Just got locked in a TSA private screening room!

I just had the most entertaining TSA patdown ever. As usual when I’m selected for the full body scanner I nicely request a pat down in private.

Tonight I was flying out of JFK and at American’s terminal they typically always send people to the full body scanners, so I requested a private patdown. When requesting a private patdown two male agents have to be present (one to pat you down and one to be sure there’s no funny business) so we go to the screening room as usual. After a quick and pleasant massage patodwn the agent goes to open the door, and it won’t open. He plays with the handle for a bit though it won’t open.

At this point the other TSA agent is more or less making fun of him along the lines of “c’mon man, move over and let me do it.” He tries his luck and has the same issue. The first TSA agent was pretty flamboyant and starts panicking, saying he’s really claustrophobic. They page a supervisor to the private screening room over the walkie talkies, though there’s no answer. They do this at least a dozen times and there’s still no response.

Then they literally start banging against the door while yelling. Still no response. At this point they say “you’re traveling with someone, right?” I said I was, so they said I should use my phone to call them and tell them to let us out. My mom wasn’t answering her phone despite repeatedly calling her. In the meantime the first TSA agent is continuing to panic (the room is pretty small). After nearly 10 minutes in the private screening room the supervisor comes over and opens the door from the outside.

The only thing he says is “see, this is American Airlines’ fault.” Hah, yeah right!

Filed Under: Security/TSA
  1. I would have totally been talking up stuff like “oh man there’s a limited amount of oxygen in here man, we only have so much time” or whatever else I could think of that’d make the guy panic more. I’m a sicko like that.

  2. Sounds like a story to pitch. I think John Oliver on The Daily Show could make a good piece out of your experience.

  3. Funny Story!!

    I was flying from JFK-ARN-JFK with a one night stay back in feb on the DL mistake fare. The agent checking me in and asking me the standard security question in ARN couldn’t believe I flew all this way just for one night. He also couldn’t believe how cheap my airfare was. Because of that I was given a complimentary swedish massage prior to boarding.

    I was kind of surprised a female security agent was giving the massage. And all I have to say about that is; based her looks I had noooo complaints 🙂 In fact if any security agents looked like her. I would ALWAYS opt out of the full body scans.

  4. @ J-dawg — When you get a private patdown the two agents carry your bags for you to the room so that they remain in your sight the whole time. They had me get my phone out of my bag to make the call.

  5. @J-dawg

    They take all your belonging into the private screening room with you. I opted out at JFK T7 last week and the TSO had me waiting where I couldn’t see my bags. She told me that I had to wait where I was and I practically screamed at he that she was required to let me wait in an area where I could see my possessions at all times. They are required to do this and most of the time they’re pretty good about it.

  6. Why do you request a private room for the groping? I’ve always taken care of business in the open…

  7. @ FriendlySkies — Because I don’t want to be touched in public. I’d rather have it discreetly done in a private room.

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