Think insurance will cover PTSD from airline travel? Why does airport screening have to be so fear inducing and humiliating? I was prepared to encounter the full body scanner and have the highly trained and professional security personnel giggle at my jiggles, but, alas, no such technology at Dulles. I was NOT prepared to have my innocent 14 year-old daughter be subjected to a full frontal assault from security because of her bra!!!
After emptying pockets of such terrorist weapons as keys, spare change, and nail clips, and removing footwear that contained nothing but sweaty feet (perhaps a weapon of mass destruction at that!), my husband and I made it through the security checkpoint. Our daughter, however, set off the alarm as she walked through the gate. Does your heart leap out of your chest when that happens? Do you feel like you've been caught shoplifting a Gucci bag from the Duty Free store when, in fact, you know full well you've done nothing wrong? Well, we all know what that alarm means-20 questions time!
Are you carrying anything metal? Is there anything in your pockets? Do you have a pacemaker? Have you crammed any illegal weapons into your body cavities this morning? After trying in vain to convince security that my daughter's braces set off the alarm, she was asked if she was wearing a bra? WHAT?!! Then they wanted to know if it was an underwire! If the next question was what color is it and does it have lace, I was going to slap the security guy in the face! But as it turns out, underwire bras can set off the security alarm. So....
14 year-old daughter must get patted down by (female) security guard to make sure that she is, indeed, wearing an underwire bra and not hiding anything dangerous or illegal on her person. Mom is told to step aside and retrieve daughter's carry-on, to which I replied, "No, I will stand right here and monitor." The guard then proceeds to do such a thorough job of "patting down" my daughter that I doubt she'll need a clinical breast exam any time soon! If a boy had tried that on her, I think she would have broken his arm (at least I hope she would have!) Finally, it is determined that, yes, this 14 year-old girl is, in fact, wearing a bra and not concealing terrorist weapons. She is allowed to board the plane, and we all feel just a little safer and a lot more traumatized.