, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Former TSA screener Jason Harrington confirmed what many of us have long suspected, that TSA screeners are abusing their authority by purposely delaying passengers over minor issues, often making them miss their flights.

By giving abusive mall-cops the discretion to conduct punitive baggage searches intended only to force the victims to miss their flight, the agency has placed everyone at risk by distracting efforts away from other passengers and reinforcing a bullying mentality in their workforce.

As usual, no one from TSA is available to address these abuse complaints but are are available to report when they confiscate tiny pocket knives.

Santa Rosa woman’s pen sparks TSA kerfuffle

The Horizon Airlines plane Sheila Montemayor very much hoped to fly from Santa Rosa to L.A. on Friday morning left without her as TSA agents questioned her about the “weapon” they found in her purse and then summoned a sheriff’s deputy.

Montemayor said the incident was ridiculous, as the object was simply a metal ink pen. But she also found it abusive.

The Santa Rosa woman and her husband, JP, said they don’t mind that the TSA agents at the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport viewed the pen as a weapon. They said one agent mistakenly called it a “kubaton,” a small self-defense device that can be carried on a key chain.

What the Montemayors contend is that the concerned TSA agents should simply have confiscated the pen. Sheila Montemayor said she offered to throw it in a trash can.

But what happened, the couple said, is the agents took her boarding pass and driver’s license, had her baggage removed from the plane and summoned a deputy. She said she felt she was being detained because the agents told her that were she to leave the airport, police would come looking for her.

She and her husband said a deputy did arrive and quickly concluded that the pen was just a pen. But by then, the airplane Montemayor needed to get her to a family emergency was gone.

When I asked a TSA agent about the incident Friday evening, he said no one there could speak to me about it. Sheila Montemayor successfully boarded a flight that evening, without the disputed pen in her purse.