A Florida woman is reeling after her 95-year-old mother was embarrassed by having to take off her adult diaper at the Northwest Regional Airport while heading to Michigan.
Jean Weber has alerted the Department of Homeland Security after her mother was ordered to take off the diaper so a pat-down search could be completed last weekend.
Her mother, who is in the end stage of a battle with leukemia, was heading to Hastings, southeast of Grand Rapids, to visit her last living brother and other family members before possibly dying, Weber said.
"All I could think about is why they are doing this to a 95-year-old woman who is in a wheelchair? She's in ill health, and she just wanted to go home," Weber told The News from her Destin, Fla., home Sunday afternoon.
Weber's mother reportedly was detained for nearly 45 minutes while she was searched. She was first pulled aside into a glass-partitioned area before being taken to another room for a more expansive search.
That's when security said they needed her mother to take off her Depends diaper because it was blocking their search.
"She had wet her Depends, and it gelled up," Weber said.
After taking her to the bathroom to remove the diaper, Weber began crying. She was then detained during the search.
"(To security), that triggered unusual behavior. Everything was taken out of my purse, and I was patted down," Weber said. "It was two minutes before her plane departed. I was sobbing."
In a statement emailed to the News, TSA said its officers followed proper procedure.
"While every person and item must be screened before entering the secure boarding area, TSA works with passengers to resolve security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner," the statement read. "We have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally and according to proper procedure."
Weber said her mother eventually made her flight and later arrived in Grand Rapids. Weber filed a complaint with TSA, which contacted her last week.
"I'm not sure if I'm going to get it resolved," Weber said. "My mother is like a small child in her age. She has to be protected and cared for, like a child. I just resented them treating her that way."
From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110627/MET ... z1QSykKq8m