TSA “regrets” the nipple ring situation

It’s been hard not to miss the nipple ring story these past two days. But for those of you that were paying attention to other things, a woman flying from Lubbock to Dallas this week was forced to remove her nipple ring with pliers before clearing security and being allowed to board the aircraft.

Although she offered to show her nipple rings to Transportation Security Administration officials, they wouldn’t back down. To make matters worse, not only was she handed a pair of pliers after she couldn’t remove the ring by herself, but she heard TSA officials snickering as she struggled — a little painfully — to pull the ring out. “My experience with TSA was a nightmare I had to endure. No one deserves to be treated this way,” said Mandi Hamlin. I think most of us would probably agree with her.

In response to the whole incident, today the TSA blogging team wrote a post to remind everyone that their “questions and comments on the incident in Lubbock, Texas have not gone unnoticed.” The TSA blog does such a good job of responding to our needs.

Although Hamlin is pushing for a civil rights investigation, the TSA holds that “the security officers followed the procedures for when someone alarms the metal detector and did nothing wrong.” The security officers may have followed the correct procedures, but in an official statement the TSA made its best attempt at apologizing. “TSA acknowledges that our procedures caused difficulty for the passenger involved and regrets the situation in which she found herself. We appreciate her raising awareness on this issue and we are changing the procedures to ensure that this does not happen again.”

More on TSA nipple ring woes and pliers incident

When Jeffery wrote his post yesterday, the story about the woman who was asked to remove her nipple rings at an airport security line were sketchy. Now that the details are out, they are almost unbelievable.

The woman was in the Lubbock airport and triggered off the metal detector. Perhaps they were rather large nipple rings, but once she told the TSA employees what caused the beeping and offered to show the rings to a female employee, one would think that would have been enough. I haven’t read anything about nipple rings being a weapon. Particularly since corkscrews without a knife blade are allowable and so are scissors if the blades are small enough, it would seem nipple rings would get a pass.

The woman was given the pliers after she couldn’t get one of the rings to come out. She reports that she was crying and heard the TSA guys snickering. According to the TSA policies, she could have had a pat down to establish what was triggering off the alarm. At this moment, all she wants is an apology from TSA.

Two weeks ago I saw an older man getting quite the pat down at the TSA line at the Columbus airport. At first I thought he was getting a massage at the back of his neck and shoulders, but decided it was odd that he was holding his arms out from his side. This nipple ring story makes me wonder even more what was up with him. Oh, the woman did say once the rings were out ,she was able to board the plane with her belly button ring intact. With all the things one can pierce these days, if you plan to take an airplane, I’d watch the size of the metal and how much.