Was She Harassed?

June 18, 2007

If you haven’t already heard about it, on June 11th, Monica Emmerson was detained at Reagan National Airport after water spilled out of her child’s sippy cup while she was trying to get through the security checkpoint.

TSA’s side of the story is that Monica dumped the water out on the floor and acted in a very rude manner.

Monica, who was traveling alone, says that since there was nowhere to get rid of the water near the security checkpoint, she opened up the cup to drink the contents. In her nervousness, it accidentally spilled on the floor.

TSA has posted a security video of the incident here. The first video doesn’t really show much but the second one shows most of what happened. However, since there’s no audio, it’s anybody’s guess as to what really happened. All I know is that I sympathize with Monica.

As you know, I travel a lot. Sometimes for work, sometimes for recreation.

I remember an incident not too long ago when we took the family to the neighbor island for the weekend. On the way back, DH dropped us off at security while he went to park the car. I had Baby Bug’s bottle which contained water in the diaper bag and upon entering asked the TSA agent if it was okay to bring it on. He said that as long as it’s distilled water, then it’s fine. I then put the bottle in one of those plastic bins and sent it through the x-ray machine. The TSA agent on the other side stopped and informed me that I couldn’t bring it through. He said that I would need to be escorted out of the secured area, dump the water, then stand in line and come through security again. It took me almost 30 minutes to get through the first time! I asked if I could drink the water but he said no - someone would have to witness me throwing it away. I told him that the only reason I kept it was because the other agent said it was okay. He said it didn’t matter, I would have to leave the area.

Needless to say, this was starting to cause a commotion around us and as most of you know, I HATE to be the center of attention in a public scene! It didn’t help that I had the girls with me who by now were starting to get restless. All I could do was leave.

I understand that the TSA agents are only doing their job. I just wish that they were more consistent about what is and isn’t allowed. I’ve come to realize that the rules change depending on which airport you’re flying out of and even which agent you encounter.

So, what do you think? Was Monica harassed? Have you ever had an incident while going through security?

And speaking of traveling, guess who’s the guest blogger at Be A Good Dad today? Check out my post Staying Sane While Traveling With Kids. 

The Carnival of Family Life is up at the so called me. Please stop by when you have a moment.

Aloha for stopping by Ryan, Kailani, Karen, Dana, BeachMama, Michelle, Sparky Duck, Christine, Renee, Carmen, Lissete, Jenny, Kelly @ Love Well, William Tully, Calvin Warr, Salvina, Grace, TopChamp, and Pamela

28 Comments on “Was She Harassed?”

June 18, 2007
6:24 am

Pamela said:

The video portrayed the TSA staff as fools.

Hundreds of would be terrorists walked by while they harrassed a young woman who was just trying to get through the hassel of traveling with a small child.

I’ve seen many spills at airports getting cleaned by the people hired to be custodial. What was this business of getting her paper towels to clean it up.

June 18, 2007
6:31 am

Pamela said:

My Incident was at the gate.
It was the afternoon of sept 10, 2001. I was flying out of Washington DC.

My ticket was intially for 9/11. My son in law was in the air force and his shift was changed so he couldn’t drive me to the airport. So I called and PAID the $100 to switch flights the previous week.

Apparently the flight was overbooked. At the gate the staff person said there was a problem with my ticket and said I had to go back to the counter sales. The flight was ready to leave. Therefore I missed the flight. I went to the counter and they told me the gate person could have fixed the problem right at her computer and they didn’t understand why she sent me back there. Well, I understood! It was a way to make me miss the flight without having to give someone a compensating ticket for giving up a seat.

I was so MAD. My luggage went on the flight without me….. the 2nd time that trip that it went on a different jet then me.

I was going to write a SCATHING letter to Northwest when I got home.

But, I barely got into Portland Oregon and the Twin Towers had been attacked. It seemed petty after that.

June 18, 2007
6:34 am

TopChamp said:

Hello - I’ve been put off travelling by plane since the security measures tightened. I usually travel with my trumpet and just can’t face the arguments trying to get it on a flight.

I have heard recently that the Musicians’ Union provide a ‘flight pass’ that is a bit like a passport for your instrument which could help.

p.s. Don’t worry about contacting Judy for me - I don’t want to harrass her. She has visited (can see from My Blog Log) and I’m sure she will get in touch at some point.