Skip to Content

TSA Criticized for Lengthy, Invasive Pat-Down of 96-Year-Old Woman in Wheelchair

A video of a TSA pat-down of a wheelchair-bound 96-year-old woman has drawn tens of thousands of angry comments, with many saying it was unnecessarily extensive.

The video of the search, posted by the woman’s daughter Jeanne Clarkson, has already garnered nearly 9 million views on Facebook. It’s also been shared more than 100,000 times and has over 20,000 comments, largely with people criticizing the way the TSA handled the pat-down.

“This was disgusting and not needed. So disrespectful. I’ve never seen anyone delayed that long for a search, let alone a 96 year old person!” one comment read.

My 96 year old mother being extensively searched by TSA

The 3 of us were all in wheelchairs. Only my 96 year old mother was subjected to this prolonged, repetitive search.

Posted by Jeanne LaBrier Clarkson on Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Clarkson said in the video post that she, her mother and her fiancé were all in wheelchairs, but that only her mother was subject to a particularly long, invasive pat-down.

“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 told CBS.

The incident took place in May in Washington Dulles International Airport. Airport officials responded to the video with a statement saying that they flagged the video and customer comments to the TSA “for their immediate review and appropriate action.”

The TSA told CBS: “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.”

Many of you have reached out to us to express concern over a video of a security screening taking place at Dulles…

Posted by Washington Dulles International Airport on Thursday, May 24, 2018