Janis Heuberger, 53, flies several times a year and has never had a problem with a pat-down by a TSA worker. "I have no problems with someone searching or being screened, but when it goes into your private area, that's a little overboard," she told TARGET 13.
Heuberger was heading to Las Vegas on Friday, Aug. 5, when she claims she was the victim of an over-the-board" pat-down that happened at the Colorado Springs Airport.
She broke her foot a couple of days before her flight, so she was in a leg cast and had to use a wheelchair to get through security.
"They wheeled me up to the security and asked if I wanted to be checked in private or in an open area, and I said open is fine."
She said it was a standard pat-down, until they checked her buttocks and then her vaginal area. "I immediately said, 'You just patted my private part,'" she remembered.
She said there were two TSA agents doing the pat-down, one who was training the other one.
She told TARGET 13 that the trainer was doing the screening.
Heuberger said she was wearing a long dress at the time and remembers feeling the screener's latex gloves going up her legs.
"The agent, who was training the (other) agent, said, 'The pat-down includes the thigh to where it connects to the torso.' I probably heard that four times," Heuberger said.
She told TARGET 13 immediately after the pat-down, she demanded to speak with a supervisor.
She was told to fill out a complaint form, but when she asked for a supervisor to sign it, she said her request was refused.
Heuberger told TARGET 13 all TSA workers refused to give their names, so her friend traveling with her wrote down the names off name tags.
The TSA did send TARGET 13 a statement, after reporter began inquiring about the complaint.
Luis Casanova, TSA spokeman, wrote in his email: "TSA's mission is to safely, efficiently and respectfully screen nearly 2 million passengers each day at airports nationwide.
We are sensitive to the concerns of passengers who were not satisfied with their screening experience and we invite those individuals to provide feedback to TSA through a variety of channels. We work to balance those concerns with the very real threat that our adversaries will attempt to use explosives to carry out attacks on planes.
TSA thoroughly reviewed the circumstances surrounding the screening experience of this passenger, and found that our officers acted professionally and followed the proper procedures.
We take the professionalism of our workforce and the integrity of our security procedures very seriously and will address any alleged issues directly with the passenger and not through the news media."
Heuberger is not satisfied; she wants a public apology and wants the complaint system streamlined.