The Arizona Republic has found a large cohort of elderly and retired people who claim to have been abused by TSA staff at Phoenix's Sky Harbor airport. The passengers claim that they were required to remove their prostheses (particularly prosthetic breasts worn by cancer survivors), and that their objections were met with threats and hostility.
One woman wrote that an agent ordered a pat down of her prosthetic breast and refused to conduct the search in private, before a flight in May 2012.
"She made me pull it out in front of the world. When I got upset I was told to shut up. I have never been so humiliated in my life," the woman wrote. "The TSA has overstepped their bounds and ruined my vacation."
Two weeks earlier, another passenger wrote that TSA agents twice patted down her breast in as many weeks.
"Since this has occurred at two different checkpoints on two different dates, TSA clearly must have a procedure in place (that) requires that women with breast prosthesis to be singled out and treated in this cruel and humiliating manner," the woman wrote.
There is no record that the TSA responded to the second woman. When it does, it's usually a form letter.
Phoenix airport screening draws angry complaints [Sean Holstege/The Arizona Republic]