep his bottles!!

  2. I'm glad you knew everything--what a shame the agents aren't better trained.