Having a portable, motorized wheelchair makes traveling easier and more convenient. It gives you your freedom back.
But a 96-year-old woman in a wheelchair what was patted down by Transportation Security Administration officials at Washington Dulles Airport did not have the best travel experience, unfortunately.
Jeanne Clarkson told CBS News that the TSA spent a long time extensively patting down her 96-yar-old mother in her wheelchair. Clarkson took a video while it was happening, and the video went viral.
Clarkson, her fiance and her mother were on their way back to their home in Indiana as they traveled through Washington’s Dulles Airport and her elderly mother experienced the pat-down. Clarkson told CBS News:
“I was just shocked. I’ve traveled with her before, I’ve been in a wheelchair myself unable to walk through the machines and I’ve never had that kind of a pat-down ever. I was just shocked. I couldn’t believe they were doing this to my 96-year-old mother,” Clarkson. “It was just shock and frustration because they would not talk to me. I felt helpless.”
She posted the six-minute video on Facebook in May, in which she questioned the TSA agents about why they thought a 96-year-old needed a patdown. Clarkson posted a six-minute video of the pat down by the TSA agents on Facebook in May.
Clarkson was also in a wheelchair but was not subjected to as long of a search. The video has received more than 8.9 million views on Facebook.
Washington Dulles International Airport released a statement about the video:
“Many of you have reached out to us to express concern over a video of a security screening taking place at Dulles International Airport. Security screening at our checkpoints is directed and conducted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). We have shared customer comments with the TSA for their immediate review and appropriate action,” the statement said.
TSA said the passenger did not seem upset by the pat-down.
“TSA is committed to ensuring the security of travelers, while treating all passengers with dignity and respect. In this instance, the TSA officer provided advisements during the pat-down and was extremely polite. The passenger was very cooperative and gave no indication that she was agitated or in discomfort. She received a pat-down and was cleared for her flight,” the agency said in a statement.